Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter
Vol. IV. No. 24.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. November 1, 1843. [Whole No. 84.
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
The latter part of January, in company with brothers Sidney Rigdon and Edward Partridge, I started with my wife for Kirtland, Ohio, where we arrived about the first of February, and were kindly received and welcomed into the house of brother N. K. Whitney. I and my wife lived in the family of brother Whitney several weeks, and received every kindness and attention which could be expected, and especially from sister Whitney. The branch of the church in this part of the Lord's vineyard, which had increased to nearly one hundred members, were striving to do the will of God, so far as they knew it: though some strange notions and false spirits had crept in among them. With a little caution and some wisdom I soon assisted the brethren and sisters to overcome them. The plan of "common stock," which had existed in what was called "the family," whose members generally had embraced the everlasting gospel, was readily abandoned for the more perfect law of the Lord: and the false spirits were easily discerned and rejected by the light of revelation.
The Lord gave unto the church the following revelation, at Kirtland, Ohio, February 4th, 1831:-
Revelation given February, 1831.
Hearken and hear, O ye my people, saith the Lord and your God, ye whom I delight to bless with the greatest of all blessings; ye that hear me-and ye that hear not, will I curse, that have professed my name, with the heaviest of all cursings. Hearken, O ye elders of my church whom I have called: behold I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall assemble yourselves together to agree upon my word, and by the prayer of your faith ye shall receive my law, that ye may know how to govern my church, and have all things right before me.
And I will be your ruler when I come: and behold I come quickly: and ye shall see that my law is kept. He that receiveth my law, and doeth it the same is my disciple; and he that saith that hereceiveth [he receiveth] it and doeth it not, the same is not my disciple, and shall be cast out from among you: for it is not meet that the things which belong to the children of the kingdom, should be given to them that are not worthy, or to dogs, or the pearls to be cast before swine.
And again it is meet that my servant Joseph Smith, jr. should have a house built, in which to live and translate. And again it is meet that my servant Sidney Rigdon should live as seemeth him good, inasmuch as he keepeth my commandments. And again, I have called my servant Edward Partridge, and I give a commandment, that he should be appointed by the voice of the church, and ordained a bishop unto the church, to leave his merchandise and to spend all his time in the labors of the church; to see to all things as it shall be appointed unto him, in my laws in the day that I shall give them. And this because his heart is pure before me, for he is like unto Nathaniel of old, in whom there is no guile. These words are given unto you, and they are pure before me: wherefore beware how you hold them, for they are to be answered upon your souls in the day of judgment; even so. Amen.
As Edward Partridge now appears, by revelation, as one of the heads of the church, I will give a sketch of his history. He was born in Pittsfield, Birkshire county, Massachusetts, on the 27th of August, 1793, of William and Jemima Partridge. His father's ancestor emigrated from Berwick, in Scotland, during the seventeenth century, and settled at Hadley, Mass. on the Connecticut River. Nothing worthy of note transpired in his youth, with this exception, that he remembers (though the precise time he cannot recollect) that the Spirit of the Lord strove with him a number of times, insomuch [inasmuch] that his heart was made tender, and he went and wept, and that sometimes he went silently and powered the effusions of his soul to God in prayer. At the age of sixteen he went to learn the hatting trade, and continued as an apprentice for about four years. At the age of twenty he had become disgusted with the religious world. He saw not beauty, comeliness, or loveliness in the character of the God that was preached up by the sects. He, however, heard a universal restorationer preach upon the love of God; this sermon gave him exalted opinions of God, and he concluded that the universal restoration was right according to the Bible. He continued in this belief till 1828, when he and his wife were baptized into the Campbellite church, by Elder Sidney Rigdon, in Mentor, though they resided in Painsville, Ohio. He continued a member of this church, though doubting at time its being the true one, till P. P. Pratt, O. Cowdery, P. Whitmer, and Z. Peterson came along with the Book of Mormon, when he began to investigate the subject of religion anew; went with Sidney Rigdon to Fayette, N. Y. where, on the 11th of December,
I baptised [baptized] him in the Seneca river. Other incidents of his life will be noticed in their time and place.
On the 9th of February, 1831, at Kirtland, in the presence of twelve elders, and according to the promise heretofore made, the Lord gave the following revelation, embracing the law of the church:-
Revelation given February, 1831.
Hearken, O ye elders of my church who have assembled yourselves together, in my name, even Jesus Christ the Son of the living God, the Savior of the world; inasmuch as they believe on my name and keep my commandments; again I say unto you, hearken and hear and obey the law which I shall give unto you: for verily I say, as ye have assembled yourselves together according to the commandment wherewith I commanded you, and are agreed as touching one thing, and have asked the Father in my name, even so ye shall receive.
Behold, verily I say unto you, I give unto you this first commandment, that ye shall go forth in my name, every one of you, excepting my servants Joseph Smith jr. and Sidney Rigdon. And I give unto them a commandment that they shall go forth for a little season, and it shall be given by the power of my Spirit when they shall return; and ye shall go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel, two by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the voice of a trump, declaring my word like unto angels of God: and ye shall go forth baptizing with water, saying, Repent ye, repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
And from this place ye shall go forth into the regions westward, and inasmuch as ye shall find them that will receive you, ye shall build up my church in every region, until the time shall come when it shall be revealed unto you from on high, when the city of the New Jerusalem shall be prepared that ye may be gathered in one, that ye may be my people and I will be your God. And again, I say unto you, that my servant Edward Partridge shall stand in the office wherewith I have appointed him. And it shall come to pass that if he transgress another shall be appointed in his stead; even so: Amen.
Again I say unto you, that it shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church.
And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church, shall teach the principles of my gospel which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness [fullness] of the gospel; and they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings as they shall be directed by the Spirit: and the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith, and if ye receive not the Spirit, ye shall not teach. And all this ye shall observe to do as I have commanded, concerning your teaching, until the fulness [fullness] of my scriptures are given. And as ye shall lift up your voices by the Comforter, ye shall speak and prophesy as seemeth me good; for behold the Comforter knoweth all things, and beareth record of the Father and the Son.
And now, behold I speak unto the church: Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness, in this world, nor in the world to come.
And again, I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that killeth shall die, Thou shalt not steal; and he that stealeth and will not repent, shall be cast out. Thou shalt not lie; he that lieth and will not repent shall be cast out. Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shall cleave unto her and none else; and he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her, shall deny the faith, and shalt not have the spirit, and if he repents not he shall be cast out. Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that commiteth adultery and repenteth not, shall be cast out-but he that has committed adultery and repents with all his heart, and forsaketh it, and doeth it no more, thou shalt forgive; but if he doeth it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out. Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor, nor do him any harm. Thou knowest my laws concerning these things are given in my scriptures: he that sinneth and repenteth not, shall be cast out.
If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments. And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support, that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken-and inasmuch as ye impart of your substance to the poor, ye will do it unto me-and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church and his counsellors [counselors] , two of the elders or high priests, such as he shall or has appointed and set apart for that purpose.
And it shall come to pass that after they are laid before the bishop of my church, and after he has received these testimonies concerning the consecration of the properties of my church, that they cannot be taken from the church, agreeable to my commandments, every man shall be made accountable unto me, a steward over his own property, or that which he has received by consecration, inasmuch as is
sufficient for himself and family.
And again, if there shall be properties in the hands of the church, or any individuals of it, more than is necessary for their support, after this first consecration, which is a residue, to be consecrated unto the bishop, it shall be kept to administer to those who have not, from time to time, that every man who has need may be amply supplied, and receive according to his wants. Therefore, the residue shall be kept in my store house to administer to the poor and the needy, as shall be appointed by the high council of the church, and the bishop and his council, and for the purpose of purchasing lands for the public benefit of the church, and building houses of worship, and building up of the New Jerusalem which is hereafter to be revealed, that my covenant people may be gathered in one, in that day when I shall come to my temple. And this I do for the salvation of my people.
And it shall come to pass, that he that sinneth and repenteth not, shall be cast out of the church, and shall not receive again that which he has consecrated unto the poor and the needy of my church, or in other words, unto me, for inasmuch as ye do it unto the least of these ye do it unto me-for it shall come to pass, that which I spake by the mouths of my prophets, shall be fulfilled; for I will consecrate of the riches of those who embrace my gospel among the Gentiles, unto the poor of my people who are of the house of Israel.
And again, thou shalt not be proud in thy heart, let all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands, and let all things be done in cleanliness before me. Thou shalt not be idle: for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer. And whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness with herbs and mild food, and that not by the hand of an enemy. And the elders of the church, two or more, shall be called, and shall pray for and lay their hands upon them in my name, and if they die, they shall die unto me, and if they live they shall live unto me.-Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch [inasmuch] that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection. And it shall come to pass, that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them, and they that die not in me, wo unto them, for their death is bitter!
And again, it shall come to pass, that he that has faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed: he who has faith to see shall see: he who has faith to hear shall hear: the lame who have faith to leap shall leap: and they who have not faith to do these things, but believe in me, have power to become my sons: and inasmuch as they break not my laws, thou shalt bear their infirmities.
Thou shalt stand in the place of thy stewardship: thou shalt not take thy brother's garment; thou shalt pay for that which thou shalt receive of thy brother; and if thou obtainest more than that which would be for your support, thou shalt give it into my store house, that all things may be done according to that which I have said.
Thou shalt ask, and my scriptures shall be given as I have appointed, and they shall be preserved in safety; and it is expedient that thou shouldst hold thy peace concerning them, and not teach them until ye have received them in full. And I give unto you a commandment that then ye shall teach them unto all men:-for they shall be taught to all nations, kindreds, tongues and people.
Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received, which have been given unto thee in my scriptures for a law, to be my law, to govern my church; and he that doeth according to these things, shall be saved, and he that doeth them not shall be damned, if he continues.
If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation; knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries, and peaceable things; that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal. Thou shalt ask, and it shall be revealed unto you in mine own due time, where the New Jerusalem shall be built.
And behold, it shall come to pass, that my servants shall be sent forth to the east, and to the west, and to the north, and to the south; and even now, let him that goeth to the east, teach them that shall be converted to flee to the west; and this in consequence of that which is coming on the earth, and of secret combinations. Behold thou shalt observe all these things, and great shall be thy reward; for unto you it is given to know them. Ye shall observe the laws which ye have received, and be faithful. And ye shall hereafter receive church covenants, such as shall be sufficient to establish you, both here, and in the New Jerusalem. Therefore, he that lacketh wisdom let him ask of me, and I will give him liberally and upbraid him not. Lift up your hearts and rejoice, for unto you the kingdom, or in other words, the keys of the church, have
been given; even so: Amen.
The priests and teachers shall have their stewardships, even as the members, and the elders, or high priests, who are appointed to assist the bishops as counsellors [counselors], in all things are to have their families supported out of the property which is consecrated to the bishop, for the good of the poor, and for other purposes, as before mentioned; or they are to receive a just remuneration for all their services; either a stewardship, or otherwise, as may be thought best, or decided by the counsellors [counselors] and bishop. And the bishop also, shall receive his support, or a just remuneration for all his services in the church.
Behold, verily I say unto you, that whatever persons among you having put away their companions for the cause of fornication, or in other words, if they shall testify before you in all lowliness of heart that this is the case, ye shall not cast them out from among you; but if ye shall find that any persons have left their companions for the sake of adultery, and they themselves are the offenders, and their companions are living, they shall be cast out from among you. And again I say unto you, that he shall be watchful and careful, with all inquiry, that ye receive none such among you if they are married, and if they are not married, they shall repent of their sins, or ye shall not receive them.
And again, every person who belongeth to this church of Christ shall observe to keep all the commandments and covenants of the church-and it shall come to pass, that, if any persons among you shall kill, they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the laws of the land: For, remember, that he hath no forgiveness, and it shall be proven according to the laws of the land.
And if any man or woman shall commit adultery, he or she shall be tried before two elders of the church or more, and every word shall be established against him or her by two witnesses of the church, and not of the enemy. But if there are more than two witnesses it is better: but he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses, and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. And if it can be, it is necessary that the bishop is present also. And thus ye shall do in all cases which come before you.-And if a man or woman shall rob, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of the land. And if he or she shall steal, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of the land. And if he or she shall lie, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of the land. If he or she do any manner of iniquity, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law, even that of God.
And if thy brother or sister offend thee, thou shalt take him or her between him or her and thee alone; and if he or she confess, thou shalt be reconciled. And if he or she confess not, thou shalt deliver him or her up unto the church, not to the members but to the elders. And it shall be done in a meeting, and that not before the world. And if thy brother or sister offend many, he or she shall be chastened before many. And if any one offend openly, he or she shall be rebuked openly, that the or she may be ashamed. And if he or she confess not, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of God. If any shall offend in secret, he or she shall be rebuked in secret, that he or she may have opportunity to confess it in secret to him or her whom he or she has offended, and to God, that the church may not speak reproachfully of him or her. And thus shall ye conduct all things.
[For the Times and Seasons.]
Mr. Editor,-I occasionally drop into the Prophet's office, and take a sly peep at matters and things; and in one of these moments of observation I spied a letter from Gen. Bennet, to Lieut.-Gen. Joseph Smith, and also the reply, both of which I thought a little TOO GOOD to be lost among the rubbish, so I take the liberty to forward you a copy for publication.
"Arlington House, Oct. 24, 1843.
"Dear General,-I am happy to know that you have taken possession of your new establishment, and presume you will be eminently successful and happy in it, together with your good lady and family. You are no doubt already aware that I have had a most interesting visit from your most excellent and worthy friend President B. Young, with whom I have had a glorious frolic in the clear blue ocean; for most assuredly a frolic it was, without a moment's reflection or consideration. Nothing of this kind would in the least attach me to your person or cause. I am capable of being a most undeviating friend, without being governed by the smallest religious influence.
As you have proved yourself to be a philosophical divine, you will excuse me when I say that we must leave their influence to the mass. The boldness of your plans and measures, together with their unparalleled success, so far, are calculated to throw a charm over your whole being, and to point you out as the most extraordinary man of the present age. But my mind is of so mathematical and philosophical a cast,
that the divinity of Moses makes no impression on me, and you will not be offended when I say that I rate you higher as a legislator than I do Moses, because we have you present with us for examination; whereas Moses derives his chief authority from proscription and the lapse of time. I cannot, however, say but you are both right, it being out of the power of man to prove you wrong. It is no mathematical problem, and can therefore get no mathematical solution. I say, therefore, go a head, you have my good wishes. You know Mahomet had his "right hand man."
The celebrated Thomas Brown, of New York is now engaged in cutting your head on a beautiful cornelian [carnelian] stone, as your private seal, which will be set in gold to your order, and sent to you. It will be a gem, and just what you want. His sister is a member of your church. The expense of this seal set in gold will be about $40. and Mr. Brown assures me that if he were not so poor a man he would present it to you free. You can, however, accept it or not, as he can apply it to another use. I am, myself short for cash, for although I had sometimes since $200. paid me by the Harpers, publishers, as the first installment on the purchase of my copy right, yet I had got so much behind during the hard times that it all went to clear up old scores. I expect $38,000. more, however, in semi annual payments from those gentlemen, within the limits of ten years, a large portion of which I intend to use in the State of Illinois, in the purchase and conduct of a large tract of land, and therefore should I be compelled to announce, in this quarter that I have no connection with the Nauvoo Legion; you will, of course, remain silent, as I shall do it in such a way as to make all things right.
I may yet run for a high office in your state, when you would be sure of my best services in your behalf, therefore a known connection with you would be against our mutual interest. It can be shown that a commission in the legion was a Herald hoax, coined for the fun of it, by me, as it is not believed even now by the public. In short, I expect to be yet, through your influence, Governor of the State of Illinois.
My respects to Brother Young, Richards, Mrs. Emma, and all friends.
Yours, most respectfully,
JAS ARLINGTON BENNET.
P. S. As the office of inspector general confers no command on me, being a mere honorary title, if therefore, there is any gentleman in Nauvoo who would like to fill it in a practical way, I shall with great pleasure and good will resign it to him, by receiving advice from you to that effect. It is an office that should be filled by some scientific officer. J. A. B.
NAUVOO, Illinois, Nov. 13, 1843.
DEAR SIR:-Your letter of the 24th ult. has been regularly received; its contents duly appreciated, and its whole tenor candidly considered; and, according to my manner of judging all things in righteousness, I proceed to answer you: and shall leave you to meditate whether the mathematical problems, founded upon the truth of revelation, or religion as promulgated by me, or Moses, can be solved by rules and principles existing in the systems of common knowledge.
How far you are capable of being 'a most undeviating friend, without being governed by the smallest religious influence,' will best be decided by your survivors, as all past experience most assuredly proves. Without controversy, that friendship, which intelligent beings would accept as sincere, must arise from love, and that love grow out of virtue, which is as much a part of religion, as light is a part of Jehovah. Hence the saying of Jesus: 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for a friend.'
You observed, 'as I have proven myself to be a philosophical divine, I must excuse you, when you say that we must leave these influences to the mass.' The meaning of 'philosophical divines,' may be taken in various ways, If, as the learned world apply the term, you infer that I have achieved a victory, and been strengthened by a scientific religion, as practiced by the popular sects of the age, through the aid of colleges,, seminaries, Bible societies, missionary boards, financial organizations, and gospel money schemes, then you are wrong; Such a combination of men and means, shows a form of godliness without the power; for is it not written, 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the rudiments of the world and not after the doctrines of Christ.' But if the inference is, that by more love, more light, more virtue, and more truth from the Lord, I have succeeded as a man of God, then you reason truly; though the weight of the sentiment is lost when the 'influence is left to the mass,' Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles?
Of course you follow out the figure, and say, 'the boldness of my plans and measures, together with their unparalleled success, so far, are calculated to throw a charm over my whole being; and to point me out as the most extraordinary man of the present age.' The boldness of my plans and measures, can readily be tested
by the touch stone of all schemes, systems, projects, and adventures,-truth, for truth is a matter of fact; and the fact is, that by the power of God I translated the Book of Mormon from hieroglyphics; the knowledge of which was lost to the world: in which wonderful event I stood alone, an unlearned youth, to combat the worldly wisdom, and multiplied ignorance of eighteen centuries, with a new revelation; which, (if they would receive the everlasting gospel,) would open the eyes of more than eight hundred millions of people, and make 'plain the old paths,' wherein if a man walk in all the ordinances of God blameless, he shall inherit eternal life; and Jesus Christ, who was, and is, and is to come, has borne me safely over every snare and plan, laid in secret or openly; through priestly hypocrisy, sectarian prejudice, popular philosophy, executive power, or law defying mobocracy, to destroy me.
If, then, the hand of God, in all these things that I have accomplished, towards salvation of a priest-ridden generation, in the short space of twelve years, through the boldness of the plan of preaching the gospel, and the boldness of the means of declaring repentance and baptism for the remission of sins; and a reception of the Holy Ghost, by laying on of the hands, agreeably to the authority of the priesthood; and the still more bold measures of receiving direct revelation from God, through the Comforter, as promised, and by which means all holy men, from ancient times till now, have spoken and revealed the will of God to men, with the consequent 'success' of the gathering of the saints, throws any 'charm' around my being and 'points me out as the most extraordinary man of the age,' it demonstrates the fact, that truth is mighty and must prevail; and that one man empowered from Jehovah, has more influence with the children of the kingdom, than eight hundred millions led by the precepts of men. God exalts the humble, and debases the haughty. But let me assure you in the name of Jesus, who spake as never man spake, that the 'boldness of the plans and measures,' as you term them, but which should be denominated the righteousness of the cause, the truth of the system, and power of God, which 'so far,' has borne me and the church, (in which I glory in having the privilege of being a member,) successfully through the storm of reproach, folly, ignorance, malice , persecution, falsehood, sacerdotal wrath, newspaper satire, pamphlet libels and the combined influences of the powers of earth and hell, I say these powers of righteousness and truth, are not the decrees or rules of an ambitious and aspiring Nimrod, Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander, Mahomet, Buonaparte, [Bonaparte] or other great sounding heroes, that dazzled forth with a trail of pomp and circumstances for a little season, like a comet, and, then disappeared, leaving a wide waste where such an existence once was, with only a name, nor were the glorious results of what you term 'boldness of plans and measures,' with the attendant 'success,' matured by the self aggrandizing wisdom of the priests of Baal; the scribes and Pharisees of the Jews; Popes and Bishops of christendom; or pagans of Juggernaut; nor were they extended by the divisions and sub-divisions of a Luther, a Calvin, a Wesley, or even a Campbell; supported by a galaxy of clergymen and churchmen, of whatever name or nature, bound apart by cast iron creeds, and fastened to set stakes by chain cable opinions, without revelation; nor are they the lions of the land or the Leviathans of the sea, moving among the elements, as distant chimeras to fatten the fancy of the infidel; but they are as the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, and will become a great mountain and fill the whole earth. Were I an Egyptian, I would exclaim Jah-oh-eh, Enish-go-on-dosh, Flo-ees-Flos-is-is; [O earth! the power of attraction, and the moon passing between her and the sun.] A Hebrew; Haueloheem yerau; a Greek, O theos phos esi; a Roman, Dominus regit me; a German, Gott gebe uns das licht; a Portugee, Senhor Jesu Christo e libordade; a Frenchman, Dieu defend le droit: but as I am, I give God the glory, and say in the beautiful figure of the poet;
'Could we with ink the ocean fill;
Was the whole earth of parchment made;
And ev'ry single stick a quill;
And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love, of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the whole upon a scroll,
Be spread from sky to sky.'
It seems that your mind is of such 'a mathematical and philosophical cast, that the divinity of Moses makes not impression upon you, and that I will not be offended when you say, that you rate me higher as a legislator, than you de [do] Moses, because you have me present with you for examination;' that 'Moses derives his chief authority from prescription and the lapse of time; you cannot however say, but we are both right, it being out of the power of man to prove us wrong. It is no mathematical problem, and can therefore get no mathematical solution.'
Now, Sir, to cut the matter short, and not dally with your learned ideas, for, fashion's sake you have here given your opinion, without reserve, that revelation, the knowledge of God,
prophetic vision, the truth of eternity cannot be solved as a mathematical problem. The first question then is, what is a mathematical problem? and the natural answer is, a statement, proposition or question that can be solved, ascertained, unfolded or demonstrated, by knowledge, facts of figures, for 'mathematical' is an adjective derived from Mathesis (gr.) meaning in English, learning or knowledge. 'Problem' is derived from probleme, (French,) or problema, (Latin, Italian or Spanish) and in each language means a question or proposition, whether true or false. 'Solve' is derived from the Latin verb, solvo, to explain or answer. One thing more in order to prove the work as we proceed; it is necessary to have witnesses, two or three of whose testimonies, according to the laws or rules of God and man, are sufficient to establish any one point.
Now for the question. How much are one and one? Two. How much is one from two? One. Very well, one question, or problem is solved by figures. Now let me ask one for facts: was there ever such a place on the earth as Egypt? Geography says yes; ancient history says yes; and the Bible says yes. So three witnesses have solved that question. Again, lived there ever such a man as Moses in Egypt? The same witnesses reply certainly. And was he a prophet? The same witnesses, or a part, have left on record, that Moses predicted in Leviticus that if Israel broke the covenant they had made, the Lord would scatter them among the nations, till the land enjoyed her Sabbaths; and subsequently these witnesses have testified of their captivity in Babylon, and other places, in fulfilment [fulfillment]. But to make assurance doubly sure, Moses prays that the ground might open and swallow up Korah and his company for transgression, and it was so: and he endorses the prophesy of Balaam, which said, out of Jacob shall come, he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city; and Jesus Christ, as him that 'had dominion,' about fifteen hundred years after, in accordance with this and the prediction of Moses, David, Isaiah, and many others, came, saying; Moses wrote of me, declaring the dispersion of the Jews, and the utter destruction of the 'city;' and the apostles were his witnesses, unimpeached, especially Jude, who not only endorses the facts of Moses 'divinity,' but also the events of Balaam, and Korah and many others, as true. Besides these tangible facts, so easily proven and demonstrated by simple rules of testimony unimpeached, the art (now lost) of embalming human bodies, and preserving them in the catacombs of Egypt, whereby men, women and children as mummies, after a lapse of near three thousand five hundred years, come forth among the living, and although dead, the papyrus which has lived in their bosoms, unharmed, speaks for them, in language like the sound of an earthquake: Ecce veritas! Ecce cadaveros. Behold the truth! Behold the mummies! Oh my dear Sir, the sunken Tyre and Sidon, the melancholy dust where 'the city' of Jerusalem once was, and the mourning of the Jews among the nations, together with such a 'cloud of witnesses,' if you had been as well acquainted with your God and Bible, as with your purse and pence table, the 'divinity' of Moses would have dispelled the fog of five thousand years, and filled you with light; for facts, like diamonds, not only cut glass, but they are the most precious jewels on earth. The spirit of prophesy is the testimony of Jesus.
The world at large, is ever ready to credit the writings of Homer, Hesid, Plutarch, Socrates, Pythagoras, Virgil, Josephus, Mahomet, and an hundred others, but where, tell me where, have they left a line, a simple method of solving the truth of the plan of eternal life? Says the Savior, 'if any man will do his (the Father's) will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.' Here then is a method of solving the 'divinity' of men by the divinity within yourself, that as far exceeds the calculation of numbers, as the sun exceeds a candle. Would to God that all men understood it, and were willing to be governed by it, that when one had filled the measure of his days, he could exclaim like Jesus; 'veni mori, et reviviscere!'
Your good wishes to 'go ahead' coupled with Mahomet and a 'right hand man' are rather more vain than virtuous. Why, Sir, Caesar had his right hand Brutus, who was his 'left hand' assassin, not however applying the allusion to you.
As to the private seal you mention, if sent to me, I shall receive it with the gratitude of a servant of God, and pray that the donor may receive a reward in the resurrection of the just.
The summit of your future fame seems to be hid in the political policy of a 'mathematical problem' for the chief magistracy of this state, which, I suppose might be solved by 'double proposition,' where the errors of the supposition are used to produce a true answer.
But, Sir, when I leave the dignity and honor I received from heaven, to boost a man into power, through the aid of my friends, where the evil and designing, after the object has been accomplished, can lock up the clemency intended as a reciprocation for such favors; and where the wicked and unprincipled, as a matter of course, would seize the opportunity, to flintify the hearts of the nation against me for dabbling at a sly game in politics; verily, I say
when I leave the dignity and honor of heaven, to gratify the ambition and vanity of man or men, may my power cease, like the strength of Samson, when he was shorn of his locks, while asleep in the lap of Delilah. Truly said the Savior, cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn again and rend you.
Shall I who have witnessed the visions of Eternity; and beheld the glories of the mansions of bliss; and the regions and the misery of the damned; shall I turn to be a Judas? Shall I who have heard the voice of God, and communed with angels; and spake as moved by the Holy Ghost for the renewal of the everlasting covenant, and for the gathering of Israel in the last days; shall I worm myself into a political hypocrite? Shall I, who hold the keys of the last kingdom; in which is the dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets, since the world began; under the sealing power of the Melchesedek priesthood; shall I stoop from the sublime authority of Almighty God, to be handled as a Monkey's cat's paw; and pettify myself into a clown to act the farce of political demagoguery? No, verily no! The whole earth shall bear me witness that I, like the towering rock in the midst of the ocean, which has withstood the mighty surges of the warring waves, for centuries, am impregnable, and am a faithful friend of virtue, and a fearless foe to vice; no odds, whether the former was sold as a pearl in Asia, or hid as a gem in America; and the latter dazzles in palaces, or glimmers among the tombs.
I combat the errors of the ages; I meet the violence of mobs; I cope with illegal proceedings from executive authority; I cut the Gordian knot of powers; and I solve mathematical problems of Universities: WITH TRUTH, diamond truth, and God is my 'right hand man.'
And to close, let me say in the name of Jesus Christ to you, and to Presidents, Emperors, Kings, Queens, Governors, rulers, nobles, and men in authority every where, do the works of righteousness, execute justice and judgment in the earth that God may bless you, and her inhabitants; and
The laurel that grows on top of the mountain,
Shall green for your fame while the sun sheds a ray,
And the lily that blows by the side of the fountain,
Will bloom for your virtue till earth melts away.
With due consideration
and respect, I have the
honor to be your
most obt. servt.,
GEN. J. A. BENNETT, Arlington House, N. Y.
P. S. The Court Martial will attend to your case in the Nauvoo Legion.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 1843.
Missouri has been playing one of her old pranks again, and not content with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property belonging to the saints, has been engaged again in stealing human beings.
Two of our brethren, Daniel and Philander Avery, father and son, were decoyed into the neighborhood of Warsaw, about the 4th of December, and by a gang of desperadoes were forcibly taken across the Mississippi river into Missouri. Daniel Avery was taken by nine men, three of whom were Missourians, and six inhabitants of the state of Illinois. The ruffians were armed, and having forcibly seized Daniel Avery the father, put him on a horse, and tied his feet underneath. Information was received at Nauvoo, relative to the affair, by Mr. Sission Chase who made affidavit before a magistrate relative to the affair, and a constable was immediately dispatched after a person by the name of John Elliot, one of the villains, who is a schoolmaster, and resides four and a half miles below Warsaw. Mr. Elliott was brought up to Nauvoo, was tried before Aaron Johnson, justice of the peace, proven guilty and committed to the Carthage jail, to wait his trial at the county court.
In the examination, the facts were developed implicating others, who will in their own due time be brought to punishment. Testimony has since been received, which shows that a clan of those villains are associated with the Missourians to assist in killing or kidnapping Joseph Smith and others. Since their names and whereabouts has been ascertained, some of them we are informed have fled whilst officers are in pursuit of others. Col. Williams, we are informed is one of the parties engaged in this very honorable transaction.
To cap the climax, and put on the top-stone, we are really informed that this pack of renegades were taking these men for some alleged crime, committed three or four years ago, and being such great sticklers for law and justice, came without process, decoyed and stole-not negroes, but free American citizens, for fear they could not get justice. O, tempera!
O, mores!! What shall we have next-a Colonel in the Illinois militia, a stickler for patriotism, a lover of equal rights; a commander of military forces, leading forth his gallant band in the honorable employment of assisting nigger drivers to steal white men. And a schoolmaster who has come here for the purpose of 'teaching the, young idea how to shoot,' is setting his pupils a lesson that will not soon be forgotten.
Missouri talk of justice! Missouri that has plundered by wholesale-Missouri that cherishes murderers in her bosom and protects them by law-Missouri that is now living on the spoils of her own citizens, and whose hands are yet reeking with the blood of the innocent. Shall she preach up law, and seek to enforce it by stealing. As well might the Algerine pirate talk of law, or the infernals of the lower regions chide his satanic majesty for iniquity.
We would here remind our readers that thousands of horses, cattle, sheep hogs, were stolen by the Missourians, for which our brethren, as yet have obtained no redress. We should not be surprised if some of our brethren should have seen their own horses, and have taken them; they would be fools if they did not. And yet because Missouri stealing was done by wholesale, and the thieves paid for doing it by the legislature, they must of course be innocent in the eyes of the law; but a poor man who had every thing he had destroyed by those legalized robbers, and his last horse taken, if he was to recapture his stolen property, would according to the law parlance of Missouri, commit a crime worthy to be punished by the judges.-We are only surprised ourselves that the Latter Day Saints, did not arise en-masse and recover their stolen property, or take an equivalent from the robbers, when justice had been denied them by the legally constituted authorities of the land; and we know that nothing but that forebearance [forbearance] which their principles teach, could have caused them to endure silently and patiently what they have endured from the hand of Missouri.
We do not make these remarks because we suppose that Mr. Avery or his son, are guilty of any crime. We know of no such thing, we believe no such thing. We don't think that they have been guilty even of retaking their stolen property, but we do it in order to show to the world the villainy, corruption and abomination that is practized [practiced] by that state, and unless she, as a state revises her ungenerous laws, brings to justice her robbers and murderers, and makes recompense for what she has done, we shall still hold her amenable for all that is practized [practiced] by all her citizens.
TO THE SAINTS.
MESSRS. TAYLOR & WOODRUFF:-
It has been so long since I addressed the saints through the medium of the Times and Seasons, that I feel confident that a few words from my pen, by way of advice, will be well received, as well as a 'way mark' to guide the 'faithful' in the future. I was sorry to learn, by your remarks upon the resolutions of the 'Twelve' concerning your papers, which appeared not long since, that any of the saints abroad were more apt to patronize the current newspapers of the day, than yours: For the important reason, that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has the words of eternal life, and your paper, as it has hitherto done, must continue to publish such portions of them for the benefit of the saints, and the salvation of mankind, as wisdom shall, from time to time, direct.
Freedom is a sweet blessing; men have a right to take and read what papers they please: But do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? It certainly is no more than just to suppose that 'charity begins at home,' and if so, what must such as profess to be saints think, when they patronize the splendor of Babylon, and leave the virtue of Zion to linger for want of bread?
Beside which, if virtue is justified rather than vanity: the best of every thing, calculated to happify man, and dignify society, will, yea, must be in Nauvoo: and as the new commandment, given anciently was, to love one another; even so, the works of the saints, at home and abroad, will bear its own testimony; whether they love the brethren.
In all the world, the Times and Seasons is the only paper that virtually sustains, according to the forms of Scripture and prophecy, 'apostles, prophets, evangelists and revelations-and what shall be said of him that is like the 'Levite' passes on the other side of the way. When we behold men who 'have borne the heat and the burden of the day;' struggled against the popular opinions of a vain world, the burlesque of a giddy throng; the vulgarity of a self-wise multitude, and the falsehoods of what may justly be termed the 'civilized meanness of the age,' and not lend a helping hand? The 25th chapter of Matthew contains the simple answer.
Now let me say once for all, like the psalmist of old: 'How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.'
As the precious ointment upon the head, that run down upon Aaron's beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments, as the dew of Hermon, that descended upon the mountains
of Zion, is such unity-for there the Lord commanded the blessing-life forever more! Unity is power, and when the brethren as one man, sustain the 'Times and Seasons,' they sustain me, by giving a spread to the revelations, faith, works, history, and progress of the church.-The brethren who conduct the paper have been appointed to that important station because they are worthy and well qualified, and what a blessed sign of a faithful friend to God and man is it, to see the charity of a brother support his brethren as an evidence that he means to pass from death into life?
Many of the articles which appear in the Times and Seasons, as extracts of revelations, translations, or are the united voice of conferences, which like 'apples of gold in baskets of silver,' are treasures more than meet for the called, chosen, and faithful among the saints; and should be more than drink to those that hunger and thirst after righteousness. As Nauvoo is rising in glory and greatness, so shall I expect to see the Times and Seasons increase in circulation by the vigilance of the elders and saints-so as to be a herald of truth, and a standard of pure and undefiled religion. Finally, men and brethren, when you support my friends, you support me.
In the bonds of the
new and everlasting
covenant, I am your
TO OUR SUBSCRIBERS.
We would say to our patrons that this number closes the present volume, it also closes the time for which a great many of our friends have subscribed; and as we don't know, who among them may wish to discontinue, we shall be under the necessity of waiting for their orders, before we can send the papers. We pursue this course in order to preserve uniformity in the volume, as we publish a great number of extra papers more than is subscribed for. When we know the amount wanted we can regulate our number accordingly; and thus preserve our volumes entire, which are of as great value to us as those that are forwarded to subscribers.
We would also take this opportunity of informing our friends, that if they wish to obtain the whole of the last volume they can have it sent to them by forwarding two dollars post paid to this office.
For the Times and Seasons
BROTHER TAYLOR:-In compliance with council, we proceed to give you a short account of our recent mission. We left Nauvoo on the 15 of January; pursued our way to Burton, Adams county, where we preached three times and baptized one; from thence to Greene county, preached several times and baptized one; thence to Highland, Madison county; preached several times and baptized three, where by the help of brother Cooper, a high priest, we organized a branch, consisting of seven members; ordained one priest. From there we proceeded to Lexington, Ky., where earnest solicitations were made for preaching: doors and chapels were opened in every direction, and the cause of truth prospered wherever we had the privilege of raising our voices. It was the earnest request of the citizens of Lexington and its vicinity, that an elder should be sent to them, and offered to open their doors at all times to hear the gospel.
Yours, in the bonds of the
new and everlasting covenant,
THOMAS S. EDWARDS, jr.,
ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE THE POPE.
A letter from Rome of the 27th ult., in the Gazette de France says:
A report has probably reached you of an attempt to assassinate the Pope. The, fact is that a physician, who is a great revolutionist but driven to desperation by want of money, went one day to the Palace and, although he has a wooden leg, entered as nimbly as if it was his own house. Being met, and asked who he wanted, he replied that he wished to speak to his Holiness on very urgent affairs. with much difficulty he was induced to withdraw. On reaching the court he fired a pistol, without its being perceived that it was he who caused the explosion. The next day he returned again, and went on till he met Cajitonino, the pontiff's valet, to whom he insisted on being immediately allowed to see the Pope on matters of high interest. His entrance was, however, again refused, and he went away, but was arrested on leaving the Palace. A loaded pistol was found upon him.
AN INTERESTING WORK.
A New York correspondent of the Charleston Mercury, describing an interview with General Bertrand, learned a fact that will be pleasing to our literary and military Statesmen. It is that
he has now in the press a work on the Campaign of Napoleon in Egypt, dictated to him by that great commander whilst he was at St. Helena, a few months before his death, and which goes fully into all the details of that extraordinary movement. It will contain also, Napoleon's own views of the politics of the different Governments of Europe during the time.
From the Millennial Star.
The following facts came to our knowledge very soon after the melancholy fate of Mr. and Mrs. Foster, on board the Rothsay Castle steam packet, which our readers will remember was wrecked off Beaumaris in 1831. We at that time took a manuscript copy, only a few removes from the original, from a narration of the sisters by the lamented Mr. Foster. Considering it to be of an extraordinary nature, and being particularly requested, we have thought proper to record it in the pages of the Star.
THE SISTER'S TALE.
In A. D. 1814, the late Mr. and Mrs. F-, who were lost in August, 1831, on board the Rothsay Castle steam packet, were acquainted with three sisters, residing in London, and who belonged to a higher class of society. Two of these sisters were decidedly pious, but the third was volatile and just the contrary. They were all elderly, which rendered the gaiety of the third the less becoming, and also inclined her the more easily to take offence [offense] at any remarks made upon it. She hated the piety of her sisters, and opposed it in a very pettish and despiteful manner, though they endeavored seduously [sedulously] to accommodate themselves to her, and to render the difference between them as little disagreeable as possible.
One night, towards the close of 1814, she had been at an assembly very late, and the next morning at breakfast, was so remarkably different from her usual manner, that the sisters feared she was very unwell, or had met with some misfortune which deeply affected her. Instead of her incessant chat about every person she had met, and all that had been said and done, she sat sullen and silent and absorbed. The gloom of her brow was a mixture of temper and distress, and seemed to indicate a fixed and dogged resolution, founded on circumstances disagreeable to her, yet as if she was resolved to pursue her own will, though it should lead her into the utmost distress and trouble, rather than to follow the course which she knew to be right, but which would reduce her to submit her own will to the power and control of another. As she ate nothing, her sisters asked her if she was unwell? She answered, 'No.' 'What is the matter?' 'Nothing.' They were afraid something had distressed her. She said, 'I have no idea of people prying into matters that do not concern them.' The whole of the morning was passed alone by her, in her own room; and at dinner time, the same conduct recurred as in the morning. She scarcely eat [ate] anything; never spoke, except when she answered in an uncivil way, whatever was asked her; and all with an appearance of depression, obstinacy, and melancholy, that spread its influence very painfully over the cheerfulness of her companions. Thus have I heard the wolfish winds howl and mourn, as if they mourned their own work of desolation; and yet they ceased not to blow, and to rage, and to howl the more, as the destruction became the more frightful and universal.
She retired to rest late, and with the air of one who expects from sleep, neither alleviation nor refreshment. The next morning she scarcely touched her breakfast, and seemed in the same oppressed and uncomfortable state as on the preceding day. One of her affectionate sisters again addressed her. 'Anna, you are not well, is it your head that pains you?' She answered, 'I am well and nothing pains me.'-'Then you have something on your mind, and will you not tell us? Do we not love you?-Have we not the same earthly interests with you, and can we seek any good but yours, in an anxious wish to share your sorrows?' 'O! you have superstition enough of your own without more being added. I shall not tell you what ails me, so you have no occasion to press any further your curiosity. I dare say you would be delighted to know it, for you would think it some spiritual triumph, but I laugh at these things; I am not quite old enough yet, to become the victim of dreams and visions.' 'Anna, we do not live in dreams and visions.'-She answered sharply, 'No; and I do not mean that you should.' The sisters looked at each other and relapsed into silence. The second day passed as the first. Anna was gloomy and moody, and her sisters, both from pity and anxiety, were unhappy for her sake.
The third morning she again began the day as one who loathed the light, who had no interest in being, and to whom the lapse of time and the prospects of eternity, brought neither peace nor hope. As her sisters looked at her, one of them suddenly said, 'Anna, what was your dream?' She started and laughed wildly,
'Ah, ah, what was it indeed, you would give the world to know, but I shall not tell you. I thought you did not believe in dreams and visions.' The sister replied, 'No more than we do in general; you know they are the offspring of a disordered body-confused images and fancies, whilst reason is dormant; and the memory of them usually passes away, the moment that we are fairly engaged in our usual occupations.' But there are, no doubt, dreams which are as much sent from God, as our afflictions, or any other warning. There is a verse in the Bible where it mentions God, as speaking to a man in a dream, in the vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon man.' She laughed again and said, 'you have verse in the Bible for everything that suits your purpose, but I do not choose to be warned by you in this way; and I have no doubt but I shall get it out of my head in a day or two.' 'Anna, we do beseech you to tell us; if you have really had a dream from heaven, you surely would not wish to forget it, and if not, we will help you laugh it off.' She answered in a sulky mood, 'Well, if you must know it, you must.'-'No doubt it was very extraordinary.' 'I should have thought it the effect of the ball, but that I never any where saw any thing resembling it, and you must not suppose that you understand what I am going to say; for you never saw nor can imagine, any thing like it.'
'I thought I was walking in the wide street of a great city, many people were walking there beside myself, but there was something in their air that immediately struck me; they seemed thoughtful, yet cheerful, neither occupied with business or with gaiety, but having about them such dignity of repose, such high settled purpose, such peace and such purity, as were never stamped upon a mortal brow. The light of the city was also strange; it was not the sun, for there was nothing to dazzle-it was not the moon, for all was clear as noon-day: it seemed an atmosphere of light-calm, lovely and changeless. As I looked at the buildings, they all seemed like palaces, but not like the palaces of earth. The pavement that I walked on, and the houses that I saw, were all alike of gold, bright and shining, and as clear as glass; the large and glittering windows seemed like divided rainbows, and were made to receive and remit nothing but the light of gladness: it was indeed a place where hope might lead, where love might dwell. I could not help crying as I went along, surely these are habitations of righteousness, and truth and peace! All was beauty, bright and perfect. I could not tell what was wanting to make me wish for eternity in such a place, and yet its very purity oppressed me. I saw nothing congenial, though looks of kindness met me in every face of that happy throng. I felt nothing responsive, and walked on, all alone, in the midst of the crowd, oppressed and sad. I saw that they all went one way, and I followed wondering at the reason, and at length I saw them all cross over to one building much larger and finer than the rest. I saw them ascend its massive steps, and enter beneath its ample porch. I felt no desire to go with them but as far as the steps I approached out of curiosity; I saw persons enter who were dressed in every varied color, and in all the costumes of all nations, but they disappeared within the porch and then I saw them cross the hall all in white. O! that I could describe to you that Hall! It was not crystal-it was not marble-it was not gold, but light, pure light, consolidated into form: it was the moon without her coldness, it was the sun without his dazzling rays: and within was a stair-case mounting upwards all of light, and I saw it touched by the moving of feet and by the white spotless garments of those who ascended it; it was indeed passing fair, but it made me shudder and turn away; and as I turned I saw one on the lower step, looking at me with an interest so intense, and a manner so anxious, that I stopped to hear what he had to say; he spoke like liquid music, and asked me, 'Why do you turn away? Is there a place elsewhere? Is there pleasure in the walks of darkness?' I stood in silence; he pressed me to enter, but I neither answered nor moved. Suddenly he disappeared and another took his place with the same look and the same manner: I wished to avoid him, but I stood riveted to the spot. 'Art thou come so far,' he said, 'and wilt thou lose thy labor? put off thy own garments, and take the white livery.' Here he continued to press me, until I got weary and angry, and said, 'I will not enter, I do not like your livery, and I am oppressed with your whiteness; he sighed, and was gone. Many passers-by looked at me with mingled pity and kindness, and pressed me to follow with them, and offered me a hand up the steps, but I rejected them all, and stood melancholy and disturbed. At length one bright messenger, stationed on the steps, came up to me and entreated me to enter, with a voice and a manner I could not resist: 'Do not turn,' he said 'where canst thou go? Do not linger, for why shouldst thou weary thyself for nought [naught]? Enter here and taste happiness. Do not all go in, and are any rejected? Do not all tribes and all people and all colors pass into that hall, and are they not washed, and clothed and comforted?'
He gave me his hand, and I entered the hall along with him: here I was sprinkled with pure water, and a garment of pure white was put upon my shoulders, and I knew not how, but I mounted the bright stairs by the side of my happy guide. O, what a light burst upon my sight when I had reached the summit! But mortal words cannot describe, nor can mortal fancy in any way conceive it: Where are the living sapphires? Where are the glittering stars, that are like the bright radii in which I stood? Where are the forms of love, or looks of love, that breathed in the numerous company that moved around me? I sunk down overpowered and wretched; I crept into a corner and tried to hide myself, for I saw and felt I had nothing in unison with the blessed existences of such a place. They moved in a dance to the music-to the songs that never fell upon a mortal ear; my guide joined in rapture, and I was left alone. I saw the tall forms-all fair-all bright, in their own ineffable felicity, their songs and looks of gratitude forming the countenances and differences of each. At length I saw one taller than the rest, and in every way more fair, far more dignified, more awfully surpassing fair, what yet surpasses thought, and to him each eye was turned, and in his face each face was brightened; the songs and the dance were in his honor, and all seemed to derive from him their life and joy. As I gazed in trembling and speechless amazement, one who saw me left the company, and came to where I sat, and said, 'Why art thou so silent? Come quickly, unite in the dance, and join in the song?' I felt a sudden anger in my heart, and I answered with sharpness, 'I will not join in your song, for I know not the tune, and I cannot join in the dance, for I know not the measure?' he sighed, and with a look of most humiliating pity, he resumed his place.-About a minute later, another came, and addressed me as he had done, and with the same temper, I answered him in the same way; he looked as if he could have resigned his own dazzling glory to have changed me; if heaven can know anguish, he seemed to feel it; but he left me and returned to his place. What could it be that could put such a temper in my heart? At length, the Lord of that glorious company, of those living, breathing, glittering forms of life, and light, and beauty; of those sounds of harmony, and those songs of triumph; he saw me and came up to speak to me. I thrilled in every part with awe, I felt my blood chill, and my flesh tremble, and yet my heart grew harder, and my voice grew bolder. He spoke, and a deep toned music issued from his lips: 'Why sittest thou so still, and all around thee are so glad? Come join in the dance, for I have triumphed; come join in the song, for my people reign.' Love unspeakable he seemed to beam upon me, as though it would have melted a heart of stone, I felt it, but melted not: I gazed an instant and said, 'I will not join in the song, for I know not the tune; and I will not join in the dance for I know not the measure.' Creation would have fled at the change of his countenance, his glance was lightning, and in a voice louder than ten thousand thunders, he said to me, 'Then what dost thou here? The floor beneath me opened, and I sunk into flames and torments; and with the dreadful fright I awoke.'
There was a momentary silence, for the sisters were shocked and surprised at the dream, and they neither of them thought the substance of it, nor the deep impression it had made, to be the effects of any natural cause on Anna's volatile mind. 'Anna,' they said, 'we cannot help you to forget such a dream as this; we surely believe it is from God, and it may be greatly blessed to your soul if you seek it to be so. Your description of the Holy City may be an impression from the word of God, for much the same account is described in the Revelations; 'The city has no need of the sun, nor of the moon, for the temple of God is there, and the Lamb is the light thereof. All who enter must pull off their own garments and their own righteousness, and must be clothed in linen clean and white, even the righteousness of the saints, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. Those who walk in the heavenly Temple are they, 'who have come through great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb, and they cease not day and night praising God,' and they sing a new song such as no man knoweth but they who are redeemed, it is the song of Moses and the Lamb, and wisdom waits daily upon the steps to call the sons of man into the temple; and the people of God aim to persuade them to tread in their steps;-and the ministers of Christ are appointed to watch for souls, and in every way and by every means if possible to save some. O, Anna, you know something of the way, do give up your own will, and listen to this fearful warning; join us, and learn the steps which lead to heaven, and how to sing the songs of Zion.'-Anna's brow again darkened, and she answered, 'I do not want you to preach to me; I SHALL DO AS I PLEASE.'
She continued in this melancholy state to the end of the week, and was found in her room-A CORPSE. No one knew the cause of her death. She died without disease of the body-she died without any apparent change of soul!
OF OUR MOST HOLY LORD
BY DIVINE PROVIDENCE,
XVI. POPE (of that name,)
RELATIVE TO REFRAINING FROM TRAFFIC IN BLACKS.
ROME-PRINTED AT THE URBAN COLLEGE. 1840.
Gregory XVI. of the Popes (of that name.)
For the further remembrance of the Case
Placed at the supreme head of the Apostolate, and, although with no merits of our own contributing thereto, acting as Vicegerent of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who, in consequence of his very great love for us, having been made man, deigned to die also for the redemption of the world, we think it falls within the sphere of our pastoral care, that we strive by every means in our power to turn away the faithful from the inhuman traffic in blacks, or in any class of men whatsoever. It is true, when the light of the gospel began first to be diffused, those wretched beings, who at that time were falling in so great numbers into the cruelest servitude, by reason true of wars then prevailing, felt their condition to be most alleviated with Christian masters. For, inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Apostles taught slaves themselves on the one hand to obey their masters in the flesh, as they would Christ, and to do the will of God from the heart; while, on the other hand they directed masters to treat their slaves kindly, and to render unto them whatsoever is just and fair, and also to forego any threats, well knowing that the Lord of these, as well as of themselves, in the heavens, and that there is with him no respect of persons. (1) Since, however, true love towards all was most strongly recommended every where by the law of the gospel, and since Christ our Lord had declared that he would consider as done, or refused unto himself, whatever kindness and compassion should have been extended or refused to the lowly and the needy, (2) it easily resulted therefrom that Christians not only regarded their slaves, especially if Christians, in the light of brothers, (3) but were also more ready to bestow freedom on those who might deserve it, which Gregory of Nyssa shows was a custom to be done on the celebration in particular of the Paschal Rites. (4) Nor were there wanting those who, animated by a still more ardent love for their species, consigned themselves to bondage in order to free others therefrom, many of whom, that apostolic man, and also predecessor of ours, of most holy memory, Clement I. testifies that he was acquainted with. (5) In process of time, therefore, now that the darkness of heathen superstition has been more fully dissipated, and when the manners of less civilized communities also have been softened down by the gentle influence of faith working through love, things have come at length to such a pass, that for ages back no persons have been held in slavery among very many nations of Christians. There were, it is true, from time to time, we say it to our very great sorrow, some of the very number of the faithful, who, shamefully blinded by the desire of filthy lucre, did not hesitate to reduce to slavery, in widely separated and remote lands, Indians, blacks, or other wretched individuals, or else by establishing and gradually enlarging a traffic in those who had been made captives by others, to countenance the shameful conduct of these last. Many Roman Pontiffs, it is true, of glorious memory, predecessors of ours, did not fail, in accordance with their high office, to censure severely the practices of those men, as injurious to their spiritual safety, and disgraceful to the Christian name; and from which also, they clearly saw that this result would follow, that unbelieving nations should be more and more confirmed in their hatred towards our true religion. The Apostolic Letter of Paul III, given May 29, 1537, under the Fisherman's Seal, (St. Peter's) to the Cardinal Arch-Bishop of Toledo, has this same object in view; as well as others in succession still further than this same one, given by Urban VIII. on the 22d of April, 1649, to the "collector Jurium,' of the Apostolic Churches in Portugal; in which letter those individuals are very severely censured by name who dared or presumed to reduce to slavery, to sell, to buy, to exchange, or give away the Indians of the East or West, to separate them from their wives and children, to despoil them of their property, to lead and send them away to other places, or in any way to deprive them of their freedom, to retain them in servitude, and also to afford to those pursuing the aforesaid line of conduct, advice, aid, favor and assistance, under any pretext or color whatsoever, or to preach or teach that this was lawful, or to aid in any other way whatever the practices above alluded to, (6) Those decrees of the Pontiffs just mentioned, Benedict XIV. subsequently established and renewed by a new Apostolic Letter to the clergy of Brazil, and of certain other regions, given on the 20th day of December, 1741, in which he strove to arouse the anxious feelings of the priests themselves towards this end. (7) Before this also, another
Predecessor of ours still earlier than these-Pius II. on the Empire of the Portuguese being extended in his time to Guinea, a country of the blacks, gave on the 7th of Oct. 1462, a letter addressed to the Bishop of Rubi, who was about to set out for those parts, in which he not only bestowed upon that prelate full powers for exercising his sacred functions therein, with greater advantage, but, availing himself of this same opportunity, animadverted severely upon those Christians, who were accustomed to drag the Neophytes into slavery. (8) And even in our own times, Pius VII. influenced by the same spirit of religion, and love, as his predecessors, zealously interposed his official influence with those in power, that the traffic in blacks might at length entirely cease among Christians. Those decrees and anxious cares on the part of our predecessors have, with the blessing of God, proved of no little avail in protecting the Indians, and others above mentioned, from the cruelty of invaders and from the cupidity of Christian traders. Not to such an extent, however, that this Holy See can congratulate itself on the full success of its zealous efforts for the accomplishment of this end; seeing that the trade is still carried on by numerous Christians.
We, therefore, desiring to remove so great a disgrace as this from all the borders of Christendom, and the whole subject being maturely weighed, (some of our venerable brethren the cardinals of the holy Roman Church being also admitted to our council) do hereby, treading in the footsteps of our Apostolic Authority, admonish and earnestly adjure in the Lord all faithful Christians of every condition, that no one of them dare for the time to come, to harass unjustly Indians, blacks, or any other persons of this class, or to despoil them of their property, or to reduce them to slavery, or to lend aid or favor to others while doing such things towards them, or to exercise in that inhuman traffic, by means of which the blacks, as if they were not human beings, but the merest animals in whatever way reduced to slavery, are without any distinction, in violation of the laws of justice and humanity, bought sold, and sometimes condemned to the endurance of the most painful labors, and by which, moreover, through the hope of gain, that originally offered itself to the owners of slaves, by means of this same traffic, dissensions also and perpetual hostilities are as it were continually nurtured in the countries of those unfortunate men.
We, then, by virtue of our apostolic authority censure all the aforesaid practices as unworthy of the christian name, and by that same authority we strictly prohibit and interdict any ecclesiastic or layman from presuming to uphold, under any pretext or color whatsoever, that same traffic in blacks as if it were lawful in its nature, or otherwise to preach [prædicare] or in any way whatsoever publicly or privately to teach [docere] in opposition to those things which we have made the subject of admonition in this our apostolic letter.
In order, moreover, that this same letter [bull] of ours may the more easily become known unto all, and that no one may allege an ignorance of it, we decree and command it to be promulgated according to custom by one of our messengers at the gates of the church of the first of the apostles [St. Peter's] and of the apostolic chancellory [chancellery], as also at those of the Palace on the Monte Ciratorio, and in the Campo Di Fiore; and copies of the same to be left affixed in those same places.
Given at Rome, at the Church of St. Maria Maggiore, under the Fisherman's Seal, on the 3d day of December, 1839, in the 9th year of our Pontificate.
ALOISE LAMBRUCHINI, Cardinal.
FATE OF THE APOSTLES.
St. Matthew-This apostle and evangelist is supposed to have suffered martyrdom, or was slain with a sword at the city of Ethiopia.
St. Mark-This evangelist was dragged through the streets of Alexandria in Egypt, until he expired.
St. Luke-This evangelist was hanged upon an olive tree, in Greece.
St. John-This apostle and evangelist was put into a cauldron of boiling oil, at Rome, and escaped death! He afterwards died a natural death at Ephesus in Asia.
St. Peter-This apostle was crucified at Rome, with his head downwards, at his own request, thinking himself unworthy to die in the same posture and manner as his blessed Master.
St. James, the Great-This apostle was beheaded at Jerusalem.
St. James, the Less-This apostle was thrown from a pinnacle or wing of the temple, and then beaten to death with a fuller's club.
St. Philip-This apostle was hanged up against a pillar at Hierapolis, a city of Phrygia.
St. Bartholomew-This apostle was flayed alive, by the command of a barbarous king.
St. Andrew-This apostle was bound to a cross, whence he preached to the people until he expired.
St. Thomas-This apostle was run through
the body with a lance, at Coromandel, in the East Indies.
St. Jude-This apostle was shot to death with arrows.
St. Simon, Zealot -This apostle was crucified in Persia.
St. Matthias-This apostle was first stoned and then beheaded.
St. Barnabas-This apostle of the Gentiles was stoned to death by the Jews, at Salania.
St. Paul-This apostle was beheaded at Rome, by the tyrant Nero." POETRY.
For the Times and Seasons.
TO THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS.
BY MISS E. R. SNOW.
There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; and as one star differeth from another star in glory; so also is the resurrection of the dead."-Paul.
Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."-Jesus Christ.
The trials of the present day, What though by some who seem devout,
Require the saints to watch and pray, Our names as evil are cast out,
That they may keep the narrow way If honor clothe us round about
To the celestial glory. In the celestial glory.
For even saints may turn aside, Be steadfast, and with courage hold
For fear of ills that may betide, The key of God's eternal mould
Or else induc'd by worldly pride, That will the mysteries unfold
And lose celestial glory. Of the celestial glory.
O'er rugged cliffs, and mountains high, O, let your hearts and hands be pure,
Through sunless vales the path may lie, And faithful to the end endure,
Our faith and confidence to try That you the blessing may secure
In the celestial glory. Of the celestial glory.
Why should we fear, though cowards say With patience cultivate within
Old Anak's host in ambush lay, Those principles averse to sin,
Or there's a lion in the way And be prepared to enter in
To the celestial glory. To the celestial glory.
Fear not, though life should be at stake, Then let the "Times and Seasons fly,
But think how Jesus, for our sake And bring the glorious period nigh,
Endur'd, that we might yet partake When Zion will be rais'd on high
Of the celestial glory. In the celestial glory.
We here may sometimes suffer wrong,
But when we join with Enoch's throng
We'll loudly echo vict'ry's song
In the celestial glory. Morley Settlement, Nov. 24th.
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, 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, POST PAID, or they will not receive attention.
Previous chapter Table of Contents Next chapter