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TO THE PATRONS OF THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR.
As this number closes the second Volume of the Star, the publishers have thought proper to issue another paper entitled THE LATTER DAY SAINTS' MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE, upon the same size sheet, in octavo form, for the more easy and convenient purpose of binding. Those who have subscribed for the Star will receive the Messenger and Advocate until their subscriptions are filled. It may be proper to say, here, that the whole numbers of the Star, from its commencement in Missouri, will be reprinted in the same form of the Messenger and Advocate, as will be seen from a Prospectus on the last page of this paper, and those wishing for the whole numbers can be accommodated with a file, as they are published, of both Star and Messenger and Advocate by sending their names immediately. Our friends will be pleased with this arrangement, no doubt, as the present form of the Star is more liable to wear, from constant refolding than a paper folded one size smaller, and will also be more easily read as the columns will be narrower.
As The Evening and the Morning Star was designed to be published at Missouri, it was considered that another name would be more appropriate for a paper in this place; consequently, as the name of this church has lately been entitled the church of the Latter Day Saints, and since it is destined, at least for a season, to bear the reproach and stigma of this world, it is no more than just, that a paper disseminating the doctrines believed by the same, and advocating its character and rights, should be entitled "MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE."
It is proper that all correspondents of the Messenger and Advocate should now be informed, that no communication, whatever, will be inserted except the name of the author is given, that it may follow his respective piece. It is just that every man should receive all the praise and credit his tallents [talents] and accomplishments deserve, and by thus giving his name, places him on a fair level with others to show his wisdom, and gain applause, (if for such he is seeking.) according to the full merit of his ability. With our present arrangements, owing to the increase of members to the church of the Latter Day Saints, and the frequent communications from the faithful laborers in the Lord's vineyard, we hope to render the Messenger and Advocate more interesting and important than the Star has ever been; and for the accomplishment of this glorious and laudable object, we not only solicit the aid and ability of the wise, but a deep interest in the prayers of all the saints.
We cannot close this address without offering a few reflections which have suggested themselves to the mind; and with those reflections take an opportunity to say to our liberal patrons, that, for their kindness we hope they have been richly rewarded with a vindication of those pure principles which emanate from the Father of life, and for every truth, they have given HIM the honor of being its Author.
While looking at this church as it was four years since, or a few months previous to that time, the mind starts with astonishment, and the reflection arises in an instant, What will be its end? If, in the short space of four years its numbers have increased to thousands; if, in the midst of unparalleled persecution and opposition (considering the form of government under which it exists) it has spread from one side of the continent to the other; if, where bigotry has walked undisturbed, and superstition held an unmolested sway; if, in an age when iniquity abounds, and the love of men waxes cold, it has pursued its steady course, and found way to the hearts of multitudes, what will be its standing when half a century shall have passed away? If, amid every slander imaginable, and every calumny possible, it has gained its hundreds and thousands, what will be its influence, and what its numbers when the world shall know the purity of its doctrines, the perfection of its principles, and the honesty of its followers? If, amid false representations, and wicked insinuations of men of corrupt hearts, accusing this innocent body of usurpation, disloyalty, and treason, it has still progressed, and among the honest, found advocates, what will be the sound of the flocking to its communion of men of all nations, when a little time shall pass over, and the beauty and excellence of its religion shine in the face of all people, and the framers of these reports be exposed to the just reproach of an abused public, and the hail shall have swept away the refuge of lies?
In the commencement of this church, and we perfectly recollect the assertions, it was prophesied that one year would terminate its existence! One year, and all would see the "delusion," and be convinced of the "deception!" But one, yes, four have passed, and yet it stands! When persecution raged in one place; when the regions of darkness emitted its whole band of infernals, and when wrath poured from the lips of men upon the heads of the Saints that they could not endure, they have fled where they could be protected, while the influence of truth was still operating upon hundreds elsewhere; the servants of the Lord heard with attention; God manifesting himself in mercy, and the Holy Spirit bearing record of HIS "marvelous work," the church of Christ has received into its bosom the pure in heart, and angels have borne the joyful tidings to the regions of glory!
Many have strove to prevent the true knowledge of the principles of our religion from being introduced into the ranks of men to be investigated with candor, by slandering the characters of those who were advocating them, endeavoring thereby to rivet the fetters of superstition and ignorance upon their followers with a firmness which defies all power to unlock them, thus preparing them to be consumed when the great day of burning comes, because their own systems could not stand the strict scrutiny of truth contained in those sacred records which teach men to forsake the corruptions of the world, for the wiser course and richer reward promised therein! But if such have not become convinced of their weakness yet, after pursuing in a path which brings no joy, a season longer, perhaps they may abandon it. Whether they do or do not the purposes of God will be accomplished. While one man has cried "delusion," another "false prophets," and a third has reported a long catalogue of falsehoods of his own making, to blast the characters of men whom he never saw nor had a spark of evidence against, the fourth has seen the iniquity of the whole, and the first opportunity, with a thankful heart, embraced the gospel and rejoiced in the assurance manifested by the Spirit of the Lord?
On occasions like the present the mind naturally goes back to the starting point, or period when the world first heard the sound of the fulness [fullness] of the everlasting gospel in these days; when a few only were to be found on earth who had stepped forward into the new covenant, and proved by an experimental knowledge the word of an apostle to be true, "He that lives godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." However various may be the opinions of men, no one thing is more certain than this: In a corrupt generation, when the Lord spake to man, those hearing and obeying that voice, always have suffered reproach and abuse. It may be said that false systems as well as true ones have suffered their share of persecution, and that this is not a correct way to judge what is right and what is not. The Savior was persecuted, the apostles were persecuted, the church in the days of Nero and his successors, for a season, was persecuted, the Waldenses and others were persecuted, the Baptists and Quakers in New England were persecuted, the followers of Anna Lee, Jemima Wilkinson, and others were also persecuted, and were we to say that all who have been persecuted for their religion's sake were equally correct, would be to rank them in one general mass and seat them down in the same kingdom, partakers of the same joys and blessings: for, if the word of the Lord is true, all are blessed who are persecuted for his sake. How then shall we determine who are correct, since so many have been persecuted? The Savior was true, or we are yet in our sins, our faith is vain, and our bodies destined to be prisoners to the grave forever! But did he persecute? did his saints after him? if he nor they did not, unless it can now be proven from his word that the principle is correct, this fact is established, that those who persecute are the children of "that wicked one." From these items, without saying that this one is correct or incorrect, who have been persecuted for their religion, if ever a fact did exist, or a truth sound from heaven in the ears of man, those who have persecuted this church to which we have a privilege of being a member, reproachfully and slanderously called "Mormonite," are, as has just been said, of their father the devil, and if they ever had communion or fellowship with the Lord they have forsaken his house, left his fold, and like wandering stars, filthy dreamers, or beasts of corruption, abandoned to be taken and destroyed in their own wickedness!
Since June, 1832, various changes have been noticed by the observing mind, and particularly by the man who is looking for the fulfillment of the words of the ancient prophets, as well as the declarations of the Lord Jesus. Abroad he has witnessed one calamity follow another, and one desolation march in quick succession in the train of a former, until nations have felt their weight, and kingdoms, contries [countries], and wide spread empires, withered at the touch of the judgments of the Lord. War, with its horrors and distresses, has summoned its thousands to appear before the great tribunal; the same spirit of ambition and thirst for power has been previlent [prevalent] among the great; the weak have been destined to relinquish their claims of authority by combinations of different kingdoms; the yoke of oppression has alternately passed into the hands of different masters; the low and oppressed have struggled in vain for freedom, while time, in its same rapid and mighty course, has been bringing near and more near the august period when the sun is to become as sackcloth of hair, the moon turn to blood, the stars fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven be shaken!
No man, in his sober senses, with the word of God in his hand, can reflect one moment upon these scenes without being filled with awe! In distant lands, now abandoned to darkness, where human beings bow down and worship the work of their own hands, and call for assistance upon a block of wood of their own carving, have also felt the sting of pestilence, the angel of death, and the calamity of war! Whose heart, then, when gazing upon the finger of Omnipotence, as it moves creations round, and orders all things for the accomplishment of his own purposes, will not be touched with reverence as he thus sees the glorious era hastening on when the redeemed, yes, the ransomed of the Lord shall be assembled, his elect gathered home, wickedness and corruption destined to dwell in their own place, while peace and joys everlasting crown the blessed?
Said the Lord: "You shall hear of wars and rumors of wars." But our friends often say, that since Noah the same has been heard, and the end is not yet. Said the Lord: "There shall be earthquakes in diverse places." But say the world, earthquakes have desolated countries and kingdoms centuries previous, and the end is not yet. If there is not a particular meaning attached to each of these assertions, why were they ever spoken? Unless the Savior had his mind upon the future period, which should roll on in its course, and bring these sayings to the fullest degree of plainness to be understood, why did he speak them? Did HE not know that the inhabitants of the earth had experienced the calamity occasioned by the march of war? Did HE not know that his followers were acquainted with the fact, that others before them had felt the hand of justice and judgment in the desolations of earthquakes? Eighteen hundred years have passed since these words were spoken; war has succeeded war; blood has flowed after blood; the cry of the widow and orphan has saluted the skies; man has invariably followed the same course, and the world exists, the elements remain, and the end is not yet! Century has slept after century; wickedness has borne its accustomed sway; the great deceiver has blinded and led captive his millions; truth has fled, virtue ceased, righteousness failed from off the earth, and the boaster against God has raised his head in blasphemies, from age to age, and the end is not yet! Truly spake an ancient apostle, when he said they would say, "Where is the promise of his coming?" The earth has rolled round; the different worlds have continued to move in their regular order; the sun is still brilliant; the moon shines upon earth, and the end is not yet!
Thus passes the world along-unwilling to acknowledge the hand of God in his providences, while pestilence stalks at their doors, and the waster consumes at mid-night; the plague devouring its thousands, & the destroyer performing his desolating march in the sight of all; the voice of the Most High heard from his holy habitation, and the angels flying in the midst of heaven; the earth just on the eve of rocking to and fro like the waves of the great ocean, and eternity filled with pain for the corruption of man; the holy messengers from above holding the four winds while he that holds the keys seals the servants of God in their foreheads; the warning voice going forth for all to be READY, and the light of truth illuminating the hearts of the poor, lest when HE comes faith shall not be found; the signs of his near approach beginning to be manifested, by tokens which are not to be misinterpreted, and the hearts of many ready to receive the admonition-Prepare! the church, the bride, the Lamb's wife adorning herself with her beautiful attire, and decking herself with the wedding garments, making all things ready for the word-He comes! and anxiously waiting the glorious period when the everlasting doors, even the gates of the celestial city shall again be lifted up, that the King of glory may descend to be crowned Lord and KING OF ALL!
But the scenes abroad are not all which have transpired since 1832 to awaken the studious mind to reflection. At home he has found a field for meditation, calculated to arouse the intellect and call up the words of the ancient prophets, to see whether they, in the midst of their heavenly visitations, touched upon a period when perplexity and strife should rack the systems and inventions of the wise, as at this day. We have seen this liberal government tossed to and fro by the ambition of men; the great principles of union and social compact severed at a touch, and war, civil war, with all its horrors, threaten us with desolation! "Rumors of wars" have surely come upon us! We have seen men professing the religion of heaven rise up against their neighbors "to put them to death!" We have seen a community composing a part of this government defy law, despise justice, and tread upon the innocent because they were weak! We have witnessed mob after mob rise up in our most populous cities, and towns, and trample upon good order with the reclessness [recklessness] of the savage! Yes, we have seen more! The Destroyer has set foot upon our shores, and summoned thousands to their "long homes!" His march has been rapid, and his path has proven his commission! Amid calamities like these we can only say to all, while these scenes are transpiring, and new ones are bursting upon us, let us be ready, for HIS coming is near!
Kirtland, Ohio, September, 1834.
FAITH OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THESE
LAST DAYS. NO. VII.
[Continued from our last.]
But notwithstanding all these pretended reformations, there are none of them who ever pretend to restore to the world that which it has lost, namely, the religion of heaven: they all with one consent, admit that that has disappeared, and that forever, never to return again, reformation or no reformation, millennium or no millennium, it matters not, for the religion of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Paul, has disappeared to exist no more. I say their religion, because, take away their faith by which they wrought their mighty works, and what is left? nothing but a form, an empty sound, mere idle pretentions, without virtue or efficacy: no better than that of any other people; no better than the worship of dumb idols. But what renders this peculiarly strange is, that the sects, though they confess that the religion of the ancients has ceased, and that the gift of the Holy Spirit is no more, yet, they claim to themselves the promises made to the people who enjoyed the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and who had power sufficient with God to obtain all gifts, and revelations sufficient for both this world, and that which is to come; but by what authority they claim them, we have yet to learn, not the authority of God we are sure, for he has given no such authority: neither from any of his dealings with the people of former ages can any person draw such a conclusion-but the very reverse. The history of the divine proceedings in relation to his creatures, both saints and sinners, clearly proves, that the promises of God were never public plunder, to be applied according to the whims or caprices of men, nor according to the prejudices, nor prepossessions of any age; but were founded upon definite and fixed principles, suited precisely to the people to whom they were given, and rarely applicable to any other people, but those to whom they were immediately given. For instance, the promises made to the Ephesians, in the epistle to that church, were suited to their peculiar situation, and I think it strongly probable that there were no other people existing in that day to whom they were applicable but that church only; nor have any existed since to whom they could be applied with safety.
In all the promises which were made to the saints in former ages, there was respect had to their peculiar circumstances and situation, and all the promises made to them were in view of these; and it was because of their peculiar circumstances that they obtained all promises they did obtain. In order that the reader may clearly understand us, take the following example, 2nd Corinthians, 8th chapt. 1st and 2nd verses: "Moreover brethren we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed upon the churches of Macedonia; how that, in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty, abounded to the riches of their liberality!"
Four things contributed to entitle the saints of Macedona [Macedonia] to the approbation of heaven: first, their deep poverty: second, their great affliction: third, the abundance of their joy in the midst of their afflictions: fourth, their liberality, notwithstanding their deep poverty. Now, no people who did not labor in great affliction for Christ's sake, and yet rejoice abundantly in that affliction, and who were not deeply poor, and yet abundantly liberal in the midst of that poverty, whether they lived in the days when this epistle was written, or not; since, or before, they were not entitled, nor are they entitled to the promises made to that people. For had the Macedonian saints never been in a great trial of affliction, for Christ's sake, they never could have approved themselves unto God. And had they not rejoiced abundantly in that affliction, God would not have accepted them: if they had not been deeply poor, they never could have been richly liberal; and had this not been the case with them, they would not have obtained the promises which were made to them; so that it was in consequence of these things that promises were made to them. And may we not carry it further, and say, that if this had not been the case with them, they would not have been saved? and verify the Savior's saying, that it is as impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven, as for a Camel to go through the eye of a needle.
If the epistles to the different churches were examined with care and attention, it would be found that the people there addressed, were very different from any of the sects of the present day; and the promises made to them were given in consequence of things which are not known among the sects. Indeed, it would be found that the whole character, circumstances, and behavior of the saints, were in every respect different from the sects of the present day, and were in consequence thereof entitled to promises which the best of the sects, (if there is any best among them,) can, on no principle of righteousness claim; nor can they on any principle of equity inherit. The ground on which the saints obtained all the promises that were made to them was, first, because of their faith; and second, because of their obedience, which grew out of their faith: and they became heirs of promise in proportion as their faith increased; for as they increased in faith, so, in proportion, they obtained promises by their faith, until, like Abraham, they were enabled to offer up their all to God, not keeping even Isaac back-but endured the trial of faith until they had proved themselves to God as he did, and then obtained the blessing of being called his children, and had secured unto them the blessings of Abraham as well as the sure mercies of David.-But it was because they had faith like Abraham that they were called the children of Abraham, and because their faith was as great as David's that they obtained his sure mercies; for the principles of heaven are fixed and unchangeable, that without faith it is impossible to please God, and the greater a man's faith is, the more acceptable are his services to God: and when his faith is perfect, his services also, which are offered up in faith, are perfect. And no service is acceptable unto God but an offering made in faith: it matters not how ceremonious the worshiper is, how grave, how sober, how formal: if his services lack the redeeming quality of faith, they will not be acceptable to God; for without faith it is impossible to please God.-Hebrews, 11th Chapt. 5th and 6th verses. No fact is plainer than this, that the saints not only obtained their promises by faith, but that it was by faith that they enjoyed them: and all spiritual blessings which were received or enjoyed by any of the human family since the world began, were by reason of the faith of the persons who obtained them; and their degree of spiritual enjoyment depended on the degree of their faith: if their faith grew exceedingly, so did their spiritual enjoyments: if their faith languished, their enjoyments languished also. And every person stood on their own faith-obtained and enjoyed spiritual blessings for themselves. No one man could enjoy the Spirit of God for another, but every one for himself. And it is impossible for any two persons to enjoy an equal degree of spiritual blessings without an equal degree of faith; for in proportion to their faith they will enjoy as long as the Lord is God: and if one man's faith is greater than another's so will his spiritual blessings be greater: and all creation cannot prevent it. Neither will the other ever get his degree of sptritual [spiritual] blessings until he gets the same degree of faith with him; but no sooner will he get the same degree of faith, than he will get the same degree of spiritual blessings, and vice versa.
This generation of sectarians never displayed greater weakness in any thing, than in the vain supposition that they can obtain the blessings of Abraham without first obtaining his faith; for it was through faith that Abraham obtained all his promises and blessings: and without faith he would have gotten none of them; neither will any man ever obtain the blessings of Abraham until he obtains a like degree of faith-then, and not till then will he obtain the blessings of Abraham; for with Abraham's faith he can obtain his blessings; but without it he cannot!
Paul says thus, concerning Abraham and his faith, in the 3rd chapt. to the Galatians, 6 7 8 and 9th verses: "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye, therefore that they which are of faith the same are the children of Abraham. And the scriptures foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then, they which be of faith, are blessed with faithful Abraham." Here the apostle declares in the clearest terms, that they who are of faith are the children of Abraham, and that it is because men have faith, that they are blessed with faithful Abraham; but no persons were ever blessed with the blessings of Abraham, unless they had his faith, and were thereby able to get them; for it was by faith that Abraham got them, and had it not been for his faith he never would have gotten them. Abraham might have read of the faith of righteous Abel, by which he was enabled to offer acceptable sacrifice to God; but unless he himself had as much faith as Abel he could never have offered as acceptable a sacrifice as Abel's, for this could only be done by the same degree of faith which Abel had when he offered his sacrifice. For though Abraham might have offered a hecatomb of sacrifice, still, if his faith, when he offered them, had not been as strong as Abel's when he offered his sacrifice, they would not have been as acceptable to God as were Abel's, though they were the same kind of animals and in every respect like Abel's, and no difference only what existed in the faith of the worshipers. For it was by faith (and that only) by which Abel's sacrifice was more acceptable than Cain's; for says the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, "By faith Abel offered unto God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts that he was righteous, and by it he being dead yet speaketh." So it was just as necessary that Abraham should have faith to be acceptable unto God as it was for Abel; neither could Abraham ever have known that his faith was accounted unto him for righteousness, if God had not testified unto him that he was righteous as well as he did unto Abel: for he might have read of the faith of righteous Abel, or of the faith of Enoch by which he was translated, or of the faith of Peleg, by which the earth was divided, or of the faith of Noah, by which he saved himself and family when the world was drowned, and might have believed with all his heart that these things were true; but unless he had obtained the same degree of faith that these men had it would have been of no avail to him to have known of their faith. Reading and hearing of their faith would have done him no good, unless he had set about obtaining the same faith; and not only the same faith, but the same degree of it; for men are acceptable to God in proportion to the degree of their faith, whether it is strong or whether it is weak. So we see that unless Abraham had obtained the same degree of faith that the saints before had obtained, he never could have been blessed with the same blessings: he might have read of their faith, and how they obtained, by it, a good report; but here it must have ended, as long as the blessings of life and salvation are to be obtained by faith, and by faith only; for Abraham must have had faith for himself, as well as the ancients
had for themselves, or else their blessings would not have been the same, neither in this world, nor yet in the world to come. Nor could Abraham ever have been blessed with faithful Abel, Enoch, Peleg, and Noah, had he not have been a man of like precious faith with them, and not only the like precious faith; but the same degree of the like precious faith: neither can any person be blessed with faithful Abraham unless he has the like precious faith with him, and the same degree of the like precious faith; for no man ever had too much faith for his salvation, nor too high a degree of faith.-Abel had not too much, neither had Enoch, nor Peleg, nor Noah, nor Abraham, nor Moses, nor Samuel, nor the prophets; nor had Peter, or Paul, or any of the apostles, or any other creature; neither had they any more than was necessary. This is a something that all the ancient inspired men well understood, and noticed in all their writings and teachings, and have left it on record for the benefit of this as well as succeeding generations, that they all might know on what principle the ancients were blessed of the God of heaven, and how it was that men were made partakers of eternal life.-Thus Paul, in the 3rd chapter to the Galatians, and 9th verse, as before quoted, says, "So then, they which be of faith, are blessed with faithful Abraham." It is just as necessary that a man should have the faith of Abraham in order to be blessed with him, as it was for Abraham to have faith, in order to be blessed; for Abraham could not have been blessed, without this faith. Query: can another man be blessed with faithful Abraham, when he has not the same degree of the same faith which Abraham had? for if he can, there is neither order, nor uniformity in the divine proceedings, and the scheme of life is an indescribable vagary.
All the ancient men of God on this subject had one general view, they well knew that without faith it was impossible to please God, and that the faith of God's elect was the same: that in order that men might have the same degree of spiritual blessings, it was necessary that they should have the same degree of the same faith; and that in this respect, every man had to stand for himself or fall for himself. Thus Paul, in writing to the Romans, 4th chapt. from the 10th verse, to the end, says of Abraham, "And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had, yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe though they be not circumcised, that righteousness might be imputed unto them also; and the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. For the promise that he should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect. Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed: not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (as it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not, as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded, that what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now, it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered for our offences [offenses], and was raised again for our justification."
This is quite a comment on the promise made to Abraham, setting forth not only the principles on which the promise was made, but also a very particular description of the seed that was promised to Abraham, that he should have by virtue of the promise made to him, and also what kind of characters they were who were to be blessed with faithful Abraham, that is, they were to be of faith: they were to walk in the steps of that faith which Abraham had, and righteousness was to be imputed unto them if they like Abraham believed. We learn in short from the whole of this comment of the apostle's on the promise made to Abraham, that Abraham's seed was to be a people of faith like himself, walking in the steps of the same faith, having the same confidence in God, and in every respect like himself, that these were to be blessed with faithful Abraham, and none others.
TO BE CONTINUED.
THE GOSPEL, No. 1.
What ever difference may exist in the world about the scheme of eternal life, and the duties enjoined upon the human family to prepare them for its enjoyment, all, we believe, who acknowledges the truth of the bible, agree in this, that the ancient apostles, commissioned by the Savior, were fully authorized to proclaim the gospel, and to make known the will of God to man; and that the things which were taught by them were correct; and the gospel which they preached was God's only scheme of life; and that adding to it, or taking from it, deprived mankind of the benefits resulting therefrom, and tended to disarm the plan of eternal life of all its powers.
We believe that it is universally admitted by all believers in revelation, that no person could receive into their hearts, the things taught by these men, and practice the duties they required, without obtaining the promises made by them; for if this were not the case, it would be worse than folly to hold them up to view as messengers sent of God to bless the nations.
The point of light in which these apostles are held up to view the scriptures is, that the gospel which they preached was the only gospel acknowledged of God, and the proclamation which they proclaimed, the only one that men were authorized to receive, and the promises which they made, were to be as certainly enjoyed, as ever men put themselves in a situation to receive them, by obeying the instructions which they gave them. For though religion in some form was prevailing in every part of the civilized world in the days of the Savior and his apostles, still they presented themselves to the world as the only persons who were capable of enlightening the minds of men, and of bringing them into an acquaintance with the true faith, and of introducing them into the family of the Most High, having (as they said) authority from God to do this work, and that a dispensation of the gospel was committed to them for this purpose.
The professed object of their apostolic mission was, that men might be saved: this their commission clearly sets forth. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned!" From this it is plain, that whatever might have been the amount of religion in their day, there was not a sufficiency of righteousness on earth to save one man, only as it was restored to the world through the Savior and his apostles, nor was it possible for one single creature in all the world to be saved unless they put themselves under their guidance; for they were to go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; so that every creature in all the world, had to be taught by them, and receive the gospel which they preached, or else they must be damned; for they who believed not should be damned. This was certainly placing their commission, in an important point of light: and their own teachings were in perfect consistency, with their commission.
Paul says, when writing to the Galatians, first chapter, 8 and 9 verses. "But though we, or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." In all their teachings they held themselves up to view as the only teachers of righteousness which were approved of God in the world, and that their mission was not necessary only for the salvation of a part of the world, but all of it; yea, every creature in it. It mattered not what progress the world had made in the knowledge of other things; in the knowledge of the science of salvation, they had retrograded, until there were none doing good, no not one. And unless God had sent the apostles, or others authorized as they were, the world must have perished: every creature in it must have been damned; for they were to go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, he (that is, every creature) that believed and was baptized, should be saved; but he (that is, every creature) that believed not, should be damned. Had there been one creature in all the world who was in a state of salvation, or could have attained that state without the apostles, this commission would not have been correct, that is, that every creature in all the world who did not believe them and be baptized by their direction should be damned.
Nothing can make the apostles' commission true, but the fact, that no creature in all the world could be saved without their being brought into favor with God through their ministry.
The Savior, through the whole course of his ministry in the flesh, made it one of the principal items of his teaching to make it clearly manifest to the religious Jews, that they had departed from the principles delivered unto them through the messengers whom God had inspired to make known his will to men. He did not reprove the Jews for adhering to the law, but because they had corrupted it and made it void by their traditions. For neither the law nor the prophets, made hypocrites, blind guides, a generation of vipers; but a corruption of one, and a perversion of the other did-they made both. Neither was the law nor the prophets against the promises of God, nor yet a hindrance to any person coming into the kingdom of God; but a perversion and a corruption of them were against the promises of God; and a barrier to men entering into the kingdom of heaven.
The Jews were not to blame for adhering to both the law and the prophets, but for corrupting one and perverting the other, through which corruption and perversion, they ceased to believe either Moses or the prophets; for had they believed them they would have believed the Savior also; for they wrote of him. Had the leaders of the Jews never corrupted the law nor perverted the prophets, they would never have been overthrown; for they would have received their Messiah when he came, and have escaped "the wrath to come." But in consequence of their having corrupted the law, and perverted the prophets, they would neither enter the kingdom of God themselves, nor let those who were entering go in; for which the Savior upbraids them. Not that they worshiped [worshipped] God according to the law, but
according to their own traditions, by which they had made void the law, and rendered it of none effect: teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Mark 7th chapter, from the 5th to the 15th verse: Matthew, 15th chapter, from the 2nd, to the 10th verse.
Every person in any degree acquainted with the Jewish history, as written in the scriptures, knows, that God, previous to the days of the Savior's coming in the flesh, was withdrawing from that people, and that he continued to do so until they were abandoned to destruction. But God never withdraws from a people for adhering to the order of things he established among them; for while they all adhere to him he cleaves to them. Had the Jews, in truth and verity, continued to observe the law as God delivered it unto them, and to have believed the prophets who were sent unto them, God would have continued with them, and they would have known their Messiah when he came, and have entered into his kingdom and have found rest, and continued the people of God, even the favorites of heaven, until this day.-But instead of their doing so, they changed their temple from being a house of prayer, to be a house of merchandise, and a den of thieves. Matthew, 21st chapter 12th and 13th verses. Mark, 11th chapter, 15th, 16th, and 17th verses: Luke 19th chapter, 45th, and 46th verses. They made void the law by their traditions, and stoned the prophets that were sent unto them. Matthew, 23rd chapter, 37th verse. Whatever was saving in their institutions they rejected, and defiled, until destruction came on them to the very uttermost. This was their situation when the Savior came among them, and such their condition when he commissioned the apostles to go and preach the gospel to them; and not to them only, but to every creature in all the world also.
The apostle Paul in the epistle to the Romans, gives us a minute description of both the Gentiles and the Jews in his day in the 1st chapter commencing with the 20th verse he thus describes the state of the Gentiles. "Because when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lust of their own hearts to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped [worshipped] and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen." The apostle continues his description of the Gentiles to the close of the chapter, which the reader may examine at his leisure, and he will see that the picture is one of no very pleasing character.
From the description here given of the Gentiles, we learn this fact, that the Gentiles had previously known God: For when they knew God says the apostle, they worshiped [worshipped] him not as God &c. This is evidence positive, that the Gentiles had turned away from the knowledge of God, and were apostates from the truth.
In the 3rd chapter of this same epistle, he gives a description of the Jews, also commencing with the 9th verse to the close of the 18th we have the following description. "What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written. There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre [sepulcher]; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes." In the nineteenth verse he says, "Now we know, that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." In so saying the apostle gives his readers to understand that the preceding quotations, taken from the Psalms, were applicable to the Jews and to the Jews only; for they were the persons to whom the law was given, and they, and they only were under the law. "Now what things soever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law:" So the apostle makes a direct application of what he here said to the Jews, as they were the people, and the only people, who were under the law.
Such is the light in which God viewed the world, both Jew and Gentile, when he sent the apostles among them to bring them back to the principles of righteousness, from whence they had strayed; for God considered them all, not only under sin, but in a state of apostasy also.
Let the world have made what advances it might in literature, science, or philosophy, in relation to eternal life-their case was deplorable; for instead of their being in a situation to be saved, they were in a situation to be destroyed; instead of being redeemed, they were in a situation to be condemned; for so far had the whole world, both Jew and Gentile, apostatized from the living God, that there was not a sufficiency of righteousness to save one creature in all the world.
Whatever improvement, therefore, the Jews or the Gentiles might have made in worldly matters, they were in a situation in which they could make no advances towards eternal life, only by receiving the apostles, and submitting themselves to their guidance and direction, however humiliating this might have been to them. But so it was, that to the fishermen of Galilee they must come, and to them they must submit, or else they must be damned.
So closely does the God of heaven adhere to his plan of saving men, that nothing will be admitted as a substitute, for his ordinances, and itstitutions [institutions], no services but those of his own appointment will tend in the least degree to save men. The Jews might lay heavy burdens on each other's shoulders, subject themselves to many privations, make many prayers, and pay tithes of all they possessed, but when done, it would leave them short of eternal life!-to the fishermen of Galilee they must go, or be saved they could not. The Gentiles might lacerate their bodies, offer their children in sacrifice, or subject themselves to the severest scourgings, buffetings, or burnings: they might form books of morals, codes of laws, systems of government, or modes of worship, but all in vain, it would not give unto them eternal life, nor could they by any means obtain the salvation of God, only through and by the fishermen of Galilee; for their commission was to every creature in all the world, and he who did not believe them, should be damned; for there was no other gospel; no other scheme of things, nor no other forms of worship, that had eternal life as their reward, but the gospel proclaimed by the apostles, and the forms of worship taught by them.
These apostles, however, did not pretend that God never had at any former period of the world, any messengers who had been authorized to bring men into a state of salvation, and to proclaim the gospel to the world; but on the contrary, Paul says in the 3rd chapter of the epistle to the Galatians, and 8th verse, that the gospel had been preached unto Abraham.-He says thus: "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed;" Observe that he says that the gospel was preached unto Abraham. But in the 1st chapter of the epistle to the Ephesians, the apostle shows that the gospel was of a much earlier date than the days of Abraham; that it was before time, being devised in eternity, before the foundation of the world. See the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th verses. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated [predestined] us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved."
In the 11th verse he says: "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated [predestined] according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."
We learn the following things from the above saying of the apostle: That the scheme of things by which he and the saints at Ephesus were saved was devised in eternity before the foundation of the world. "According as he hath chosen us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world."
2nd. That they were to be the children of God, through adoption by Jesus Christ. "Having predestinated [predestined] us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself."
3rd. And all this according to his own purpose or scheme of things, (for what is a man's purpose but his scheme of things,) by which he works all things after the counsel of his own will? That is the same as to say, that the plan of life and salvation which is called in the scriptures the gospel, was heaven's own scheme or purpose, and that scheme was before the world was; and that before God created man he purposed in himself that mankind should become his sons through adoption, by Jesus Christ, and in no other way.
If the apostle, in the foregoing sayings, teaches any thing, it is, that the gospel, or scheme of life and salvation which is the same, was from before the beginning, and that from the creation of the world God had but the one way of saving men; and that all that were saved, were to be saved in the same way; and this God had decreed, purposed, and predestinated [predestined], and by this eternal scheme of things all things were accomplished according to the will of God, and this decree, will, and purpose, was before the foundation of the world.
Now let the truth of what the apostle here says be admitted and the result is, that that same scheme of things by which the Ephesians were saved, was the same by which all others that are to be redeemed, were saved.-And if the same scheme of things, then the same ordinances were obeyed by all; for if Paul administered ordinances, that were not administered to all who are to be redeemed, then they were not saved by the same plan of salvation; for where there is a difference it matters not how small the difference is, the things thus differing are not the same, and it follows of necessity that if Paul baptized for the remission of sins, all others who are saved must have been baptized also for the same purpose, or else, they were not all saved by the same gospel or plan of salvation: and if the plan of salvation taught by Paul required men to be born of the water, and the Spirit in order that they might enter into the kingdom of heaven, so the same must have been required of all since the foundation of the world or else the plan of salvation has not always been the same, and if so Paul's testimony is not true.
TO BE CONTINUED.
THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR.
KIRTLAND, OHIO, SEPTEMBER, 1834.
-> As this number closes the Star, we hope our patrons will remember, that the Terms are IN ADVANCE, except special contracts. We certainly are grateful for the liberal patronage heretofore received for the Star, and humbly trust, by the grace of God, to render the Messenger and Advocate worthy a double share: whether or not, we shall exert our ability, and devote our time, and leave the event with the Lord. If we advance incorrect principles, and call upon our fellow men to embrace them, we are responsible: if truth, though it may not be believed, our garments will be spotless, in this respect, and when the great day of trial comes, our reward will be with the just -with the just we shall rejoice; with the just we shall triumph; with the just we shall glory, and with the just we shall reign!-[Ed. Star.]
Freedom, Sept. 1, 1834.
I have now been home more than one week and I have written you once since my return, but yet I hear nothing from you. I indulge a hope, however, that I shall receive a line from you this week, and also the Star. I do not write you at this time from a conviction that I can enlighten your mind, correct your judgment, or inform your understanding, but merely because I am pleased to do so, and am pleased to receive letters from you. I also receive spiritual strength from all communications from you. And when I reflect that a system of religion purports to be a system of salvation, and that we have both embraced one that is almost every where spoken against, you are aware that a man reads with delight, any thing and every thing that corroborates his faith. I need not say to you, that thousands of respectable people say, we are deluded, and deceived: and if I supposed they had one half the evidence of its falsity that you have of its truth; (providing they were equally honest,) perhaps, at times, I might be induced to give heed to what they say. I have a thousand times wished I could have that evidence that you have had, and many others.
Our brethren and sisters in this place appear still to feel confident, and unshaken in their belief, and to manifest a desire to obey the word of wisdom and the commandments. There is another prepared for baptism this week. We have no regular understanding preacher among us, but we generally have tolerable good meetings, and we humbly trust, some manifestations of divine approbation. We strive to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace, that our prayers may not be hindered.
I still feel to reiterate the same sentiment that I urged in my last, respecting a preacher of our order, such as I then, and at other times have described to you; in short, brother, such an one as would be likely to do us good, by strengthening and building us up in the most holy faith. We are few in number compared with the multitudes that surround us, and we are a by-word and the butt of ridicule for all the vulgar, and all the hypocrites. But may God give us grace and humility to stand in the evil day; yea, and having done all to stand.
Yours in the bonds of the gospel. W. A. COWDERY.
TO OLIVER COWDERY.
I have received several communications from you, and of late I can say, that there is an increase of joy on every reflection that the Lord, whose mercies are abundant, has, by his grace, given us the unspeakable consolation of rejoicing in the same faith, the same gospel, the same covenant, and the same hope of eternal life! Paul said to Timothy, that in the last days perilous times should come; for men should be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, and without natural affection. If this prophecy ever was, or ever will, more evidently be illustrated by the acts of one generation, it must be by a race of men more wicked than the antediluvians, and more corrupt than the people of Sodom, or else we have had an existence on earth among a people who were presented before the eyes of this man, by the inspiration of heaven, and declared to be the people of the Lord's curse, on whom his sword should fall in judgment.
I find many who are willing to acknowledge that God is pouring out judgment upon the earth, in our day; but few will admit that he has revealed it to man. This I conclude, is because they deny the possibility of prophets in these last days; for Amos said (3:7) that, "Surely the lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret to his servants the prophets." So, admitting that the cholera is a judgment sent by the Lord to chasten or rebuke the world, which thousands do, they must admit one of two things: Either God has prophets in these last days unto whom he reveals "his secrets," or Amos was no true prophet; but spake lies in the name of the Lord. Because, if this sickness is a judgment, it certainly was once a secret, to men, not yet unfolded for either their instruction or correction.-Now, we cannot find, in all the prophets who were living before the coming of Christ, that any one of them said, that in the year 1834, or previous, a desolating scourge should pass over the earth; neither did the apostles leave us such information. Then here was a secret; and how could the Lord perform this act without revealing it to "his prophets?" and how could he reveal it to his prophets, when he had none.
We are aware that there are various complaints and diseases common to various countries and climates, these, though never considered by the world at large to be special judgments, sent by the hand of the Lord, it may strictly be said are his rod to humble men. But, I will look at this subject as other men: Were I living in some parts of the northen [northern] States, and were consumptive, I would locate myself else where, for the recovery of health. Were I residing in the low parts of the State of New York, Ohio, or Michigan, and were afflicted with agues, I would, of course seek a location where water was more pure, and the air less impregnated with the filth which arises from sluggish streams and putrid swamps. When this was effected, according to the common course of things, I might look for a recovery, and as men would say, except these complaints had fastened upon me, I should be certain of health.
Go to the high lands of Vermont and New Hampshire, and you breathe an air which brings no ague:-you drink of the crystal fountain, and the lucid rill, where the hand of our Creator has marked before the eye, health, and without judgments, long life, where the speckled trout plays beneath its surface unmolested, and unconcerned; and where a man is not under the necessity to wrap himself in a cloak, after sun-set, for fear he will, the next day, be seized with a complaint which will either rack his constitution, till he is ever after diseased, or take him from this world.
Go to the other places of which I have mentioned, and you find this to be the case. Visit the far south, and the yellow fever, with other disorders, come periodically, and take from the earth their thousands; but no agues, nor consumptions. Such has been the course pursued by a Maker with his creatures, during our day, and for generations gone-by; but no mention of the cholera. Why not? men were the same, formed of the same materials, and residing in the same climates.
It is said, that this disease first made its appearance at Jessore, about 100 miles south of Calcutta, (India,) in August, 1817. To mark its rapid progress, as it laid desolate villages and cities, would cause one's bosom to be pained for the afflictions of men! We can scarce form an estimate of its ravages in that remote country for 12 or 13 years. Towns were depopulated, and countries laid waste as the angel of death marched forth to execute his commission! till it spread from the gulf of Tartary to the Mediterranean sea! A once favored land, where light and knowledge beamed from the regions of glory to illuminate the path of men, though long since sunk in darkness, once more felt the chastening hand of God.
In 1830 the Destroyer began to execute his work in Europe, and the first, it is said, who were doomed to suffer by him, were the inhabitants resident at the mouth of the Volga on the Caspian sea. Soon, you know, desolation marked his course over Europe, and by his hand many, very many, were removed from time. In May, or June, 1832 he set foot upon our shores.-The people of Quebec felt the scourge, and soon a great part of the continent were groaning under the affliction. I have marked its progress these two years with some minuteness. In 1832 it spread from the North to the South; in 1833 it carried thousands to their long homes in the South and West, far West, and in 1834 it comes, like a "strong man armed!" and extends in rapid strides from South to North! What can stay this mighty Destroyer in his course? can the skill of men who have, for their whole life, studied the secrets of disease to render usefulness to their fellow-men? No! the wisdom of the wise falls useless, while the ocean, the fortress, "the high tower," the lofty mountains, streaked with pearling streams, with mighty rivers rolling to seek their equilibrium, are also rendered no place of security!-he flies o'er oceans, he walks o'er countries, he spreads terror and dismay in all ranks and conditions of men, and scatters the "seeds of death" in all climates, to execute his great commission, till, in fact, it is, as the prophet said should be, a vexation only to hear the report!
I have, myself, passed through towns, cities, and villages, as well as sections of our country, where hundreds were, by him, snatched from time to eternity, in an hour. I have seen the effects of his desolating march and witnessed the pale countenances of men who were just touched with his finger, and left as monuments of his power, with fallen cheeks and sunken eyes! I have seen the bereaved husband, the fatherless child, and the disconsolate widow, and others whose faces wore a settled gloom, and when met in the streets, would start as from a revery of death, or a converse with departed friends! Nor do I presume that my eyes have witnessed a beginning of what others have experienced. But I will assure you, that a thinking man's mind will be occupied with no ordinary reflections, to walk in the house of death, and to be surrounded by a power sent from God to chasten the world! In truth, it will awaken every faculty of the soul, and call forth the strictest scrutiny of one's religion, to know whether he is prepared to meet the judgment, if he has not faith to stand. Amid this mighty contagion, or, not properly contagion, but desolation, one will stand with feelings of reverence when he knows that it is a scourge of the Almighty; and as he reflects upon the system on which his hope is based, he will stand with fearless contemplation, and say, This is no less than the power of God to prepare the way for his advent in glory!
But lest I am too lengthy on this item, I will dismiss it, after making a few remarks further. The first season after the Destroyer visited our land, you will recollect to have seen almost all denominations of people professing the religion of heaven, assembling for prayer and fasting to turn away the scourge. The several Governors in whose respective States the afflicting angel came, were very careful to make mention of the same in their messages to the Legislatures; and what is still more interesting here to be observed is, that they acknowledged that it was a judgment, a special judgment.
All, then agree, that it is a providence to chasten men-the great, the small, the religious, as well as those who profess none-from the Governor to the private citizen, and as the scripture would represent, "From the king
that sits upon the throne to the maid behind the mill," bow the head with one general assent and confess "it is a scourge!" If this is the case, I ask, Where has been the fulfillment of the word of Amos, that the Lord reveals his secrets to his prophets? Has this affliction, which has taken its millions, been sent, and the Lord ceased to do by us as he always did by other people? Mark its progress. Since it has commenced it has taken off more than the number living on the continent of America excepting the aborigines! A continent desolated, a vast territory depopulated with one breath from the lips of the Most High, or a touch with the finger of the angel of death! and no one informed of the design, nor warned to prepare, that they might escape! Alas, O foolish generation! a people void of understanding! Acknowledge the scourge came by a special providence of God, and then deny the possibility of his informing people of it that they might escape!-Indeed, this must be ranked among the great "discoveries" of the age; for a "discovery" it must be: the ancients knew nothing of such providences-they believed that God had as much love in their lives and happiness as he had in their afflictions and deaths; consequently, would "reveal his secrets to his prophets." Let them wait, then, a few years longer, and see cities and provinces left without an inhabitant, and perhaps some may be "affrighted and give glory to God."
Before the Lord destroyed Nineveh he sent Jonah to warn them to repent. Were the Ninevites the people of God? Certainly they were not Israel, and yet mercy was shown them to that degree that they were warned of approaching destruction. Are we as righteous as were the people of Nineveh? if so, will not God deal as mercifully with us as he did with them? If he will not, when we are as righteous, will he not be a respecter of persons? Will he not cease to deal with that same unchangeable hand which has characterized all his ways since the days of Adam? It may be said, that we are not as righteous as they were. If so, certainly, we have the greater need of mercy, and of prophets to warn us of the anger of the Lord. But I will now leave this subject for the present.
I am informed by some of your previous communications, that the church in your place and vicinity numbered over sixty. This is pleasing intelligence to us: we are not, as Paul said some would be in the last days, "unthankful;" but on every remembrance of his mercy, (and we desire not to be unmindful,) we give thanks. And when we experience unbounded opposition in endeavoring to set light and truth before the world, we are led to glorify God that many are embracing it in various parts of our country.-Truth, you know, has a power, and when it once finds a place in an honest heart, like the good seed, grows up and brings forth fruit.
Some length of time since I received the "Baptist Register," published at Utica, N. Y. containing certain affidavits over the signatures of several persons residing in Susquehanna Co., Pa. From letters accompanying the same, written by yourself, I learned that you forwarded the paper [paper] for my information, requesting, at the same time something from me relative to, not only the characters of those individuals, but a statement, according to my own knowledge, of their assertions. I have previously written you short on the subject, which, as yet, I have not found a space. After some reflection, I have concluded, that any information which might benefit one might also benefit many, and at a future period, if providence permit, I shall give the subject a review, and make it as public, no doubt, as the authors of those affidavits will wish. However, some persons, you know, have an itching "to see their names in print." This may be the case with them, and I may render them a kindness, perhaps, which they little expected at the time they gave their assent, or properly speaking, prevailed upon the "little man" of the "Susquehanna Register" to place them in the hands of his mountain readers!
About the same time, or soon after, I received a number of the same paper, ("Baptist Register,") which had previously been mailed, according to the direction on the margin, to Ellery N. Y. Who had the kindness to forward me this paper from Ellery, N. Y. the Lord knows-I know not. But so it was, and I received it as a kindness; for the grave Editor, Beebee, in the greatness of his liberality, sent no "exchange," after noticing the Star, which, among all ranks of professed gentlemen Editors, is called a crime little inferior to that of sacrilege! Why I have said "liberality," is because, if a man may calculate that there is any meaning in language, when I read the motto of his paper, I conclude Mr. Beebee to be a man of the greatest liberality! Not only is he to declare the wonders of God among the people of N. Y. but among all people, even the heathen. Hear him!-"Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people."-Ps 96:3. But, it is to be remembered, that these are the words of a man, said to be after God's own heart, who lived more then 2,800 years since, who "spake, moved by the Holy Ghost"-whose soul was illuminated with the light of truth, and whose heart was a rich treasury of wisdom and understanding: who saw the great offering of God for a guilty world, extended to satisfy the demands of justice, that men might live, and who also saw the time when the righteous are gathered and the Mighty One comes to judge the world with righteousness! Of course he believed in revelations. Mr. Beebee does also, but not in this day, and for this reason is under the necessity of garbling something from the writings of a man, who would have looked down upon him with as little respect as any other heathen who denied the living and the true God by saying that he had ceased to speak to his creatures! Mr. Beebee has no doubt but David is saved, and also "hopes he has a hope" that he shall be saved with him by-and-by. I suppose, in his heaven, the description of which he has hatched up in his brain, which exists some where beyond the regions of space, as far from the fixed stars as the fixed stars are from this earth-a place he never saw, neither does he expect to have a view of it till he has flitted as many millions beyond the stars as he is now from them! There "he hopes he has a hope" that he will find admittance into a glorious city where this man (David) now dwells. But query: Will he be delighted with his company? David was a prophet: he believed in revelations, for he received them; but this man neither receives revelations, nor does he believe it to be possible for any man to receive them in his day. Can the prophet David and Mr. Beebee be one? if they are not, can they both inhabit the same place?
Mr. Beebee tells us the secret however, in few words, and informs the world where the great trouble lies. Hear him:-"Had we not fallen in with one of the followers of Smith, within eighty miles of Utica, and found their papers cerculating [circulating] even in Oneida co." [The Star,] "we should hardly have given so much space in our paper to the following statement." Poor man! what trouble and perplexity surround him! Astonishing! within eighty miles of Utica one of the servants of God! (Not of Joseph Smith Jr. as this man would gladly represent to excite contempt and ridicule.) The people are in danger, and ought to be warned, so he gives a large space in his paper to put them on the watch. How dare a man go so near? within eighty miles! Truly, then, it was because they did not know that Mr. Beebee lived there, and edited a large sheet printed on a Napier press! But there is a further trouble: He found the Star circulating even in Oneida county! This, he says, is "jumbled up with the scriptures to obtain attention, and the misapplication of them, though glaring to the eye of most readers, may not at all times be discovered by those but partially acquainted with their bibles. Here is the danger." A "danger" indeed, and Mr.-Beebee can inform the public of it; but for fear the publishers of the Star would call on him to do something he could not,-show the contradiction, if any, or where it was "jumbled" by "misapplications," he was very careful to forward no exchange. I received it however, but from whom I cannot say: I shall forward this No. to the P .M. at Ellery, and hope, if he is acquainted with the individual who forwarded me the "Register," he will present him this No. as I take this opportunity to present him my compliments and warmest wishes for his welfare, for his kindness.
There is no danger of deception if persons are acquainted with their bibles, it would appear from Mr. Beebee's remarks. What a pitty [pity] that other people are not as wise! A man capable of penetrating into the depths of that wisdom which moved the Psalmest David to unlock the treasures of heaven, and unfold to his people the divine mind concerning future generations, and all this without inspiration in this day! No fear of deception here!-The people of N. Y. must think they have a wise man to watch over their spiritual condition: One who can seize the words of an ancient prophet, and without the least authority from God, make it a common plunder and send it forth to the world as a harbinger before HE comes in flaming fire!-Indeed, he is the very man from whom we could expect to be accused of "jumbling and misrepresenting" truth-panic struck to see one Super Royal sheet circulating within his knowledge. It must be that he is apprehensive that his craft is in danger, and that some may compare his principles with those contained in the paper which has given him this fright! Because, every man professing to believe the bible, and at the same time denying the possibility of more revelations in the last days, that moment shows that his foundation is sand, and that his heart is void of all understanding or he himself is an imposture.
I must return to your letter, as I have already occupied a large space, for the present, in noticing Mr. Beebee and his paper, but I trust I shall escape censure on your part, and also on the part of the subscribers of the Star, as every man is entitled to notice according to his greatness; not to say any thing of the worth of a man professing the share of liberality with which this man is endowed.
Some items in yours, if space and opportunity were granted, might call forth some lengthy essays; but on these, for the present, I must be very concise, as my letter is already more prolix than I had designed it to be when I commenced.
There are certain reflections on all systems of religion which should be taken into consideration. Every people professing religion, (and when closely examined, few can be found without some kind,) are, more or less sanguine that they are right. The Israelites were called out of Egypt, and but few were willing to acknowledge that they had a more perfect system than they, (the Egyptians,) because of the peculiar prejudice of their former education. But did this prove that they were correct? When the Jews, as a nation, had departed from the true way, they were as zealous as their fathers ever were-they could enlarge the borders of their garments; they could tithe mint, and rue, and annis, and cummin; they could reject the preaching of John, and slay the Lord Jesus; they could persecute the saints, and put to death the innocent; they could make long prayers, and were long faces, and say they were right, the people of God, and a chosen generation, and yet they were in darkness, the children of the devil, aud [and] fast
ripening for the damnation of hell! They did not disbelieve in more revelations being given; but they believed that when they were given they would be given to themselves, and also precisely according to their former whims and prejudices. I leave you to judge, which principle is least exceptionable in the sight of heaven, one that denies the possibility of more revelations, or admits it to be possible, though that people admitting the last are as corrupt as were the Jews.
You say that, "thousands say we are deluded and deceived." Bare assertions, on this point, avail nothing, because men are always bound to believe that system supported by the highest degree of evidence. Christ said, "I am the Son of God:" the Jews said, "you are not the Son of God."-From what evidence, or by what authority did they say this? They said it because they disbelieved it. But were they justified in their unbelief?-by no means. Why? Because they were a people professing to hold the keys of the kingdom of God, which, if they did, and judged before they unlocked its archives and obtained HIS voice, they were condemned: they judged without evidence; they passed decision without authority! If they did not hold this power with God, (to obtain revelations,)neither profess to, by what authority did they condemn the Lord, and say that he was an imposture? To say that they were in possession of this power, and then judge a matter coming immediately under its jurisdiction, (it being a matter of religion,) without first obtaining evidence from a source where darkness and uncertainty have no power to deceive or swerve the mind from truth, showed a wicked, hypocritical, and corrupt heart! To make this pretence [pretense] possessing no such power, nor professing to, shows a heart equally as wicked, hypocritical, and corrupt, and an additional folly which will cause a man of common sense to blush, and turn aside with feelings of contempt!
I will, however, defer further remarks till a future period, meanwhile wishing you favor and peace, with the church in your place, forever.
Yours truly. OLIVER COWDERY.
To W. A. COWDERY
Liberty, Mo. Aug. 24, 1834.
Because I feel a great interest in the cause of our Redeemer, I take a little more time and paper than usual, and write. You are, in general, so well informed of all that is going on in this region of the Lord's vineyard, that I cannot give any news. When I say all that is going on, I mean between us and the Jackson mob, for there are many other things, I presume, that you and the Saints abroad are ignorant of for months.
From petitions sent to Congress by the inhabitants of Clay and other counties, a bill was got up in the house of Representatives, to annex all the land between this county and the Missouri river, to this State, together with a considerable quantity on the north, but it has all fell through, and I have understood that the Wyandots have selected that on the west, for their spot of gathering. A party of Pottawattomies passed through Liberty, not long since, on their way to the Kickapoos, whom they will join for the sake of their religion. Their prophet preached in Liberty just before the brethren came up last June, on the subject of their religion, and if he had had a true interpreter, would have given great light.
We have had several High Councils for the benefit of the scattered brethren; at one, the following letter was issued to four brethren, viz: John Corrill, Simeon Carter, Orson Pratt, and Parley Pratt.
"To the Latter Day Saints who have been driven from the land of their inheritance, and also those who are gathering in the regions round about, in the western boundaries of Missouri,-the High Council, established according to the pattern given by our blessed Savior Jesus Christ, send greeting:
DEAR BRETHREN, We have appointed our beloved brother and companion in tribulation, John Corrill, to meat you in the name of the Lord Jesus. He, in connexion [connection] with others duly appointed also, will visit you alternately, for the purpose of instructing you in the necessary qualifications of the Latter Day Saints; that they may be perfected, that the officers and members of the body of Christ, may become very prayerful and very faithful, strictly keeping all the commandments, and walking in holiness before the Lord, continually. That all that mean to have "the Destroyer pass over them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them," may live according to the "word of wisdom;" that the Saints by industry, diligence, faithfulness, and the prayer of faith, may become purified, and enter upon their inheritance, to build up Zion according to the word of the Lord.
We are sure, If the Saints are very humble, very watchful and very prayerful, that few will be deceived by those who have not authority to teach, or who have not the Spirit to teach according to the power of the Holy Ghost, in the scriptures. Lest any man's blood should be required at your hands, we beseech you, as you value the salvation of souls, and are within, to set an example which is worthy to be followed by those without the kingdom of our God and his Christ, that peace by grace, and blessings by righteousness may attend you till you are sanctified and redeemed."
(Signed) "Clay Co. Aug. 1, 1834."
Since this document was issued, meetings have been held alternately at twelve different places, to the joy of the scattered brethren, and so far as I learn to the satisfaction of those who are "without" the kingdom. And they will be continued. It is very sickly now. There has been no rain of note since the first of July; every thing looks sorry for the want of it; and, what is here called "the chill fever" is attacking hundreds. * * * * * * * * * * Brother Drollinger, a worthy elder died on Saturday. There is a great deal to humble the Saints and make them possess their souls in patience. The great drought is an index of famine, and so much sickness denotes chastisement, and the Saints have only to say: "Though he slay us, yet will we trust in him."
* * * * * * * * * *
We are looked upon as slaves, and in many instances, treated so. In fact, we are treated just as the Saints of God ever have been: despised, belied, slandered, whipped, mocked, buffeted, reproached, and considered, by other professors among the sects, as "the jest and riddle of the world," to be laughed at, and "rendered any thing by every body:" and so be it, for Christ's sake. The truth is in common meter, (as I have thought in poetry,) as follows:-
There is a land the Lord will bless, There all the springs of God will be;
Where all the Saints shall come; And there an end of strife;
There is a day for righteousness And there the righteous rising free
When Israel gathers home. Shall have eternal life.
Before the word goes forth-Destroy! There shall the will of God be done,
And all the wicked burn, And Saints and Angels greet;
With songs of everlasting joy, And there, when all in Christ is one,
The pure-in-heart return. The best from worlds shall meet.
Their fields beyond Missouri's flood, There, in the resurrection morn',
Are in perspective seen, The living live again,
As unto Israel "Canaan stood And all their children will be born
While Jordan flow'd between." Without the sting of sin.
Though wicked men and Satan strive, How long our Father, O how long
To keep us from that land, Shall that pure time delay?
And from their homes the Saints they drive Come on, come on, ye holy throng,
To try the Lord's command:- And bring the glorious day
As ever, W. W. PHELPS.
TO OLIVER COWDERY.
Bolton, N. Y. Aug. 31, 1834.
BROTHER O. COWDERY,-
By request of brother J. Carter, I proceed to forward you some information respecting our prosperity on the subject of our mission.
Previous to the conference at Saco, I had been laboring in the east, and had built up a small church of ten members in Farmington. When I returned to attend the conference I received your letter from the council, by the hand of brother Jared, requesting me to engage in the mission with him in laying before the churches the subject of building the house of the Lord in Kirtland, with which I readily complied, realising [realizing] that it was a subject of the greatest importance. Accordingly on the 19th we separated at Saco, agreeing that I should pass through the churches at the north, while he visited those at the south, and meet again at Andover, Vt. to attend the conference in that place on the 19th. I then visited the church at Erol, found them strong in the Lord. From thence I came to the church at Dalton; then to St. Johnsbury, where a conference was held on the 28th.-There were present at this conference three high priests, and seven elders, and seven churches represented which were all found to be in good standing. Much instruction was given. Three were ordained teachers. Great union prevailed, and the conference unanimously voted to keep the word of wisdom.
I next visited the church at Charleston, baptized one; from thence to Jay, and baptized another; then to Danville, where I held two meetings, and baptized seven. I then returned to St. Johnsbury; held a meeting on the Sabbath, had a large and attentive audience, and baptizeed [baptized] in that place, thirteen. The minds of many more seemed to be called up to inquire into the great work which the prophets have declared should come forth in the last days. I then came on to Andover, where I again met brother Jared, who had passed through the church at Boston, from thence to Killingworth, Ct. where he baptized three, and one in Madison. He then visited the church at Norfolk, and baptized one; from thence to Shaftsbury, where his labors were blessed in regulating the affairs of the church and bringing them to the order of the Latter Day Saints. Also, he baptized four, and others were convinced of the truth, and there was a general move on the minds of the people in that place. He had been greatly blessed with the Spirit in laying before the churches the object of his mission: also in breaking down prejudice, and in laying before the people the truth of the fulness [fullness] of the everlasting gospel, contained in the new covenant.
The conference in Andover was crowned with the blessing of God! We think much good will result from this meeting. From thence we came to Benson, attended the conference in that place, and the preaching was attended with the power of the Spirit. One was added to the church, and many more were inquiring into the truth. We next attended the conference in Bolton where were a large collection of official members of the church. Considerable business was transacted two were ordained to the high priesthood-many questions were discussed-the meeting crowned with the Spirit, and much intelligence was given concerning the work of the Lord, which will undoubtedly prove a lasting benefit to the servants of God! Our meeting following the conference was greatly blessed of the Lord: two were baptized, and many others had their minds called up to inquire into the truth of the fulness [fullness] of the gospel of the kingdom of the Latter Day Saints. It is evident that much good will be the result of the conferences, and meetings,
which we have held through our mission: for much prejudice, occasioned by the false reports which have gone forth, by those who withstand the truth, has been removed, and tradition, superstition, and error, seems to give way before the mild rays of the glorious gospel, while the cause of truth is taking a general triumph!
O that the cause might spread far and wide, until Zion's borders shall be extended from the rivers to the ends of the earth; when the will of God shall be done on earth as it is in heaven, and Christ be crowned King of nations, as he now is King of Saints!
Yours in the bonds of the everlasting covenant.
JOHN F. BOYNTON.
Sugar Creek, Indiana, August 12, 1834.
I take the liberty to send you a few lines to inform you of our condition, as a church: There are a few of us in this region who have embraced the everlasting gospel, as we trust, through the ministering brethren S. Carter, and J. Emmet; and finding ourselves at a distance from our brethren, and strangers to the most of them, as also to yourself-desiring and praying, that the cause may prosper, and the work of the Lord go on, we wish to inform you that we subscribed for The Evening and the Morning Star while the press was at Zion, and since it was destroyed have received a few papers from Kirtland, but not regularly. We wish you to send one to myself and another to Robert Snodgrass, Sugar Creek, Hancock co. Indiana, and I will be accountable to you for the same.
As we learned from your paper that brother J. Carter was visiting the churches we wish him to call on us, and by him we will send you your dues. If he cannot visit us, strive to get some one of the faithful elders to come and labor with us in this region. And although we are few, and surrounded with opposition by the different sects who persecute and misrepresent us, yet, as far as they have met us on bible ground they have lost influence; and though we have had no additions of late, the cause is gaining ground, and prejudice giving way before the force of truth!
We still hear of the persecution and opposition against the brethren who went up to Zion: we hope they will endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, and be restored to their lands. O may that blessed hope of the glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior, the literal gathering of the saints to enjoy his personal presence on earth in perfect peace, inspire all the persecuted Saints of the Latter Day, to love each other, and to love their Lord, to walk in the spirit, to gather to gether, gird up their loins, and be waiting for HIM!
Dear brother pray for us, that we may adorn the cause which we have espoused; and send us help if possible: we do believe there could be good done here if this were to be the case.
The cause here has been wounded by one or two who were ordained among the Latter Day Saints, and afterward proved immoral: this has injured us much formerly; therefore we need help.
I conclude by wishing you mercy, grace, and peace, subscribing myself your friend and brother in the Lord.
TO OLIVER COWDERY.
Kirtland, Ohio, September 24, 1834.
I have, of late, been perusing Mr. A. Campbell's "Millennial Harbinger." I never have rejoiced to see men of corrupt hearts step forward and assume the authority and pretend to teach the ways of God-this is, and always has been a matter of grief; therefore I cannot but be thankful, that I have been instrumental in the providence of our heavenly Father in drawing forth, before the eyes of the world, the spirits by which certain ones, who profess to be "Reformers, and Restorers of ancient principles," are actuated! I have always had the satisfaction of seeing the truth triumph over error, and darkness give way before light, when such men were provoked to expose the corruption of their own hearts, by crying delusion, deception, and false prophets, accusing the innocent, and condemning the guiltless, and exalting themselves to the stations of gods, to lead blind-fold, men to perdition!
I have never been blessed, (if it may be called such,) with a personal acquaintance with Mr. Campbell, neither a personal interview; but the GREAT MAN, not unfrequently condescends to notice an individual of as obscure birth as myself, if I am at liberty to interpret the language of his "Harbinger," where he says, "Joe Smith! Joe Smith! imposture! imposture!" I have noticed a strange thing! I will inform you of my meaning, though I presume you have seen the same ere this. Mr. Campbell was very lavish of his expositions of the falsity and incorrectness of the book of Mormon, some time since, but of late, since the publication of the Evening and the Morning Star, has said little or nothing, except some of his back-handed cants. He did, to be sure, about the time the church of Christ was established in Ohio, come out with a lengthy article, in which he undertook to prove that it was incorrect and contrary to the former revelations of the Lord. Perhaps, he is of opinion that he so completely overthrew the foundation on which it was based, that all that is now wanting to effect an utter downfall of those who have embraced its principles is, to continue to bark and howl, and cry, Joe Smith! false prophet! and ridicule every man who may be disposed to examine the evidences which God has given to the world of its truth!
I have never written Mr. Campbell, nor received a communication from him but a public notice in his paper:-If you will give this short note a place in the Star you will do me a kindness, as I take this course to inform the gentleman, that while he is breathing out scurrility he is effectually showing the honest, the motives and principles by which he is governed, and often causes men to investigate and embrace the book of Mormon, who might otherwise never have perused it. I am satisfied, therefore he should continue his scurrility; indeed, I am more than gratified, because his cry of Joe Smith! Joe Smith! false prophet! false prophet! must manifest to all men the spirit he is of, and serves to open the eyes of the people.
I wish to inform him further, that as he has, for a length of time, smitten me upon one cheek, and I have offered no resistance, I have turned the other also, to obey the commandment of our Savior; and am content to sit awhile longer in silence and see the great work of God roll on, amid the opposition of this world in the face of every scandal and falsehood which may be invented and put in circulation.
I am your brother in the testimony of the book of Mormon,
and shall ever remain. JOSEPH SMITH jr.
TO OLIVER COWDERY.
FOR RE-PRINTING THE FIRST AND SECOND VOLUMES OF THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR.
F. G. WILLIAMS and Company will reprint the first and second volumes of the Star, in octavo form, commencing in the month of November, next, at two dollars for the two volumes, payable in advance. They pledge themselves to furnish their subscribers with, at least, two numbers per month, until the whole are completed, and with their present arrangements they calculate more.
The whole 24 numbers, when finished, will be in beautiful form for binding, and will be a book worth the attention of every man, whether candid or not-If candid, it cannot fail of drawing his mind into a train of reflection, which, if pursued, will produce a fruit which will increase in perfection, until it exalts the mind to THAT source of intelligence where truth dwells triumphant, and virtue never loses her sacred charm-If not candid, the spirit which attends it, by which it was indited [indicted], though like the wind, unseen, blowing where it lists, may find a place in the heart, and in after years, in some warning providence, spring up, and lead the individual to embrace the path to eternal life!
The first volume, and two numbers of the second, were printed at Indipendence [Independence], Missouri, commencing, June, 1832. Those who were subscribers and readers of that volume will recollect, that it was enriched with some of the most important, instructing, and sublime Revelations which have been given in the last days-full of wisdom, intelligence and beauty-enlightening the mind and increasing the understanding of the saint; and warning all to be on their watch for the great events which are to rush upon the inhabitants of this generation like an overflowing stream-and awaken the slumbering world to look and live!
The editorial and selected matter will be interesting to subscribers, as they will find many sketches and items relative to the settling and building up of the church of the Latter Day Saints, in that place-letters from elders and brethren abroad, showing the progress of the work, which, it is presumed, are not now extant else where.
The remaining part of the second volume has been published at this place, and contains a large mass of original matter-in fact, the columns are few in the whole ten numbers, and it is doubtful whether there can be a sufficient found to fill one of selected matter; and a large proportion, as it will be remembered, is directly informing the reader of the disgraceful scenes which have been acted by a portion of the citizens of our country, in persecuting, afflicting, and driving from their homes and dwellings, innocent women and helpless infants to drag out a miserable existence by starvation or grief, while the ruthless hand of worse than savage monsters were raised against, and imbrued in the blood of worthy husbands and fathers!
We talk of the deeds and the sufferings of heroes, for liberty, and of martyrs, for religion, and perpetuate the memory of such as have suffered reproach and abuse for the same; but if ever the calamity of a people ought to be remembered, and if ever their vile opprobrious treatment deserved to be immortalized, that the perpetrators might be had in contempt, and made a by-word to the latest generations of men, it is where scenes like these, in an enlightened and free Government, have transpired to blast the fame of descendants whose progenitors bought their liberty with their blood! On reflection, then, we have no hesitancy in urging the second volume, or its ten last numbers, upon the community. Articles, or pieces upon the principles of religion were designed to be written according to the spirit of truth, and we have no fear of refutation when we send them out a second time to the criticism of a public.
There are many typographical errors in both volumes, and especially in the last, which we shall endeavor carefully to correct, as well as principle, if we discover any.-It is also proper for us to say, that in the first 14 numbers, in the Revelations, are many errors, typographical, and others, occasioned by transcribing manuscript; but as we shall have access to originals, we shall endeavor to make proper corrections.
With these few remarks we submit this PROSPECTUS, repeating the request for all who are disposed to make themselves acquainted with important facts, connected with the history of a people striving to be prepared for the great advent of the Son of Man, to obtain it while it is offered; and to our brethren, one and all, we would farther urge as our duty thus requires, to subscribe liberally for their own benefit now, and hereafter and for the information and lasting good of their children. Thus "laying up in store" a knowledge on which they can safely rely, as being correct, and principles, which if observed, will lead them in the "way everlasting!"
Subscribers must remember, that all letters or orders for the Star, must be free of postage, or they will not receive notice. In short, we will here say, that every individual wishing for this paper, failing to pay his own postage, will not be considered responsible for that amount! Every person from a distance sending us I0  subscribers, and paying for the same, (current money) shall be entitled to a file, gratis. To avoid failures, we recommend to subscribers to furnish their names in a fair, plain hand, with the name of the Post office, county, and State, as papers not unfrequently never arrive to the place of destination when the county is not named on the wrapper.
Letters -> free of postage <- addressed to O. COWDERY, or F. G. WILLIAMS, & Co. Kirtland, Ohio, will receive prompt attention.
Kirtland, Ohio, September 26, 1834.
The Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate
WILL BE 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 .<-
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