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Vol. IV. No. 23.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. October 15, 1843 [Whole No. 83.
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
Soon after the words of Enoch were given, the Lord gave the following commandment:-
Revelation to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, given December, 1830.
Behold I say unto you that it is not expedient in me that ye should translate any more until ye shall go to Ohio; and this because of the enemy and for your sakes. And again, I say unto you, that ye shall not go until ye have preached my gospel in those parts, and have strengthened up the church whithersoever it is found, and more especially in Colesville: for behold they pray unto me in much faith.
And again, a commandment I give unto the church, that it is expedient in me that they should assemble together at the Ohio, against the time that my servant Oliver Cowdery shall return unto them. Behold here is wisdom, and let every man choose for himself until I come; even so: Amen.
The year opened with a prospect great and glorious for the welfare of the kingdom; for, on the 2d of January, 1831; a conference was held in the town of Fayette, N. Y., at which was received, besides the ordinary business transacted for the church, the following revelation:
Revelation given January, 1831.
Thus saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, the Great I AM, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the same which looked upon the wide expanse of eternity, and all the seraphic hosts of heaven, before the world was made, the same which knoweth all things, for all things are present before mine eyes: I am the same which spake and the world was made, and all things came by me: I am the same which have taken the Zion of Enoch into mine own bosom: and verily I say, even as many as have believed on my name, for I am Christ, and in mine own name, by the virtue of the blood which I have spilt, have I plead before the Father for them: But behold the residue of the wicked have I kept in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day, which shall come at the end of the earth: and even so will I cause the wicked to be kept, that will not hear my voice but harden their hearts, and wo, wo, wo is their doom.
But behold, verily, verily I say unto you, that mine eyes are upon you; I am in your midst and ye cannot see me, but the day soon cometh that ye shall see me and know that I am: for the vail [veil] of darkness shall soon be rent, and he that is not purified shall not abide the day; wherefore gird up your loins and be prepared. Behold the kingdom is yours and the enemy shall not overcome.
Verily I say unto you; ye are clean but not all: and there is none else with whom I am well pleased, for all flesh is corruptible before me, and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in presence of all the hosts of heaven, which causeth silence to reign, and all eternity is pained, and the angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth, to gather the tares that they may be burned: and behold the enemy is combined.
And now I show unto you a mystery, a thing which is had in secret chambers, to bring to pass even your destruction, in process of time, and ye knew it not, but now I tell it unto you, and ye are blessed, not because of your iniquity, neither your hearts of unbelief, for verily some of you are guilty before me; but I will be merciful unto your weakness. Threfore [Therefore], be ye strong from henceforth; fear not for the kingdom is yours: and for your salvation I give unto you a commandment, for I have heard your prayers, and the poor have complained before me, and the rich have I made, and all flesh is mine, and I am no respecter [respector] of persons. And I have made the earth rich, and behold it is my footstool: wherefore, again I will stand upon it: and I hold forth and deign to give unto you greater riches, even a land of promise; a land flowing with milk and honey, upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord, cometh: and I will give it unto you for the land of your inheritance, if you seek it with all your hearts: and this shall be my covenant with you, ye shall have it for the land of your inheritance, and for the inheritance of your children forever, while the earth shall stand, and ye shall possess it again in eternity, no more to pass away.
But verily I say unto you, that in time ye shall have no king for ruler, for I will be your king and watch over you. Wherefore, hear my voice and follow me, and you shall be a free people, and ye shall have no laws but my laws, when I come, for I am your Lawgiver, and what can stay my hand? But verily I say unto you, teach one another according to the office wherewith I have appointed you, and let every man esteem his brother has himself, and practice virtue and holiness before me. And
again I say unto you, let every man esteem his brother as himself, for what man among you having twelve sons, and is not respecter [respector] to them; and they serve him obediently, and he saith unto the one, be thou clothed in robes and sit thou here; and the other, be thou clothed in rags and sit thou there, and looketh upon his sons and saith I am just.
Behold, this I have given unto you a parable, and it is even as I am: I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one, ye are not mine. And again I say unto you, that the enemy in the secret chambers seeketh your lives: Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of them in your own land: I tell you these things because of your prayers: wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you, by their wickedness, in a manner that shall speak in your ears, with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.
And that ye might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people, without spot and blameless; wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment, that ye should go to the Ohio: and there I will give unto you my law; and there ye shall be endowed with power from on high, and from thence, whomsoever I will, shall go forth among all nations, and it shall be told them what they shall do: for I have a great work laid up in store: for Israel shall be saved, and I will lead them whithersoever I will, and no power shall stay my hand.
And now I give unto the church in these parts, a commandment, that certain men among them shall be appointed, and they shall be appointed by the voice of the church:-and they shall look to the poor and the needy, and administer to their relief, that they shall not suffer; and send them forth to the place which I have commanded them; and this shall be their work, to govern the affairs of the property of this church. And they that have farms that cannot be sold, let them be left or rented as seemeth them good. See that all things are preserved and when men are endowed with power from on high, and sent forth, all these things shall be gathered unto the bosom of the church.
And if ye seek the riches which it is the will of the Father to give unto you, ye shall be the richest of all people; for ye shall have the riches of eternity: and it must needs be that the riches of the earth is mine to give; but beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old. And again I say unto you, I give unto you a commandment, that every man, both elder, priest, teacher, and also member, go to with his might, with the labor of his hands, to prepare and accomplish the things which I have commanded. And let your preaching be the warning voice, every man to his neighbor, in mildness and in meekness. And go ye out from among the wicked. Save yourselves.-Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord; even so: Amen.
Not long after the conference closed, there was a man came to me by the name of James Covill, who had been a Baptist minister about forty years, and covenanted with the Lord that he would obey any commandment that the Lord would give through me as his servant, and I received the following revelation, given at Fayette, New York, January 5, 1831:
Revelation to James Covill, given January, 1831.
Hearken and listen to the voice of him who is from all eternity to all eternity, the Great I AM, even Jesus Christ, the light and the life of the world; a light which shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not: the same which came in the meridian of time unto my own, and my own received me not; but to as many as received me, gave I power to become my sons, and even so will I give unto as many as will receive me, power to become my sons.
And verily, verily I say unto you, he that receiveth my gospel, receiveth me; and he that receiveth not my gospel, receiveth not me.-And this is my gospel: repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which showeth all things, and teacheth the peaceable things of the kingdom.
And now behold I say unto you, my servant James, I have looked upon thy works and I know thee: and verily I say unto thee, thine heart is now right before me at this time, and behold I have bestowed great blessings upon thy head-nevertheless thou hast seen great sorrow for thou hast rejected me many times because of pride, and the cares of the world: but behold the days of thy deliverance are come, if thou wilt hearken to my voice, which saith unto thee, Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on my name and you shall receive my spirit, and a blessing so great as you never have known. And if thou do this, I have prepared thee for a greater work. Thou shalt preach the fulness [fullness] of my gospel which I have sent forth in these last days: the covenant which I have sent forth to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel.
And it shall come to pass that power shall rest upon thee; thou shalt have great faith
and I will be with thee and go before thy face. Thou art called to labor in my vineyard, and to build up my church, and to bring forth Zion, that it may rejoice upon the hills and flourish. Behold, verily, verily I say unto thee, thou art not called to go into the eastern countries, but thou art called to go to the Ohio. And inasmuch as my people shall assemble themselves to the Ohio, I have kept in store a blessing such as is not known among the children of men, and it shall be poured forth upon their heads. And from thence men shall go forth into all nations.
Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that the people in Ohio call upon me in much faith, thinking I will stay my hand in judgment upon the nations, but I cannot deny my word:-wherefore lay to with your might and call faithful laborers into my vineyard, that it may be pruned for the last time. And inasmuch as they do repent and receive the fulness [fullness] of my gospel, and become sanctified, I will stay mine hand in judgment: wherefore go forth, crying with a loud voice, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand; crying Hosanna! blessed be name of the most High God. Go forth baptizing with water, preparing the way before my face, for the time of my coming: for the time is at hand: the day nor the hour no man knoweth, but it surely shall come, and he that receiveth these things receiveth me; and they shall be gathered unto me in time and in eternity.
And again, it shall come to pass, that on as many as ye shall baptize with water, ye shall lay your hands, and they shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and shall be looking forth for the signs of my coming, and shall know me. Behold I come quickly; even so: Amen.
As James Covill rejected the words of the Lord, and returned to his former principles and people, the Lord gave unto me and Sidney Rigdon the following revelation, explaining why he obeyed not the word: given at Fayette, N. Y., January 1831.
Revelation to Joseph Smith, jun. and Sidney Rigdon, given January, 1831, explaining why James Covill obeyed not the revelation which was given unto him.
Behold, verily I say unto you, that the heart of my servant James Covill was right before me, for he covenanted with me, that he would obey my word. And he received the word with gladness, but straightway satan tempted him; and the fear of persecution, and the cares of the world, caused him to reject the word;-wherefore he broke my covenant, and it remaineth in me to do with him as seemeth me good: Amen.
A LAND SLIP.
At half past three o'clock yesterday afternoon, another land slide occurred from the hill east of, and adjacent to this city, where the awful catastrophe of January 1, 1837, transpired, exceeding in extent and consequences that memorable disaster. Some ten dwellings were buried beneath the mass of earth. In these, it is supposed, there were not less than thirty or forty persons, only ten or twelve of whom, at the time, escaped. As soon as the alarm was given, the mayor and members of the common council, the sheriff of the county, together, with the city police, firemen, hook and ladder companies, repaired to the spot, accompanied by a vast concourse of citizens. Vigorous preparations were immediately commenced, and before the lapse of an hour several persons were taken out alive; and in the course of three or four hours, fifteen dead bodies, and sixteen severely maimed were removed. Troy Budget.
[For the Times and Seasons.]
Sir: I devote a few moments of time, to give a short sketch of the prosperity of the mission appointed me, to Tennessee, at the last April Conference. I left Nauvoo on the 11th of April and went to Greene county, Illinois, where I preached a few times and baptised [baptized] two. From thence I went to Lebanon, St. Clair co., where I fell in company with W. H. Edwards, who accompanied me to Tennessee. We baptised [baptized] eight near Lebanon, and organised [organized] them into a branch, known by the name of the Lebanon Branch. From Lebanon we continued our way, preaching every opportunity, and baptised [baptized] two at the Elk-horn prairie, Williamson co.; crossed into Kentucky, May 16th; continued preaching in Warren, Baron, Hart and Monroe counties Ky., and Jackson and Overton counties, Tenn., for about five months; baptised [baptized] ten in Hart co., all of whom will remove to Nauvoo this winter or next spring. The enquiries [inquiries] for the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in that country, are very great and the laborers are few.
With high esteem and respect, I subscribe myself,
Your fellow laborer,
In the bonds of the new
and everlasting covenant,
FRANCIS M. EDWARDS.
Nauvoo, Dec. 2, 1843.
Dear Sir,-As I am a traveller [traveler] who am sometimes in the habit of committing my thoughts to paper, and having perceived that the people called Mormons are grossly abused and misrepresented, I extract the following remarks from
my journal. If you think them worthy of a place in your invaluable periodical, you are at liberty to insert them:-
"Having, whilst in my native land, heard a great deal said respecting the people called Mormons. I thought it would be well, in the course of my rambles (or tour) to visit their city, hold converse with them, see their city, investigate their principles, and judge for myself I had heard, previous to my leaving England, some of their missionaries, among whom was Elders Woodruff, Richards and Young. I thought they were setters forth of strange doctrine, yet it had an influence on my mind, so that I felt determined, as soon as opportunity served to hear both sides of the question, as well from the Missourians as from any other source. With an unprejudiced mind I had, previous to this time, been a member of the methodist church, but having observed that there existed in the breasts of those people a very strong prejudice with respect to the Mormons. I could not give full credence to their statements, neither could I rest satisfied with the statement of the Mormons. I thought it was possible that they might dissemble in England, but as a people, they could not do so at home, their actions would appear ungarnished; they would there act out their principles, and their moral and religious influence would there be seen as clear as the sun at noon day; but above all I wanted to know something concerning the Missourian persecution; so after having overcome all opposition, (some of my friends being greatly alarmed lest I should become a follower of Joe, as they termed it. I took ship and arrived in safety at New Orleans. I then sailed up the Mississippi, and landed at St. Louis. As soon as I had taken lodgings I commenced my inquiries respecting the Mormons. What think you of the Mormons, I asked? I had scarcely spoken before my ears were saluted form all quarters, from high and low, rich and poor. The Mormons! The mean Mormons! The G-d d--Mormons! The deluded Mormons, &c. I heard them calumniated, and vilified, nay, abused beyond belief. They informed me that their crimes were of the deepest dye. That polygamy was not only tolerated but practiced among them; that they would rob and plunder; and that blood and murder was to be found in their skirts. That after they had stripped a poor stranger of his all, they confined him in a kind of dungeon, underneath the temple, where he was fed upon bread and water, until death put a period to his sufferings-left to die alone without a kind friend by him to perform the last sad offices, or to see him consigned to the silent tomb, but like a dog he was left to die, and like a dog he was buried. Well, one would have thought that after having heard all this my courage must have failed, and that I would at once have given up the search, but I called to mind the old adage, "Nothing venture nothing have." Pistory [History] also informed me of the wonderful exploits performed in days of yore by the chivalrous and noble knights of England, and so I felt determined to see and behold the wonderful place, with the history of which I had become acquainted. I had, however, determined to sell my liberty and life as dearly as I could, in case the reports I had heard should prove true, but the fact was, I did not place much confidence in their Jack the Giant Killer's tales, looking upon them as being too marvellous [marvelous] to be true. I landed at Nauvoo on a beautiful morning in the summer season. I felt a degree of superstitious dread creep over me, as I set my foot upon the shore! Presently I discovered some armed men advancing towards where I was, but immediately perceived that they were peaceable citizens of the place engaged in a pleasure party. As I walked onward I felt myself comparatively at home, as I now and again met with an Englishman that I once had gazed upon in my native land. I directed my course towards the Temple, and after having gazed upon and thoroughly examined every part of it, I was soon led to the conclusion that there was not much danger to be apprehended from being confined in the subterranean vaults or dungeon, beneath the Temple. I took up my abode as convenient to that edifice as I could, in order that I might be the better enabled to take cognisance [cognizance] of every circumstance which might come under my observation. I had resolved to keep my head and understanding from being confused in order that I might be enabled to judge correctly, and have a true and correct report to send to my native land, should I be permitted to reach its shores in safety. The city is of great dimensions, laid out in beautiful order; the streets are wide, and cross each other at right angles, which will add greatly to its order and magnificence when it is finished. The city rises on a gentle incline from the rolling Mississippi, and as you stand near the Temple you may gaze on the picturesque scenery around. At your side is the Temple, the wonder of the world; round about and beneath you may behold handsome stores, large palaces, and fine cottages, interspersed with varied scenery. At the foot of the town rolls the noble Mississippi, bearing upon its bosom the numerous steam ships which are conveying
the Mormons from all parts of the world to their home. I have seen them landed, and I have beheld them welcomed to their homes with the tear of joy and the gladdening smile, to share the embrace of all around. I have heard them exclaim how happy to live here! How happy to die here! and then how happy to rise here in the resurrection! It is their happiness, then why disturb the Mormons as long as they are happy and peaceable, and are willing to live so with all men. "I would say, let them live!" The inhabitants seem to be a wonderful enterprising people. The walls of the Temple have been raised considerably this summer; it is calculated, when finished to be the glory of Illinois. They are endeavoring to establish manufactories in the city. They have enclosed large farms on the prairie ground, on which they have raised corn, wheat, hemp, &c. and all this they have accomplished within the short space of four years. I do not believe that there is another people in existence who could have made such improvements in the same length of time, under the same circumstances, and here allow me to remark, that there are some here who have lately emigrated to this place, who have built themselves large and convenient houses in the town, others on their farms on the prairie, who, if they had remained at home might have continue to live in rented houses all their days, and never once have entertained the idea of building one for themselves, at their own expense. Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, is a singular character; he lives at the "Nauvoo Mansion House," which is, I understand, intended to become a home for the stranger and traveller [traveler]; and I think from my own personal observation that it will be deserving of the name. The Prophet is a kind, cheerful, agreeable companion. I believe that he has the goodwill of the community at large, and that he is ever ready to stand by and defend them in any extremity, and as I saw the Prophet and his brother Hyrum conversing together one day, I thought I beheld two of the greatest men of the nineteenth century. I have witnessed the Mormons in their assemblies on a Sunday, and I know not where a similar scene could be effected or produced. With respect to the teachings of the prophet, I must say that there are some things hard to be understood, but he invariably supports himself from our good old Bible. Peace and harmony reigns in the city. The drunkard is scarcely ever seen as in other cities; neither does the awful imprecation, or profane oath strike upon your ear; but while all is storm and tempest and confusion abroad, respecting the Mormons, all is peace and harmony at home.
With regard to the persecution in Missouri, I do not believe that the Mormons deserved it at their hands. But it is my firm belief that the Missourians did actually slay innocent men, defenceless [defenseless] women, and helpless children. From all the testimony that I have been able to gather, both from the inhabitants of Missouri and the Mormons, this is established in my mind beyond a doubt! Oh, Missouri, Missouri! what hast thou done? Thou hast slain the innocent and defenceless [defenseless]; driven twelve thousand men and women, from thy inhospitable bosom; thou has robbed them of their property-of their all; compelled them to wander on the wide-spreading prairie, in the depth of winter, there to endure cold, hunger, and thirst. Thou hast bound their leaders in chains, confined them in dungeons, without affording them a sufficiency of bread and water; feeding them on human flesh; setting demons to guard them, whose boast it was that they had robbed innocence of its charms, and trampled upon virtue with more than fiendish impunity. But cease my pen to rehearse the story, and take up a lamentation for her-the star whose glory is dimmed; the state, whose escutcheon is tarnished with deeds of inhumanity and blood. Where, oh where is Washington? Where, oh, where is your fathers, who amidst the clash of arms, and the thunder of cannon, so nobly stood forward in defence [defense] of liberty and innocence? But they are gone, and what they bled and died for is abused and trampled upon by their recreant children! Yes, trampled upon by Missouri; and thou that mightest have been the glory of the west, hast fallen, thy honors are fled, thy glory is laid in the dust, and a dark page will forever rest on thy history. But what shall be done for thee, oh thou most mighty? Wherewith shall thou be restored to thy greatness? Is thy wound incurable? Is there no balm, is there no healing medicine, is there no physician? If there is a kind, merciful heart left in Missouri-a philanthropist, he may exclaim, they shall be restored to their houses and homes, to their lands and to their all! and then shall not our glory and honors return to us gain? But justice would answer in a voice of thunder, you cannot restore the wife of him whom ye have murdered in cold blood! You cannot restore the innocent child to the fond embrace of its parent, which you, with more than savage barbarity, destroyed! Neither can you restore the virtue, which you have inhumanly [inhumanely] taken away with devilish rage! Therefore do the devils rejoice, the heavens are ashamed, and thy name will never be mentioned by the virtuous and good but with detestation
and abhorrence. But, say some, the State of Illinois has disgraced itself by protecting the Mormons. Wherein, I ask? In protecting the innocent and brave? The Mormons are calculated to do honor to any state! Look and see what they have done at Nauvoo during the comparatively short time they have been there, and if they are enabled to proceed as they have commenced their town ere long will become a great and mighty city. The Prophet and the Temple attract people from all parts; these must bring wealth into the state necessarily, and now I would say in conclusion, Beware men of Illinois, and let the Mormons alone; let them be protected; let their rights and privileges be preserved unto them sacred, and they will soon become a great and a mighty people, and the governor who received them from the lawless Missourians will be held in everlasting remembrance. Yea, his name will be had in honor through all generations.
Minutes of a Conference held in Brant township, Erie county, N. Y., 1843.
Agreeably to appointment we assembled at brother Ira Sermans' to organize a branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The conference was called to order at half past 9 o'clock, by elder H. B. Jacobs, who was appointed chairman. Elder O. B. Huntington was chosen clerk. The meeting was then opened by singing and prayer, by elder J. S. Gleason. The chairman then arose and made some remarks upon the design of the meeting, and upon the order of the kingdom of God; he then moved that brother Wm. A Beebee be ordained an elder to preside over that branch of the church, seconded by elder Gleason, and carried by the unanimous vote of the conference.
It was also moved, seconded and carried, that brother Ira Sherman be ordained a teacher. Elder Taobs [Jacobs?] and elder Gleason proceeded accordingly and ordained them; after which the chairman read some of the church laws as laid down in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, and gave them much good instruction thereupon, and upon the scriptures. He was followed by elder Gleason, who made many very appropriate remarks. Elder Beebee then arose and expressed his feelings of inability to fill so high and responsible an office, but felt determined by the grace of God to press forward, and improve upon the talents which he had given him. He was followed by all the brethren and sisters, who expressed their warmth of feelings for the cause of Christ. The clerk received the names of those that belonged to the branch, which were fifteen, viz: Wm. A. Beebee, Ira Sherman, Lemuel Lewis, John Sturdefont, Stephen Sturdefont, Philip Lewis, Cornelius Phelps and Walter Davis; Louisa Beebee, Phebe Sherman, Harriet Sherman, Waity Lewis, Sany Francis, Aurilla Dalrimple, and Mary Sturdefont.
By the unanimous voice of the conference, the branch was called the Brant Branch.
The meeting was then closed by singing and prayer by the president.
H. B. JACOBS, Chairman.
O. B. HUNTINGTON, Clerk.
From the Boston Bee.
INCONSISTENCIES OF PROFESSED BIBLE BELIEVERS.
Reading an article in the Times of the 20th inst. headed "Taking the Veil," my thoughts were led to muse on the gross inconsistency of the present professed Bible believing generation. Now it is a well known fact, that the present christian world, (with the exception of a few that the rest term infidels,) both priest and people, editors and readers, are professed believers in the Bible, and are ready to denounce a man as infidel, who dares question its authority; they believe it to be a revelation of the will of God to man, for the purpose of effecting his salvation; and (with the exception of the Mormons,) they believe it to be the last and only revelation that man ever did or will receive from his God. Now if they acted consistently, would they not receive and support those who come among them preaching and practicing the plan of salvation, with its ordinances contained in the New Testament, to the very letter and repudiate and condemn all others. Would they not obey the injunction of John, 'if any come among you and obey not the doctrine of Christ, receive him not into your houses, neither bid him God speed.'
Should it make any difference whether they were old or new, popular or unpopular, learned or unlearned? Every candid mind will answer no, it should not, but the grand, and only question should be, do you preach the same plan of salvation which Christ and his apostles preached? Do you hold out the same blessings and promises they held out for believing, and threaten them with the same condemnation for disbelieving the New Testament being the rule of evidence? But how stands the case? what are the facts? Now for the purpose of testing this thing, I will make use of two denominations, viz: 'Catholics' and 'Mormons,' not out of any disrespect to either, but only to test the principle standing at the head of this article, particularly
in regard to the press and pulpit.
The Mormons came among us preaching faith, repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, see Acts ii: 38 and xxii: 16. They practice the order of laying on of hands, for the reception of the holy spirit, see Acts vii: 17-18 and xix; 6 and Heb. vi: 2. They preach that the signs shall follow them that believe, see Mark xvi: 17. They preach that as the gospel, like its author, is unchangeable, therefore his church whenever and wherever found, will be built on the same foundation, organized with the same organization that characterized it in its early period, and that that organization consisted of apostles and prophets, &c., see Eph. ii: 20 and iv: 11, also Cor xii: 28. And that these officers were to continue until perfection is come, 1 Cor. xiii: 8-10. And 'till we all come in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge (not belief) of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; Eph. iv: 13. They preach that as like causes produce like effects in all ages of the world, that those who are obedient to the gospel in this age and thereby receive the holy spirit, can and will claim and receive the holy spirit, and will claim and receive all its blessings and fruits, which include revelations, visions, dreams, tongues, prophecies, interpretations, discerning of spirits, healing the sick, casting out devils, &c. Proof, see 1 Cor. xii, Mark. xvi: 17, James v: 14-15.-They preach that Zion is to be built in the last days, see Ps. cii: 16 and xlviii: 2, and also Ps. lx, and Mich. iv, and Joel ii: 32. They preach a gathering of the saints in the last days to this Zion, while God pours out his judgments upon the earth. Proof, Ps. iv: 5 and cii 22, Js. ix: 3,4,5,8 and xxxiv: 10, and the Parables, especially that of tares and wheat, 2 Thess. ii: 1, Rev. xviii: 4. These are some of the grand and important doctrines taught by the Mormons, all based and founded on the word of God in the Bible that the whole christian world profess to receive as their standard of faith and practice.
And now, I would ask, where, among the whole Christian world, can be found another people that teaches or even believes one of these plain Bible doctrines? And where is the priest that dare meet the elders of the Mormons on any one of these questions? I have heard elder Page, time and again, publicly challenge the whole clergy of Boston to meet him on any of these questions, using their own hall free of expense, the Bible being the rule of evidence, and where is there one that dare do it? Echo answers where? Bro. Comings to the contrary notwithstanding.
And now, how are the Mormons, coming as they do, Bible in hand, received by the present Bible believing generation, especially editors and priests? I need not answer. Every one knows that each and all of the above Bible doctrines, preached by the Mormons, are met with scorn and contempt, ridicule and blackguardism, and by the very men that denounce men that honestly admit their disbelief in the Bible, as Infidels.
And here are the Mormons baptising [baptizing] weekly, having established a branch in this city of 250, and that in a year and a half, and yet not one of the Boston clergy dare meet them, and expose their delusion, as they call it, and thereby save the dear people from being deceived. And not the clergy alone, but the press also, professedly Bible believing, will in their turn ridicule each of the above doctrines, and publish every item that will tend to throw contempt and obliquy [obloquy] upon them, and not publish a word by way of reply, or in favor, unless paid for.
But now let us look a the other sect mentioned viz: The Catholics, not that they are any more inconsistent than other denominations, or even half so much, but I mention them because the article that gave rise to this communication involves their principles, viz: 'Taking the veil.' Merely to show the difference of treatment by the press, when the doctrines and ceremonies of an old, numerous and popular church, is concerned, than when an unpopular people are the subject for remarks. Now with what grace, and respect the ceremony of taking the veil is spoken of, in the article referred to. If they were written concerning the crucifixion of Christ, they could not be more serious or respectful. And what do we see in the article the, why-'Taking the Veil,' 'Nunnery,' 'Sacrament of high Mass,' 'Reverend Archbishop,' dressed in the 'Pontificals of his station,' then the co-sister in which, with their black veils and a lighted taper in their hands.' then we have a 'Reverend mother,' &c. &c. Now in what part of the Old or New Testament are one of these things alluded to? Where in the organization of the Church of Christ, can the office of 'Reverend Arch Bishop,' or 'Reverend mothers,' be found? We can read about Paul and the Apostles and the Prophets dressed in sheep and goat skins, but nothing about Arch Bishops in their pontificals,' and where can you read of the white dress of the sisters-and their long black veils, and their lighted tapers, &c. Now I will challenge the whole professed Bible believing world, to point out a single passage, that even alludes to one of these ceremonies.
Then we may mention the enquiring [inquiring] meetings and anxious seats of the Orthodox and
baptist. The camp meetings, class meetings, sisters and the three baptisms of the Methodist, all verifying the predictions of Paul, that in the last days 'they would not endure sound doctrines, but would turn from the truth, unto fables,' such as I have been referring to; that they should 'heap to themselves teachers instead of God sending them-and that they would have a form of godliness but deny the power,' also fulfilling the words of Christ to the Jews, that they made void the law of God by their own traditions, and 'taught for doctrines the commandments of men,' for instance the doctrine of Christ, as I have before shown, is baptism for the remission of sins-but the commandments of men are, come to the anxious seats, the altars-or the mourners bench, for the remission of sins. The doctrines of Christ is 'laying on of hands fro [for] the reception of the Holy Ghost;' the commandment of men-go to the camp meeting and receive the Holy Ghost.
But enough has been said to show that this Bible believing generation care not a fig for the Bible, or the doctrines it contains, when speaking of the doctrines and ceremonies of any sect; but if the sect is wealthy, or numerous and popular, they will be spoken of with respect and flattering words-whether their doctrines accords with the Bible or not; and the sect that is small, new and unpopular, will be met with ridicule and contempt, Bible or no Bible. The Catholics and Methodists and others will present to the community, doctrines and precepts, laws and ceremonies, that the Bible never dreamed of, and will be petted and supported by Pulpit and Press. The Mormons, on the other hand, come Bible in hand, ready to defend therefrom, both publicly and privately, each and every doctrine they present to the people, and they are met by Pulpit and Press with slang, vituperation, and any thing under heaven but argument. Oh! the consistency of this godly, Bible believing generation. J. H.
TIMES AND SEASONS
CITY OF NAUVOO,
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15, 1843.
TO OUR PATRONS.
As the next number will close this volume, it may be expect that we should say a few words to our subscribers. We owe them an apology for not having issued a few of the last numbers punctually on the publication day.-This on our part has been unavoidable, as it was occasioned principally by sickness, and circumstances over which we had not control. The next number will be issued in about one week after this, and will complete the volume; and although a little behind the time, there will be no delinquency on our part. Other than this we have no apologies to make, nor no painful reflections for what we have done, or left undone; nor have we any particular promises to make for the future. We have hitherto been governed by the plain principles of truth; it has been our endeavor to lay before our readers those principles which we thought would best conduce to their interest and to the good of the church in general. How far we have succeeded in this, and in satisfying the public mind, they themselves must be the judges.
We feel very highly flattered from the many high encomiums that we have received from gentlemen of intelligence and respectability, both in, and out of the church; and if our subscription list is any evidence of our labors' being appreciated by our brethren, then have we some encouragement to proceed.
We feel highly honored by, and very much obliged to our brethren the Twelve, for the kind interest which they have manifested in our behalf, in the following resolutions which were passed during our absence from home. It affords us pleasure to know that we are engaged in disseminating principles, and publishing a work which in their estimation is of so much importance to the church, and to the world, and we would embrace this opportunity of acknowledging to our brethren the many obligations we are under to them for the salutary counsel nnd [and] assistance which we have so frequently received from them, which has aided us very materially in our arduous undertaking. We also feel obliged to our correspondents for their favors, and take this opportunity of soliciting a continuation of them; and though last, not least, are we indebted to our beloved brother JOSEPH, for his timely counsel, the access he has given us to his writings, and the many rich treats which have been furnished our readers through his instrumentality, without which, our sheet would in many instances have been comparatively dry and barren.
To our readers we would say, we are all the time promising ourselves that the paper will be richer and more interesting; we are expecting many things from Gen. SMITH, and from other sources, which will be highly interesting and edifying, but as we said before, we have no promises to make, but shall leave time which unfolds all things to decide this question.
With the close of this volume, the time will expire for which a great many of our subscribers have paid; it will be superfluous for us to
say, that their subscriptions will not be unacceptable at the present time, and our friends will not feel insulted when we say that we should feel ourselves much obliged, by them embracing the earliest opportunity of forwarding us their subscriptions for the ensuing year.
TO THE ELDERS AND CHURCHES ABROAD.
"The Twelve," on their late mission to the eastern states, discovered that the publications at Nauvoo, were very little patronized by the saints and branches, in the various sections of the country where they passed, while the common newspapers of the day received a liberal support, by those who pretend to 'hunger and thirst after righteousness.' They feel justified therefore, in reprobating such a course, as detrimental to the general good of the whole church, that shows a lack of charity in the elders.
'Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?'
Nauvoo at present, is the seat of the First Presidency; the place of the gathering for all saints, and the great centre [center] of the world for pure religion, revelation, truth, virtue, knowledge and every thing else preparatory to the coming of the Son of Man; the best news, the best people, and the best plan of salvation must be there, Wherefore,
Resolved, Unanimously, that the travelling [traveling] elders are hereby instructed to use due diligence in obtaining subscribers for the 'Times and Seasons,' and 'Nauvoo Neighbor,' and forward the pay, by safe hands, to the publishers at Nauvoo; that the saints and the world may receive 'line upon line, and precept upon precept; here a little and there a little,' together with such extracts of translations and revelations, as the Presidency of the church may direct, for the edification of the whole body of the church, in righteousness.
Done in council, at Nauvoo, November, 1843.
President of the Twelve.
WILLARD RICHARDS, Cl'k.
Will the elders and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, unto whom the above resolution may come, or into whose hands it may fall, permit me, as an humble servant of Jesus Christ, to urge the necessity and importance upon you of giving diligent heed to the council offered in the foregoing resolution of circulating the Times and Seasons and Neighbor far and wide, to the extent of your influence. Shall I say that we have struggled through many difficulties until the present time, to maintain the press and circulate our periodicals to the churches abroad, for their benefit? I could say it in truth, but if I had no other motive in view, than my own personal pecuniary benefit, I would not call your attention to the subject, I would remain in silence. But the motive that stimulates me to action upon this subject, is of far more importance than my own temporal good. We as a people, have been called to pass through scenes of a peculiar nature and events of a singular character, for the last few years of our lives. A mighty struggle has been made by certain powers on earth, to crush the voice of those scenes and events in the dust, that they should not be heard by man. But a voice is destined to be heard, it can, it must, and shall be heard, as the voice of thunders, until it penetrates the ears of the wise and good, friends and foes, Judges and Counsellors [Counselors] , Governors and Presidents, Kings and Princes, saying, to all that hear, that oppressed American citizens are asking for those blessings, rights and privileges to be restored unto them, which God has destined for all his rational offspring, and which the constitution of the United States, and each state guarantee unto all her citizens; but have been unconstitutionally, unlawfully, unjustly, and inhumanly [inhumanely] taken from them by the blood stained state of Missouri. Let me ask you then ye elders of Israel, where is the mouth peace of this voice that is to speak until the ears of man shall hear, and their hearts shall feel, if it is not in Nauvoo? If this be the case, then let duty be the mainspring of your actions. Foster not those engines that would trample your rights in the dust with impunity, turn a deaf ear to the cry of the oppressed, and seek to hush the voice of the innocent blood of the saints that has been poured out like water upon the ground, for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
The period has arrived when that veil of false hood and misrepresentation that has been drawn like a dark curtain over America to cover the black deeds of Missouri in their unhallowed persecutions against the saints, must be drawn back, that the world may have a view of the scene. But few heretofore have been made to believe the truth as it has existed, in scenes that have transpired in that state. Every engine that could be employed, has been put in operation to prejudice the minds of community against us as a people and lay the blame upon the saints, in order to draw a veil over the black deeds of Missouri; but the blood of the innocent cries from the ground, and that cry will not only be heard by man, but it will continually enter into the ears of that God who
rules the armies of heaven, and holds the destinies of the nations of the earth, until their blood is avenged, and what the nation will not do, God himself will perfect. The time has now come when the travelling [traveling] elders and presidents of all the churches abroad in the vineyard, and also private members, can do much good, not only in circulating our papers among the saints, but all good and honorable men.-Things are about to transpire, appeals are about to be made through the channel of the press, that we want all to hear and to feel; and let not the sound thereof enter the ear and die away like the sound in the distance, but let it be written as with an iron pen upon the tablets of your hearts, and a record of the same be carefully preserved in your houses for your children and your children's children, unto the latest generation, that they may learn the history of the persecution of the saints, the rise and progress of the church, and the deeds of their fathers. I would to God that not only every family of saints in Nauvoo, but throughout the world, would carefully peruse and preserve a copy of each volume of the Times and Seasons, as they are issued form the press, not only for their present benefit, but as a future history, and I hope and trust, from this time forth, all the elders abroad will be awake to this subject, and sustain, support, and uphold that organ that will maintain your rights, and the rights of all the persecuted and oppressed.-While on my mission in the east, in company with the quorum of the Twelve, I devoted a portion of my time for the cause of the press, and was sorry to find any indifference manifested among the saints about taking or circulating the periodicals published in Nauvoo, while other papers were liberally supported; for I deem it to be of great importance to the churches abroad to have the privilege of receiving instruction from the Presidency of the church while separate from them, or before they have an opportunity of assembling here.-An account of the travels of the quorum of the Twelve during the past season, or minutes of the conferences which they held have not as yet been published, but probably something upon this subject will appear soon, in future numbers of the Times and Seasons. The present volume will soon close, and many things of interest to the saints will no doubt follow in the next volume, and it is desired that those who wish to contribute their papers will forward their subscriptions as early as possible, that they may commence at the beginning of the volume.
May the Lord inspire the hearts of all the saints to labor while the day lasts, and do good while they have an opportunity, lest night come when no man can work.
[For the Times and Seasons.]
BAPTISM-THE MODE OF ITS ADMINISTRATION-ITS EFFICACY-DR. MOSHIEM-STATE OF THE RELIGIOUS WORLD-THE APOSTACY [APOSTASY], &c., &c.
But these things were clearly predicted by the prophets, and their downfall foretold Isaiah, XLII: 17; 'They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, ye are our gods.' When we see the graven statues of Virgin Mary, and even that of the Savior, St. Paul, &c., adorning the churches of all who are able to procure them, we think of this passage of scripture. When we enter into these churches, and behold these images, golden vaces [vases], &c., it brings to our mind the time that 'Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves; and would not suffer that any man should carry any vessels through the temple.' St. Mark, XI: 15, 16. He could do the same things at the present day, with great propriety. Speaking of the fall of this worldly pride the prophet says: Isaiah, III: 16-26; 'Moreover, the Lord saith, because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet; therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts. In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their calls, and their round tires like the moon, the chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers; the bonnets and the ornaments of the legs, and the head-bands, and the tablets, and the ear-rings; the rings, and nose jewels; the changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping-pins; the glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails [veils]; and it shall come to pass that instead of a sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle, a rent; and instead of well set hair, baldness; and instead of a stomacher, a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty. Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war. And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate, shall sit upon the ground.' How correctly
has the prophet described the arrogance and trappings of pride, of the present age. O, you worshippers of idols, followers of the precepts of men, rather than the word of God!-Away with your false theories, your man-made systems, your clashing creeds, your dogmas, your mock ceremonies, your monkish customs, your countless paraphernalia of worship, your tomes of learned ethics and studied literary lore!
'But he who truth from falsehood would disern [discern],
Must first disrobe the mind, and all unlearn.'
St. Matthew, VI: 23; 'But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!' When we reflect upon these scenes of moral degradation, and hear the long prayers, the written sermons and horrid groans of these pretended christians, we say with the Savior: St. Matthew, XV: 8, 9; 'This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.' If, in these scenes of confusion and uproar, they would read the instructions of Paul to the church of Corinth, we think their cheeks would mantle with the blush of honest shame, and they hold themselves in disgust for their depravity. We would be glad if we had room for the whole of these instructions; but a few verses must suffice. 1st Cor., XIV: 26-40; 'How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy, one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but peace, in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. Let all things be done decently and in order.' But, says, one, 'how can we follow the instructions of Paul to the church at Corinth? He speaks of prophesying, of revelation, of speaking in tongues, of interpretation of tongues, &c., and we have none of these gifts and blessings in our church.' If you are without these, then we say you are not of God; for if you were of God, then you would believe in God. 'By their fruits ye shall know them.' We will see what Christ said about those who believed. St. Mark, XVI; 17, 18; 'And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpants [serpents]; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.'
These are the fruits by which we are to know the true followers of Christ. 'But have you these blessings and gifts in the Church of Latter Day Saints?' We have. If we were built upon any foundation, other than the great apostolic rock, then we would not be the legitimate church of Jesus Christ. We told the reader in the beginning of our interview that we should preach no other doctrine, than those preached by the apostles. The world, to be the true followers of Christ, must have, as Paul said, 'but 'one Lord, one faith, one baptism.' And they must worship without confusion, being united, of one heart and one mind. If you have so many different theories, you cannot be right. 1st Cor., III: 3, 4; 'For ye are carnal: for whereas there is among you envying and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith I am Paul, another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?' While one says, I am a Catholic; another, I am a Methodist; and another, I am a Baptist; are they not all wrong? 'A house divided against itself cannot stand.'
We have said so much about the creeds and theories of men, that it may be a query in the minds of some, whether the church of Latter Day Saints, have a creed or not. To satisfy such queries, we would say that we have a creed but not of man. Our only creed is the Bible. As much as may be said by our enemies about 'new revelations,' 'Jo Smith,' 'second Mahomet,' 'false prophet,' &c.; the Bible is our creed, and the great light that guides our worship. We must here introduce a little anecdote upon this subject. A minister in the city of Alton while addressing his congregation one Sabbath, informed his hearers that he had been to Nauvoo, and had an interview with Mr. Smith. During this interview he asked Mr. Smith to show him his creed, whereupon he handed him his Bible! This; said the learned minister, was enough to convince me that 'Mormonism is a humbug!' Poor man! because 'Mormonism' is predicated upon the Bible, you are convinced that it is a humbug! Weak mind, you are entitled to our sympathy. What a pity that your religious sensibility should be at last startled by the discovery of a religion founded
upon the Bible! This was an occurrence so strange to happen in the nineteenth century, and one so entirely different from any thing that had transpired since the days of the apostles, that our worthy minister was compelled to pronounce it a HUMBUG!
The following quotations describe the present religious world to a nicety. St Mark, XXIII: 26-30; 'Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.-Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, and say, if we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.' The 'whited sepulchers,' here spoken of, brings to mind the white robed priests who outwardly appear clean and beautiful, but inwardly they are full of hypocrisy and all manner af [of] iniquity. Annanias, called by the people, 'God's high priest,' received from Paul this withering curse. Acts, XXIII: 3; 'God shall smite thee thou whited wall.' We suppose this priest was clad in the snowy habiliaments [habiliments] of his high office, as the priests of the present day are when they officiate with such dignified pomposity in the sacred desk. Hence Paul called him the 'whited wall.' At that early age men
'Stole the livery of heaven,
To serve the devil in;'
and they have worn it for that purpose ever since. This building the 'tombs of the prophet,' and garnishing the 'sepulchers of the righteous,' named in context, arrays before 'our mind's eye,' the many well 'garnished' churches now in our country, bearing these inscriptions: 'St. Paul's Cathedral,' 'St. Paul's Church,' St. Stephen's Chapel,' &c. &c. They will place these inscriptions upon their churches and say, with an agonizing air, 'if we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.' This quotation will decide the matter: St. Luke, XI: 47, 48; 'Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchers of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers, for they indeed killed them, and ye build the sepulchers.'
But if father Paul or any of the old apostles and prophets were here, they would be the first to stone them, and they would not let them preach the gospel of Jesus, even upon the stepstones of these churches. Some may think these are hard sayings, but they are nevertheless true. We draw our conclusions from analogy. If they will murder, mob, tar and feather, whip, way-lay, insult, and drive the saints of God, of Latter Day Saints, from their homes, without any cause or provocation, save that they preach the same gospel that the apostles preached, then we believe we are justified in saying they would treat the apostles, or even Christ himself, in the same way. For, be assured, the apostles know nothing of your idle mummeries, your ceremonies of Mass, your lighted tapers, your salt ceremonies, your sprinkling ordinances, or of your jumping, stamping, hollowing, groaning and falling down power. St. Mark, VII: 7; 'Howbeit, in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.' They do not understand the first rudiments of your worship. They would be like untutored babes among you, and you would have to 'teach the young idea how to shoot,' before they could make any appearance at all, in your refined assemblies.-And, besides they were 'ignorant fishermen' too, and, you know, it would be looked upon as the height of impudence for them to presume to worship Almighty God, long side of your most worshipful brethren, of such scientific attainments. O, no, this would never do. You must away with these fellows, lest they draw away your flocks, and 'take away your place and nation.' When the elders of the Church of Latter Day Saints, ask these sanctimonious men for a chapel to preach in, they first survey them from head to foot mistrustfully, and then eagerly ask: 'To what denomination do you belong?'-'To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Sir.' impostors , Jo Smith-ites, false prophets, poor deluded men; you can't have it, Sir! you have come to make disturbance!' O, religious tolerance! where hast thou fled!-How different is this narrow contracted spirit of little minds, to the high-born and patriotic religious toleration that reigns in the bosoms of the noble citizens of Nauvoo. This may be most authentically shown by inserting the first Section of an ordinance, passed by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, entitled
'An Ordinance in relation to Religious Societies.
Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, That the Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Latter Day Saints, Quakers, Episcopalians, Universalists, Unitarians, Mahommedans, and all other religious sects and denominations, whatever, shall have free toleration, and equal privileges in this city, and should any person be guilty of ridiculing, abusing, or otherwise depreciating another, in consequence of his religion, or of disturbing, or interrupting any religious meeting, within the
limits of this city, he shall on conviction thereof before the Mayor, or Municipal Court, be considered a disturber of the public peace, and fined in any sum not to exceed five hundred dollars, or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both, at the discretion of said Mayor, or Court.
Let Ex-Governor Duncan read this ordinance and blush with shame and confusion, for the erroneous impressions he has made upon the minds of honest citizens, in the southern part of the State of Illinois.
When we hear the religious world praying, 'O, thou great and unknown God,' we are forcibly struck with the words of Paul when he stood in the midst of Mars-hill, and spake to the superstitious people of Athens. Acts, XVIII: 23; 'For as I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To the unknown God, whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.' The same God that Paul declared, declare we unto this generation. We declare that God, that is unchangeable, in all ages of the world-that God that led the children of Israel through the wilderness, forty years-that God that is the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. We declare unto man that God who is a God of revelation in the last days, as well as in the first, that God who has set his hand the second time to gather his people Israel to Mount Zion and to Jerusalem, and that God who will soon appear in the heavens with power and great glory to execute vengeance upon the earth, and reign a thousand years with his saints. This is the God that we declare unto you, and we warn you to flee from the calamities that must shortly come upon you unless you repent; for God will come with anger and fury poured out, and awful will be the situation of the unprepared. Turn from your idolatry, your graven images, your 'God without body or parts;' and pray to the one true and living God, who giveth liberally and upbraideth none. Alluding to this period, Isaiah says: 2d c. 22, 23; 'In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.' Isaiah, VIII: 21, 22; 'And they shall pass throughout it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that, when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their God, and look upward. And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.' But of those that have on the wedding garment Isaiah says: XL: 31; 'But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.' Then obey the gospel of Jesus Christ and
-'thou shalt flourish in immortal youth;
Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
The wreck of matter and the crush of worlds.'
We bear record, and our record is true, that the Almighty God of Heaven and Earth, has revealed himself to man in these last days; that his kingdom is again set up and established, as in primitive times; that his church is again led by the light of revelation, and that the gifts and blessings of the apostles have been restored to man, Come into the fold of Christ, to the shepherd of Israel; walk with us by streams of water that never run dry; bask in the sunbeams of heaven, and in the light of revelation; receive line upon line, and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, until ye be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of God; and there shall be continually within you a well of righteousness, springing up to everlasting life.
REWARD OF MERIT.
It will be recollected by some, that a Mr. Caswell, professing to be an Episcopal minister, came to this city some twelve or eighteen months ago. He had with him an old manuscript, professing to be ignorant of its contents, and came to Joseph Smith, as he said, for the purpose of having it translated. Mr. Smith had a little conversation with him and treated him with civility, but as the gentleman seemed very much afraid of his document, he declined having any thing to do with it.
The Rev. gentleman afterward published a book, informing the inhabitants of the earth, that he had been to Nauvoo, and had seen the prophet-had conversed with the Mormons, and had heard a Mr. Kilbourne, a very conspicuous character in our neighborhood, (and who, according to Mr. Caswell's account, had been robbed of more than half the inhabitants of Iowa, possessed by the Mormons,) relate many wonderful stories;-after telling all the tales that he had heard, went to making others in regular Episcopal order out of whole cloth, and published his misshapen batch to the world, as a 'History of Mormonism' Thus as a reward of merit for publishing detraction and falsehoods already concocted, and adding a very splendid edition of his own, he has proven himself worthy of being exalted to the honor of bearing the sacerdotal robes, and of being raised to the very high and dignified office of curate (!!!!) in the
English church. He has truly gained himself unfading laurels, and by continuing in well doing, and assisting some of the Rev. blackguards, whom the church of England have employed in England to abuse the Mormons, he may perhaps gain further honors. The following we clip from the Chicago Democrat:
"The Rev. Mr. Caswell, author of the 'History of the Mormons' late of the American Episcopal Church, has been admitted to the privileges of the English Church, under the provisions of a special act of parliament. He has also been appointed to a curacy.'
It will be recollected that in our last number we published an account of the persecutions of the Jews by the Latin Church.
We are glad to find that those inquisitorial acts are nullified through the influence of the voice of the public. Would to God that a sufficient influence could be exerted to stop the more iniquitous persecution of the Greek Church. We publish the following from the Liverpool Albion.
"The 'Voice of Jacob,' a Jewish newspaper, announces form an authentic source that the execution of the atrocious decree of Leo, XII, against the Jews, which was recently revived by the Inquisitor General of Ancona, and some of the clauses of which had been actually put in force, has been suspended, in consequence of the feeling exhibited by the press of England and France, and the interference, perhaps, of some influential individuals. But whilst we have been exclaiming against the oppression of the Latin Church, the fact appears to have escaped notice, that a still more iniquitous persecution is now being perpetrated by the Greek Church, a ukase having been issued by the Emperor of Russia, by which from 300,000 to half a million Jews are ruthlessly expelled from their homes, without even shelter or sustenance being assigned them, on no better plea than that their removal is necessary to put a stop to the contraband trade on the Polish frontier.
From the Westmoreland Intelligencer.
LETTER FROM REV. DURBIN.
SUMMIT OF MOUNT SINA [SINAI], }
February 5, 1843. }
My Dear Bishop Waugh:-How shall I put on paper what I feel this moment, as I set apart from my companions on the very summit of Mount Sina [Sinai], with the expanded plains before me in which Israel encamped at the giving of the law! It is impossible to doubt; I feel the truth, and by faith I see the lightnings, hear the thunders, and the 'trumpet waxing louder and louder,' and feel this vast world of dark, dreary desolation within which Horeb is inclosed [enclosed] as a sanctuary, quake under the tread of the Almighty.
If I had been an infidel, and had come hither as I have, from Cairo, (near the ancient Memphis) by the Wady el Teb, or the 'Valley of the Wanderings,' which connects to the Red Sea, about fifteen miles south of Suez, through Wady Tamarik, by one of the most fearful and peculiar mountain-passes to be found on earth; and had I there seen the physical truth of the scriptures, where the people were 'entangled in the land,' and 'the wilderness' of the Red Sea 'had shut them in,' the only place between the Nile and the sea of which the scripture history can be affirmed; then if I stood on the opposite shore, and looked down upon the waters in which Pharaoh's host had 'sunk as lead,' and there read the triumphal song of Moses, (Exodus, chap. xv.) I should have felt that no where else, nor under any other circumstances, could that incomparable composition have been produced: then, if I had followed them 'three days in the wilderness of Shur,' to the present bitter fountain of Hamarah, (the scripture Marah,) and the next day to the Wadys Carundel and Usait, where yet are water and many trees amidst the surrounding desolation, I should have said, here is 'Elim,' with its 'twelve wells of water and three score and ten palm trees (Exod. ch. xv) and from thence following their track through Wady Feiran, I had suddenly issued through the Pass Nukh Hawy out into the Plain of Rehah, which now lies before me at the base of the perpendicular walls of Horeb, rising like a terrible battlement twelve or fifteen hundred feet high, with the valley of Wady Sheik to the right, and the wide mouth of Wady Leja to the left, and in full view of the gloomy, stern, desolate, 'thunder-splintered pinnacles,' where I now sit; I would have bowed to the holy history of Moses, simply upon the grounds of geographical accuracy, which no writer, ancient or modern, has equalled [equaled], though he wrote three thousand five hundred years ago, and in the midst of an encampment of two million, who depended upon him for guidance and salvation. Yet this accuracy is not the result of revision through successive ages, for no Jew has ever made a pilgrimage to Horeb, (which is itself a miracle,) except the prophet Elijah who fled from Jezebel, and whose pretended resting place in a rock was shown to us the other day.
But the shades of evening are drawing on and the dark shadows of the lofty mountains are already projected far into the sandy plain. O! if you glorious sun, fast descending west
ward behind the distant gloomy mountains, and just now with his orient beams tinting the dawn in your heavens, under which dwell all that I hold most dear on earth; if his dim beams which now fall almost level on me, could but convey to you what I feel this moment, it would be an epistle indeed. But I must hasten down from the mount of God, and rest me in the monastery; built as tradition says, where Moses beheld the burning bush. There, I hope to finish this letter, and say how I have spent the day of the Lord in his holy mountain; in a cleft of which I was so fortunate as to find a young, vigorous shrub, planted by the hand of the Almighty on his own holy hill, which I have cut, and purpose if God spare us to meet again, and spend an hour of leisure together, to present to you, and explain at length why I have adopted the new route (the southern) for Israel from the Red Sea, a route over which no one, I believe, has passed heretofore, who has written expressly on the subject, but which has often been suggested by eminent travellers [travelers], who have felt pressed with the difficulties of the northern route by Suez, among whom are Buckhardt and Laborde.
I wish I could sit here in this deep solitude for an hour longer: but my companions and one guide are gone, and the other, a young active Arab, is crouched at my feet in astonishment at my writing and apparent earnestness; and seems to say as he casts a glance at the setting sun, 'the way is long and dangerous.' So I must say, Fare thee well, Sinai! I have stood upon the Alps, in the middle of July, and looked around upon the snowy empire-I have looked upon the Appenines [Apennines], and looked upon the plains of beautiful eventful Italy-I have stood upon the Albanian mount and beheld the means of the Eneid from the Cicean promontory, over the Campagna, to the eternal city and the mountains of Trivoli-I have sat down upon the pyramids of Egypt, and cast my eyes over the sacred city of Heliopolis, and the land of Goshen, the fields of Jewish bondage, and the ancient Memphis, where Moses and Aaron, on the part of God and his people, contended with Pharaoh and his servants, the death of whose 'first born of man and beast in one night' filled the land with wailing; but I have never set my feet on any spot from whence was visible so much stern, gloomy grandeur, heightened by the silence and solitude that reign around; and infinitely more heightened by the awful and sacred associations of the first great revelation in form from God to man. I feel oppressed with the spirit that breaths around me, and seems to inhabit this holy place. I shall never set down upon the summit of Sinai again, and look upon the silent and empty plains at its feet; but I shall go down a better man, and aim so to live as to escape the terrible thunders at the last day which once reverberated through these mountains, but have long since given way to the gospel of peace. I can scarcely tear myself away from this hallowed summit, and I wish I too could linger here forty days in converse with the Lord.
For the Times and Seasons.
O THOU ETERNAL ONE! whose presence bright The sands, or the Sun's rays; but God! for Thee
All space doth occupy-all motion guide; There is no weight nor measure; none can mount
Unchanged thro' Time's all-devastating flight, Up to the mysteries. Reason's brightest spark,
Thou only God! There is no God beside. Though kindled by Thy light, in vain would try
Being above all beings! Mighty One! To trace thy councils, infinite and dark;
Whom none can comprehend, and none explore; And Thought is lost ere thought can soar so high,
Who fill'st existence with Thyself alone; E'en like past moments in eternity.
Embracing all-supporting-ruling o'er-
Being whom we call God-and know no more! Thou, from primeval nothingness, didst call
First, Chaos, then Existence. Lord, on Thee
In its sublime research, Philosophy Eternity had its foundation; all
May measure out the Ocean deep-may count Spring forth from Thee; of Light, Joy, Harmony,
Some origin-all life, all beauty, Thine. Eager towards Thy presence; for in Thee
Thy word created all and doth create: I live, and breathe, and dwell; aspiring high
Thy splendor fills all space with rays divine. Even to the throne of Thy Divinity,
Thou art and wert, and shalt be glorious! great! I am, O god, and surely Thou must be!
Life-living, life-sustaining, Potentate.
Thou art! directing, guiding all, Thou art!
Thy chains the unmeasured universe surround. Direct my understanding then to Thee;
Upheld by Thee, by Thee inspired with breath! Control my spirit, guide my wandering heart;
Thou the beginning, with the end hast bound, Though but an atom 'midst immensity,
And beautifully mingled Life and Death! Still I am Something fashioned by Thy hand!
As sparks mount upward from the fiery blaze, I hold a middle rank, 'twixt Heaven and Earth,
So suns are born, so words spring forth from Thee! On the last verge of mortal being stand.
And as the spangled in the sunny rays Close to the realm where angels have their birth,
Shine silver round the silver snow, the pageantry Just on the boundary of the spirit land!
O! Heaven's bright army glitters in Thy praise;
The chain of being is complete in me;
A million torches lighted by Thy hand In me is matter's last gradation lost,
Wander unwearied through the blue abyss; And the next step is Spirit-Deity!
They own thy power, accomplish thy command, I can command the light'ning, and am dust!
All gay with life, all eloquent with bliss: A monarch, and a slave; a worm, a God!
What shall we call them? Piles of crystal light? Whence came I here, and how? so marvellously [marvelously]
A glorious companion of golden streams? Constructed and conceived, unknown? This clod
Lamps of celestial ether burning bright? Lives surely through some higher energy
Suns, lighting systems with their joyous beams, For from itself alone it could not be.
But Thou, to those, art as the noon to night.
Creator! Yes! Thy Wisdom and Thy Word
Yes! as a drop of water in the Sea, Created me! Thou source of Life and Good!
All this magnificence in Thee is lost:- Thou Spirit of my spirit, and my Lord!
What are a thousand Worlds compared to Thee? Thy Light, Thy Love, in their bright plenitude
And what am I, when Heaven's unnumbered host, Filled me with an immortal Soul, to spring
Though multiplied by myriads, and arrayed Over the abyss of Death, and bade it wear
In all the glory of sublimest thought, The garments of Eternal Day, and wing
Is but an atom in the balance, weighed Its heavenly flight beyond this little sphere,
Against Thy greatness-is a cipher brought Even in its source, to Thee, its Author, Thee.
Against Infinity? What am I then? Nought [Naught]!
O thought ineffable ! O vision blest!
Nought [Naught] ! but the effluence of Thy light divine, (Though worthless our conceptions all of Thee.)
Pervading worlds, hath reached my bosom too; Yet shall Thy shadowed image fill our breast,
Yes, in my spirit doth Thy spirit shine, And waft its homage to the Deity.
As shines the sun-beam in a drop of dew, God! thus alone my lowly thoughts can soar;
Nought [Naught]! but I live and on hope pinions' fly, Thus seek thy presence. Being wise and good!
Midst Thy vast works, admire, obey, adore;
And when the Tongue is eloquent no more,
The Soul shall speak in tears of gratitude.
The Times and Seasons is edited by JOHN TAYLOR. Printed and published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by JOHN TAYLOR AND WILFORD WOODRUFF.
TERMS. TWO DOLLARS per annum, payable in all cases in advance. Any person procuring five new subscribers, and forwarding us Ten Dollars current money, shall receive one volume gratis. All letters must be addressed to John Taylor, editor, POST PAID, or they will not receive attention.
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