Star of the Saints.
No. 4.] APRIL, 1849. [VOL. 1.
DEAR BROTHER PRATT,—I received a letter from Elder Hyde, saying that Oliver Cowdery had come to the Bluffs with his family; and made satisfaction to the Church, who had voted to receive him into the Church by baptism; and Elder Hyde was expected to baptize him next day. He was assisting Elder Hyde to put the press in operation for printing, expected to send forth the Frontier Guardian soon. I was truly glad to hear this, as Oliver Cowdery was the first person baptized into this Church under the hands of Joseph, and is capable of doing good in the Kingdom of God; I was truly glad to hear he had returned to the fold.
The cholera is spreading slowly in New York, and a few cases at New Orleans, but we have another fever here that is raging to such an extent that the cholera is almost lost sight of. It is creating the greatest panic of any fever that was ever heard of; it is carrying off its tens of thousands; it is called the Gold Fever. A large number of ships, and thousands of men are preparing to leave our seaports for the gold regions of California; the world are believing as much now in the gathering as the Saints, and are gathering much faster; the world gathers for the gold, and Saints to fulfill the commands of God. Ships are leaving some of the ports almost daily, loaded with men and goods for the Bay of San Francisco. The Saints that went out with S. Brannan and the Mormon battalion, not only found the gold, but have had a hand in gathering it. S. Brannan received 36,000 dollars in gold dust for goods, in seventy days. Men, who are digging gold, vary from 5 to 8000 dollars daily, both numbers being extreme cases of good and bad luck. No man thinks he is doing a good business there, digging gold, without he makes his fifty dollars daily; it is astonishing what treasures the California mountains have presented to the eye of man since the Mormons went to that country. Diamonds, platina, gold, quicksilver, silver, copper, lead, tin, zinc, sulphur, cobalt, &c, &c, most of which are found in vast quantities over a large extent of country, especially gold. Iron is also abundant; these things are creating a great stir in this country, and thousands are rushing to that land for their fortune, and some make it in a few days, while others do not do so well. I think the Saints at the valley are well situated, as they are surrounded by mountains, and out of the great bustle that will be at the Bay; and when the Saints have got rich by digging gold, they can retire into the valley and settle down if they cannot find anything else to do. Congress is struggling hard to form California into a State; the committee, however, are instructed to consider the subject, in the meantime, of organizing that portion of California, called Salt Lake Country, into a Territorial Government. But the slave question, connected with that territory, is the bone of contention, hard to be digested, and is beginning to create warm times. The Ohio Legislature and the whole State is nearly in the midst of civil war; the two parties are a tie, and cannot organize, as neither party will yield; and no business, as yet, as been done only fighting; the democrats have had possession of the House most of the time; but I perceive you get news of these things in the American and British papers. The gold fever seems to be the head question at the present time over all other things; the last letters were dated 8th October; as yet there is no law there, only strength and might; all ships, military companies, and everything else are deserted by all black and red men as soon as they get to the Bay of San Francisco, and they go to the gold digging, and those who are as ragged as beggars can have two or three quarts of gold dust, worth their sixteen dollars per ounce, per day. * * * * *
Yours in the bonds of the Priesthood,
Cambridge Port, U.S.A., Dec. 26, 1848. W. WOODRUFF.
WE promised in our last Issue, that if the Editor of the Star of Gomer did not give permission to defend the principles of the Saints in his publication, in the face of the writings therein on the "Spiritual Gifts" by an Observer from the North, we would write something on the subject in the TRUMPET. Our space is too small, and our readers, for the most part, are too unfamiliar with the Star, for us to think of reviewing all of it; therefore, let us pass over the parts where the Observer is snarling and lowering himself to misrepresentation, and let us go directly to the parts where he is as one trying to reason. We are compelled to do this, for the court of the Star is so different from other courts, that no one is allowed to bring forth anything in favor of the "Spiritual Gifts," rather everything must be against them. It is fitting, therefore, to say that the "Spiritual Gifts" are in the enemy's court, and that the one testifying against them may make whatever false accusations he wishes, and no one may doubt them. From our abundant acquaintance with the person and the spirit of the Observer, we know to some extent of the desire he has to find out the truth of the Spiritual Gifts, and also about other things. A man who searches for the truth is easy to recognize; for he is never seen lowering his head in shame, when he hears his fellow man revealing something which he himself knows to be the truth. There is no need to eat a peck of salt with such a man, in order to know him. But someone, perhaps, is shouting for us to come to the matter under discussion; but let him wait a little in order to understand what is our objective. Are we going to defend our fathers' traditions, which have been taught to us since our childhood; or something else we embraced contrary to the prejudice of our country, the prejudice of our parents, and our own prejudice? Are we going to expose the deceit of the principles that are respected by all, or the principles that are scorned by all? Our answer is that we are going to explain and defend what we know, not what we believe and hope, to be the truth; yes, we intend to stand up for what proves itself to be true to every honest man. We disapprove of the men who stand afar off to judge the truth, instead of having sufficient courage to come near to put it to the test for themselves. Many people believe at night that every treetrunk in the hedge is a bogeyman, not being brave enough to go to them to feel them and touch them, and test them.
The Observer of the North takes occasion to write about the observations that Capt. D. Jones published, on the Spiritual Gifts, in the "Scriptural Treasury." The first topic in the Observer's masterpiece is seen in the Star for October, 1848, after a few introductory comments, under the title
Capt. Jones's statement on this subject is, that the body of Christ was composed oi different members, as it is described in 1 Cor. xii; and that the offices and gifts were the members which constituted it. He says that "God placed all the members in the first man to be created, and placed them in the right places which he had chosen; it is likewise true in his church. And it is as foolish now for anyone who believes himself wise to claim that he can take away any given member of the body, and put it to a better purpose in some other part of the human body, and another member in another place, and cut away the other members as unnecessary parts; as it is for a council of wise men to try to change or do without all the spiritual gifts, each one in its place, with its appropriate purpose, in the church of God: one is like the other." In answer to Capt. Jones, the Observer says—"According to that, no church is the church of Christ, unless these offices or gifts are in it. But let him note that the church of the Old Testament is as much a body of Christ as is the New; for Paul says that 'there is one body,' i.e., one church to God. Well, it is not the same offices (or members, as the Mormons say) that have been in the body since the patriarchal dispensation until the present. The same number of offices as were in the patriarchal dispensation as in the Mosaic, nor the same in the Mosaic as in the Christian. Thus, the church of Christ is not like a body in number or in the continuity of the offices in it." One must admit that Mr. Observer's reasoning is not all that bad. But where was the Old Testament, when it is said that God placed in the church (namely the body), "first apostles, second prophets, third teachers," &c. (1 Cor. xii, 28)? If the body existed before, we must call that one something other than the body of Christ, for it was when God called apostles that the latter came into existence. If a body did exist before then, He who created it was certainly able to re-shape it into a new body for his beloved Son. An author has the right to change his work, to answer different purposes: thus it is with God. "There is one body," it is true, but that does not prove that there has been only one. It must be admitted that there is no description in the Old Testament of one body which is similar to the body of Christ, according to the New Testament. But there is no need to go into detail about what existed under the "old dispensation," as it is said, rather let us talk about what exists now under the new one. By now we have come to the conclusion that God assembled a body or a new church, more than eighteen hundred years ago; and the apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, gifts of healing, amenities, governments, diversities of tongues, & c , have been placed in it. But what are all these things that God has placed in the body? Are they members? If not, there is no mention of "members" of the Observer's description ever being placed in the body. If men are the members of the church, as with the sectarians, it was not God who placed them there, rather they themselves; for what he has placed in it comes from above, as "gifts to men" (not to members)— placing "some as apostles, and some as prophets," as evangelists, as pastors, and as teachers. I believe by now everyone knows what makes up the members of Christ's church. Now, Mr. Observer tries to reason "is the church of Christ similar to a body in the number or the continuity of the offices in it?" Could it be that God placed the necessary number of members in the body, but left some to be placed by men? That there are fewer members in the Body of the Methodists than God placed in the body of Christ proves nothing; for the body of the former is the work of Calvin, and all its "members" (according to the explanation of Mr. 0.) are either in its heads, eyes, ears, arms, or feet. Perhaps the whole thing is feet in "unity." But let us leave such a monster, and let us see if the church of Christ is similar to a body with respect to the continuity of its members. If it was a body after God placed all the members in it, it must be a monster that would lose more than half of them. Why was the church of Christ called a body if it was to change suddenly into something else? Thus it would never come unto "a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." Which human body comes unto a "perfect man," while continually losing its members? If one can say one day that he owns all his members, perhaps he will have his nose only one more day. Such foolishness the devil gives to some in an effort to distort the truth! Do we not know that the body of Christ is "fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, making increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love?" The apostles, the prophets, and the other members are to fulfil their purpose for being placed in the body, not just when it is in its infancy, but "until we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." (Eph. iv, 11—16). Now, if we may, we shall give our opinion of Christ's body, that he was in embryo under the old dispensation, and that he was formed and born of God under the new, and that he then received spiritual nourishment through the Head, for the strength and growth of all his members, and while he was growing, he was snatched into the "wilderness," where he was nourished "for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent:" then he was restored from that "departure," and that he is today on the face of the earth, possessing all his members, as they were placed in full working order, and the body closer than ever to being a "perfect man." Is that enough, I wonder?
Next, we ask, What of the Head that is for the body? Mr. Observer, with Paul, says that Christ is the head; and Capt. Jones, poor thing, asserts that it is the apostles. Paul has, sometimes, a bad tendency, leading men to misinterpret. At times he says that the man is the head of the woman, until it is enough to make a fool assert that a woman has no head of her own. He could say, quite grammatically, that he knows of a "woman" on the earth, with her Head in the heavens, and that through it she receives nourishment for her body; and he could say also, without contradicting himself, that she also has her own head, and that through that one she receives nourishment, although at the same time she receives it from the other. It is unquestionable that Paul knows, when he says that Christ is the head of the church, that Christ has his own head also, and the same thing for the church (or the woman); just like husbands and wives have their own heads, except "the head of the woman is the man." We hope that the Observer will be wiser, when he marries his lady friend, that he will not cut off her head, and place himself across her neck to be her "head" in its place. Now, Capt. Jones was describing the earthly head of the church, and Paul was describing the heavenly Head. Although Christ is not on the earth at present, yet he can be the Head of his church just as well, since the church also has a head on her body, to take care of it in the absence of her Husband, and to handle the "keys" which she received from him. A body without a head should not refer to Christ as its head, for it has no kind of skull to understand what Christ tells it. It is the lack of a skull, perhaps, in the body of the Methodists, and the other denominations, which is the cause of their not having heard God's voice for so long. Our dear readers, then, if they wish to recognize Christ's body, should search for a body which has a skull attached to it, which has eyes to see, ears to hear, and a brain to comprehend what Christ, the heavenly Head, says to it. In the meantime, we will take a breath before beginning with the Spiritual Gifts, trusting that we have said enough about the body.
ALTHOUGH we do not delight in discussing persons, yet there are some particular things in some which draw our attention more than do others. Not out of any disrespect toward Mr. Davis, as a man, are we compelled to take his name in hand, for we know that no one has anything negative to say about him; rather his behavior toward the evil people called the Saints, is the only cause that practically forces us to bring him before the public. He has preached against the Saints on a number of occasions, saying many false things about them; but that is not why we are discussing him now. The main thing that has occasioned this is the following behavior:— A few days before our move to Merthyr, as we were discussing our February issue, in our office in Carmarthen, the Rev. Mr. Davis came in to us, and when he saw us with it, he asked if he could have one of the TRUMPETS. Then we presented him with a copy of it. At that he asked, "What if I do not agree with some things that are in it, and choose to make some comments about them, where can I publish them?" We said that he would have the TRUMPET at his service; and he observed that that was fair enough. Within about a week, he called again, and we had the opportunity to ask him what he thought of our publication. He answered that he felt very sorry for us, that we were publishing such foolishness, because everything in it is devoid of reason and scripture, &c., degrading our modest gift as lower than was appropriate for a man of his advantages. At our request, he attempted to note the foolishness of our saying (on pg. 27), "I am a witness through seeing, hearing, and feeling," and of our saying that the Bible and the Holy Ghost are also witnesses of the truth of the religion of the Saints. The discussions we had between us are too long for us to think of relating here; but we were after him like a greyhound from one place to the other, until he was forced to escape to the wilderness of the devil to seek a sign from us, to prove we were of God. We said to him at that time, that he imitated Mr. Devil extremely well. We are sorry to say that Mr. Davies was more excited than we wished him to be. Then, because he treated our publication so harshly, after we had promised him space to show our deceit and foolishness, we begged him earnestly to write to the TRUMPET, as he had promised to do, if he failed to agree with us. We showed him his duty, as a man of influence and respect, to convince the thousands of his fellow countrymen who had embraced the "deceit," while he could perceive it so easily. In spite of that, he continued to say that he would not write, and that we could give him no sign; otherwise, we would have given it to him right then and there. When we saw that he would not write anything, we told him that we would do that for him; and this we do now.
The foregoing brings to mind the unworthy behavior of Mr. Davis on another occasion, which took place about a year ago. The following letters between him and us, will explain everything to the perceptive reader, with no need for any further introduction. Here are copies of them, the ones we kept, without much thought, for the day of their revelation:—
"Tannerdy, March 1, 1848.
"REV. SIR,—I am writing to you, since I do not have the opportunity of speaking to you. I used to have a high opinion of you, and tended to think that you had some opinion of me as well. At that time I was one of the world, not having joined any kind of religion, and it appeared that you had love toward me. You were Christians, and I was one of the subjects of the kingdom of darkness; despite that we were like friends. The devil's children hate God's children, and they oppose them in everything, but we were like children of the same father,—yet I was a child of the devil, I am certain. After this quiet period, somehow I found a religion, a religion which is 'spoken against everywhere;' it is called Mormonism by some, and Satanism by others; its preachers are 'false prophets' (as if to say there are true prophets in existence), and 'deceivers,' together with every other bad name. After reading through the scriptures, I believed the new doctrine, and I received my baptism 'for the remission of sins.' I had been taught by you and by others, that 'I should prove all things, and hold fast that which was good.' I was also taught that I could judge for myself, and believe the religion I thought was the most scriptural: and that one denomination had no right to oppose another denomination's progress, rather by reasoning with them fairly, face to face. I was not taught by any of the Independents that it would be fair to refuse land for building a chapel for the Baptists, or for the Methodists, or for the Churchmen, if that were done on a 'voluntary principle:" I was never taught to think it proper to compel the Independent's father to refuse a house for his son in which to preach his beliefs to those who wish to hear him: no, Give freedom and fair play to everyone, you and others said, even if they were Papists! All that was excellent; and if such principles still thrived in Carmarthen and its environs, I would be spared this trouble. But this is not so. Freedom of thought is being prevented by those who praised it the most. The men who took exception to compelling, are now compelling as much as anyone, and their freedom is nothing but an illusion. This is hard, but true. Let us look around us. Whom do we hear saying, 'Prove all things,' and in the same breath shouting, 'Do not listen to the Mormons?' With one breath they say, 'Fair play to everyone;' and with the next breath, 'Do not give the Saints a house in which to preach.' It is the same mouths that say it is prejudice to hinder a Nonconformist from preaching in the parish church, and that it is wisdom to keep any of the Saints from preaching in the chapel; the same person who says that the wood and stones of the parish church are not contaminated by any kind of expression, says also that the Mormons contaminate the wood and stones of the chapel. If the Nonconformists have contributed to the one, the Mormons have contributed to the other. While he believes that the 'elect' cannot be deceived, he warns them not to listen to the Saints lest they be deceived; and while urging them to beware false prophets, he proclaims there are no true prophets. While he shouts that miracles have ceased, he prays to God for fair weather; and when he persecutes the Mormons for mentioning the coming of angels to the earth now, he beseeches God to order his angels to fortify him round about!
"Perhaps you will deem such things too contentious to write about, and perhaps you will say, quietly, that they are also too true; but since my letter is becoming long, I shall leave them for now, and I shall come to the heart of the matter. I have been baptized, as I said previously, for the remission of sins, and I have received the same Spirit as the apostles, by the laying on of hands, according to the promise. That Spirit bears joint witness to my spirit that I am a child of God, and I am convinced of the doctrine. I have been called and ordained by the Spirit to preach the same thing that the apostles preached, without changing a thing, and to promise the same blessings to 'all who are afar.' I preach in every place I get the opportunity. I would dearly love to preach to you as well, for I do not think that you have 'proved' the religion I preach. Well, then, you cannot be expected to oppose something you have not heard; for that is not consistent with your principles. If so, it is not possible that you will restrict any one of your members from coming to listen to the Saints, or restrict anyone from opening his door to them, or giving them a place to stand in front of his house. It is not possible for a man of 'free' principles—a man who gives fair play to the Papists—to give anything less than his own chapel to hear the Saints preach the gospel of the apostles. A man like you would not shut out Paul of old, because he says, 'Desire spiritual gifts, and forbid not to speak with tongues.' Well, do not forbid me either, then, if I say the same thing. But I have a bit of a story to tell you now. I was eager for my neighbors to hear my religion, but I failed to understand how I should preach it to them; but at last, a tenant moved from an old house my father owned, and I took the liberty, without asking anyone, to preach there. Men came to hear me. My father is a member of a certain chapel, and he was greatly condemned by the minister for giving a place for his son to speak his mind!!! Now, such a minister, perhaps, is one of the Independents, and I wish to ask you if you know who he is? "Now, inasmuch as I am preaching—preaching the gospel, taking the same Bible as the one you have to substantiate it, and knowing of your free and generous principles, what obstacle is there to my delivering a sermon or two in Penuel? We have the same Christ; if we differ in small things, it is merely like the difference that exists between preachers of the same denomination among the Nonconformists. Well, am I not allowed to preach what I believe to be truly Biblical, to your listeners in Penuel or Panteg? Can I not be judged for myself before your congregation? Do you not know that I am your 'fellow servant,' and that you yourself are a servant of the same God? I would like to know when you will announce me in Penuel; there will be no need for any kind of payment for the sermon, for I am not studying anything, rather I speak as I am given utterance, and that is easy enough to do. If you see anything that is erroneous, you are welcome to discuss it after I finish, and then the congregation can judge for themselves. I would appreciate an answer at your earliest convenience. I will close now, hoping that I shall succeed; if otherwise, there will be no harm in trying a second time.
"To the Rev. D. Davis, Panteg."
The following response of Mr. Davis, is in English, as he chose to write it:—
"Dear Sir,—I happened to tell your father, that I was afraid his character would suffer by allowing you and your people to meet at the vacant house by Tannerdy. I did it entirely for his sake. Nothing to me. Whenever you are ready to prove to me that you get extraordinary supplies, or that you have studied a sermon, I shall be most happy to introduce your case to the friends at Peniel. Yours,
"D . DAVIS, Panteg.
"Mr. John Davis, Tannerdy."
The translation of this is as follows:—"Anwyl Syr,—Dygwyddais ddweyd wrth eich tad, fy mod yn ofni y byddai yn niweidio ei gymmeriad, trwy eich gadael chwi a'ch pobl i gyfarfod yn y ty gwag wrth Tannerdy. Gwnaethym hyny yn unig er ei fwyn ef. Dim yn y byd i mi. Pryd bynag y byddwch chwi barod i brofi i mi eich bod yn cael cynnorthwyadau anarferol, neu eich bod wedi astudio pregeth, bydd yn dda genyf ddwyn eich achos o flaen y cyfeillion yn Peniel." That is how a Teacher of Theology wrote to us! Now, we close, by copying our own response, which is as follows:—
Tannerdy, March 6, 1848.
"Reverend Sir,—I have received your note. I am pleased that you see yourself innocent in that which took place between you and my father; I would like for everyone to see it the same way. You do not consider it anything bad to discourage a man from giving freedom and fair play to others, by saying that it would be damaging to his character, rather than saying that you are ready to support him when he stands in favor of fair play. But I shall leave that now, although I could say much more about it: "obstacles are certain to come," and therefore I shall be content. You say to me in English, "Whenever you are ready to prove to me that you get extraordinary supplies, or that you have studied a sermon, I shall be most happy to introduce your case to the friends at Peniel." I do not know how to understand this properly: perhaps some of the words are to be taken figuratively or spiritually. How am I to prove that I get "extraordinary supplies" [cynnorthwyadau anarferol], without your hearing me speak spontaneously? and how can you hear that, before introducing my case to the friends at Peniel? If it is possible, how? Also, how can I prove to you that I have studied a sermon, before doing so? After doing so, it is easy to prove. But, if I do study a sermon, how can I then prove to you the "extraordinary supplies?" My procedure in preaching is to pray first for the Holy Ghost to help me speak, to enlighten me, and to guide me to every truth, and to say that which will edify: after that I depend on him for ever)' word, and after finishing, I thank God for his strength. Is this not what you do? If I studied a sermon beforehand, it would be presumption to ask for the Spirit to guide me to speak according to his mind. "Take no thought what you will speak."* were Christ's instructions; that is what I endeavor to do. Now, since I cannot prove the foregoing things, without having the opportunity, I humbly ask you to do your best by me, as a man of influence, to allow me to preach in one of your chapels. I sincerely hope to hear from you soon.
"Yours, Rev. Sir,
"With respect and humility,
"To the Rev. D. Davis, Panteg."
WHEN the thousand years come,
There'll be singing by the Saints,
A sweet anthem to the gentle Jesus,
He who bled on the cross.
Sweet will be the light of day,
Everyone there will be free,
When Jesus will reign,
With no one sad of heart.
0, how sweet will be their voices,
After reaching the dwelling places;
The harp will there be played—
Sounding victory over every foe.
Joseph and Hyrum Smith will be seen,
Blending their voices to sing the anthem,
With thousands of the race of Gomer,
Those who were faithful in their time.
And the apostles will be there,
Those who were proved faithful;
Being there greatly exalted,
That their light will be like the stars.
The brave Captain of the Welsh will be seen,
Elevated amongst the family,
Having gained full victory over the wise,
And full of joy on mount Zion.
Gentle Phillips will also be seen,
He who is a good shepherd to the Welsh,
Having received his inheritance,
Having triumphed victoriously.
Thousands of those will be seen
Who are now traversing Wales,
Having been fully changed
By the abundance of his Holy Spirit.
Nantyglo. THOMAS GILES.
MR. ED.,—Taking note of your behavior during the time the Latter-day Saints have been in our country, I have observed you as being gentlemanly from the beginning, something I did not see in the behavior of other editors. I heard that many times you received numerous stories about the Saints, but seeing that they were so unreasonable and contradictory, you cast them aside. Such behavior is praiseworthy. By saying this, I do not blame you so much for publishing "Miracle of the Cudgel;" for no one can be expected to be perfect every time; and another thing, strictly speaking, the miracle in question is not a miracle performed by the Saints, rather it was performed by the owner of the cudgel, who raised the dead, not by the power of God, but by the power of the cudgel. It was quite a miracle, for the housewife testifies that she shook the dead person, and that there was no life or breath in him. She knew, of course, that he was a cold lump, and completely lifeless; and what she felt, and saw, and perceived is what she testified. Who knew better? It is certain, then, that he was quite dead; and it is also certain that he was raised, by the man of the house, by virtue of the cudgel! That's a miracle without a single prayer—yes, that's a more miraculous miracle than any performed by Jesus Christ and his apostles. Thus, it is worth learning more about it; for if the Bible names persons, and gives details in reporting the early miracles, it is important for us to have greater knowledge of an even greater miracle which has happened as close to us as Newport. Is it not possible to obtain the names of the apostles, and the man of the house who so virtuously used the cudgel? And as for the woman, we ought to have her name with the testimony, so that we can be certain of the miracle. We should be informed as to the house, and how "recently" the miracle took place. One can see now, that your greatest fault in publishing the story is the lack of more complete information. Hopefully these few lines will be a means of getting a more accurate and detailed account about the miracle. The "Star of Gomer" says that the men seeking lodging were not apostles, rather prophets. Besides that, there are many other contradictory things in the different versions of the miracle, which cause me to despair that this miracle is not sufficiently true and "public"—not as true and "public" as the miracles of the New Testament. I wish to be provided with a more detailed account of the miracle in question in your next issues.
Now, permit me to ask a few questions to Mr. Stranger, from Merthyr Tydfil, who gives the account of the miracle in the February issue of the S U N :—
1. Which of the Saints say they have seen God?
2. Which church in the country uses "fruit of the vine," with nothing added? and who said that "the fruit of the vine should never again be drunk in the Sacrament," by the Saints?
3. How much good did Roberts of Rhymni and Davies of Dowlais do by preaching against the Saints? Is it possible to name anyone the Saints lost as a result? Or, is it not possible to prove that there are scores in Merthyr and Dowlais who today testify that the above two were instrumental in opening their eyes to perceive the truth of the Saints' religion?
4. How small was the Book of Mormon in the hand of Mr. Rowland, Merthyr, as he preached? and in which soil was he buried?
5. Who was the preacher of the Saints who left the house where he was preaching in Neath, without the people of the house knowing, taking sufficient food for two days with him, without their permission? What was his name? and what were the names of the people who lived there, and the name of the house? for the Saints fail to obtain a single account of them in Neath.* You, Mr. Stranger, ought to strive to give the particulars to the public, so that such a wicked man might not be a stranger (like yourself) from now on.
Early replies to the foregoing will be greatly appreciated; and if possible, I would like to have the piece entitled "Listening to bad stories," on pg. 36 of the same issue, woven into the replies.
Carmarthen. J. DAVIS.
P S.—If Mr. Stranger cannot find the names of the apostles (although there are no apostles in Wales) who were involved with the miracle of the cudgel, I advise him to get hold of the Story of Mon. Violet's Journey in Missouri, which gives an account of the beginning of the story in question, which was invented by seamen trying their skill in telling the best lie. That story came from America to England, and it has been in Wales for three years, continually being improved, and becoming truer and newer every day.
* The foregoing article was sent to the Office of the SUN, but the Editors did not see fit to publish it. How could we expect them to assist us in getting at the truth, while it put them in danger of losing their "bread and butter?" Fair play to everyone. Mr. Stranger is welcome, if he wishes, to answer us in our own publication.—ED.
WHAT is the prize given to the faithful Distributor? Is it the month's issue for selling a certain number? Oh, no; the distributor is worthy of a better prize. If the preacher is given a prize for preaching in public, does not the distributor receive a prize for preaching in secret? Although the former has the opportunity of performing great goodness, yet the latter has the opportunity of performing just as much, if not more. If the distributor spreads useful books, which contain principles for bringing a man from darkness to light, he is the means of convincing multitudes; and whoever turns someone from the error of his ways, he will shine like stars in the firmament in glory. It is true that not every distributor is authorized to administer ordinances, yet he does something which is of the greatest importance, namely to convince the sinner of the error of his ways. O! how the distributor works. He will go to his neighbor's door, and urge him to buy his publication; he will tell him that it will inform him of things in a much more skillful manner than he can. He normally succeeds in selling his publication; and then the purchaser returns to his house, and he reads the principles of the kingdom of God, with hardly anyone seeing him, or causing him to be ashamed as he listens to his quiet preacher, who is constantly in his pulpit. The book is there speaking great things, without ever having transgressed the laws it teaches. It continually reasons without being contentious; if the reader sometimes happens to become angry with his preacher, his preacher is never angry in return; O, no, he is there waiting for his master to come to his senses, so that he can listen for himself another time. This is not all the distributor effects; but through his diligence and his faithfulness he assists the servants of his fellow countrymen to give more valuable teaching to the world, for without the faithful distributor, everything would be restrained, and many would die for want of knowledge. The distributor is like the organblower: although the organist plays skillfully, he must say that "WE" are producing the music, since he can do nothing without the blower. And if anyone asks why we use the "z#e" so often, tell him that the word contains the distributor also. Who will say, then, if we have our prize, that the distributor will not have his prize also? WE, the two of us, then, will ever be faithful, so that we will be fit in the end to receive our prize.
* We have received assurance that the Saints have sent the town crier with his bell through all the streets of Neath, with two of the Saints following after him, to proclaim that if there were any in the town who knew anything about the foregoing trick, for them to name the house where it is said to have taken place, and the names of the people who lived there; but despite all this proclaiming, no one would dare name the house, or name the persons! The Saints are praised by everyone for their determination to expose such shameful lies.—ED.
REVEREND SIR,—We saw recently a letter from you, to our brother John Pugh, from Aberdare, inviting him to come to debate with the "public voices" of the Saints in Wales, about the main principles of our religion. You say you will be pleased to take part in a public debate, in order to bring out the deceit and hypocrisy of the Latter-day Saints, if the debate is held on fair and reasonable grounds; and in order to have a fair and purposeful debate, you say also that it is truly essential to have the basic principles of Mormonism, & c, clearly noted in an article. "We must," you say also, "have this article signed by the chief officials of the Mormons in Wales, so that there will be no reason for the debaters to thrash the air, and spend time uselessly in dealing with a 'pig in a poke,'" &c. All that is very fair; but we advised J. Pugh, when he came to us with your letter, to leave such a public debate alone, for it would only create ill feelings among people, and cause the light to be dimmer than ever before. The great debate of Rhymni comes to our memory, together with its consequences. We, in behalf of the chief leaders in Wales, wish to offer an amendment to your kind invitation; and instead of "thrashing the air" with our tongues, that we place our writing instruments in battle, which can be carried forth without the shedding of blood or the creating of hostilities. We offer our publication as a field for the battle, and we are willing to strike the first blow whenever it is suitable to begin, and then each one will strike his blow each month, so that neither will fall too abruptly. We have an article on the "Doctrine of Baptisms," in our last issue; and since that contains one of the topics you named, and one of the first principles that ought to be discussed, that can be the beginning of the battle between us, if you feel that is fair. And therefore, if you wish a "fair and public debate," and "on fair and reasonable grounds," and with those who are the "public voices" for the Saints, and with those who are willing to give directions (just send us a private letter) to inquire after their "good characters" among many friends from other denominations, so you will not need to soil your "clean clothes" as you deal with them—if you are in favor of a debate on those terms, we say, write your observations on the "Doctrine of Baptisms" in our last issue, but take care not to be too lengthy, and we commit in this public manner to place your answer in the next TRUMPET. If this is fair, we expect you to attack away; if it is unfair, we wish to know: but be advised, that we are not willing to debate with you except on paper only, and that "in the light of the sun and in broad daylight."
Yours respectfully and humbly,
Merthyr, April 17, 1849. THE EDITOR.
THE Rev. W. R. Davies, of Dowlais, has come to realize lately, that God has sent him to preach the gospel; and the way and manner he has come to know this is, because he bears the necessary characteristics required of God's servants, before they are suitable for the work of the ministry. Mr. Davies asserted from the pulpit, in the Elim Chapel, Penydarren, that a black coat and white napkin were not the characteristics of God's servants, and that these things were not yet sufficient; and, he said also, "The servants of God have proved their mission in every age; Elijah proved his mission on mount Carmel, Moses in Egypt, and so on; and no one can come to this pulpit either, without first proving that God has sent him; and the way he can prove this is by bringing a letter signed by the respected men of the church to which he belongs!" And thus, Mr. Davies proved that God sent him, because respected men in Pembrokeshire testified that he was a minister there before coming to Dowlais! Remarkable, is it not?
Dowlais. ALFRED CLARK.
[While teaching like this is appealing to us, we hope that every correspondent makes sure, at his peril, that he does not falsely portray the words of our respectable friends; and to avoid that, we shall expect every article to bear the proper name of its author, and we ourselves will give the T R U M P ET openly for a defense.—ED.]
THE Monmouthshire Conference was held in Nantyglo, on the 8th of April. After the President opened the meeting at half past ten, and after addressing the congregation, the branches were represented, 14 of them (without the two which were transferred to the East Wales Conference), containing 34 elders, 29 priests, 30 teachers, and 16 deacons; 191 baptized since the last conference; a total of 563. The increase since the last conference, 92. After that Eld. W. Phillips was called on to address the congregation, which he did in a lively and excellent speech; and after all the officials were sustained, the morning session was ended.
At two, after calling officials, and organizing two new branches, brother Phillips was called upon, who, among other things, urged the Saints throughout this conference, just as all others throughout Wales, to give a helping hand to that glorious work of building a temple to God in the valley of the mountains; and he wished for the presidents to see to that in every branch. Then remembrance of Jesus Christ was made, and the meeting came to an end. In the public meeting, at six, several of the brethren preached skillfully and effectively; and thus ended another quarterly gathering, in which was received much teaching that was of value to all.
THOMAS GILES, President,
DAVID JONES, Scribe.
On the 15th of April, the Glamorgan Conference was held, in the usual place in Merthyr. The first meeting was opened at half past ten by the President; and soon the representation of the branches was called for, which were 29 in number, containing 90 elders, 98 priests, 86 teachers, and 38 deacons; baptized since the last conference, 306; a total of 2139, (without counting the emigrants). The increase since the 1st of January, is 233. Then the President showed the duty of all the officials to acknowledge their places, and for each one to refrain from being led by the devil to elevate himself, and from thinking that he is more suitable to preside than the one chosen; and conversely, that no president should consider himself too unworthy, and that others under his leadership are more suited for the task. Following this many officials were called, and brother Howells from Aberdare delivered a speech in English; and then the meeting was closed. After opening the meeting at two, it was decided to organize Bro Glamorgan into a Conference, under the name of the West Glamorgan Conference (containing the branches of Pontfaen, Drym, Cwmbychan, Llwyni, Bryn, Peel, Cyfyng, Wig, Alltwen, Ystradgynlais, Coedygarth, Neath, Swansea, and Treboeth); and that Thos. Pugh is to be President, with Hopkin Mathews and Evan Williams, Cwmbychan, as Counselors; and also that the Council is to be held in Neath. Then after receiving beneficial counsel, and partaking of the Lord's supper, the President placed the case of the temple in Zion before the Saints, urging them to contribute according to their ability to build it. It was decided that John Davis, printer, Merthyr, was to receive such collections from every conference throughout Wales, and to send them to President Orson Pratt. The President also drew the attention of all the presidents to that which was decided in the Council before the last Conference, namely that every branch was responsible to the conference presidents for all the books received by them, and in the same way the conferences are responsible to the publisher; and it was decided unanimously to proceed in this manner. Then after chosing J. Phillips, Pontypridd, as a Counselor to Wm. Phillips, in place of Thos. Pugh, the meeting was closed in the usual manner. At six, several brethren preached in Welsh and English, in Merthyr and Georgetown, to very large congregations; and thus ended the best conference anyone could remember.
W. PHILLIPS, President,
J. DAVIS, Scribe.
REVEALING MYSTERY.—In a Sunday school, in one of the chapels in Dowlais, lately, a verse was given to the scholars to explain, and the verse in question was, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." The scholars could not fathom the mystery, until the minister arrived, who when he arrived opened his mouth in wisdom, and revealed to them the mystery as follows:—"The queen has soldiers in this place, does she not?" "Yes," was the answer. "Consider that those are instructed to go to war, and are killed in the war; thus, through their meekness in responding to the command, they shall inherit the earth by being buried in it." This, said the reverend, is the meaning of the verse!—A. Clark.
WlT.—One of the Saints was bothered by a sectarian friend, who asked him frequently, "When are you going to Jerusalem?" Some time later, the friend, in a Christmas carol, said that she was "going to the town of Bethlehem;" then the Saint asked her to let him know when she was going, so he could have her company as far as Jerusalem.
A SEXTON AND A SAINT.—One of the Saints was willing to prove to a sexton the continuation of "apostles" in the church of Christ, on the condition that he prove the placement of "sextons" in it. The sexton retreated.
AMUSING.—A young girl said lately, that she would like tobe buried in the new cemetery, since it was prettier and more healthful than the old cemetery.
"A P R I L FOOL."—We are told, that the 4th verse of the tenth chapter of the book of Esther, refers to the beginning of this foolish tradition. It is better for everyone to look it up for himself, for our time is limited, and our Bible is not at hand.
If you see something cheap and good,
Take this advice,
That it is expensive at any price,
If you can do without it.
JOHN DAVIS, PRINTER, MERTHYR TYDFIL.