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FAITH OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THESE
LAST DAYS. NO. III.
[Continued from our last.]
May we not ask, why so many "misgivings" about any subject written in the bible? why so much difficulty in understanding those things which have been indited [indicted] by the Spirit of God, to enlighten the human family? why is it that the wisest, the most learned, the gratest [greatest] of reformers, (or at least they would be so,) are in such serious difficulties, as not to be able to comprehend the things which God, the heavenly Father, has taken the paines [pains] to communicate and send down from heaven for the benefit of man? for such is the darkness which prevails, that those who are engaged in endeavoring to correct the errors of others, and return them back to first principles, as they say, are themselves under the necessity of stopping, and are not able to pursue the course which they have marked out for themselves. It is because the God of heaven, after all the manifestations of his kindness to man, has, instead of enlightening their minds, given them a book clothed in such mysterious language, and words of such doubtful import, that a person is never safe in attaching any definite meaning to them? or where lies the difficulty? The apostle John says, in his first Epistle, first chapter, 5 and 6 verses,-"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." Are these sayings of John correct? or are they not? Is it even so, that a man who says he has fellowship with God, and yet is in darkness, lies and does not the truth? So says John. If so, what are we to think of those reformers who profess to have gotten so near the truth as to have entered into the "ancient order of things," and still declare, that they, even themselves are in darkness, and such great darkness, that they are incapable of understanding the teachings of the ancient prophets? For the deep things of God, (as they are pleased to call them,) they cannot comprehend. And after many years' labor and study, have to come to the conclusion that there is too much "conflicting" of the "winds" for an inexperienced mariner to launch forth into the mighty "abyss." If we ask, what abyss? O, the abyss of prophecy! a dark unfathomable abyss! Wonderful!! To whom? Astonishing! To one who has a fellowship with God! Yes, fellowship with God! Yes, indeed a great reformer; yea, more than great, very great; the Idol of his followers! the would be oracle of the age, the founder of the millennium, the restorer of pure speech! Yes reader, all these, with many more equally as great. But after all in darkness? yes, gross darkness! Be still, John! hush to silence! for we have found one man, if no more, that has fellowship with God, and is in darkness, and to all appearance will remain so. For the days have passed away, they say, when the Spirit of God is in the hearts of the saints a spirit of revelation, as in days of old. And how these reformers are to get into the light, is some what mysterious to us: how they are to determine when they get the proper rules of interpretation we are not able to say: unless the Spirit of God should say something about it, it will only be guess-work at best-a very uncertain ground to rest a man's eternal welfare upon. It appears to us, if their theory be true, that all they can do is to change one guess for another. In former days the saints were not at so great a loss; they had an unction from the Father, which taught them all things, and was the truth, and was no lie. So that they needed not human teaching, for their anointing which they had from the Holy One, was so peculiar in its effects, as to teach them of all things. See John's 1 epistle, 2 chapter, 20 and 27 verses. But these modern reformers have not obtained an anointing of any kind: they have no unction from the Holy One to lead them into the truth. And they are not at liberty to understand the bible as it says; nor can they obtain the proper rules of interpretation. But still, they are reformers, notwithstanding they do not possess one single peculiarity of the religion of the ancient saints-and are equal with them (as they say) in all the privileges of the eternal world, being heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus christ!
It is truly marvelous to see man trying to reform their fellow men and correct their errors on the subject of religion, while they themselves openly deny the existence of the religion of the bible, and boldly declare, that that religion has ceased, and will exist no more. And if any man dare assert, that if ever the religion of heaven prevails on the earth it will be found to be the same it was before, they will denounce him as the basest of impostures, and the worst of villains! For instance, let a man declare that he has obtained the ministering of angels-how quick will all the reformers, yes, and nonreformers too, denounce him as the worst of men! but ask them, did the people of God in ancient days receive the ministering of angels? Surely they did, say they. What! and you have got the same religion as they had! They will answer in the affirmative. And yet, you have no such thing as the ministering of angels? No. And your religion still the same as theirs? Yes the same God, the same gospel, the same dispensation and the same Spirit. And yet, the dealings of God with them are as different as Mahometanism and christianity! There is something surely very strange about this matter, how two things can be unlike in every particular, and yet be the same.
After all the maneuvering and management to conceal their nakedness, of which modorn [modern] religionists are capable, it will come to this at last, that all their darkness and difficulties arise from their unbelief: they are unwilling that the God of heaven should have such an order of things as is set forth in the bible. For should such an order of things ever exist on the earth as the prophets describe, it would expose their works to the contempt of the weakest mind. The religion of the gospel was never more destructive to the craft of Demetrius, than is the religion taught by the ancient prophets opposed to the schemes of modern times, and modern would be saints, whether their religion be of the reformed or nonreformed. The direct proof which we have of the great difference which exists between the things taught in the bible respecting the last times, and the religion believed in by this sectarian generation is, that the religion of this generation is so directly at war with the religion of the bible, that they cannot, with all their intelligence, understand the things taught by the sacred writers: their religion is so directly opposed to the bible, that it does not admit of the existence of such an order of things as the prophets said God would introduce in the last days; and this drives them to the necessity of interpreting, expounding, and spiritualizing, in order to make themselves and others believe, that they are great sticklers for the bible; powerful defenders of the religion it advocates. But instead of their either expounding, or interpreting, the mysteries of the bible, as they pretend, they go to creating mysteries, and making things which in themselves are plain and easy of understanding, dark and incomprehensible. We should really be glad to see some of those spiritualizers, and interpreters, favor the world with a bible manufactured according to their plan, substituting their interpretations and spiritual meanings, for the words which are in the bible, and then compare the one with the other; and we are confident, that no person would suppose that the two books were written on the same subjects: it might be a necessary appendage to Webster's and Dickinson's polite bibles.
If those spiritualizers, and interpreters, were to change their course, and instead of spiritualizing, and interpreting, go to believing and understanding the bible as they would any other book, they would soon find that they had inherited lies, and vanity, and things in which there was no profit, [see Jeremiah, 16 chapter and 19 verse,] and their preaching had been vain, as also their faith, and that they were yet in their sins, being far from God, and without hope in the world, save that which they had entertained through the traditions of their fathers, by which they had made void the faith of the gospel and set at nought the counsel of the Most High; having received and taught for doctrines the commandments of men. For it is only the weak and vain schemes of men in spiritualizing and interpreting, which have rendered the bible obscure and unintelligible. All the important items of prophecy relating to the great things of the last days, are as plain as language can make them, if the world was willing to believe that the bible was true; for, to spiritualize the obvious meaning of the prophets away, is to make their language false, and to make them tell lies in the name of the Lord. For a person may believe an interpretation, or a spiritual meaning as the sects call it, and not believe the bible. Indeed it is as impossible for a man to believe both, as it is for him to serve two masters, or to have the friendship of the world, and the favor of God; yea, the camel could go through the needle's eye as easily, or a rich man get into the kingdom of heaven; or a man could as easily serve God and Mammon, as to believe an interpretation, or a spiritual meaning, and the bible also, for the plainest of all reasons, which is this, that a man never spiritualizes, nor interprets, only when he does not believe what is written.
Let men cease thus to pervert the truth, and to handle the word of God deceitfully, (for if this is not handling the word of God deceitfully, it never was handled deceitfully since the world began,) and let them betake themselves to the understanding of it, and it would make a speedy change in their views; the apparent darkness of prophecy would soon disappear; "misgivings" about the proper rules of interpretation would soon cease to exist, and the would be reformers of mankind, would have something of consequence to unfold to the minds of their followers, instead of keeping them years gaping and stretching after something, and receiving nothing except a strife about words, which subvert mens' souls, and serve no better purpose. Had the "Millennial Harbinger" been called Universal Rangler, it would have suited its character much better, and the Editor might continue it in existence, and yet be a conscientious man; but nothing now can support it but the stupid ignorance of its patrons.
The whole sectarian scheme of things, (what we mean by sectarian scheme, is every scheme which is not the scheme of the bible,) stands on no better foundation than the ignorance of mankind, and produces no better result than the complete overthrow of all its devotees, whether they are reformed, or not reformed, and it is supported by a vague scheme of spiritualizing and interpreting; for without these two powerful supports, sectarianism, with all its appendages, would come to a final issue, and sink with as much rapidity as the angel's millstone, and rise no more forever.
Any rational being with the bible in his hand, feeling himself at liberty to believe what it said, would very soon redeem himself from all the follies of the age, see the weakness of all the sectarian schemes of the nineteenth century, and all former ages, and the perfect folly of all the pretended reformations of ancient and modern times, when there were not inspired men at the head of them, both apostles and prophets; for without such, the God of heaven never at any time produced a reformation, nor did he ever bring back an apostate race at any time, by any other means, than by raising up and inspiring men from on high, and giving unto them the spirit of revelation in the knowledge of himself. Ephesians, 1 chapter, and 17 verse. Any man proclaiming
himself a reformer in religion, and in the next sentence denying inspiration and revelation, declares to all the world, that God never sent him. And let him bring about what order of things he may among those who trust themselves to his guidance, he never will establish the order of heaven, or that order of things which is according to the mind and will of the Holy Spirit; for this has never yet been done by any person unless he was inspired of God, and had in himself the spirit of revelation, and actually received revelations from heaven for himself. Nor can an apostate generation be brought back to the order of heaven without some persons are inspired, as the apostles of old were, to bring them back. This generation has a strong proof of the impossibility of any man having power, without the spirit of inspiration, to bring about an order of things, such as is found in the bible, particularly, that part of them who reside in this religion, as far as they have been made acquainted with the Millennial Harbinger, and its Editor; for surely, their is no want of either worldly learning or talents in the Editor; but with them all he cannot make even an attempt at establishing the Millennial church: no, so far from establishing it, he cannot find out what it is: he would fain write about it, no doubt, if he knew what to say, and would rejoice greatly to be an instrument in ushering it in: but so far from making any advances toward it, he is not able to say one word about it, except on the title page of his paper. In this queer attitude he stands before the public, as a monument of human imbecility, speaking louder than words, saying, What an empty puff of breath is man, unless he is inspired of God-he begins by proposing, he continues with proposing, and terminates upon nothing-he makes a great commotion, but leaves the world at as great a distance from God as he finds it.
A man may propose much, he may write much, preach much, build up many churches, call them churches of Christ, Millennial churches, disciples, or what he or they please; but unless he is empowered from on high he can never build up the kingdom of heaven, nor add one member to it: when he gets done, compare his work and his church with one built by an inspired man, and there is no resemblance between them: The things believed by one are not believed by the other; the things done by one are not done by the other. Nor can any uninspired man build a church, that will not call the religion of heaven a delusion, enthusiasm, an imposition, and every other evil epithet that the worst feelings of human nature can invent-and the servants of God base impostures. Let a man but declare in the presence of a parcel of men-made saints, that he believes the church of Christ to be always the same; let him contend for the very things for which the apostles in the days of the Savior contended, and it will soon be found to whom they belong, to God or to men: hear them denounce it the worst of impositions, the foulest of all schemes of speculation; though they confess that was what the ancient apostles contended for, and for which they laid down their lives.-Then it was glorious, but now it is a vile, unsufferable [insufferable] imposition; but still they say they believe the bible-why! believe the bible? surely we believe the bible: it is the most glorious of all books, and it contains the most blessed of all religion. Ask them, Is your religion the same as in the bible? Doubtless it is. Does it bring forth the same fruits? Ah! be sure, the mighty works of the ancients have ceased; revelations have ceased; inspiration has ceased, and spiritual gifts are no more; but still, our religion is bible religion, and our faith is bible faith, and we are a people who are as much the people of God as they were. Yes, reader, you have to believe that these sectarians are all the people of God, are bible christians, and heirs of the grace of life, without possessing one single qualification of the ancient saints, or else you must bear all the abominations they can heap on your head, because you cannot believe it. And where is the man with the bible in his hand, and possessing common sense who does, or can believe it? I am bold to assert, there is not an honest man in the world that can do it.
I would be gratified, to have some of the sectarian (would be saints,) give us a little light on this subject, particularly on the subject of spiritual gifts, as they existed in the primitive church. Paul, in enumerating the spiritual gifts, mentions wisdom, knowledge, and faith. 1 Corinthians, 12 chapter and 8 verse. What I would be glad to know, is whether all the spiritual gifts have ceased to exist in the church, or whether some of them continue; for if they are all done away, the present church is withont [without] either wisdom, knowledge, or faith. (And I confess, if I am left to judge from their writings, and sayings, misgivings, and interpretations, I must admit that it looks very much as if this were the case.) But as they are not willing to admit that all the spiritual gifts are done away, will some one of the wise ones be so kind as to take the I2  chapter of first Corinthians, and show unto us how many of the spiritual gifts are retained, and how many have ceased to be the privilege of the saints to enjoy? Will some of the modern reformers be so kind as to give us some light on the subject, as we may expect a little more from them than others, or else they are no reformers.
If it be admitted that faith still continues in the church, and who among all the religious world dare deny it? for the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, says, "Without faith it is impossible to please him." [God.] Hebrews 11 chapter, 6 verse. And if faith is the prerogative of the saints now, the work of faith is equally so; and if the prayer of faith ever had power with God, what reason can be assigned that it should have no power in these last days? Will some of the knowing ones be so kind as to give us the desired information, and point out the time when the prayer of faith ceased to have power with God? and also the place in the scriptures, where it is said that there was to be a time when God would not answer the prayer of faith? If neither of these things can be done, let them be honest, and confess that faith has ceased, and should the Son of man now come, he would not find faith on the earth; and that they also have ceased to please God, and instead of being the servants of God they have become the disciples of men; and instead of being saints, they have become the dupes of a set of men-made teachers, who have turned them away from the truth to follow after fables.
TO BE CONTINUED.
[For the Star.]
MILLENIUM. No. V.
In the 24 chapter of Isaiah, and 23 verse, the prophet, after having described one of the greatest desolations ever pronounced on the head of any generation of men, says, "Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously." We have before seen that this reign was to last a thousand years; and his ancients, before whom he was to reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, gloriously, were all the redeemed from among men, of every tongue, language, kindred, and people. According to Daniel, he was to come to the ancient of days: here he is said to reign before his ancients, that is, all the saints from our father Adam, down; for who could the ancient of days be but our father Adam? surely none other: he was the first who lived in days, and must be the ancient of days. And to whom would the Savior come, but to the father of all the race, and then receive his kingdom, in which he was to reign before, or with his ancients gloriously? Let it here be remarked, that it is said to be in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, where the Lord is to reign before his ancients gloriously. We shall have occasion for this hereafter. Zachariah says in the 14 chapter of his prophecy, and the 5 verse, "And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal; yea, ye shall flee like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come and all the saints with thee." This corresponds with what John says in the Revelations; for if he brings all the saints with him, they will be of every tribe, tongue, people, and kindred.
That all these passages refer to his second coming to reign on the earth a thousand years, does not admit of a doubt in the mind of the believer in the bible; for there is no other time of his coming mentioned in the scriptures, but his coming first in the flesh to suffer and die for us, and his second coming to reign on earth a thousand years, with all those who obey his will. As to his coming at the end of the earth, or at the final issue of all things, their is no such thing mentioned in the bible, nor is their one syllable said on it in any revelation which is extant; for so far from his coming at the end of all things, all revelations agree that he will be here more than a thousand years before. So that every thing in the bible said about his coming, which does not relate to his first coming in the flesh, relates to his second coming to reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously, and this reign to continue a thousand years, or the Millennium. On the subject of this coming, and this reign, the scriptures abound. In the testimony of Matthew we have the following sayings of the Savior, 24 chapter, 30 verse. "And then shall appear the sign of the son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man cowing [coming] in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." In the 26 chapter , and 64 verse, the Savior says to the high priest, "Nevertheless, I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Here the Savior says himself, that he will come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, for the purpose as the prophet Isaiah informs us, that he may reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously-he will therefore come in power and great glory. In Mark's testimony, 13 chapter and 26 verse, and 14 chapter and 62 verse, we have the same account that is given by Matthew. Luke also, in the 21 chapter of his testimony, and 27 verse gives the same account.
I want it distinctly understood by my readers, that in every instance where the coming of Christ is mentioned, either by the Savior, or the apostles, it has an allusion to his second coming to reign on the earth a thousand years; for it was after his first coming that all the apostles wrote; and surely it was at the time of his first coming that the Savior was here on earth, so that there need be no mistake on this subject. As for any other coming of the Savior, save these two, it has originated else where than in the bible, or any revelation of God to man: it is one of the discoveries of modern times, and modern religionists; for neither Moses nor the prophets, Jesus nor the apostles, had knowledge of any such coming of the Savior. They all knew of two comings: first, his coming in the flesh, being born of a virgin; made under the law; taking upon him flesh for the suffering of death; partaking of flesh and blood because the children were partakers of the same, that through death he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is the Devil, and deliver those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. They knew of his being smitten, buffeted, scourged, and wounded for our transgressions; bruised for our iniquities; of the chastisement of our peace being upon him, and of our being healed by his stripes. And they also knew of his resurrection, and of his ascension, as well as of his coming again in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, to convince all, to judge all, and to reign on earth a thousand years; and of his bringing all the saints with him, and of his reigning until all enemies were put under his feet; but of any other coming they had no knowledge, or if they had, they kept it to themselves, for they never wrote any thing about it.
We shall now see what the apostles have said about this coming of Christ to reign on the earth where he once suffered; for he promised his disciples that he would come again without sin, for the salvation of them who looked for him.
Having heard the prophets and the Savior give their testimony, let us hear the apostles give theirs. We shall begin with Paul, 1 Corinthians, 4 chapter, 5 verse: he says to his Corinthian brethren, "Therefore, judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God." Philippians, 3 chapter 20 and 21 verses; "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence we also look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body that it may be fashoned [fashioned] like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
1 Thessalonians 1 chapter 8, 9, and 10 verses: "For from you sounded out the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God; and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead even Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come." 4 chapter 15, 16 and 17 verses: "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 2 Thessalonians 1 chapter 7, 8, 9, and 10 verses. "And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe." In the 2 chapter of this same epistle, and the 1 verse, the apostle thus exhorts the saints: "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him." And again, in the 8 verse of this chapter, he says, "And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming." 2 Epistle to Timothy, 4 chapter, 1 verse, Paul thus addresses Timothy; "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and kingdom." Titus, 2 chapter, 13 verse reads thus, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Savior Jesus Christ." In the epistle to the Hebrews, 9 chapter, and 28 verse, we have the following sayings: "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
We can see by the foregoing quotations, that the second coming of Christ formed a prominent point in the teachings of this apostle; that he kept it so continually before him, that in nearly all his epistles he makes mention of it, though he lived two thousand years before that important period; but notwithstanding his great distance from it, still in his estimation it was none the less important to himself, nor to the saints of his day. It was in view of this coming of Christ that he admonished the saints, comforted those who were in affliction, warned the unruly, encouraged the weak, charged Timothy, exhorted Titus, and sounded his loudest alarms in the ears of a gainsaying world, until he made them tremble. See Acts 24 chapter, 24 and 25 verses. In viewing the foregoing sayings of Paul, we shall find that he has said in substance the same things which John has said in the revelations, so that there can be no doubt that they both viewed the subject in the same point of light.
Paul says that Christ is coming again, and though he does not directly say that he is coming in the clouds, yet he says it indirectly in the 4 chapter of first Thessalonians, 16, and 17 verses, as before quoted: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air." So the Lord, when he comes, must be in the clouds, or else the saints who remained at his coming, would not be caught up in the clouds to meet him. This plainly shows that Paul expected he would come in the clouds.
So says John the Revelator, in the 20 chapter of the Revelations, as before quoted. Daniel also in the 7 chapter and 13 verse of his prophecy; and so says the Savior himself: in this point then they all agree.
Paul says, that at his coming they that sleep in Christ shall be raised: so says John.
Paul says that he will take vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel: 2 Thessalonians 1 chapter and 8 verse. John says, that all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.
Isaiah shows in the 24 chapter of his prophecy, that an innumerable train of judgments shall fall on those who have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, and broken the everlasting covenant, until the earth shall be utterly wasted; and all this when the Lord comes to reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously. And in the 35 chapter, as before mentioned, in speaking to Israel of the coming of their God, or Messiah, that he would come with vengeance: "even God with a recompense he will come and save you." See the 4 verse.
Daniel says, that he will break in pieces and destroy all the kingdoms of the world, and his kingdom shall stand forever. Compare the 7 chapter, 13 and 14 verses, with the second chapter and 44 verse, as before quoted.
From the complete harmony there is among these writers, there can no doubt exist in the mind of any canded [candid] person, that they all understood the subject alike, and have written for the benefit of the last days.
James, in the 5 chapter and 7 and 8 verses of his epistle, makes mention of the coming of the Savior. "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruits of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain. Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."
Peter, in his second epistle, first chapter 16 verse says, to the saints of his day: "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; but were eye witnesses of his majesty."
Jude also makes mention of his coming in his epistle, 14 and 15 verses, which is a quotation from the prophecy of Enoch, which is not extant at present; but Jude having preserved this item, shows to us thereby that the coming of the Lord was understood at a very early date in the history of the world, and that Enoch also the seventh from Adam was made acquainted with it. "And Enoch also the seventh from Adam prophesied of these, saying. Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints." Zachariah in the 14 chapter of his prophecy and 5 verse as before mentioned says, that all the saints will be with him. John in the Revelations says, all them that are redeemed from among men are to be with him. Paul says, that his mighty angels will be with him.
All these doubtless refer to the same time and to the same beings, namely, the saints who are at that time to reign with him on the earth, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
In addition to what John has said in the Revelations, he has declared the same thing in his first epistle, second chapter and 28 verse. "And now, little children, abide in him, that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming."
In the Acts of the apostles, first chapter 10 and 11 verses, we have the testimony of the heavenly messengers. "And while he looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, 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." In the 9 verse of this chapter we are told that while the apostles beheld, he was taken up and a bright cloud received him out of their sight; and if he comes in like manner as he went, (according to the sayings of the angels,) he will come in a cloud.
The prophet Malachi gives us a corresponding testimony in the 3 chapter of his prophecy, 1, 2, and 3 verses: "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: Behold, he shall come saith the Lord of hosts; but who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap. [Paul says, in the first chapter of his second epistle to the Thessalonians, 7 and 8 verses, that he shall be revealed in fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel.] And he shall set as a refiner, and purifier of sliver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness."
Some have supposed that the prophet in the above quotation referred to the first coming of the Savior; but at the first coming he did not come suddenly to his temple, neither did he appear in any sense as a refiner's fire, nor did he purge the sons of Levi, that they offered unto the Lord an offering in righteousness: but all this has to take place when he comes, as prophesied of by this prophet.
David, in the 50 Psalm, doubtless has his eye fixed on the second coming of Christ, when he says in the 3 verse: "Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him." No such occurrence has taken place yet, but will when the Lord comes with all the saints, to reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
TO BE CONTINUED.
THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR.
KIRTLAND, OHIO, MAY, 1834.
PROGRESS OF THE CHURCH OF THE LATTER DAY
Numberless have been the false reports, and unceasing have been the exertions of many to stop the spread of the everlasting gospel in these last days; but still our hearts are made glad with the cheering intelligence from time to time of the increase and prosperity of this glorious work. With all the vain and ridiculous reports; with all the strife and exertion of such as are in danger of having their deeds exposed; with all the cry of "false prophets, false teachers, and false Chrits [Christ]!" with all the combined influence of both the wisdom and ignorance of the age, and with every kind of abuse and ill treatment, from the reproaches of the lying tongue, blasting reputations, and defaming characters, to the bold rebellion of mid-day mobs, to the abuse of innocence and the sacrifice of life, the enemies of righteousness have hitherto failed in their attempts to overthrow the truth-still it spreads, still it prospers, still it prevails; and like the spring current of the Great Missouri, it rolls on as though nought except brakes and weeds were attempting to stop it in its decreed course.
Upheld by the power of Omnipotence, amid persecutions unparalleled in the history of the world, though it has progressed slowly, it has moved on, and not unfrequently those who have fought against it with great zeal, have, after a careful investigation, been constrained to acknowledge that it was the work of God. There is a peace communicated to the heart; there is a blessing given; there is a brightening of the intellect; there is a communion enjoyed; there is a faith unfeigned; there is an opening prospect which unfolds futurity to the understanding; there is a Spirit received, and an assurance given, that before these all things of a perishable nature sink into nothing; and the vain schemes; the false pretence [pretense]; the dark and incomprehensible plans of all former generations, framed for craft, and held forth as a savor of life to mankind, vanish like the mist, and pass like the smoke before the whirlwind, and leave the saint in a cloudless atmosphere, undisturbed, to contemplate the scenes of eternity, and rejoice in the assurance of endless peace and glory in the presence of God.
Having attended a Conference of late in Norton, Medina county, we had the privilege of meeting many of the elders from the south and west, the more part of whom were strangers to us except by information, and many of their names we had never heard before. The elders represented a number of churches lately established, and generally bore glad tidings concerning the present and future prospects of the cause. Great harmony and union prevailed, and the conference was truly interesting, not only because so many were brought together professing the same thing, but our hearts were comforted as our hopes were brightened with the light and intelligence reflected on the occasion; and we witnessed the power and influence of the gospel of our Lord, in bringing, not only strangers together from different parts of our country, but men of different languages, brought up under different instructions and different principles of faith, to rejoice together in the bonds of the new covenant, and be ONE.
There are churches in the south that were not represented at this conference, and it is probable that the information was not received, as the appointment was not general. Several of the elders residing in the western churches were also absent, and we suppose for the same reason. Our regular conferences, will hereafter be noticed in the Star if we receive the information in season, and all the brethren [the elders] should arrange their business so as to attend.
The church in Norton has greatly increased since it was first organized, in both intelligence and numbers; their meetings, as we were informed, are very interesting; the Holy Spirit is richly given, and the Lord is manifesting his goodness in a special manner. Many are anxiously enquiring [inquiring] from time to time, to know whether those things are of God, and the work is evidently gaining strength daily. It is now more than one year since the fulness [fullness] of the gospel was proclaimed in that vicinity, and though prejudice had fortified the minds of many against it in consequence of false reports, when the truth was preached it was embraced in sincerity, and the church numbered from sixty to seventy at the time of the conference.
Our brethren in Norton had made sufficient arrangements for the accommodation of the elders and visiting brethren; and we acknowledge with gratitude to the Lord, the warmth of affection with which ourselves were received, and the kindness bestowed in the necessary requirements of nature; and we take this opportunity of assuring our brethren, that the remembrance will ever be cherished with feelings of deep respect. There is a tie uniting the hearts of those who embrace the new covenant, to which others are utter strangers, and when called by other engagements and duties to part with those for whom we have the purest love, it always awakens in our bosoms a desire which can only be realized, for the Lord to roll on his kingdom, and hasten the time when all may rest in his presence and part no more.
The other churches represented in the conference, are in the counties of Cuyahoga, Knox, Richland, Stark and Wayne. We have been informed, that there are some eight or ten churches south, that were not represented in the conference, and that the work is spreading in those parts considerably: we are acquainted with some elders in Lawrence county who were not present. Certain it is, that wherever this gospel is preached, and wherever people will dismiss their prejudices to give it a fair hearing, there it finds believers, and there it finds advocates. And notwithstanding that charm which holds mankind as with a cord of destiny, the door is opening wider, and calls for preaching are made on the right hand and on the left.
New churches are continually rising as the light spreads, and it is our peculiar privilege to hear, frequently, from different individuals, calling themselves our brethren, of whose names we have before never heard, and whose faces we have never seen, and learning of saints where we had not heard that the gospel had been preached. The following letter was received a few days since, and though the writer is a stranger, he will pardon us for taking the liberty of copying it into the Star.
"May 2, 1834.
Dear Brother-I take this opportunity of writing to let you know what the Lord is doing for the children of men in these last days. Last winter, one year ago, brother Simeon Carter came through our section of country, preaching the everlasting gospel of our blessed Savior, which made a great ado: almost every person went to hear the 'Mormon preacher, one of the deceivers that was to come in the last days,' as they were called-I among the rest went to hear what he had to say; but to my astonishment, it was the first gospel sermon I ever heard; although I was in the habit of hearing preaching under the name of the 'ancient gospel,' which did not come as near to it as the children of Benjamin could throw a stone and not miss, though they were left-handed. Our preacher was chosen to refute him; but when he came to appose truth with error, he found that a mole could as soon upset the Rocky Mountains, or a popgun blow down the Pyramids of Egypt, as his system stand against the system of truth. He became converted, and is now preaching the everlasting gospel to perishing sinners."
"Last harvest, brethren Drolinger and Emmet, came through our country, and preached a few times with us, and baptized and established a church with sixteen members; since that time three more have joined with us."
"Never was there a time when it was the duty of saints to pray, 'Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven,' more than at this time. Pure and undefiled religion is almost banished from the earth, and in its place, creeds and confessions of men of corrupt minds, men that would sell the flock for the fleece! We have as much right as Micah to cry out. 'The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us."
"The church I spake of is on Sugar Creek, Shelby county, Indiana.-One brother and myself, with our families, moved into Kentucky, seven miles from Cincinnati, last month, and are trying to serve the Lord according to the Articles and Covenants of the church of Christ. We have established a church of eight members, who agree to serve the Lord with full purpose of heart. Last Lord's day but one, I baptized two, and there is a prospect of more. There is one truth in the bible, if no more: That they that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution."
"Dear brother, we want you all to pray for us, that we may be able to stand in the evil day; for when I look round among the sects, and see so much malice, hatred, emulation, strife, and worldly mindedness, I am led to believe that the love of the Father is not in them."
"Brother, I look forward to that happy day, the glorious morning
which has began to dawn, and anticipate the time when the Lord shall have purged the filth of the daughter of Zion; when the ransomed shall return with songs of everlasting joy upon their heads: when the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even forever."
"If brother Simeon Carter is in Kirtland, give my love to him, and tell him, the good seed that he sowed on Sugar Creek has taken root downward, and brought forth fruit upward to the glory of God."
"I have sent for the Evening and the Morning Star, commencing with the first number printed at Kirtland, one volume to be directed to Aaron Hart, and the other to myself, at Dury Creek P. O. Campbell co. Ky. -I hope they will do much good, as the people here know nothing of such a paper. You will forgive the hurried manner with which I have written."
"May the Lord bless you with the necessary gifts and graces, to be useful here, and in the end crown you in his kingdom-which is my prayer, for Christ's sake."
Unto those who endure to the end, our Lord has promised an inheritance in his glory, and nothing can be more encouraging to the saints, than to learn of the prosperity of their Redeemer's cause. Sure it is, that he will carry it on till all enemies are subdued, and those who will not till then, at the great day fast approaching, will there bow the knee. Our strange brother will accept assurances of our esteem and respect, both for himself and the church at that place, and we ask earnestly implore our Father's blessing for him in the name of Christ, as he can for us, for his future usefulness in the cause of God, and commend him to that source for wisdom from whence the pure in heart never fail to receive. Such always have suffered persecution, and such may expect to suffer while wickedness walks abroad unrestrained. Brother Simeon Carter was living in Jackson co. Mo. with the church in that place till they were driven out last fall, but was residing in Clay co. when the last intelligence was received of him.
From brother P. Pratt's journal we learn of the increase of the work in some parts of the state of New-York. Brother Pratt left this place the first of March for the east, in company with several other elders, whom, as he says, he left in Livingston co. and continued his journey to Jefferson co. and found five or six small churches in that vicinity, surrounded with opposition, and the craft advocates, as in all other places busily engaged in publishing and framing falsehoods, to prejudice the public and dissuade all from investigating, or even hearing.
While traveling east, he informs us, that he baptized a young man in the town of Freedom, and during his stay in Jefferson co. and vicinity, on one occasion eight members, and at another, several more. Though only permitted to tarry a few days, thousands flocked to hear, deep-rooted prejudice gave way before the force of truth, and many who had previously been opposed, acknowledged that their minds had been led to conclude that all was deception, in consequence of evil reports and misrepresentations. During his tour to the east, brothers J. Murdock and O. Pratt, baptized twenty two in Freedom, and at his return he baptized three, constituting a church of 26 members.
From late intelligence received we learn of the success of the cause.-Meetings are attended by many, and the spirit of enquiry [inquiry] is manifest. The brethren are strong in the Lord, and are receiving, in a degree, those gifts which were enjoyed by the ancient saints. Many marvel, and though they are unwilling to ascribe it to the power of the devil, they are equally as unwilling to acknowledge that it is the work of God. True it is, that those professing the religion of the ancients, even the faith of Jesus, have lived so long without communion with God, that when they see his power manifested they are ready to reject it; and no marvel, for they are wholly unprepared to receive it, and being thus destitute of the Holy Spirit, are in no situation to judge correctly whether it is of God or not.
We are also informed by a letter from brother Bishop, dated at Salisberry, Ct. the 8th inst. that the work is beginning to find friends and advocates in that place. He informs us that he has baptized seven, and more are anxiously enquiring [inquiring]. There is an unwillingness in many to turn out to hear for themselves, and of course, it is the policy of craft advocates to cry "Delusion, herisy [heresy]," and "blasphemy," intermixed with as many unaccountable extravagances as they can frame concerning the faith of this society, to prevent their followers from hearing the gospel. It is a matter of astonishment that a people as forward in science and intelligence as the inhabitants of the northern and middle states, should be held under bondage to that degree that they cannot hear any thing without firstly obtaining consent of their priests. We know that in old time the priests contrived to get a law passed that the people should not only attend the "proper" place of worship, but must observe the regular form of walking while going to and from. We say walking, because it was contrary to law to go any faster, and then they must go in a very devout manner or answer for the offense before a magistrate.
As a specimen of the opposition which this work has to encounter in many places, from those who pretend to have the care of mens' souls, we give a paragraph from brother Pratt's journal. From a personal acquaintance of near four years with brother Pratt, we are prepared to say, unhesitatingly, that he sustains the character of a man of truth, and the following having been corroborated verbally by another brother who was present at the time, we are prepared to give it to our readers as a statement on which they can depend.
"While in Jefferson co. we held a meeting in the large village of Sacketsharbor and the house was filled to overflowing. After we were through preaching the Rev. Mr. More, a man noted for talents, learning and salary, arose and testified to the congregation that he had read the book of Mormon, and that there was no such thing written in it as Christ appearing to the Nephites, and teaching them his gospel and the mode of baptism. He also testified that there was no testimony of three witnesses written in the book, that they had seen an angel. The people then gave a shout and the whole house rang. With much ado I got their attention to hear one remark, which was this, I am happy, said I, to state that the book of Mormon is before the public, and if this congregation will take the trouble to examine it half an hour, they will have the satisfaction of proving to a demonstration, that the Rev. Mr. More is a willful liar. The house again resounded with the shouts of the multitude."
Our readers may understand, that there has been but one edition of the book of Mormon printed, and relative to the two assertions of Mr. More, we leave them to judge whether his object was a good or a bad one in saying that he had read the book of Mormon, and that such statements were not to be found in it. From the 476 to the 511th pages may be found an account of the ministry of Christ to the Nephites, and on the 589th the testimony of three witnesses. If Mr. More had ever read the book, as he said, he must have been a dull scholar to pass over these two points and not notice them; and if he had never read it, our friends may judge, as we before said, whether he designed in the presence of God to tell a falsehood, for fear that the truth would injure his craft, or whether he thought that it was no more harm to lie to stop the spread of herisy [heresy] than to print religious lies to convert the world.
When the Lord gave his apostles charge to go forth and preach, as he was about to leave them, what were the instructions? and what order of teaching were they to observe? Was it to frame and publish lies that the world might be converted and obey the truth? Let us see the commission:
"Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 24 chapter 19 and 20 verses.
From this communication, then, we learn a certain fact, and that is, that they were to teach all nations those things which had previously been taught them by the Savior. Now, if the Savior had taught them lies, then they were to teach them to the world; but if he had taught them truth, then they were bound to teach the same, and if they did not they were transgressors.
We will look at the world converted under the teachings of the Savior by the apostles, and see the society, and also see whether they would be prepared to stand in the day of indignation and vengeance. "He that repenteth and is baptized, shall be saved; and he that repenteth not shall be damned." If men are required to repent, what are they to repent of? of good acts or evil ones? If of evil acts, would it not be of lying, stealing, and other crimes similar? But if not, the world must repent that they have ever told the truth, and immediately be baptized, or they must be damned. This is the order, if the Savior taught his apostles lies; for they were to follow his teachings. Not to multiply, or insert all the clauses where truth is held forth as the maxim of heaven, we give only the following:
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you free." John, 8 ch. 31 and 32 verses. Understand, "Teach them to observe those things which I have taught you". "Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of TRUTH is come, he will guide you into all TRUTH." John 16 ch. 13 verse. "Therefore whosever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock." Mat. 7 ch. 24,25, verses.
Observe, those Jews who continued in his word, were to be his disciples, and were to be made free by knowing and continuing in the truth. And from the quotation from Matthew's testimony we are informed, that those who hear his sayings and keep them, are to stand when the indignation passes over. This then, is the manner of teaching left on record, which the apostles followed, if they obeyed the command of the Lord, and thus stands the promise to those who observe it.
We shall now look at that order of society formed by the conversion of men (as the sects would have them) with religious lies published in tracts, and falsehoods framed and promulgated by their leaders, to expose what they call delusion, and stop the spread of what they call herisy [heresy]. It is admissible, no doubt, in the mind of every professed believer of the bible, that the apostles were good men, and walked in such perfection that from time to time they received revelations, the ministry of angels, and even saw the Lord. Those churches which they organized after the manner of the Savior's teaching, as they were commanded, also attained to the same standing before God. So we see that they taught a system which was able to make others as perfect as themselves, and of course, it could make their followers no more, if they [the apostles] observed their own teachings.
If the apostles were good men and taught the truth, and were only able to arrive to the perfection which would enable them to receive the ministering of angels, and converse with the Lord, as well as those who followed the same form of teaching, and now men come forward under a pretence [pretense] of preaching the same gospel, and are filled with deceit, and for fear their systems will not be received, condescend to publish falsehoods, will that people thus taught, and those societies thus led, ever arrive to the perfection of the ancients, and be prepared to stand when the storm shall come?
Men might do well, perhaps, if they would keep in sight the strict injunction of the Savior: "Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." And if any man "observe these sayings of mine he shall not fall when the floods come." Again: "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." And again: "The truth shall make you free." Supposing the publishers of tracts should write a falsehood concerning a certain dispensation of providence, as they would call it, and tell a long story of the judgments of heaven which came upon an individual in Europe, or another place, at so great a distance that the falsehood could not be detected without more trouble than any man would subject himself to, and set forth as a reason, that the character did not attend their meetings, or something else as foolish, and some half a dozen persons should be what they call converted, would it be by the force of truth? and query, if it was not by the force of truth, would it not be by the force of a lie? and if by the force of a lie would they be sanctified? If they were they would be sanctified through a lie, and not the truth. And if they were thus converted, would the truth make them free, or would they be free by believing a lie?
If the truth of heaven is at last found to be insufficient to convert mankind, and those who pretend to teach the gospel are under the necessity of framing falsehoods to give it currency, well may the saint dispair [despair] of ever seeing the world converted to God to the last generation when the earth shall be wrapped in fire and the heavens be rolled together as a scroll. If such as pretend to have authority to teach those principles which came from above, condescend to report falsehoods to support their systems, in vain may they think to escape the impending destruction which awaits all who have not a foundation laid upon the rock. If none are founded upon the rock except such as follow the precepts of heaven; if none are sanctified except those who are sanctified through the truth; if none are perfected except such as observe all things which Christ commanded his apostles to teach all nations, and if none have a hope based upon a more sure foundation than such as cling to men who frame and publish lies to oppose the truth, farewell, this generation may say, to all our hopes, and adieu to the prospects of ever reaching those mansions in the House of the Father, where his elect are to dwell-the rain will descend, the floods will come, and the winds will blow, their false pretences [pretenses] with their vain hope will perish in an instant, while leaders and led will be overwhelmed with the same ruin, and sink without exception into the same pit!-[Editor of the Star.]
Under the head Communicated on the last page of this number, will be seen the Minutes of a Conference held by the elders of The Church of the Latter Day Saints, in this place on the 3rd of this month. It is now more than four years since this church was organized in these last days, and though the conferences have always shown by their minutes, that they took no other name than the name of Christ, the church has, particularly abroad, been called "Mormonite." As the members of this church profess a belief in the truth of the book of Mormon, the world, either out of contempt and ridicule, or to distinguish us from others, have been very lavish in bestowing the title of "Mormonite." Others may call themselves by their own, or by other names, and have the privilege of wearing them without our changing them or attempting so to do; but WE do not accept the above title, nor shall we wear it as OUR name, though it may be lavished out upon US double to what it has heretofore been. And when that bitterness of feeling, now cherished in the bosoms of those who profess to be the followers of Christ, against the church of the Latter Day Saints, shall cease to exist, and when fabrications and desipient reports concerning this society are no longer considered a virtue, it will take its rank, at least with others, and these stigmas will forever sleep with their inventors.
It is not our intention to go into a lengthy investigation of names, in this article, nor shall we examine, particularly, the claims of each party to the right of heirship in the house of God. This thing is certain, however, if one is right, all the others are wrong, and if they are all right the bible is not true; for when the doctrine therein advocated is compared with this confused mass of heathenism, mockery, and idolatry, the resemblance is so foreign, that a candid mind would say at once, that if the same being was author of these, and that book too, he must be possessed of as many different natures as the "hydra" was of heads.
Let the man who never heard that there was a bible, or a religion professed by men, the merits of which they said would waft them to perfection and glory, examine the contents of that book and note its precepts, and then compare those precepts with the religions of this age, and where would he find that exact uniformity which would be necessary, for him to acknowledge that they were one, and cause the proper conviction that a Superior Being was author of them both, and cause him to embrace it with an unfeigned confidence that it came from his Maker? He might find a list of other names, to be sure, but as he was not taught by tradition that these names, or the wearers of them, professed to be like that people represented in the bible, he could not think that the one claimed any affinity to the other, without an abundance of labor in manufacturing him over.
Should it be urged, that those professing a belief in the bible, and not only professing a belief but to be followers of the doctrine contained in the same, were certain that they were right, we would ask for the example in that book which they profess came from God, of these different names, and for samples of the doctrine held forth by them to the world for others to follow, assuring all eternal life who will yield an obedience to the same? If there is a sect now extant, professing to follow the teachings of heaven, and cannot, when they present their system to the consideration of the unbeliever, affirm, upon the authority of heaven, that by obeying it he is sure of eternal salvation, what can induce them to hold it out to the inspection of men, and teach it as coming from God? Is the system of man's salvation founded upon an uncertainty? and is it of that curious compound, that there can be a thousand ways, and all mean the same thing, and at last
effect the same object? If it is urged that the ancient Saints were a different people in worship, had different ordinances, were partakers of other joys and privileges, and all this was necessary for their salvation, might we not with propriety ask, why was all this necessary for them, and is now unnecessary for those whose profession says that they are heirs of the same kingdom, children of the same Parent, and are expecting to be equal sharers with them in those joys which never fade, in that house not made with hands?
If it shall be further urged, that among all these are to be found the children of the kingdom of God, because each profess to believe the bible, we again ask for a sample in the sacred record where he ever took from Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Herodians, Samaritans, and of the other different sects, and called them the children of his kingdom? We admit, that from each of these, such as would repent and be baptized, were permitted to enter his kingdom, and were then recognized as his children; but all were one, professors of the same faith, members of the same body, and followers of the same Lord. They had no distinction of sects, this was lost when they obeyed the commandment, and were admitted into the church. They all followed one form of teaching, and each observed the same ordinances; and if a difference of opinion arose, the matter was decided by revelation. Thus they all walked the same road, were members of the same family, partakers of the same joys, and heirs to the same incorruptible inheritance-In short, they were the church of God, they were his SAINTS.
Had the apostles found the churches which they built up and organized, separating into different parties, some observing one ordinance and neglecting another, another party observing the ordinances which the first neglected, and neglecting the one which another observed, in what manner would the apostles have written to them on the subject? After reproofs and correction, (for certainly, they would have subjected themselves to rebukes,) if they still continued in that course, what would have been the result?-Would the Lord have directed his apostles to write in his name, and acknowledge them as his Saints? And if the ancient churches were required to observe the same order, where is the license for such as profess to be like them, to perform only a part of those ordinances, and yet be equal with them in assurances of eternal life? When the fact is admitted that the ancient saints were required to follow the same ordinances, and that no distinction of names were suffered to exist, may it not be asked, from whence all these different names, if from them all God is to take a certain portion, and will ultimately save that portion in his everlasting kingdom? Why not do away all names except one, if God is to save all? Were the ordinances of the gospel given for men to follow, or were they not? If the ancients were commanded to walk by the same rule, and be obedient to the same system, will the Lord make another people equal with them, whose names have been different, their actions different, their ordinances different, their performances different, and their whole systems of faith and worship, as diverse from the former, as the worship of the church at ancient Philadelphia, and the present Hindoos [Hindu's]?
If none were entitled to the name Saints, except such as kept all the commandments and observed all the ordinances of heaven, and walked in that perfect manner that all their actions corresponded, so that in truth they could be called one family, it is no wonder, that those who have departed from the course which the ancients were required to pursue in order to make their election sure, should now substitute other names, and that their names should be as dissimilar as their forms of worship; for certainly, it would be as inconsistent to suppose, by altering their names without reforming their systems, that that would give them a greater assurance of eternal life, as it would to suppose, that by calling themselves by one, they would yet all unite in ascribing glory to God for the plan of salvation, founded upon that act, when none of them agreed in principle. And since they have departed from the practices of the ancient saints, we do not see why they should be required to call themselves after their names, thinking to be benefited by it so long as they do not walk as they did. Their systems being of their own forming, we know not why they are not at liberty to name them, and if they choose, call them by their own names, as none of them pretend that God has ever spoken to them, or given them a name of any kind.-[Editor of the Star.]
THE OUTRAGE IN JACKSON COUNTY,
By letters regularly received from Upper Missouri, we are informed that the mob still persist in their former course of conduct, that is, to destroy property and seek life when ever an opportunity presents. We have been informed that they have passed a regular decree, that no saint ["Mormons," they would call them] shall come into Jackson county and live, after the first of last April. Our friends have generally been wise, and have not exposed their lives by venturing in small numbers into a county where the whole population except a few, have pledged their property and lives by oath and bound, to violate the laws and trample the constitution of our country under their feet.
Not long since, however, we were informed, that a young man by the name of Ira J. Willis, went into that county in search of a stray cow, and was surrounded and taken by the mob, who whipped and beat him until his life was despaired of. We are personally acquainted with brother Willis, and know him to be a young man of first morality and respectability; of a kind and affectionate disposition, and one who never molests or insults any man without, and we might say, with provocation.
From the following fact communicated a few days since, we are ready to conclude, that not only the members of the church of the Latter Day Saints, are in danger of being molested and abused if they go into Jackson county; but any one whose principles the mob may suspect are different from their own, is likewise liable to be insulted. A few days since Mr. Arthur, a respectable and wealthy planter of Clay county, sent one of his black servants into Jackson county with a large wagon loaded with whiskey, flour, and bacon. After the servant had crossed the River a stranger came out of the woods and began to burst open the barrels and dostroy [destroy] the flour, threatening the life of the negro if he should ever come into that county again. Mr. Arthur is not a member of this, or any other religious society, as we know of, and what could have led to the commission of this strange deed, is not for us to say; but it would appear that all reason and respect has entirely fled from those characters, and they are like the wild beast, left to prowl upon every creature whom they suspect weaker than themselves, whether they are members of this church or not. The fact is, they have violated every principle of civil liberty, and can have no fellowship with, nor confidence in any but their own gang, and unless they are different from all others thus abandoned, they can have no confidence even in themselves.
But the mob are safe enough, as regards criminal prosecutions, because they hold the offices of the county in their own hands, and of course, no criminal process can or will avail any thing, were it to be undertaken. So they can inflict abuse, or even take the life of any man against whom they have a spleen and that too at mid-day, and a jury of the same kind of men, bound with them to break the law of the land, would, of course, liberate such individuals. Thus have they contrived to escape justice, evade the force of the law, and enrich themselves with the spoils of a people whom they have dispossessed of their land, and forced to flee for life.
In the affair of the mob with brother Willis they conducted as on similar occasions, and they must think that the act will reflect great honor upon their characters; indeed, it shows their true courage as it has ever been manifested from the beginning. For a large company of armed men to surround one man, commence insults upon his person and inflict wounds with whips and clubs till his life is despaired of, when he is destitute of the means of self defense, and without a friend near to assist him, must be ranked among the most barbarous acts of the abandoned savage. But this has thus far been their manner of procedure, and we know not as any one can expect a different course, at least for the better. Whenever they have committed depredations they have always gone in large companies, and have fallen upon a few, thus gratifying their murderous dispositions upon defenseless innocence, so long as they knew that our friends were in possession of arms.
On the 20th of July, after demolishing a printing office, three or four hundred could take TWO when they knew that they would offer no resistance, and drive or drag them upon the public square, and then tar and feather them, because they were in no danger of being hurt; but had these two men armed themselves with sufficient weapons, they would have seen
those ruffians turn their backs in haste; for death to them would have been an unwelcome visitor on that occasion. On the 23rd, five hundred could take seven individuals, and threaten life and destruction of property, and pass the day off with abundance of mirth and whiskey, thinking that affairs were moving on in regular order. At other times when committing violence, they have attempted it in the night with great numbers, assaulting one or two families at a time, armed with rifles and pistols; but the moment our friends resorted to arms, and actually fired upon the mob they fled in all directions. On the 4th of Nov. 60 or more armed men and on horseback, after two or three shots from about 20, fled in confusion, leaving their wounded and dying. We have given these few items as a specimen of their courage, when our friends were in a situation to defend themselves.
When their arms were given into the hands of what they called the civil authority, or rather the authority that ought to have been civil, then every mean and cowardly villain, who had previously stood back, rushed out to gratify his revenge; and among these was the Rev. Isaac M'Coy! Yes, the Rev. Isaac M'Coy, a Missionary; a baptist Missionary! sent to convert the Indians! Not content with the calamity which was brought upon an inoffensive and defenseless people, he grasped his gun and marched at the head of a company of ruffians, and ordered women and children to flee for their lives. This is a true follower of John Calvin "as your fathers did so do you."
The following from bro. W. W. Phelps, is the last intelligence from the west; and as it gives particulars we insert it, deferring further remarks till a future number.-[Editor of the Star.]
Liberty, May 1, 1834.
Dear Brethren:-There are great moves in the west. Last week an alarm was spread in Jackson county, the seat of iniquity and bloodshed, that the "Mormons" were crossing the Missouri, to take possession of their lands, and nearly all the county turned out, "prepared for war," on Saturday, and on Sunday took the field, near old McGees, above Blue. But no "Mormons" came; neither did Arthur go over to see about his spilt whiskey, so that the scene closed with burning our houses, or many of them. Our people had about one hundred and seventy buildings in Jackson, and a bonfire of nearly all of them, at once, must have made a light large enough to have glared on the dark deed and cup of iniquity running over, at midnight.
The crisis has come: All that will not take up arms with the mob and prepare to fight the "Mormons," have to leave Jackson county.
I understand some have left the county because they refused to fight an innocent people. It is said the mob will hold a "general muster" this week for the purpose of learning who is who. They begin to slip over the Missouri and commit small depredations upon our brethren settled near the river, as we have reason to believe.
It is said to be enough to shock the stoutest heart to witness the drinking, swearing, and ravings of the most of the mob: nothing but the power of God can stop them in their latter day crusade against the church of Christ.
Our brethren are very industrious in putting in spring crops; and they are generally in good health and the faithful in strong faith of a glorious hereafter.
I remain yours, &c,
W. W. PHELPS.
Kirtland, Ohio, May 3, 1834.
MINUTES of a Conference of the Elders of the church of Christ, which church was organized in the township of Fayette, Seneca county, New-York, on the 6th of April, A. D. 1830.
The Conference came to order, and JOSEPH SMITH JR. was chosen Moderator, and FREDERICK G. WILLIAMS and OLIVER COWDERY, were appointed clerks.
After prayer the Conference proceeded to discuss the subject of names and appellations, when a motion was made by SIDNEY RIGDON, and seconded by NEWEL K. WHITNEY, that this church be known hereafter by the name of THE CHURCH OF THE LATTER DAY SAINTS. Appropriate remarks were delivered by some of the members, after which the motion was put by the Moderator, and passed by unanimous voice.
Resolved that this Conference recommend to the Conferences and Churches abroad, that in making out and transmitting Minutes of their proceedings, such minutes and proceedings be made out under the above title.
Resolved that these Minutes be signed by the Moderator and Clerks, and published in The Evening and The Morning Star.
JOSEPH SMITH JR. Moderator
FREDERICK G. WILLIAMS,
OLIVER COWDERY. Clerks.
TO OUR SUBSCRIBERS.
-> If each patron of the Star would obtain another subscriber, they would, by that means, advance the spread of truth, and many who are now ignorant of the gospel might come to a knowledge of the glories of the last days. When we have a privilege of benefiting our fellow men, and that privilege is presented without trouble on our part more than merely exerting an influence which every man has with his neighbor, a principle ought always to exist in our bosoms, to seek his benefit without delay, and present the light as communicated to ourselves. Perhaps, one may be instrumental in showing the path of righteousness to his neighbor in that clear conspicuous manner which will persuade him to embrace it, and by that simple means, God may in the order of his purposes, bring that man into his everlasting kingdom.
We admit, that our country is literally filled with stated publications, and many are conducted under the title of religious periodicals. There can be no objection in the mind of any man who delights in the prosperity of his country, to witness the increase of the means of intelligence, and to see that means employed in communicating light and science; but amid this great mass of matter, darkness yet covers the earth, and the pure, simple principles of the gospel of Christ are untouched, and men are hastening to ruin!
Our patrons are entitled to acknowledgments from us for their liberality heretofore, and we still solicit an exertion on their part to enlarge our subscription. The low price of the Star will enable every individual, if disposed, to become a subscriber. From our brethren in the ministry we have a right to expect an unceasing exertion to increase the spread of this paper, as they will often find by so doing, that where they introduce the Star, frequent doors are opened and they kindly received, deep rooted malice gives way, and the public is thus prepared to give them a hearing without abuse, which otherwise might not have been. As the work spreads the Star will continue to be more interesting, and as the time draws nigh when desolations are to cover the wicked and envelop the nations in one universal calamity, we can only persuade men to turn to God that they may stand unmoved with his saints, when deliverance is not to be found except in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.-[Editor.]
WHAT wond'rous things we now behold, Then Ephraim's sons, a warlike race,
Which were declar'd from days of old Shall haste in peace and see their rest,
By prophets, who in vision clear And earth's remotest parts abound,
Beheld those glories from afar. With joys of everlasting sound.
The visions which the God, Assyria's captives, long since lost,
Confirm'd by his unchanging word, In splendor come a num'rous host;
That to the ages then unborn Egyptia's waters fill'd with fear,
His greatest work he would perform. Their power feel and disappear.
The second time he'd set his hand Yes, Abram's children now shall be
To gather Israel to their land, Like sand in number by the sea;
Fulfil [fulfill] the cov'nants he had made, While kindreds, tongues, and nations all
And pour his blessings on their head. Combine, to make the numbers full.
When Moab's remnant, long oppress'd, The dawning of that day has come,
Should gather'd be and greatly blest: See! Abram's sons are gath'ring home,
And Ammons children, scatter'd wide, And daughters too, with joyful lays,
Return with joy, in peace abide. Are hast'ning here to join in praise!
While Elam's race a feeble band, O God, our Father, and our King,
Receive a share in the blest land; Prepare our voices and our theme;
And Gentiles, all their power display Let all our pow'rs in one combine
To hasten on the glorious day. To sing thy praise in songs divine.
The Evening and Morning Star
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