“1846,” Ronald D. Dennis, ed., Prophet of the Jubilee (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 57–84.
Testimony of Church Historians Regarding Miracles
OUR opponents say that the miracles ended with, or soon after, the apostolic age; but their own church historians contradict them. Here is an example from the “History of the Church of Jesus Christ,” by the Rev. Dr. Barth, that was published by the Religious Treatises Society in London. Now, if miracles continued like this until the middle and end of the third century, what else but Constantine’s corruption in linking religion and politics, &c, distanced the Spirit of God in his gifts from them?
“Although these several church positions led to the separation between clergy and laity, it could not occur in full while the miraculous gifts of the Spirit continued; for these gifts were not confined to one class. There are several credible proofs that those particular gifts did not end with the apostolic age. Justin Martyr writes to the emperor of Rome, at the beginning of the second century, like this:—‘There is a host, throughout the world in general, and in this city (Rome), who have been cleansed of unclean spirits, when they could not be cured by your sorcerers and diviners, only through us, the Christians, using the name of Jesus who was crucified under Pontius Pilate; and the same thing is being done to this day; for unclean spirits are truly being cast out of men.’ In the last part of this century (the second) Irenaeus, the bishop of Lyons, writes:—‘Some, in fact, cast out devils in the name of Jesus: and often, those who are saved from unclean spirits become believers, and are received as members of the church. Others have the gift of foreseeing things; and of prophetic dreams and predictions. Others heal all sorts of sickness through the laying on of hands. Yes, even the dead have been brought to life, and have been among them for years afterwards. Who can count the merciful gifts God imparts to his church in every part of the world, which are daily freely given, in the name of Jesus, for the salvation of the nations!’ At the end of this century (the second) Tertulian challenges all the Roman governors of the provinces, saying, ‘Let any devilish person be brought before your court, and you shall see with your own eyes, that, by a Christian saying only a word, the spirit that previously pretended to be a god, is bound to recognize that it is only a demon.’ Indeed all the Christian writers almost till the time of Eusebius, at the beginning of the fourth century, say they themselves bear witness to seeing and hearing the fact that it is a common practice among Christians to see evil spirits being cast out in the name of Jesus; that others of their brethren have supernatural knowledge of things to come, through visions and divine revelations; and that others heal miraculously through the laying on of hands.”
Appearance of Christ to the American Indians—Their Wars—and the Story of Mormon
AFTER Christ arose from the dead, finished his ministry at Jerusalem, and ascended to the right hand of Majesty in the heavens, he appeared to the most righteous of the Nephites, when they were assembled round their temple in the northern parts of South America. He exhibited to them the marks of the nails in his hands, feet and wounded side; he abolished the law of Moses, establishing his gospel in its stead; he chose twelve disciples from among them to preach it, and administer its ordinances, together with the sacrament. He prayed for and blessed their children; he healed their sick, blind, deaf, injured, and those who were afflicted in any way. He showed forth his power in their midst, through raising the dead; he expounded the scriptures which had been given from the beginning down to that time, and he made known unto them the most remarkable and glorious things he would fulfill among them, and their children after them, until he should come in the fulness of time in glory; and from that time down to the end, when everyone, of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation, should be gathered before the throne of God to be judged according to the actions they accomplished in the flesh, whether good or evil, until the heaven and the earth should pass away, and there should be a new heaven and a new earth. All these revelations of Christ were engraved on plates; and the Book of Mormon contains quotations from some of them, but much the greater part are hidden to this day and are to be made manifest to the Saints in God’s good time, in order to fulfill his intentions. We have no doubt that it will be considered a strange thing, and perhaps doubtful by some, that Jesus Christ appeared in person on the continent; and yet, I cannot comprehend what counterargument, even Prejudice itself, could bring to disprove it. If such as these were asked to whom Christ was referring when he said, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold” (John x, 16). He does not mean the Gentiles, because he did not call them sheep or anyone else but “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” He said that he came only to the “sheep” yes, sheep too of some other “fold” [country], than Palestine. Why, then, can it not be admitted that it is to this “remnant of Joseph” that it refers? It cannot here refer to the Gentiles either because he says, “and they shall hear my voice.” Not the voice of his servants, but his voice, as those sheep heard his voice in Judea. When it is proved that it is not to them that Christ refers in this strange saying, we will bring other resources which will give clear, positive proof; but until then, it must be admitted that Jesus Christ himself, yes, in our Bible, proves the truth of the Book of Mormon!
After Jesus Christ had finished his ministry among the Nephites, he ascended into heaven in their presence; and the twelve disciples whom he had sent, went forth upon all the face of the land, preaching his gospel, and baptizing those who repented for the remission of sins; and after that, they received the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands of the disciples. Many great miracles were wrought by them and by others in the church, until almost all the remaining Nephites and Lamanites throughout the north and the south became obedient; and they dwelt in righteousness for nearly three hundred years: but towards the beginning of the fourth century of the Christian era, they so far apostatized from God that he again suffered destructive judgments to fall upon them. The Nephites at that time dwelt in the north, and the Lamanites in the southern part of America. There were cruel wars between them which lasted for many years and resulted in the complete overthrow of the Nephites and their destruction as a nation. These wars commenced near the Isthmus of Darien, and at length the Nephites were driven before their enemies to the north and the east of it, where they were still pursued until they gathered their whole remaining nation together, men, women, and children, and encamped around the hill Cumorah, where the records were found by Joseph Smith, as previously noted. Here too they were pursued by the Lamanites; and having gathered together their numerous hosts, they attacked them, and laid them low with hard slaughter for many days, hewing down mercilessly the aged, the young and the middle-aged, indiscriminately. Hundreds of thousands were slain on both sides, and the entire nation of the Nephites was destroyed from off the face of the earth, excepting a few who had deserted over to the Lamanites, a few who escaped into the south country, and a few who fell wounded and were left on the field of battle for dead. Among these last were Mormon and his son Moroni, who were righteous men.
Mormon had made an abridgement from the records of his forefathers upon plates, which he entitled the “Book of Mormon;” and, being commanded of God, he hid in the hill Cumorah all the sacred records of his forefathers that were in his possession; and he gave only the Book of Mormon to his son Moroni to finish.
Moroni survived a few years after this destruction of his nation, and continued the writings, in which he informs us that the Lamanites hunted those few Nephites who escaped the tremendous slaughter on the hill Cumorah, and killed them, excepting those who had fled to the Lamanites, and that he alone was left, and kept himself hid, for they destroyed every Nephite who would not deny the Christ, even after the war. He furthermore states that the Lamanites were at war one with another, and over the whole face of the land they were plundering and killing each other. He continues the history until the four hundred and twentieth year of the Christian era, when, by the commandment of God, Moroni hid up the records in the hill Cumorah, where they remained concealed until by the ministry of an angel they were discovered to Mr. Smith, who, by the power of God, translated them into English by means of the Urim and Thummim, as is known.
Testimonies about the Book of Mormon
HAVING given from time to time a summary of the contents of the Book of Mormon, it is natural to ask now, is it not a valuable book? Many say that if they were to see the plates on which it is engraved, they would believe it to be true: but it is the same as saying that they will believe that God exists when they see him; or, that they would believe that Christ had risen if they had seen him. Some claim that they should see those plates, before they should believe it. With a little reflection, one would realize that it is well-nigh impossible for everyone in every part of the world to see them. How long would it take, and at what cost, for the same ones to go and show the plates to every one of the six hundred million of the human race, for they could not show them in more than one place at once! Any reasonable man would say that that was impossible. Well, then, how unreasonable it is for certain persons to ask to see them, any more than all the others. If it is reasonable for anyone to believe testimony about this, without seeing them, then so should it be for everyone. What better is one man in the sight of God than the other? He is no respecter of persons. Had he not the same right to choose his witnesses to this, as the Son of God had to choose his witnesses to his resurrection? Those who reject the testimony about this are imitating those unbelieving Pharisees who rejected testimony about the resurrection of Christ, because they did not see him. We do not expect anyone to believe the Book of Mormon, or any other revelation that professes to come from God, without abundant testimonies; for we do not do so ourselves. But, perhaps some think it presumptuous of us, to say that we offer them as much as they have to prove the truthfulness of the scriptures; however, I venture to say that, although there are plenty of incontrovertible testimonies to prove the divinity of this sacred volume, which we believe completely, yet we have more proofs of the truth of the Book of Mormon than that! But, they say, are they not all biased witnesses that you have; and what value is the testimony of the Saints themselves about the matter under debate? I ask, What witnesses have we to prove the truth of the New Testament? I know of no witness apart from totally biased ones, and only six of those, namely Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, and Paul. Were they not biased in all that they wrote? and is their testimony any less forceful because they are biased in the matter? If it is not, why is the testimony of those witnesses who testify so strongly to the truth of the Book of Mormon, invalid, then? For my part, I admit that I cannot comprehend how a single unbiased witness to the one or the other can be had; unless some people were to say that they know the Book of Mormon to be true, but even so, they are willing to lose their souls rather than accept it, in order to be unbiased witnesses, so that others might believe it! Who would say that he disbelieved the New Testament, although witnessing to others of its truth, thereby depriving himself of eternal life? How foolish this would be; and yet no more foolish than expecting to find an unbiased witness to the Book of Mormon; for at the moment of believing, he would necessarily become biased; and would not such a biased witness be rejected because his assertion contradicted his example, which is the truest witness of all? “Do not the miracles prove the truth of the New Testament?” some say; “and are there not hosts of those who were inside and outside the church who bear witness to their truth?” I answer that, of all those hosts, not even one has given us his testimony about this, except those six biased ones. There is a difference between having the testimony of the people themselves, and having testimony of others about them! If the reader answers the following questions, then I think we shall come to the same conclusion about this:—Did your eyes see the miracles being performed? Did your ears hear them speaking in tongues? Have you seen any witness who saw them healing as much as one sick person? Have you read the testimony of as much as one unbiased witness outside the church who says he saw them performing one miracle? If the New Testament is believed without as much as one unbiased witness, why can the same not be done with the Book of Mormon? We accept that the testimony of those partial witnesses is sufficient to prove the truth of the New Testament, and it should be sufficient for everybody. But it is seen that those who refuse the Book of Mormon because the witnesses are biased, refuse the New Testament according to the same reasoning!
From what has been under consideration previously, it is evident to every unbiased mind that more testimonies exist to the truthfulness of the aforementioned book than for the New Testament, insofar as there are hundreds now living who have come to know the truth of the Book of Mormon and testify to it, when there is no one alive today who can testify to the truth of the New Testament. We have further proofs and testimonies to bring before our readers, but we shall leave them aside for now, while promising to give them in the next issue, the testimonies of those who saw and felt the gold plates of the book, those to whom it was explained through the power of God, and who know with certainty that they are true, and derive from the ancients previously mentioned.
“All things together go to shew,
That the Book of Mormon is all true.”
Proofs of the Truthfulness of the Book Of Mormon
PERHAPS some will be surprised when I venture to prove from the Scriptures, that such a book as “THE BOOK OF MORMON” has long been promised to be revealed to the world; but in any case, it is obvious to me, that that was to take place; and we shall now endeavor to prove scripturally that it was in this age that it was to be revealed, and that America was the place.
1. We shall prove that the American continent was promised by God to the seed of Joseph, namely the two halves of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh; that is, that God would reveal his mind and his will to them there, as he had given the revelations of our Bible to the Jews, and also that the books which contained those things would be joined together in the latter days.
Firstly, note the blessing given by Jacob to the two sons of Joseph, in Gen. xlviii, 16. “Let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” In the same blessing he says of Ephraim, “And his seed shall become a multitude of nations.” If this is connected, it will be seen that Ephraim would be a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth. On Joseph’s head, Jacob said (Gen xlix), “Joseph is a fruitful bough—even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him. But his bow abode in strength,” &c. He says again, “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors, unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.”
I ask, who were the fathers of Jacob, and what blessings were promised to them? Abraham and Isaac were his fathers, and the blessing they promised to Jacob was the land of Canaan; no more and no less than God promised to Abraham, namely, “I will give to thee and to thy seed, the land of thy journey [Canaan] as an inheritance forever.” But Joseph’s blessing “prevailed” above the blessing of his fathers; yes, it prevailed as much as the “utmost bound of the everlasting hills” over the land of Canaan. Jacob was in Egypt at this time, and where could one look for the “utmost bound of the everlasting hills” more reasonably than to the Andes, or the rocky mountains of the Continent? The Prophet also says that they would be in the west, “for when the Lord shall roar, then the children of Ephraim shall tremble from the west.” It is obvious from what has been said, that Ephraim was to be a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth, and that Joseph was to inherit the widest and most fertile country under the sun, in the west; yes, as far as America. And if one searches the earth from pole to pole, one will not find a multitude of nations, who could possibly have descended from Ephraim, except in America. Although there are different nations in some other countries, yet, they are so mixed, and so different in their origins, that they cannot fulfill the above prophecy; whereas, on the other hand, one can see in America scores of nations, dwelling in a wide country, which contains the abundance of the world, and “bears the blessings of the earth below.” And every historian who has traveled among them, admits that they are of one common origin. One must admit that the American Indians are the remnant of Joseph, or deny this prophecy, as it cannot refer to anyone else.
The next thing we shall prove is that the prophets demonstrated that God would give revelations to Ephraim and Manasseh in America. See Hosea viii, 12. When speaking in the spirit of prophecy, he says, “I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.” Ezekiel also says in chap. 37, not only that Ephraim, as well as Judah, would have a book containing the revelations of God to his prophets, but that these two books would be joined together, when God was about to restore them to possession of their promised rights (ver. 16). “Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows; and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes; and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.”
It is known to every historian that the children of Israel were never one nation or kingdom on the mountains of Israel, nor anywhere else, from the time they were divided into two kingdoms under Rehoboam, son of Solomon, and Jeroboam, son of Nebat. Yet, the prophet informs us that God will make them one kingdom; yes, in their own country, that is among the mountains of Israel. This will be accomplished by God’s gathering them from all the nations they went to.
This gathering will begin directly after the Lord takes the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and puts it with the stick of Judah, and in his hand they become one stick. Note, on one of these sticks would be written by God’s commandment certain things for Judah, and on the other for Ephraim (for it is called the stick of Ephraim as well as the stick of Joseph), and I ask what things God commanded to be written on them, except those things Hosea said, “I have written to him [Ephraim] the great things of my law,” that is, in order to govern the two branches of the house of Israel, and consequently, they contained prophecies about the things which would befall them in the future, for all the writings which God commanded to be written to every kindred, tongue, and nation, contain that; and so it is reasonable for us to expect that the stick of Joseph or Ephraim would contain “the great things of God’s law,” in order to teach them, govern them and indicate their destiny to them, as to their companions. The stick of Judah contained the great things of his law for Judah (that is the tribe of Judah). But why are they called sticks, says the reader? I answer that the art of making paper was not known in the days of Ezekiel; consequently, they would have to prepare something else for that purpose. Sometimes they wrote on skins tanned smooth, which they called parchment. Sometimes they used tree bark for that purpose, which they called papyrus; and sometimes they hewed sticks smooth for this purpose. These last were the easiest to prepare; and because of that, God commanded the prophet to prepare two sticks immediately, to show them to the people, to be an example or sign to them that God would join the tribes of Israel, as, and at the time those two books are joined together. This is the reason, I imagine, they are called sticks instead of books.
The most natural question to an eager enquirer is, Where are these oracles to be found? The prophet says the stick of Joseph is already in the possession of the sons of Ephraim, and that God would take it from there, and move it to the stick of Judah, so that they became one in his hand. Although it is not stated where the stick of Judah is, it is mentioned that it is not to be moved like the other, from the place where it is; so I understand that the stick of Judah is already in the possession of the inhabitants of the earth; and since the stick of Ephraim is hidden, God will take it from the place where it is, will bring it into the open, and put it with the stick of Judah. It is not news now to the reader that the Bible is the stick of Judah; for it does not contain the story of any other tribe or people but they, since the said dispersal, except for the history of others in relation to them.
It contains the great things of God written to the tribe of Judah, by prophets and apostles of the house of Judah. It also contains prophecies about future things, which are already in the possession of the world. Now, as we have identified the stick of Judah, let us go on to search out the stick of Joseph, remembering when we find it, that it also must contain great things of the law of God for Ephraim; give the story of this branch of the house of Joseph, written by prophets and apostles descended from Joseph’s loins, as the stick of Judah is from his. Also, it implies that this book would be hidden in the region of the country where the sons of Ephraim dwelt at the time God brought it into the open, for it is taken from the hand of Ephraim; and as the word Ephraim here signifies his descendants who issued from his loins, so “from the hand of” signifies from the possession of, or from the country where the Ephraimites dwell. As we have already proved that “Ephraim would be a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth,” to the “west” of Jerusalem, “to the utmost bound of the eternal hills,” that is, the continent of America; for if one journeyed to the west of Jerusalem until one found a multitude of nations of the same origin, nothing of the sort would be found until one crossed the Atlantic Ocean, towards the latitude of Charleston, South Carolina, United States of America. One would think that the traveler would consider his task at an end when he reached here, and found such a multitude of nations on a continent stretching almost from the northern circle to the southern; and he would say, here are the Ephraimites as the most detailed fulfillment of the prophecies about them; and then the stick [book of law] of Ephraim must be found here in their midst, and no book found anywhere else can answer this detailed description. Well, has such a book as is described been seen, in their possession, by anyone? says the reader. And one would think that if such a book were found in their midst giving the story of their origin and their experiences, that would be incontrovertible proof, and that even the most hardened unbelievers would admit the truth of the one book and the other, for two witnesses are better than one. Then, let us search more carefully in their midst for such a book, for the prophets spoke the truth; and since these are the Ephraimites, such a thing must be revealed from their midst; and all those who wish to defend the truthfulness of the Bible [which bears witness about the book of Ephraim] should not only rejoice, believing the same when it is found, but endeavor to inform everyone of it. Whosoever despises or rejects [this book] rejects the witness to it [namely the Bible], as lies.
As none of these Indians, from what has been seen, can read, it could hardly be expected that there would be many books in their midst now, but that does not prove that they did not possess books at one time, and were able to read them and write them, any more than the complete fall of Babylon, and the great cities of Egypt and other places, together with the utter decline of their inhabitants, prove that they were not in their time the main academies or Thebes of the world. And like many of those, the American Indian now can only refer the traveler for an answer to his questions to the most magnificent ruins of the largest, most exquisitely crafted, and strongly defended cities ever seen in the world. These remains speak clearly and perpetually, in many ways, of the skill of their fathers, and show the complete decline which has overtaken their children. Recent travelers admit that the old cities, the great and numerous temples, the enormous columns, the high walls, the strong defenses, and the fortified cities, prove that they are not only as old, but of similar arts as those of the Egyptians, when in the height of their pomp and power. As to who made them, when, and what is their history, none of the travelers among them has found a satisfactory answer to these questions, and the answers one gets from the uncivilized inhabitants themselves is the tradition taught from father to son, and they are remarkable for imprinting the strangest things which were in their midst on the memories of the young children. I found it interesting to see the old grey-haired men sitting by their Wigwam, and the little boys of the fourth generation sitting on their knees, to be taught their history, especially their wars, the story of the braves of their own family, and the traditional tales of their prophets, whom they call their Medicine man. This instills in the children love for their own tribe, causing them to imitate them in bravery; and not infrequently jealousy is fostered toward another tribe through such teaching, from their boyhood. The task of the elders is to teach the young ones the traditions taught to them by their forefathers, while the active men hunt, the heroes fight, and the young lads and lasses are at their games, and learning to shoot with a bow, wield the war club and the tomahawk the fastest, which they do with great skill from the sound of their musical instruments, their cymbals, and a number of pipes. They have a kind of dance before going to war, and another kind after returning, if they are victorious, as well as several methods for their domestic entertainment. When they are about to attack their enemies, they have a habit of shouting in unison as loudly and as terribly as they can, in order to embolden each other, and terrify their enemies; and it is not unlikely that they have followed this practice for ages, for it is “similar to the roar of the children of Israel when they were victorious.” But not to be too long, let us pass over the numerous facts which throughout the country prove their antiquity, and we shall give a description of the cities and mounds, &c, in another issue.
Testimony of Indian Traditions
ONLY in order to have the story of the Record, namely “the stick of Ephraim” in their midst, I ask the reader’s unbiased attention to the following stories, which were made known to the world a few years ago, by impartial men, and of high character, and which prove that a quite similar tradition exists among the various tribes throughout the continent, regarding the remarkable book in question.
Mr. Boudinot gives the following story about the Indians he was among:—“There is a tradition among their chiefs that their forefathers had a book very similar to the book the white people have now [the Bible], that they were a contented, civilized, and successful people. They say also that their fathers possessed wisdom and supernatural powers from ‘the Great Spirit,’ whereby they were empowered to foretell future events, and to oversee the fate of nations; which knowledge they transmitted to their children, on condition that they obey the holy laws contained in that book; and that they thereby received many blessings and great salvations, until they were a blessed people; but, that those powers had since been lost from their midst a long time ago.”
Col. James Smith writes the account of his journey, when he was taken in their midst,—”They have a tradition that the angels, or ‘those who dwell in heaven,’ as they call them, visited their forefathers frequently when they first settled in the continent, that they spoke to them, teaching them how to pray to the Great Spirit; and there are many more things which they are not now allowed to know anything of.”
Mr. Boudinot, in his remarks on their language, says,—“Their language, in its origins, the idiom of its sentences, and its particular construction, shows all the properties of Hebrew; and what is very remarkable, and merits particular attention, is that it contains most of the particular features of that language, especially those things which distinguish it from other languages. I heard a tradition from an old man of the Stockbridge tribe, that his forefathers possessed a Sacred Book, which was passed down from generation to generation, and was eventually hidden in the earth, and ever since then they have been downtrodden by their enemies; but that those records were to be restored to them, and that they would then have supremacy over their enemies, possession of their country, and would enjoy their original rights and privileges.” After relating many traditions similar to the above, Mr. Boudinot notes, “Can any man, having read the account of these Indian traditions, which are found among the tribes of these various nations, from the west to the east, and from the south to the north, completely apart from each other, written by different historians of high learning and character, having the best advantages, in different places, and at different times, without their being able to associate with each other; can anyone, I say again, disbelieve their testimony, thinking all this stems from accident, or a deliberate intention to deceive, when no one would gain by it?”
From these traditions, it can be seen that these people in early times had a holy or “Sacred Book,” containing sacred laws [or the great things of God’s law], written for them by their forefathers, through the supernatural influence of God’s Spirit, through which they prophesied. They inform us that this book was passed from father to son, until it was hidden in the earth, but not to remain there forever either, rather to be revealed in the fulness of time which God saw fit, as a great blessing, and to be a means to gather them all back to possession of their country. And is this not totally in keeping with what Ezekiel prophesied with regard to the “stick of Joseph?” namely that God would take it from the place it was hidden in the midst of the Ephraimites, and that he would put it with the stick of Judah, that is the Bible, and then would take the sons of Israel from the midst of all the nations they went to, and would gather them to their own country.
The prophet Jeremiah speaks clearly about this last gathering to their country, chap. xxxi, 8,—”Behold, I will bring them [his people Israel] from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame; the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither; for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn,” namely in the last gathering or restoration to their country which God had promised their fathers. So it is reasonable to expect that God would start the work in their midst. In ver. 18, he says—”I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus: Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke; turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God.” How similar this is to the lamenting of the Ephraimites at present, according to the previous traditions, is it not? and the next verse shows that the missionaries of the sects are working in vain, trying to make the American Indians repent and comply with their forms, and their human creeds; for, “Surely after that I was turned, I repented [and not before that]; and after that I was instructed [that that book had been revealed], I smote upon my thigh, I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth;” namely the decline because of their disobedience to that “sacred book” which had been hidden from them in the earth. Yet, it will be restored to them, for the next verse shows that,—“Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still; therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy on him, saith the Lord.” We see that the mercy is to begin from the Lord’s side—not by sending missionaries to preach the “stick of Judah” to them, but by restoring to them their own stick, the “sacred book” which was hidden from them, according to their own expectation. It is not strange then that thousands, if not millions, in money that was wasted on missionaries to preach to them is only loss, and worse than loss, by hardening them, and binding the few who might believe them [although I have not yet seen one of the thousands who listened to them who believed them] tighter with doctrinal ropes, so that they will not be so ready to accept their “sacred book,” when God reveals it to them.
By now we have doubtless found Ephraim in “multitudes of nations in the midst of the earth,” “to the west of Jerusalem,” with many traditions among themselves, that the stick of Joseph, “the sacred book” which their forefathers had, was hidden in some corner of the country; and not only that, but they also testify that they expect it to be restored to their possession, and that it will be instrumental in giving to them a knowledge of God’s dispensations to their fathers, and that they will return to their proper course and privileges. And now, reader, is the Book of Mormon this stick of Ephraim perhaps? Why can it not be? Indeed, it is very similar to the description. It was found in the land of Ephraim; it contains the great things of the law of God to Ephraim, written under the supernatural influence of the Spirit of God to the prophets and apostles who issued from his loins. It has been hidden in the earth for hundreds of years, and in these latter days it has been brought forth by the power of God. It has been put with the stick of Judah, that is the Bible; and behold, the two have become one stick in his hand. They are one in their Author and their origin—one in purpose—one in doctrine—composed under the influence, and by the instructions of the same Spirit—and they are one in the hand of God’s chosen servants, preached throughout the world, and it is strange how they agree in everything! And he who professes to believe the Bible, and at the same time denies the truth of the Book of Mormon, must do so without scriptural or logical grounds. No thoughtful man will think less of it because it was found in America, for it can be seen that that is a proof of its truthfulness. It would not be possible for it to answer the prophecies had it been found anywhere else. Neither should it be judged without being read, or by the erroneous stories that are told about it by its enemies; because that is how such people spoke of the Bible in turn, and that is how the majority speak of it now. That does not prove it to be fraudulent, any more than similar testimony proves the Book of Mormon to be fraudulent.
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.
HERE we find Mr. Davies, at last, after boring the public by delivering from the pulpits his stories about the Saints, has published a little treatise, and called it “Substance of a Sermon,” thinking it will sell better, and that it will be more profitable than the other way. We would like to see Mr. Davies, or someone else, attacking our doctrines, in order to show our errors, or else leaving us alone. But, let the reader not suppose that what he calls a “sermon” is any cleaner than usual of the ink of libel, and the stains of calumny. But our eyes will run first over this essay, in order to collect a few proofs of Mr. Davies’s feelings when composing it; for the success of a theologian depends greatly on the moods which govern him in his task. And Mr. Davies gives us this rule by which to judge him too when he says:—”The tendency of every act demonstrates its source; if the spring is bad, its streams must also be bad.” The following are the pious sentences of the pen and soul of the reverend minster of Caersalem, Dowlais:—”The creatures,” “something below men,” and yet able to deceive the public, yes, his own sensible listeners and members! “Such transparent trickery,” “the false Christs,” “an ignorant, characterless Englishman, who has been in Cardiff jail for his wickedness,” “this scoundrel,” “fool-headed followers,” “braggart preaching,” “ignorant fools,” “a mockery of administering sacraments,” “deceitful leaders,” “an abyss of presumption,” “foul fiends,” “let them be given the name of Satanists of the nineteenth century.” We have already read about forty-seven lines, that is a large part of a book of 20 pages, which is called “Substance of a Sermon of the Rev. W. R Davies,” and have had quite a fine gleaning of the Davisism it contains! Dear brethren, pray for this Mr. Davies, for his soul too is precious despite everything! We and he are known by our fruits. And also, we would like the reader to bear in mind that we are not attacking Mr. Davies, but we are merely men who have finally been forced to defend that way in which we worship the God of our fathers in all conscience, and we shall endeavor to be as gentle as his needless attacks on us allow us to be; but it is a duty to our God and to our religion to defend our characters from false accusations, even though we expose the character of our libeler; for we have already given sufficient examples to show that he deserves that name, and is a liberal reviler and gossip-monger. But let us take note of his assertions, in order to see the great difference that exists between Davisism and Apostolicism.
“Paul mentions several gifts, &c, all effects of the same Spirit, and the aims were one, namely the edifying of the church.” Well done, Mr. Davies! That is how it was; and that is what we say too. But why do you deny it in the same breath? If you admit that the miraculous gifts were for the edifying of the church, you must admit the necessity for them, or you must be accusing Christ of arranging vain and unnecessary means of edifying. If you admit that the church of Christ is the same now, does it not need edifying now? What sort of edifying is needed now but the apostolic kind? And how is that to be had except through the same divine Spirit? And how, Mr. Davies, can that divine Spirit do its work now, except by imparting the same miraculous gifts that it imparted to that end in the apostolic age? What, sir! Are there two types of edifying? The one apostolic and the other Davisistic? The one for sinners of that age, and the other for sinners of this age? But, carry on; edify yourself in your Caersalem with the Davisistic one, at the cost of those who shall be so foolish as to listen to you; and we shall take and proclaim to everyone, that edifice which you yourself admitted to be apostolic. Revile and persecute until you grate on the ears of the rest of your listeners, concerning us. “We raise the cross of the age; we run and succeed,” before your eyes.
“II. Our text speaks of officials of the apostolic church together with the various gifts that were given them, to make them fit and proper to fill and fulfill their important posts,” says Mr. Davies. This is another very good admission; and do you not assert that you fill some of these church posts? Are you so much better than they, that you can fill them whilst denying and mocking those gifts? You can fill the offices of the Davisistic order fully, with nothing of the Spirit of God. But not even Timothy could fill the post you claim, without the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which he received “through the laying on of hands, and prophecy” (1 Tim. iv, 14). But you possess enough authority to boast that you have wiped out the “Papist tradition, alias that holy ordinance,” from Caersalem, when you had the “bridle in your hand!” When we heard you arguing with the established priests, we thought you were a very fervent supporter of the apostolic plan. Very good, then; keep on so. But, why do you turn from the apostolic one, mocking and abolishing its ordinances as Papism, in persecuting us? “All Apostolic” is your cry to them; “apostolicism has died out,” with Davisism on its ruins, is your cry in our faces in the same breath. Where is James? Behold, we have found out the spring that gives forth sweet and bitter waters! He did not know where it was. Yes, certainly; Timothy in Ephesus failing to fulfill his office without a gift, together with the laying on of hands and the spirit of prophecy; and the Timothy of Dowlais claiming that he fills the same post easily without one of the gifts of the Spirit! You see that you paid nothing to fill your post in Ephesus; and how, say you, shall you pay to fill it in Caersalem? You have many men there, doubtless honest of purpose, trying to worship God as best they may. How can you deprive them of the heavenly gifts and blessings which you admitted God placed in the Church for its “edifying, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry?” Are you not Timothy by office, but a Timothy who is devoid of the gift for that office?
“III. The object of the false prophets of the prophecy of Moses was to lead their followers to worship false gods, by promising great things to them. The object of the elders of the Satanists is to defraud unlearned and weak-headed men; not to urge them to be godly, but by promising them heaven and paradise in America, and feeding them some rubbish beneath common sense.”
Now, Mr. Davies, we think you know better than this. Here is an example of comparative reasoning:—”Because men had bad purposes in the days of Moses, these must have bad purposes now,” he says: because he has not shown, and cannot show, any similarity in us to the deceit of those men. And could one not as appropriately say, “Thou art the man” who is guilty of deceit? According to his reasoning, one could condemn any denomination or persons in Dowlais as deceivers, because he himself is such. If our sermons are “rubbish beneath common sense,” how do we have more numerous congregations than you! Why do we baptize so many more than you? Is every one of the scores who turned to us from your sect “beneath common sense?” Do you think to keep your members in their darkness, by reviling us, as “Martha of the two baptisms,” &c, and saying that we are weak in the head, &c? If so, you will not succeed in upholding your “goddess,” any more than your fellow-craftsman Demetrius formerly succeeded. Men see better now. “Money,” you say: we have shown in this issue of the PROPHET that that is your craft; and we shall show it more clearly yet. Is it amongst us, or in Caersalem, that many pounds are demanded each month, and a fair, or auction every time someone is baptized? Answer true, for the common people have known this for a long time. “A fund to help the Apostle to go to Jerusalem” you say, also. We deny every syllable of that, and we find it difficult to think that you yourself believe it. You know full well, or should know, that there neither is, nor has been anyone in our midst claiming to be an apostle. We say to you also that none of us has any intention of going to Jerusalem and that none of us said any such thing; and so we have no fund to that end, nor any other end, except what is according to the Act of Parliament. If you have any proofs of your assertions, out with them; if not, do not sell yourself to form harmful false accusations about your neighbors. How do you know that we do not urge people to live a godly life? Have you ever been in our meetings? No! This, like every other accusation of yours, is to be taken to mean the opposite, and our fruits testify publicly to that. But about “going to America,” everyone has free agency,—they may go or not; and do not you also give the same freedom to your followers? If you are willing to judge us by our fruits, come closer, and we invite you to publish to the world every bad thing we have done, if you will permit in return publishing one of a hundred of your faults so that the world may judge; otherwise, leave characters in peace, and come now to reason or scripture. Answer, who has sects, hatred, various opinions, and splits; yes, who, Mr. D.? we, or the Baptists No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4,—or who then? Come closer and judge without bias for once. Who persecutes you, calling you “rubbish,” &c.? On what tree and in what vineyard grew the golden apples of calling men who are in the name of Christ, “Satanists”! From what holy mouth were honest neighbors heard being called a “vile mob?” If the Pharisees formerly were known by their fruits, and we too now, why is Mr. Davies from Dowlais not also known by his fruits?
“IV. There were never miracles in the church, but out in the world,” says Mr. D. To assert such a thing is no more than to proclaim deceit. I wish the reader to look closely, yes, to note minutely, whether it was in rooms, or in the church, or in the world, that miracles were performed.
Ha! Mr. Davies, you admitted that the greatest miracle that was performed was the resurrection of Christ; but who, from the world, saw that? Who, from the world, saw Dorcas, or that young man being raised to life by the apostles? and that girl, or the mother of Peter, by Christ, and a host of other miracles? and yet, you assert that miracles were performed publicly, in the world. A pity that you had not researched somewhat into your subject and your assertion. Who was the Mr. Davies who said a few pages back, that the gifts under observation were “for the edifying of the church?” Strange how short his memory is, is it not? If the miracles of Christ and the apostles were to benefit the world, why did they not immediately heal all the sick people of the world? And if it was according to their own minds, without feeling the exhortation of the Spirit to that, that they healed the sick, why would they not drive the devil out of that man? Why did they all leave poor Timothy, in his “frequent weakness?” And since Paul said that it was “for the edifying of the church” that God set up all the offices and that the duty of one of the offices, i.e., the presbytery, as you admitted, is to anoint the sick saints with oil, who are you, and from whom did you receive authority, Mr. Davies, in all seriousness, to abolish and deny all this, persecuting those who use them, whilst also calling yourself a minister of the gospel of Christ? Answer, Sir, for people fail to understand how these things can be so. You should profess miracles, or cease forming assertions and setting them to hang one another like this.
“V. If the men who claim their miracles can fulfill them,” he says, “why do they not do that in the markets of Merthyr, on the mountaintops,” &c. Here is the trumpet voice of his brother, the giant from Abercanaid; the same tune like the hunter’s horn, and this horn has been in the family from the day when our Master was tempted to turn that stone into bread in the wilderness. But for more of the history of this voice, and its owners, see “The Scales.” Had Mr. Davies been with Jesus Christ, he would have mocked him for a deceiver, because he said, “that he could not do many miracles in Nazareth, because of their disbelief.” If Christ did his miracles in order to prove his mission and gospel, and if Mr. Davies admits that he did enough for that, what drives him to ask more of us, to prove what he admits. And, is it reasonable for you to seek from us, or for us to seek from you, a sign to prove the truth of the New Testament? Christ’s were signs going before belief, it is true, in order to prove that he was the Only Begotten from the Father. We do not claim to be such as he; and why do you seek of us to prove that we are what we do not profess? Signs “following them that believe,” are what we have. You will place us on the mountain top before believing, you say. “Which shall follow them that believe,” says Christ. Whom shall we obey, you or Christ? If you want more signs to affirm the faith, go to its great Founder; but if you are satisfied with the signs which follow obedience to it, we have them according to the promise; and they are so greatly needed, they are so sweet, so precious, for the edifying of our church, that we would not wish to lose them for the world and its fulness, yes, even giving our lives for them. No more proof is needed that Mr. Davies is completely ignorant of them, than his admission that they are not needed in this age. And if we did not have them, you ought to search them out, and be ready to accept them instead of refusing and denying them after they have come, even though that might burst the fetters of prejudice; we say that they pay better in this world, by perfecting you, even though the hope of your profit may fade. What power have we over the fact that they follow belief? If you reject them because they are not in Merthyr market, take up the argument with their Author himself, for we do not claim to be able to accomplish the least of them of ourselves. Many a one who, like you, has been mocking, doubting, has come closer, listened, and understood that you tell lies about us; they have believed, obeyed, and had divine and clear proofs of the truth of our faith, by enjoying the gifts full of grace from God’s Spirit. What carries these men on under every scorn and persecution, then? You, who profess to be a philosopher, and know the human heart, when were a half million, in such an enlightened age as this, seen embracing any religion, which promised powerful gifts to them; and then, although finding it lacking in the gifts that it promised, persevering through all persecutions? We dare say that such a thing has never been in our world; yet, we must have it, if we are deceiving the world concerning the spiritual gifts that are in the church. Here is a subject for you, Mr. Davies, that would repay you better for discussing it, than all the business of reviling.
Mr. Davies shows his complete ignorance of the gifts of the Spirit, especially the “gifts of healings” in the following—“A miracle was not contained in the faith of the man, but in the powerful name of Jesus of Nazareth—remember the lame man at the door of the temple; that poor wretch expected nothing but money; and if faith is necessary, there must be, according to their own reasons and admission, few of the men of least faith under God’s heavens, for they lay hands upon themselves.” We have quoted this sentence in order to show how many lines this talented man wastes to say nothing at all! “A few of the men of least faith,”—what does he mean? “According to their own reasons,” who, and what? “and their own admission.” What are they, I wonder? Who “lay hands upon themselves,” I wonder? He forgot to tell us that; and if he himself understands what he means, we must admit to being beaten in this! As for that lame man to whom he refers, he has brought a witness against himself; and if he had read his Bible, he would have seen that he was healed through his faith. Acts iii, 12. Peter denies that he healed the lame man—”Why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk [it is not we who have done this], rather the God of our fathers has glorified his son Jesus.” Yes, there is the mystery of the matter, Mr. Davies; and God shall glorify the name of his son Jesus again when, where, and in whatever manner he wishes, yes, through healing Little Maggie when he so wills, whether that pleases you or not. Although the miracle was not contained in the faith of the man, he did not receive healing without faith. Shall we believe you or Peter? Ver. 16:—”And his name [that is, Jesus] through faith [of the lame man] in his name [Jesus] hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know; yea, the faith [which the lame man had] which is by him [Jesus], hath given him [the lame man] this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” If Mr. Davies will not admit his mistake, let the argument be between him and Peter, from now on. Although at first the lame man expected to receive money, yet it is obvious that he changed his expectation as soon as Peter started to speak. We ask Mr. Davies, What did Peter give the lame man? He will admit that it was neither silver, nor gold, nor anything of the things of the world, and yet it is said in ver. 6 that Peter gave something to him,—”But such as I have, that [what was that?] give I thee.” He could not present him with anything but what he had, namely a testimony of a crucified and resurrected Healer, who could heal him if he took the medicine—”this treasure (that is the gospel) in earthenware vessels. And the lame man believed that, which is proved in that he immediately received the blessing. And his name, that is Jesus, through the faith of the lame man in him, according to the testimony which he heard from Peter concerning him, healed him. Why does Mr. Davies bring examples like this to try to prove his belief, when they are completely contrary to it? Why would you not remember the example of that other lame man in Lystra? Here is an analogous case, or similar situation, Mr. Davies. The two men were lame from their mother’s womb—the one at the gate of the one temple, and the other at the gate of the other temple. Peter and Paul offered the same cure to the sick men, on the same conditions, for they were fellow-workers for the same powerful Healer. Read the story in Acts xiv, 9, as follows,—”The same [that is the lame man] heard Paul speak [as the other heard Peter], who [that is Paul] steadfastly beholding him [that is the lame man] and perceiving that he [the lame man] had FAITH TO BE HEALED, said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet.” One wonders whether Mr. Davies wishes us to believe that Paul ordered this one, or Peter the other, to stand on their feet against their will? Could they have done that without an effort, or would they be striving without faith? Is faith not the cause of every effort? Let this philosopher search the laws of philosophy, before showing his foolishness to the world. Paul would not have ordered him to stand until he saw that he had FAITH, despite testifying strongly to him, which is the basis of faith, and continuing to do so, and steadfastly beholding the lame man, for what but to see whether he had faith? It would have been presumption for Paul to order him to stand without seeing his faith, for the disappointment would have been a shame to the name of Jesus. And, one wonders whether Peter would have caused the other to stand up, without seeing that he too had that faith that Paul judges so essential to receive such a blessing from the same God? Oh, no; no one but Mr. Davies thinks so, I suppose. You insist on our healing whomever you will, without faith or any necessary qualification. Is this not like that madman who found fault with the doctor for not curing him, when he refused to take any of his medicine. “If you are a doctor,” he said, “you should cure me by looking at me.” “By only saying the word,” says Mr. Davies. If faith is not necessary to receive temporal blessings, why is it so essential in order to receive spiritual blessings, which are imparted by the One? If faith is not necessary to receive healing, why does James say “the prayer of faith shall heal the sick?” and why does Christ say, “Thy faith hath made thee whole,” “All things are possible to him that believeth,” “If thou believest, it is possible,” &c? Where is our preacher’s memory? He mocks us for demanding faith! He would have mocked Jesus Christ for the same thing. If he admitted the New Testament as a yardstick, we would soon show that he knows little of the plan of its miracles or its faith.
After showing us two definite commands to anoint the sick with oil, and the laying on of hands, on page 6, Mr. Davies denies all this on page 14. “Not using medicine, the hands of the apostles and the prayers of the saints, but only saying the word,” he says. Which of the two shall be believed? His object in asserting this is so that he might ask some “pre-sumptuous creatures” whom he calls “Satanists” to heal the sick in the markets of Merthyr against their will. The reason that he gives for their abolishing ordinances, and the practice of the ways laid down, according to their duties, are the unpromised exceptions that the shadows of the apostles, their clothes, &c, have healed the sick. Does he not know the difference between custom and exception? Would it not be the same thing for him to ask us to forgive the sins of the worst unconditionally, because Christ said to one, “Thy sins are forgiven;” and ask our shadow to heal the sick, because God has done that through some of his servants! Is there any promise that someone would be healed thus, as there is the promise that the sick saints would be healed through practice of the ordinance through faith?
“He claims that some presumptuous man, whom he calls a praiseworthy Apostle, is here, now,” and he asks whether the “presumptuous man,” “the praiseworthy Apostle,” the “Satanist,” has done any of God’s miracles? Here is an example of his terrible calumny. We, and the public, we believe, press him only to name one presumptuous man who calls himself an Apostle, or even people who are called Satanists. Then you shall hear William asking, Did his shadow heal anyone in Merthyr; and Davies answering, “No,” without offering any proof of his assertions, any more than usual. Then, we shall hear Richard, I suppose, as judge before his friends. “Then we shall see,” he says. See, indeed! What shall you see, judge? We see not one witness, only the unfounded assertions of your own two elbows, namely W. asking, and Davies swearing to him, let him say what he might. We see some strange trail between the two of you, say his friends. Well, no one dares say a word against us, says the judge; on with his sentence. Yes, say his two witnesses. “His assertions are not—” But wait, Mr. Judge; what are the assertions? They are not proved yet, say his friends. Bah, that doesn’t matter; are not the assertions of W. and D. enough? And on with it! “And his followers also, just a heap of lies.” Take it slowly, say his friends again; we cannot follow you Mr. Judge. Followers of whom? What proves them mad; and how do we know that they are lying, unless we hear their claims. Oh, says he, “do not listen to anything they say for themselves; otherwise, you will not believe my witnesses, and you dare not doubt a judge like me, who has had his own way every time, and preaches every Sunday, administering the holy ordinances to you, and to be sure you should believe me in everything, since you maintain me with your money, like a gentleman, to rule over you, take care not to doubt me, nor to listen to that “presumptuous man,” for fear of my rod; know you not that I shall excommunicate you from the synagogue also!” Thereupon, I think I hear someone, more reasonable and brave than the others, having partly opened his eye to see the oppressor’s tyranny, shouting out, “Turn you away; the sooner the better you break our bonds, and turn us out of such a prison, so that we might dare to think for ourselves; this is a worse prison than the bondage of the blackest Negro; the greatest blessing you can do for us is to excommunicate us from this Davisism, so that we might receive apostleship.” When the judge heard that, his face paled, and the legs of his two witnesses shook like Belshazzar of old, for he would lose their pennies if he lost them. And, alas! what shall I do? If they listen to apostleship they will leave me. If I prevent them from listening to it, away they will go on that road. Say what shall I do; say you, Davies.” “Oh,” says Davies, with a victorious smile, “I know what we shall do! Since they must have witnesses, do you not remember that we three wrote a splendid epistle about the “Satanists” which was so highly recommended that it was printed in our denominational publication!” “Very good, Davies,” says the judge. “Yes, friends, see the Baptist for March, and you shall find enough proofs that we three are truthful enough.” “Well,” say his friends, “if those are the best proofs you have of your truthfulness, it’s all up with you. What, to offer us the Baptist as true! He has himself been carrying the word “TRUE” on his forehead for years, but has failed to convince us despite that; and now his guilty conscience has come to believe that an unfinished task, and more honestly than you has rubbed the word clean off his forehead for shame,—is it he whom you offer us as true? Is this not the sinkhole into which you have spewed the contents of your foul insides for years, and would you wish us to sully our noses again in your stinking liquid? Oh, no, thanks be to the truth, the issues of the PROPHET have opened our eyes at last to see that it was you two who originated that hermaphrodite, under the influence of delirium tremens, or some other hydrophobia! No, no, Mr. Judge, we cannot believe your witnesses there, nor here either, for they contradict one another; for example, William says in the Baptist, “Were hands laid on T—s, J—s, to be healed? No, men know better.” But listen, Mr. Judge, what your other dear witness says, namely Davies. On page 16, of his essay,—”Hands were laid on T—s J—s,” says he; how shall we believe witnesses like these? No wonder you would not want to cross-examine them; they say too much to be true; and indeed, sir, the two make a liar of you often. On page 6, William asserts that no one has been healed through those he calls Satanists, so says Davies, on page 9, that no sign has ever been seen with them.
[To be continued.]
The Editor of the True Baptist
OUR readers will remember the letter sent to this man, in response to the libelous accusations of his brother from Dowlais, a copy of which is to be found in the July PROPHET; and that the editor decided that the best way to demonstrate his fairness to all sides was not to publish it—that the most gentlemanly approach to us was to open his monthly periodical for our enemies to accuse us of every folly and evil under pseudonyms, but to close it immediately against any word of self-defense we might offer, in the face of such accusations. Mr. Davies of Dowlais accused William Henshaw and another brother of issuing a challenge to him to come out to debate, which was a complete lie, worded and devised in such a way as to give the said Mr. Davies a reason to laugh at them. The two brethren tried to defend themselves through the same press that had condemned them, but they were not allowed to do so. That was too much justice for the Editor to permit. If he had given them space, he would be praised, but he did not do so. He thinks he has got the keys into his own hands, and that he would scarcely take the trouble to go from Cardiff to see if he is telling the truth or not. And then, after all the two men did, poor things, to assert their innocence—after testifying so soberly that it was not they who issued the challenge, the Editor would have everyone believe that it was; and the proof he offers of this is, “that the writing is very similar to the writing of that letter.” How similar, I wonder? Similar enough to contradict the testimony of two witnesses? It was not his fault that he could not get more weight than this feather to put in the scales in the face of the testimony of the two men. Is it reasonable to suppose that they would give such an opportunity to a man they know has been for years with all his might accepting every evil about them eagerly, and searching for libel material, as the tiger for prey? If not, no one but his partner dares think like that, I suppose. Let everyone notice the outpouring of his heart through five lines which he calls his five “reasons.”
His first “reason” is,—“The people who address me are beneath my notice.” Yes, reader, this is the “reason” he offers for his lengthy essay, which takes a large part of four pages of the Baptist, to answer those “who are beneath his notice.” Let the reader judge if he believes himself. He is a strange man, taking such notice of something “beneath his notice!” His proof that they are beneath his notice is, because of their names: “Abel and Henshaw; Oh excellent names! Oh shining characters!” There is a specimen of new-fashioned logic, or old-fashioned from the days of Bajazett. Who has heard that Mr. Davies has ever discussed one subject? His subject is persons; assertion is his reason; and libeling is his trade! And so here, because a man’s parents named him “Abel,” he and every other Abel, from the oldest down, are “beneath the notice” of this famous man! Let those parents who desire his notice, take care to ask him what names they can give their children. “Henshaw;” what a pity his ancestors did not foresee that his name would lower him “beneath the notice” of the sages of this age! “Oh shining characters!” he says; yes, so shining that even he was not able to find a blemish on them since they have been in the church of Christ, even though he tried hard; and if there were some blemishes on them, would that condemn the principles they profess? He is a strange reasoner; he would reason not only himself and his brethren to be deceivers, but even Christ’s religion to be a fraud, because Peter, and Judas, &c, betrayed him. We do not profess to be perfect, and it would be useless for him to profess that to his acquaintances. It is not long since Mr. Davies considered William Henshaw’s character to be shining enough for him to bring him to his house, and extend an offer for him to join with him, and be a preaching assistant to him. And the next thing this gentle man offered him after he had refused his services, and shown abhorrence for his company, was to ask him if he would drink a glass of poison, to prove that Christ had spoken the truth—”If they drink any deadly thing, it will do them no harm.” But Henshaw refused to satisfy his desire, as his teacher refused the invitation of the other’s master to cast himself from the pinnacle of the temple. Henshaw took his leave from him, and from that time Mr. Davies has been trying to blacken his character with every story he can find, until Henshaw is not only unworthy to be a servile preacher for him, but is “beneath his notice.” He is “fool-headed Henshaw.” Let “this scoundrel” go, not as a preacher under Mr. Davies of Dowlais, but to “Cornwall” now, “and let him make fools of the Cornishmen,” instead of the Dowlaisites, as Mr. Davies wanted him to do a short time ago; “and he can live there on their backs.” It would be an unending task to talk about grammatical errors where so many moral errors are deliberate ones. “At last [Henshaw] came, and laid his unclean and sinful hands on her,” that is those hands he thought a few months before, were clean and holy enough to break the sacrament for his flock! It is strange the sudden change that has happened to his hands, as well as every other part of his body and his name! Yes, poor thing, he has turned into sour grapes, every joint and bone, from his head to his toes, like those did in the wolf’s eyes, in the old fable. Then, his “character,” he says; that must be reviled too after he has refused my service, so that he does not do good to anyone else. Characters, is it? he should be silent until the latest ditch in Dowlais has defended its character. Pity the poor Cornishmen if they relied on such a shepherd as this to feed them; and if the character he gives to Henshaw is true, the Dowlaisites would be to be pitied too if Henshaw had acceded to his request, i.e., according to his own reasoning; and yet, if all he says is true, their hunger for wholesome food would not be greater than it is now. Perhaps he justifies himself by saying that he did not know at that time that Henshaw was so unclean, sinful, Satanic, devilish, &c. Worse still then, to have offered a man such a position over immortal souls, without knowing who and what he was. May his flock forgive him for this, if they can. But why does he still continue to persecute such people? Was it not the same one who made us all? If they had drunk brandy until they turned their noses blue, and disfigured their faces like turkey heads, and if they had stayed in the school of Bacchus until Sunday morning, he would not have cause to publish it in the Baptist. If they had appropriated to themselves three or four undeserved names and titles, as well as a list of pseudonyms, they would still be no worse than those who profess to be in the list of theologians. But having failed to devise one blemish on their persons, he closes his first reason by saying in borrowed words—“O my soul, come not into their secret.” We are very pleased to hear this, and more of an Amen is said to this than to anything he says. We cannot stay with that pipe any longer. Hurry, the gas is lighting in the second, and is pouring out blue.
He says—“The names you give yourselves are beneath contempt.” What! what name is beneath contempt? The name of a listener to this wise man who calls himself a preacher of the gospel, and a servant of God, answering for himself. “Like the only true church of Christ.” Is it a man who professes to be a shepherd of the flock of Jesus Christ who says that being “the only true church of Jesus Christ” is “beneath contempt?” Yes, reader, and without offering so much as one proof of his assertion either. The gas is high in this pipe—“praiseworthy apostle, Capt. D. Jones,” he says. He does not love me much either, evidently; it is strange how he hates a man with whom he has never exchanged a word, has never been in his company, nor wished to be! It is foolish to hate and persecute the whole lineage of him who flogs him with his own stick. If he were to be silent, people would forget the shame he suffered in time; but his old wounds are festering and gathering again, and there is nothing to be done but change the plaster, in order to get to the bottom of it, or let them take his life. As for the first title, it is more honorable than any we ever claimed. The father is the same as that of the “Satanists,” “little creature,” “sinful creature,” “apostolic Capt.,” “lying, deceiving, devilish tribe,” “living in idleness at the expense of deceit, lies, and presumption,” &c. Every reasonable man believes we have cause to be proud of these titles, considering from whence they come; and, indeed, it must be admitted that we sometimes take some pride in being worthy of the evil words of professed persecutors; yet not ourselves, but because of our religion. We do not expect as many titles as our brethren in early times, or our holy Teacher except insofar as we are like them. As for the last title, it is one that was honestly earned, through many years of hard efforts, diligence, and morality, and is respected in the four corners of the earth; and he is the first one in the world found to be hardfaced enough to publish one insult or scorn of it; but he cannot scorn it either, for it is out of reach of his unhealthy odor, and if it does not satisfy him, he should not take it in vain so needlessly. But listen how intense this pipe is by now—“Names that the most presumptuous man would fear to adopt [so we are more so than the majority can be], unless he is a perfect atheist.” There, now the pipe has burst, and in its destruction can be seen how it fulfills the old proverb that “it is the thief who shouts thief first;” and the atheist is the first to shout atheist. Listen, all Christians of the world! According to Mr. Davies’s logic, those who profess to be “the only true church of Jesus Christ,” are atheists! Here is a hard judge. What will become of us if the rod of iron is in his hand, and if he gets a foot on the bench? You must be “as ignorant as the pagan [he says] concerning the things that constitute a church and an apostle,” before you would claim to be “the only true church of Jesus Christ!” And does he not claim to be in the only true church of Jesus Christ himself? If so, according to his reasoning, he proves himself to be an atheist like us! Did not Paul truly say that God set some in the church—“First APOSTLES [that is as the head of the church, or the body of Christ on the earth, after Christ’s ascension into heaven. Who has seen a living body without a head on it? Those who see the body of Christ, with Mr. Davies as a borrowed head of it in Dowlais, having cut off the apostolic head which Christ set on it for the head of an atheist! This is one of Mr. Davies’s miracles, like the “swallowing his meeting house”], secondarily prophets, gifts of miracles, gifts of healings,” &c, 1 Cor. xii, 28. And does Mr. Davies not assert so fearlessly that that is atheism? and that it would be “the same to claim to be Jesus Christ as to claim to be an apostle?” Which of the two is to be believed? They are completely contrary to each other. Is it not the same thing to claim that the apostles whom God set in his “only true church” are atheists in one age or country as in the other? Paul says to the Ephesians (chap. 4,) that they are essential “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,” in that age. Are they not essential for “the perfecting of the saints” in this age too? If the work of the ministry could be carried on in that age without apostles, was it not unnecessary for God to set them for that? If they could not edify the body of Christ without apostles, &c, how can even Mr. Davies, or anyone else now, do more than they could then? If he can answer this without being an atheist, or at least a deist, he can do more than anyone else we have seen yet. But I fancy I can see him starting to look for his interpreters, and then he will shout victory, and “Oh! they were only to continue through the apostolic age; they are not needed afterwards.” Yes, but it is Mr. Davies of Dowlais who says that, and is it a speck closer to the truth because of that? No, it is not, even if all the people of the world said it. Paul knows better than they all, and he says that it is all to continue in the church “till we all come in the unity of the faith,” &c., that is, in his only true church, “and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man.” If Mr. Davies claims to be perfect enough without them, he should leave in peace those who choose to enjoy them, in order that they too may be perfected. I wonder if the Son of God was so specific as to set down the plan of his “only true church” in the New Testament, putting in it apostles, prophets, and the spiritual gifts promised to those who believe, in every age and country, and then authorized Mr. Davies to establish a church for him in Dowlais on some different plan? He claims that it is atheism to profess His original and divine plan!
But although the second pipe burst, there is yet more and hotter metal in the third. Here he rushes out like a furnace ember, without fear of God or man; and says—“The mad and presumptuous doctrines you proclaim are beneath the notice of every man of common sense,” i.e., admitting his first epistle about them testifies that he himself does not possess “common sense;” and as he admits it so fearlessly, let us proceed to see one of his wonders. Here at last Mr. Davies offers one proof or example of his claims, and even stranger is the example he quotes—“Such as the gift of healing the sick, and receiving health through the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus.” This is an example, says Mr. Davies, of “the doctrine of men and devils!” Well, what does Christ say? This is what he said, and says to his saints in every age, “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover;” yes, that is the doctrine this reverend calls “presumption,” “madness,” and “devilishness.” This is fulfilling the proverb to its limits. Let the reader choose which of the two authors he believes; he cannot believe both. But we shall see how Mr. Davies fares in the face of Paul on these “devilish doctrines” in 1 Cor. xii, 9,—”To another faith; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit.” Well, Paul, there you are, as devilish as we, according to Mr. Davies. Ver. 28,—”After that miracles, then gifts of healings.” 30,—”Have all the gifts of healing?” No; but God “gives to each one [in his “only true church”] separately, as it pleases him.” 31,—”But covet earnestly the best gifts,” says Paul. Oh no; do not covet earnestly any such thing, says Mr. Davies, otherwise you will be as bad as the “Satanists:” that is “the doctrine of devils.” There are two strong witnesses, namely the Son of God and Paul, at loggerheads with him already. But we offer one more apostle to prove the “presumption and madness” we profess, so that from the lips of three such witnesses, can be seen if it is we or Mr. Davies who deserves the above accusations. Come, James, what do you say? Is it “the doctrine of devils” to accept health in the name of Jesus? James answers that he says the same thing now as he said before (chap. v, 14),—”Is any sick among you [you saints]? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.” It can be seen, by now, whether Mr. Davies for denying, or we for believing, who Jesus Christ, Paul, James, and others say, are the most like atheists. Another outpouring from this third fiery pipe is “an example of the doctrine of devils,” namely “casting out devils,” he says. This is not so devilish either, according to what our Lord says, when he was similarly accused—”A kingdom divided against itself will not stand.” How does Mr. Davies make professing the casting out of devils in the name of Jesus a doctrine of devils, without making what Christ says—”In my name shall they cast out devils,” the same thing too. He puts a twist in this pipe now, and says that no one but the apostles were to do that. He must twist it until he makes the Son of God a liar, when he says in Mark xiv, 17—”And these signs shall follow THEM THAT BELIEVE,” in every country, and Wales too, at all times, yes, even now. When he proves that no one but the apostles were to enjoy these signs, he will have proved also at the same time, by the same reasoning, that no one but they was to preach, to believe, or to be saved, for the one and the other are commanded, and promised in the same commission. When Mr. Davies finishes this task, he will have an atheist crown on his head; but until then he should leave in peace anyone who chooses to profess them. But the furnace is seething hotter and hotter, until it blows this pipe to shreds again—”And even to see visions, and speak with spirits from the invisible world.” Is one to hear the view of a preacher of the gospel in this enlightened age about the above doctrine? “One would think [he says] that no man, even in Merthyr, would lower his ear to listen to such madness, presumption, and lies” as the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which the Son of God promised to the believers, while there was still one imperfect one in their midst! I do not think that Paine or Voltaire ever claimed such dreadful blasphemies as this on the church of God.
But, reader, listen to his fourth pipe roaring. He says “he thinks [on what basis he did not see fit to inform us, if not a guilty conscience rankling] that the aim was to run a fair in order to gather fools, but mainly in an effort to collect money.” In this, too, he verifies the old proverb. Who but he has for years now been idling at the expense of the poor Welsh, who work hard in order to contribute many pounds to him every month for standing over their heads to prove that the gospel of the Son of God is “doctrine of devils, deceit, presumption, madness, atheism,” &c, &c, and call his children “Satanists,” &c. Who but he shouted on the river bank, as soon as he got his feet on terra firma, with the water pouring from his clothes, “for the money—bring forth that money, people!” and if one followed him to his pulpit, one would think that it was as easy for angels to fly without wings as for him to carry on without the money. When he was lucky enough, some time ago, to baptize three at once, it is strange how he shouted for the money; and he taunted a congregation of white people that they had contributed such and such before, when there was only one baptized, but “now for three times as many!” It is not known what would become of Dowlais if he baptized often. Despite all this, it is not very long since he accused us, although quite falsely, of charging half a crown for baptizing; but we challenge anyone to prove that we have ever charged a halfpenny; and we do not care how much he gets either. But the wonder is that such a man as this can sear his conscience so completely as to be able to accuse the innocent so unsparingly. A man who makes a business of the souls of hundreds between his shop and his three chapels! It is he who accuses us of trying to make a fair out of him in order to obtain money! I wonder if he thinks so much of himself, that we would come to make an offer for him?
But anyone who wants to hear an example of shameless hypocrisy, to hear Satan assuming the form of an angel of light, his face as long, and his tone as howling as if the “hope of his profit” was all about to fade. Listen to him, in all seriousness! “Oh my fellow countrymen, the dear Welsh.” “Dear,” indeed! dear enough to fill the ears of one part with invented fables about the other part?
But listen, reader, how he turns the fifth pipe against himself. It is so much against his grain that it crosses his own grain, and in his great desire to do evil to others, he says too much to be true—”And it gives me great happiness to announce that only a few of my fellow countrymen have been ensnared by these evil creatures.” Well, poor wretch! he has enjoyed the “great happiness,” as can be seen from issues of the Baptist, for a long time. “Few, very few, the dregs of Merthyr, foolish, senseless people,” &c, is his refrain always. But listen to him in the next line—”And of those who have been tricked by them, many have seen the deceit.” Everyone will thank him for this. A few have joined, and many have turned back. It is beyond common scholarship to say, when one takes many out of a few, how many will be left? Only Mr. Davies’s arithmetic can answer that. This reverend goes so far as to contradict his own brethren. Mr. Editor says in his introductory “fiends” to the above letters—“and the fact that they [the saints] beguile many.” Here are two old contemporaries who are at loggerheads with each other. They have been at other people’s heads for long enough. But listen to this prophet prophesying about himself; for it is by the rule of contradiction that he continues on. “But it is true that these presumptuous people will not continue much farther; their foolishness is apparent to all,” he says. He has prophesied this amazing prophecy in almost every chapel, where he has proclaimed his names for the saints, and it has been published as a tail to almost every accursed story of his; and although he sees that it is being fulfilled on his own head, he will not admit that it is about himself; yes, although his foolishness is apparent to all.