Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter
Millenium. NO. VI.
[Continued from our last.]
What proves that David, in this Psalm, had reference to the second coming of Christ is, that in the 5 verse, he says, "Gather my saints together unto me; those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." Paul says, in the 2 chapter, of the 2 epistle to the Thessalonians, and the first verse: "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him." In the 24 chapter of Matthew, when the Savior is speaking of his second coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, he says, verse 31: "And he shall send his angels with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
The prophet Habakkuk, in the 3 chapter of his prophecy, & 3 verse, doubtless alluded to the second coming of Christ: "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand; and there was the hiding of his power. Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet. He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations: and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting." No such wonders as these have transpired yet, nor is there any thing ever mentioned by the prophets to take place that can admit of such a scene but the second coming of Christ.
Isaiah, in the 64 chapter of his prophecy, and first verse, uses very similar language, at least, sufficiently so, to show that they both had the same thing in view:
"Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence. As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence! verse 3: When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at they presence." It is necessary to observe, that the prophets speak of things to be accomplished long after their day, as though they had been accomplished at the time they wrote, because they saw them accomplished in the vision of heaven.
The same subject of the second coming of Christ is set forth by the sacred writers in another form.
For instance, Peter, in the 3 chapter of the Acts of the apostles, from the 19 to the 25 verse, had the same subject in view, calling it "the times of the restitution of all things:" he says thus: "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heavens must receive, until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people."
The prophet Joel, in the second chapter of his prophecy, calls it the great and terrible day of the Lord: see from the 28 verse to the close of the chapter which reads thus.
"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit. -And I will shew [show] wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall pe [be] turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.-And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call." This same passage is quoted by Peter in the Acts of the apostles, 5 chapter, from the 14 to the 22 verse, with a little variation, such as notable instead of TERRIBLE, and saved instead of DELIVERED, &c.
John, in the 6 chapter of the Revelations, calls it the great day of the wrath of the Lamb. The connection begins at the 12 verse, and continues to the end of the chapter. It reads as follows: "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood: and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll [or parted as a scroll] when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond-man, and every free-man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"
A close reader of the scriptures will see, that the writers, in the preceding quotations, had in view the second coming of Christ, and the things attendant on that advent. In the quotation from the Acts, the apostle says he will send Jesus Christ who was before preached unto you. He also says that Moses had previously spoken of this, that is, that the time was coming when every soul should be cut off from among the people, who would not hear that prophet that was to be raised up like unto himself, which prophet was Christ: but the time that every soul who would not hear that prophet should be cut off has not come yet; but it will when Christ comes: for this is the uniform testimony of all the prophets that have written of these things. Paul says when he comes, he will take vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the gospel. John says, that all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him, and Peter says, that Moses had testified that every soul should be cut off. So great is the sameness among these writers, their need be no mistake that the times of restitution of all things, spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began, is the time of the second coming of the Savior.
The quotation from Joel is equally plain; he says that, "I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood before the great and terrible day of the Lord come;" and at that time their is to be deliverance in mount Zion and in Jerusalem. This is the same in substance as others have said about the second coming of Christ. Paul says, as before referred to, that he should be revealed in fire. Malachi says, when he comes suddenly to his temple, he will be as a refiner's fire.
Joel here says, that the sun shall be darkened and the moon turn to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come. Isaiah says, as before quoted in the 24 chapter of his prophecy and last verse, that 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. Again, Joel says, that there shall be deliverance in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem; and Isaiah says, that the Lord will reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem. The sameness is so striking that any attentive reader may see that the terrible day of the Lord, spoken of by Joel, and quoted by Peter, is the time of Christ's second coming.
In the quotation from the 6 chapter of Revelations, the similarity is as visible: John mentions the sun becoming as sackcloth of hair, the moon turning to blood, and the stars of heaven falling, as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs when shaken of a mighty wind. The Savior says in the 24 chapter of Matthew, when speaking of his second coming, 29 verse, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon turn to blood, and the stars fall from heaven," &c.
It is farther said, in the preceding quotation, that every mountain and island was moved out of their place. Isaiah, in the 64 chapter, as before quoted, speaking of the Lord rending the heavens and coming down, says, that the mountains flowed down at his presence, &c. One more coincidence is, that John says, "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and mighty men, and every bond-man, and every free-man, hid themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us and hide us from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?" This is the same as others have said. Paul says he will take vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel.
Daniel says he will break in pieces and destroy all the kingdoms of the world.
John says, the kings of the earth sought a covert under the rocks and mountains: and in another part of his Revelations, "All kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him." That is, when he comes in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, to reign on the earth a thousand years.
It must be plain to every thinking man, that all these writers in the foregoing passages, referred to the second coming of Christ, and the great and marvelous things there spoken of to be accomplished, are to take place in connection with his second advent and that the great and terrible, or notable day of the Lord, mentioned by Joel, and afterward by Peter, and the times of the restitution of all things spoken of by Peter, as well as the great day of the wrath of the Lamb, all refer to the second coming of the Savior, when he comes to reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
Every candid reader of the bible, who is not so completely bewildered by the prejudice of education, and in the greatest possible darkness, by reason
of false teaching, must see that the second coming of Christ in order to reign on the earth, is by far the most important period in human existence-all the sacred writers have viewed it to be so-heaven, earth, and hell, are to be effected with it-saints, and sinners are deeply interested in it-all the righteous who are sleeping in their graves, fell a sleep in Christ, in view of that glorious and awful day of wonders and majesty-the disembodied spirits of the saints in the paradise of God, are waiting the arrival of that period to receive their glorified bodies, and commence their never-ceasing age of glory by reigning with Christ a thousand years on earth! The prophets, the apostles, Moses, and Jesus, Abel, Enoch, and Abraham, all beheld it afar off and rejoiced in it-The saints above, and the saints on earth are looking and longing for it,-the time when they shall all be gathered together, both the things on earth and the things in heaven, which are in Christ Jesus. Those in heaven to reign with him a thousand years, and those on earth, or in the flesh, to serve him a thousand years in their successive generations. Not only men, both in the flesh and in the spirit, but beasts, reptiles, and birds, are also to rejoice in it: they will cease to hurt and to destroy. The asp, the cockatrice, the lion, the leopard, and the bear, shall all become harmless, the little child shall play unmolested, the weaned child perform its wanderings undisturbed! the calf, the kid, and the lamb, sport in playful mirth, and nothing to make them afraid: the whole lower creation rejoice, and all the heavens be glad! O glorious day, O happy period! rejoice ye heavens, and be exceeding glad O earth! Ye lofty mountains, prepare yourselves to bow respectfully, and prostrate yourselves at the feet of the King of kings, and the Lord of lords; and ye humble valleys wait his advent, that thou mayest be lifted up on high! O earth, roll on, and cease not; bring in haste this day of wonder and glory. O thou time exert all thy powers, and bring it swiftly to our doors! O saints, let your prayers cease not; call upon God day and night, until this day of rest comes, and the heavens and earth rejoice together!
From the foregoing quotations we have learned the following particulars.
1. That Christ is coming again to reign on the earth a thousand years, and that he will bring all the saints with him of every nation, tongue, and kindred, and they shall reign with him.
2. And previous to, and at the time of his coming, the saints on earth are to be gathered together to mount Zion, and to Jerusalem, even all of them, from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other; for there the Lord is to reign before his ancients gloriously.
3. That he will at that time take vengeance on the wicked, even all of them of all kindreds of the earth, for they shall all wail because of him.
Under these three general heads, we design to comprise all that we shall write on the subject of the Millennium in this disertation [dissertation].
The first in order, then is, that Christ is coming again to reign on the earth a thousand years, and that he will bring all the saints with him of every nation, tongue, and kindred, and they shall reign with him.
There is no fact in the bible that is set forth more clearly, than that of Christ's coming to reign on the earth with all the raised saints: it has been declared by all the inspired men since the world began; and it has been the expectation of all the saints in every age of the world, that Christ would come, and they should yet reign with him in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem: the ancient prophets prophesied of it, and the ancient poets sang of it.-Not as some have said, a spiritual (which might be more properly called imaginary) reign; but literal, and personal, as much so as David's reign over Israel, or the reign of any king on earth. All the inspired men have said that Christ shall reign over the earth literally; for literally the kingdoms of this world will become the kindoms [kingdoms] of our God and his Christ, and he shall reign on the earth. And he will as literally break in pieces and destroy all the kingdoms of the world, as ever one king destroyed and broke down the kingdom of another. Never did Cyrus the Great, (as he is called,) more literally break down and destroy the kingdom of ancient Babylon, than will Christ, the Great King, break in pieces and destroy all the kingdoms of the world; and so completely will he do it, that there will not, from one end of the earth to the other, be an individual found whose word, or edict will be obeyed but his own: so that he will completely break in pieces and destroy all kingdoms. See Daniel, 2 chapter, and 44 verse.
But before we enter particularly into an examination of Christ's reign, let us see the situation of the world in relation to the government of heaven, at the time Christ was to begin to make preparation for his great and last advent.
That the world, previous to this time, was to wander far from God, and righteousness was so far to depart from the earth and the true principles of the religion of heaven to be so neglected, as to leave the world in a state of apostasy, is pretty generally acknowledged by all who profess much confidence in the bible. This is the testimony of the Savior himself, and I presume, all will agree, that his testimony is sufficient to establish any point: I mean all who believe him to be the Savior of the world. He says, as recorded in the 24 chapter of Matthew, 37, 38, and 39 verses: "but as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away: so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." TO BE CONTINUED.
FAITH OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THESE
LAST DAYS. NO. IV.
[Continued from our last.]
After all the management and the ingenuity of the sectarian religionists, to make themselves appear righteous, it is impossible for them to hide themselves from the view of an honest reader of the bible: the great disparity between them and the primitive church of Christ is so manifest, that a man must load himself with an immense burden of prejudice not to see it. There are, however, none, or very few at least, but do see it, and have to display all their talents and learning to prove that which no creature that God ever made could prove, and that is, that God has a church on earth which he equally acknowledges with the church built up by the ancient apostles, and this modern church never sustain the same character before him the ancient church did.
It might be considered one of the most marvelous things in the world, for men, with the bible in their hands, and who do believe in future rewards and punishments, to deceive themselves and others by using all their talents and learning, to lead the world astray. Well might Paul say, that wicked men and seducers should wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived; [2 epistle to Timothy, 3 chapter and 13 verse;] for scarce had the church of the LATTER DAY SAINTS began to make its appearance, than as it was in days of old so is it in the last days. We are told, in the 4 chapter of the Acts of the apostles, 27 verse, that, "Against the holy child Jesus, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together;" and Paul says to the Thessalonians, 1 epistle, 2 chapter, 14 and 15 verses, "For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: who both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men."
According to these testimonies, it made no difference where the gospel had effect, whether in Jerusalem, or in Macedonia, Asia, or Europe, or who proclaimed it, either an apostle, or a prophet, or the Savior. Nor did it matter who received it, nor where it was received; for let the world differ in other things as they might, in this they all agreed, to persecute the messengers of heaven, and to seek the destruction of the church of Christ. The Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Herodians, and the Nazarites, in other things disagreed, but in persecuting the saints of God they agreed perfectly, together with all the heathen of every tribe, and tongue; for let them worship at the shrine of what god they would; with one consent they would persecute the church of Christ. Here you would find all classes of characters agreeing, moral and immoral, temperate and intemperate, learned and unlearned, vulgar and refined, old and young, priests and infidels; for they all felt a common interest. Neither were they wanting in persons to prove any thing they desired-there was no falsehood to great to tell, or to swear to.
William Jones, in his history of the Waldenses, (which were doubtless the remains of the apostolic church,) shows by records which are still extant, that as long as there could be found a vestige of the church of Christ, though their enemies had to seek after them in the mountains, and often in dens and caves of the earth, they were unceasing in their persecutions: they followed them from cave to cave, and from mountain to mountain, burning, butchering, and in taking every means in their power to provoke one another to acts of violence: inventing and publishing the most outlandish falsehoods, which neither themselves nor others believed; but it served as a pretext for them to practice their iniquities under. Such as their eating their children, living in common, which Mr. Jones shows from the clearest evidence, had no foundation, only in heads and hearts of the foulest characters. But such were the sufferings that innocent people had to suffer for righteousness' sake, and for no other reason, than that their faith differed from others.
The Roman Emperors put hundreds of the saints of God to death, because they believed that God would deliver them out of the hands of their enemies. The Romans were therefore determined to put their faith to the test, as they did the faith of the Savior-"let him come down from the cross, and then we will believe on him."
In every age of the world, when the Lord, after an apostasy, began to restore pure religion, the existing religionists, it mattered not whether they worshiped [worshipped] one imaginary god or fifty, they were all alike in their hostility to the messengers of heaven, and to the people of God. There is one thing common to the god, or gods of all apostate religionists, whether they are visible or invisible, wood, stone, marble, copper, brass, silver gold, or iron, they are all dumb-they never speak. Or, if the worshiper supposes his god to be spirit, still he is as silent as the material gods, and his tongue is as still as if he were wood or stone. It has been peculiar to the people of God in every age, to worship a God that would speak; for though some apostate religionists say they worship a God that is spirit, and one that in the younger part of his life, was in the habit of speaking and communicating to and with his saints, but now for many years he has been silent, and never calculates to speak any more, either because of his age, or
because he does not know the language of the people. This peculiarity in the God of the saints, has exposed them to the severest reproaches from those whose god had got the other side of speaking. Probably, because age may have impaired his senses, or weakened his nerves, or for some other reason or cause which he has not made known. If the saints' God would be as silent as theirs, their religion might be borne with; but to worship a God that will communicate with his saints, is to great an imposition to be endured in the estimation of dumb-god worshipers.
Since the God of heaven has began to bring his church out of the wilderness, and to gether [gather] together his saints as he promised the fathers of Israel he would do in the last days, they [the saints] have had to feel the truth of Paul's declaration, that they who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Epistle to Timothy, 3 chapter, 12 verse. As it was in former days, so it is now, all the dumb-god worshipers in the land have found one thing on which they can unite: every tongue is let loose, every pen is employed in fabricating and publishing the most incredible falsehoods that the foulest of the foul can invent, though neither the inventor, the reporter, nor yet the printer believes a word of them; but they serve for a pretext to practice iniquity under, as done in the ancient persecuters [persecutors] of the Waldenses. One circumstance I think worthy of remark. Let any man read Jones' history of the Waldenses, and he will find that the very same lies are put in circulation now about the LATTER DAY SAINTS, that were formerly circulated about that people. But what else could we expect, since the God of the saints is the same, the devil the same, dumb-god worshipers the same, and the saints the same?
In former days, Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Nazarites, and all classes and casts of heathen, mutually agreed to persecute the church of God. So in these last days, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, Quakers, Shakers, Tunkers, Jumpers, Universalians, Restorationers, and to put the nub on, the LEARNED, the WISE, the PIOUS reformer, Mr. Campbell, with his whole train of Campbellite reformers, have entered the list, in connection with thousands of those who hate religion in all its forms!-The cry of "false prophets," and "false Christ," is heard through all their ranks, as though their heads and hearts were all alike. And as we are to know them by their works, we must draw the conclusion, that as their works are alike, their hearts cannot differ much.
In examining carefully, and honestly, all the sentiments of the different religious parties of the present day, their articles of faith, creeds, confessions, leagues, covenants, &c. it would be found, that there is scarcely one item even the smallest item of the doctrine of Christ preached in its purity; nor is there an item of it received in the same point of light as the ancients received it: neither is the practice, which grows out of their sentiments in any respect like the practice of the ancient churches.
With all the reformations the nineteenth century produces, or can produce, the sectarians will leave the world in no better condition than they found it-divided, distracted, confused; with parties, strifes, contentions, tumults, envyings, persecutions, evil speakings, and the whole list of abominations, related by the apostles, will be in full practice among them. And in despite of all their exertions, though they were ten times as vigilant and zealous as they are, and their reformations ten to one, and their converts to multiply as the sand by the sea shore, still, when the Savior comes the people will be as they were in the days of Noah, and know nothing until the Savior is revealed in fire and they are destroyed by the brightness of his coming; for this is the testimony of Moses, and the prophets, of Jesus and the apostles. Nor has there ever been an inspired man on earth, who did not bear the same testimony.
The ignorance of the religious teachers of the day, never appeared more glaring in any thing, than in an attempt to create a Millennium by converting this generation. I ask, when was a generation of apostate religionists ever converted to God? at no time since the world began: we read of their being cut off; and God, but of their conversions we have no account-the antediluvians, who were doubtless apostate religilnests, were cut: the Jews were cut ; and God, by the mouth of all the holy prophets, has said, that in the last days the Gentiles, because they received not the truth in the love of it, should be destroyed. But notwithstanding all this testimony the priests of the day are determined to make all the prophets liars; for they have decreed to convert the whole generation before the Son of man comes, and make a Millennium out of them. But let them know, that all the Millennium the bible knows any thing about, is, the thousand years that Christ shall reign personally on the earth, after he has gathered all the saints together from one end of heaven to the other, and cut all the wicked off that there shall not one be left.
We have been a little amused to see the inconsistencies which will appear in the writings and sayings of those who profess to be engaged in the same cause-Take for instance Mr. Campbell with his Harbinger, and Mr. Scott with his Evangelist; both professedly of the same faith, and devoted to the same cause. Mr. Campbell has published a long series of articles from the pen of a Mr. M'Corcle, in which Mr. M'Corcle, has endeavored to prove, that this whole religious generation is in a state of apostasy, [which is easily done by any one acquainted with the bible.] and that no apostate generation has ever been converted to God, and he warns this generation to beware, for the judgements [judgments] of God will be upon them. [This he can do with the greatest propriety.]
Mr. Scott, of the Evangelist, in one of his late Editorial addresses to his patrons and brethren, informs them, that it was required of the saints always to convert the world, and as his brethren are the saints, he therefore notifies them that God requires at their hands the conversion of the world. Mr. Campbell's paper goes abroad alarming this generation, from the pen of Mr. M'Corcle, that they are in a state of apostasy, and therefore must be cut off, and cannot be converted; [and this is the testimony of all the prophets since the world began.] So one of their reforming papers denounces the judgments of God on this generation without remedy; the other has got a sovereign remedy-He and his brethren have got to convert them by the absolute requirement of heaven. If Mr. Scott was really in earnest when he penned the sentence alluded to, and is honest when he says that he believes the coming of the Son of man draws near, he must feel himself and his brethren to be in a very peculiar situation; for just as sure as the Lord lives, when the Son of man comes, instead of the generation who lives at that time on the earth being converted, they will be like the people of Noah, and like them will be cut off. Now, if Mr. Scott and his brethren have got, by the requirement of heaven to convert them, they will as certainly be found transgressors as ever the Lord comes; for they will never get them converted, for if they do, the prophets, yea, every one of them has lied; for they have said, that they should be a wicked generation, and be cut off. While it is written that the way of transgressors is hard, [see Proverbs, 13 chapter, and 15 verse,] Mr. Scott must feel himself and brethren in trying circumstances; for the Lord never required at the hand of any person more than they can do; and if the Lord has really required this at their hand, they will have to be like Abraham, against hope they will have to believe with hope; for the testimony of all the prophets is, that it will not be done. So Mr. Scott and the prophets stand in opposition to each other.
I think that it is probable, notwithstanding the immense labor which Mr. Scott has laid off for his disciples, and the vast importance he attaches to it, that it will pass off for a little Editorial puff, with which some Editors try to make the most of a thing.
There is not a fact more certain than this, that if the heavens have to retain the Savior till Mr. Scott and his saints convert the world, he will have a long residence there yet, and the generations of five thousand years will have nothing to fear from his coming. So Mr. M'Corcle may stay his hand, and cease to pronounce the judgments of God on this generation, and calmly employ himself about other matters, and leave this business to Mr. Scott, who has certainly chosen the better part, (whether it will be taken from him or not,) that of converting the whole of them.
I would recommend, however, to these gentlemen, as it is not so pleasing for reformers to disagree as it would be for them to see eye to eye, that they hold a council as the apostles did at Jerusalem about the question of circumcision, to settle this question; and as Mr. Campbell has a great interest at stake let him be moderator, and let the question be fairly settled, whether Mr. M'Corcle is to succeed in getting this generation destroyed, or whether Mr. Scott will get them converted; and let the result of the confab be published, both in the Harbinger and Evangelist so that the public mind, as far as they have been effected with the plans of Messrs. M'Corcle, and Scott, may be at rest. I can see no reason why this matter could not be settled thus amicably, be sure, if there were to be any very severe "conflicting of the winds," as that is an element which Mr. Campbell is rather afraid of, he might have the liberty of calling on as much help as the case might require.
Among all false religionists, and worshipers of dumb gods, there is a great likeness, whether they be heathen, christian, Jewish, or Mahometan, as their god or gods are all alike, as far as speaking is concerned. They are therefore under the necessity of obtaining the knowledge of their duty to them, without getting any direct communication from them, (I mean to themselves,) and they come to a knowledge of it by conjecture, or by means of what they have said to others, or what they have been supposed to say. So one god requires one thing, and another requires another. Some require their worshipers to wash in the Ganges, others require their's to burn their children: some find it necessary to demand of their subjects to be crushed to death under the wheels of their car; but Mr. Scott's god is worse than all of them, for his god requires of him that he, and those associated with him, should convert the world-this the God of heaven never required at the hand of any man, or set of men: he has required of his saints to proclaim the gospel to every creature in all the world, but no where commanded them to convert the world. A man can burn his children; he can wash in the Ganges; he can lay down and let the wheel of the car of his god crush him to pieces; and the saints of God can proclaim the gospel to every creature; but to convert the world to any particular religion, neither Mr. Scott nor any other has done it, nor can do it. So that his god is more unreasonable than Juggarnaut [Juggernaut]; for Juggarnaut [Juggernaut] requires nothing of his worshipers [worshippers] but what they can do: but Mr. Scott's god requires of him what neither himself nor no other man or set of men have done, or ever can do. TO BE CONTINUED.
THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR.
KIRTLAND, OHIO, JUNE, 1834.
Our readers will recollect, that we made a few remarks in an article published in the last number of the Star, under the head The Saints. Our remarks being limited on this item it is no more than just that something further should be said upon a word that occurs more than ninety different times in the bible, and in every instance is meant to represent the people of God, either those immediately dwelling with him in glory, or those on earth walking according to his commandments. It certainly cannot be supposed by a reflecting man, that the Lord talked in vain to his people in ancient days, if he cannot admit that HE now communicates to the professed world. And it is reasonable to suppose, that if the Lord ever talked to a people on earth, that he called them by a name; and if he did, it is reasonable that he should call his people by a name which would distinguish them from all other people, as well as by one which would be pleasing in his sight that they should wear.
How many different names the enemies of the people of the Lord heaped upon them in different ages of the world, we are not prepared to say, and especially, in the early period of the church, as we find nothing recorded on this subject. Whether Noah and his family were called by reproachful names or not the bible does not inform us; and the same may be said of Abraham, Lot, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was called Israel after he had wrestled with the angel and prevailed, and his posterity ever after have been called Israelites.
When the Lord appeared to Moses at the back side of the desert by mount Horeb, he called out of the bush and said, "I have seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt;" meaning the children of Israel. Till now the descendants of Jacob are called Israelites, Jews, Ephraimites, Benjamites, &c. but may all be known as Israelites, in the prophets, where they predict their return in the last days to the land of Palestine. So there can be no doubt as regards the fact, that they will be known by that name in the last days, as were their fathers in former years; but to say that the Lord never had a people on earth before Israel, would be making an unwarrantable assertion.
If the Lord had a people on earth before the days of Israel, what were they called, or by what name were they distinguished from others? Melchizedek was a priest of the most high God, it is said, and was also king of Salem. If, in the days of Abraham God had a people, (and certainly, there was one righteous man beside him, for he was God's priest,) by what name were they called? They could not have been called Israelites, for Jacob was yet in the loins of his father, as was said of Levi, nor was the name of Israel known, or at least, as we have any account. And even to suppose that the Lord never had a people that he called his before the great deluge, would be an inconistant [inconsistent] supposition; for we read of the sons of God in, or about the days of Noah, and previous to the time when he built the ark; and who, in the name of common sense, could the sons of God be, if they were not men in the flesh? for it is said, that they took to themselves wives of all they chose, &c. And where, since the world was made had God sons who took wives, and yet at the same time did not dwell on earth? And where is it recorded, that God had sons on earth, who were not called his people? And if God had a people that he called his before the flood, by what name did he know them, and how were they distinguished from the wicked? They could not have been called Jews, nor Israelites.
While the apostles were living, both they and their brethren began to be called Christians; and since that time those professing the same religion, generally, have been known by the same name, especially by their enemies, till all who profess to be followers of the doctrine of the gospel of Christ, now call themselves Christians, with few exceptions. And from this fact we may conclude that they suppose it to be a name given by inspiration, and that all embracing the testimony of Christ, and believing him to be the Savior, are bound to acknowledge the same name. But this at once shows how little they study the word of God, and with what little concern they peruse its sacred pages; for if they would examine as one would without prejudice by tradition, they would see that the name Christian was one reproachfully given to the saints of God because they believed in Christ Jesus, and that the Lord never called his people by that name from the creation to the present day. If he did, it is no where recorded.
But in this age of darkness, men are driven to the necessity of flattering each other, to avoid an exposition, because they are so destitute of holiness that they seek any thing for a covering rather than have their weak systems compared with the plan of salvation which God has instituted. No matter say they, by what name you are called, if you are a good Christian you are safe enough; we do not believe that God will have any more respect for one name or society than he will for another, and if you think you are right, go on, there is no danger, you will do well enough; and if I believe I am right, no matter what I am, I shall get to heaven too: therefore, press on, our little differences of opinion will not be noticed in heaven. This, in short, is the language of men in this day.
It is generally admitted by the sects, that there are good Christians among all denominations, and these good Christians will be saved in glory let their names be as different here as Pope Sylvester and John Calvin. For instance, see two priests of the present-day sects, quarrel about their different tenets, and after abusing each other with slander and scurrility till both have exhausted their stock of bitter feelings, see them haul off very respectfully, by saying, "O, well dear brother, to be sure we cannot exactly agree here, but let us both be good Christians, and our differences of opinion will effect nothing, because we are both honest, and we shall meet in heaven. So go on, do all the good you can, and I will do all the good I can, and we shall be saved by and by!" Having this title before us, we shall see whether it can be proven from the scriptures, that God designed his people to be called by it, by comparing this name with the name saints; and if our reasoning is not satisfactory to any of our professing friends, they can have the liberty to give better ones, and if they please, disprove what we shall attempt to prove, and that is, as we have previously remarked, that God never called his people Christians.
The first mention of the name Christian, as recorded in the bible, is to be found in the 11 chapter, and 26 verse of Acts. Though the historian has not told us plainly that this was given to the believers in Christ by way of reproach, he has said that "they were called Christians first in Antioch." It is reasonable to suppose from the fact that the followers of Christ were not called Christians till so long after his resurrection, that it was a name given them by their enemies; for it is said, they were first called Christians in Antioch. And we may suppose that it was their enemies who gave them this name, as it is said, "they were first called." Had it been handed down to us that they first called themselves Christians in Antioch, it would alter the sense materially.
When Paul, [or Saul,] was led blind into Damascus, the Lord said to Ananias, in a vision, that in the house of Judas in a certain street he would find him; but Ananias sought to excuse himself because he had heard by many how much evil he [Saul] had previously done to the Lord's saints in Jerusalem. [See the IX chap.] In the same chapter it is said, that as Peter passed through the country he came down also to the saints who were in Lydda. In the 41 verse also of this chapter, it is written, that when Peter had raised Dorcas from the dead, he presented her alive to the saints, &c. This was evidently near the time when Barnabas found Paul at Tarsus, and brought him to Antioch, as would also appear from the manner of the expression, and was about the time when the disciples were first called Christians; but were known to each other by the name, disciples, brethren, and saints.
In the XXXI chapter, and 28 verse of the same book, the historian informs us, that when Paul was speaking for himself before Agrippa, that the king said, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." There are certain facts to be considered concerning this account, previous to placing the mind directly upon this verse. We will here survey a powerful plea of Paul before his judges, rendered doubly interesting from the fact, that his
accusers charged him with constant attempts to overthrow the government, stir up factions, riots, discords, tumults, and rebellions of every description, and finally a subverter of the peace and good order of society every where, and that he had spread his pernicious doctrine throughout all Asia, when the plain fact was, his accusers were mad with him because of his religion-he had forsaken his former party, and ceased to persecute the saints, and they were determined to take his life; if they could not assassinate him secretly, they would, like every other mob, use every exertion to frame and circulate false reports concerning his private as well as public character, to enrage popular prejudice and stir up the authorities against him, to procure his destruction in that way. But Paul spake for himself, in the defense of his own life and character, and maintained his point in a beautiful manner, by relating his own convertion [conversion] to the doctrine of the gospel, and thereby satisfactorily convinced his judges, that this was the ground of the whole charge preferred against him by the Jews. One item further will be noticed in his defense, that in the midst of the relation of his vision, he says, "Many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they [the saints] were put to death, I gave my voice against them." [The saints.] "Because, I thought that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth, therefore I shut up the saints [not Christians] in prison," &c.
The next and last mention made of the word Christian in the bible, is in Peter's first epistle, IV chapter, and 16 verse. In the 14 verse of the same chapter, Peter plainly shows that the saints were called Christians in his day out of reproach, because he says, "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you. On their part he [Christ] is evil spoken of, but on your part he [Christ] is glorified." From this it is reasonable to conclude, that the saints in Peter's day were reproached for the name of Christ, that is, because they belonged to or were followers of Christ; for had they not been followers of Christ, they certainly would not have been dispised [despised] or reproached for him, and if they had not believed on him, they would not have been called Christians, and if they had not been called Christians they would not have suffered reproach for the gospel's sake, because, if they were reproached for Christ, it is evident that they were called Christians out of reproach, for their religion being from heaven, certainly heaven never would give a religion and then reproach it by calling those who embraced it by another name, out of reproach. He further says: "But let no man suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil-doer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet, if as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf."
This is all we have in the bible to form or make the word Christian for a name to distinguish the church of Christ. The first and last show evidently, that it was a name given by the enemies of truth, and the other is merely quoted as the words of Agrippa after hearing Paul relate his vision of the Savior. Paul was accused, as before said, of violating the law of his country, but when he was brought before Agrippa and the Roman governor, by relating his vision he convinced them that the whole accusation on the part of the Jews, was for his embracing the gospel and believing that Jesus of Nazareth was the true Messiah. So the fact was demonstrated to them that Paul was "reproached" for the name of Christ, and Agrippa was almost persuaded to be "reproached" also for the sake of the reward, after listening to Paul's account of his own convertion [conversion], and of the circumstances leading to, or transpiring previous to that event, and of the glory of God which surrounded him on that occasion.
This being the amount of the testimony in the scriptures on the word Christian, it is to be observed, that it is mentioned only three times in all, and in neither case by the Lord in any form as addressing his people in that name, but to the contrary, it came from unbelievers, except in the last instance, and this, as has been shown, was only quoted by the apostle Peter, as a name by which the saints were called out of reproach-the difference being more than thirty to none between the two words, and whenever the term or name saints is applied, it is mentioned to represent the people of God, not by their enemies, but by themselves.
When the church of God was persecuted anciently, by the command of the Roman Emperors, its members were called "Atheists," because they did not willingly offer sacrifices and pay adoration to the gods of the heathen. Why do not professors call themselves "Atheists" now, because the heathen once called the church of God by that name, when they had power to persecute thousands to death? It would be just as proper, because the last was given to reproachfully accuse them for disrespecting the heathen worship, and the other was only given to distinguish them as a sect or party, whose practices and forms were different from the popular classes. One was given by way of persecution, and so was the other; for had no persecution been known, neither of these names would have been heaped "reproachfully" upon the followers of Jesus, and of course, one is equally as appropriate as the other for the people of God to wear as a name of distinction from the unprofessing world.
Thus prejudice, growing out of tradition, is sufficient for any people who never look beyond the mere sound or common-place name, for a guide.-Custom, with them, is sufficient to establish any form of worship, or system of belief, and the man who is bold enough to step over the common bounds, is assailed by every engine possible to be brought into operation; and every individual who has a few shillings of this world's lucre at stake, is abundantly armed with subtle reasoning, calculated to spread the dark gloom of unprincipled superstition over the minds of the stupid multitude, who look to him as to God for every lesson concerning salvation! Let the cry of "delusion" once be raised by such men, and it re-echoes from the lips of every infatuated tool, who supposes numbers a sure proof of the correctness of his principle, and a disposition to crush the man who lays siege to the received prejudice, the will of God. No matter what may be the country, nor no difference what may be the theory believed, Mahomedans, Hindoos [Hindu's], and blind sectarian professors of the religion of Christ Jesus, are all alike!-[Editor of the Star.]
Every candid mind, or at least, every mind that has been enlightened with the book of revelation, must be persuaded, on careful reflection, that there certainly exists a Supreme Being, who, by his own power, brought into action and still upholds the universe with all its innumerable train of inhabitants. To admit that such a being exists, or as many express themselves, that there is a Great First cause who governs creation, and then say that that Being never had respect enough for the work of his own hands to give them a law on which they could depend, and assurances confirmed on which they could unhesitatingly rely, would be placing him beneath even the creature itself, and show an inconsistency in his character which would at once discard all idea of a Supreme Being. If it is urged by such individuals, that HE did not create, only governs, and that all these vast systems and innumerable creatures are the work or effect of chance, and that HE has not respect sufficient for these chance-formed creatures whom he governs, to give them a law, would at once strike at the foundation of this chance theory, and make that Being far inferior to frail chance-man.
In offering any reflection upon the subject of religion; in communicating our thoughts upon a system which perports [purports] to be from heaven; in placing our minds to reflect directly upon the consistency of a law from God, and in giving our views one to another upon the meaning and design of that law, there is a secret joy springing up in the heart of every lover of truth, which is past the art of man to express, that all are permitted so to do without the least fear of molestation. It may be said by some, that in consequence of this freedom, by frequent and constant discussions new societies arise and new parties form themselves, and for this reason a permanent system ought to be laid and a prohibitio [prohibition] law framed to prevent any from departing from this standard; but this would at once be an assumption of power beyond any thing which God has given, or even affected to claim, and would at once deprive us of our agency, and of course, could never have originated in the bosoms of any except those who have sought to rule both heaven and earth. Discussions may begin and close, and no matter how warmly each advocates his respective tenet, a war of words the most, if each remains inflexible to the other's arguments. The free exercise
of thought, the liberty of conscience, the liberty of speech, and the right to choose a course best suiting ourselves is, certainly, to be ranked among the great blessings of civil liberty, and a privilege for which the saint of God, is certainly bound, by ever principle of the religion which he professes to believe, and by every consideration of a just reward hereafter, to render unceasing gratitude to the Author of his existence in unfeigned humility; for such principles could have emanated from no other source than from HIM-They are just, consistent, and heavenly, and should be cherished in the bosom of every lover of happiness or holiness.
Heaven has a just right to give a form of worship to men, and to require men to follow that form upon the principle that they are to be judged by that form; but one happy consideration may be observed as it presents itself in the form of heaven for men to follow, heaven alone reserves the right to judge and reward all according to its own plan, and has left men here, to obey its teachings or reject them as they are disposed, without giving to other men equally as weak, and equally as fallible, power or authority to enforce those precepts by the arm of law. And since a difference of opinion has arisen upon the subject of the ordor [order] or plan of heaven for mans' salvation, we are again thankful that the matter is to be decided by heaven alone, and that none can come forward with a claim founded upon revelation, and assert that they have power and authority from God to compel others to yield to their form or opinion, of the system upon which the everlasting happiness of all men is so immovably fixed. We say immovably fixed, because, amid all the bustle and strife of men upon this most important of all subjects, who are right and who are wrong, the exact foundation which has been laid by the Lord himself, remains unmoved, and his decrees concerning man as unalterably the same as his throne, and the least variation in HIM, would, in a moment overthrow the whole foundation, and strike into non-existence the whole universe. Men may believe or disbelieve, and truth remains truth notwithstanding: they may form and re-form, moddle [model] and remoddle [remodel], and the plan of salvation is still as exact as ever the Lord commanded Moses to build the tabernacle after the form showed him in the mount; and if men are saved they will be saved precisely according to the form or plan which God has devised, or there is no truth nor revelation extant, nor a day of retribution appointed to which we are all hastening.
Individuals or nations, may form themselves into as many different societies as they please, adopt as many different forms of worship, frame as many different creeds and confessions of faith, preach and proclaim what they call salvation, in their way, and pretend to found their claims upon scripture, and have their forms correspond with the bible, and assert that they obtained their authority from heaven, and still, this fact is to be observed amid it all, God has the power to say who are right and who are not.
Since none of the different sects pretend that the Lord talks to men in this day, of course, one can demand equally of the other to wait for the day of decision when HE shall reveal all things in the presence of all heaven. A long time to wait to know whether a man is sure of salvation or not, truly, but since God does not say any thing to them in this day, and each defend their respective systems with equal talents, and each have an equal claim upon the scriptures, (being under the necessity of plundering something given to another people for a foundation,) without further controversy on this point, wait they must; for were one party to assert, that they had ascertained by revelation immediately to themselves from heaven, aside from the one in the bible, that they were right, they would offer violence to their own creed and overthrow their present foundation in spite of all the ingenuity of their priests to prop up their rotten fabric; and the other would disbelieve it on the same principle, because his creed did not admit of any more revelations.
Surely, then, but the one alternative remains, and that is; to wait till the Judge himself shall decide, if ever the matter is settled; for when ever they undertake to decide it by the force of their own arguments, and settle the matter by fair discussion, each party claims the "victory," and each disputant claims the ascendency [ascendancy] in argument, and those who listen are as much in darkness when they have finished as before they began; they have only listened to a senseless chatter which had no salvation in it from beginning to end; and if any difference is effected it is with those whose notions were not wholly absorbed in tradition before, and have only been led to see the weakness of both systems to start out upon another plan, and commence proselyting [proselytizing] the world after another form, proclaiming, at the same time, against the great weakness of their former brethren, and exposing with wonderful strength and powerful reasoning their inconsistences [inconsistencies], without, however, pretending that God has spoken to them or given them authority to preach his gospel, other than a mere "impression of the mind." This is sufficient for the majority of men in this day; and while the preacher of the new order, or the setter forth of "new gods" can prevent his new followers from investigating his new theory, he passes on in splendor, using his "impression" for a CALL and his pretentions for authority, and this his craft for his trade, to spend his time in taking the name of God in vain to make merchandise of the souls of men. Thus the giddy world suffer themselves to be wheedled out of their common senses, to be led by "impressions," and fed with imaginations, and built upon a system without a foundation, or an existence, except in the brain of a priest who preaches for money!
Perhaps this manner of communication may offend some of our friends of the "uncertain" order, and cause some bitter reproaches to be dropped from their lips; but we entreat them to look, at least once, before they judge of the correctness or incorrectness of the foregoing remarks, which if they do, and are honest they will admit their truth. It cannot be expected, that those who are bound in the belief that their traditions are revelations, will forsake their follies, and from such we may suffer some reproach; but since they deny that God speaks to them when they call upon him, we are in no fear of their curses if they are pronounced in HIS name, for if he will not hear them when they ask blessings, we know, that as he is a God of mercy, he will not hear them when they pronounce curses in his name; for certainly, he would not remain deaf to all their cries and petitions for mercy, and at a moment when their wrath was kindled, send down judgments upon such as they disliked, as none of them pretend to hold the keys of the kingdom of heaven. We therefore advise such to be composed, and in their patience possess their folly, if they are not willing to forsake it, as complaints will only confirm the truth of those hints, and more effectually show the weakness of their theories, and expose to the view of the candid the fallacy of their systems.
The opinions of men vary on many subjects, but generally, if an assertion is made, and particularly upon the subject of salvation, and they do not believe it, it cannot possibly be true. Give us evidence, say they, that we may believe. As though the things of God were to stand or fall upon the mere fact that they believed or disbelieved them, and that their whims were to regulate the revelations and set the whole kingdom of heaven at defiance if they disbelieved, or set it in order if by chance they should believe them.
Give us signs, said the Jews, that we may know that God has sent you; because if he has, you can show us any sign we wish to see, and unless you can show us signs, and that too when we ask to see them, we shall not believe that you are the true Messiah who was to come; and if a people as holy as we are reject your testimony, you certainly are an imposture, and if we stamp your mission with disapprobation, heaven bear record, we will make you a false Christ whether you came from God or not.
But it is to be remembered, that each sect claimed this high prerogative, because each declared that they were the people of the Lord. The Pharisees said, We Pharisees are the people of the Lord, and the Sadducees said, We Sadducees are the people of the Lord, and so said every other sect in the days of the ministry of Christ on earth, and his apostles. Each party claimed the superiority over the other, and each sect were sanguine in their opinion that God had no other people upon the earth beside themselves; and as a matter of necessity, would call upon them to sanction every proceeding of his, and confirm every communication which he might make; and if any communication was not approbated by them such could not be true, and every decree of heaven, before it could take effect must be ratified by their consent, or it would remain void!
Such was the folly of a people whose fathers once heard the voice of the
Lord, and were guided by his immediate instruction; such was the belief of a people who were favored with the presence of the Savior of the world in his own person-such their wickedness and hardness of heart, and such their blindness concerning the declarations of the ancient prophets, that the Lord of glory himself walked among them and was dispised [despised], because he did not sanction their acts of rebellion and applaud them for their departure from him. They killed the prophets, stoned those whom God sent to turn them from their iniquities, cast out the apostles and offered violence to the wisdom of heaven, until, as the Savior said they would, they fell upon that stone and were "broken!"
Men in our day declare that they have received the word of the Lord, and that they are his people, and yet declare, that he will give no more revelations while time lasts, and that any person declaring to the contrary is a liar and not worthy to live! They say, "We have received;" when in fact, they have received nothing! They say, "We enjoy from God;" when HE never said any thing to them! They say, "We have a hope;" and found that hope upon a promise made to the ancients who passed through seas of afflictions and floods of adversities, despared [despaired] of life and sacrificed the dearest relations of human existence, left all things else and forsook the customs of the heathen, that they might obtain the promise from the Lord of glory that their salvation was sealed, that their election was sure! Will those who are so unlike them obtain the same blessings, and inherit the same glory? Will they have an abundant entrance administered unto them into the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb, when here they never heard his voice nor obtained a promise from his mouth? But amid all the strife and bustle on the subject of religion, the day is fast advancing when those who have made a false pretention [pretension [will have their hypocrisy revealed before an assembled universe, and the generation dispising [despising] the revelations of God and setting at nought the glories of his kingdom, will be weighed in the BALANCE, and on them, according to the true declaration of the Lord, the stone will fall and "grind them to powder!"-[Editor of the Star.]
Died in this place on the 3rd, HARRIET U. daughter of brother Amos F. and sister Harriet Herrick, aged 20 months.
The flower is often watched with care, but before its leaves have disclosed its opening fragrance, a worm may prey upon its roots, the next hour its beauty has fled, and nought but a withered stalk remains! Not so with the parents' hope, who is called to resign its prospects in the beauty of its smiling infant, though it commits its body to the tomb, God will watch its dust, and in the morning of the first resurrection HE will bring it forth from the dead, clothed in immortal life!
On the 6th, sister CLARISSA, wife of brother Phineas H. Young, aged 34 years.
Her relatives and intimate friends know best her former worth, and can the better appreciate their loss; but as a member of the church of the Latter Day Saints, her walk was a worthy example of the honesty and purity of her heart, and the sincerity of her profession, and her perseverance to the end, satisfactory evidence that she enjoyed what she desired-the presence of the Savior to and during her last moments-She lived, she fell asleep, and she was still the same,-a saint! And though the kindred cord on the part of her friends was loth [loathe] to sever, yet her dust was committed to its mother earth with the full assurance, that though "sown in weakness, it will be raised in power."
On the 8th, sister LUCINDA BIGALOW, aged 44 years. She has been a worthy member of the church of the Latter Day Saints from near its first organization, during which she has maintained a circumspect and pious walk before all, and has now gone to the enjoyment of those who "rest from their labors, while their works follow them." She has left a large family of children, some young, to mourn the loss of a tender mother. "My flesh shall rest in hope!"-[Editor of the Star.]
-> After our paper had gone to press, we received the minutes of the Conference held at Saco; Me. on the 13th, but for want of room they are laid over till our next.-By a request contained in the same letter the Elders and churches abroad are informed that Conferences will be held at the following places, viz:-At (or near Mr. Blood's as the church may appoint,) Andover, Windham co. Vt. on the 19th and 20th of July; at Benson, Rutland co. Vt. on the 26th of the same month; and at Bolton, Warren co. N. Y. on the 2nd of August. The Elders will attend for church business on Saturdays at each place, and on Sundays general instructions on the gospel will be publicly given. May God sanction and bless their labors, and make manifest the power of his truth!-[Editor of the Star.]
-> Erratum.-In the March No. 3rd page, first column, first line of the 2nd paragraph of brother W. W. Phelps' letter, instead of reading "it was thought not advisable, read most advisable." Certainly, a difference-they lay under the snow!
THE OUTRAGE IN JACKSON COUNTY,
Perhaps our friends may think that we devote too large a portion of the Star to the subject of the Jackson outrage, in consequence of the willingness of every respectable citizen to raise his voice against every proceeding of the kind, and the supposed fact, that in a government of laws, such conduct cannot fail, sooner or later, to meet its just reward; and further, that a people so degraded, so lost to every feeling of common humanity, so destitute of that kindness which ought to occupy the bosom of at least, every citizen of a free country, and who are so perfectly estranged from that Spirit which should have a place in the hearts of all people who profess to live in an enlightened land, that it is time they were permitted to rest undisturbed, and remain unmolested, at least, so far as relates to any further exposition of their dark and unprincipled deeds; but facts disclose themselves almost daily which serve to confirm previous statements, that those professing the religion of heaven, were equal coadjutors in this grand rebellion and this high handed treason against the general government; and are now lurking in every place where they can hope to have influence, to turn the heavy current of public censure which is continually setting against them with more and more force, and are, as they have been from the beginning, seeking to hide themselves from justice under the frail cloak of falsehood.
These degraded beings attempted so to contrive and arrange their plans, that when they brought them into operation against the government and laws in this outrage, a number could stand back, professedly nutral [neutral], and make a show at impartiality in order to blind the public mind, and save those who acted a conspicuous part openly, from the censure and contempt which their crimes so justly merited, by inventing and circulating lies to defame the characters and blast the reputable standing of those they persecuted, and by concealing the acts of the mob from investigation, try to make it appear, that they [the mob] were firstly imposed upon, and there remained no other alternative for them than to do as they have done, force civil inhabitants from their homes! but in this they have wholly failed. In their great eagerness to excuse the acts of those who figured openly, they have betrayed their own guilt in a manner which must be apparent to every sensible mind, and prove beyond a doubt, that if they were not imbruing their own hands in the immediate blood of their fellow creatures, they were acting a conspicuous part in the tragedy, behind the scene, equally to be censured, and equally as base when once viewed with a discerning and impartial eye.
View their conduct in the most favorable point of light-give them lenity in every act where the least semblance of excuse can be urged on their part, and still, a dark shade is thrown over every action, and the most undeniable proof characterizing every deed, that they condescended to pattern after the uncultivated savage, and in some instances they have outdone him in profligate meanness! The man who says to that assassin, go on, though I will not immediately engage in committing the act myself, but will use my influence to screen you from justice if you are in danger of being exposed, is equally guilty with the perpetrator, and when God calls the nations to an account, his hands will be found equally stained with the blood of his fellow man. Because he did not engage in the actual commission of the crime, is no excuse, since by his influence he exerted an ascendency [ascendancy] over the other's mind, holding out a hope of escape from justice through his influence and standing in society, when, had it not been for this hope, entirely grounded upon the idea of escaping by this means, perhaps the deed never would have been committed, and those hands which must appear stained with the blood of men before the tribunal of Omnipotence, would have been clean and undefiled in his presence!
But in attempting to excuse the acts of treason and riot which have been so notorious in the Missouri affair, the coadjutors of the mob have betrayed a weakness common to all men on such occasions; and with the most plausible pretext yet framed and pawned upon the world by them, no matter who was its inventer [inventor], nor how impartially he would endeavor to write, with all the falsehoods he was capable of inventing, and with all his hypocritical turning he has not excused one act of the mob from first to last when once contrasted with the principles of justice and the common unalienable rights of
men; but in every instance every individual has shown a personal revengeful feeling, and an uneasy, feverish desire to cover the acts of the perpetrators of those deeds, that the innocent might be crushed under the feet of superior power, and that power an unlawful banditti; and one thing as intelligibly discerned as any is, that all the abettors of the mob are troubled because of the religious principles of this persecuted society of saints.
This fact has been shown from the first, in the declaration of the mob, which was published in the 15th number of the Star, as well as in many subsequent articles on the same subject. And since it is the religion which is so troublesome to these men, it is to be expected, that such as are liable to suffer the greatest loss, will exert themselves with the most diligence to stop its progress; and as such men generally hold an influence, it is to be expected that that influence, will be used in the best possible manner to effect the desired object. It is the policy of such men to use all the art they have in their possession to heat up the ignorant class, by instilling into their minds a belief that something was materially wrong, that their personal liberty as freemen was about to be infringed, or was already trampled upon, and that only one course remained to rid themselves of those evils and secure to themselves permanent peace and safety, which was to rise enmass, and do by force what they could not by flattery nor threats; at the same time holding out the promise of escaping from justice through their influence, and of having an honorable acquittal from all censure by the falsehoods and miscoloring which should immediately be thrown over the act; and with a further expectation of becoming famous in the eyes of good men for distinguishing themselves in such a peculiar manner in doing God service, as the Jews did the ancient saints, by ridding the earth of a people who worshiped [worshipped] not according to their tradition, and in consequence of that were fanatics, impostures, and blasphemers!
It may be said, that none but the most ignorant and profligate, such as have no standing or character in society, and are desirous of neither, will engage in riots and disturbances; but when this is laid down as a general rule, if carefully examined, will be found to admit of exceptions. In small acts of offense against the general peace of society, it may be only the low and abandoned who engage in it, and perhaps these, nine times out of ten, do it more for what they call "sport" than out of any vicious or revengeful motive; but in an extensive riot, where civil law is set aside at mid-day, and deeds of the foulest kind perpetrated, no respect to age, sect, or condition observed, as in the Jackson outrage, a moment's reflection will teach any rational man, that such characters never laid a plan of that debth [depth], and carried it on with such determined resolution, in the midst of a government like this. They never would have courage to make the first move toward such a desperate act: the fear of immediate trial for treason, if not the expectation of immediately being killed by civil troops in quelling such factions, would leave such wretches without hope, and the most determined without numbers to stand by them even to make one attempt.-Another fact to be considered is, that such men are never troubling themselves about religion-they have none themselves neither do they care whether others have or not, consequently, they would never say that in consequence of any religious sect they were in danger of losing their liberty, or, as the Missouri mob said, "pretended religious society."
When ever a government is found to be insufficient to protect its subjects from lawless depredators, and to ensure peace and safety to its citizens, against the assaults of men whose principles may differ from their neighbor's, and when any part of community can rise up and subvert civil authority, and turn their whole proceedings into a mock, mob legislature, where crimes are considered a virtue, and open rebellion against the laws, a responsible recommend to a seat in that body, that country is hastening to ruin, and the day is not far distant when every one who may be bold enough to oppose such proceedings, will find they do it at the hazard of property and the imminent risk of life!
The individual encouraging the acts of a mob in any shape or form, is that moment encouraging a course of procedure, which if suffered to continue, may recoil, perhaps, upon his own head, and be the means of his utter ruin: and when ever riots are hushed up, by people merely saying that they are unlawful, or that this not ought to be, because the civil law is sufficient to obtain every redress for injury, &c. without stamping it with the disapprobation due such vile opprobrious proceedings, many may find themselves, in time, in want of an influence exerted in their behalf, which they might have done for others, and the call for such an interposition as fruitless as the cry of the wicked, represented in the apocalypse, in the great day of the wrath of God!
Societies of great strength and power, may feel secure, perhaps, and in consequence of their supposed security, because of their superior numbers, think lightly of the afflictions of others and of proceedings calculated in their existence to overthrow the general peace, and set at defiance the very authority under which they themselves feel secure, till too late to heal the wound, or even apply a remedy. Give to a portion of mankind countenance in violating the laws, and they will soon have sufficient numbers to attack any society, or any part of society, against which they hold a spleen, and the community which once looked upon such proceedings with indifference, may be placed in an attitude where even a move toward self defense would be but a tocsin to utter destruction! The same circumstances surrounding the weak society today, may surround the stronger tomorrow; and the weak society which is oppressed and persecuted for its religion today, may stand and see the strong suffer tomorrow, without being able to raise an arm to defend it; and a mere turn off, because those were persecuted whose belief in matters of religion differed from our's, may be an encouragement to a gang of ruffians to accumulate more strength, and consult their plans to the entire subversion of our own liberty and future happiness!
We give, below, an extract of a letter from brother J. Corrill, dated, "Clay Co. Mo. June, 14." It will be remembered, that the last No. of the Star contained a letter from brother W. W. Phelps, of the same place, giving information of the destruction of houses, &c. as well as the alarm, and determination of the mob to resist the civil law to the last, which is confirmed by the following. It will be seen, however, that their leaders are beginning to leave the place for fear of consequences; abandoning their ignorant and wretched followers to help themselves out of trouble in the best manner they can devise.-[Editor of the Star.]
"The leaders of the mob are yet striving to keep up the same spirit of opposition, by instilling falsehoods into the minds of the people. They tell them that the 'Mormons' are coming upon them, mob like, to kill their women and children. They raised an alarm a few days ago in which the whole county of Jackson was in an uproar; men riding in different directions and proclaiming, 'the Mormons are coming,-they are now crossing the river-they are coming to kill, destroy,' &c. Some women and children left their houses, and fled to the woods, and elsewhere, while the men, 2 or 300, gathered together, to oppose the 'Mormons,' as they supposed, in their return. They repaired to the different ferries, on the river, to guard them, and I have been credibly informed, that they have since continued to guard the river at the different crossing places, from one end of Jackson county to the other. And for fear that we would return and enjoy our dwellings again, they set fire to, and burned them down, and then raised a report, that the 'Mormons' went over and burnt their own houses. Several nights in succession were they in burning our houses, and I am informed, that they have burned them all, except a very few which are occupied by other families: and I have been told that they have destroyed our fences and other property that remained. What was the cause of this great alarm among them, I know not; for we were at home attending to our own business, and had no thought of returning at that time. Neither have we any thoughts of ever returning in the night time, or in the mob like manner which they represent to the people: for as we design to be governed in all cases by the laws of the land, we shall therefore return under the protection of the Governor, as he has promised us. We therefore have no need to return and take them on surprise, as they falsely represent to the people; for we mean to act only on the principles of self defense in all cases. But they state falsehoods to the people for the purpose; I suppose, of keeping their strength good, to oppose our return, which I understand they are determined to do, even to the shedding of blood; and it is said, by the mob, that the whole county is combined together. They are arming themselves, and they have distributed our guns among them. But it is easy to be seen, that fear and consternation prevails among them; some of their leaders have already cleared out; Col. S. D. Lucas, has taken his goods and gone down the river; both the Childs have lately gone to the south, on a long visit; lawyer Hicks says, if no compromise is made, he shall seek a location some where else; and I have been told that L. Franklin is going away soon; some families, I have heard, are leaving through fear. As nearly as I can learn, the number that is determined to stand and oppose our return, even unto bloodshed, is about 150 or 200 in that county, though it is said, that many from other counties will come to their assistance."
"They are trying to excite the people of this county to drive us from here, and for this purpose, it is said, they are circulating a paper, and have got some signers; but the authorities of this county do not countenance them in this thing, and I think they cannot succeed; but it is said that they are lurking about and seeking a chance to do private injury, but the brethren are on the look out, and are preparing themselves with arms for self defense, and I think, that if we continue firmly to persevere according to the laws of the land, that we shall be enabled shortly to overcome the mob and obtain uor [our] rights." Yours, &c.
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