“1848,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 145–160.
WE have been informed that in the face of the sign that was, months ago, for a wet winter, that the different Sectarian parties through our country have proclaimed a day of fasting and prayer, to ask the President of the elements, to give them dry weather. It is not the logic or the illogic of this, or their success or their failure with the task, that deserves much of our attention; but what appears to us as very strange, is how the answer to such prayers would not constitute a “miracle!” Would it not be the “supreme rule over the order of nature?” If it would be, that is a MIRACLE according to their own popular interpreation; and if so, why do they not mock and condemn themselves as much as they do the Saints for speaking of miracles? Why do the same people shout so loudly from their pulpits, &c., that the age of miracles has ended, and that there is no need for miracles in this age? How can it be reasonable and scriptural for them to pray for miracles, and for God to work miracles for them; while they say that it is unreasonable and unscriptural for the same God to answer the prayers of their religious neighbors, just as miraculously? If the answer to this prayer is not above the laws of nature, what influence do their prayers through Christ have on the thing? How do they admit the answer to the prayer of Elias for rain as miraculous? Yet, we do not know, nor do we not grasp the logic as to how to believe or comprehend that their God hears and answers their prayers for rain, or drought, or for anything else; while they affirm to us that their God has neither ear to hear their prayers, nor tongue to speak to them, nor arm to do anything for them, nor eyes to pity them. Yes, when they themselves say that their God has neither “body, parts, nor passions!!” How can such nothingness (for reason has no better name for something that is immaterial) hear them or answer them? If we had not better respect for their conscientiousness and their feelings, and pity for them because of their jet-black darkness, we would advise them as Elijah exhorted the prophets of Baal, to shout more loudly, lest their nothingness God be asleep, or away from home, or even worse for him, without a single ear to hear them!
It is enough to cause wonder to any reasonable man, that the devil can blind one human creature, especially a man who has seen a Bible in his age, to believe such an impossibility as the existence of any being “without body, parts, or passions!” And it is no less folly for these miraculous fasters and prayer sayers, to dare to mock their contemporaries ever again for praying for miracles. We hope, for the sake of mankind, that this clan will never again be heard asserting, “that miracles have ceased, or that there is no need for them,” &c.; otherwise their own father cannot keep from laughing up his sleeve at their inconsistency. This encourages the Saints to stop being ashamed for professing the miraculous gifts “in the church,” for they have friends outside it who profess the same thing. They will come closer before long, and then it will be more popular to profess miracles!
It has seemed good unto the presiding council in the kingdom of God to appoint your humble servant a mission to this part of the earth, the nature of which is expressed in the following letter:—
“Elder Orson Pratt, who belongs to the quorum of the twelve, is hereby delegated to repair to England, to preach the gospel, to publish and print, to superintend the emigration, and to preside over all the conferences, and all affairs of the church of the Latter-day Saints in the British Isles, and adjacent countries; and we call upon all the Saints to listen to, and to obey his counsels in all things; for in so doing they will be blessed. Elder Pratt’s family will accompany him, if they choose, and we pray for the Lord to bless them. The duty of elder Pratt is to see that the elders and the Saints comport themselves according to our general epistle that was written December 23rd, 1847.
“Written at Winter Quarters, Omaha nation, North America, the 22nd of April, 1848, and signed in behalf of the above council by
“BRIGHAM YOUNG, President.
“WILLARD RICHARDS, Clerk.”
In compliance with this appointment, I left the camp of the Saints, which is in Indian territory on the western frontier of the United States, about the middle of May; and through the goodness and mercy of the Almighty, I have, together with my wife, and my three children, safely passed over about one quarter of the circumference of the globe, along canals, in swift steamboats, along large rivers, lakes, railroads, and at length arriving here, where now my field of labor will be for a time.
It is not without feeling profoundly the importance and responsibility of this mission, that I venture to fulfill my duties associated with it. I know from experience that it is not a small matter to be the sentinel over, and to be entrusted as a counselor for more than forty thousand Saints. To impart to the Saints, to individuals, to families, to branches of the church, and to conferences, the word of life, requires having a guide other than human wisdom,—nothing less than the inspiration of the Almighty will do. Who, without these necessary qualifications, can give counsel properly-can proportion out the word of truth to so many different people, under so many different capacities and circumstances, and in the face of so many traditions which have become ingrained so deeply through the influence of the fathers on the children, from which influence even the Saints are not as yet entirely free. The various circumstances that are continually imposing themselves, and as changing as they are, require counsels and instructions adapted to such fluctuations, that the Saints may know in all things how to avoid evil, and to do only those things that will bring them the greatest benefit. Now, who is sufficient for such work as this? Who can give the mind and will of the Holy Spirit with respect to the multiplied and unheard of, yet important and unavoidable circumstances which surround the Saints, unless he has been inspired to understand future things, as well as past things? Oh! what folly it is for human wisdom to try to be sufficient for all this, independent of the guidance of the Spirit of prophecy! Oh, what vanity it is for human learning only, while denying immediate revelation, to claim competence to guide mankind in all the complicated duties and walks of life!
The present condition of the Saints in America is very different from what it has ever been before. In time gone by, we have gathered together by thousands through the commandment of God, within the vicinity of our enemies and our persecutors, being driven from city to city, building for others to inhabit, and laboring diligently for others to enjoy the fruits of our labor; and all this has taken place so that ancient and modern prophecies might be fulfilled. But now, we have sought out a resting place in a valley of the distant mountains, in the interior of the western continent. There, in the recesses of the “everlasting mountains” we hope to have refuge for a small moment while the indignation of the Almighty is poured upon the nations—there we anticipate to enjoy rest for a season from the fury of our oppressors—there we intend to rear a house unto the God of Jacob, and not be immediately driven from its enjoyments—there we hope to commence the great work of the civilization and redemption of the remnant of Joseph—and, in short, there we hope to serve God with all our hearts, and with all that we possess, and we shall fulfill the purposes of his will in this last dispensation. An extensive, lovely, and rich tract of country, by the providence of God, has been put in the possession of the Saints in the western borders of the State of Iowa. This country is at some distance from all other settlements; there is none on the west, north, or the east; and some forty or fifty miles to the south separate it from the borders of Missouri. This country is called Pottawatomie. It was inhabited by a tribe of Indians by that name until last season, when they were removed by the government, leaving the Saints as sole occupiers of that soil. This part of the country is not yet in market, and when it comes into market, the Saints, being the first settlers, will have a right to it, according to the law of the land, a crown per acre.
There are now about 15,000 Saints living on this land. Their settlements extend some fifty or sixty miles along the east bank of the Missouri river, reaching back from it about 30 miles into the land. The soil is exceedingly rich and fertile-the face of the country is hilly, though not mountainous, and it is far more healthful than the level plains of Illinois and Missouri. The Saints have already opened extensive and splendid farms in every direction; and they will doubtless produce much more grain, and all kinds of provisions, than will be needed by the emigrants who come that way to the valley. From this point, during the months of May and June, many companies will annually leave for the valley of the Salt Lake. These two months are the only time it is safe to cross the Rocky Mountains. The Saints throughout the United States, Canada, British islands, and Europe, are requested to gather up to this place to make preparations to journey over the Rocky Mountains. Three of the twelve, namely Orson Hyde, George A. Smith, and Ezra T. Benson, are remaining here to preside over the Saints in that region. They will give all counsel considered interesting and necessary with respect to all things pertaining to the companies arriving there from the east, and also to the companies who depart from there toward Salt Lake.
Let the conference presidents see that all the Saints are properly instructed in all things in relation to the emigration, in wisdom and in proper order. The gathering of the Saints together to Zion is a very important principle in the doctrine of the Saints. It is founded upon divine revelation, both ancient and modern. Isaiah prophesied repeatedly, and very clearly, that the Lord would gather his sons from afar, and his daughters from the ends of the earth. David in his Psalms has proved this irrefutably, and with very great love. This appears to be a principle that all the ancient prophets enjoyed mentioning and describing. The wonders connected with the gathering engrossed the attention and the love of the Nephite prophets in America also. They enumerated many of the particulars, which appeared clearly in the Book of Mormon. The heavenly revelations given to our martyred prophet, Joseph Smith, while translating the Book of Mormon, show not only the establishment and rise of the church, but also its gathering together from the four corners of the world. In May, 1829, the Lord, referring to those who should receive this gospel, said,-”Behold, I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if they will not harden their hearts.” In September, 1830, within about five months after the establishment of the church, the Lord said to his servants,—“Ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect, for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts: wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father, that they shall be gathered in unto one place upon the face of this land, to prepare their hearts, and be prepared in all things against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked.” Many revelations of a similar nature are contained in the book of “Doctrine and Covenants.” None of the Saints can be dilatory upon these things, and still enjoy many of the influences of the Holy Ghost. To be negligent about gathering is just as displeasing in the sight of God as it is to be negligent about receiving their baptism for the remission of sins, or any other divine commandment. It is true that the poverty of many of the Saints in this country is great, so that they are unable to emigrate at present because of it; but neither that, nor anything else, should cause them to be indifferent to this glorious principle, but rather it should create in them greater diligence and devotion to make all lawful preparations they can to emigrate. If they do this, they will enjoy the Holy Ghost—the Lord will smile on them, and in due time, he will provide a way for their deliverance. Let the rich remember the poor, and help them from time to time to go home, as they are counseled, and the Lord will bless them also. We counsel all those Saints who have money in lands, houses, goods, commercial or manufacturing establishments, or in any other thing in this country, to immediately set themselves to the task, yet with wisdom and prudence, to make good use of their property, to bring their business to an end, and to collect together all they can of their riches into their own hands, and to go with them to the mountain of the Lord’s house—to the valley of the Salt Lake, together with all their valuable goods, and all they possess, and that will be useful, according to the direction of the twelve apostles in their epistle, written the 23rd of December, 1847. Let the elders and the other officers frequently impress upon the minds of the Saints the beneficial and necessary instructions contained in that Epistle. Instruct the wealthy among the Saints not to be covetous, not to set their confidence too much upon their property; but rather, inasmuch as they wish to please God, let them ask a reasonable low price for their property, and ask the Lord to dispose the hearts of some of the children of this world to purchase them from them; and we counsel them not to reject the first offer given to them, if it is a reasonable value for the property, or close to that, for in so doing they may lose greatly, and be unable to deliver themselves before the days of trouble, which are fast hastening upon the nations of this world. Now is the time to be awake and diligent! Now is the day of deliverance! The great and mighty sword is now unsheathed! It hangs swaying over the nations! It will soon fall, and it will devour the mighty and distant nations! And what withholds it now? Surely not the righteousness of the people, for their corruptions, their oppression, and their adverseness cry aloud for judgment. But it is the faith of the Saints-the poor and feeble Saints—that ascends night and day, saying, O Lord, spare us! Cut us not off with the wicked! We are weak! We are poor! We are oppressed! O save us! O deliver us! O bring us to the mountain of thy holiness, and not suffer us to perish in the day of thy wrath, when thou arisest from thy dwelling place to take vengeance on the wicked-to overturn governments-to destroy kingdoms-and to lay waste the nations.
Ye are the salt of the earth. It is for your sakes that the floodgates of destruction are kept closed for a little season. Awake, then, O ye Saints, awake! Set your faces Zionward. Go forth among the nations. Partake not of their sins, neither covet their luxuries; for the day of evil is nigh, yea, at the door. Like the whirlwind it shall rush into the palaces of the great-into the halls of the nobles. Their banqueting shall cease, and their riches shall perish from their hands. Sorrow and trouble shall take hold of them, and anguish of spirit. It shall come from all quarters, like the rushing together of adverse elements-like a raging whirlwind-like the breaking forth of mighty waters. And O, where will be safety then? We answer that it shall be in mount Zion. There only shall the daughter of peace build her palaces, and it will be a calm habitation for her. There only shall be “quiet resting places, and sure dwellings,” for the righteous who have escaped from the nations. O ye Saints of the Most High, linger not. Make good your way before it is closed up. Now only is the time that you need not “go out in haste, nor go by flight.” Make all preparations before you by him who began this good work in you-by him who calls you out from here—according to your faithfulness and your diligence.
Let the servants of God continue to preach repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, and do not entangle yourselves in the mysteries of the kingdom, for the world is not worthy of them: they cannot understand them, for they are not understood except by those who have the Spirit of God, and they are not duly appreciated except by the children of the kingdom. Let those of the Saints who wish to understand them go up to the mountain of the Lord, and build a house unto the God of Jacob. There you shall be taught in his ways, and instructed in his paths, to greater perfection. Then your hearts shall rejoice, and your understanding shall be opened; then the glory of the Lord shall shine upon you, and the mysteries of ages past and future shall be revealed to you; and then shall you be properly taught by the Holy Ghost in the right things and in the right time. At that time-in that place, you will teach and understand mysteries. But now shout, and cry aloud to the people in their cities, in their towns, and throughout the land, at every opportunity. Proclaim boldly, and spare not, saying, Repent, and be baptized by divine authority, for the remission of sins, that you may be filled with the Holy Ghost; for behold, the hour of God’s judgment is at hand! Except you do this, you shall in no wise escape. Let this be your cry in all places; and if you are faithful, the Holy Ghost will teach you in all things you must do; and the word will be confirmed to the believers in all places by the signs which shall follow; and they shall know of the doctrine, for the Father shall reveal it to them: but the wicked shall not understand, but shall perish in their wickedness.
I have been appointed to supervise the emigration of the Saints, and I wish at the commencement to lay down a few clear rules and instructions on this matter, as follows;—
Let it be understood that the time for the Saints to emigrate from Liverpool to New Orleans, will be from the early part of September until March.
Every person or family of the Saints who intend to go, and are able to do so, are requested to send to me their names, written in full and in plainness, and the ages of every man, woman, and child, and every infant, that is going, and also to send one pound in money for each person, both old and young
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The cost of passage on the ship may vary within small limits, from time to time, depending on the circumstances of related things. It will probably never be any less than 2 l 5s., or ever more than 5 l for adults. Children who are more than one year old, but under fourteen, will be carried for ten shillings less than the older ones; and infants, under the age of one, will be carried free. The alteration in the fare of children is occasioned by an American law, which went into effect a few weeks ago, and which effects an increase not only of the fare of children, but also of adults. The aforementioned law forbids any ship from carrying the same number of passengers as it carried before; and by that, there will be more space, and more comfort for each one; and also it considers each child over a year old a full passenger, and it requires the same preparation, space, and provisions for it as if it were an adult. For this reason many require the same fare for their passage as for the adults.
In the price of passage, whatever it may be, the following provisions are included for each passenger over one year old, as specified by law,—
Good navy bread, 33 pounds. Rice, 10 pounds. Oatmeal, 10 pounds. Wheat flour, 10 pounds. Peas and beans, 10 pounds. Potatoes, 35 pounds. Vinegar, 1 pint. Fresh water, 60 gallons. Good salted pork, 10 pounds. Also, a good supply of fuel for cooking food, &c.
We inform those Saints who need to purchase tea, coffee, sugar, butter, cheese, more of the things mentioned above, or other things that will be needed for the journey, if they will inquire of us after coming to Liverpool, we can furnish them much cheaper than they can purchase them in any of the shops, for we have the great advantage of purchasing such things from the Custom House free of duty. You will also need tin, cooking utensils, beds, and bedding, &c.
I have also been appointed to receive the tithing of the Saints, and to forward the same to the first Presidency in “Salt Lake City,” for the purpose of building in the mountains, a house unto the God of Jacob. The law of tithing was given by revelation several years ago, and it will continue in force upon the Saints throughout their generations. This law requires the contribution of one tenth of the property of the Saints, to carry forward the kingdom and the work of the Almighty on the earth, and after that one tenth of their annual income. In this country there are doubtless many Saints who are too poor to comply with this law, such as poor workers, who depend on their daily labor for their morsel of daily bread. From the hand of such, tithing is not expected; for that would be distressing to them and their families. It would be better for such to receive than to contribute. There are others, not as poor as the class noted, but who can put aside a shilling, or two, or three each week from their earnings, and that for emigrating, &c. Tithing is not required of such. There is another class in much better circumstances, who can contribute their tithing, without distressing themselves and their families, or without confounding their plans to emigrate; of such it is required; and they cannot be justified in the presence of the Judge of hearts by neglecting to pay it. Perhaps some may say, “I am willing to pay, but my property is in such a condition, that I cannot command the tenth of it now.” We counsel such to hasten to bring their circumstances to such a condition that they can command, not only the tenth, but the whole of it. Strive to extricate the whole of it, so that you will be able not only to pay your tithing, but to remove yourself with the balance of your property, to the mountains of America—to the city of the Saints—to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts. In so doing you shall be blessed. And this is the only safe course for you to pursue; this is the will of God, and this is his counsel. Blessed are they who shall comply; they shall flourish like the green herb upon a fertile soil, and they shall not wither away; their children shall grow like willows by streams of water, and they shall be honored among the children of God. But woe unto the covetous, he who loves his property more than he loves to obey the commandments of God; for they shall perish, and their riches will end, and they shall not receive an inheritance among those that are tithed; they shall wither away and become like the dried stubble prepared for the burning, and their names shall not be found among the records of the just.
Let the officers of the church instruct and teach the Saints proper understanding of the law of tithing, that the Saints may not remain in ignorance of that. Titling money can be sent to me by the Post-office, or by any other way judged safe, together with the names of the senders, so they may be properly recorded in the book.
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The Saints in this country are getting remarkably numerous, and thousands are coming into the church constantly; and as the eyes of all are fixed upon them, they must strive to manifest to all, by their good works, that they are actually what they profess to be, namely Saints of God-the children of light.
As I now enter into this great and important field, I hope, by the assistance of God, the prayers of the Saints, and my own faithful exertions, that I may be a benefit to you, and to the cause of God in this country. In the carrying out of all my future responsibilities, I shall strive to have the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and I shall counsel you continually, as I receive from the source. May the God of ancient Israel, who delivered them from the yoke of bondage, and made them a nation unto himself, also look upon his poor, afflicted Saints in Britain, and send them speedy deliverance, and bring them forth soon to his holy mountain, and establish them unto himself a peculiar people; is the constant prayer of your obedient servant,
Liverpool, August 15th, 1848. ORSON PRATT.
[We wish to inform the Welsh Saints, that president Pratt has entrusted to our care the preparations for the emigration of the Saints from Wales, and we intend to obtain a shipload of Welsh to go with each other, if there are about three hundred ready by January. I need not mention that it will be much more pleasant and beneficial for them to go with each other, for that will be self-evident to every considerate man for many reasons, especially because of the language. We wish for the presidents of branches from where some intend going next January toward California, to send to us, as soon as convenient for them, the names and ages of everyone who is going-male and female, old and young. We shall inform you again before long when the pound for each one is needed, as part of their cost. This is a custom among all who send emigrants across the sea, and no ship is taken for anyone without that, for the owners of the ship require that as a pledge on the agreement, to assure that the emigrants will come. We are sorry to learn, in some ways, of the new law that has caused an increase in the price of passage; but, on the other hand, it will be more pleasant for the passengers, for in contrast it will provide them with more room and advantages on the ship.
We have great pleasure in announcing to those who will be going, that President Pratt’s counselors have allowed your obedient servant to be released, with the first shipload of Saints, from the weary captivity that he has been in for some time-to be able to leave for a short time the “adulterous Babylon,” to breathe the fresh air in the valley of the mountains—to have the dear company, and the heavenly teaching, of the sons of Zion, instead of defending the truth from the malicious tales, lying assertions, and poison and slime, of this perverse and stiffnecked generation, or those of them who disregard the counsel of God, and who refuse and oppose this divine message, namely the most glorious one sent from heaven to men in more than fifteen hundred years. They have tormented our souls almost to death, and our constitution has nearly been ruined, under the burden of our effort to convince them, to bring them to the right, and to teach the lovers of truth in the proper way to temporal and eternal happiness. Oh, how delightful to think of the day when we will be released from our captivity, and go ahead, to prepare the way for thousands of Welsh to follow, to the dawning of the Jubilee!]
GIVE everyone a way to support a family (namely freedom of the elements), and punish the rapist and the adulterer by death, and chastity would cease to be a marketable commodity. Men would choose to marry, and keep the first law of their Father, namely, “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth,” instead of suffering death. Thus none of this transgression will be seen in Zion, for that which causes it will not be there, namely the captivity of man from the elements; and so, there will be no need there for lawyers to argue complex laws for or against. That is one contribution of Jubilee, then.
THE government that gives birth to an infant, without being able to endow it with full freedom of the elements, cannot be worthy of that, nor can it make the infant happy, because he is a slave: and that cannot be the government of God, according to the prayer of Jesus Christ, namely, “Thy kingdom come: thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” His will is for every man to be redeemed temporally and spiritually, which is enjoyed only through the freedom of the laws of the kingdom of God in Zion.
WITH your own two hands open the doors of your prisons, and let the thief return home to comfort the broken heart of his dear wife, and to work to supply the children of his bowels with bread, and then to pay back fourfold: and give him freedom of the elements, then he will never again be called a thief, and he will not be seen within the walls of a prison, but rather, on his own hearth in the midst of his dear children worshipping his God morning and evening.
To those who are enlightened, it is wisdom to notice the signs of the times, for by so doing they understand the approaching time of their deliverance out of Babylon; but for the Babylonian family, there are no signs that will do to convince them, for their human wisdom gives them sufficient excuse and logic, that all the judgments of God are natural consequences of some easily understood causes. They mock and laugh at the children of the kingdom who acknowledge the hand of their God, and the fulfillment of his prophecies, by the remarkable signs of these tumultuous times. And by so doing are they not fulfilling the prophecy that says,—“The righteous understand, but the wicked go against them worse and worse in their wickedness.”
The Spirit of prophecy frequently forewarned the inhabitants of the latter days that God would pour out his judgments on them for their rejection of the gospel of his Son,—that by so doing they would anger Him, until he would release the destroyer in their midst, to stir them up to war against each other,—that he would pour out his plagues upon them in many forms and manners, and on the fruit of the earth because of them. Who can read the troubles of the countries of the world, their wars with each other, their revolutions, and their continual civil wars, without remembering the saying of the scripture that thus it would be in the latter days? When has there ever been such a general commotion which is like a boiling cauldron in the nations now? The Americans and the Mexicans have hardly washed each other’s blood from off their hands. Thousands of the red sons of the forests and mountains of Yucatan and Guatemala, and the surrounding area, hunt the inhabitants of those countries like birds into the net, and thirst for their blood. It reminds one of the hideous massacre on the African continent, between Abdel Kader and the French. And still nearer can be heard the neighing of the “red horse.” His footsteps are still red from the blood of tens of thousands of our French neighbors. His neighing has caused anguish over nearly the whole continent, until they are in one country after another thirsting for freedom from perpetual captivity, each with his sword eager to pierce the false religious shackles, which have kept the mind of man in the dust almost from the outset. The beast himself has released the reins on his neck, and spurred the pale horse to get him started, who now, say the accounts, has failed to catch him, or to hold himself on his back; but the horse has become a rider, and the rider is being trampled under the feet of the spirit of freedom that started him from his camp. The Pope has lost all his popularity and his influence, and perhaps his crown by now, because he forbade his soldiers to fight against the neighboring countries; and there is a revolution even in Rome threatening to form the papal states into a democracy. The Emperor of Russia, despite the strength of his armies, is afraid of his shadow, and is driving his armies like shooting stars across the world, as if he expected Etna to overflow on top of him from every side at once, fearing the things that hang over his head, and he insists on having seven men from every thousand as a soldier. The small cauldrons of Moldavia and Walachia are boiling over with the blood of men, and the passion of their anger is rising up once again. It is likely that Germany will succeed in getting freedom to worship God in the manner they choose. We hope they do, and everyone else; yes, the Latter-day Saints ought to get this much freedom, instead of being turned from their homes, their lands, and their work places, &c., as they are now by the hundreds by zealous Sectarians, in free and enlightened Wales. The inhabitants of Austria, Prussia, and Bavaria, are as if they spied their advantage to break their iron yoke, as did their neighbors; and their governments are as watchful from the other side to keep them down night and day, for they are not satisfied by administering justice to them. The emperor of Russia keeps four armies of 70,000 soldiers each to keep little Poland under his paw. The revolutionaries in Persia have triumphed over the armies of the government through a bloody slaughter. Several battles have been fought lately in Piedmont, Lombardy, Venice, &c., between the Austrians and the Italians; yes, in short, we ask, Where, rather, is peace? Where are charity and brotherly love, which were the original fruits of Christianity? All these warring nations, or the majority of them anyway, profess to be Christians; and the priests of the one army are just as zealous as the other in praying for the “God of peace” to help them kill the other family of their fellow creatures! And even stranger, the one like the other, in his turn, gives thanks for the victory which the same God gave to them all! Pshaw! No wonder the pagans refuse such bloody Christianity as this is, which floods the world with the blood of men! Is it not high time for all to see that the Christianity this age has is not the right kind, and to leave the bloody one here, and to embrace the gospel of peace, so they may receive the love of truth, and so the people of all the world will love their brothers as Christ loved them. If they were to accept baptism for the remission of sins, and if they were to embrace the religion of the Saints, I am certain that the warring of the world would end in proportion to that, and peace would reign from sea to sea. But is this not a warring age? Are not the hearts of kings failing them from fear? Are not crowns already trampled in the dust, and have not whole systems ceased to exist, as we predicted in the Prophet for last January? Let the facts answer for themselves. Who would have foreseen all this without the spirit of prophecy? And yet we have noted but a few of the many warring signs of these troubled days. Look at the accounts of the courts of our own dear country, together with the large cities of England and Scotland; and does one not find in all their chambers poverty, famines, misery, and outrage, which blow up into a violent flame for the day of vengeance, when they can suffer no more. What is portended by all the opposing factions, and all the Chartism that is sowing deadly seeds in the veins of the civil systems of our kingdom? If you are not satisfied yet, take a journey to the borders of Ireland, and gaze at them, and read in their faces signs of their times, and then let their pastors and ours shout, “peace, peace,” longer, if shame allows them to do so! Awake, ye Saints, from the sleep of the world, and do not drink of their vial, but remember that on mount Zion there is deliverance for you from all the things of the world, though they shout “peace” constantly.
THE newspapers commonly admit that this disease is worse in nearly all places than before, although it is later in making its appearance in some places. The wise men and the naturalists of the countries have searched all the cells of their imagination for the cause of this disease, together with the best treatment for it. But until now the one and the other are just as useless as are the human imaginations commonly with divine things, or the things that deity has to do with directly, either as plagues, as judgments, as blessings, and are similar to the contradictory explanations of the theologians about the word of God, and the religion of Christ, without his Spirit. Nevertheless, that which he has decided, he will do in his own time and in his own way, and who will impede it?
THIS pestilence has been a destructive scourge across our world for several years now; and it appears from the newspapers of the eastern countries that this broom is coming yet again to sweep hosts of the children of men to the world of the spirits, ready or not. It was increasing in Berlin, according to the news that is before us, and it was killing so frightfully that the average of deaths there was four out of every five. In Constantinople there are fifty or sixty dying every day. In some of the Greek towns a fifth part of the inhabitants were swept away by it. In Egypt, this cholera morbus broke out among the caravans of the merchants who came to Cairo with their goods from afar. There were 300,000 people in the fair. This threw everything into such confusion, that the people scattered every which way, lest they be overtaken by it; but despite everything, it killed 2900 of them in three days; and the rest carried it with them wherever they went, spreading it terribly across the country. In one town, 300 died in one day from it. In Alexandria, in about three weeks, it killed 3229 people. It is said to be very destructive in Trebisond and Smyrna. And this awful plague has pushed itself, at last, into Scotland, and to England also. We have not heard that it is in Wales, as yet. Every day some scores are being stricken by it, and over half of them die, in London, Hull, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, &c. It finishes its destructive task on some in nine, and twelve, and eighteen hours; it keeps others in excruciating pain for over two days; and it leaves everyone who is able to get better from its grasp, extremely weak and miserable. We have nothing to say, except that this is what has been expected, that this is what was revealed before to the servants of God, and that this is the sum of our warning over several months, now.
This we hope, that as many of the Saints as are able will prepare to escape from Wales before that, to the place where they know that deliverance is to be had, and that those who cannot go now will walk properly and spotlessly before God, and take care to be worthy of their church privileges, so that when this or any other plague comes, God can give them blessings according to their needs, through the ordinances of his Son in his church. O Saints, watch, for the days of trouble draw nigh, in which your persecutors say, “we are finished,” and who will stand in the great day of his wrath? He who keeps his commandments correctly, and who plants his feet on mount Zion, blessed will he be forever. You Saints understand the signs of the times, and for that reason lift up your heads the more you see of them, for your deliverance is nigh, says your King.
[To be sung by the Welsh on sailing out.]
When pestilence is harvesting the countries—
Harvesting man like the grass of the field;
When its foul breeze blows
Laying waste the green earth,
Yonder across the distant seas, for me.
When the sharp shining sword
Is bathed in blood;
Yes, blood-the warm blood of men,
In the worst battles ever fought,
Yonder to the Rocky Mountains I shall go.
When the seed of the sower descends
Straight under the soils of the field.
When that sower waits
To reap—but without ever reaping;
The country is for me the Eden of the world.
There the crops are abundant,
There the fruits are sweet;
The end of the winter of Eden’s curse;
The beginning of the Lord’s blessed summer:
There is the chief paradise of the world.
There the tithing is brought together;
And the great temple is founded;
There it is splendidly sanctified,
With the Lord when the hour comes;
Thou shalt be the new Canaan of the world.
You brethren who have stayed behind,
Hasten to come after us;
Remember, we shall await you
With a longing look;
Sing until you all come there.
Let the dear sailing vessel come,
Let the brethren come aboard;
Farewell to thee, world of the curse,
Thou, breeze, blow away:
Only California henceforth.
WE have great pleasure in hearing through letters we have received from several branches of the church through the South, of the success of the gospel, the unity and the brotherly love that are among the Saints almost without exception. We thank the gracious God who owns this work for the influence of his Holy Spirit and his gifts to his children.
Merthyr,—There is exceptional unity in this council, and in this large branch also. We do not know precisely the number of baptisms during the past month, but we do know that there is a continual increase, with many who are hearing.
Aberdare,—Elder Howells informs us through a letter, that he had baptized 56 by August 23rd, although it has hardly been nine months since he affiliated himself with the church of God! He says that in Aberdare now there is a very flourishing branch, that the old meeting house has become too small, and that they have obtained one that is much larger, and quite comfortable. He says also that all the Saints are in unity and love; and that they have baptized 31 since the Conference, 22 of which he baptized himself; and there are several others who promise to obey soon. They are enjoying the spiritual gifts very fervently there; and, of course, the sectarian wolves are snarling, and gnashing their teeth, when they lose so quickly their subjects who are honest in heart. And perhaps they will seek some “Rev. Roberts from Rhymni,” or some other selfish Reverend to drive more of their members to the Saints before long. We hope they will do so, and the sooner the better, we say, if they open the eyes of the people as much as to perceive their own deceit as did Mr. Roberts.
Pont Yates,—Elder H. Williams writes that 13 have been baptized there since the Conference, that unity and love are among the Saints, and that several others have promised to obey soon. There are of his perceptive neighbors, says he, some who are determined to emigrate with the Saints, and who see the excellence of the gathering before they understand the first principles of the gospel. To such, and all of the lovers of the truth who wish to serve God according to the light that is in them, we say, Come all to Zion, and you shall receive temporal deliverance from the destructive judgments of God; and if you cannot agree with the Saints in all things, come; and perchance your understanding will be enlightened, and you will find in them the hearts of brothers, and the comportment of brothers also in all things, this side and the far side of the oceans, for they go to the place where justice dwells.
Elder W. Henshaw writes that the Herefordshire conference is flourishing greatly, and increasing continually in godliness, graciousness, and numbers, and that the power of God is being manifest in their midst.
We were glad to hear by a letter from elder W. Morgans, Merthyr, that elder Thomas Giles, Nantyglo, who had such misfortune in the coal mine lately, breaking several of the small bones in his head, and was injured so badly, that his life was in great danger according to all who know him,-that he, through the power of God, and his blessing on his ordinances, has improved to the extent that he was able to preach zealously and powerfully to a large crowd of people, in the Cymreigyddion Hall, the last Sunday of September. We thank the Lord for his great goodness, and we shall continue to pray faithfully until brother Giles is completely well.
THE above Conference will be held in NANTYGLO, on Sunday, November 5th, when the presidents of the different branches will be expected to be there to represent them, and to bring information about conditions and numbers of their different branches.
WE are confident that the presidents of all the branches throughout Wales will seek to carry out all the counsels of president Pratt in his address in this Issue of the PROPHET in all things; and if anything appears unintelligible with respect to the emigration, ask us by letter, if you are far away, and we shall strive to satisfy the inquirer.
Also, we remind the branch presidents to be alert and faithful in carrying forward the plan that the Glamorgan committee formed for the Saints to obtain books in the future, for the time is approaching very quickly.
MANCHESTER CONFERENCE.—We had promised to publish a summary of the above conference in this issue; but the length of the Address of President Pratt has shut it out of this number once again. Our readers will have the pleasure and the benefit of reading the talk of President Pratt in Manchester in the next, which is full of honeycombs for them. The increase through baptisms since the previous Conference, is 8467. Total, 17902.