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Vol. IV. No. 1] CITY OF NAUVOO ILLINOIS, NOV. 15. 1842 [Whole No. 61.
From the Millennial Star.
ELECTION AND REPROBATION.
"Do you believe in Election and reprobation?"
To prevent the necessity of repeating a thousand times what may be said at once, we purpose to answer this oft asked question in writing; so that the saints may learn doctrine, and all who will, may understand that such election and reprobation as is taught in the old and new Testaments, and other revelations from God, we fully believe, in connexion [connection] with every other principle of righteousness; and we ask this favor of all, into whose hands our answer may come, that they will not condemn till they have read it through, in the spirit of meekness and prayer.
The Lord (Jehovah) hath spoken through Isa. (42,1) saying, behold my servant, whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighteth; evidently referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God chosen or elected by the Father, (1 Peter, i:20, who verily was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God,) to serve him the redemption of the world, to be a covenant of the people, (Isa. xlii:6.) for a light of the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel; having ordained him to be the judge of the quick and dead, (Acts, x:42) that through him forgiveness of sins might be preached (Acts xiii:38) unto all who would be obedient unto his gospel.
Every high priest must be ordained (Heb. v:1.) and if Christ had not received ordination, he would not have had power to ordain others, as he did when he ordained the twelve (Mark iii:14) to take a part in the ministry which he had received of his father: also, (John xv:16) ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you that ye should go and bring forth fruit, (Heb. v:4) for no man taketh this honor unto himself but he that is called of God as was Aaron, (v:5.) So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest, but he that said unto him thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
No being can give that which he does not possess; consequently no man can confer the priesthood on another, if he has not himself first received it; and the priesthood is of such a nature that it is impossible to investigate the principles of election, reprobation, &c. without touching upon the priesthood also; and, although some may say that Christ as God needed no ordination, having possessed it eternally, for Christ says (Matt. xxvii:18) all power is given unto me in heaven aud [and] on earth; which could not have been if he was in eternal possession: and in the previously quoted verse we discover that he that said unto him, i. e. his father glorified him to be made an high priest, or ordained him to the work of creating the world and all things upon it; (Col i:16) for by were all things created that are in heaven and that are in the earth, and of redeeming the same from the fall; and to the judging of the quick and dead; for the right of judging rests in the priesthood; and it is through this medium that the father hath committed all judgment unto the Son (John v:22) referring to his administration on the earth.
If it was necessary that Christ should receive the priesthood to qualify him to minister before this father unto the children of men so as to redeem and save them, does it seem reasonable that any man should take it upon him to do a part of the same work, or to assist in the same priesthood, who has not been called by the spirit of prophecy or revelation as was Aaron, and ordained accordingly? And can it be expected that a man will be called by revelation who does not believe in revelation? Or will any man submit to ordination, for the fulfilment [fulfillment] of a revelation or call in which he has no faith?-We think not.
That we may learn still further that God calls or elects particular men to perform particular works, or on whom to confer special blessings, we read (Isa. xlv:4) for Jacob my servant sake, and Israel mine elect, I have called thee (Cyrus) by thy name: to be a deliverer to my people Israel, and to help to plant them on my holy mountain, (Isa. lxv:9, see connexion [connection] for mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there; even on the mountains of Palestine, the land of Canaan, which God had before promised to Abraham and his seed; (Gen. xvii:8) and the particular reason why Abraham was chosen or elected to be the father of this blessed nation, is clearly told by the Lord, (Gen. xviii:19) for I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him; and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice aud [and] judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him; and this includes the general principle of election, i. e. that God chose, elected or ordained, Jesus Christ, his son, to the Creator,
Governor, Savior, and Judge of the world; and Abraham to be the father of the faithful, on account of his foreknowledge of their obedience to his will and commandments; which agrees with the saying in the 2d Timothy 22:21, if a man purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified and meet for the masters use, and prepared unto every good work.
Thus it appears that God has chosen or elected certain individuals, to certain blessings, or to the performance of certain works; and that we may more fully understand the movements of the Supreme Governor of the universe in the order of election, we proceed to quote the sacred writers.
Rom. viii: 29, 30, For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [predestine] be conformed to the image of his son, that the might be the first born among many brethren: moreover, whom he did predestinate, [predestine] them he also called, and whom he called, them he also justified, and whom did he foreknow? Those that loved him, as we find in the 28th verse of the same chapter, for we know that all things shall work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. And who are the called according to his purpose? Those whom he foreknew, for he foreknew that those, who loved him, would do his will and work righteousness, and it is vain for men to say they love God, if they do not keep his commandments. Cain found it so when he presented an unrighteous offering, for God said unto him (Gen. iv:7) if thou doest well shalt thou not be accepted; and yet he was not accepted; but whoso keepeth his word in him verily is the love of God perfected; and hereby we know that we are in him, (1 John ii;5) or, that we are the called according to his purpose.
But did God foreknow all things, and all men? Surely, known unto God are all his works, from the beginning of the world; (Acts xv:18;) but does that prove that all men would love him and keep his commandments, so that he would predestinate [predestine] them unto eternal life? Certainly not, for that would make God to foreknow things which were not to be, and to predestinate [predestine] men to that, unto which they could never attain; (Mat. vii:13) for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which to in thereat.-
The principles of God's kingdom are perfect and harmonious, and the scriptures of truth must also agree in all parts, so that one sentiment thereof shall not destroy another, and when we read that whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate; [predestine] and that known unto God are all his works; so that it might appear from an abstract view thereof, that God foreknew all, and consequently predestinated [predestined] all to be conformed to the image is his son; we ought also to read Mark xvi:16, he that believeth not shall be damned; and John viii:24, if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins; also, Mat. xxv:41, depart from me ye curse, for I was an hungered and ye gave me no meat, &c.
Paul referring to the saints, (Rom. i:7) calls them beloved of God, called to be Saints; and says (Rom. viii:1) there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit; and goes on to shew [show] in this epistle to the Romans, that the law, (the law of carnal commandments given to the children of Israel, the covenant people,) could not make the comers thereto perfect, (see also Heb. x:1) but was given for a school master, to bring us unto Christ; (Gal. iii:24) so that when he had come, and offered himself without spot to God, (Heb. ix:14) the sacrifice of the law should be done away in him that the honest in heart all might come unto the perfect law of liberty, (James i:25) or the gospel of Christ, walking no longer after the flesh, but after the spirit, and be of that number who love God and keep his commandments, that they might be the called according to his purpose; (Rom. viii:28) and these were the individuals refered [referred] to, whom God foreknew; such as Abel, Seth, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedec, Abraham, Lot Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Caleb, Joshua, the harlot Rahab who wrought righteousness by hiding the servants of God when their lives were sought by their enemies, Gideon, Barak, Sampson, Jeptha, David, Samuel, and the prophets, (Heb. xi) who, through faith, subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight the armies of the aliens; these all died in faith having kept the commandments of the Most High, having obtained the promise of a glorious inheritance, and are waiting the fulfilment [fulfillment] of the promise which they obtained, (Heb. xi:40) God having provided some better thing for us, that they, without us, should not be made perfect.
The prophet Alma bears a similar testimony to the other prophets concerning election in his 9th chapter (Book of Mormon) saying, this is
the manner after which they were ordained: being called and prepared from the foundation of world, according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceeding great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to a preparatory redemption for such; and thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others reject the spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while if it had not been for this they might have had as great privileges as their brethren. Or in fine; in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; thus this holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the only begotten son, who was prepared; and thus being called by this holy calling, and ordained unto the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to teach his commandments unto the children of men, that they might also enter into his rest, this high priesthood being after the order of his son, which order was from the foundation of the world; or in other words being without beginning of days or and [end] of years, being prepared from eternity to all eternity, according to his foreknowledge of all things.
Rom. ix:11, 12 For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to election, might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; it was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger. As we have before shewn [shown] why God chose Abraham to be the father of the faithful, viz. because he knew he would command his children and his household after him, so now we see by this why the purposes of God according to election should stand, and that for his oaths sake. Gen. xxii;16,17,18. By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord; for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, that it [in ?] blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice. Here the Lord Jesus, coming through the seed of Abraham, is again referred to, through whose sufferings and death, or in whom all the nations of the earth were to be blessed, or made alive as they had died in Adam, 1 Cor. xv.22. In this, election is made manifest, for God elected or chose the children of Israel to be his peculiar people, and to them belong the covenants and promises, and all the blessings received by the Gentiles come through the covenants to Abraham and his seed; for through the unbelief of the Jews (Rom. xi:17) they were broken off, and the Gentiles were broken off, and the Gentiles were grafted in; but they stand by faith, , Rom. xi:20, and not by the oath of election; therefore it becometh them to fear lest they cease quickly to bear fruit, and be broken off, [verse 21] that the Jews may be grafted in again, for they shall be grafted in again, if they abide not in unbelief.
The Gentiles became partakers of the blessings of election and promises through faith and obedience, as Peter says, writing to the strangers scattered abroad, 1 Peter, lst chap. who were the Gentiles, the elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctification of the spirit unto obedience: 1 Peter ii:9, for ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew [show] forth the praises of him, who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous [marvelous] light, [verse 10] which in time past were not a people, but now are the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Why were they a peculiar people? Because God had chosen that generation of Gentiles, and conferred on them the blessings, which descended through the priesthood, and the covenants unto the house of Israel, or grafted them into the good olive tree: Rom. xi:17 and thus the house of Israel became ministers of salvation to the Gentiles; and this is what the house of Israel was elected unto, not only their own salvation, but through them salvation unto all others, John iv:22, for salvation is of the Jews; Rom. xi:11, and through their fall salvation is come unto the gentiles. Among the promised seed, we find Jesus Christ neither last nor least, but the great high priest and head of all, who was chosen to lay down his life for the redemption of the world, for without the shedding of blood there could be no remission of sins, Heb. ix:22.
Deut. vii:6, 7, 8, 9. Moses bears; a similar testimony with Peter, and Paul to the principles of election; for thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in
number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house the hand of bondmen, [bondsmen] from the hand of Pharaoh King of Egypt. Know, therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations, which proves the long continuance of the blessings of this highly favored people.
And the Lord said unto her, [Rebecca, Gen. xxv:23] the elder shall serve the younger.-And why? Because that Isaac, the father of Esau and Jacob, the husband of Rebecca, and the son of promise to Abraham, was the heir; and as Esau was the elder son of his father Isaac, he had a legal claim to the heirship; but through unbelief, hardness of heart, and hunger, he sold his birthright to his younger brother, Jacob, Gen. xxv:33, and God knowing before hand that he would do this of his own free will and choice, or acting upon that agency which God has delegated to all men, said to his mother, the elder shall serve the younger; for as the elder son, Esau; has sold his birthright and by that means lost all claim to the blessings promised to Abraham, those blessings and promises must have failed, if they had not descended with the purchased birthright unto the younger son, Jacob, for there was no other heir in Israel's family; and if those blessings had failed, the purposes of God according to election must have failed, in relation to the posterity of Israel, and the oath of Jehovah would have been broken, which could not be, though heaven and earth were to pass away.
Rom ix.13.-As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. Where is it written? Malachi i:1, 2, verses. When was it written. About 397 years before Christ, and Esau and Jacob were born about 1773 years before Christ, according to the common computation of time in scripture margin, so that Esau and Jacob lived about 1376 years before the Lord spoke by Malachi, saying, Jacob have I loved but Esau have I hated, as quoted by Paul. This text is often brought forward to prove that God loved Jacob and hated Esau, before they were born; or before they had done good or evil; but if God did love one and hate the other, before they had done good or evil, he has not seen fit to tell us of it, either in the old or new Testament, or any, other revelation; but this only we learn that 1376 years after Esau and Jacob were born, God said, by Malachi, Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated; and surely that was time sufficient to prove their works, and ascertain whether they were worthy to be loved or hated.
And why did he love the one and hate the other? For the same reason that he accepted the offering of Abel, and rejected Cain's offering; because Jacob's works had been righteous and Esau's wicked; and where is there a righteous father who would not do the same thing? Who would not love an obedient and affectionate son, more than one who was disobedient, and sought to injure him and overthrow the order of his house? [Objection.] 'But God seeth not as man seeth, and he is no respecter of persons,' Acts x:34. True, but what saith the next verse, 'He that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted of him; but it does not say that he that worketh wickedness is accepted, and this is a proof that God has respect to the actions of persons;.and if he did not, why should he commend obedience to his law? for if he had no respect to the actions of men, he would be just as well pleased with a wicked man for breaking his law, as a righteous man for keeping it; and if Cain had done well he would have been accepted as well as Abel, Gen. iv:7, and Esau as well as Jacob, which proves that God does not respect persons, only in relation to their acts, see Mat. xxv.34, to the end, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for I was an hungered and ye gave me meat, &c.; and because that God blessed Abel and Jacob, this would not have hindered his blessing Cain and Esau, if their works had been righteous like unto their brethren; so God's choosing one nation to blessing, does not doom another to cursing, or make them reprobate, according to the reprobation of God, as some suppose; but by resisting the truth, they become reprobate concerning the faith, 2 Tim. iii:8, and are abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate, Titus, i:16, consequently are not the fit subjects for the blessings of election.
Rom. ix:15, for he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion, see Ex. xxxiii:13 to the 19. My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest, for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name, and I will make all my goodness to pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew [show] mercy on whom I will show mercy, Rom. ix:16. So then it is not of him
that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth [shows] mercy; having his eye at the same time directed towards his covenant people in Egyptian bondage.
For the scripture saith into Pharaoh, Ex. ix:16, 17, and in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew [show] in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go? God had promised to bring the house of Israel up out of the land of Egypt, at his own appointed time; and with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and great terribleness, Deut. xxvi:8, he chose to do this thing, that his power might be known and his name declared throughout all the earth, so that all nations might have the God of heaven in remembrance, and reverence his holy name; and to accomplish this it was needful that he should meet with opposition to give him an opportunity to manifest his power; therefore he raised up a man, even Pharaoh, who, he foreknew would harden his heart against God, of his own freewill and choice, and would withstand the Almighty in his attempt to deliver his chosen people, and that to the utmost of his ability; and he proved himself worthy of the choice, for he left no means unimproved, which his wicked heart could devise to vex the sons of Abraham and opportunity to magnify his name in the ears of the nations, and in sight of this wicked king, by many mighty signs and wonders, sometimes even to the convincing the wicked king of his wickedness, and of the power of God, Ex. viii,28, &c. and yet he would continue to rebel, and hold the Israelites in bondage; and this is what is meant by God's hardening Pharaoh's heart; he manifested himself in so many glorious and mighty ways, that Pharaoh could not resist the truth without becoming harder, so that at the last, in his madness to stay the people of God, he rushed into the Red Sea, with all his host, and was covered with the floods.
Had not the power of God been exerted in a remarkable manner, it would seem as though the house of Israel must have become extinct, for Pharaoh commanded the midwives to destroy the sons of the Israelitish women as soon as they were born, Ex. i:15, 16, and called them to account for saving the men children alive, (verse 18) and charged all his people saying every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, [verse 22] and yet God would have mercy on whom he would have mercy, Rom. ix:18, for he would have mercy on the goodly child Moses, when he was hid and laid in the flags, Ex. ii:3, by his mother, to save him from Pharaoh's cruel order, and caused that he should be preserved as a prophet and deliverer to lead his people up to their own country; and whem [when] he would be hardened, for he hardened Pharaoh by passing before him in mighty power, and withdrawing his spirit and leaving him to his own wicked inclination, for he had set taskmasters over the Israelites, to afflict them with their burdens; and caused them to build treasure cities for Pharaoh, and made them to serve with rigor; and made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar and brick and all manner of service in the field, Ex. 1st. ch.; beside destroying the men children: thus proving to the God of heaven and all men that he had hardened his own hard heart, until he become a vessel of wrath fitted for destruction, Rom ix:22, all this, long before God said unto Moses, I will harden his [Pharaoh's] heart, Ex. iv:21.
Are men then to be saved by works? Nay, verily, by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, Eph. ii:8. Not of works, lest any man should boast, verse 9. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, Titus iii:5, and yet faith without works is dead being alone, James, ii:17. Was not Abraham our father justified by works?-v. 21. Shall we then be saved by faith? Nay, neither by faith nor works; but by works is faith made perfect, v. 22, but by grace are ye saved, Eph. ii:8, and if by grace, then it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no grace; and if it be of works then it is no more grace; otherwise work is no more work. Rom. xi:6. Ye see then how that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only, James ii:24.
Rom. x:3, 4. For they, (Israel) being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God; for Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Thus the righteousness of God is made manifest in the plan of salvation by his crucified son; for there is none other name under heaven, given among men whereby we must be saved, but the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Acts iv:10, 12.-But of this the Jews were ignorant, although they themselves crucified him; and they have been going about, wandering among all the nations of the earth ever since, for the space of eighteen hundred years, trying to establish their own righteousness, which is of the law of Moses; which law, can never make the comers thereunto perfect, Heb. x:1; yet notwithstanding their darkness and long dispersion, there is a remnant according to the election of grace,
Rom. xi:5, whom God will gather from among all people whither they are scattered, and will be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen; then shall they dwell in their land which God gave to his servant Jacob, and they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses and plant vineyards, yea they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about; and they shall know that I am the Lord their God; Eze. xxviii:25, 26. Isa. xi:11, to 16, and when this gathering shall be completed, it shall no more be said the Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but the Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them; and I will bring them again unto this land which I gave unto their fathers, Jer. xvi:14, 15, &c. to the end.
Rom. xi:7. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, but the election hath obtained it. And why have they not obtained it? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law, for they stumbled at that stumbling-stone; as it is written, behold I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offence [offense], Rom. ix:32, 33, to both the houses of Israel; and for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and many of them shall stumble, Isa. viii:14, 15, but have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid; but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, Rom. xi:11, und [and] Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled, Luke xxi:24, and when the house of Israel shall be restored to their possession in Canaan, it may truly be said the election hath obtained it; for the fulfilment [fulfillment] of God's oath of the faithful, and the promises to his children, will obtain that for Israel, which he has sought for in vain by the law of Moses.
This is the election that we believe in, viz: such as we find in prophets and apostles, and the word of the Lord himself, and as we have not room to give all the quotations in full, relating to election, in this epistle, we would invite the saints to examine the scriptures in connection with these quoted; and whenever they find election or any other principle or blessing given or applied to the house of Israel, let those principles continue with the house of Israel; and not apply that to Esau which belongs to Jacob; or to the churches of modern times, which belong to the ancient covenant people; and always ascertain how the Lord, the apostles, and prophets, have applied their words, and ever continue the same application, and wisdom and knowledge will be added unto you: and in the words of the beloved Peter and Paul, we would exhort you to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do, of his good pleasure; Phil. ii:12, 13, giving all diligence to make your calling and election sure, 2 Peter i:10, for this is that sealing power spoken of in Eph. i:13, 14. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth; the gospel of your salvation, in whom also, after that ye believed ye were sealed with that Holy spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory, 2 Peter, i:11, for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
BRIGHAM YOUNG, WILLARD RICHARDS.
We suffered a good deal from heat, the thermometer sometimes 95 degrees, in our tent. . . No object attracts your eye, there is only one wide ocean of sand round and round. No sound breaks on the ear but the plaintive song of the Bedouin cheering on his slow paced camel; we entered the land of the Philistines on the first of June; it may be described in one word as an open pasture country, composed of vast undulating plains, or more graphically in the words of Zephaniah, "dwellings and cottages for shepherds and fold for flocks." I have counted 10 flocks of an enormous size from a single eminence. We did not enter Gaza, as the plague was raging there; but as we stood on Sampson's mount, and looked down upon the town, encircled with gardens of figs and olives, we could trace the fulfilment [fulfillment] of every word that God had spoken against it. The old city of Gaza seems to be buried beneath smooth round hills of sand; "baldness is come upon Gaza." The next day we found the reapers busy in the valley of Eschol, and met many a camel carrying to the threshing floor the ripe barley, its vines and pomegranates are gone; some fine spreading fig trees remain.
Our first view of the hill country of Judea was truly heart stirring. Emerging from a mountain pass, the immense plain of Jeptha lay stretched like a map before us; the rays of the morning sun glanced on the brown walls of the many towns that lay beneath us; the hills of
Judah rose in the back ground, tier above tier. We thought of the ark of God carried back by the oxen, (milch [milk] cows)-of Asa's battle with the Ethiopians-of Mary's visit to Elizabeth. That night we pitched our tent among the hills of Judah; the next morning we entered a mountain defile of the wildest description. I have seen many mountain passes, but never one of such romantic beauty.
The flowers that appeared on the earth, the fig tree putting forth its green figs, and the voice of the turtle heard in the land, give it a holy loveliness. The thought that surely Solomon had often wandered here; and Isaiah too; for here was, "in the wilderness the shittah tree, the myrtle and the oil tree;-the fir-tree and the pine, and the box together." The terraced hills above all excited our admiration.-You have no idea to what an extent that wonderful method of cultivation must have been carried on by the Jews; nor of the perfect condition in which the remains are to this day.-
We have scarcely seen a hill in the whole land however rocky, or barren, that does not bear the traces, more or less perfect, of having been terraced literally from the bottom. We often counted fifty, sixty and seventy terraces on one rocky hill. No spot was left uncultivated, so that when the vines were planted and trained, the words of the eighteenth Psalm were literally true. "The hills were covered with the shadow of it." The question was continually rising on our lips, where are all the vine that covered those hills with their fragrant clusters? We find the answer in Hos i:12. Joel i:11,12. Isa.. xxxv:7. The mountain shall yet drop sweet wine. Amos ix:14.
But I must hasten to Jerusalem. The first sight of the city of the great King is truly a moving one. The question is Sam. i:15 was felt by each of us;. Is this the city that men call the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth? And word of the Savior we saw was true indeed; "Your house is left unto you desolate.". . . . . .
Calvary is the only place about Jerusalem that yields nothing but disappointment. Buried under marble pavements, lighted up by lamps of tapers, and watched over by poor ignorant Monks! . . . . Descending the steep bank of Moriah, you cross the Kedron now quite dry, as David did when he fled from Absalom; as Jesus did in the night he was betrayed. The path before you leads directly up the steep of Mount Olivet; the path to the right gently ascending, leads you round the hill to Bethany. Between the two paths, enclosed by walls of rough stones, you see Gethsemane. Living very old olive trees mark the spot, each of them supposed to have lived a thousand years. . . . .About two miles from Jerusalem, descending the rugged pathway, you come unexpectedly upon a village mostly concealed by rocks, and figs, and pomegranates-this is Bethany! 'the house of figs.'-the village of Martha, and her sister Mary. Several houses are inhabited by Arab fellah's; built of good stone and flat roofed. Many are in ruins, and there are sepulchres [sepulchers] hewn in the rock-one of which was doubtless that of Lazarus. Mr. Bonar and I twice visited Bethany and read John xi, there with peculiar interest. Of all places in this land it is nearest the condition in which Jesus left it; the curse seems to have fallen more lightly on this spot which Jesus loved, and where so often he laid his head.
The loveliest picture of Jerusalem that can be drawn is to be found in Micah iii:12. Zion is indeed plowed like a field. I pulled some ripe barley from a field on the very top, near David's sepulchre [sepulcher]. Jerusalem has become heaps; nearly one half the city appears to be heaps of ruins; in one place the rubbish is actually higher than the city wall. The mountain of the house, [Moriah] is like the high places of the forest, it bears two lofty Temples of false worship-The Mosque of Omar and the Mosque El-Uksar. These are surrounded by trees, under whose shade the Moslem ladies walk on their solemn days. God has fulfilled his word to the very letter.
I should have mentioned that the plague was carrying on its awful work in Jerusalem during our stay-indeed it has been little out of it for two years past.
The accounts we received at home as to the state of the Jews in this land is far from being accurate. The largest estimate reckons them to be about fifteen thousand; some reckon them a s low as ten thousand. In the towns along the coast there may be in Jaffa, 60-Kaiffa, 150 or 200-Acre, 200-Tyre, 150-Sidon, 300-Nablou in Sychar, 200-Samarian, 150-villages of Gallilee [Galilee], 500-total, 1660.
The increase in the number of the Jews has been very decided since 1832, when the Pasha of Egypt took possession of Syria. For two years past the increase has not been so great, owing to the ravages of the plague, the increased price of provisions-the embarrassed finances of the Jewish community-and the oppression of their Rabbies [Rabbi's ?]. In my last I mentioned that collections were made at the door of each synagogue in Europe, for the support of the Jews in the Holy Land-these collections amount annually to 2800 pounds, on an average. Every
Jew in the land, rich or poor, after he has been a year in the country has a share appointed to him if he chooses to take it. The chief cause of their returning to this land seems certainly to be an attachment to the inheritance of their fathers. They also believe that their Rabbies [ Rabbi's} here are actually inspired-that to die in this land is to a Jew certain salvation; and that if they die out if it they must make their way under ground, to rise in the valley of Jehosaphat. They are very different from the Jews we have seen in France and Italy, they are far from being Infidels; on the contrary they are superstitious Jews. They have a real expectation of the Messiah's coming, and this feeling is waxing stronger and stronger. . . . .They are counted as dogs by the Moslems. They maintain the beautiful dress of their fathers and are a noble looking race when compared with the wretched Arabs who are scattered over the land. Almost all the male Jews here spend their time in reading. There are six synagogues in Jerusalem, and thirty six reading places.-These latter are established by individuals that they may attain some merit to their souls! five or six readers are appointed to each, having a small salary-one or two of whom are expected to be always their reading the Talmud.
At Sychar we visited both their synagogues, saw the Samaritan MSS. said to be three thousand six hundred years old. The most of the Jews in this country speak Hebrew-read and spoken in the Spanish way. Arabic is next in importance the language of the country-Chaldea and Syriac are useful. [Jewish Intelligencer.
Mr. Bonar, of the Scotch Deputation, confirms Mr. Cheyne's account as to the number
GOING TO JERUSALEM.-It is said that several thousands of Polish and Russian Jews, at Berlin and elsewhere, have entered into an engagement to proceed on the first favorable opportunity to Jerusalem, to await in prayer and fasting the coming of the Messiah.
WESTERN INDIANS.-The St. Louis Republican announces that a treaty has been concluded between Gov. Chambers and the Sacs and Fox Indians. The Indians are to remain in possession of the western portion of the territory for three years. and are then to move to the west of the Missouri. They are to receive $1,000,000.
In old times, when a man went to inquire of God, he said, come let us go to the Seer.-See 1 Samuel, ix:9.
TIMES AND SEASONS. CITY OF NAUVOO, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1841.
I beg leave to inform the subscribers of the Times and Seasons that it is impossible for me to fulfil [fulfill] the arduous duties of the editorial department any longer. The multiplicity of other business that daily devolves upon me, renders it impossible for me to do justice to a paper so widely circulated as the Times and Seasons. I have appointed Elder John Taylor, who is less encumbered and fully competent to assume the responsibilities of that office, and I doubt not but that he will give satisfaction to the patrons of the paper. As this number commences a new volume, it also commences his editorial career. Joseph Smith.
The patrons of the Times and Seasons will unquestionably be painfully disappointed on reading the above announcement. We know of no one so competent as President Joseph Smith to fill the editorial chair, of which the papers that have been issued since he has been editor are sufficient evidence.
We do not profess to be able to tread in the steps, nor to meet the expectation of the subscribers of this paper so fully as our able, learned and talented prophet, who is now retiring from the field; but as he has promised to us the priviledge [privilege] of referring to his writings, books, &c., together with his valuable counsel, when needed, and also to contribute to its columns with his pen when at leisure, we are in hopes that with his assistence[assistance], and other resources that we have at our command, that the Times and Seasons will continue to be a valuable periodical, and interesting to its numerous readers. JOHN TAYLOR
THE FOURTH VOLUME
We present the present volume of the Times and Seasons, in a brevier [briefer] dress. This improvement enables us to give more matter, thereby keeping up with the growth of the church.-The elders now in the vineyard, will render us a signal favor, by obtaining subscriptions and forwarding the money to us-as soon as circumstances will admit; for, according to the turn of the times, cash, and not credit, is the only medium for publishers and people.
THE MELCHISEDEC PRIESTHOOD.
The subject of the priesthood is one that seems to be forgotten, looked over, or passed by by most of this generation; and indeed has been by many generations past with very few exceptions. The Roman church, it is true, have made some pretensions to a priesthood, as also the church of England; both of which profess to trace it by lineal descent through the papal succession, or a continued unbroken chain of bishops from the apostolic days down to the present time; there is a kind of mongrel priesthood professed to be adhered to by the Episcopal Methodists, but it is more formal than otherwise, as neither the preachers nor people adhere to it with very great tenacity.
The many contentions that there has been among the claimants of the papal chair, the frequent and glaring abuses that have been practised [practiced] and permitted by papal authority have not passed unobserved by a discerning and scrutinizing public; these together with the unfounded and illegitimate pretensions of the church of England and other dissenters, who lay claim to the priesthood have had a tendency to bring the very name of a priest into disrepute.
We have not time to enter into the various abuses of the Church of Rome, but will merely state that if they had continued pure, their priesthood would also have been pure; and their authority to administer in the ordinances of the church would have been legal; not because they had a succession of popes, but in consequence of their adherence to the pure principles of the gospel, for the priesthood can not continue when the gospel is perverted; hence John was commanded to write to the angels of the churches of Asia, and to tell several of them that if they did not repent, their candlesticks would be removed out of their place.
When our Savior said to his disciples-"Lo I am with you always even unto the end of the word;" he just before said unto them in the same connexion [connection];-"Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." But as they have departed from his gospel, introduced the ordinances of men and neglected to teach the things that God commanded them, they have lost the authority, blessings and power of the priesthood, their candlestick is removed out of its place, and Christ has ceased to be with them. In regard to the church of England and other dissenters, who profess to obtain a priesthood through the professed unbroken chain of their priestly line,-their situation is if possible more deplorable than that of the Church of Rome.-They claim a priesthood, but trace it through the Romish church-yet they tell us that the Church of Rome is fallen and corrupt, and was so at the time that they dissented from them; if so how could they impart a pure, healthy, and legal priesthood? "a corrupt fountain cannot send forth pure streams," so out of their own mouths we must necessarily condemn them; therefore, so far as their pretensions to priesthood go, they are imbecile and foolish, and their holy orders a mere figment; and without a priesthood there can be no pure church, as there is no one legally ordained of God to administer in ordinances, or to preserve pure and unadulterated the principles of truth.
But in regard to the professions of Protestantism in general; from whence did it come? from the Church of Rome; did God ever authorize the scism [schism]? or did the Church of Rome ever sanction their separation? verily no! if not, how did they become a church? as these are the only authorities that could impart the priesthood, or make them a church, even if the church of Rome had continued pure. But although the Church of Rome might have had authority to impart priesthood, it never could have had authority to sanction another church separate from, and in contradistinction to itself; and God never would sanction such proceeding; he might have cut off the Church of Rome, and given them the priesthood, and authority, but he never would acknowledge both at once to be his churches, while they themselves were at variance; and if he had reinstated them in the place of the Church of Rome it must have been by revelation, and this principle they deny-but if it should be here said that these dissenters had the priesthood when they left the Roman church,-we would remark that they obtained it from a corrupt church, according to their own acknowledgment and testimony; and consequently it could be of no use to them; if it should further be stated that although corrupt they had power to impart priesthood; we would further add, if they had power to impart priesthood they had power to take it away; if they had power to bind on earth, and in heaven; they had power to loose on earth and in heaven; consequently whichever way you look at it, all claims to a church and priesthood since the apostacy [apostasy] of the Church of Rome are futile and without foundation.
There have been many good men since then, both in the Church of Rome, among the dissenters, and also among those who belong to no society, who have strove to benefit the world.
and ameliorate the condition of men; but then there is a very material difference between such characters and those who have the priesthood, and are ordained of God to fulfil [fulfill] his work: Cornelius was a good man-he feared God with all his house-he fasted, and prayed, and gave alms; and that not for a pretence [pretense], or hypocritically, but seriously and sincerely, so much so that his prayers and his alms were had in remembrance before God and an angel administered unto him. But notwithstanding his virtue, his zeal, his prayers, and his almsgiving, he had to send for Peter to tell him "words whereby he and his house could be saved," his prayers, his benevolence, his philanthrophy [philanthropy] could not save him; it was necessary that a man having the priesthood should be sent for, and that HE should introduce him to the blessings of the gospel, administer unto him the ordinance of baptism, and introduce him by legal authority into the kingdom of God. Hence it was that the apostle said, "to as many as believed to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to as many as believed on his name." Previous to the introduction of the gospel and Melchisedec priesthood, it was impossible for a person to become a son of God, (they might be a servant but not a son,) but when life and immortality were brought to light by the gospel, and that gospel sent to all nations, by men chosen and called of God, it became the privilege of men to become the sons of God, "the kingdom of God was preached, and all men rushed into it."
In every age of the world where God has had a gospel church, there has always been connected with that gospel a priesthood, whose duties and privilege it was to hold intercourse with heaven, receive instructions from the Lord, administer in the ordinances of the gospel, and govern the kingdom of God, or church of Jesus Christ.
(to be continued)
THE TEMPLE OF GOD IN NAUVOO.
No doubt the brethren abroad often wonder, and would be glad to be informed from time to time of the progress of the Temple of the Most High in this place; inasmuch as all who fear God and his name, and assay to keep his commandments are interested in this great and glorious undertaking, and, whilst gazing on what is now passing during the present woek [week] we feel constrained to notice a few things for the comfort of those Saints who cannot be present to witness for themselves.
Last Sabbath the committee for the building of the Temple, stated before the congregation that a large raft of pine lumber had lately arrived and was now laying in the river at this place. They requested all the brethren who had teams to turn out and with their teams, assist in hauling the lumber to the Temple. The first, second, third, fourth and fifth wards of the city were requested to be on the ground on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; and the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They also stated that they requested all the carpenters to come together on the Thursday to prepare the timbers for the first floor of the Temple, and all the brethren who could, to assemble on Friday and Saturday and lay a temporary floor and prepare seats inside the walls of the Temple that the church might henceforward meet in the Temple to worship, instead of meeting in the grove. Accordingly, when Monday came we had a cheering assemblage of waggons [wagons], horses, oxen and men who began with zeal and gladness to pull the raft to pieces and haul it up to the Temple. This scenery has continued to the present date and the expectations of the committee more than realized.
On Thursday we had a large assemblage of carpenters, joiners &c. who succeeded in preparing the lumber and laying the joists preparatory to laying the temporary floor and fixing seats &c.
This day a large number of brethren were on the ground and commenced their operations and whilst we are writing they are busy at work and will soon have all things prepared for the comfort and convenience of the Saints (which the nature of the case will admit of) that they may have the gratification of meeting within the walls of that building which is being built according to the revelation and commandment of the Most High; a gratification which can only be enjoyed by those who have a knowledge of the work of God in these last days and whose desire it is to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Whilst watching for a few moments the zeal and cheerful labors of the brethren to accomplish this thing we could not avoid feeling grateful to the great Jehovah, and to the brethren engaged in this noble cause. We are constrained to feel thankful to the almighty for the many blessings we receive at his hands-for the prosperity of the place-for the harmony and good feeling prevailing in our midst-and for the great and glorious privileges granted unto us as a people. He has commanded us to "build a house unto his name for the Most
High to dwell therein for there is not place found on the earth; that he may come and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away even the fullness of the priesthood." And brethren, great and glorious will be the blessings realized by us as a people if we build this house in the appointed time. Even now when the building is not half completed behold the great privileges realized thereby, A Baptismal Font has been built in the lower apartment, where we have the privilege of being baptized for our dead and redeeming them, that they may come forth in the first resurrection; the full interest of which was published in a letter from President Joseph Smith the 23d number of this paper, and we shall now have the privilege as before stated of meeting within the walls of the Temple where the almighty has promised to meet with us.
Now brethren, if so great and glorious have been the blessings realized in so early a stage of the work what may we expect when the building is completed, and a house prepared where the Most High can come and restore that which has been taken away in consequence of transgression; even the FULNESS [fullness] of the priesthood.
Truly, no exertion on our part ought to be lacking but to double our diligence because great, yea very great are the consequences pending.
As we have already said, we feel thankful to the brethren for the interest they have taken, not only on the present, but on all former occasions, They have come forth like Saints of God and great will be their reward. Not long since they were naked, destitute, afflicted, and smitten having been twice plucked up by the roots; but again they lift their heads with gladness and manifest a determination to fulfil [fulfill] the revelations and commandments of the Most High if it be at the expense of all their property and even their lives. Will not God reward them? Yea, verily!
In the midst of our reveries, we found but one circumstance, to break in upon the happy scenery before us, and that was, the absence of our prophet. The silent whisper to us was, oh, that we could see the iron hand of oppression removed from off the man whom the great God has appointed to be our leader, and he permitted to be in our midst, free, and untramelled [untrammeled] the power and malice of an ungodly set of persecutors;-that we could have the privilege of hearing his voice within these walls every Sabath, [Sabbath] and learning from his lips the great things of the kingdom of God, and that we could receive his counsels from day to day upon all important subjects. Surely the oppressor's power will soon be brought to an end, and liberty, that sacred ocean in which every philanthropic souls loves to swim, and which was so dearly bought by our forefathers, shall be enjoyed by every citizen of these United States. But cease my soul to ponder upon these gloomy subjects; and thou man of God take courage and rejoice; the God that delivered Daniel out of the lion's den is yet able. and will deliver his anointed one, out of the grasp of all wicked men; we shall again see good days, for Zion shall blossom as the rose and flourish as the green bay tree; and if we have to endure the abuse and insults of an ungodly generation even a generation of vipers, the great God is in our midst, and when their wrath waxes hot against the Saints, the still small voice whispers in the ears of the faithful, peace, be still.
Brethren, let us be faithful and fulfil [fulfill] the commandments given to us. Let us hasten and build this house for Lord. Let our exertions not relax, neither our love wax cold, but double our diligence and one and all lay to with all our mights, and we shall soon have the happiness of realizing greater blessing than has yet entered into our hearts to conceive.
Let us not forget that we have another house also, to build in this place, even the NAUVOO HOUSE; and, which is as important to us as the Temple; inasmuch as great things are depending upon that house, and it is commanded us of God. Let us all remember the Nauvoo House as well as the Temple for we (i. e. the church) are abundantly able to build them both in due season, let us therefore go forward boldly in the accomplishment of those things which God has required at our hands and it will be well with us, notwithstanding the malice of our enemies.
May the great God fill the hearts of his Saints with joy and peace; their understanding with knowledge and inspire them with his spirit to do his will; and may the richest, the greatest and choicest of heaven's blessing be poured on the head of the man, who is hated of the ungodly, but who is anointed of the Most High and the honored instrument in his hand to bring to pass the establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth in these last days, even so. Amen. W. C.
Nauvoo, Oct. 28th 1842.
Friday evening 5 o'clock-Elder Cahoon, one of the Committe [committee] just informs me that the work is completed and the seats &c formed ready for meeting next Sabbath. Truly the exertions of the brethren have been noble on this occasion. W. C.
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
We now proceeded to call out and ordain some others of the brethren to different offices of the Priesthood, according as the Spirit manifested unto us; and after a happy time spent in witnessing and feeling for ourselves the powers and the blessings of the Holy Ghost, through the grace of God bestowed upon us, we dismissed with the pleasing knowledge that we were now individually members of, and acknowledged of God, "The Church of Jesus Christ," organized in accordance with commandments and revelations given by him to ourselves in the last days, as well as according to the order of the Church as recorded in the New Testament.
Several persons who had attended the above meeting and got convinced of the truth, came forward shortly after, and were received into the church, among the rest, my own father and mother were baptized to my great joy and consolation, and about the same time Martin Harris and A. Rockwell.
Revelation to the Church of Christ which was established in these last days, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty: Given at Manchester New York, April 1830, in consequence of some desiring to unite with the Church without rebaptism, who had previously been baptized.
Behold I say unto you, that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing, and this is a new and an everlasting covenant; even that which was from the beginning.-Wherefore, although a man should be baptized an hundred times, it availeth him nothing; for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works; for it is because of your dead works, that I have caused this last covenant, and this church to be built up unto me, even as in days of old. Wherefore enter ye in at the gate, as I have commanded, and seek not to counsel your God. Amen.
The following persons being anxious to know of the Lord what might be their respective duties, in relation to this work, I enquired [inquired] of the Lord and received for them the following.
Revelation to Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith, Joseph Smith sen., and Joseph Knight sen. Given at Manchester New York, April 1830.
Behold I speak unto you Oliver a few words. Behold thou art blessed and art under no condemnation. But beware of pride lest thou shouldst enter into temptation, make known thy calling unto the church, and also before the world; and thy heart shall be opened to preach the truth from henceforth and forever. Amen.
Behold I speak unto you Hyrum a few words: for thou also art under no condemnation, and thy heart is opened and thy tongue loosed, and thy calling is to exhortation, and to strengthen the church continually. Wherefore thy duty is unto the church forever; and this because of thy family. Amen.
Behold I speak a few words unto you Samuel, for thou also art under no condemnation, and thy calling is to exhortation, and to strengthen the church. And thou art not as yet called to preach before the world. Amen.
Behold I speak a few words unto you Joseph, for thou also art under no condemnation, and thy calling also is to exhortation, and to strengthen the church. And this is thy duty from henceforth and forever. Amen.
Behold I manifest unto you Joseph Knight by these words, that yon [you] must take up your cross, in the which you must pray vocally before the world as well as in secret, and in your family, and among your friends, and in all places.-And behold it is your duty to unite with the true church, and give your language to exhortation continually, that you may receive the reward of the laborer. Amen.
On Sunday April 11th 1830 Oliver Cowdery preached the first public discourse, that was delivered by any of our number, our meeting was held by previous appointment at the house of Mr. Whitmer, Fayette, large numbers of people attended, and the same day the following were baptized; viz: Hyrum Page, Katharine Page, Christian Whitmer, Anne Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Elizabeth Whitmer, and on the 18th day Peter Whitmer sen., Mary Whitmer, William Jolly, Elizabeth Jolly, Vincent Jolly, Richard Z. Peterson, and Elizabeth Anne Whitmer, all by Oliver Cowdery in Seneca Lake.
During this month of April I went on a visit to the residence of Mr. Joseph Knight, of Colesville, Broom co. N. Y., with whom and his family I had been previously acquainted, and of whose name I have above mentioned as having been so kind and thoughtful towards us, while translating the Book of Mormon. Mr. Knight and his family were Universalists, but were willing to reason with me upon my religious views, and were as usual friendly and hospitable. We held several meetings in the neighborhood, we had many friends, and some enemies. Our meetings were well attended, and many began to pray fervently to Almighty God, that he would give them wisdom to understand the truth. Amongst those who attended our meetings regularly, was Newel Knight son to
Joseph Knight. He and I had many and serious conversations on the important subject of man's eternal salvation: we had got into the habit of praying much at our meetings and Newel had said that he would try and take up his cross, and pray vocally during meeting; but when we again met together he rather excused himself; I tried to prevail upon him making use of the figure, supposing that he should get into a mudhole would he not try to help himself out? and that we were willing now to help him out of the mudhole, he replied that provided he had got into a mudhole through carelessness, he would rather wait and get out himself, than have others to help him, and so he would wait until he should get into the woods by himself, and there he would pray. Accordingly he retired into the woods; where (according to his own account afterwards) he made several attempts to pray but could scarcely do so, feeling that he had not done his duty, but that he should have prayed in the presence of others. He began to feel uneasy, and continued to feel worse both in mind and body, until upon reaching his own house, his appearance was such as to alarm his wife very much. He requested her to go and bring me to him. I went and found him suffering very much in his mind, and his body acted upon in a very strange manner. His visage and limbs distorted and twisted in every shape and appearance possible to imagine; and finally he was caught up off the floor of the apartment and tossed about most fearfully. His situation was soon made known to his neighbors and relatives, and in a short time as many as eight or nine grown persons had got together to witness the scene. After he had thus suffered for a time, I succeeded in getting hold of him by the hand, when almost immediately he spoke to me, and with great earnestness requested of me, that I should cast the devil out of him, saying that he knew he was in him, and that he also knew that I could cast him out., I replied "if you know that I can it shall be done," and then almost unconsciously I rebuked the devil; and commanded him in the name of Jesus Christ to depart from him; when immediately Newel spoke out and said that he saw the devil leave him and vanish from his sight.
This was the first miracle which was done in this church or by any member of it, and it was done not by man nor by the power of man, but it was done by God, and by the power of godliness: therefore let the honor and the praise, the dominion and the glory be ascribed to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for ever and ever Amen.
Minutes of a conference held at Mead's Basin, Passaic co., N. J., Sept. 4, 1842.
Pursuant to previous appointment, a conference met as above, to organize a branch of the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" for Little Falls and Mead's Basin.
Present-one high priest, two elders, one teacher and one deacon.
At 1 o'clock P. M. the meeting was called to order by Elder John Leach, (who has been instrumental in building up this branch,) whereupon Elder A. Everett was unanimously chosen president and Br. A. E. Wright, clerk.
Elder A. Everett made some remarks on the order of the Church of Christ; its officers, and their duties.
After which the following officers were proposed and unanimously chosen.
Br. C. E. Bolton to be ordained elder. A. E. Wright of Philadelphia branch elder.
James Wheat priest. Br. Joseph Fairbank teacher.
Samuel Ely teacher. J Brewer jr. deacon.
The officers chosen as above were then ordained by the laying on of hands, by Elder A Everett and Elder John Leach.
After which several members were confirmed having been previously baptized.
The sacrament was then administered by Elders Everett and Leach.
The remainder of the time allotted for the occupancy of the room, was taken up in the bearing of testimony of the power of the everlasting gospel.
Resolved, that the minutes of this conference be sent, with a request to have them published in the Times and Seasons.
Closed with prayer by Elder Everett. ADDISON EVERETT, Pres't. A. E. Wright, clerk.
Dayton, Ohio, October 8th 1842.
A conference was held at the house of Br. John Waterman, agreeable to previous appointment, Elder Lyman Wight was called to the chair; Elders Joel Judd, and Alexander Badlam, appointed clerks. Opened by singing;-prayer by Elder Joel Judd. Elder Lyman Wight arose and addressed the conference on the subject of calling conferences; he remarked that the manner in which we were convened, was very unlike that of many at the present day;-but ours was to know who in this conference are now willing to engage in putting down error, and of preaching the gospel in its simplicity. He observed that it was high time
for us to arise and look about us, and see that we maintain the faith which has been delivered to the Saints, testifying to the brethren the folly of remaining in ignorance, respecting the important calling of President Joseph Smith;-showing the importance of giving more strict heed to the things which have been revealed to this generation, instead of harping continually on the things of other ages.
A complaint was presented against a priest by the name of Israel Johnson, for preaching erroneous doctrines, he was rebuked by the conference and charged never to preach any thing that he did not know and understand, but to confine himself to the first principles of the gospel, to which he consented and said he would be more careful in future. It was moved by Elder William L. Hughey, that he should retain his former standing, seconded by Elder Willard Woodstock; the vote was unanimous on his behalf. Br. Wight then arose to declare the object of his mission, it being in accordance with the instructions of President Joseph Smith, given to the elders in the City of Nauvoo, that the Saints should gather, for thus saith the Lord, and all excuses contrary to the word of God, are in vain.
And concerning the rumors which have gone abroad, by certain corrupt characters, concerning the character of Br. Joseph Smith and others, they are false. He also instructed the elders to be extremely careful and preach nothing but the first principles of the gospel; and introduced the subject of the building of the Nauvoo House, stating that the time had now come in which many of the great and notable men of kingdoms and nations, are not only waiting but would rejoice to see and hear the great things, that are now coming forth; and, by having a place wherein they might be intertained [entertained], they would joyfully flow to the standard of truth.
On motion by Elder J. Judd seconded by Elder W. L. Hughey, voted to adjourn the conference until to-morrow at 10 o'clock.
Oct. 9th. Met pursuant to adjournment, prayer by Elder Lyman Wight.
Elder Alexander Badlam represented the Springdale branch, as consisting of 3 elders and 12 members, in good standing, the Springfield branch was represented by Elder Joel Judd, consisting of 1 elder, 2 priests, and 2 members, all in good standing. Beaver Creek, Clark co. 2 elders 1 priest, and 9 members in good standing baptized and established by Elder Joel Judd. West Milton branch, Miami co., represented by Elder James Wareham, 1 high priest, 2 elders, 11 members in good standing. Elder William L. Hughey, represented the Dayton branch as consisting of 3 elders, 1 priest, 2 teachers, and 19 members, in good standing, also the Sugar Creek branch as consisting of 1 elder, 1 priest, and 9 members, all in good standing. Elder Wight, then read the 20th chapter of Revelations and proceeded to show how extremely ignorant a man would appear, should he attempt to explain the writings of those whom God had inspired to teach his gospel, without being in possession of as much, at least if not more of the same spirit of inspiration, that the men of God possessed. He also spake of the inconsistency of attempting to subvert any system or trying to overthrow any principle without having a knowledge of the way and manner in which it had been introduced into the world, or the power by which it exists, and is upheld.-And upon the subject of reformation he declared it impossible to reform an entire perfect system, which he acknowledged the plan of salvation to be, and to talk of reforming the religion of Jesus Christ, it is all folly, and the most perfect nonsense: hence we were not called to reform any religion but reform ourselves, and embrace the same precepts, that God will or has given to his people in all ages of the world.
He taught also concerning the word of wisdom that it was important, that it should be taught by those only who understand it, cautioning inexperienced elders against teaching things which they do not understand, or attempting to raise the stream above its fountain head; or the servant to be above his master; or the disciple to be above his Lord; but to learn to know that if it had not been for a prophet, ordained of God, they would have been weltering in sectarian servitude and darkness, together with many interesting truths, which he sustained from the word of God to the edifying and great joy of the whole assembly.
After which 12 elders were ordained and 3 new members were baptized and added, 2 from a distance, and were confirmed; several small children were blessed, and the whole congregation manifested an unshaken confidence in President Joseph Smith: the elders and members above named were nearly all present.-The conference closed with the best of feelings, unanimously agreed without a dissenting voice to gather to Nauvoo, without any farther delay, than to settle up their affairs honorably. Conference then adjourned sine die.
LYMAN WIGHT, Pres't. ALEXANDER BADLAM, JOEL JUDD, Clerks.
Since I wrote you from Springfield Ill. I have journeyed through all the small branches,
taking notice of every member in my way as much as possible until I arrived at this place; my journey has been attended with great success, having met with no difficulties on my way; my wife and the two children have been remarkably hearty and well. As to enemies I have found none, and as it regards persecution I have never seen less; and in regard to Bennett I am hardly questioned, and if I mention his name the people say he is too contemptible to be noticed; a Methodist preacher by the name of Waterman, in Dayton, told his congregation that he was personally acquainted with Bennett, and although Joseph Smith might be a bad man, yet he could say to them it would be an injury to their society to believe any thing that Bennett said; and I can say to you that in travelling [traveling] a distance of five hundred miles I have not heard a single man say but what Joseph Smith had done himself an honor in purging the church of so filthy a rascal as John C. Bennett. I have been offered testimony concerning his character, and if I should receive all I could get it would be irksome to pack it about.
It is the most pleasant time I ever knew to travel to preach the gospel there being no persecution. and I have heard more speak in favor of Joseph Smith, and the rise of the church, and the true principles of republicanism than I ever heard in the same length of time before. We make our next point to Sunbury, twenty miles from Columbus; from thence to Kirtland; from thence to Centerville, N. Y., where I have about two hundred relatives, who have desired for several years that I should give them an idea of our doctrine. I am fully in the faith that I shall play smash with them at this place.-I shall leave my wife and be prepared to meet the Twelve in any place deemed proper, and receive any instructions that they and Br. Joseph have to give, knowing it is much easier to run down stream than to row up. Br. Alexander Badlam fell in company with me twelve miles above Cincinnati; he is a faithful and profitable servant of the living God, ever testifying against the false stories raised against the heads of the church, with that honesty and meekness that he is well received both in and out of the church, and will travel with me till we are counselled [counseled] otherwise. L. WIGHT.
RUINS RECENTLY DISCOVERED IN YUCATAN MEXICO.
The ruins of Chi-Chen are situated upon a plain of many miles in circumference, nearly in the centre [center] of the province, about a hundred miles from the sea, and away from all water communication. Those which are now in the most perfect state of preservation are remarkable for their immense size and peculiarity of construction. They comprise temples, castles and pyramids, and measure around their sides from two hundred to a thousand feet, There altitudes are from twenty to one hundred and twenty feet: a succession of terraces, constructed of small pieces of stone imbedded in mortar, held together by a finished wall of large hewn stone, symmetrically proportioned and skilfully [skillfully] laid in the same material, which is as hard and apparently as durable as the stone itself. The sides of these walls invariably face the cardinal points, and the principal part is always to the east. The exterior walls of the buildings are formed of a fine concrete limestone, cut in pareallelopipeds of nearly twelve inches in length and about four inches in breadth; the interstices filled up with the same materials which are found in the terraces. The height of the buildings erected upon these terraces never exceeds thirty feet. They are limited to one long and narrow story, without windows. The rooms are confined to a double range, those of the rear receiving no other light than by the door-ways. The roof of the interior is an acute angle arch, formed by the edges of the square flat stone of which it is composed: and being bevelled [beveled], terminates by a layer of the like material. This arch supports a level roof, fiinished [finished] with a hard composition and surrounded with a balustrade forming an angular projection, and at the top presenting a beautiful finish. The floors are covered in like manner with the composition before mentioned, and show marks of war. The exterior walls rise perpendicularly, generally to one half the height, where there are entablatures. Above these, and in some instances beneath them, are compartments filled with hieroglyphics, figures and sculptured work is bas-relief, over a diamoned [diamond] latice [lattice] groundwork, interspersed with chaste and unique borders of the most skilful [skillful] and elaborate workmanship.
'The door ways are nearly a square of about seven feet, somewhat resembling the Egyptian style in their proportions. The sides consist of large pieces of hewn stone. In some instances the lintels are composed of the same, with hieroglyphics and lines carved upon them. Stone rings and holes at the side of the door-ways render it evident that doors once swung upon them. Zuportiwood was used for lintels and thwartbeams, some of which are still in good preservation, with lines of carving upon their surfaces. The walls show no marks of plaster; the inner surface however has a coat of stucco,
upon which colors are laid in fresco, of which sky-blue and light green are the most prominent. Figures of Indian characters can also be faintly traced upon the walls. columns, capitals and plinths, with many other evidences of large and splendid edifices, are found scattered over the immense plain. Portions of two pillars now remain at the eastern end of an edifice which occupies a space of ground nearly as large as that of Trinity Church-yard. Speculation upon the origin of these ruins I leave to others. The subject is one that should excite the deepest interest in the minds of Americans It is as yet wrapped in profound mystery, which it will doubtless require many years of laborious research to unfold.'
GREAT FIRE IN LIVERPOOL
[From the Liverpool Mail, Sept. 24.]
Yesterday morning witnessed the most awfully destructive fire, whether as regards life or property, that has ever taken place in this locality-more destructive, indeed, than the memorable fire in 1802, which destroyed the Goree warehouses. On that occasion, the estimated damage was-warehouses 44,500 pounds; grain, 120,000 pounds; sugar, 60,000 pounds; coffee, 8,500 pounds; cotton, 30,000 pounds, sundries, 60,000 pounds;-total 323,000 pounds; whereas, on the present occasion, one article alone-cotton, has been destroyed to an extent exceeding the whole of the loss by that memorable fire.
All the buildings on Great Howard street, from Compton to Neptune street; on Compton, from Waterloo Road to Great Howard street; on Neptune, from the same to the same; and on both sides of Formby street, from same to same, and along Waterloo road, embracing an area of 694 square yards, were destroyed. Insurance on these amounted to 370,000 pounds. Forty-eight thousand bales of cotton were burnt, valued at 384,000 pounds. Total loss in merchandize [merchandise] and building reached the enormous sum of 500,000 pounds.
The distressing calamity has been far more tragical [tragically] in its results than the only event in the history of the town with which it can be compared. The loss of life can never be satisfactorily ascertained, but we should not be surprised if, including the infortunate [unfortunate] persons at present in the Northern Hospital, and those buried beneath the ruins, all traces of whom will be forever swept away before the removal of the burning materials-the number exceeded thirty.-Under the ruins there are, it is believed, from eighteen to twenty men, and from the dangerous state of many in the hospital, half that number, it is feared, will not survive. In the hospital there are now seventeen dreadfully mutilated, exclusive of three who died there yesterday.
It is estimated that about 15,000 bbls. turpentine have been consumed, besides a large quantity of produce of other descriptions.
The fire originated in Crompton street, formerly Wood street, at the north end of the town, near the docks. The three principal streets affected-namely, Crompton street, Formby street, and Neptune street, all nearly opposite the Borough Gaol [Jail], run east and west between Great Howard street in which the prison stands) and Waterloo road, close to the docks.
Two of the engines were also smashed, and we fear a considerable number of the firemen were killed.
THE MOTE AND BEAM, by MRS. Z. PORTER.
"Judge not that ye be not judged."
Come hither brother-I descry The being who, self righteous grown-
A naughty mote, within thine eye- To censure and to scandal prone,
To pluck it out I fain would try, Marks others faults nor mends his own,
And mend, thy clouded vision. Is a vexatious elf.
Thank ye my friend, 't would wiser seem, Like fabled frog, who did report
If thou would'st pull the pond'rous beam He'd cure disease of ev'ry sort-
From thine own eye, and thus redeem Should meet the same deserved retort
Thyself from much derision. "Physician heal; thyself.
BOOKS OF MORMON, &c.
Just published and for sale, Books of Mormon, and Hymn Books, together with some other publications in defence [defense] of the faith of the saints. Nauvoo. Aug. 20, 1842.
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