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THE BOOK OF MORMON.
When darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people; when no man did walk in the old paths, nor did search out the everlasting gospel; when the church of Christ, and the gifts which he left in it, could not be found; when men built up churches in the glory of the world; and when all flesh had become so corrupt, that a few more years might have left the cities of the world, like Sodom and Gomorrah, the Lord our Savior, saw fit in his great goodness, endless mercy, and infinite wisdom, to send an angel and signify unto man, that there was a sacred record to be unfolded in the eyes of all the nations, containing the fulness [fullness] of the gospel. It was the book of Mormon: An account written by the hand of Mormon, upon plates taken from the plates of Nephi. Wherefore it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi; and also of the Lamanites; written to the Lamanites, which are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile; written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation. Written, and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed; to come forth by the gift and power of God, unto the interpretation thereof; sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by the way of Gentile; the interpretation thereof by the gift of God.
An abridgment taken from the book of Ether, also, which is a record of the people of Jared, which were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people when they were building a tower to get to heaven: which is to shew [show] unto the house of Israel how great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever; and also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentiles that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations. And now if there be fault, it be the mistake of men; wherefore condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment seat of Christ;
This was welcome news to them that looked for the gathering of the righteous, in the last days. They, from a perusal of this book, aided by the Spirit of God, began to see eye to eye in some things, and to lift up their heads and rejoice.-But before the glorious and happy results of this book are set forth, it seems necessary to go back to the time it was brought forth. In the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty seven, the plates came forth from the hill Cumorah, which is in the county of Ontario, and state of New-York, by the power of God. In less than three years after, it was translated by the gift and power of God, and then published; and on the 6th of April, 1830, the church of Christ was organized, with six members. It may be just to remark, that this church was established by revelation, as the church of Christ always has been, since the world began, to be acknowledged by him. As in days of old, so now, the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom of God, were committed unto man, and, by a few commandments, in connexion [connection] with the book before us, the contrite and humble seeker of eternal life, had opened to the eyes of his understanding, that happy view, and bright reversion of latter day glory, which shows the nations gathering round the standard of the Lord, which was to be raised upon mount Zion, preparatory to his second coming. That vail which had been cast over the prophecies of the old Testament, or, at least, over the reading of many of them, since the day that Moses vailed [veiled] his face before the children of Israel, was removed by the plainness of the book of Mormon. The doubtful points of doctrine, in the bible, which left one sect to immerse for baptism; a second to sprinkle; a third to pour, and a fourth to do without either, were cleared up by the book of Mormon. That embarrassment under which thousands had labored for years, to learn how the saints would know where to gather, that all nations might come to Zion, with songs of everlasting joy, and prepare a house, that the Lord might suddenly come to his temple, so that the mountain of the Lord's house might be established in the top of the mountains, and be exalted above the hills, and the law go forth out of Zion, in the last days, was obviated by the book of Mormon. That wonderful conjecture, which left a blank as to the origin, or forefathers of the American Indians, was done away by the book of Mormon. To use the language of one of its opposers, it opened a flood of light and might justly be called a wonderful volume.
But as there are thousands yet to receive this good book, and learn the true points of the Savior's doctrine, it may be well enough to refer them to some of the allusions to it in the bible. In the 85th Psalm, David said, Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. All that have been blessed with the Spirit of God, when reading this book, for the sake of truth and salvation, can bear witness to the truth of this quotation. The 29th chapter of Isa. is still plainer and much of it has been fulfilled in the eyes of this generation. It reads:-Wo to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel. And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.-And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. Moreover, the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly. Thou shalt be visited by the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, the great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire. And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night-vision. It shall even be as when a hungry man dreameth, and behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and behold he drinketh; but he awaketh, and behold he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion. Stay yourselves and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: and the book is delivered unto him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.-Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent shall be hid. Wo unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, he made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, he had no understanding? Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest? And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the terrible one is brought to nought and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought. Therefore thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. But when he seeth his children, the work of my hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.
He that cannot see that the prophet, in this chapter, spoke of a book that should come out of the ground, would scarcely be convinced if a man should rise from the dead. In addition to the above, however, Isa. says, Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it. Ezek. also says: 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 all the house of Israel his companions: and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thy hand. The bible for the stick of Judah, and the book of Mormon for the stick of Joseph, in the hand of Ephraim, is all that need be said, upon these words, for no man ever pretended to know, (till the book of Mormon came,) any thing about the tribe of Joseph, or his history, notwithstanding God had declared by the mouth of Hosea, That he had written the great things of his law to Ephraim; and they are counted a strange thing. The ancient and modern practice of reading sticks, wants but little elucidation. The common school-boy ought to know, that anciently, they wrote on parchment for common use, and rolled it round a stick; and, latterly, newspapers are put into a stick for public utility.
But let us turn again to the book. The simplicity of the language, and the purity of the ideas, carry a holy spirit, as well as breathe an air of religion, that soothes the heart and feeds the soul of every son and daughter of God. Read the following:-And I beheld a rod of iron; and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree by which I stood. And I also beheld a straight and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron, even to the tree by which I stood; and it also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field, as if it had been a world; and I saw numberless concourses of people; many of whom were pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led unto the tree by which I stood.
And it came to pass that they did come forth, and commence in the paths which led to the tree. And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceeding great mist of darkness, insomuch that they which had commenced in the path, did lose their way, that they wandered off, and were lost.
And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward; and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree. And after that they had partaken of the fruit of the tree, they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed. And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a
great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth; and it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceeding fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those which had come at, and were partaking of the fruit. And after that they had tasted of the fruit, they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths, and were lost.
And now I, Nephi, do not speak all the words of my father. But, to be short in writing; Behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down, and partook of the fruit of the tree. And he also saw other multitudes, feeling their way towards that great and spacious building.
And it came to pass that many were drowned in the depths of the fountain; and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads. And great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building. And after that they did enter into that building, they did point the finger of scorn at me, and those who were partaking of the fruit also; but we heeded them not.
Again, that perfect accordance with the wisdom of God, after he had said, while manifesting himself to his people, in the flesh, at Jerusalem, Other sheep have I that are not of this fold, and they shall hear my voice; that he should minister to the Nephites, on this continent, is such heavenly evidence of the divinity & propriety of the book of Mormon, that all doubts, cavils, surmises, and even worldly reasons, which have been brought against its purity, shrink into little nothings.-Says Jesus my sheep know my voice. Now read:-And now it came to pass that when Jesus had ended these sayings, he cast his eyes round about on the multitude, and saith unto them, Behold, ye have heard the things which I have taught before I ascended to my Father; therefore whoso remembereth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, him will I raise up at the last day. And it came to pass that when Jesus had said these words, he perceived that there were some among them which marveled, and wondered that he would concerning the law of Moses: for they understood not the saying, That old things had passed away, and that all things had become new. And he saith unto them, Marvel not that I said unto you, that old things had passed away, and that all things had become new. Behold I say unto you, That the law is fulfilled that was given unto Moses. Behold, I am he that gave the law, and I am he which covenanted with my people Israel; therefore, the law in me is fulfilled; for I have come to fulfil [fulfill] the law; therefore, it hath an end. Behold, I do not destroy the prophets: for as many as have not been fulfilled in me, verily, I say unto you, shall all be fulfilled. And because I said unto you, That old things had passed away, I do not destroy that which hath been spoken concerning things which is to come. For behold, the covenant which I have made with my people, is not all fulfilled; but the law which was given unto Moses, hath an end in me. Behold I am the law, and the light: Look unto me, and endure to the end and ye shall live: for unto him that endureth to the end, will I give eternal life. Behold, I have given unto you the commandments; therefore keep my commandments. And this is the law and the prophets: for they truly testified of me.
And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he said unto those twelve whom he had chosen, Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, which are a remnant of the house of Joseph. And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you. And not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem; neither at any time hath the Father given me commandment, that I should tell unto them concerning the other tribes of the house of Israel, which the Father hath led away out of the land. This much did the Father command me, That I should tell unto them, that 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, and one Shepherd. And now because of stiffneckedness and unbelief, they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them. But verily, I say unto you, that the Father hath commanded me, and I tell it unto you, that ye were separated from among them because of their iniquity. Therefore it is because of their iniquity, that they know not of you. And verily, I say unto you again, that the other tribes hath the Father separated from them; and it is because of their iniquity, that they know not of them. And verily, I say unto you, that ye are they of which I said, 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, and one Shepherd. And they understood me not, for they supposed it had been the Gentiles: for they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching; and they understood me not that I said they shall hear my voice; and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice; that I should not manifest myself unto them, save it were by the Holy Ghost. But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among them which the Father hath given me. And verily, verily, I say unto you, That I have other sheep, which are not of this land; neither of the land of Jerusalem; neither in any parts of that land round about, whither I have been to minister. For they of which I speak, are they which have not as yet heard my voice; neither have I at any time manifested myself unto them. But I have received a commandment of the Father, That I shall go unto them, and that they shall hear my voice, and shall be numbered among my sheep, that there may be one fold, and one Shepherd; therefore I go to shew [show] myself unto them. And I command you that ye shall write these sayings, after that I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they which have seen me, which have been with me, and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes which they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write, shall be kept, and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles, that through the fulness [fullness] of the Gentiles, the remnant of their seed which shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth, because of their unbelief, may be brought in, or may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer. And then will I gather them in from the four quarters of the earth; and then will I fulfil [fulfill] the covenant which the Father hath made unto all the people of the house of Israel. And blessed are the Gentiles because of their belief in me, in and of the Holy Ghost, which witness unto them of me and of the Father. Behold, because of their belief in me, saith the Father, and because of the unbelief of you, O house of Israel, in the latter day shall the truth come unto the Gentiles, that the fulness [fullness] of these things shall be made known unto them. But Wo, saith the Father, unto the unbelieving of the Gentiles: for notwithstanding that they have come forth upon the face of this land, and have scattered my people, which are of the house of Israel; and my people which are of the house of Israel, have been cast out from among them, & have been trodden under feet by them; and because of the mercies of the Father unto the Gentiles, and also the judgments of the Father upon my people, which are of the house of Israel, verily, verily, I say unto you, That after all this, and I have caused my people which are of the house of Israel, to be smitten, and to be afflicted, and to be slain, and to be cast out from among them, and to become hated by them, and to become a hiss and a by-word among them. And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you. At that day, when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness [fullness] of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all these things, and shall reject the fulness [fullness] of my gospel, behold saith the Father, I will bring the fulness [fullness] of my gospel from among them; and then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them; and I will shew [show] unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you, but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness [fullness] of my gospel. But if the Gentiles will repent, and turn unto me, saith the Father, behold, they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel; and I will not suffer my people, which are of the house of Israel, to go through among them, and tread them down, saith the Father. But if they will not turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, I will suffer them, yea, I will suffer my people, O house of Israel, that they shall go through among them, and shall tread them down, and they shall be as salt that hath lost his savor, which is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, & to be trodden under foot of my people, O house of Israel. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Thus hath the Father commanded me, that I should give unto this people this land for their inheritance. And when the words of the prophet Isaiah shall be fulfilled, which saith, Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations: and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God.
The word of the Lord carries its own evidence with it. In vain have men attempted to counterfeit it. They may compass the earth with their knowledge, and look through the regions of space by their inventions, but death teaches them their frailty, and time covers their glory. The book of Mormon, as a revelation from God, possesses some advantage over the old scripture: it has not been tinctured by the wisdom of man, with here and there an Italic word to supply deficiencies.-It was translated by the gift and power of God, by an unlearned man, through the aid of a pair of Interpreters, or spectacles-(known, perhaps, in ancient days as Teraphim, or Urim and Thummim) and while it unfolds the history of the first inhabitants that settled this continent, it, at the same time, brings a oneness to scripture, like the days of the apostles; and opens and explains the prophecies, that a child may understand the meaning of many of them; and shows how the Lord will gather his saints, even the children of Israel, that have been scattered over the face of the earth, more than two thousand years, in these last days, to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the mount Zion.
It may be well to state, that the prophet of God, in ancient days, according to the accounts of men, kept their sacred records on plates of gold, and those of less consequence on plates of brass, copper, wood, &c., see Jahn's biblical archeology, Josephus, and others. These plates were generally made from the sixteenth to the thirty second part of an inch thick (of metal) and something like six by eight inches square, and fastened at the back with three rings through which a rod was put to carry them, or hang them. The word of the Lord, the history of the doings of the children of God, and their genealogy was engraved in a nice workmanlike manner, upon them, in Hebrew, reformed Egyptian, &c. Such was the condition of the plates, from which came the book of Mormon. As may be seen by an allusion in the book of Ether, all that was on them is not translated; wherefore, as they are sacred, when the Book of Mormon was translated from them, they were again hid up to the Lord, to come forth again in his own due time. The Ark of the covenant containing the sacred stone tables, was hid up to the Lord, in the cave where Moses climbed up to view the heritage of God, and was not to come forth till God received his people again unto mercy, when all these things and the cloud shall return, and the glory of God shall rest upon his temple. The present generation is great with events.
The people of God ought to lift up their hearts and rejoice that they live in this
age; that they have been permitted through the mercy of the Lord, to have a foreknowledge of what is about to happen on earth; and that they, if faithful, whether in life or in death, will come forth in the first resurrection, and always be with the Lord. O that the world would learn wisdom and reflect, that no man can be too good to be saved! That no people ever had too much revelation to make them happy!
The object of the book of Mormon, is the salvation of men, being good tidings, the fulness [fullness] of the gospel, and manifesting the new covenant, that Israel may be gathered, and as many of all nations as will, that there may be one fold and one Shepherd. Its examples are pure; its precepts simple, and its encouragement happiness to all that love God and keep his commandments. It was not written to swell the fame of an emperor, nor published to prove the heirship of a prince, but it came to man, as the voice of God, for the living to hear from the dead. Like the gospel of the Savior, it was not proclaimed to the world by the authority of the government; nor was it received as a revelation from God, by the wise and the learned; the rich and the noble: but the poor accepted of it, and while they would, that it might go to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, they began to rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
Although many have attempted to ridicule the word of God, yet no man has been able to speak out of the whirlwind and palm his word upon the righteous as a revelation. When the ingenuity of man has invented a novel, the rich and the noble; the wise and the prudent; the strong and the weak; the minister and the churchman; yea, the king and the infidel, are ready to laud it to the clouds, though every page is fiction and every line a lie. O blindness to goodness! When a revelation from God comes, the same persons are afraid of deception, and cry, beware of delusion! We again say, O blindness to goodness!!
When the Savior came to the Jews, they were so wise in their own wisdom, and so eager for the glory of the world, and for power, that, with the inspired words of the prophets, to guide them to all truth, they did not know their Lord; and though they could have furnished beds to lodge a nation, the Son of God was laid in a manger! So when the book of Mormon had come, containing the fulness [fullness] of the gospel, to complete the salvation of man for the Lord's rest, even his fulness [fullness] and glory; had come to call home the children of Israel from their long dispersion, to join the feast which is preparing for the righteous; had come to warn the inhabitants of the earth of judgments to come; had come to prepare the way for the second coming of the Savior, that he might meet his elect at the resurrection, and live with them in the flesh on earth, a thousand years; yea, when this book had come by the gift and power of God, that man might be brought back into the presence of his Maker, when he brought again Zion, men, poor weak men, instead of learning wisdom from the experience of eighteen hundred years, and shunning the gulf of imprudence, into which the Jews fell, echoed the folly of bigots-Blasphemy! Blasphemy!!
By the book of Mormon was made known, that Zion, even the New Jerusalem, where all nations should come up to the house of the Lord, to worship the God of Jacob, in the last days, should be built on this continent; and thanks to him who rules all things after the counsel of his own will, and whose words never fail, the people of the United States, are already witnesses of the fulfilling of this prophecy, for they daily behold the children of God, gathering into his kingdom, ready to meet the Lord when he comes in his glory. The Savior said while ministering to the Nephites, that when the remnant of Joseph began to know that they were the covenant people of the Lord, the work had begun among all nations, and when we see Indians gathered home by the government, we must exclaim; the hand of the Lord is too plain in all this, not to be noticed, and the agitation of the whole globe is too evident, not to cause wonder. While the rumors of war, and war, shake one kingdom to the centre [center], the pestilence and its horrors spread despair and death in another. All flesh is grass, and when the meek and the humble wish to be saved, and learn the will of the Lord, whiel [while] they look upon the events, convulsions, and signs of the times, witnessing in a language which he that runs may read, that the end is nigh at hand, even at the doors, they are ready to come out of Babylon and shun her plagues.
Men generally believe upon testimony, and the rule is good. Now, as to the evidence of the truth of the bible, we have no eye witnesses to prove it, for they have been dead many hundred years, and the fashion of saying you believe it is true, because your father said so, will not amount to proof, but the testimony of the Spirit of God, is, that it is true. The book of Mormon, besides the evidence of the Holy Spirit, showing that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, has the living witnesses to bear testimony that it is true:-
THE TESTIMONY OF THREE WITNESSES.
Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, unto whom this work shall come, that we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, his brethren, and also of the people of Jared, which came from the tower, of which hath been spoken; and we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety, that the work is true.-And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are on the plates; and they have been shewn [shown] unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true; and it is marvelous in our eyes: Nevertheless the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless at the judgment seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God: Amen.
AND ALSO THE TESTIMONY OF EIGHT WITNESSES.
Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come, that Joseph Smith Jr. the Author and Proprietor of this work, has shewn [shown] unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated, we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shewn [shown] unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety, that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen: and we lie not, God bearing witness of it.
CHRISTIAN WHITMER, HIRAM PAGE,
JACOB WHITMER, JOSEPH SMITH, SEN.,
PETER WHITMER, JR., HYRUM SMITH,
JOHN WHITMER, SAMUEL H. SMITH.
So much for the benefit of enquirers [inquirers] in the world. To the church that knows for a surety, that this book has come forth, in these last days, as a light to them that sat in darkness, by the good will of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, we say: Fear not little flock, for it was the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Stand fast in the faith that has been delivered to you in these last days, and while the servants of the living God are preaching the everlasting gospel to the inhabitants of the world, and are gathering sons and daughters to Zion, keep the commandments and learn the peaceable things of the kingdom, that, as wise virgins, when the Lord comes to the supper, yea, the feast of fat things, prepared for the righteous, your lamps may be trimed [trimmed] and burning, and you ready to meet him. Remember your first love for the glory that will soon be revealed, was kindled into a sacred flame, by the good tidings contained in the book of Mormon. Remember, that the vail of darkness which still envelopes the minds of thousands in the world, was taken away from you, when, by the book of Mormon, you learned, that the Lord was about building up Zion again on the earth, as an everlasting home for the righteous.
Well may you lift up your hearts and rejoice; of all the beings beneath the Celestial kingdom, you are the most blessed! While the judgments of God, are poured out upon the wicked; yea, while the pestilence sweeps them away, as a mighty wind drives the clouds from your sight, if you love the Lord and keep his commandments, you shall be safe in mount Zion. While the treasures of snow and hail are opened, and sent forth upon the ungodly, if you love the Lord and keep his commandments, you shall be safe in mount Zion. While the mountains flow down at his presence, and every valley is exalted, and the mighty ocean rolls back to its ancient habitation, if you love the Lord and keep his commandments, you shall be safe in mount Zion. And when the Lord has come in his glory, you shall lift up your voices and sing this new song of the Lord, saying:-
The Lord hath brought again Zion:
The Lord hath redeemed his people, Israel,
According to the election of grace,
Which was brought to pass by the faith,
And covenant of their fathers.
The Lord hath redeemed his people,
And satan is bound; and time is no longer:
The Lord hath gathered all things in one:
The Lord hath brought down Zion from above:
The Lord hath brought up Zion from beneath;
The earth hath travailed and brought forth her strength,
And truth is established in her bowels;
And the heavens hath smiled upon her;
And she is clothed with the glory of her God:
For he standeth in the midst of his people:
Glory, and honor, and power, and might, be ascribed to our God,
For he is full of mercy, justice, grace and truth,
And peace, for ever and ever; Amen.
When Moses climbed up to view the heritage of God, he lifted up his eyes westward. Isaiah says, So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. And by an article in our next No. It will be seen, that the Jews continue to pray to God upon the ruins of the west wall of Jerusalem:
SOME OF MORMON'S TEACHING.
Knowing that truth, goodness and glory are eternal, and desiring that the disciples may obtain one by the aid of the other till they come to the third through diligence, patience, long-suffering and faith to the end, we select a paragraph or two from the teachings of Mormon. Notwithstanding some may suppose that they can read the same things in the book of Mormon, still, to stir up the pure minds, by way of remembrance, that they may be mindful of the words of the prophets, and of the commandments, is pleasing in the sight of God, and needful to keep them growing in grace. When the extract that we are about to make has been read once, read it again, and so on till the Lord grants you a portion of his Spirit sufficient to write as well as Mormon.
The inhabitants of Zion are brought under condemnation for neglecting the book of Mormon, from which they not only received the new covenant, but the fulness [fullness] of the gospel. Has this been done for the sake of hunting mysteries in the prophecies? or has it come to pass by carelessness? O brethren, walk circumspectly before the Lord and bring fruits meet for repentance, that you pollute not the heritage of God. You cannot serve God and mammon; be good, for the just shall live by faith. But to the extract: And now I, Moroni, write a few of the words of my father Mormon, which he spake concerning faith, hope and charity: for after this manner did he speak unto the people, as he taught them in the synagogue which they had built for the place of worship. And now I, Mormon, speak unto you my beloved brethren; and it is by the grace of God, the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and his holy will, because of the gift of his calling unto me, that I am permitted to speak unto you at this time; wherefore I would speak unto you that are of the church, that are the peaceable followers of Christ, and that have obtained a sufficient hope, by which ye can enter into the rest of the Lord, from this time hence forth, until ye shall rest with him in heaven. And now my brethren, I judge these things of you because of your peaceable walk with the children of men: for I remember the word of God, which saith, By their works ye shall know them: for if their works be good, then they are good also. For behold, God hath said, A man being evil, cannot do that which is good: for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent, it profiteth him nothing. For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness. For behold, if a man being evil, giveth a gift, he doeth it grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God. And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man, if he shall pray, and not with real intent of heart; yea, and it profiteth him nothing: for God receiveth none such; wherefore, a man being evil, cannot do that which is good; neither will he give a good gift. For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore a man being a servant of the devil, cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ, he cannot be a servant of the devil. Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil, cometh of the devil: for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually. But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God. Wherefore take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil. For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night. For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that they may know good from evil; wherefore I shew [show] unto you the way to judge: for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge, it is of God; but whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil, for after this manner doth the devil work: for he persuadeth no man to do good, no not one; neither doeth his angels; neither do they which subject themselves unto him.
And now my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully: for with that same judgment which ye judge, ye shall also be judged. Wherefore I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ. And now, my brethren, how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing? And now I come to that faith, of which I said I would speak; and I will tell you the way whereby ye may lay hold on every good thing. For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing. And God also declared unto prophets by his own mouth, that Christ should come. And behold there were divers ways that he did manifest things unto the children of men, which were good; and all things which are good, cometh of Christ, otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them. Wherefore, by the ministering of angels, and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God, men began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith, they did lay hold upon every good thing: and thus it was until the coming of Christ. And after that he came, men also were saved by faith in his name; and by faith they become the sons of God. And assuredly as Christ liveth, he spake these words unto our fathers, saying, Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, hath miracles ceased, because that Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath set down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men? for he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those that hath faith in him; and they that have faith in him, will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens. And Because that he hath done this, my beloved brethren, hath miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither hath angels ceased to minister unto the children of men. For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, shewing [showing] themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind, in every form of godliness. And the office of their ministry is, to call men unto repentance, and to fulfil [fulfill] and to do the work of the covenants of the Father which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him; and by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof: and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men. And Christ hath said, if ye will have faith in me, ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.-And he hath said, Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved.
And now my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will shew [show] unto you with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true; and if they are true, hath the day of miracles ceased? or hath angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? or hath he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? Behold I say unto you Nay, for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore if these things have ceased, wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain: for no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man: for they are as though there had been no redemption made. But behold, my beloved brethren, I judge better things of you, for I judge that ye have faith in Christ, because of your meekness: for if ye have not faith in him, then ye are not fit to be numbered among the people of his church. And again my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope? And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you, that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal; and this because of your faith in him according to the promise; wherefore, if a man have faith, he must needs have hope: for without faith there cannot be any hope.-And again: Behold I say unto you, that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart: if so, his faith and hope are vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly of heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost, that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity: for if he have not charity, he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity. And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things; wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail; but charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with them. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son Jesus Christ, that ye may become the sons of God, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him: for we shall see him as he is, that we may have this hope, that we may be purified even as he is pure: Amen.
THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM.
While we witness the gathering of the children of the kingdom, there is a joy flows through the heart, unknown to the world; a prospect before us, that the unbelieving will be strangers to, till, perhaps they are taken out of the world by the pestilential arrows of the Almighty. The time is near when the Savior will appear in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory, and we rejoice to see his sons and daughters brought home, by his power, where parting will be no more, if they remain faithful. The day has come when a great light has burst upon the understanding of them that sat in darkness, and we thank the Lord, that he is opening eyes to behold it, and unstopping ears to hear it; for verily, it is the news of salvation, opening the mysteries of eternity.
It is not long since we gave the number, that had come up to Zion since the gathering commenced, and we need not, in this article, give the information again, but suffice it to say, that the work goes on, and from our knowledge of the subject, it will continue to do so, and even increase till the Lord has made a short work of it. There is a day of reckoning at hand, and a time of glory near; yea, truly this generation shall not pass away till the Lord's house shall be built in mount Zion, and the cloud of his glory shall rest upon it. Let the inhabitants of the earth remember, that the word of the Lord, of old was, that, out of Zion should go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem, in the last days.
THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR.
LET EVERY MAN LEARN HIS DUTY.
Every man ought to know his duty to God and man; especially the saint that has the benefit of revelation to guide him: he ought to know his duty, not only to say, but to do in all things. He ought to practice holiness before the Lord, that he may be counted worthy of an inheritance in Zion, and meet his Savior in peace.
Every soul that comes up to Zion for an inheritance, for the present, must prepare temporally and spiritually. He should settle all his concerns with the world, and owe no man: he should overcome the world, and be ready, when he arrives at the place of gathering, to consecrate all to the Lord, through whom the Lord has appointed for that purpose, that he may be prepared to keep the commandments, and do the will of his heavenly Father: otherwise he may not hold communion with the brethren: nor can he expect an inheritance, according to the regulations and order of the church.
While the gathering is sounded, that Israel may come in from his long dispersion, and also, as many of the Gentiles as will, the invitation is free, but unless the articles and covenants, the law and regulation; yea, verily all the commandments, are kept, all is vain. The Lord has order, and many that may come to the land of Zion, for an inheritance, without obeying all the requirements of the Lord, will be weighed in the balances and found wanting. It is not every one that says Lord, Lord, that shall abide the day of tithing. Every soul that is saved in the celestial kingdom, will be saved by its own faith and works: therefore, how necessary it is, that the saints should keep all the commandments, that others seeing a good example, may go and do likewise. If any should ask what is my duty? Let him read: To love the Lord supremely: To love his neighbor as himself: To consecrate all to the Lord: To be faithful to the end, and, above all, to have charity. A saint must be holy, or he cannot have a portion in the holy city.
Again: Let all things be in order. Let every one that quits the world for the sake of eternal life, act consistent in every thing: by obeying the commandments; by paying his just debts; by taking care of his property, if any, if not, by assisting others to do so: not hurrying up to Zion with some and leaving some to whet the appetite of an over anxious world. The Lord is never in a hurry, but gives every thing its proper proportion of time. Be cleanly; no matter what condition yours may be, cleanliness is a virtue, that will be required in Zion. Heaven shines with glory, and the Lord clothes his angels with WHITE ROBES: How necessary, then, that his saints should be decent.
In relation to consecrating, and continuing worthy, and faithful to the end, we make the following extract of a letter:-
It is the duty of the Lord's clerk, whom he has appointed, to keep a history, and a general church record of all things, that transpire in Zion, and of all those who consecrate properties and receive inheritances, legally from the bishop; and also, their manner of life, and their faith and works: and also, of all the apostates, who apostatize after receiving their inheritance.
It is contrary to the will and commandment of God, that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration, agreeable to his law, which he has given, that he may tithe his people to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God; neither is their genealogy to be kept, or to be had where it may be found on any of the records, or histories of the Church: their names shall not be found, neither the names of their fathers, or the names of their children, written in the book of the law of God, saith the Lord of Hosts; yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things: and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying:-And it shall come to pass, that I the Lord God will send one mighty and strong, holding the sceptre [scepter] of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words, while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritance of the saints, whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God: while that man who was called of God, and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning; and all they who are not found written in the book of remembrance, shall find none inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. These things I say not of myself, therefore, as the Lord speaketh he will also fulfil [fulfill].
And they who are of the High Priesthood, whose names are not found written in the book of the law, or that are found to have apostatized, or to have been cut off out of the church, as well as the lesser Priesthood; or the members, in that day, shall not find an inheritance among the saints of the most High: therefore, it shall be done unto them as unto the children of the priests, as it is written in the second chapter, and 61st and 62nd verses of Ezra: And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai: which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name: These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
REVELATION GIVEN, JANUARY 1831.
Thus saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, the Great I AM, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the same which looked upon the wide expanse of eternity, and all the seraphic hosts of heaven, before the world was made, the same which knoweth all things, for all things are present before mine eyes:
I am the same which spake and the world was made, and all things came by me: I am the same which hath taken the Zion of Enoch into mine own bosom:
And verily I say, even as many as have believed on my name, for I am Christ, and in mine own name, by the virtue of the blood which I have spilt, have I plead before the Father for them:
But behold the residue of the wicked have I kept in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day, which shall come at the end of the earth, and even so will I cause the wicked to be kept, that will not hear my voice but harden their hearts, and wo, wo, wo is their doom.
But behold, verily, verily I say unto you, that mine eyes are upon you; I am in your midst and ye cannot see me, but the day soon cometh that ye shall see me and know that I am, for the vail of darkness shall soon be rent, and he that is not purified shall not abide the day: wherefore, gird up your loins and be prepared.
Behold the kingdom is yours and the enemy shall not overcome.
Verily I say unto you, that ye are clean but not all; and there is none else with whom I am well pleased, for all flesh is corruptible before me, and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the host of heaven, which causeth silence to reign, and all eternity is pained, and the angels are waiting the great command, to reap down the earth, to gather the tares that they may be burned:
And behold the enemy is combined.
And now I show unto you a mystery, a thing which is had in secret chambers, to bring to pass even your destruction, in process of time, and ye knew it not, but now I tell it unto you, and ye are blessed, not because of your iniquity, neither your hearts of unbelief, for verily some of you are guilty before me; but I will be merciful unto your weakness.
Therefore, be ye strong from henceforth; fear not, for the kingdom is yours; and for your salvation I give unto you a commandment, for I have heard your prayers, and the poor have complained before me, and the rich have I made, and all flesh is mine, and I am no respecter to persons.
And I have made the earth rich, and behold it is my footstool: wherefore, again I will stand upon it: and I hold forth and deign to give unto you greater riches, even a land of promise; a land flowing with milk and honey, upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord cometh, and I will give it unto you for the land of your inheritance, if you seek it with all your hearts:
And this shall be my covenant with you, ye shall have it for the land of your inheritance, and for the inheritance of your children forever, while the earth shall stand, and ye shall possess it again in eternity, no more to pass away: but verily I say unto you, that in time ye shall have no king nor ruler, for I will be your King and watch over you:
Wherefore, hear my voice and follow me, and you shall be a free people, and ye shall have no laws but my laws, for I am your Law-giver, and what can stay my hand.
But verily I say unto you, teach one another according to the office wherewith I have appointed you, and let every man esteem his brother as himself, and practice virtue and holiness before me.
And again I say unto you, let every man esteem his brother as himself: for what man among you, having twelve sons, and is no respecter to them, and they serve him obediently, and he saith unto the one, be thou clothed in robes and sit thou here; and to the other, be thou clothed in rags and sit thou there, and looketh upon his sons and saith I am just.
Behold, this I have given unto you a parable, and it is even as I am, I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one, ye are not mine.
And again I say unto you, that the enemy in the secret chambers, seeketh your lives: ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say in your hearts there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of them in your own land: I tell you these things because of your prayers:
Wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you, by their wickedness in a manner, which shall speak in your ears, with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth: but if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.
And that ye might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people without spot and blameless:
Wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment, that ye should go to the Ohio; and there I will give unto you my law & there you shall be endowed with power from on high, and from thence, whomsoever I will shall go forth among all nations, and it shall be told them what they shall do, for I have a great work laid up in store:
For Israel shall be saved, and I will lead them whithersoever I will, and no power shall stay my hand.
And now I give unto the church in these parts, a commandment, that certain men among them shall be appointed, and they shall be appointed by the voice of the church; and they shall look to the poor and the needy, and administer to their relief, that they shall not suffer; and send them forth to the place which I have commanded them; and this shall be their work, to govern the affairs of the property of this church.
And they that have farms, that cannot be sold, let them be left or rented as seemeth them good.
See that all things are preserved, and when men are endowed with power from on high, and are sent forth, all these thing shall be gathered unto the bosom of the church.
And if ye seek the riches which it is the will of the Father to give unto you, you shall be the richest of all people, for ye shall have the riches of eternity: And it must needs be that the riches of the earth is mine to give:
But beware of pride lest ye become as the Nephites of old.
And again: I say unto you, I give unto you a commandment, that every man both elder, priest, teacher and also member, go to with his might, with the labor of his hands, to prepare and accomplish these things, which I have commanded.
And let your preaching be the warning voice, every man to his neighbor, in mildness and in meekness.
And go ye out from among the wicked. Save yourselves.
Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. Even so: Amen.
ITEMS IN ADDITION TO THE LAWS FOR THE GOVERNMENT
OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST, GIVEN APRIL, 1832.
Verily thus saith the Lord, in addition to the laws of the church, concerning women and children, who belong to the church, who have lost their husbands, or fathers:
Women have claim on their husbands until they are taken, and, if they are not found transgressors, they remain upon their inheritances:
All children have claim upon their parents until they are of age, and after that they have claim upon the church, or in other words, the Lord's storehouse for inheritances.
The United States continue to buy the land of Joseph, and become nursing fathers unto his children. The Globe in speaking of the treaty of peace with the Indians, states, "That the land acquired by government from the Winnebagoes contains about 4,600,000 acres, and is represented to be of excellent soil, well watered, and abounding in inducements for agriculturists to purchase and cultivate.
Advices have been received of the formation of another treaty with the Sacs and Foxes. By this compact the United States acquire about 600,000,000 acres, of a quality not inferior to any between the same parallels of latitude. It is known to abound in lead, and the Indians say in other ores.
For the tract ceded, the United States agree to pay an annuity of twenty thousand dollars for thirty years, to support a black smith and gun-smith in addition to those now employed, to pay the debts of the tribes, to supply provisions, and, as a reward for the fidelity of Ke-o-kuk and the friendly band, to allow a reservation to be made for them of 400 miles square on the Ioway [Iowa] river, to include Ke-o-kuk's principal village.
Black Hawk and his two sons, the Prophet, Napope and five others, principal warriors of the hostile bands, are to be retained as hostages, during the pleasure of the President. All the other prisoners have been delivered up to the friendly Sacs and Foxes."
What a beauty it is to see the prophecies fulfilling so exactly. Nephi says:
Nevertheless, after that they have been nursed by the Gentiles, and the Lord hath lifted up his hand upon the Gentiles, and set them up for a standard, and their children shall be carried in their arms and their daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders: behold these things of which are spoken are temporal:
For thus is the covenants of the Lord with our fathers; and it meaneth us in the days to come, and also all our brethren which are of the house of Israel.
And it meaneth that the time cometh that after all the house of Israel have been scattered and confounded, that the Lord God will raise up a mighty nation among the Gentiles: yea, even upon the face of this land; and by them shall our seed be scattered.
And after that our seed is scattered, the Lord God will proceed to do a marvelous work among the Gentiles, which shall be of great worth unto our seed:
Wherefore, it is likened unto the being nourished by the Gentiles, and being carried in their arms, and upon their shoulders.
And it shall also be of worth unto the Gentiles; and not only unto the Gentiles, but unto all the house of Israel, unto the making known of the covenants of the Father of heaven, unto Abraham, saying, In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
And I would my brethren that ye should know, that all the kindreds of the earth cannot be blessed, unless he shall make bare his arm in the eyes of the nations.
Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto they which are of the house of Israel.
Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance, and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness, and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the mighty one of Israel.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES.
Signs and appearances are such, that even the most unbelieving dread coming events; and no wonder, for when the Lord comes out of his place to rebuke the nations, all hearts are faint, and all knees do tremble. Every man has a right to do as he pleases, being an agent to himself, but we ardently hope, while such important signs, and extraordinary commotions, as:-
The Cholera spreading over the whole earth;
The plague breaking out in India;
The Revolutions of Europe;
The dissolution of South Carolina from the Union;
The gathering of the saints to Zion, and
The assembling of the Jews at Jerusalem,
are passing in rapid succession, that some will turn to God and live. Such strange movements of men; such dreadful sickness; oh! such fearful looking for the wrath of God to be poured out upon this generation, together with the evidence of Holy writ, ought to convince every man in the world, that the end is near; that the harvest is ripe, and that the angels are reaping down the earth!
It is certainly a day of dilemmas: The political party that has just been crowned with victory, shudders at the prospect before it. Horror, with all its fearful gloom slackens in one place, and commotion, or rebellion, with all its crimson warnings, reddens in another, showing, if ever there was a time when the sword of the Lord hung by a single hair, over the heads of them that have seated themselves round the feast table, it is now. The man that undertakes to run FROM the pestilence, runs to danger: and he that would leave Europe because her kingdoms are crumbling to pieces, to come to America, beholds the links in the chain of Freedom break, as the new ropes in the hands of Sampson: and he looks, but looks in vain for peace, for the hour is nigh, when it shall be taken from the earth. In the east there is trouble; in the west there is fear; in the north there is no peace, and in the south there is consternation. Well may we exclaim, all things must change: but virtue shall endure forever.
THE BOOK OF ESTHER.
In the remainder of the book of Esther, which the ancient men of the world, put down as doubtful, may be found the following:
The Mardocheus said, God hath done these things.
For I remember a dream which I saw concerning these matters, and nothing thereof hath failed.
A little fountain became a river, and there was light, and the sun, and much water: this river is Esther, whom the king married, and made queen.
And the two dragons are I and Aman.
And the nations were those that were assembled to destroy the name of the Jew: and my nation is this Israel, which cried to God, and were saved: for the Lord hath saved his people, and the Lord hath delivered us from all those evils, and God hath wrought signs and great wonders, which have not been done among the Gentiles.
Therefore hath he made two lots, one for the people of God, and another for all the Gentiles.
And these two lots came at the hour, and time, and day of judgment, before God among all nations.
Many years have rolled away since the Morning Stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy; many years have fled since Enoch built up Zion, and the Lord took him and his city unto his own bosom; many years have passed away since the world was drowned for its wickedness; many years have been forgotten since Israel was scattered for transgressing the commandments of God; many years have vanished like a dream since the angel brought the good tidings, that the Son of God was born in the city of David, and many years have left the earth as they found it, since mankind knew the true way to holiness: But while creations have rolled on; while millions have come and gone from the earth; while seas have divided land from land; while cities have sunk, and mountains have tumbled up as standing monuments of their wickedness; yea, while the vanity of the world has flitted from generation to generation, without ever stopping to satisfy the ambition of one, or turning aside to draw a facsimile to gladden the curiosity of another, the word of the Lord has remained, as a never failing witness of its Eternal-Author.
We need not roll back the curtain of time, to view the rise and fall of kingdoms; to see the follies and vanities of departed generations; no; while men and things have passed, by the current of time, into another state, the word of the Lord remains to point the way to a better world; yea, it remains, to show the end of the ungodly, and, as saith Solomon, when they cast up the accounts of their sins, they shall come with fear: and their own iniquities shall convince them to their face.
Then shall the righteous man stand in great boldness before the face of such as have afflicted him, and made no account of his labors.
When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the strangeness of his salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for.
And they repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit shall say within themselves, This was he, whom we had sometimes in derision, and a proverb of reproach: We fools accounted his life madness, and his end to be without honor: How is he numbered among the children of God, and his lot is among the saints! Therefore have we erred from the way of truth, and the light of righteousness hath not shined unto us, and the Son of righteousness rose not upon us.
We wearied ourselves in the way of wickedness and destruction: yea, we have gone through deserts, where there lay no way: but as for the way of the Lord, we have not known it.
What hath pride profited us? or what good hath riches with our vaunting brought us? All those things are passed away like a shadow, and as a post they hasteth by; and as a ship that passeth over the waves of the water, which when it is gone by, the trace thereof cannot be found, neither the pathway of the keel in the waves; or as when a bird hath flown through the air, there is no token of her way to be found, but the light air being beaten with the stroke of her wings, and parted with the violent noise and motion of them, is passed through, and therein afterward no sign where she went is to be found: Or like as when an arrow is shot at a mark, it parteth the air, which immediately cometh together again, so that a man cannot know where it went through: Even so we in like manner, as soon as we were born began to draw to our end, and had no sign of virtue to shew [show]; but were consumed in our own wickedness.
For the hope of the ungodly is like dust that is blown away with the wind; like a thin froth that is driven away with the storm; like as the smoke which is dispersed here and there with a tempest, and passeth away as the remembrance of a guest that tarrieth but a day.
But the righteous live for evermore; their reward also is with the Lord, and the care of them is with the Most High.
Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom, and a beautiful crown from the Lord's hand: for with his right hand shall he cover them, and with his arm shall he protect them.
He shall take to him his jealousy for complete armor, and make the creature his weapon for the revenge of his enemies.
He shall put on righteousness as a breastplate, and true judgment instead of a helmet.
He shall take holiness for an invincible shield.
His severe wrath shall he sharpen for a sword, and the world shall fight with him against the unwise.
Then shall the right-aiming thunderbolts go abroad; and from the clouds, as from a well-drawn bow, shall they fly to the mark.
And hailstones full of wrath shall be cast as out of a stone-bow, and the water of the sea shall rage against them, and the floods shall cruelly drown them.
Yea, a mighty wind shall stand up against them, and like a storm shall blow them away: thus iniquity shall lay waste the whole earth, and ill-dealing shall overthrow the thrones of the mighty.
Hear therefore, O ye kings, and understand; learn, ye that be judges of the ends of the earth.
Give ear, ye that rule the people, and glory in the multitude of nations.
For power is given you of the Lord, and sovereignty from the Highest, who shall try your works, and search out your counsels.
Because, being ministers of his kingdom, ye have not judged right, nor kept the law, nor walked after the counsel of God, horribly and speedily shall he come upon you for a sharp judgment shall be to them that be in high places.
For mercy will soon pardon the meanest: but mighty men shall be mightily tormented.
For he which is Lord over all shall fear no man's person, neither shall he stand in awe of any man's greatness: for he hath made the small and great, and careth for all alike.
But a sore trial shall come upon the mighty.
Unto you therefore, O kings, do I speak, that ye may learn wisdom, and not fall away: for they that keep holiness holily, shall be judged holy: and they that have earned such things shall find what to answer.
But stop, and let us reflect, that although almost six thousand years have witnessed the mighty and many scenes which have happened or been acted on earth, few men, since Israel became a chosen nation of the Lord, have lived to see an hundred New-Years: and, that, from the signs of the times, and the convultions [convulsions]of nations, notwithstanding about one third of this century has already been numbered among departed years, very few, if any, in their present existence, will behold the New-Year of nine-teen hundred! The destroying angel is on the earth, scattering the pestilence where the Lord will, and as some of the inhabitants are swept away by this unseen power, the residue seem to harden their hearts and forget that now is the time when all flesh is grass: The Journal of Commerce thus sums up the amount of the cholera in New-York: "COST OF THE CHOLERA.-It appears from a report recently submitted to the Board of Assistant Aldermen, that the expense of the city government on account of the cholera, amounted to $100,000. But this is a small matter in comparison with the damage occasioned by the derangement and suspension of business, the quarantining of our vessels wherever they went, the expense of sickness and flight, and the host of other inconveniences to which the calamity gave rise. Leaving out of the account, all higher considerations, such as the loss of life and the sundering of earthly ties, an assessment of $1,000,000 upon our inhabitants, (perhaps we should say two million,) would have been a cheap purchase of exemption from the scourge.
It is surprising how soon the effects of this calamity disappear. The pecuniary sufferings is no longer visible-the 6400 persons deceased since the first of July are not missed by the public-the 3000 dram shops are again in full action-the Theaters, Distilleries, and other engines of destruction, are plied as warmly as ever.
This is the reign of error, and a day of trouble, and we caution the disciples of the blessed Savior, to be aware and not assert or write, things as truth without evidence, or a knowledge of their own. The present generation is very much given to lying, and, as a natural consequence, a lie will be believed and circulated by ten persons, where the truth can scarcely be heard by one. Good is seemingly, perished among all nations, and men's hearts fail them, while looking for those things which are about to take place on the earth. No man can calculate from last year's experience, and say, as it was in eighteen hundred and thirty-two, it will be in eighteen hundred and thirty-three: For the Lord is exerting the powers of heaven, and will, ere long, shake terribly the earth; yea, his arrows are shot to the ends of it, and all flesh will know, that he hath put forth his hand to rebuke the world for its pollutions, and abominations.
In proof of this the saints are gathering home to the land of Zion, that they may be ready to meet the Lord when he comes suddenly to his temple. And besides this, the Spirit of the Lord, as it were, works upon the great men of the earth, to hasten the work of the gathering, in its time. The President of the United States, in relation to the remnants of Joseph, thus speaks in his last Message: I am happy to inform you, that the wise and humane policy of transferring from the Eastern to the Western side of the Mississippi, the remnants of our aboriginal tribes, with their own consent and upon just terms, has been steadily pursued, and is approaching, I trust, its consummation. By reference to the report of the Secretary of War, and to the documents submitted with it, you will see the progress which has been made since your last session, in the arrangement of the various matters connected with our Indian relations. With one exception, every subject involving any question of conflicting jurisdiction, or of peculiar difficulty, has been happily disposed of, and the conviction evidently gains ground among the Indians, that their removal to the country assigned by the United States for their permanent residence, furnishes the only hope of their ultimate prosperity.
This is true, and we can only say, verily all things move to further the work of the Lord: and now to conclude, we can say as we did at the beginning, many years have rolled away, since the Morning Stars sang together, but few more shall pass, till the Sons of God will shout for joy! The Lord will come the second time: The Lord will bring again Zion! Let earth rejoice, and let all things, even the bells upon the horses, be HOLINESS TO THE LORD.
EXTRACT of a Letter from Brs P. Dustin, and C. Beebe dated Cole county, Mo. Dec. 11, 1832.
We have meetings daily, and the people have quite an inquiry into the plan to get knowledge of this great work. We have been provided for our daily support every where we go, as much so as if we were their relatives. We wonder and marvel how the heavenly Father inclines the hearts of the children of men, to feed us. Brethren, no one need fear, nor be afraid, to go out into the world, to reason out of the scriptures with the people, without money or script. We fare better thus far, without a cent than we did when we had plenty of money. We have been from house to house, and from neighborhood to neighborhood. * * * * * Give our love to all. Remember us in your prayers: Brothers, God is love! I do feel it.
LETTERS have been received, since our last, from Lexington, and 2 from Jefferson city Mo. from Kirtland Mills and Scipio, Ohio, and from Freedom, New-York.
Plague, Pestilence, Famine and the Sword,
IN THESE LAST DAYS!
The Lord has declared that calamities shall cover the mocker: and he has also said, There is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated, and who can doubt it, after reading the following?
From the Weekly Courier and New-York Enquirer.
THE PLAGUE IN INDIA.-By the last arrival from England, we learn that accounts had been received there of the prevalence of the Plague at Bushire, and that its ravages were of the most dreadful description. The disease had almost wholly depopulated the district, the deaths having amounted to from 150 to 200 a day. It commenced by great weakness, and the sufferers were then attacked with swelling in the groin, the armpits, and back, the pain arising from which was excessive, and continued until death put an end to their misery. At one time there were 2,000 bodies unburied in the public streets. The sufferers when attacked crowded to the mosques, where most of them died, and it was not until decomposition had commenced that they were buried. Men were hired at high wages to perform this duty, and at one time 100 persons were so employed. In most of the houses from one to four dead bodies were left unburied for some days. In the Residency Court, dead bodies were left exposed. Notwithstanding the existence of this dreadful state of thing, several thieves had pillaged the houses. The Residency had been broken open, and every thing valuable stolen. Whole families were swept off by the disease, and the utmost distress had prevailed.
The accounts from Bombay state that much alarm existed there lest the disease should be brought to that Presidency. One vessel had arrived from Bushire, in which 70 out of 120 persons on board died of the disease on the voyage.-The Governor of Bombay had issued an order, compelling all vessels arriving from the infected districts to perform a quarantine of 30 days, and then their discharge was to be dependent upon the report of a medical officer.
Mr. Daniel Prieur, Mayor of the City of New Orleans.
The undersigned Committee, appointed by the City Council to remain permanent during the dreadful malady that desolates our city, have the honor to inform you, that in consequence of reports made to them by diverse respectable men, on the situation of the Hospital kept by D. McFarlane, they repaired thither today, at half past one o'clock, when they visited all the rooms, which they found in the most disgusting state of uncleanliness: all the vases necessary to our natural wants, being filled up, and the patients having declared that for a long while, no care had been extended to them.
In several rooms of that building dead bodies were discovered, which had been for many days in a putrified [putrefied] state; from that room the Committee repaired to another one near the kitchen, where they discovered the dead body of a negro, whose horrid stench plainly told, it had been lying there for several days; that finally, the Committee entered another room opposite the kitchen, where every thing was in as bad a condition as the others; that in this room several bodies were seen of men who had been dead for many days; and, that in a bed, (horrible to tell!) they found a dying man lying on a dead body, in a perfect state of putrifaction [putrefaction].
The undersigned, members of said Committee, declare, that all they saw was so shocking that it cannot be described; that it would be most advisable to remove from that Hospital all patients that are still alive, and to beware lest the putrified [putrefied] corpses within its enclosure do not occasion pestilence in that quarter, and perhaps over the whole city.
November 7.-The Standing Committee have the honor to present the following additional report:-
In one of the apartments where many patients were to be seen, they discovered, under a bed, a dead body, half corroded, whose entrails lay on the floor. In a closet upon the gallery, there were two corpses, one of which was lying on the floor, and the other had his feet upon the floor and his back upon the bed, forming a curve, his legs were pressed up and his thighs were of a livid hue. Under a shed in a yard, was a dead body of a negro, off which a fowl was picking worms. The number of dead bodies amounted to twelve or fourteen.
E. A. BANON, Reporter.
CHARLES LEE, Ald. 1st Ward.
FELIX LABATUT, Ald. 2nd Ward.
From the Barbadoes Mercury, Oct. 20.
The following extract of a letter from Anguilla, we copy from the Antigua Free Press of the 27th Sept. The description given of the distress that has been suffered is truly affecting, and as the work of death is, according to the writer, suspended only for a while, by timely relief received, we trust those who have not yet contributed towards the assistance of the sufferers, will come forward and imitate the laudable example of their benevolent fellow colonists:-
"It is impossible for me to give you a correct view of the physical and moral destitution, wretchedness and misery of this degraded People. The famine is truly awful. The contracted muscles, shrivelled [shriveled] skins, and desparing [despairing] countenances of a great portion of the population are a most heart rending sight.
On every side we behold hungry mothers, with haggard countenances, and weary worn-out limbs, trembling under the weight of a beloved child, whose eyes are sunk deep in their sockets, its limbs parched and withered, and its face dried and wrinkled, as though it was bending beneath the weight of four score years! They carry them to the doors of those whose sufferings are not so great:-but alas! such is the general poverty, that few are able to relieve them.
It is an affecting sight, when a little food is given, to see the hunger bitten mother sit down on the ground, bathing her squalled child with tears, while she feeds it on the fruits of benevolence, and refuses herself a taste, till her tender charge is satisfied. Strangers who have heard of the famine, and who have visited us, have said, in my hearing, that the half was not told. For some time, from 2 to 12 a day have died of starvation; but the great liberality of St. Kitt's and Nevis has suspended, at least for a while, the work of death. The drought has been dreadful. There has not been a season of rain the last eighteen months, and this, with the consumate [consummate] idleness of many, is the principal cause of the famine."
AWFUL MORTALITY.-The British ship Sybella, Thornton, arrived yesterday from Rotterdam. She had on board at the time she left Holland, one hundred and thirty-two passengers, who received an addition of three, on the passage. These and no less than ninety-four others died before the vessel arrived here, for but thirty-eight of all the passengers who embarked in apparent health, reached their port of destination. They are now at the quarantine and in a most wretched condition. We have not been able to collect as yet further particulars. The above however, are sufficiently appalling.-[N. Y. Paper.]
CAPE DE VERD ISLANDS.-Capt. Britton, of the Brig Harp, at New York from the Coast of Africa, touched on his passage home at the Cape de Verd Islands, from whence he sailed but 30 days since. Capt. Britton corroborates to the fullest extent, the accounts which have already reached us of the distressed situation of the inhabitants of these Islands; they were actually in a state of starvation. Capt. Britton saw persons drop down and die in the streets from absolute want. Nor was there any appearance of relief near at hand.
LATEST FROM CANTON.-By the ship Providence, Capt. Bowers, the Editors of the Journal of Commerce have received a Canton paper of May 20, which contains the following paragraph.-
The rebellion on the frontiers of the adjoining provinces continues, and from the large bodies of troops which have left Canton, it would seem that the suppression of this revolt is no very easy matter. For some time the official reports of the progress of the Imperial arms, and the intention of the Government, have been kept quiet: at present, however, there is much stir among the officers; and it is reported that a force of several thousand men will leave Canton to-day for the seat of war, accompanied by his Excellency the Governor. A few days since, a fleet of large travelling [traveling] boats passed up the river, with a detachment of troops on board, destined to reinforce the army which is now engaged with the rebels.
REBELLION IN SOUTH CAROLINA.
In addition to the above tribulations, South Carolina has rebelled against the laws of the Untied States; held a state convention, and passed ordinances, the same as declaring herself an independent nation, and, more than all, "Resolved, That this Convention do recommend to the people of South Carolina the observance of Thursday the 31st day of January next, as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, on which they are invited to implore the blessings of Almighty God on the efforts that are made to restore liberty and happiness to our beloved State."
And General Jackson has ordered several companies of Artillery to Charleston, and issued a Proclamation, urging submission, and declaring such moves as that of S. Carolina TREASON. He closes thus: "May the Great Ruler of nations grant that the signal blessings with which he has favored ours, may not, by the madness of party or personal ambition, be disregarded and lost; and may His wise Providence bring those who have produced this crisis, to see their folly, before they feel the misery of civil strife; and inspire a returning veneration for that Union, which if, we dare to penetrate His designs, he has chosen as the only means of attaining the high destinies to which we may reasonably aspire."
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