Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter
FAITH OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN
THESE LAST DAYS. NO. II.
[Continued from our February, Number.]
If there is any understanding to the bible, or if it was ever intended to be of any use to man, it surely was designed that it should be understood by those to whom it was sent, and into whose hands it was put; and it must be so written as to be comprehended by the people not only of the age in which it was written, but all ages, or else it could be of no advantage; for as far as it is not understood, so far men are not profited by it. But in the present generation, there does not appear to be as much difficulty existing in understanding the bible, as there is an unwillingness to believe that which is easily understood. No man will endeavor to prove, (that is an honest man,) that the bible means different from what it says, unless he does not believe what it says; for if he believed what it said, he would never try to make himself or others believe that it meant any thing different. For instance, the prophet Isaiah says, chapter 40, and verse 31, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." But here the strongest nerved sectarians fail in belief; they cannot think that it is possible that any man can obtain this power; therefore, they try to persuade themselves that the prophet did not mean what he said, merely because they do not believe what he did say. If the men of this generation believed what the bible said, the gathering of Judah, and of Israel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, would be a matter of universal belief; but here lies the difficulty, this religious generation is like the Editor of the Millennial Harbinger, who never dare approach the Millennium, because he had some "misgivings" about the rules of the interpretation of prophecy which men had laid down for him; so is it with this unbelieving generation, the Editor of the Harbinger included; they have some "misgivings" about the truth of the declarations of the prophets, and they have fearful apprehensions that they will never take place, notwithstanding the prophets have said so in so many words; and through their unbelief they are driven to the necessity of throwing, as far as in them lies, a vail of darkness over these subjects, for disbelieving then: if they should let them stand uncovered, down must come the whole of their religion and bible together. And to avoid that fearful consequence, they have laid down rules for interpreting the sayings of the prophets; but in this there seems to be a great difficulty, for they cannot agree upon any certain rules, and so they leave the world in perfect darkness, not knowing whether the bible is true or false; and what interpretation we get from them is nearly resembling the "Delphic oracle," let what will take place, they construe the words of the prophets so as to make them mean that thing.
This modern way of disposing of the bible by sectarian infidels, is carried by some to a greater, and some to a less extent, according as their respective systems will admit; some have gone so far as to say that there never was really a deluge, nor was Sodom or Gomorrah burned, neither was the Red Sea divided, nor did a pillar of fire by night, or a pillar of a cloud by day, attend Israel in their march from Egypt to Palestine. The writer of this article once heard a man attempting to prove in a sermon, that the soldiers did not give the Savior vinegar and gall to drink when he was on the cross, but it meant that those who rejected his gospel, and treated lightly his salvation, were the persons who gave him vinegar and gall to drink; and all these things were to be spiritualized. Others have said, that the foregoing scriptures were doubtless to be understood literally, (we mean that portion whose creed did not render it necessary to spiritualize them,) but other passages which come in contact with their creed did not render it necessary to spiritualize them, but other passages which come in contact with their creed, though they are precisely like the former, are to be understood figuratively, or must be spiritualized. Take the following examples, which are so similar, that one would suppose that all who believe in one, could not fail to believe the other, and if one were literal the other must be also. Exodus, 14th chapter, 21 and 22 verses: "And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided, and the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon dry ground; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand and on their left." Isaiah, 11 chapter, 15 and 16 verses: "And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in its seven streams and make men go over dry shod. And there shall be a highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came out of the land of Egypt." What multitudes of would be saints there are, who lay hold of the former of these quotations as one of the strongest proofs of the truth and reality of their religion; but as to the latter one, there is a considerable of squeamishness, they do not know so well about that: that the Red Sea was divided is a matter of no doubt; but that it will ever be so again is rather a doubt; their nerves begin to slacken, the cords of their religion get weaker and weaker, and at last it comes out, Ah! it must be a figurative expression, it has a spiritual and not a literal meaning; for we do not believe there will ever be another Moses: if we admit that the prophet meant what he said, away goes our whole theory together; for doubtless then there must be miracles in the last days, and wonderful ones too. That part of the bible which gives the history of past events it matters not how miraculous it is; if it were a Jonah in the fish's belly, it is to be understood as it says literally; but that part which declares like things to come must be figurative, it must be spiritualized and not understood literally, though the thing to be accomplished, and the thing accomplished, is precisely the same. However this is not the case with all, for some believe that the past and to come, are all to be spiritualized.
We do not recollect of having seen a wholesale spiritualizer among sectarians; but some philosophers of both ancient and modern times come very near to it: If all related of Mr. Hume be correct he had nearly as many "misgivings" about his existence, as the Editor of the Harbinger has about the rules of interpreting prophecy: he appeared to be a wholesale spiritualizer; spiritualizing away his very existence, doubting, no doubt, whether the word existence meant what it said.
We have been told by some of the readers of the "Millennial Harbinger," that Mr. Campbell, some time since in one of the numbers of that paper, in speaking of one of the members of the church of Christ in the last days, said of him, that he had been getting wild for some time before he received the book of mormon: as he believed in the gathering of the ten or lost tribes of Israel. (We relate the substance of this as we heard it, for we have not seen it ourselves, never taking that paper at any time, and only having read occasional numbers of it.) But if Mr. Campbell's observations about him be correct, had he got just as wild as the prophet Isaiah had got before him, and in his wildness he had got into good company; for in the foregoing quotation from Isaiah, that is what the prophet said if he said any thing, that the ten, (or lost tribes as they are called,) should not only be gathered and return, but when they did return the Lord should utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea: and there shall be a highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, not Babylon. I would ask, Was the Assyrian captivity the captivity of the ten tribes? Yea, the ten tribes surely, and they are the ones before whom the Lord will yet utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and for them there is to be a highway, (that is in the waters, and the very same waters,) as was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt. Mr. Campbell must have great confidence in the ignorance of his stuped [stupid] followers, when he dare let such a sentence fall from his pen, particularly when they had the bible in their hands. But no doubt a good number of them are getting pretty well indoctrinated, that is, able to believe any thing their leader tells them, sense or no sense, scripture or not scripture.
There are none of the sects but use the bible in the same way, reformers and nonreformers are all one in this respect; for the bible is too large a pill for any of them to swallow. They can talk about its excellence and its good effects, but pin them down to believe it all, and you will soon find that they have to apply their rules of interpretation. To believe it means what it says, in their estimation is the wildest enthusiasm, and the worst of all impositions. Had Mr. Mc'Corcle been a believer in the bible he would not have entertained the readers of the Harbinger, (or rather insulted them,) with the foilies [follies] of his gospel heavens, where he supposed the sacred writers had fixed their imaginary sun, and moon, and stars; and then, after he got all their eyes fixed on the earth, stir them up to peep among kings and priests, to see the sun darkened, the moon turn to blood, and the stars of heaven fall. Indeed Mr. Mc'Corcle is indebted to the ignorance of the Editor of the "Harbinger," to get such nonsense laid before the public, and to the stupidity of the patrons of that paper, for not being laughed to scorn!
This whole spiritualizing and interpreting business, originated in unbelief: it was because men did not believe what the bible said, that caused them to spiritualize and interpret its meaning away; some for gain and some for honor. As the so called christian religion became popular, multitudes were induced to unite with the respective churches; and being destitute of the faith of the saints, or of "the faith once delivered to the saints," they could not believe the great things would every be accomplished which the prophets declared should take place; they had recourse to spiritualizing and interpreting, and persuading themselves and others that a great part of the bible did not mean what it said; and that the writers said one thing and meant another. So one pretended reformation followed after another; but all their reformations left the world, in relation to understanding the bible, in the same situation, all had need of spiritualizing. One sect had a part of the bible which they took literally, and another part which they spiritualized: another part spiritualize the part which that sect understood literally, and understand literally what they spiritualized: and so the world is moving on in darkness and ignorance, about the things for which they are willing to fight, (or many of them at least,) and if any man has courage sufficient to expose their wickedness, he must expect to bear their heaviest censures, and have all the evils heaped on his head that malice can invent.
After a great many reformations, which never bettered the circumstances of the world one particle, as far as religion was concerned, here comes Alexander Campbell and his reformation, which by the by is like all the rest, a mere difference of opinion; not agreeing with other sects in opinion is the whole matter at last, when it is closely scanned; for no sooner is his mind brought to examine the writings of the prophets, than poor man! he has such monstrous "misgivings" about the rules of interpretation that he has concluded to back out and hold his tongue.
There is so great a resemblance between all the religious sects of the day, that one who stands aloof from all of them is astonished why there should be so much strife and contention among them; for all the difference there is between them, consists in form
and opinion: as to their approach to the pure religion of the bible, they are all equal distance from it, one being no nearer than the other; and should there be a hundred other just such reformations as the past, still the world would be no better off than it now is-it would have the form of godliness, denying the power thereof. No one of the sects make any nearer approach to the power of godliness than an other, in this respect they are all alike, the degree of the Spirit of God which is among them, (if there is any of it,) is also about equal, depending on the honesty of individuals, and not on the correctness of any of their systems, or the righteousness of any of their teachers; for in this respect they are all alike. View them in what point of light you will, and there is so little to choose, that we know not why there are, or should be any contentions among them; the spirit of persecution seems to be about equally distributed, but in very large shares.
There is not in all christendom, or rather sectariandom, one church whose religious sentiments are such as to admit of their receiving the bible as it is; nor is there one of them founded on an understanding of it: they lay hold of some particular items of it, on which they found their religious theory, and on which they build their churches; but that part of the scripture which unfolds futurity to the mind of the saint of God, and apprizes [apprises] him of what is coming on the world in unborn time, and which roused the energies of the ancients, and about which they sang their choicest songs, and sounded their sweetest notes, is hid from the eyes of this sectarian generation-the voice of the prophets is not known among them, neither are their visions understood by them: the spirit of inspiration which familiarized eternity to the minds of the fathers of the faithful, they have it not: the faith with which the people of God in olden time held communion with him, and without which it is impossible to please him, by which they had power with God to make a howling wilderness become the house of God, and the gate of heaven, through the exercise of which they wrought righteousness, quenched the violence of fire, stopped the mouths of lions, put to flight the armies of the aliens, women received their dead children to life again, is unknown among them; and still, they are the saints of God, partakers with those men of the grace of life, heirs of the same glory, and sharers of the same crown! What will not come next?
It needs but very little reflection to see the great ignorance of the prevailing sects of the day; yea of all of them, even those who profess the greatest knowledge and are endeavoring to reform the rest: to be sure they promise much, but perform little, yes very little: they are in perfect ignorance of the times, seasons, and purposes of God in his economy with the world. They feel very confident that God will give no more revelations to the world, that he has filled up the full measure of information that he ever intended to give men till time shall end. And yet if they possessed one spark of discernment, they could see that unless God gave them more, it was useless to have given as much as he did; for they do not understand it, neither can they till they get more revelation to help them. Witness the queer position of Mr. Campbell and his Harbinger: he found some things, as he supposed, in the prophecies about the Millennium-he outs with his prospectus, changes his Baptist into Harbinger, informs the public that if he had done so much with the Baptist, when he spent only part of his time, what might be expected from the Harbinger with all his time and attention. So to work he goes, might and main; but with all his wisdom, the prophecies, where the Millennium was to be found if any where, would not open their treasures to his understanding-get into the hang of them he could not: there was something said about the Millennium there, but what it was he could not tell; and at last had to quit like the poor dutchman, who had nearly lost his mother tongue, and had not learned the English correctly: he got up and undertook to preach; but after trying in English a while found it would not do; he then tried it in Dutch; still he could not make it out: at last the poor fellow exclaimed, "pi sure, it is in, put I cannot ket it out." So with Mr. Campbell, there is something in the prophecies about the Millennium, but he cannot get it out.
TO BE CONTINUED.
[For the Star.]
Millenium. NO. IV.
The Millennium is that important period in the economy of God, which will put to the test the theories of all ages, and all generations, when God will try the faith of all living, separating between the good and the evil, and enabling all to discern between the righteous and the wicked; between those who serve God and those who serve him not.
There is no period in human existence about which there has been as much said by the prophets and apostles, as the time of Christ's reign, which reign was to last a thousand years; which gave rise to the idea of there every being such a period as the Millennium: which term signifies a thousand years. John the Revelator, gives us the following account of it in the 20th chapter of the Revelations, from the 1st to the 9th verse:-And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled; and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and who had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were fulfilled. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
In this connection, verse 1 we are told, that an angel come down from heaven: verse 2 and laid hold on the Devil and bound him a thousand years, and that during that thousand years he should have no power to deceive the nations, verse 3rd; and in verse 4 that during that period the saints reigned with Christ; and verse 5, but the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were up. Again verse 6, they who had part in the first resurrection shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Christ a thousand years; verse 7, and when the thousand years are expired, Satan is to be loosed for a little season; verse 8, and he shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth: which proves this fact, at last, that all this is to take place on the earth; that it is on the earth where the saints are to reign with Christ a thousand years. Verse 9, and they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints: so there can be no doubt as to the fact, that this thousand years is to transpire while the saints are on the earth, and their camp is to be invaded after the thousand years are expired, and all this on the earth.
The sacred writers have been exceedingly prolific in their writings on the subject of Christ's reign: it is every where spoken of and set forth in the most splendid light and that, when that time comes, the saints, yea, all of them, should reign with him. That this reign of Christ is to be an earthly reign, is not only evident from the before mentioned prophecies, but we have a saying of Paul in the 15th chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians, which limits it to the earth: see the 22, 23 and 24, verses: For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming.-Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority, and all power. Verse 28; and when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. Here the apostle says, that when all that died in Adam shall have been made alive in Christ, then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to the Father. In verse 28 we are told, that he himself shall be subject to the Father, when all things are put under his feet. After this time there can be no such thing as a reign of Christ distinctly, or separately, and of necessity, Christ's reign must be before this time: and if so, it must be in time; and if in time, it must be on the earth; for it would be curious indeed for Christ to reign a thousand years in eternity, where there are neither days, months, nor years! Another thing of importance to be remarked, in the sayings of the apostle above quoted, is that it is only the saints who were dead that were to reign with Christ a thousand years. "And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped [worshipped] the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark in their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." But the rest of the dead lived not again till the thousand years were finished. That is, the rest of the dead were not raised till the thousand years were finished; and those saints who were raised to reign with Christ the thousand years, constituted the first resurrection. "This is the first resurrection."
The apostle seems to have understood himself perfectly when he wrote this 20th chapter of his Revelations, and set forth his ideas so clearly, that none need mistake him.-He says that Christ is to reign a thousand years; (and the very expression, a thousand years, shows that this reign belonged to the earth, and time; for it is only in time where there are days, and times, and seasons, and years: the unseen world and eternity, have no such divisions;) that the saints were to be raised and reign this thousand years with him, and this resurrection of the saints to reign with Christ, was the first resurrection. That in this thousand years, Satan was to be bound, so as not to be able to deceive the nations-and during this thousand years the saints on earth were to spread abroad in the four quarters thereof: yet it is not said that they shall reign with Christ a thousand years; but on the contrary, those who are raised from the dead.
In the 5th chapter of the Revelations from the 8th to the 11th verse, we have the same subject set forth: he says, thus, And when he had taken the book, the four beasts, and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Here we are told that those who were redeemed unto God out of every kindred, tongue, people and nation, were to reign on the earth: If the question is asked, how long they should reign on the earth? the answer is, a thousand years, or Millennium; so that this important period does not only effect those in time, but those in eternity also.
If John's account of this subject be correct, all the saints which were redeemed unto
God out of every nation, people, tongue and kindred, (and if so they must be from all generations, from the days of righteous Abel down to the second coming of Christ, or else they will not be from every people, and nation,) are to reign on the earth with Christ a thousand years: and this glory they are to obtain through their having part in the first resurrection.
In the first chapter of the Revelations, and 7th verse, John describes the coming of the Savior thus, when he comes to reign on the earth a thousand years: "Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
In all that John has said about the coming of the Savior, he has never told us of any other object he had in coming, but to reign on earth a thousand years; for where he has mentioned the object, this he says is what it is; so that we are not left to conjecture as to the object of the Savior's coming; for the very same scriptures which tell us of his coming again, tell us also, that when he comes, he will reign on the earth a thousand years, and all those of the first resurrection with him. The matter is fairly settled, that if ever the Savior comes again, he will reign on the earth a thousand years, and all the church of the first born whose names are written in heaven, will at that time obtain a resurrection and reign with him; even all who are redeemed from among men, of every tongue, kindred, people, and nation-and if the Savior does not reign on earth a thousand years, and all the raised saints with him, he never will come the second time.
Let us now sum up what John has said in the Revelations on this subject:
1. He has said that Christ is coming, when every eye shall see him. This could not have been his first coming, for very few eyes saw him at his first coming, much less all.
2. That when he comes, he will come with, or in the clouds: this he did not at his first coming.
3. That when he comes with clouds, they who pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.
4. That all the satins which are redeemed from among men, of all tongues, kindreds, people, and nations, are to be raised from the dead, and those who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and are all to reign with Christ on the earth a thousand years at his coming.
5. That the rest of the dead are not to be raised, or live again, till the thousand years are ended.
6. That during this thousand years, Satan is to be bound so as not to be able to deceive the nations; and it necessarily follows, that all the people who are on the earth during this period, will be saints.
7. That the saints are to become very numerous, and cover the breadth of the earth.
8. And at the end of the thousand years, Satan is to be loosed for a little season, to gather together Gog, and Magog, to battle, and they are to come up on the breadth of the earth, and surround the camp of saints, and fire is to come down from God out of heaven and devour them.
This is what John says, let him mean what he will; and if we are at liberty to believe what he says, the subject is so plain that he that runs may read and understand.
Let it here be observed, that when any of the latter day saints speak of living and reigning with Christ a thousand years, they do not mean by this, that they are to live a thousand years in the flesh; (as some have slanderously reported that they affirm; among whom the wise M. S. C. of Mentor, is principal;) but that they believe, that they shall be raised with the first resurrection, and reign with all the saints, to reign on earth a thousand years, according to the testimony of all the holy prophets since the world began. And he who does not expect this, must expect to be cast down to hell, to suffer a thousand years with the rest of the dead who are not to be raised until the thousand years are ended.
Such is the point of light in which John, the apostle, sets forth this subject: and such the prospects he set before the saints of God in his day; and this is the expectation he raised in them, that though they should have to suffer their entire three score years and ten in the flesh, yet to rejoice; for when the Lord come, they should reign on this same earth a thousand years, as a reward for their sufferings.
Having ascertained the substance of what John says in the Revelations on the subject of the second coming of Christ, and having seen the object for which he is coming, we shall see what the other sacred writers have said about it; knowing this first, that as John wrote by the spirit of inspiration, all others who have written by the same spirit, will write in accordance with him; for as they all understood this subject by the spirit of God, they must all have seen it alike, and understood it alike: this made me the more particularly examining what John had said on the subject of Christ's second coming; for having got the mind of the spirit which was in John, I have got it as it was in all others who wrote, or understood by the same spirit. Another reason why I was the more particular in collecting together the substance of what John said was, that once having the whole subject before our minds, it would enable us to understand those writers the better, who had not written so fully on this subject as he had; for in our examination of the bible, we have not found any other of the inspired writers who have developed the whole subject as extensive as he has. I do not consider it necessary, however, among believers in the divine authenticity of the bible, to multiply testimony to prove that what John has said is true, nor do I expect that believers in the bible will require this at my hands; for one inspired man having said so once, settles the truth of the question forever, among those who believe that the person was inspired of God when he spake. So that I consider, that the truth of the second coming of Christ to reign on the earth a thousand years with all the saints of Adam's race, who at that time shall obtain a resurrection from the dead, or who have previously obtained a resurrection, or a translation, is as firmly fixed, as the truth of the bible; for should any man undertake to prove, hereafter, that such a marvelous occurrence will never take place, what would he do? why; he will prove that John had not told the truth! and should he, through some management make it appear that other of the writers have taught differently, he would only prove that the bible contradicted itself, and render the whole system void together: So it will come to this at last, that as John the Revelator has said, that Christ is coming the second time to reign on the earth a thousand years, with all the saints, that the second coming of Christ to reign on earth a thousand years, with all the raised saints, is as true as the bible.
I make these observations, that my readers may not suppose that I appeal to the other prophets and apostles to prove what John said, to be true: but to see how all the writers in the bible who have written on this subject, have seen eye to eye as far as they have said any thing upon it. Indeed, if we credit what John has said, we would necessarily expect to find that the other writers also would make some mention of a subject, in which they, together, with all the saints had so deep an interest, that they would not pass in silence a theme which must have laid so near their hearts, as that of their triumph and reward; as the first of their glory, after their resurrection, was to reign on earth with him, for whom they suffered the loss of all things; which hope enabled them to endure affliction without murmuring. It was this hope which made Abraham call himself a stranger and pilgrim on the earth. Paul said concerning this promise, "Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come.-For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?" See Acts, 26 chapter, 7 and 8 verses. Surely, Paul would not have us understand, that the twelve tribes served God day and night simply that they might obtain a resurrection from the dead, for he well knew, that there was to be a resurrection of the unjust as well as the just; and they would get a resurrection from the dead, whether they served God or not; but the promise which they all desired to obtain was, that of reigning with the Messiah on the earth a thousand years.
The hope of obtaining the resurrection of the just, or the first resurrection was the great reason why the ancient saints took cheerfully the spoiling of their goods; for on such the second death were to have no power. Paul, in the 1st chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians, and 10 verse says, "That in the dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him." This apostle surely understood, that there was to be a dispensation of gathering together, not only the things on earth, (as the Lord has now commenced to do,) but in that dispensation, the things which are in Christ Jesus, which were in heaven, should be also gathered together with the things on earth. If it should be asked, when would the things which are in Christ Jesus, on earth, and in heaven, be gathered together? the answer is at hand, when Christ comes in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory and all the saints with him, to reign on earth a thousand years. And the apostle in the above quotation says, that God had a dispensation, in which dispensation, he would do this maraculous [miraculous] thing. So we see that the apostle knew, that there was to be another dispensation to be ushered in, in the last days, under which dispensation of the gathering, God was to do his greatest work.
This important period, which is of all others the most marvelous in human existence, has found a place, either directly, or indirectly, in the writings of a majority of the sacred writers. Both prophets and apostles, in addition to the direct notice which they have taken of it, there are many beautiful allusions to it, such as is found in 104th Psalm, 3 and 4 verses, which reads thus, "Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh on the wings of the wind: who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:" Or, as some have translated it, "who makes winds his messengers, and flaming fire his ministers." Here the allusion is doubtless to his coming in the clouds of heaven, being revealed in fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel. But not only these beautiful allusions, but the direct references are numerous: some of these from the Savior himself, others from the prophets and apostles. The prophet Isaiah says, in speaking of the glory of the last days, 35 chapter, "The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them who are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear, not: Behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you." Any person who will read this chapter through with care, will see that the coming of the God of Israel, or of their Messiah, here spoken of, has not yet taken place, nor will it be fulfilled till Christ comes in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth. In Daniel, 7 chapter, 13 and 14th verses, the prophet speaks of a night vision, in which he says, "I saw in the night vision, and behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom, that which shall not be destroyed." Here the prophet says, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven; at which time he is to get the kingdom before described: this is to take place when he comes to reign on the earth a thousand years; for until this time there has not a kingdom been given unto the Son of man, on earth, in which all people, and nations, and tongues, have served him; nor will he have such an one, till the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God, and his Christ. It is said in the second chapter of Daniel's prophecy, and the 44th verse, "And in the days of these kings, shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever." Surely this kingdom has never been set up until now; for that kingdom which was established among the Gentiles in the days of the ancient apostles, has been defaced, corrupted, and broken up, till there has not been one society left on the original platform laid down by the apostles; but all have been broken to pieces-nor can it ever break in pieces and destroy all the kingdoms of the world; but on the contrary, the kingdoms of the world have broken it. But from what Daniel saw in his night vision, as before mentioned, the Son of man, when he came to the Ancient of days, received a dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, and nations, and tongues, should serve him. This is doubtless the kingdom which God was to set up in the days of the kings there mentioned, not the Roman Cesars [Caesar's] as some have supposed, but a race of kings which should arise after the Roman Empire was divided into toes: some were to be strong, and some weak; some iron, and some clay. Here it is plain, that none need mistake, that is, that the Son of man, or Savior of the world, when he came with the clouds, or in the clouds, was to receive dominion, glory, and a kingdom, in which all people were to serve him of every nation, and tongue, and this kingdom which he was to receive at that time, was to be set up, while the kings which arose after the downfall of the Roman Empire, or after this great kingdom was divided, should yet be swaying their scepters; but this was not the kingdom which was taken from the Jews and given to the Gentiles. See Matthew 21st chapter, 43rd verse.-"Therefore, say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." But a kingdom set up for that express purpose, and doubtless in the last days, preparatory to Christ's coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and all the saints with him to reign with them on earth a thousand years, when all people, nations, tongues, and kindreds, on earth or in the flesh shall serve him; not reign with him. TO BE CONTINUED.
THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR.
KIRTLAND, OHIO, APRIL, 1834.
THE PROPHECY OF ZEPHANIAH.
(Concluded from our last.)
As before remarked, the prophets of Israel seldom closed their predictions, or left the subject of Jacob's dispersion, without speaking expressly of his return. After following him into captivity, they watch the time of his deliverance, and after seeing him scattered to the four winds and driven to the islands of the seas, they observe the time when light shall reflect upon him in this state of darkness, when the Son of righteousness shall rise upon him and lift up a glorious ray of hope, when the islands shall wait for his law. By Jacob we mean the literal descendants of that individual who wrestled with the angel of God and obtained a blessing; and by his return we mean the return of his children to that land which was promised to Abraham and his seed for an everlasting possession. To suppose that this people are to be converted to the true Messiah and then remain scattered over the face of the whole earth, or as they are now, particularly the remnants of Judah, among all nations, is one of the strange ideas of this generation, and may be ranked among the foremost inconsistencies peculiar to this age. Whether former ages inherited this opinion and were so astonishingly ignorant, or whether this is a new system framed entirely by this generation, does not matter with us, since it is an incontrovertible fact, that such an item is not to be found in the word of God: The very expression made by the Savior to his apostles before his crucifixion, when declaring that the Jews should be scattered, leaves the matter beyond dispute with every man who has one spark of common intellect uninfluenced by tradition or the precepts of men, that their seed are yet to be brought back and inherit that land. [See Luke XXI. 24] Jerusalem, said he, shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.-The first has certainly been fulfilled, that is, the Jews have been led captive into all nations, and Jerusalem has been trodden down of the Gentiles; but when the time of the Gentiles are fulfilled, with propriety we may conclude the following notable prophecy of Zechariah will be brought to pass where he says: Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of JUDAH joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, it shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: and the inhabitants of one city shall go to another saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts, in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, in those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold, out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you; for we have heard that God is with you. [See Zachariah VIII, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23]
Having noticed the principal part of Zephaniah's sayings, having followed him in his chastisements upon Judah in the days of prosperity and peace, which have been literally fulfilled to the uttermost, according to the strictest minuteness of language, and having said sufficient, perhaps, upon the situation and circumstances of the surrounding nations, we come to that period in his vision which has always been of so deep interest to the ancient prophets of the house of Israel, that is, the time when one undisturbed peace is to cover the earth, when the righteous are to possess it, and Israel, after ages spent in captivity, is to come forth triumphant from all parts of the earth wherever he has been driven, and enjoy the blessings of heaven under Messiah's reign. Language seems to have been insufficient to express their view of this glorious era. It is not astonishing in the least that they should pass by the small things when once brought by the vision of God to see and comprehend in full, by the Spirit, the glory and beauty of that long looked for hour. Each has expressed it, (as far as his language would permit,) seemingly in his own language, and noted the wonders of that day in words peculiar to himself. One has represented the lion and the ox harmlessly feeding upon the same food; the cow and the bear grazing the plain in quietness, and their young ones lying down in peace together, while the little child leads the young lion and the fatling, and the infant lays his innocent hand upon the serpent's den, who is equally as innocent. No power but that which comes from God alone can produce an order of things of this description, and no child of Adam's numerous remnants will be permitted to enjoy it except those who are the lawful heirs of that kingdom.-Rapt in the vision of the Almighty, and transported with the thought of the Savior's reign on earth, Zephaniah breaks forth in these emphatic words: Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
Take the following part of this prophecy with those sayings, and all doubts must be removed from the mind of the individual who believes the bible, relative to the return of Israel in the last days, and the establishment of a kingdom of righteousness and peace, where the pure in heart only will be permitted to dwell. We may here understand, that this peculiar blessing is promised to Israel, not to the Gentiles as a people except they repent; for Paul says, Romans XI, that when the fulness [fullness] of the Gentiles be come in, then all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion [Zion] the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. It is not said that all the Gentiles shall be saved; it is only their fulness [fullness]. So, then, after all their bustle, when their fulness [fullness] has come in, notwithstanding their great boast of religion and reformation, then, all Israel will be saved; for the kingdom of God will be transferred to the house of Jacob, and all who are numbered with them will be those who have obeyed the everlasting gospel, (not sectarianism,) and at that time this saying of the prophet will be realized by the seed of Abraham: The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. When has the Lord dwelt with the seed of Abraham? Has this an allusion to the time when he brought them out of Egypt, when the angel of his presence went up in the midst of their camp? If so, why have they seen evil since? for at this time they are to see evil no more. When the angel declared to Mary the near approach of the Messiah, he says, And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and unless he does reign over the house of Jacob according to this promise, the testimony of Luke must fail. But the prophet proceeds and says, In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thy hands be slack. In what day were these declarations to be repeated in the ears of the Lord's people? When he reigns in the midst of them, and casts out their enemies before them. Many suppose that this reign, mentioned by the prophets and apostles is to be when all the sects are untied, and all the world converted to their systems; that then is the time when peace will cover the earth, and satan be bound, or confind [confined] in his own place, and deceive the nations no more for a long season; but as to this fact, that Christ is to come down upon this earth and reign in person with, or in the midst of his people, they consider to be a wicked principle, and an unscriptural idea: for, say they, he has ascended up out of sight, [and they might as well say out of hearing, for they do not believe that he will answer any of them when they call on him,] and will no more be seen until he comes in the clouds of heaven to judge the earth; and as for meracles [miracles] they are done away, and God will never cause any more to be performed while the earth remains or the world stands. It is not to be wondered at, that they should deny the second coming of the Messiah, when he is to reign in the midst and over the house of Israel, when their system is once looked at; for they are to have a union of sects, which is to compose, constitute, or commence their millennium. Let us look at it a moment: Here are the Baptists, who say they are the people of God, were elected from all eternity to be saved, and saved they are to be, and saved they must be, because it was foreordained that they should be; and should their children be called out of this world before they are old enough to repent and be baptized, they are lost eternally; and should they live, repent they could not unless God made them do it; for unless this were the case, in putting up one petition to him in the name of Jesus, they would commit sin sufficient to damn a thousand worlds; and if they were not elected to be saved, damned they are already, and damned they must be; and come into the kingdom of God they cannot, because he does not bring them in; and he does not bring them in because he foreordained
from all eternity that they should be damned; for he made them to be vessels of wrath that they might be fitted for destruction! It could not be supposed that a people of this description could have any desire that the Lord should come down among them, or even look upon their works. The Presbyterians are about as inconsistent; and the Methodist cannot be blamed, if they believe their creed, because they pretend to worship a God who has neither "body or parts," and if they should get him to come down among them, he could not be seen, for there would be nothing to be seen. We suppose that they must think that he has lost himself since his ascension into heaven; for the apostles saw him go up and a cloud receive him out of their sight, and the angels standing by, said, Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. What a wonderful reign of the Messiah it will be if their systems are correct, and how peaceably the house of Israel must dwell upon their promised land; for the Baptists would say, that the house of Israel must all become Baptists, or they cannot be saved; the Presbyterians would say, Presbyterians; the Methodists would say, Methodists, and the Roman Catholics would say, Roman Catholics, or they would never get out of pergatory [purgatory]; for they are each engaged in trying to convert them by sending missionaries among them, and if they do not believe that they will be lost unless they are converted to each of their respective systems, why are they endeavoring to covert them? But one thing as inconsistent as any part of it is, that all this is to be done without a miracle, the Catholics excepted: For say they, God ceased a long time since to work by miracles; and yet Satan is to be bound, and confined in his own place a thousand years, and all the earth is to enjoy peace. What a doleful millennium! We suppose that the poor "mormons," as they are reproachfully called, and a few other of the weaker sects, are to have the sword and fagot applied to them for their portion, so that the world may not be disturbed with herisy [heresy]. Give either party before named the power, and the desolating hand of extermination would teach the others, that if they professed contrary to the party in power it would be at the expense of life! And what would be the consequence were they all united? Look at it reader, one moment! No marvel that they do not believe that Christ is to reign on the earth in person, in the midst of such ridiculous confusion; and no marvel that a generation who deny his power, should also deny his personal reign on earth; for those only who look for him will he appear unto without sin unto salvation, when the wicked are to be consumed with his brightness when he comes with his holy angels.
See the difference-the sects say, that the Savior is not to come in person to reign over, or dwell with Israel; but the prophet says, The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. Can it be a marvelous thing, that the scattered remnants of the house of Jacob, should still persist in the belief that they are yet to be gathered, and live under the immediate reign of the Messiah? They look for a kingdom of far greater extent, and a beauty and glory, surpassing that of David's, or Solomon's, beyond all description: and with all propriety they may; for they are to be free from all bondage, and possess the promised land in peace forever. And if the prophets in the name of the Lord, have promised them any thing which they are to receive in the last days, they have promised them this; and though they have often been deceived by false Christs, in their eagerness to have the time roll on, yet it is coming, and the period will soon arrive when the Gentiles will carry them upon camels, dromedaries, and swift beasts; upon litters, in their arms, and even upon their shoulders; and this saying of the prophet will be fulfilled in its strictest sense, and be realized in its fullest joy: Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. On the subject of the gathering of the house of Israel, rests the matter relative to the latter day glory of the church of Christ, and the veracity of those writers called prophets and apostles; for if the house of Israel is not gathered, there will be no millennium; and if the seed of Jacob does not possess the land of Palestine in peace in the last days, down must come the bible, and down must come the system of the religion of Christ forever; for the writers of it have testified that this should be the case, if they have spoken any thing. And here was the mistake of the Jews: They overlooked the first coming of the Messiah, and fixed their minds upon the time when they were to be established before him in the promised rest, and be protected by his power, because the prophets said more upon the subject of his second coming, than they did of his first. Where the prophet said that, Out of Beth-lehem Ephratah shall he come forth unto me that is to be Ruler in Israel, they looked to see him come down upon the mount of Olive, and divide it by his mighty power; and where the prophet said that he should come riding upon an ass, they looked for him to come as Enoch said, with ten thousand of his saints, taking vengeance upon all the wicked. But still they look, still they wait; and when that anxious hour arrives, when God shall say to the north, Give up! and to the south, Keep not back! bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth, then the fact will be ascertained, and the test will be tried, whether he is yet able to work wonders upon earth, and exert his power to meracles [miracles]. And after all, the prophet Zephaniah closes his important sayings upon this sublime subject, and leaves his writings to speak for themselves in the ears of future generations, either by their fulfillment to prove their divine authenticity, or by their failure to sink into contempt and perish in oblivion. After viewing his people cast out before their enemies, afflicted, scattered, and driven, he follows them to their triumphant return, and lays down his pen, by closing his sayings with these important words, which must relate to the time when they are to be gathered for the last time to their inheritance, no more to be dispossessed: At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord. Thus closed, though short, one of the important prophecies contained in the book of inspiration, and its writer has long since gone the way of his fathers, to wait the period in the economy of heaven, when he will be called forth with them to enjoy in full, what he then saw in part; and to partake of those joys which are held in reserve for the ancient saints, when the Lord Jesus Christ shall appear, even when he shall come in his might to reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously. On reading his prophecy, one is incapable, at first, to realize the fact, that he lived more than two thousand, four hundred, and fifty years ago; for though his body long since crumbled to dust, there is a Spirit, (not of fanaticism,) accompanying his predictions, which brings him immediately before the mind, and one would almost fancy himself upon the mountains of Judea, gazing down with admiration upon its inhabitants, surrounded with the blessings of heaven, and protected by the arm of the Lord under the righteous reign of Josiah; or follow the prophet in his vision, and see them scattered to the four winds and driven to the utmost corners of the earth, hiding in the mountains, in the dens, and in the holes of the rocks, to await the time when God should say, come forth! and then with him witness their happy situation, redeemed from all their sins, and cleansed from all their pollutions, and under the Savior's immediate reign and notice, see them enjoying that long looked for peace which was never to be taken from them. When the Lord himself is to gather them out of all countries where he has previously driven them, in his anger, and in his fury, and in his great wrath; when he shall bring them again to their own land, and cause them to dwell safely; when they are to be his people, and he their God. At that time he is to give them one heart and one way, that they may fear him forever, for their good, and for the good of their children after them, by making an everlasting covenant with them to do them good, and by putting his fear in their hearts that they shall never turn from him. And though, as before said, his body has been laid in the grave of his fathers, and that land remained desolate for ages, we can anticipate the period when he will enjoy all these promises with his people, and even in his flesh see his God on the earth. Who would not gladly and joyfully exchange a vain and weak system of no glory, of no beauty; of no comeliness, or consistency, for a part with those who are to enjoy these privileges? And who would not say, Let your people be my people, your joy be my joy, your portion be my portion, and your God be my God? [Editor of the Star.]
-> Considerable excitement having prevailed among some of our citizens, of late, in this part of the country, respecting the case in law against Doctor. P. Hurlbut, for a breach of the peace, in threatening the life of brother JOSEPH SMITH JR. and a number of those who doubtless desired that Hurlbut might escape justice, (some whose oaths were sufficient evidence of the feelings of their hearts,) indulged themselves in conjectures, and rumors, raising and spreading them to their own shame, or at least, to the shame of every good citizen who has the smallest regard for truth and righteousness, or peace and harmony in society; and by these means, created considerable feelings on the subject, as far as their influence could extend; trying to excite unfavorable impressions against bro. S. by every foolish report that ignorance could believe, or malice could invent. However, their exertions were in vain; for with all the feelings that they could awaken, (and no exertion was wanting to gain a favorite object,) they could not screen Hurlbut from the punishment due his crime: the evidence was so positive, notwithstanding the great exertion to invalidate the testimony on the part of the State, that they failed in every attempt to save him from the force of the law; and the Court, after a patient hearing of all the witnesses, has holden Hurlbut to bail under bonds of two hundred dollars for his good behavior. This is as it should be-all idlers who seek to obtain a support from the public, by threatening the lives, and assailing the characters of innocent men, ought to be brought to justice, or be exposed to the view of all, and this may be a proof to such as are disposed, unrighteously, to trample on the rights and privileges of others, that the law in Geauga County, has lost none of its nerves, neither have the Administrators of justice lost their virtue.
It has been really amusing to hear the (would be) ruling ones, spending their opinion on this case, between the time of examination before the Justice's court in Painsville, in January, last, and the trial at the county Court, to which Hurlbut was recognized to appear. One would have supposed, that all the abetters of this fellow were lawyers and judges-they had the case tried and decided a multitude of times in the way they wished it to be. A very grave judge to the west of this, of the THEE, and THOU, Order, in the greatness of his wisdom and righteousness, embraced every favorable opportunity to impress the public mind, as we were informed as far as his influence would extend, that the Justice's court, held in Painsville, only bound Hurlbut over to the County Court, that the lawyers might have a fair opportunity of ridiculing, and scandalizing, Jo. Smith, as he was pleased to call him. This was doubtless the desire of his own heart, otherwise, he would not have charged the Justices in Painsville with disregarding their oaths so far, as to bind an innocent man over to the court of his country, for trial, for such base purposes. Such have been the moral feelings of some of the religious law characters in our contry [country]: persons who are so holy, that they would, (if it were in their power,) lock the kingdom of heaven from such as might, in the time of an invasion of their country, grasp their muskets in her defense, but for some religious principle, which might not agree with their creed, suffer their animosity to rise a degree sufficient to encourage night-mobs, and the threatening of lives. We have reason to hope, however, that their numbers are few in this region.
It is proper that the public should be informed, that this Doctor P. Hurlbut, who has gained so much celebrity of late through our country, (we mean at a distance,) in consequence of his engagements to expose the secrets of "mormonism," as some of our neighbors are pleased to style our faith, is not a physician, as some have supposed who are unacquainted with him; but, as he says, was called Doctor, by his parents, for the reason that he is a seventh son. We have been favored with notices from abroad, that "mormonism," was about to be exposed by this celebrated Doctor, who had learned that the book of mormon "was written some thirty years since, by a respectable clergyman," in this state, "now deceased. It was designed to be published as a romance." This valuable information, it is said, has been obtained by this eminent (would be called) Doctor, from the widow of this celebrated clergyman. We think a preacher of the gospel must be highly "celebrated," to lay aside the calling of God to declare the gospel of salvation to men, to write "Tales." But this valuable information, it is said, was obtained by this celebrated (would be called) Doctor, from the widow of this celebrated clergyman. In another paper it is said to be a "rhapsody." What will it be next? We are of the opinion, that when this (would be) celebrated committee, residing in our country, and has given a few more expositions, and changed the title of his discoveries a few times more, that our friends, at least, such as will see, will be as willing that this (would be) celebrated Doctor, should labor honestly with his own hands for his support, as to gull their hard-earned money from them to ride over our country in stages in the character of a celebrated Doctor, to threaten the lives of peaceable inhabitants, when he discovers that his purposes are sure to fail. We have not, till now, thought this man worthy a notice in our paper, neither would he at this time been noticed by us were it not to undeceive those at a distance who are unacquainted with him and may be deceived in consequence of the above mentioned title, of Doctor. It is but just, that we should say, with regard to those individuals whose names are going the rounds in the public prints, as a committee, who have employed this Hurlbut to expose, the "Origin of the book of mormon," that as citizens, and neighbors, they will be as forward to expose his character, and hold him up to the view of community, in the true light which his crimes merit, as they were first to employ him, and employ a more respectable agent, if they are calculating on success when they engage with the religion and characters of their neighbors. We care not what he, or they preach or publish: we are in no fear that he will overturn the truth: but let him conduct himself in a lawful manner, and hold in a proper estimation the lives, if not the characters of his fellowmen, and he is welcome to all the success which his ignorance or wisdom can gain.-[Editor of the Star.]
-> We were informed, just as our paper was going to press, that Mr. CAMPBELL, of the "Millennial Harbinger," had, contrary to the assertions, and assurances of the ruling ones among his followers in Mentor, condescended to notice as "little a thing" as the Star, or the principles it advocates. Whether the blaze of "Millennial" glory has completely put it out, (in his estimation,) we are not able to say, as he has not, in the abundance of his condescension, favored us with a number. Perhaps he has some "misgivings" relative to that part of the subject, but when he has properly adjusted the matter, he may favor us with one. We have, till our last, (which contained nothing on the Millennium,) sent regularly to the "Harbinger," for Exchange but have received none. If Mr. Campbell thinks it too heavy a draft on his purse, as his paper is $2 per ann. and ours one, if he will acquaint us of the fact, we will send him the difference. The Millennium being a subject in which we are so deeply interested, we cannot but have a desire to pay our respects to its "Harbinger" occasionally, and give it a passing notice while it is "going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it." We therefore invite it to pay us a visit, and we will reciprocate its kindness, since it has condescended to notice us!! and we are willing to pay it for its trouble.
If Mr. Campbell really desires, he is at perfect liberty to try any item of our faith which he may think himself competent to disprove, and we will meet him honorably; but let him do it manfully: until then, we shall notice him or not, as we may deem proper, not considering ourselves bound to answer any thing he may say, at least, till he acts the part of a gentleman enough to forward us his articles. In a former attack upon some of the members of the church of the latter day saints, Mr. Campbell acted so unworthy the character of a man, (not to say a servant of Christ, and a reformer,) as to render his effort entirely unworthy our notice, were it not to exhibit it a future day, to show the spirit of this (would be called) great reformer. We shall hold it in reserve, as Mr. Campbells' looking glass, to keep in remembrance the true spirit of his reformation; for to whom could the public look to ascertain this fact, better than to Mr. Campbell himself? surely to none.
When ever Mr. Campbell has a disposition to complain of the abuse of others, let him re-examine one of his Harbingers, Extra, and it will no doubt calm his feelings, and enable him to pursue his calling, thankful, that the worst of his enemies are no worse than himself. As he is the reformer of the last days, and the one who is to introduce the Millennium, if he will examine he may easily discover, that the worst of his enemies are about as well reformed as himself, and of course, are as well prepared for the Millennium. He has only to get the opinions of the world a little altered, and his Millennium will be here-so his work is nearly done, and he can soon go to rest. It is well known, that Mr. Campbell made an unwarrantable attack upon the characters of some of the members of this church in its infancy, when they had no source to refute the charges, only by oral investigation; but that day has gone by, and though we have had the misfortune to lose one printing establishment by the lawless acts of a mob, heated up to despiration [desperation] by a set of professed religionists, we are yet, notwithstanding that, in the providence of God, prepared to mete to him such as he may be disposed to measure to us, asking no favors, under that consideration, other than he feels willing to bestow!-[Editor of the Star.]
-> The "Gospel Banner, and Herald of christian Union," is a small paper printed at Buffalo, N. Y. We conclude from its title and contents, that the Editor is expecting, (or at least, endeavoring,) to unite the different sects professing the religion of Christ; but we are inclined to think, that when this is effected, creed makers and creed preachers, will first lose their relish for the craft and honor of this world. As there is a difference between professing and possessing, the Editor will please inform us on what principle he would have the sects unite, and what men must do to be saved? He says, that the law mentioned by Malachi IV and 4, is to be found "about the 20th chapter of Exodus, &c." But he will recollect, that, that law was given from Sinai, and that Horeb and Sinai, are two mountains. He also says, that "the prophet was not speaking any more of the book of mormon, than he was of the Alcoran!" From what source the Editor of the "Banner could have conjured out the idea, that believers in the book of mormon contended that Malachi, in his fourth chapter had any reference to it, we are
not able to say; but presume, that notwithstanding his "careful view of the book of mormon," his mind was either bewildered, or clouded with prejudice, as no one pretends that Moses had any hand in writing it; but from its contents it shows to have been written upon this continent by the progenitors of its aborigines. He says, "The book of mormon," may be called a religion 'coming up out of the earth.' Rev. XIII.11. "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon." In what shape the "Banner" would have us understand that the religion contained, or advocated in the book of mormon, represents this saying of John is unknown to us, as we are entirely unacquainted with his rule of interpreting scripture. Perhaps God has revealed to him that John really meant the book of mormon, in this saying, if he has, may we be informed of it. For us to say, that a book represents a beast with two horns, is advancing a stretch into the system of spiritualizing, beyond any thing we have yet attained to.-[Editor of the Star.]
-> The following is taken from the (Philadelphia) "SATURDAY COURIER" of April 19. Some two or three years since, a similar story was hatched up by (we presume) the priests, or their dupes; but we had supposed, that it had either gone back to its native region to dwell with its author the father of lies, or like its first promulgator from him, sunk into disgrace to rise no more. But in this we were mistaken -there are yet men to be found who are willing to exert every possible power to circulate, not only circulate, but frame falsehoods of every description and enormity, that has not a parallel in the annals of the world since the creation, and such as any man of common sense would know, from the face of them, were impositions; these are carried to the four winds & peddled out by wholesale by those who profess to cultivate the science and morals of mankind, and are swallowed by the greedy multitude, who are led haltered by tradition and priestcraft, by such as pretend to proclaim righteousness!
"TRAGICAL EVENT.-The following tragical story of a Mormon preacher is given by the editor of the Independent Messenger on the authority of a gentleman from the western part of the state of New York. We shall expect to see it authenticated by the western papers if it be true."
"In a town where the delusion had made numerous converts the disciples were summoned to assemble in a wild place, circumjacent to a pond, on the water of which, a gifted elder announced that he should walk and preach. The believers notified their doubting friends, and great things were anticipated. But it seems there were a few wicked Lamanites, who secretly set themselves to make mischief. Choosing their opportunity, just before the appointed day of miracles, they ascertained, by means of a raft, that the pond to be traversed was extremely shallow; a thin sheet of water covering a common swamp mire.-This mire was found to be of a consistency nearly strong enough, except within a small central space, to sustain the weight of a man. They soon discovered a line of plank laid in a particular direction completely across the pond, sunk about four inches under the surface of the water. These were so fastened down, and locked together, and so daubed with mud, as to be quite imperceptible from the neighboring declivities. They resolved on preventing the miracle by sawing the concealed bridge in pieces, just where it crossed the deepest and most dangerous part of the pond. This was done, and left seemingly as they found it.
"The expected day arrived, the congregation placed themselves as in an amphitheatre [amphitheater] on the surrounding slopes and the preacher appeared at the edge of the water. Presently he raised his stentorian voice and as he paced his invisible bridge with a step apparent unearthly taught and warned the people. All ears were open, and every eye strained from its socket with astonishment. But alas! just as the miracle-worker seemed to have wrought conviction of his divine power in the wondering hearts of the multitude, lo! he stepped upon one of the detached pieces of plank sallied side-ways, and instantly plunged, floundering and sinking in the deep water mire: mingling shrieks, screams and shouts of the spectators, all in a rush of commotion were appalling. The scene was indescribable. Even those who had spoiled the miracle, were filled with horror when they actually saw the unfortunate impostor disappear. They had not dreamed that their trick would cost him more than the fright, discomfort and disgrace of being submersed and afterwards struggling a shore; all along taking it for granted that his plank would enable him to swim, however it might treacherously fail him to walk. But the tale closes with the close of his life and the consequent close of Mormonism in that vicinity.-He sunk, and long before the confounded assembly were in a condition to afford him relief, perished, a victim to his imposture."
We do not expect to make this fool-figured article appear any more ridiculous in the minds of discerning individuals, than it really is; but it is just, that such as pretend to correct the morals and improve the condition of the public with stated periodicles [periodicals], should be informed of their ignorance for giving publicity to a tale when, with a thimble full of brains, they might know, that it was not only foolish, but false. Firstly, it says, "In a town where the delusion had made numerous converts," &c. Will the Messenger or Courier, or even the gentleman who first told the lie to the Messenger, prove that the doctrine believed by the society who are reproachfully called "mormons," is a delusion.
But there was a pond in the western part of the state of New-York, extending over a large piece of ground, and only a small part of it but what was just covered by a thin sheet of water, and the bottom was sufficiently hard to hold the weight of a man; and yet, it was necessary to lay plank over this, as well as the other part. A large eoncourse [concourse] of people collected to witness the miraculous performance of this wonderful person. Where did they come from? We suppose from New England, or some other distant country, as none of them knew that the pond to be traversed, was shoal, and the bottom sufficiently hard to bear the weight of a man. So the suspecting found out the secret, and in playing a trick, sent a man into eternity! The "delusion" had gained numerous converts, but these poor creatures being so blinded with the deception that they had actually forgotten that the pond was shoal. Alas! just as the "miracle" had wrought powerfully upon the minds of the assembly, as though the truth of God hung upon the event, down went the "imposture" and down went the "delusion," and there the matter ends, without recovering the body to give it another burial, or calling an inquest that an official account might be published to the world. We suppose that it could not be found in consequence of the mire! Thus ends the "Tragical event," and one man made his escape to tell the news-what was his name?
Query:-Was not the "gentleman" who told the tale to the Messenger, employed in writing religious lies for the tract peddlers, to convert the world? If he is not we advise that he may be. Will the Courier ascertain the fact and inform us?-[Editor of the Star.]
TO THE PUBLIC
I feel myself called upon to notice the conduct of ADAMSON, BENTLY, a Campbellite reformer, as I have had to suffer as much from his hand as he could heap upon me, if the information which I have received be correct. He has exhausted nearly all his ingenuity, to do what little he could to injure me and my family, in both character and property. Not contenting himself with injuring my character, thinking, perhaps, that his influence was rather too small to gratify his malicious feelings, he has had recourse to other means; exercising his influence over the mind of an old superannuated man, near eighty years of age, whose mind was so bewildered, that frequently he did not know his own children whom he saw every day; and has actually succeeded in getting him to alter his will, so as to deprive my family of their just dues. This he told me himself!
Some time in the winter of 1832, I was in the township of Weathersfield, Trumbull Co. I was then informed by a number of people, that Mr. Bently had declared publicly, that I dare not meet him and investigate the subject of religion. At the time when I heard it; I disbelieved it; but seeing Mr. Bently some time afterwards, I interrogated him on the subject; he to my astonishment, confessed it was true! I asked him if I were to understand it as a challenge? He said, I had a right to understand it as such. I then informed him, that I held him bound by it. As a man of truth and veracity he had to acknowledge that he was bound to support it, and in case I called on him to support his boast as a challenge, he was bound to meet me. I told him, that I accepted it as a challenge, and I therefore required him to meet me. He agreed he would, and gave his word so to do before a number of persons whose testimonies can be had at any time; but said he could not for some weeks, as some engagements he had would hinder. I was going on a journey, and it was mutually agreed that the meeting should take place immediately after my return. Accordingly, as soon as I returned, I informed him by letter of my return, and that I was now ready to make the necessary arrangements for the proposed investigation; but to my astonishment he entirely declined, and utterly refused, though he had previously pledged his word that he would do it. So the matter stands up to this date. As I am accasionly [occasionally] hearing of his making many boasts what he can do, it is but justice to the public that they should be correctly informed on this matter. When this man is disposed to boast of what he can do, let the public know, that I am ready to meet him on his challenge at any time, and he can yet have an opportunity of displaying his wisdom and intelligence.
Died in this place on the 4th of this month, NANCY, an infant child of brother PHINEAS H. and sister CLARISSA YOUNG, aged 10 months.
In Florence, on the 15th inst. sister HILAH, wife of brother GIDEON H. CARTER, aged 32 years. Sister CARTER has been declining in health for a length of time. She has been a professer [professor] several years, and was among the first who embraced the fulness [fullness] of the gospel in these last days. Her friends and near relatives, though deeply sensible of her personal worth and virtues, are consoled with the assurance which she left of her acceptance with God; and though they cannot but drop a tear in consequence of their loss, yet they can, with propriety cherish the pleasing reflection, that they will soon meet her in the rest prepared for the saints.
In Warrenton, Virginia, on the 24th of February, last, Mr. OLMSTEAD G. Johnson, son of brother JOHN JOHNSON, of this place, aged 24 years.
-> Agreeably to a request of the church in Kirtland, we would inform our bretheren [brethren] abroad, that brother JARED CARTER, has been appointed to visit the several churches, to receive contributions for the purpose of finishing the stone building now erecting in this place, designed as a house of worship and praise to the Lord. Brother CARTER will be able to give you every information and instruction relative to his mission; and will probably visit all, or the most of the branches of the church during the present season. [Editor of the Star.]
THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH IN KIRTLAND,
TO TEHIR [THEIR] BRETHREN ABROAD.
(Continued from our last.)
Dear brethren in Christ, and companions in tribulation.
In our own country, surrounded with blessings innumerable, to which thousands of our fellow men are strangers, enjoying unspeakable benefits, and inexpressible comforts, when once our situation is compared with the ancient saints, as followers of the Lamb of God who has taken away our sins by his own blood, we are bound to rejoice and give thanks to him always. Since the organization of the church of Christ, or the church of the LATTER DAY SAINTS, which was on the 6th of April, 1830, we have had the satisfaction of witnessing the spread of the truth into various parts of our land, notwithstanding its enemies have exerted their unceasing diligence to stop its course and prevent its progress. Though evil and designing men have been combined to destroy the innocent, because their own craft was in danger, and have been assisted in raising mobs and circulating falsehoods by a miserable set of apostates, who have, for wicked and unbecoming conduct, been expelled from the body of which they were once members, yet the glorious gospel in its fulness [fullness] is spreading and daily gaining converts, and our prayer to God is, that it may continue, and numbers be added of such as shall be saved.
The Messiah's kingdom on earth is of that kind of government, that there has always been numerous apostates, for this very fact, that it admits of no sins unrepented of without excluding the individual from its fellowship. Our Lord said, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. And again, many are called, but few chosen. Paul said to the elders of the church at Ephesus, after he had labored three years with them, that he knew, that some of their own number would turn away from the faith, and seek to lead away disciples after them. None, we presume, in this generation will pretend that they have the experience of Paul, in building up the church of Christ; and yet, after his departure from the church at Ephesus, many, even of the elders, turned away from the truth; and what is almost always the case, sought to lead away disciples after them. Strange as it may appear, at first thought, yet it is no less so than true, that with all the professed determination to live godly, after turning from the faith of Christ, apostates have, unless they have speedily repented, sooner or later, fallen into the snares of the wicked one and been left destitute of the Spirit of God, to manifest their wickedness in the eyes of multitudes. From apostates the faithful have received the severest persecutions: Judas was rebuked, and immediately betrayed his Lord into the hands of his enemies, because satan entered into him. There is a supreme intelligence bestowed upon such as obey the gospel with full purpose of heart, which, if sinned against, the apostate is left naked and destitute of the Spirit of God, and they are in truth, nigh unto cursing, and their end is to be burned. When once that light which was in them is taken from them, they become as much darkened as they were previously enlightened. And then, no marvel, if all their power should be enlisted against the truth, and they, Judas like, seek the destruction of those who were their greatest benefactors! What nearer friend on earth, or in heaven, had Judas, than the Savior? and his first object was to destroy him! Who, among all the saints in these last days, can consider himself as good as our Lord? Who is as perfect, who is as pure, and who as holy as he was? Are they to be found? He never transgressed or broke a commandment or law of heaven no deceit was in his mouth, neither was guile found in his heart! and yet one that ate with him, who had often supped of the same cup, was the first to lift up his heel against him! Where is there one like him? He cannot be found on earth. Then why should his followers complain, if from those whom they once called brethren, and considered in the nearest relation in the everlasting covenant, they should receive persecution? From what source emanated the principle which has ever been manifested by apostates from the true church, to persecute with double diligence, and seek with double perseverance, to destroy those whom they once professed to love, with whom they once communed, and with whom they once covenanted to strive, with every power, in righteousness, to obtain the rest of God? Perhaps, our brethren will say, The same that caused satan to seek to overthrow the kingdom of God, because he himself was evil, and God's kingdom is holy.
Being limited to a short space in this number of the Star, we have advanced these few items, though in short, in stead of perusing our subject as in former numbers. The great plan of salvation is a theme which ought to occupy our strictest attention, and be regarded as one of heaven's best gifts to mankind. No consideration whatever ought to deter us from approving ourselves in the sight of God, according to his divine requirement. Men not unfrequently forget, that they are dependent upon heaven for every blessing which they are permitted to enjoy, and that for every opportunity, granted them, they are to give an account. You know, brethren, that when the Master called his servants, he gave them their several benefits to improve only while he should tarry for a little season, and then he will call each to render his account; and where five talents were bestowed, ten will be required, and he that has made no improvement will be cast out as an unprofitable servant, and the faithful are to enjoy everlasting honors.-Therefore, we earnestly implore the grace of our Father to rest upon you, through Jesus Christ his Son, that you may not faint in the hour of temptation, nor be overcome in the time of persecution. TO BE CONTINUED.
PREPARE FOR HIS COMING.
Let all the saints their hearts prepare: Before his face devouring flames
Behold, the day is near, In awful grandeur rise;
When Zion's King shall hasten there, The suff'ring saints he boldly claims.
And banish all their fear; And bears them to the skies:
Fill all with peace and love, While earth is purified
And blessings from above, In peace they all abide,
His church with honors to adorn, And then descend to earth again,
The church of the first born. Rejoicing in his reign.
Behold, he comes on flying clouds, A thousand years in peace to dwell;
And speeds his way to earth, The earth with joys abound,
With acclamations sounding loud, Made free from all the pow'rs of hell,
With songs of heav'nly birth. No curse infect the ground.
The saints on earth will sing, From sin and pain releas'd
And hail their heav'nly King: The saints abide in peace;
All the redeem'd of Adam's race And all creation here below
In peace behold his face. Their King and Savior know.
WHAT A JOY!
Let us pray, gladly pray, Then the Lamb-the Lamb,
In the house of Jehovah, With a God's mandatory,
Till the righteous can say, As I AM THAT I AM,
"O our warfare is over!" Fills the world with his glory.
Then we'll dry up our tears,
Sweetly praising together, We can then live in peace,
Through the great thousand years, With a joy on the mountains;
Face to face with the Savior. As the earth doth increase,
With a joy by the fountains,
What a joy will be there, For the world will be blest,
At the great resurrection, With a joy to rely on,
As the saints meet in air, From the east to the west,
In their robe of perfection; Through the glory of Zion.
THE SAVIOR IS COMING.
AWAKE, O ye people! the Savior is coming: Be ready, O islands, the Savior is coming;
He'll suddenly come to his temple, we hear; He'll bring again Zion the prophets declare;
Repentance is needed of all that are living, Repent of your sins, and have faith in redemption,
To gain them a lot of inheritance near. To gain you a lot of inheritance there.
To day will soon pass, and that unknown tomorrow, A voice to the nations in season is given,
May leave many souls in a more dreadful sorrow, To show the return of the glories of Eden,
Than came by the flood, or that fell on Gomorrah- And call the Elect from the four winds of heaven,
Yea, weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. From Jesus is coming to reign on the earth.
The Evening and Morning Star
IS PUBLISHED EVERY MONTH AT KIRTLAND, GEAUGA COUNTY, OHIO. BY F. G. WILLIAMS & CO. O. COWDERY, Editor.
THE PRICE IS ONE DOLLAR FOR A YEAR IN ADVANCE, EXCEPT SPECIAL CONTRACTS ARE MADE. EVERY PERSON THAT SENDS US $10, CURRENT MONEY SHALL BE ENTITLED TO A PAPER FOR A YEAR, GRATIS. ALL LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, OR PUBLISHERS, MUST BE
-> POST PAID. <-
OF MOST KINDS, DONE TO ORDER, AND IN STYLE AT THIS OFFICE.
Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter