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Vol. II. No. 12.] Kirtland, Ohio, September, 1836 [Whole No. 24
The subject of the gathering of Israel from his long dispersion in the last days, has become a fruitful theme of theological disquisition among all believers in divine revelation. The pulpit and the press have teemed with arguments on the subject drawn from the sacred writings to elucidate different doctrines and support entirely different opinions. Perhaps, there is no one great and important event treated with that clearness and precision by all the ancient prophets, that we find on the subject of the gathering of Israel, and yet so much diversity of sentiment obtain, as now obtains on that subject.
Some, from a superficial view of it have considered the prophecies fulfilled on the return of Judah and Benjamin from the Babylonish captivity; others have looked at it differently and strenuously supported the idea, that the scriptures relating to that subject had not yet been fulfilled, nor ever would be, only spiritually. Another class still, have been willing to admit that the Jews would be gathered as the prophets have said, but utterly dissent from the idea that the promised gathering has any reference to the Gentiles.
In humble diffidence I will now advance my own ideas, drawn from reason, from analogy, and from divine revelation.
I believe that the subject of the gathering not only affects the Jews, or direct lineal descendants of Abraham, but every nation, kindred, tongue and people under the whole heaven, and that the prophets meant as they have said, that there is no private interpretation to their expressions, but when speaking on that subject, they are to be understood literally.
One prophecy concerning Israel has most assuredly been literally fulfilled. Viz: Deuteronomy 4:27, And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you. I might adduce much scripture testimony on this point, but a fact occularly and historically established as is this one, can hardly be strengthened by any testimony, either human or divine; therefore, I will proceed to bring forward the testimony for the gathering of Israel literally in the last days. Isaiah 10:11, 12, 13: And it shall come to pass in that day, the Lord shall set his hand the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left from Assyria, and from Egypt and from Pathross, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off. Ephraim shall not envy Judah and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. The 14th chap. 1 & 2 ver. read thus: for the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel and set them in their own lands; and the strangers shall yet be joined with them and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob, and the people shall take them and bring them to their place; and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and for handmaids: and they shall take them captives whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.
As we pass it may not be improper to remark that these scriptures have never yet been fulfilled. They were written a few years before the organ through whom they were given to man was sawn asunder by order of Manassah [Mannaseh], one of the kings of Judah, and after the ten tribes were carried into captivity by Salmanassar [Shalmaneser], king of Assyria, and that was an event which took place about 721 years before the advent of the Savior into our world. The Babylonish captivity took place about 115 years afterwards, and affected only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and surely the return of the Babylonish captivity which took place 70 years after (536 B. C.) could not be a fulfilment [fulfillment] of the scriptures for it never affected the captivity of the other tribes; they have never yet been gathered.-The outcasts of Ephraim and the dispersed of Judah, have never been
brought together according to the prediction of the prophets.
Jeremiah who prophesied 628 years before the coming of Christ, records the word of the Lord through him in the 23d chap. and 3d ver. of his prophecy, thus: I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them; and will bring them again to their folds and they shall be fruitful and increase. Chap. 31st, 6, 7, 8, and 9 verses read thus: For there shall be a day that the watchman upon mount Ephraim shall cry arise ye and let us go up to Zion, unto the Lord our God. For thus saith the Lord; sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations; publish ye, praise ye, say O Lord save thy people the remnant of Israel. Behold I will bring them from the north country and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child, & her that travaileth with child together:-They shall come with weeping and with supplication will I lead them, I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble, for I am a father to Israel and Ephraim is my first born. Also look at the 32d chap. from the 36th to the 40th ver. inclusive; And now therefore thus saith the Lord the God of Israel concerning this city whereof ye say it shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, by the sword, and by the famine and by the pestilence. Behold I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger and in my fury and in great wrath, and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely; and they shall be my people and I will be their God; and I will give them one way, that they may fear me forever: for the good of them and of their children after them: and I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Chap. 33d, 7th and 8th ver. read as follows: I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and I will build them as at the first. I will cleanse them from all their iniquities whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
The prophecy of Ezekiel chap. 20.33, 34, 35, 36 ver. seems equally pointed on the same subject. It reads as follows: As I live saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, with a stretched out arm and with fury poured out will I rule over you: And I will bring you out from the people, and I will gather ye out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, and I will bring you into the wildhrness [wilderness] of the people, and there will I plead with your fathers in the wilderness so will I plead with you saith the Lord God. We notice that Ezekiel prophecied [prophesied] eleven years or between eleven and thirty-one years after the Babylonish captivity. I will adduce one more passage from Ezekiel's prophecy, chap. 38, beginning at the 21st verse: And say unto them, thus saith the Lord God, behold I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side and bring them into their own land: and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all, and they shall be no more two nations; neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.
We will next notice Zechariah's prophecy which was delivered at least sixteen years after the return of Judah from the Babylonish captivity. At the 10th chap. beginning at the 5th verse. And they shall be as mighty men which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in battle; and they shall fight because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses s hall be confounded. And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph; and I will bring them again to place them, for I have mercy upon them; and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them. And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea their children shall see it and be glad: their heart shall rejoice in the Lord. I will do this for them and gather them, for I have redeemed them; and they shall increase as they have increased.
Two ideas strike the mind as matters of fact on casting the eye over the above quotations from the sacred writings. And first, the Babylonish captivity affected only the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The other ten tribes having been carried into captivity by Salmanassar [Shalmaneser], king of Assyria, 115 years before the Babylonish captivity by Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon. Second: On looking at these scriptures, it is plainly discoverable, that the prophet mentions the whole house of Israel; and sometimes Ephraim and Judah are particularized as heads of tribes. Now we will mention one fact more for the consideration of all. Ephraim constituted one of the ten tribes, who have never yet been returned, therefore the return of Judah and Benjamin from the Babylonish captivity could not be a fulfilment [fulfillment] of the prophecies quoted. I will still adcuce [adduce] another proof to those in any degree acquainted with history; viz. The prophets in those passages, have promised more real happiness than Judah and Benjamin have ever realized, consequently we conclude it follows, that from these considerations, Israel is not yet gathered, but will be gathered according to the predictions of those holy men whose words we have quoted.
We will notice one evidence more: to wit: Zechariah whose prophecy was delivered as before noticed, sixteen years, at least, after the return of Judah and Benjamin from their captivity, and in addition to the face that Judah and Benjaman [Benjamin] had returned but had not then, nor even now have they, ever realized what was their promised; nor have the other tribes ever yet returned. We therefore, feel confident that if the prophets meant any thing, they meant what they said and that they looked down through the vista of years, to a period yet in futurity; when those promised blessings should be bestowed with a liberal hand upon God's chosen people.
A word to those who believe that the gathering means only spiritually. The captivity and dispersion you believed were literal do you not? certainly you must admit it. Did not the Lord bring a literal flood on the antedeluvian [antediluvian] world as he said he would by his servant Noah? True he did. Did not the Lord by the hand of Moses and Aaron literally bring the children of Israel out of Egypt into the land of Canaan as he promised the patriarch Jacob he would? Most assuredly he did. Is there not an abundance of testimony that Israel the literal descendants of Jacob have been scattered among the nations of the earth? Most certainly there is.-Now on looking at the subject, is it not worthy of remark, that all these important events mentioned in the scriptures, were predicted long before the events themselves transpired? And not only were they foretold, but they were put down in plain simple language, and a way-faring man though a fool need hardly be mistaken. The God we worship is a God of truth: When he has said he would scatter a people he has done so; when he has said he would build up a people, establish them or gather them, he has done so. And since "in him is neither variableness nor shadow of turning," we infer from a view of the analogy of the events fulfilled, and the evidences viewed in the light of reason and truth, and we arrive at this definite conclusion that the Lord will yet gather Israel in the last days as he has so often promised by the mouth of the prophets.
To those who are willing to admit that the Jews or children of Israel are to be gathered as the Lord has said, but deny that this gathering affects the Gentiles, we will suggest a few queries. And first, In what part of the volume of inspiration is to be found a covenant, or the copy of a covenant, that the Lord made with the Gentiles as a party abstract from the Jews, or the seed of Abraham: We wait for a reply. None can be given, because none can be found. Then have the Gentiles no promise left them. Separate from Israel they have none. The Lord said to Abraham, in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. This St. Paul said was preaching the gospel to him, and it will readily be acknowledged, that it always requires a belief in, and an obedience to that gospel, before either Jew or Gentile could be benefitted [benefited] by it. Is it not plain that both must comply with all the requirements of it in order to be benefitted [benefited] by it? Most certainly you will admit it. Then we further ask, has the Lord any other scheme of saving men but by the gospel? Certainly not any.
We are now prepared to ask a few more questions. Since it has been proven that Israel was to be gathered literally in the last days or in some time yet to come, Is not this agreeable to a prediction or a command and for their temporal salvation? undoubtedly it is. Then their temporal salvation could not be effected without it. The Savior himself gave the signs that were to precede the destruction of Jerusalem, the saints in that day saw them, believed the predictions concerning the city would be fulfilled and fled out previous to its destruction.-He has also condescended to give us some of the signs of his second advent into our world, but he has no where given any promise to the Gentiles only in consequence of the unbelief of the Jews they were represented as being grafted into the true vine and the Jews broken off. Now they are represented as being grafted in and standing by faith but liable to fall after the same example of unbelief that the Jews had set before them. "Now he that is faithful is blessed with faithful Abraham," and is an heir with him to the same promise. The apostle Paul in addressing the Gentile church says: for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus, and heirs according to the promise: It will readily be acknowledged that the promise to Israel affected the temporal as well as eternal salvation of that people. It will also be conceded that every promise implies the necessity of obedience on part of him or them, to whom such promise is made. Therefore, since God has made no covenant for the temporal salvation of the gentiles, only suffered them to be grafted in to the one made with the Jews, and as the Jews are to be gathered, and cannot be saved temporally in the last days unless they are, so we infer the Gentiles must be, unless it can be made to appear that men can be gathered without a change of locality.
We might adduce much valid testimony of a positive command of God by revelation to gather in these last days, but, to the saints it would be unnecessary; for the reason that they are not only taught it by revelation but by the spirit and living instruction. So that to them any farther argument would be superfluous.
It is humbly hoped that those who deny any revelation in this day and age of the world, will carefully examine the testimony and arguments drawn from the ancient scriptures, divest themselves of all tradition, and preconceived opinion and then judge of the plain matter of fact before them. W.
The following is from the Editor, now on a tour to the East, for the purpose of spending a few weeks on the sea board, to his brother in this place. Those acquainted with our brother, know of his indefatigable labors in the cause of Christ since the organization of the church. We hope his journey may be pleasant, and that his former degree of health may be restored.
On board the steamer Boston, }
Long Island Sound, August 3, 1836. }
I have often thought, that were all the ills and woes, perplexities and care of his life faithfully portrayed before the mind of anxious, expecting youth, he would sink down disheartened, and wish to be absent, rather than venture upon the stage of life where so many hazards are seen, and so little real, substantial and lasting enjoyment obtained. But, it is, no doubt, for the best, that the curtain which hides him from the next moment's opening scene, should carefully enclose its troubles and its joys, lest by the one he should be held back from duty, or by the other propelled to folly and exultation. A wise Creator has so fixed our state, that by disappointments and crosses, if not by prosperity and success, we may be admonished of our approaching end, and that this life is not our abiding place. I think, though yet young, that were it not for friends and near relatives, whom I so highly esteem, and whose society and happiness I so much value, I would even now choose rather to take my exit, that I might be at rest, than longer tarry where woes surround and afflictions overwhelm the human heart. This is not the hasty reflection of the moment, nor is it the last sad resort of the culprit, whose fate is sealed, and whose
days are numbered, to his certain knowledge. For the fond prospects of youth, may be said, in fact, to be yet before me. And though despised and ridiculed by thousands, I have a certain reflection, that God has so far been my friend, that many, very many, entertain a fellowship, at least, for the religion I profess, if not for me, when a short time since, but few were found, who did not only consider those principles heretical, but the promulgators, unfit for human society. And knowing, as I do, it is the work of the great God, with confidence may I look to see it prosper and prevail. Most certainly, these last reflections are joyous and very satisfactory, yet that anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast, which is cast within the vail, outweighs all these. O, eternal rest, my spirit longs for thee! Beyond, far beyond these restless climes my hopes are centered and my treasures dwell! There, there! where the pure rays of glory, the never-fading beauties of our Creator, and the peaceful enjoyments of the redeemed, all conspire to render happiness complete indeed! Who so vain as not to choose thee rather than affliction? Who so inconsiderate as not to value thee above those things that change? And who so vile as not to cast off the sins of this life, to ensure an inheritance in those blessed mansions, where each inhabitant beholds the Savior's face?
But, if I employ all my time on this subject, I shall find no space to tell you of my journey. On Monday, the 25th of July, at 7 o'clock, P. M. I took passage on board the steamer Charles Townsend, S. Fox, Master, at Fairport, for Buffalo. The Townsend is a miserably slow boat, with but indifferent accommodations. The least swell seems to have power to toss her to and fro "like a drunken man." Brother R's and my own health, were far from being good: his, from sea, or lake, sickness, and mine, from chills and fever: increased, no doubt, by the cold, damp winds from the north east. Our other brethren were well, and found opportunity to "contend for the faith once delivered to the saints." In fact, they were rather drawn into conversation, in consequence of some on board, who sought to stir up animosity and bitter feeling, by vile insinuations and slanderous, ungentlemanly assertions.
It is certainly strange how vain mankind are; it would seem, that some are so much out of their element, if they are not slandering their neighbors, that they must necessarily employ their whole time in this vile, hellish business, in order to live. However, the good sense, the better judgment, and the manly understanding of the passengers, were not to be swerved by ruffian lies, put forth to injure the innocent. And the loud talk, boisterous assertions and exulting pride, of a few, ceased to be heard long ere we arrived at our destined port. I am satisfied that our appearance, if nothing had been said, would have been productive of good-men saw that we did not wear horns, or any other monstrous thing, to distinguish ourselves from others.
The next evening, about 10 o'clock, we arrived at Buffalo, and took lodgings at the "Farmers' Hotel." I believe that the constant and unceasing emigration to the west, and the return of land speculators, serve, with other business, to keep the Inns, in Buffalo, constantly full. From the extortionate price of board, &c. one would suppose that Inn-keeping would be an object of enough importance to warrant a sufficiently of public houses-but this is hardly so. The population and trade of this town are fact increasing. Such being the fact, of course, wickedness keeps an even pace.
Here we very unexpectedly fell in company with our highly esteemed friends and brethren, elders O. Hyde and M. C. Nickerson: the former on his way to Canada, and the later from that province. Elder Hyde soon left us, but elder Nickerson tarried in town until we left in a boat for Rochester. I confess, that to meet a friend, a tried friend in a distant place, is like meeting an angel while wandering alone in the wilderness.
We had anticipated taking a packet at Buffalo, but my ill health, together with crowded boats, withal so much fisting and fighting, racing and rioting, the brethren, for my comfort, as well as their own peace, concluded to take a line boat. This rendered our passage slow, but more agreeable.
A short time previous to our passing Albion, a man had been robbed of some nine or ten hundred dollars, by a couple of ruffians, who decoyed him alone, under pretence [pretense] of showing him
a farm. They shot him, robbed him, and then threw him into the canal, and fled. Fortunately, he was not killed, but crawled out and made an alarm. Report said he was like to recover. It is to be hoped, that the robbers may be found, and suffer the penalty of the law.
Not far from this place we saw another dead body, which had just been taken out of the canal, over which a jury of inquest was soon to have been held. Fresh blood was then issuing, from one of his temples. He was probably a man of about middle age. If wickedness and robbery do not walk the banks of the Erie canal, I confess myself unable to judge from the best evidence!
Rochester continues to flourish: while the Genessee River affords water, and the adjacent country, wheat, Rochester must be a place of business. Like most of our western towns, it is blessed, or cursed, with all kinds of people. Our stay here was short. I observed while passing, that many of the little towns on the canal, seemed to resemble Jonah's gourd-they have grown up in about the space of a night, and perished as soon. It will require a number of years to make the banks of the canal one continued city, as many have supposed-the adjacent country will not support it.
At nearly eight o'clock, A. M. the 29th, we arrived at Utica-just in time to take the rail road car for Schenectady: the first passengers' car on the new road. It being the first trip for the purpose of carrying passengers, I suppose prudence dictated a slow motion, to save accident; and including time occupied in receiving and unloading passengers, taking on new supplies of water and wood, we were more than six hours travelling [traveling] eighty miles. I suppose the distance may be run in four hours with ease.
The locomotive had hardly stopped before the cry was-"Albany baggage-the car starts in five minutes." Such a scene of confusion, bustle and crowding, was not very pleasant.-However, there was no great outrage-no broken heads, arms or legs, but a good deal of complaining and many wry faces. We succeeded, after a good share of scuffling and pulling, in getting our trunks on board the baggage car for Albany. The engine attached to the cars about one mile from the town, (at the top of a long hill, which you ascend on an inclined plain,) and propels you at a good speed, say one mile in two and a half minutes. It might not be safe to go faster, but from any inconvenience one would suffer from fast riding, you might as well go a mile per minute.-Three miles from the termination of the track, the engine is disengaged and the cars drawn by horses-it ends on State street, a little below the State House.
Albany is an old town, said to contain near forty thousand inhabitants: its streets are very irregular, narrow and crooked: the widest is State street, graced with a large, splendid State House. State Houses, you know, are very find buildings-here, office holders and office seekers, meet for debate, wise men to enact good laws, which many of the people, by-the-by, take special care not to observe.
I had long wished to descend the Hudson by day-light, but was always so hurried with business, that I could not delay twelve hours to see a dozen such streams, with all the cities and hills upon their banks. At seven o'clock, A. M. we went on board the steamer Erie, or rather, the John Mason, which took us to the Erie, lying over the bar. The Erie is a fine, spacious boat, fitted for day passengers, with two engines, and a very decent looking captain.-Just as the passengers were stepping off the John Mason, the Rochester, a new boat, passed us. "Now for a race-now for trying speed," was the sound from different parts; and a race and trying of speed, it was-each boat's crew seemed to be eager to effect a landing of passengers, at the different points, with the least time. However, as fate, steam, or power of engine, would have it, the Erie, after touching at Catskill and Westpoint, where the Rochester did not, went into New York a few miles "ahead." Every one on board seemed to be glad, but few to realize, that by such an extra pressure of speed, the lives of hundreds had been made to hang as by a single hair. For one, I thanked God that myself and friends were safely landed.
New York is a large town-I have no doubt but it is as rich, and as poor-as proud, and as humble-as lofty, and as low-as virtuous, and as vile;
-and, it being the largest, no one will pretend it is not-the most wicked, of any other in the Union. Curiosity had brought me to the conclusion of visiting, at this time, the different parts of this great emporium of fashion and foolery; but the ill state of my health actually forbade. I walked down and took a view of the "burnt district," and saw how easily the wealth and pride of men can be made to vanish before the devouring, consuming element, when the great God so orders in his purpose. Fifteen millions is a large sum to vanish in a night. The great exchange, once the pride and boast of the sellers and buyers of cash, is a heap. There is money yet in Wall street, and "Draper, Underwood," and others, ready to help incorporated bodies to plates and dyes, to make more. Our Government is creating a large Custom House on the corner of Nassau and Wall streets, which, when completed, will be very grand. The huge marble pillars, already look like the work of a nation. Strangers find it a difficult task to pass the business streets in New York: on the side walks you come in constant collision with balloon sleeves, and off, your life is in danger, in consequence of omnibuses and drays.-The New Yorkers, with all their other inventions to make, and get money, have contrived an admirable plan-coaches and omnibuses, to that degree that no one can pass on foot, and of course, necessity compels one to ride. A man with one eye, can see that an omnibus with four horses, occupies more room than the number of passengers it can carry. But this belongs to the march of improvement peculiar to this age, and so long as people rather ride than walk, I presume but few will complain, even if now and then a man gets his neck broken.
You may think strange if I remain silent upon the subject of the religion of this city; for of course, as large a town as this must abound with religion of some kind, if not with all kinds.-Here are chapels, churches, and meeting houses, people to fill them, and priests to hold forth and tell them what they must believe; and withal, it might be considered uncharitable for me to say there were none sincere in the great body; but the important question is, are they, as societies and congregations, right? And if they are not right, they must be wrong! and if wrong, can they be saved? There may be found a few righteous enough to save it; but, with all its religion, and its righteousness, New York seems to me like a congregated mass of heedless mortals, a sink of corruption, a road to misery-a gate to hell!
But I must close for the present, hoping that the glorious gospel of our Lord, which is so little known at this day, may be carried forth to the ends of the earth, and be proclaimed with demonstration and power, till every nation hears and every soul obeys-and the glory shall be his.
You may hear from me again.
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves to the mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6th, 9, 10.
It is abundantly evident from the words we have selected; which were addressed to the ancient saints at Corinth-that wickedness in the extreme, and every species of evil and abomination in the sight of God, had begun to manifest itself, and show its deformed head among those who were received into the church, built up under the instruction and superintendence of the great apostle of the Gentiles. In the context the apostle rebukes his brethren sharply for going to law before the unjust and not before the saints: he plainly stamps it with reprobation as an unrighteous act. The manner of his rebuke is directly calculated to exalt the character of God, and the inestimably privilege of the saints; when he says know ye not that ye shall judge angels. Truly this must be an exalted station, and yet the Corinthian church had become so corrupt, and so far departed from the holy commandments given unto them, as to lose their confidence in their brethren, and go to law before the unjust and not before the saints. O the great contrast between those who keep the commandments of God and those who do not!
This rebuke, which we find so severe on those to whom the epistle was addressed, of which our text forms a part, was not given merely to warn the brethren at Corinth that they must avoid
those great sins in the sight of God, which he had, and was about to enumerate, but we have incontestible [incontestable] proof that they, or some of them at least, were verily guilty. Here, let us remark, was a church built up in the days of the apostles of the Son of God.-The combined powers of darkness had quenched, or grieved the Holy Spirit, till it had withdrawn its vivifying influences, and left the members of this church to become guilty, verily guilty, of some of the blackest of crimes that disgraced the annals of any age, any nation, or any people. If they were not the blackest that the arch fiend himself could invent; they were of that enormity in the sight of God, that he said by the mouth of his servant acting under the influence of immediate inspiration, that the perpetrators of such crimes should not inherit the kingdom of God.
Although this was a church built up among the Gentiles, among those who were "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise," we may, without doing the least violence to the truth, conclude, that many of those abominations were practiced by them, without reprehension or censure before they became members of the church; but this was no mitigation of their crime or palliation of their guilt. They had solemnly vowed in presence of God, angels and men, to keep all the commandments of the Most High and walk in his ordinances. Therefore, the apostle comes out against their wickedness and abomination, not in mild sycophantic court-bred flattery, lest he should offend them, but in the bold daring language of keen rebuke, and at the same time portraying the inevitable consequences of such enormous crimes. In general terms he says, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?" Now that his brethren need not be ignorant of what was righteous and what was unrighteous, he particularizes thus, be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolators [idolaters] , nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God. This is language altogether too plain to need comment. Any argument, to either evade or enforce it, is entirely superfluous. We can no more evade it than we can do away a self-evident fact by sophistry: it still tells against the perpetrators of all such crimes, and sounds the knell of departed peace incessantly in their ears. Although such characters may be surrounded with the temporal blessings of a bountiful providence, and riot in voluptuous ease, they are destitute of that peace, that comforter, that leads into all truth, and if we are destitute of that, we have not the spirit of Christ, and if have not the spirit of Christ, it is plainly said, we are none of his.
Perhaps, some of our brethren may attempt to evade the force of this rebuke because it was not addressed to a church or people, in this day nor age of the world, but to a people of another country, another kingdom, another clime, another continent and living eighteen hundred years ago. We will look at the objection or excuse. Without making any bold assertions, let us ask a few plain questions and see what answers the scriptures and the Holy Spirit will suggest to our minds. Was the church of Corinth considered a gospel church? True it was, the apostle says in Christ Jesus, I have begotten you through the gospel; and he further said he thanked God they came behind in no gifts; he also enumerates the necessary gifts, their uses, and their necessity, and not only that but how long they would be necessary.-He beautifully illustrates his ideas and enforces his teachings by the apt but striking similitude of a human figure. Showing that as every limb and all the senses were necessary to complete the human figure and that it would be incomplete and imperfect without all the members. So all the spiritual gifts were necessary to constitute a true church. He, as we before remarked, not only gave the Corinthians to understand how long these gifts would be useful, and why they would be useful, but he more fully and clearly established the same points when writing to his Ephesian brethren as will appear when we look at the 4th chapter, 12th and 13th verses. Was it not the power of God in the gospel that produced these things? Certainly. The same apostle says to his Roman brethren that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it was the power of God unto salvation, &c.
Is God the same being he then was, and his gospel the same. He has said by the mouth of his servant Malachi, "I am the Lord, I change not." Have we any intimation that he has ever revealed any other plan of saving men but by the gospel as preached by the apostle Paul and his colleagues at the commencement of the christian era?-We have none. Do we not then learn by the sacred writings that this same gospel of which so much is said, is no less than the plan of God for saving mankind? Surely we do. Do we suppose that any thing short of infinite wisdom could have devised this plan? We do not. Would a different plan require different means or different agents to effect that plan? It certainly would. Then the plan being different, the agents operating on that plan must of necessity produce a different effect.-Well, as we have seen that God is the same, his gospel the same, is it unreasonable, is it unscriptural, is it unchristian, is it a mark of delusion, to conclude the effect of the same gospel must be the same? Can a rational being be blamed for his incredulity who puts no confidence in any plan or course or procedure, the effect of which is entirely different in many of its prominent features from that which God devised for man's salvation? Certainly he could not. Do we not then come to the irresistible conclusion that the professing christian world with all their zeal, and apparent sanctity, are preaching and inculcating another gospel?-The scriptures have told us what the true gospel is, and the effect of it, and when we compare the modern with the ancient we find it suffer in the comparison, therefore, we strongly suspect it is not the same. If it be not the same it is another, and if it be another, a woe is pronounced against those who proclaim it.
We have almost inadvertantly [inadvertently] digressed from the subject under consideration, at the commencement of this article, but we trust it will not be deemed wholly unprofitable. We are warned by the apostle not to be deceived and he names the characters that should not inherit the kingdom of God. And most certainly a deception would be as fatal, from an erroneous principle, a spurious gospel, a false religion, as from the wicked practices of those who embraced a correct principle. Now that we have been able to arrive at some definite conclusions respecting the true gospel, let us beware, lest from a consciousness, that we have obeyed the commands of God in complying with some of the first principles of the plan of salvation, we lose sight of that mark of the prize, that high attainment in wisdom and knowledge which is the imperious duty and inestimable privilege of every saint of the Most High, to obtain. Therefore, let us not deceive ourselves nor deceive others.-Men do not gather grapes of thorns nor figs of thistles. No unrighteous act can be approbated by the Judge of heaven and earth, for the reason that all unrighteousness is sin, and he cannot look upon sin with any allowance or approbation. He has said that the soul that sinneth it shall die.
Can the subject be made any plainer to the understanding of the children of men? Will any deceive themselves with the vain hope, that while they are guilty of any of those sins, against which the apostle has spoken in such strong unequivocal terms, they shall be saved in the celestial kingdom?
Surely, as rational beings they will not, they cannot. The wicked idolatrous, covetous or drunken believer or professor of the true gospel, will fare no better than he that embraces a false system and vainly strives to climb up some other way. The best, and all he can reasonably expect at the hand of his Judge, is, depart ye cursed, ye workers of iniquity, I know you not. Rather, then let us be wise, let us bring our bodies into subjection to the will of God, by yielding obedience to all his commands, that we may have right to the tree of life-and be admitted thro' the gate into the city to go no more out forever; which may the Lord grant for his Sons' sake. Amen. W.
A conference of the Elders and brethren of the Church of Latter Day Saints, will be held in New Portage, Ohio, on the 24th and 25th inst. The meeting will commence at 10 o'clock, A. M. on the 24th, and the business of the church will claim the first attention of the official members. Public preaching may be expected on the Sabbath. Elders, brethren and friends are respectfully invited to attend.
Messenger and Advocate.
Kirtland, Ohio, Sept, 1836.
This number of the Messenger and Advocate closes the 2d volume, and we hope our numerous friends and patrons, who have not already forwarded their names and subscription money, for the next Volume, or made a special contract to that effect, will do so, on or before the first week in Oct. at which time we intend to issue our first number of the 3d Volume. Such as are in arrears to us for papers and do not cancel our present demand, nor comply with the above notice, by letter (post paid) or through the medium of friends here, may reasonably expect their names to be stricken from our Subscription List.
By a letter recently received from the west, we learn that our brethren are still in trouble. Our enemies, and even brethren who are weak in the faith, may be ready to conclude God would never call people to suffer such persecution and privations in his cause. We say he always chastises his saints for their disobedience to his will when they know what it is. We have in this month's paper published an extract from a revelation given on the subject of the gathering of the saints: those, who are disposed, may read it and then they will be able to judge how far short, those moving to the west have fallen of keeping the commandments given them.
We have preceded the extract above named with such remarks as then hastily occurred to our minds, which will be found in another column, but we hardly feel to dismiss the subject, without once and again urging upon our brethren who are about to remove to the west, to strictly keep the commandments which have been given.-Do not leave the homes you have until you can send or carry means to purchase others, or have friends to procure them for you.
The excitement is still great among our enemies and nothing but, the restraining power of God hinders them from exterminating the whole of our brethren at a blow, they are denied the privileges of common citizens, and are continually at the mercy of a lawless mob, who are as ruthless, to say the least as the Savage of the Rocky Mountains. Some of our enemies are doubtless desperate in their hostility through fear, of the great numbers that emigrate to that country, and the false rumors that circulate concerning them. These things are natural, and to be expected while so much wickedness and perversity of sentiment prevails as now actuates the hearts of the children of men. We hope the saints will be wise and prudent and know of a surety that the hand of God is in all these things. He suffers the wicked to afflict you for your benefit, while they are oppressing and tyrannizing over you, they are filling up the measure of their iniquity and ripening for destruction. One word more and we have done; if you are suffering for your transgressions, it should excite humility and reformation; but if you suffer for righteousness' sake, your very sufferings "shall work out for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
Several deaths have occurred in our town since we issued our last number of the Messenger and Advocate. Some of them have been in families that patronize our paper, and surviving friends may expect we shall give an obituary notice. But we think they can have no claim on us, unless they make their request to us, and furnish the particulars relative to the decease of their friends.
We have published below the 9th and 10th paragraphs of a revelation given in Dec. 1833 and now published in the 238 and 239 pages of the book of doctrine and covenants. We have published said paragraphs, for the instruction and understanding of those who have never read said revelation. Many are ready to cry out against the Saints, and murmur against the dealings of God with his people. But from only once reading of those paragraphs, it will be seen, that in scarcely a single instance has the commands of God been heeded. The Saints have neglected the necessary preparation beforehand; they have not sent up their wise men with money to purchase land, but the rich have generally staid back and with held their money, while the poor have gone first and without money. Under these circumstances what could be expected but the appalling scene that now presents itself? The Lord always chastises his people, the people to whom he gives immediate revelation, more quickly, and apparently more severely for their transgressions, than he does those who disregard all revelation. We do hope the saints here and elsewhere; will learn humility, wisdom and obedience by the things which their brethren in the West now have to suffer.
Again, verily say unto you, I will show unto you wisdom in me concerning all the churches, inasmuch as they are willing to be guided in a right and proper way for their salvation, that the work of the gathering together of my saints may continue, that I may build them up unto my name upon holy places; for the time of harvest has come, and my word must needs be fulfilled. Therefore, I must gather together my people according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may be secured in that garners to possess eternal life, and be crowned with celestial glory when I shall come in the kingdom of my Father, to reward every man according to his works shall be, while the tares shall be bound in bundles, and their bands made strong, that they may be burned with unquenchable fire. Therefore, a commandment I give unto all the churches, that they shall continue to gather together unto the place which I have appointed; nevertheless, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, let not your gathering be in haste, nor by flight; but let all things, be prepared before you, and in order that all things be prepared before you, observe tde [the] commandments which I have given concerning these things, which saith, or teacheth, to purchase all the lands by money, which can be purchased for money, in the regions round about the land which I have appointed to be the land of Zion, for the beginning of the gathering of my saints: all the land which can be purchased in Jackson county, and the counties round about, and leave the residue in mine hand.
Now verily I say unto you, let all the churches gather together all their moneys; let these things be done in their time, be not in haste and observe to have all things prepared before you. And let honorable men be appointed, even wise men, and send them to purchase these lands; and every church in the eastern countries when they are built up, if they will hearken unto this counsel, they may buy lands and gather together upon them, and in this way they may establish Zion. There is even now already in store a sufficient; yea, even abundance to redeem Zion, and establish her waste places no more to be thrown down, were the churches, who call themselves after my name willing to hearken to my voice. And, again I say unto you, those who have been scattered by their enemies, it is my will that they should continue to importune for redress, and redemption, by the hands of those who are placed as rulers, and are in authority over you, according to the laws and constitution of the people which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to the moral agency which I have given unto them, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day
of judgment, therefore it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another. And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.
We are under the painful necessity of saying to the branches of the church of Latter Day Saints abroad, as well as to all good people to whom this notice may come, that David B. Gilbert a Botanic practitioner of medicine, was regularly received into the church in this place, and after obtaining the almost unlimited confidence of said church through the influence of some of the official members, he has in a shameful, and wicked manner, forfeited all confidence, by involving himself in debt deeply, borrowing money, and it is more than suspected, and he has stolen some and has now absconded to parts unknown. Said Gilbert is about five feet eight inches high, slim built, ruddy complexion, dark eyes; and walks rather slow for a man of his years, being, as we judge, about 28. One hundred dollars reward is offered for his apprehension and return to this place. We have withdrawn all fellowship from him, and hope such base ingratitude and consummate villany [villainy]will ere long be overtaken by even-handed justice, and be brought to condign punishment.
We insert below an extract of a letter from one of our numerous patrons in this State, that our readers may see the difference there is in the minds of men that are actuated by principles of humanity and common sense, divested of prejudice and the minds of those who believe in a particular creed and virtually deny the bible.
Although I am not a believer in the Book of Mormon, I have charity to believe the followers of your faith honest, and sincere as other professing christians-and while persecution follows the profession of an honest faith I am its defender-It is not less strange, than true, and no less true than strange, that the persecutions of any age, since the establishment of christianity in America at least, have been believers in some creed, who have persecuted those who did not believe as they did, or who did not believe as they did, or who might believe a little too much for the orthodox standard-Christians persecuting christians have been the strange comment on that text "see how these Christians love one another"-Your sect is now taking its turn-I hope in God it may never be the persecutor.-
I am what the Christian world calls an Infidel;-because I am tolerant to all sects, and embrace none, but oppose the persecuting, and defend the perecuted [persecuted] let their faith be what it may.-
Such are my feelings, and views on this subject and, of course, am the friend of the persecuted Mormon-You will therefore accept the enclosed, and continue to send me your paper, and let me know when my second year closes.-
From the Elders abroad.
We continue to receive intelligence from our much esteemed friend and brother in the Lord, Elder Parley P. Pratt; the work of the Lord truly appears to prosper in his hands. Our readers are aware that Elder Pratt's labors have been confined to the city of Toronto, Upper Canada, and the region in its vicinity, since last spring. He has had much and powerful opposition to encounter from the priests of other denominations since his arrival in that place, but we have recently seen our brother, and he informs us verbally that personal abuse and controversy seem to have ceased for the present. The principles of our religion (the religion of the bible) are attacked in the public prints by innendoes [innuendoes]. A specimen of cowardice, cant hypocrisy and falsity, may be found below, which was published in the Christian Guardian (so called,) a Methodist publication in Toronto. We copy it into our columns that our readers may see the weakness of the arguments used against us as well as the cowardice of the attack.
The piece to which we allude, after a lengthy communication, closes in substance as follows:
"The good old way taught by the Apostles and Prophets and afterwards by the reformers, such as Knox, Luther, Wesley, Whitefield, and many others, will finally reap an abundant harvest from the field of missionary exertion; while the doctrine of modern inspiration will soon fall to the ground, and sink to rise no more."
We here give the substance of Elder Pratt's remarks on the above, as directed to us in a letter from Canada.
"Both the original writer of the article and the editor of the paper must have supposed we are very ignorant here in Canada, for whosever has read the prophets and apostles, knows full well, that they taught the doctrine of ancient & modern inspiration, throughout their entire teachings and warned us to beware of all such as would teach any other doctrine.
"Again who that has read church history does not know that Knox was a strong Calvinist, Wesley a strong Arminian [Armenian], Whitefield a strong Calvinist, and that the doctrine taught by each of these men differed as widely as the East from the West. They were sensible of the difference, and Mr. Wesley observed that he would sooner be a Turk, a Deist, or a Universalist than to be a Calvinist. Now to sum up so many contradictory and opposite doctrines, and call them all the good old way, in order to oppose modern inspiration, is surely presuming too much upon our ignorance.
"Has it come to this? Must all the conflicting systems of the world combine in one to oppose the doctrine of inspiration, the only true doctrine of salvation? Must the public be called on to believe that five hundred different systems are all the one good old way? May the Lord pity the ignorance of the people of this generation, and deliver them from such barefaced imposition."
Elder Harrison Burgess informs us verbally, that he left Kirtland on a mission to the East, on the 18th of April last; and travelled [traveled] through the States of New York and Vermont, distance in all about 1600 miles and preached fourteen times. He says the congregations were large and very attentive; and that from all he learned he is satisfied that the prejudice of the people in the regions through which he travelled [traveled] is fast giving way before the force of truth and evidence; and is of opinion that all that is wanting is faithfulness on the part of the elders to ensure attention to the subject of the Everlasting Gospel, and a degree of success hitherto unparalleled. The Elder baptized but two, yet had his business permitted his tarrying longer in the places through which he passed, he doubts not but many more would have come forward. We pray our heavenly Father that our brother's most intense desires may be fully realized, and that not only he, but every other Elder in the church of Christ may be prospered in the glorious calling whereunto they have been called.
Elder A. Babbit states that he has been laboring for a little season past in the town of Madison Geauga Co. O. He has baptized 9 and there are large congregations and apparently favorable impressions on the minds of the people, and to all human view a church can or will be built up in that place and vicinity.
Elder Lyman E. Johnson has recently returned from his mission to this province of New Brunswick, and other places on our Eastern sea-board. We have had occasion to speak of the elder's success in the cause of truth from letters received from him, during his absence in a former number of our paper. The elder now states to us verbally, that he was well received by the brethren where there were any, and that it is due to all where he travelled [traveled] to say, that he was kindly received and hospitably entertained. Truth and reason are the best weapons to combat prejudice and error. Time, patience and perseverance on the part of the saints are necessary to overcome these, and all other opposing barrier to the truth. The elder has had full congregations of hearers, has preached in a great many places, and baptized five sine he wrote us, making 29 in all since he left home in April last.
A conference of elders and members of the church of Latter Day Saints was held in Newry, Oxford Co Mo. on the 12th, 13th, 14th, of August last, agreeable to praviots [previous] notice by letters
missive to the different branches of the church represented.
Elders, Brigham Young & Lyman E. Johnson (two of the twelve) were present, Elder Johnson made some preliminary remarks, previous to the beginning of the conference; Elder Brigham Young was called to the chair and Daniel Bean was duly elected clerk. Meeting was then opened by singing. The throne of grace was addressed by elder Young. The elders present were then called on to express their faith and manner of touching the principles of the gospel, which was done to the satisfaction of the council. The priests and the deacons were then called upon each in their respective order, to give a relation of their faith and manner of teaching. There were six elders, five priests and one deacon present. The Book of Doctrine and covenants was received and acknowledged unanimously. The council then made appropriate remarks and adjourned one hour.
Council convened at 1 o'clock according to adjournment, Eld. Johnson opened by prayer.
Official members then proceeded to give a relation of such particulars concerning the branches they respectively represented as seemed agreeable to the mind of the Spirit.
Elder Bean represented 3 branches, (viz.) one of 26 members, Errol branch 17, and Newry branch 29, making 72.
Elder S. B. Stoddard, Farmington branch 33
Eld. R. M. Lord, Saco branch 52
Eld Jonathan Holmes, Bradford branch 12
Eld. James Snow, St. Johnsbury, Vt. branch 13
" do. do. Linden 10
" do. do. Charleston 14
" do. do. Irasburgh 11
" do. do. Jay 14
" do. do. Danville 12
" do. do. Lyman 14
Brother Fisher represented Dalton branch 20
Elder Young represented Boston & Rhode Island branches: the former 12 and the latter 9 21
Eld. L .E. Johnson represented a branch in Sackville, N. Brunswick
Brother Joshua Small was then recommenced, received unanimously and ordained to the office of an Elder.
It was decided by the council that Eld. James Snow should go to New Brunswick. Such instruction was then given by the council, as seemed to be wisdom. Two candidates came forward and after due examination, were baptized by elder Johnson. On the 2 following days (13 & 14) there was public preaching at Middleintervale meeting house, in Bethel. The congregation particularly on the sabbath, was large, solemn and attentive a good spirit appeared to prevail. The speakers faithfully warned the wicked, spoke comfortably, yet faithfully to the saints, and good, we trust, was done in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Brigham Young, Chair.
Daniel Bean, Clerk.
A conference was held agreeable to notice on the 20th inst. at the house of Elder J Knapp in Millsford Ashtabula Co. Ohio, for the purpose of doing some business for the benefit of the church a number of elders and priests were present, after the meeting was opened by prayer, by a unanimous vote, Elder S. Phelps, was called to the chair, and G. Robison, chosen clerk. An address was delivered by President Phelps, before proceeding to business, the spirit of the lord was among us and we believe every secret was brought to light, the difficulty was amicably settled and satisfaction given to all present, there is a church in this place consisting of 32 members and we believe are now, in prosperous circumstances. Great praise is due Elder J. Knapp for his zeal for the cause of Christ, labouring [laboring] by night & day, presiding over this church.
Samuel Phelps Chair.
George Robinson Clerk.
Millsford August 20, 1836.
Died, at Independence, Cuyahoga Co. Ohio August 9th 1836, sister Chloe Rudd aged 78 years and 8 months. She had been a member of the church of Latter Day Saints, more than three years. She has "gone down to the grave in a good old age like a shock of corn fully ripe."
-Of a pulmonic affliction, in this town, on the 29th of August, brother
Jabez Carter, aged 86 years; he embraced the faith of the gospel through much opposition and persecution somewhat over three years since. This aged brother was born in Killingsworth in the State of Connecticut, where the early part of his life was spent; he emigrated from thence to Rutland co., town of Benson and state of Vermont, where the fulness [fullness] of the gospel first saluted his ears; he, like a true child of God embraced it with all his heart, and often expressed his anxiety to come to this place before he died, saying that he should then be satisfied. Suffice it to say, that he came here in good health, walked our streets with a firm step, viewed the house of the Lord, & then felt to express his satisfaction as did old Simeon when he saw the Savior, "now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." He was taken suddenly and violently ill, lingered about 12 days and God called his happy spirit home.
Sic gloria mundi. When the world seems to be rising new around the aged saints, a generation flushed with hope and full of expectation and presses upon their rere [ear?], the companions of their youth are called abroad, or have already fallen a prey to the king of terrors; the recollections and reminiscences of by-gone days cease to entertain or amuse those who are bouyant [buoyant] with hope and anticipation. Therefore, God kindly calls away the aged from the society where they are becoming strangers and pilgrims. He removes them from the evils to come, and the bodies of the Saints shall rest in hope and, their happy spirits dwell in the paradise of God.
Died, In this town on the 29th of July, an infant son of Daniel Carter, aged one year and four months.
Kirtland, Ohio, Sept. 3,1836.
The following is a list of the names of Ministers of the Gospel belonging to the church of the Latter Day Saints, whose licenses were recorded, the last quarter, in the License Records, in Kirtland, Ohio:
by Thomas Burdick,
Elders: Samuel Phelps
William H Presley
James Blakelee Zera Pulsipher
Phineas Brownson jr Harpin Riggs
Isaac H Bishop Darius Race
Alexander Badlam George A Smith
Harry Brown Gardner Snow
Samuel S Brudick Willard Snow
Edson Barney William Snow
Royal Barney jr Lyman Sherman
Calvin B Childs Erastus B Wightman
Israel Calkins Charles Wightman
Jacob Chamberlain Samuel Warner jr
William P Card Elias F Wells
Stephen Chase Melvin Wilbur
James Durfee Whitford G Wilson
John Daily Henry H Wilson
Edmund Durfee jr Franklin Youngs
Joshua Grant jr PRIESTS
Truman Gillet jr Charles Brown
Thomas Gates jr Moses R Norms
William Hunting jr Jonas Putnam
James Houghton Andrews Tyler
Mahew Hillman Abraham Palmer
Nathan Haskins William Tenney
Samuel Jaques TEACHERS:
Hiram Kellogg Russel Thompson
John Killian Bechias Dustin
John Knapp Orson G Beach
Cornelius P Lott
William Miller DEACONS:
Garland W Meeks Moses Tracy
John F Olney Isaiah Williams
The limited table of contents for the Messenger and Advocate for this volume has been omitted in this electronic edition.
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