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VOL. III. NO. 21.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILLINOIS, SEPT. 1, 1842 . [WHOLE NO. 57.
AN EPISTLE OF THE TWELVE.
To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and the Isle of Man, Greeting:-
Beloved Brethren,-Inasmuch as we have been laboring for some time in this country, and most of us are about to depart for the land of our nativity; and feeling anxious for your welfare and happiness in time and in eternity, we cheerfully offer you our counsel in the closing number of the first volume of the Star, hoping you will peruse it when we are far away, and profit by the same.
First of all, we would express our joy and thanksgiving to Him who rules and knows the hearts of men, for the heed and diligence with which the saints in this country have hearkened to the counsel of those whom God has seen fit to send among them, and who hold the keys of this ministry. By this means a spirit of union, and consequently of power, has been generally cultivated among you.
And now let the saints remember that which we have ever taught them, both by precept and example. viz: to beware of an aspiring spirit, which would lift you up one above another; to seek to be the greatest in the kingdom of God. This is that spirit which hurled down the angels-it is that spirit which actuates all the churches of the sectarian world, and most of the civil and military movements of the men of the world-it is that spirit which introduces rebellion, confusion, misrule, and disunion, and would, if suffered to exist among us, destroy our union, and consequently our power, which flows from the spirit, through the priesthood-which spirit, and power, and priesthood, can only exist with the humble and meek of the earth.
Therefore beware, O ye priests of the Most High! lest ye are overcome by that spirit which would exalt you above your fellow-laborers, and thus hurl you down to perdition, or do much injury to the cause of God. Be careful to respect, not the eloquence-not the smooth speeches-not the multitude of words-not the talents of men: but be careful to respect the officers which God has placed in the church. Let the members hearken to their officers, let the priests, teachers, and deacons, hearken to the elders, and let the elders, hearken to the presiding officers of each church or conference. And let all the churches and conferences hearken to the counsel of those who are still left in this country to superintend the affairs of the church; and by so doing, a spirit of union will be preserved, and peace and prosperity will attend the people of God.
We have seen fit to appoint our beloved brethren and fellow-laborers, Levi Richards and Lorenzo Snow, to travel from conference to conference, and to assist brother Pratt in the general superintendence of the church in this country. These are men of experience and soundness of principle, in whose counsel the church may place entire confidence, so long as they uphold them by the prayer of faith.
The spirit of emigration has actuated the children of men from the time our first parents were expelled from the garden until now; it was this spirit that first peopled the plains of Shinar, and all other places; yes, it was emigration that first broke upon the deathlike silence and loneliness of an empty earth, and caused the desolate land to teem with life, and the desert to smile with joy. It was emigration that first peopled England,-once a desolate island, on which the foot of man had never trod, but now abounding towns and cities. It was emigration that turned the wilds of America into a fruitful field, and besprinkled the wilderness with flourishing towns and cities, where a few years since the war whoop of the savage, or the howl of wild beasts was heard in the distance. In short, it is emigration that is the only effectual remedy for the evils which now afflict the over-peopled countries of Europe. With this view of the subject, the saints, as well as thousands of others, seem to be actuated with the spirit of enterprise and emigration, and as some of them are calculating to emigrate to America, and settle in the colonies of our brethren, we would here impart a few words of counsel on the subject of emigration.
It will be necessary, in the first place for men of capital to go on first and make large purchases of land, and erect mills, machinery, manufactories, &c. so that the poor who go from this country can find employment.-Therefore it is not wisdom for the poor to flock to that place extensively, until the necessary preparations are made. Neither is it wisdom for those who feel a spirit of benevolence to expend all their means in helping others emigrate, and thus all arrive in a new country empty
handed. In all settlements there must be capital and labour [labor] united in order to flourish. The brethren will recollect that they are not going to enter upon cities already built up, but are going to "build cities and inhabit them." Building cities cannot be done without means and labor.
On this subject we would call the particular attention of the saints to the epistle, and also to the proclamation, signed by the first presidency of the church, published in the eleventh number of this work; and would earnestly exhort them to observe the order and instructions there given. We would also exhort the saints not to go in haste, nor by flight, but to prepare all things in a proper manner before they emigrate; and especially in regard to their dealing with the world, let them be careful to settle everything honestly as becometh saints, as far as lies in their power, and not go away in debt, so far as they have the means to pay. And if any go away in debt, because they have not means to pay, let it be with the design of paying as industry shall put it in their power, so that the cause of truth be not evil spoken of.
We have found that there are so many "pick pockets," and so many that will take every possible advantage of strangers, in Liverpool, that we have appointed Elder Amos Fielding as the agent of the church, to superintend the fitting out of the saints from Liverpool to America. Whatever information the saints may want about the preparations for a voyage, they are advised to call on Elder Fielding, at Liverpool, as their first movement, when they arrive there as emigrants. There are some brethren who have felt themselves competent to do their own business in these matters, and rather despising the counsel of their friends, have been robbed and cheated out of nearly all they had. A word of caution to the wise is sufficient. It is also a great saving to go in companies, instead of going individually.-First, a company can charter a vessel, so as to make the passage much cheaper than otherwise. Secondly, provisions can be purchased at wholesale for a company much cheaper than otherwise. Thirdly, this will avoid bad company on the passage. Fourthly, when a company arrives in New Orleans they can charter a steam-boat so as to reduce the passage near one-half. This measure will save some hundreds of pounds on each ship load. Fifthly, a man of experience can go as leader of each company, who will know how to avoid rogues and knaves.
Sovereigns are more profitable than silver or any other money in emigrating to America and the brethren are also cautioned against the American money, when they arrive in that country. Let them not venture to take paper money of that country until they become well informed in regard to the different banks; for very few of them will pass current very far from the place where they were issued, and banks are breaking almost daily. It is much cheaper going by New Orleans than by New York. But it will never do for emigrants to go by New Orleans in the summer on account of the heat and sickness of the climate. It is, therefore, advisable for the saints to emigrate in Autumn, Winter, or Spring. Let the saints be careful also to obtain a letter of recommendation, from the elders, where they are acquainted, to the brethren where they are going, certifying their membership, and let the elders be careful not to recommend any who do not conduct themselves as saints; and especially those who would go with a design to defraud their creditors.
In regard to ordaining and licensing officers, each conference is now organized, under the care of their respective presidents, who, with the voice of the church, may ordain, according to the gifts and callings of God, by the holy spirit, and under the general superintendence of Elders Pratt, Richards and Snow. Licenses should be signed by the presiding officers.
There are many other items of importance, which we would gladly mention, had we time and space sufficient, but this must suffice for the present; and may the God of our fathers bless you all with wisdom and grace, to act each your part in the great work which lies before us, that the world may be warned, and thousands brought to the knowledge of the truth; and may he bless and preserve you blameless until the day of his coming. Brethren and sisters pray for us. We remain your brethren in the new and everlasting covenant.
HEBER C. KIMBALL,
P. P. PRATT,
G. A. SMITH.
Manchester, (Eng.) April 15 1841.
A special conference was held in Nauvoo on the 29 ult. an account of which will be given in the next No. of the Times and Seasons.
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
We found the people of Seneca county in general friendly and disposed to enquire [inquire] into the truth of these strange matters which now began to be noised abroad: many opened their houses to us in order that we might have an opportunity of meeting with our friends for the purposes of instruction and explanation. We met with many from time to time, who were willing to hear us, and wishful to find out the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, and apparently willing to obey the gospel when once fairly convinced and satisfied in their own minds; and in this same month of June, by brother Hyrum Smith, David Whitmer, and Peter Whitmer, Jr. were baptized in Seneca lake the two former by myself; the latter by Oliver Cowdery. From this time forth many became believers, and were baptized, whilst we continued to instruct and persuade as many as applied for information.
In the course of the work of translation, we ascertained that three special witnesses were to be provided by the Lord, to whom he would grant, that they should see the plates from which this work (the Book of Mormon) should be translated, and that these witnesses should bear record of the same; as will be found recorded, Book of Mormon first edition page and second edition page.
Almost immediately after we had made this discovery, it occurred to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and the aforementioned Martin Harris (who had come to enquire [inquire] after our progress in the work) that they world [would] have me enquire [inquire] of the Lord, to know if they might not obtain of him to be these three special witnesses; and finally they became so very solicitous, and teased me so much, that at length I complied, and through the Urim and Thummim, I obtained of the Lord for them the following Revelation:
Revelation to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris, at Fayette, Seneca co. N. Y. June 1829; given previous to their viewing the plates containing the Book of Mormon.
Behold I say unto you, that you must rely upon my word, which if you do, with full purpose of heart, you shall have a view of the plates, and also the breastplate, the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim, which were given to the brother of Jared upon the mount, when he talked with the Lord face to face and, the miraculous directors which were given to Lehi while in the wilderness, on the borders of the Red sea; and it is by your faith that you shall obtain a view of them, even by that faith which was had by the prophets of old.
And after that you have obtained faith, and have seen them with your eyes, you shall testify of them, by the power of God; and this you shall do that my servant Joseph Smith, jr. may not be destroyed, that I may bring about my righteous purposes unto the children of men, in this work. And ye shall testify that you have seen them, even as my servant Joseph Smith jr. has seen them for it is by my power that he has seen them, and it is because he had faith: and he has translated the book, even that part which I have commanded him, and as your Lord and your God liveth it is true.
Wherefore you have received the same power, and the same faith, and the same gift like unto him; and if you do these last commandments of mine, which I have given you, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; for my grace is sufficient for you: and you shall be lifted up at the last day. And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it unto you, that I might bring about my righteous purposes unto the children of men. Amen.
Not many days after the above commandment was given, we four viz: Martin Harris, David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery and myself agreed to retire into the woods, and try to obtain by fervent and humble prayer, the fulfilment [fulfillment] of the promises given in the revelation: that they should have view of the plates &c. we accordingly made choice of a piece of woods convenient to Mr. Whitmer's house, to which we retired, and having knelt down we began to pray in much faith, to Almighty God to bestow upon us a realization of these promises. According to previous arrangements I commenced, by vocal prayer to our heavenly Father, and was followed by each of the rest in succession; we did not yet however obtain any answer, or manifestation of the divine favor in our behalf. We again observed the same order of prayer each calling on, and praying fervently
to God in rotation; but with the same result as before. Upon this our second failure, Martin Harris proposed that he would withdraw himself from us, believing as he expressed himself, that his presence was the cause of our not obtaining what we wished for; he accordingly withdrew from us, and we knelt down again, and had not been many minutes engaged in prayer when presently we beheld a light above us in the air of exceeding brightness, and behold an angel stood before us; in his hands he held the plates which we had been praying for these to have a view of: he turned over the leaves one by one, so that we could see them, and discover the engravings thereon distinctly. He addressed himself to David Whitmer, and said, "David, blessed is the Lord, and he that keeps his commandments." When immediately afterwards, we heard a voice from out of the bright light above us, saying, "These plates have been revealed by the power of God, and they have been translated by the power of God; the translation of them which you have seen is correct, and I command you to bear record of what you now see and hear."
I now left David and Oliver, and went in pursuit of Martin Harris, who I found at a considerable distance, fervently engaged in prayer, he soon told me however that he had not yet prevailed with the Lord, and earnestly requested me to join him in prayer, that he also might realize the same blessings which we had just received. We accordingly joined in prayer, and ultimately obtained our desires, for before we had yet finished, the same vision was opened to our view; at least it was again to me, and I once more beheld, and heard the same things; whilst at the same moment, Martin Harris cried out, apparently in ecstacy [ecstasy] of joy, "Tis enough; mine eyes have beheld," and jumping up he shouted, hosannah [hosanna], blessing God, and otherwise rejoiced exceedingly.
Having thus through the mercy of God, obtained these manifestations, it now remained for these three individuals to fulfil [fulfill] the commandment which they had received, viz: to bear record of these things, in order to accomplish which, they drew up and subscribed the following document:-
THE TESTIMONY OF THREE WITNESSES.
Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come, that we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of this people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken; and we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us: wherefore we know of a surety, that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shewn [shown] unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record that these things are true; and it is marvelous in our eyes, nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.
Soon after these things had transpired the following additional testimony was obtained:-
AND ALSO THE TESTIMONY OF EIGHT WITNESSES.
Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come, that Joseph Smith, Jr. the translator of this work, has shewn [shown] unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated, we did handle with our hands: and we also saw
the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness that the said Smith has shewn [shown] unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety, that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world to witness unto the world that which we have seen; and we lie not, God bearing witness of it.
PETER WHITMER, JR.
JOSEPH SMITH, SEN.,
SAMUEL H. SMITH.
From the Bostonian.
MORMONS, OR "LATTER DAY SAINTS."
Mr. EDITOR:-You will doubtless recollect that some two or three weeks since I gave you a short sketch of the lectures delivered by Elder G. J. Adams, at the Boylston Hall, and also promised if he produced anything worthy of notice in his forth-coming lectures, that you should hear from me again. The reason of my so long delaying to notice this subject, is not that there was nothing worthy of notice in the lectures, but about the time I should have written, Mr. Adams, and his society were charged with Murder, Blasphemy, Lying, Fraud, Treason, and Murder, and I thought if they were guilty of these heavy charges, they were unworthy of any thing but the halter and hangman; however, since that time Mr. Adams has nobly met the man that made the heavy charges above named, and entirely freed himself and the society to which he belongs of every vestige of said charges; and the opposers of the Mormons, are left in shame, confusion, and disgrace, and the "the wonders of the new and everlasting covenant," as Adams calls it, is the great existing subject in Boston at the present time; and truly it can be said, they that turn the world upside down have come hither also. and the general cry among Sectarians is, "how shall we put them down; if we let them alone our societies will be shaken to their narrow foundations, and already they begin to tremble. Some of our best and most devoted members are leaving us and joining them."
Before I enter upon a short description of the lectures, I wish to notice one important item in the discussion lately held in the Marlboro' Chapel; it is relative to the Bible being the rule or standard of evidence in their decisions on points of doctrine and principle. On the last evening but one of the discussion, to save time and come directly to the point it was moved by Mr. Seaver, (who is a Free Enquirer [Inquirer]) that the disputants, Dr. West, and Elder Adams take the Bible as the standard of evidence. To this proposition Adams, the Mormons, and the Free Enquirers [Inquirers] agreed, but Dr. West and his sectarian friends would not agree to it, and being most in number they voted down the proposition, yes, those very men that are continually crying "the Bible! the Bible! give us the Bible!" actually voted against the Bible, yes, voted it down for no other reason that the writer knows, only that it condemns them and their creeds. From the moment that vote was taken, I have been a determined opposer of sectarianism and priestcraft in all its monstrous and soul-killing forms, but a friend to the Bible, and Bible religion. The three lectures that I alluded to in my previous communication were on the subject of the Book of Mormon, the building of Zion, and the pouring out of the vials of the wrath of God, in the last days. On the subject of the Book of Mormon his arguments were clear and conclusive, plainly proving by many prophesies in the Bible that such a record must come forth before God could gather the Jews from their long dispersion. He particularly dwelt on the 29th chap. of Isaiah and the latter part of the 37th chap. of Ezekiel, commencing with the 15th verse. He then clearly proved the Book of Mormon to be the stick record or history of the descendants of Joseph that dwelt in this land, (America) separate from their brethren, in fulfilment [fulfillment] of the predictions of Jacob and Moses, see Gen. 48th chapter, also part of chapter 49, from verse 22 to 26; also Deut. chap. 33d, verses 13-14-15-16-17. He argued from the above and many other passages of scripture, that the descendants of Joseph were to become, "a multitude of nations," and inhabit the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills,"-"the earth and the fulness [fullness] thereof." He introduced an account of
many American antiquities together with the discoveries lately made by Mr. Stevens that all go to prove that the American Indians were once an enlightened people and understood the arts and sciences, as the ruined cities and monuments lately discovered fully prove. He then declared that this record had not come forth in the place of the Bible, but in fulfilment [fulfillment] of the Bible; that its coming forth clearly demonstrated that Jesus has been as good as his work, viz: he told his disciples he had other sheep that were not of that fold (in Jerusalem) and they also should hear his voice, for he was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,-and some of the lost sheep of the house of Israel, viz.-of the tribe of Joseph being in America, it was necessary Jesus should visit them, as also the ten tribes in the "north country." He declared that Jesus did visit both the above named branches of the house of Israel during the forty days before his final ascension from the Mount of Olives, and that the Book of Mormon was not only a history of the dealings of God with the descendants of Joseph on this continent, previous to the crucifixion of our Lord, but also an account of the gospel as established among them by the personal appearance of Christ on this continent, and that the account of the gospel in the Book of Mormon agreed with the account in the Bible; thereby proving that the gospel of Christ is the same in every nation, composed of the same eternal truths, the same gifts, the same offices, the same ordinances, and every thing the same as when Christ has an organized church on the earth; and that the Book of Mormon had come forth as an "ensign to the nations," containing an account of the gospel in much plainness, being translated by the gift and power of God by the use of the Urim and Thummim, that had come forth with the plates that contain the record. He also stated that the plates containing the record had been hid up unto the Lord by Moroni the son of Mormon, the last prophet among the descendants of Joseph on this continent, that about the time this event took place, they had fallen into sin, and great wickedness; many of their cities had been overthrown by earthquakes, and they left to fall in ignorance and unbelief, until the "dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of times," and that now their record had come forth, throwing a flood of light on the early history of this continent and would yet be hailed by every lover of truth, as one of the most glorious works of the nineteenth century.
DISTRESS OF NATIONS.
Our exchange papers, among the many strange things that make up the motley mixture of plentiful crops and hard times, acts of wickedness, Miller's millennium in 1843, together with a great many accounts of bible societies; missionary doings; Sunday school advancements; temperance movements; marvellous [marvelous] conversions from the influence of tracts, &c., have a full proportion of mobs, riots, and calamity. A large mob in Philadelphia made war upon the blacks in the fore part of last month, shed blood, burnt to the ground a costly and spacious Hall, and a meeting house; and destroyed other property. The military were called to restore peace.
In Cincinnati, about the same time, some boys insulted a military German company, while training and after dismissed, which finally terminated in a riot of the citizens, in which considerable blood was shed, though we believe no lives were lost.
From England we have selected the following:-
"Threatened Disturbances-Birmingham, July 14.-The accounts received this day from Burslem, (the metropolis of the potteries,) and the mining and manufacturing districts of the neighborhood, are of the most alarming description. It would appear, that influenced by the badness of trade, or by some other motive, there has been within the last two or three weeks an attempt made to reduce the wages of the men employed in the collieries of North Staffordshire, and the turnout of the miners has necessarily, by the want of coal, seriously affected the men occupied in the potteries and iron works.
The proximate cause of the facts appears to be the reduction of 7d per week from the wages hitherto paid by Mr. Sparrow, near Burslem. Such is the magnitude of his establishment that the reduction of 4d in each man's wages will make a difference of not less than L300 per week. Be the cause, however, what it may, the potteries according to the last accounts, are in a fearful state. Yesterday, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Tunstal
and Lane-end, the chief towns within the potteries, were greatly excited; so much so, indeed, that the authorities deemed it necessary to call in the immediate aid of the county police and military.
The turnouts, to the amount of some thousands, visited the collieries, iron works, and potteries, where men were to be found who had accepted reduced scale of wages, and in some instances inflicted personal violence upon men whom they found peaceably engaged at work. At Fenton Park it is stated that one man was thrown into scalding hot water, and in other places acts of the grossest violence were committed.
Yesterday the discontented assembled in great numbers, and their line of muster, if not of march, extended from Tunstal to Lane-end a distance of at least seven miles. Some detachments of yeomanry paraded the district, but this description of force being deemed insufficient to meet the emergency, application was made for the assistance of her Majesty's troops, and the same evening a troop of the 3d Dragoons, from the Birmingham barracks, left this town for the disturbed districts.
Persons arriving from Burslem to day state that no less the 6,000 workmen have turned out, and that boat loads, of assistants for a row have arrived from Bilston and other manufacturing districts of South Staffordshire. The insurgents were to-day marching for Cheadle, but it was confidently hoped that the precautionary measures adopted by the authorities would prevent further outrage."
Besides appearances so emblematic of the "distress of nations," as the foregoing-and along with the great fires, tornadoes, and earthquakes which agitate some portions of the globe, more or less, every week, we present the following second visit of that awful scourge to mankind,-the Cholera.
(->) The Asiatic Cholera, which raged so fearfully in India ten years ago, and spread from thence nearly over the entire world, has again made its appearance there; and the most fearful accounts are given of its ravages. At Calcutta, Bombay, and in the Deccan this pestilence was raging fearfully; and we have before us in one of the Irish papers, a letter from an officer of the 22d regiment, stationed at Camp Kurrachee, which says that in the course of one month there were buried, from that regiment alone the band-master, sergeant major, three sergeants, a hundred and twenty men, twelve women, and twenty children.
By proving contrarieties truth frequently appears. So with the religion of Jesus, its beauties and glories often shine, when its revilers are endeavoring to expose what they may denominate, its deformities. The prophet said the Lord would perform a strange work in the last days-and when we behold the various opinions of men, concerning the doctrine of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we think the time has come and the work commenced, and it is proved by more witnesses than our church. All sects, all people, even the Deists, (who are in point of common law and order, good men, and might be termed the 'salt of the earth,' on that head) seem anxious to cast in their 'mite' for or against the Mormons, (so called.) The following curious reasoning on the subject, is from the Boston Investigator.
"There is still a higher series as regards the superstitions of the world. This is an amalgamation of sects, denominations, and superstitions. Zoroaster, Mahomet, the Christ of India and of Palestine, have done this, and Joseph Smith will do it. We predicted this long ago, and affirm it still. We predicted it when it was under deep persecution. We rested our prediction not on preternatural foresight, but on the fact, that the plan covered all the ground, and combined principles and motives exactly calculated to do it. The Jewish account; the Christian religion; a revelation, latter day saints; all gifts and graces; ecclesiastical honors; an armed, peaceful neutrality, well disciplined and springing up in the midst of a free people; points taking in all our large cities, and from the world a grand concentration forming in America! Say or do what we please, Mormonism is destined to become one of the most splendid superstitions ever devised. It has originated in an age of science, resting on originations in an age of ignorance, and it is this very fact which will sustain it. Fifty years hence, and you will hear this argument:-'What! Do you believe that Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Lord, could have been an imposter [impostor]? Did he not spring up in an age
of science and mechanical invention? Did he not proclaim openly to the world his mission? Sustain persecution and brave death for the sake of God? Did he not have visions and revelations? And who but a man divinely inspired, could, at a time when the whole world was deluged with vain and contradictory teachings, have conceived this one sublime faith and worship?' If it be urged that the thing was tested, to what does it amount? 'They were enemies and persecutors.'"
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
THURSDAY, SEPT. 1, 1842.
PERSECUTION OF THE PROPHETS.
Since an attempt has been made by Missouri to arrest, or rather kidnap Joseph Smith, the prophet, we have heard many curious surmises; and lest some, who ought to know better, should cheat themselves into perdition, we have thought it would be no more than righteous to lay the matter before our readers in its true light. There is a strange notion afloat among the saints and sinners relative to the purity of the prophets. Some suppose, and some believe that the prophets were perfect and holy-and every body knew them to be so, and venerated them as the Lord's anointed: but let us examine the scriptures and learn how the prophets sent at various times by the Lord, were treated by the saints and the wicked world. As to those who professed to have the knowledge of God, and be governed by revelation, we can not give a better sample than one that fell from the mouth of Jesus to the Jews-as follows:-Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers! how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city; that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the Temple and the altar.
Abel was slain for his righteousness, and how many more up to the flood is not of much consequence to us now. But if we believe in present revelation, as published in the Times and Seasons last spring, Abraham, the prophet of the Lord, was laid upon the iron bedstead for slaughter; and the book of Jasher, which has not been disproved as a bad author, says he was cast into the fire of the Chaldeas. Moses, the man of God, who killed an Egyptian persecutor of the children of Israel, was driven from his country and kindred. Elijah had to flee his country, for they sought his life,-and he was fed by ravens. Daniel was cast into a den of lions: Micah was fed on the bread of affliction; and Jeremiah was cast into the filthy hole under the Temple; and did these afflictions come upon these prophets of the Lord of account of transgression? No! It was the iron hand of persecution-like the chains of Missouri! And mark-when these old prophets suffered, the vengeance of God, in due time, followed and left the wicked opposers of the Lord's anointed like Sodom and Gomorrah; like the Egyptians; like Jezebel, who was eaten by dogs; and like all Israel, which were led away captive, till the Lord had spent his fury upon them-even to this day.
Let us come into new Testament times-so many are ever praising the Lord and his apostles. We will commence with John the Baptist. When Herod's edict went forth to destroy the young children, John was about six months older than Jesus, and came under this hellish edict, and Zachariah caused his mother to take him into the mountains, where he was raised on locusts and wild honey. When his father refused to discover his hiding place, and being the officiating high priest at the Temple that year, was slain by Herod's order, between the porch and the altar, as Jesus said. John's head was taken to Herod, the son of this infant murderer, in a charger-notwithstanding there was never a greater prophet born of a woman than him!
Jesus, the son of God was crucified with his hands and feet nailed to the wood!
Stephen was stoned to death. Mark, one of the twelve, was dragged to death in the streets of Alexandria, in Egypt. Luke, also one of the twelve, was hanged upon an olive tree in Greece. Peter, who held the keys of the kingdom, was crucified with his head downwards, at Rome. James the greater was beheaded at Jerusalem: James the less, was thrown from a pinnacle of the temple, and beat to death with a fuller's club. Philip, one of the twelve, was hanged against a pillar in Phrygia. Bartholomew, one of the twelve, was skinned alive.-Andrew, one of the twelve, was bound to the cross, and preached until he died. Thomas, one of the twelve, was run through with a lance, on the coast of Coromandel, in the East Indies. Jude, one of the twelve, was shot to
death with arrows. Simeon was crucified in Persia. Matthias was stoned and beheaded.-Barnabas was stoned by the Jews. Paul was beheaded by Nero at Rome. John the beloved disciple, was thrown into the cauldron of boiling oil, but escaped to fulfil [fulfill] the Savior's prediction. Of the whole twelve, John, and perhaps Matthew, escaped without being murdered, for a tostimoney [testimony], &c. And now, let us appeal to the sober sense of the Latter Day Saints, and enquire [inquire] what right they have to expect from this generation any better treatment, and veneration for the religion of Jesus Christ, than our brethren of old? Read what the apostle John says in his revelations on the Isle of Patmos:-And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held; and they cried with a loud voice, saying, how long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
It is a shme [shame] to the saints to talk of chastisements, and transgressions, when all the Saints before them, prophets and apostles, have had to come up through great tribulation; whether a Herod, a Nero, or a Boggs, causes the affliction, or the blood to be shed, is all the same,-these murderers will have their reward! and the saints theirs. How many have had to wander in sheep skins and goat skins, and live in caves and dens of the mountains, because the world was unworthy of their society! And was transgression, or chastisement connected with ther [their] seclusion from the enjoyment of society? No! But remember, brethren, he that offends one of the least of the saints, would be better off with a mill stone tied to his neck and he and the stone plunged into the depth of the sea! Remember that he that gives a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, to one of the saints in prison, or secluded from friends by reason of vexatious law suits, intended for persecution, shall in no wise lose his reward.
Never, while the spirit of liberty, or the virtue of a saint, hold communion in the flesh, let us hear of those who profess to be governed by the law of God, and make their garmonts [garments] elean [clean] in the blood of the Lamb, shrinking from the assistance of those who bear the are of the Lord-in the hour of danger!
While Boggs and his crew hold this mobocratic doctrine in defiance of law; "believing as we do, that the arm of the law does not afford us a guarantee,-(we) deem it expedient and of the highest importance to form ourselves into a company &c. to rid our society, peaceable if we can and forcibly if we must," of the Mormons,-and to this end have severally pledged to each other THEIR LIVES, BODILY POWERS, FORTUNES AND "SACRED HONORS!"-let no saint suppose that righteousness will reign, or peace be on earth, and good will to men, and glory to God in the highest, to make the wilderness blossom as the rose, till the wicked cease to hear rule, and till they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Upon looking over the sacred pages of the bible, searching into the prophets and sayings of the apostles, we find no subject so nearly connected with salvation, as that of baptism. In the first place, however, let us understand that the word baptise [baptize] is derived from the Greek verb baptiso, and means to immerse or overwhelm, and that sprinkle is from the Greek verb rantiso, and means to scatter on by particles; then we can treat the subject as one inseparably connected with our eternal welfare; and always bear in mind that it is one of the only methods by which we can obtain a remission of sins in this world, and be prepared to enter into the joys of our Lord in the world to come.
As it is well known that various opinions govern a large portion of the sectarian world as to this important ordinance of the gospel, it may not be amiss to introduce the commissions and commands of Jesus himself on the subject.-He said to the twelve, or rather eleven at the time: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising [baptizing] them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: Thus it is recorded by Matthew. In Mark we have these important words: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptised [baptized] shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned. And to show how the believers are to be known from the unbelievers, he continues and says: And these signs shall follow them that believe: in my name shall they cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues: they shall take up serpents: and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. And in Luke we find the finishing
clause like this,-that it was necessary that Christ should die and rise the third day-that remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.
We will now examine the witnesses. As it will be recollected, they were to wait at Jerusalem till they were endowed with power from on high and then go and teach all nations whatsoever the Lord had commanded them. As Peter held the keys of the kingdom, we will examine him first.
Now on the day of Pentecost, when there was a marvellous [marvelous] display of the gifts, according to the promise in Mark, many were pricked in the heart, and said unto Peter, and to the rest of the Apostles, men and brethren what shall we do? Peter said unto them: Repent, and be baptised [baptized] every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remissioe [remission] of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, &c.-Here one of the witnesses says in so many words, repent and be baptised [baptized]. And we are of the opinion that Peter having been taught by the Lord, and commissioned by the Lord, and endowed by the Lord, would be about as correct a counsellor [counselor], or ambassador as we or they could enquire [inquire] of to know the right way to enter into the kingdom.
Again, Luke in this record of the acts of the Apostles, says:-And it came to pass, that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts, came to Ephesus; and finding certain disciples, he said unto them have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptised [baptized]? And they said, unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptised [baptized] with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, That they should believe on him which should which should come after him, that is on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptised [baptized] in the name of the Lord Jesus.-And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophecied [prophesied].
From the above witnesses we are informed that baptism was the essential point on which they could receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. It seems from the reasoning above that some sectarian Jew had been baptising [baptizing] like John, but had forgotten to inform them that there was one to follow by the name of Jesus Christ, to baptise [baptize] with fire and the Holy Ghost:-which showed these converts that their first baptism was illegal, and when they heard this they were gladly baptised [baptized], and after hands were laid on them, they received the gifts, according to promise, and spake with tongues and prophecied [prophesied]. We do not calculate in this short dissertation, to bring in the immense reasoning and quotations that might be adduced to show that the ancients who were actually the fathers of the church in the different ages, when the church flourished on the earth, according to the pattern of having apostles and prophets, &c. for the work of the ministry and the perfecting of the saints-were initiated into the kingdom by baptism, for it is self evident in the scripture-God changes not. The Apostle says the gospel is the power of God unto salvation unto them that believe; and also informs us that life and immortality were brought to light through the gospel; that the scripture, as Paul said to the Galatians, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham: saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
Now taking it for granted that the scriptures say what they mean, and mean what they say, we have sufficient grounds to go on and prove from the bible that the gospel has always been the same; the ordinances to fulfil [fulfill] its requirements, the same; and the officers to officiate, the same; and the signs and fruits resulting from the promises, the same: therefore, as Noah was a preacher of righteousness he must have been baptised [baptized] and ordained to the priesthood by the laying on of hands, &c. For no man taketh this honor upon himself except he be called of God as was Aaron, and Aaron was baptised [baptized] in the cloud and in the sea, together with all Israel, as is related by the Apostle in Corinthians. This position or fact, is witnessed in this manner: the covenant of circumcission [circumcision] made with Abraham, and practiced steadily up to the departing of Israel out of Egypt, was abandoned in the wilderness, forty years-and renewed by Joshua after he passed over Jordan, and encamped at Gilgal, where he made sharp knives and circumcised the whole male portion of the church.
Circumcision was merely a sign of the priesthood, given to Abraham: according to the words of Jesus to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second
time into his mother's womb, and be born?-Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. This strong and positive answer of Jesus, as to water baptism, settles the question: If God is the same yesterday, to day and forever; it is no wonder he is so positive in the great declaration: He that believes and is baptised [baptized] shall be saved, and he that believes not shall damned! There was no other name given under heaven, nor no other ordinance admitted, whereby men could be saved: No wonder the Apostle said, being "buried with him in baptism," ye shall rise from the dead! No wonder Paul had to arise and be baptised [baptized] and wash away his sins: No wonder the angel told good old Cornelius that he must send for Peter to learn how to be saved: Peter could baptise [baptize], and angels could not, so long as there were legal officers in the flesh holding the keys of the kingdom, or the authority of the priesthood. There is one evidence still further on this point, and that is that Jesus himself when he appeared to Paul on his way to Damascus, did not inform him how he could be saved. He had set in the church firstly Apostles, and secondly prophets for the work of the ministry, perfecting of the saints, &c.; and as the grand rule of heaven was that nothing should ever be done on earth without revealing the secret to his servants the prophets, agreeably to Amos 3: 7, so Paul could not learn so much from the Lord relative to his duty in the common salvation of man, as he could from one of Christ's ambassadors called with the same heavenly calling of the Lord, and endowed with the same power from on high-so that what they loosed on earth, should be loosed in heaven; and what they bound on earth should be bound in heaven: He, the Lord being a priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec [Melchizedec], and the anointed son of God, from before the foundation of the world, and they the begotten sons of Jesus through the gospel, to teach all nations-and lo I am with you always to the end of the world-that is--by the other comforter which the world cannot receive-for ye are the witnesses-having the testimony of Jesus which is the spirit of prophecy.
From what has already been introduced as testimony to prove that no man can be saved without baptism, it will be seen and acknowledged that if there was sin among men, repentance was as necessary at one time or age of the world as another-and that other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. If, then Abel was a righteous man he had be become so by keeping the commandments: if Enoch was righteous enough to come into the presence of God, and walk with him, he must have become so by keeping his commandments, and so of every righteous person, whether it was Noah, a preacher of righteousness; Abraham, the father of the faithful; Jacob, the prevailer with God; Moses, the man who wrote of Christ, and brought forth the law by commandment, as a school master to bring men to Christ, or whether it was Jesus Christ himself, who had no need of repentance, having did no sin; according to his solemn declaration to John:-now let me be baptised [baptized]: for no man can enter the kingdom without obeying this ordinance: FOR THUS IT BECOMETH US TO FULFIL [FULFILL] ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS. Surely, then, if it became John and Jesus Christ, the Saviour [Savior], to fulfil [fulfill] all righteousness to be baptised [baptized]-so surely, then, it will become every other person that seeks the kingdom of heaven to go and do likewise; for he is the door, and if any person climbs up any other way, the same is a thief and a robber!
In the former ages of the world, before the Saviour came in the flesh, "the saints" were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ to come, because there never was any other name whereby men could be saved; and after he came in the flesh and was crucified, then the saints were baptised [baptized] in the name of Jesus Christ, crucified, risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, that they might be buried in baptism like him, and be raised in glory like him, that as there was but one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and father of us all, even so there was but one door to the mansions of bliss. Amen.-ED.
From the N. Y. Evangelist, July 21, 1842.
MORMONISM AND THE MORMONS: A historical view of the rise and progress of the Latter Day Saints. By Daniel P. Kidder. New York; G. Lane & P. P. Sandford, 200 Mulberry st. 1842.
This is a circumstantial and full account of the men, the books, the doctrines and doings, of this extraordinary sect, commencing with their origin, and tracing them to the present time. When we reflect upon the considerable number to which they have already increased, and the skill of its preachers, in getting hold of ignorant and excitable minds the delusion, otherwise too foolish to waste thought upon, becomes worth examining and exposing. This is ably and efficiently done in the volume before us. This, with the similar work of Prof. Turner, will set the ridiculous pretensions of the sect in the light too glaringly absurd to leave it much power.
The truth of Solomon is verified in this generation: "to the making of books there is no
end,"-and we may add, to scattering falsehood there is no bounds. There is, however, a light in which we shall review the above notice, not so much on the score of book making as upon the sectarian practice of resisting the truth.-Twelve years experience has already given us an assurance that the Lord is with us, and when we read such thrusts as the one before us, from the Evangelist, or the more subtle stab of its contemporary, Daniel P. Kidder, or less noted cut of Prof. Turner; or the canine-like but powerless bite of Mormonism unveiled, by E. D. Howe; or that unchristian but harmless assault of Leroy D. Sunderland-and several other kindred spirits to Simon Magus, Demetrius, and Alexander the coppersmith, it shows us that we are blessed when all men speak evil of us falsely for Christ's sake.
From 1830, when the Rochester Observer introduced the book of Mormon to the world as "blasphemy," to the "light too glaringly absurd to leave it (Mormonism) much further power," the public has been sickened with fulsome, jejune, ex parte, and abusive accounts of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints-while the work, according to its own predictions in the book of Mormon, has commenced among all nations. The Jew, too, are gathering to Jerusalem in accordance with the prophesies of that book: and that hour seems approaching when every man's hand will be raised against his neighbor, because the love of man waxes cold. We look in vain for fairness or truth, from the popular circles of this generation: We have never been met in argument, or representation, with bible truth, sober sense and candid reason: for upon such a solid basis our cause, as it has done, like some mighty vessel upon the billowy ocean, outrides the storm and spreads her white canvas to the breeze, that "comes from him who holds the winds in his fists," and will waft her safely into that port, where hope, faith, and charity welcome the pure in heart.
It is a fact worthy of notoriety, though everlastingly deplorable, that the popular dominant portions of men, in every age of tge [the] world have rejected the truth of God; and then justly met his vengeance! So it was with the "men of renown," who opposed Noah before the flood, which swept them away. So it was with the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, who opposed Abraham and Lot, and were consumed by fire and brimstone; so it was with the Egyptians who opposed Moses and the children of Israel, the Red Sea swallowed them up: So it was with the inhabitants of Canaan who opposed Joshua, the sword and the hailstones from heaven, destroyed them. So it was with the Assyrians who opposed Israel in the days of Hezekiah, the angel of the Lord smote 185,000. So it was with the Jews who opposed Jesus Christ, destruction came upon them and they were destroyed, scattered and driven among all nations as outcasts: And we now bear this testimony, that the popular Gentile nations who in this age reject the revelations of God, and fulness [fullness] of the gospel, as made known in the Book of Mormon,-in like manner will work out their own destruction.
We say to all men, read what you please, but if you wish the truth and the fulness [fullness] of the gospel, read the book of Mormon, and take the advice of Gamaliel to the Jews: And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought [naught]: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
HEALTH OF NAUVOO, &c.
We are truly thankful for the measure of health granted to the citizens of Nauvoo, the present season. We may say with propriety, that we know of no city, with and equal number of inhabitants, which exhibits so small a bill of mortality, weekly as ours. Peace and activity are here also, save a temporary sensation, produced by the arrest of General Smith last month; upon that subject, among honest men, but one sentiment can prevail, and that is-figuratively,-it was a poisoned arrow, shot from Missouri, by men in high places, and aimed at the heart of the innocent saints, for persecution and murder. The life, animation, and good order prevalent among us, whispers the approval of the Lord,-and that is better than silver, yea, more desirable than gold.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES AND SEASONS.
SIR: Not long since, I had the honor to be in the company of a clergyman, as he styled himself, and as our religion was the engrossing topic of conversation, I have thought it would be no harm to community at large, if some of the items of our conversation were made public.
Clergyman.-Your society, I perceive, believe in the Book of Mormon as a revelation from God.
Saint. Yes! certainly: all truth came from the Lord by revelation.
C. Why don't you show the plates and convince the world at once?
S. For the same reason, sir, that you do not show the stone tables, and convince the world at once. They were held sacred in the ark of the covenant, and he that looked into that died. Besides Mr. Smith would be the only proper person to exhibit and explain them; and for him to travel and exhibit them to convince the world at once, over a globe of about 25,000 miles in circumference, embracing various climes and inhabitants, using more than 300 different languages, and numbering more than 900,000,000 souls,-would be an eternal work. To do nothing but travel he would do well if he convinced one a day, which would be 365 a year. At this rate, could the present inhabitants live so long, it would require more than two and a half millions of years, leaving the increase, as the world is now, in heathen darkness.
C. I see you are prepared to resist natural reasons by arguments which have never before been presented to me. But as to its being a revelation the world doubts.
S. Don't the world believe the witnesses to the book?
C. No: they testify too much: saying that an angel came down from heaven and brought the plates, and showed them.
S. Is any thing contrary to scripture that an angel should come from heaven in this age of the world, more than another?
C. Yes! The idea of seeing angels is preposterous. Dr. Gill, Dr. Scott, Dr. Clark, and all our great men in divinity discard the idea. Why sir, the presence of an holy angel would consume us.
S. I see you don't believe in the administration of angels in the church of Jesus Christ.
C. No: not I-it is next to blasphemy to suppose that God would send a holy angel among men in such an enlightened age of the world.
S. Sir, your reason is contrary to the bible; now listen to me a moment and I will show you that God never had a church and people upon the earth, without administering to them by angels. Hagar, Abraham's wife's servant saw an angel, to comfort her in the hour of distress: The Lord and two angels feasted with Abraham upon a fat calf-see Gen. 18 ch:-and the same angels went from Abraham, while he plead with the Lord for Sodom and Gomorrah and staid [stayed] all night with Lot and partook of another feast. This may be the reason why Paul said "be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Jacob saw concourses of angels descending and ascending from heaven to earth, and even wrestled with God! Moses, who, after he murdered the Egyptian, had no better reputation than other men under the same charge, saw God face to face, and seventy of the elders of Israel with him. And the angel went with the camp-Joshua saw the captain of the Lord's hosts-and from the reading of the old testament, it would seem that it was no very uncommon sight for men and women to see angels; even old Nebuchadnezzer, when the three holy men were cast into the fiery furnace, saw four walking in the flames, "and the form of the fourth was like unto the son of God." It appears he knew how Jesus Christ looked several hundred years before he came in the flesh, wicked as he was, and that is more than you allow among what you call righteous.
Again, besides the administering of angels to thousands which I will not now trouble you to hear,-at the birth of Jesus and before,-the Jews, who, you admit were so wicked that they crucified their Lord, were nevertheless visited by an angel yearly at the pool of Bethesda-an angel visited Cornelius before he was initiated into the kingdom: an angel unlocked the prison doors for Peter; and when the Lord was about to show his servants things that must shortly come to pass, he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John, and told John that the mystery of the seven stars was the seven angels of the seven churches of Asia.-What think ye, did God ever have a church without an angel in it?
C. You Mormons have too much scripture-you take all. Now we believe that reason and philosophy have the place of revelation, and as the old testament has been fulfilled, so as also the new, when the apostles died, ceased to be any thing more than the foundation upon which our learned divines were to build up churches until they converted the world to christianity, and brought in the millennium.
S. Too much scripture! why sir, the apostle says all scripture given by inspiration, is profitable for doctrine and reproof, &c., and that in the last days God, not man, would pour out his spirit upon all flesh; and they should prophecy, dream dreams, and see visions; and the Lord would reveal the abundance of peace and truth: gather children his [his children] from every country whither he had scattered them, and return to them a pure language, that they might call upon him with one consent: gather all nations to the valley of Jehoshaphat, and destroy them, that the children of Israel would be seven years in burning the carriages and implements of war; that instead of your reason and philosophy, Paul says, beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the rudiments of the world, and not after the doctrine
of Christ; that instead of your easy times, the powers of heaven are to be shaken, and a time of trouble ensue which will baffle the skill of philosophy, while earthquakes, rebellion, bloodshed, and calamity will continue until great Babylon falls.
C. Must bid you good bye, sir, that doctrine is unpopular.
For the Times and Seasons.
Many in this, as well as in other ages of the world, suppose, that if a man who professes to be religious, is afflicted it must be on account of his iniquities; behold say they, the hand of God is upon him, he is under transgression, &c. They forget the circumstance of Job, and a thousand others given in the scriptures. We are told that if any man will live Godly in Christ Jesus, he shall suffer persecution. Christ says, The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. John vii, 7. The same hatred has been manifested against every man of God, who stood up to rebuke the wicked ever since the world began. Paul understood the matter perfectly, for in his 11th chapter to the Hebrews he says, And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment:
They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
(Or whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
Paul here speaking by inspiration, says, that those thus afflicted and tormented, were characters 'of whom the world was not worthy,' and yet God in his infinite wisdom suffered it to be so, that the world might be warned and rebuked, and left without excuse in the day of judgment, and that they might have an opportunity of filling up their cup of iniquity. They are suffered to grow up like a green bay tree, they spread themselves and become exceeding great and high, opportunity is given them to do much good, they are often made stewards over much wealth, that they might administer to the wants of the poor and destitute, but in their pride they forget the God of the universe who gave, and like Nebuchadnezzar, they say, behold I did it. Should the righteous mourn, because the wicked usurp authority, and exercise tyranny and oppression, and seem to go unpunished, no! for behold the day cometh and 'the righteous shall be mine saith the Lord,' and in that day the wicked shall cease to trouble, and their names shall be blotted out from amongst men, and the weary and afflicted shall have rest and peace, and they shall enjoy the sweet, for they have tasted of the bitter.
Let none suppose that God is angry with his Saints because he suffers the hand of persecution to come upon them, he chasteneth those whom he loveth, and tryeth and proveth every son and daughter, that they may be as gold seven times refined. Rejoice then ye Saints of the Most High, for the God of Abraham is your God, and he will deliver you from all your enemies; seek diligently to know his will, and observe to do it, be zealous in the cause of truth, in building up the kingdom of Christ upon the earth, in rearing up the Temple of God at Nauvoo, and in all works of righteousness. And say not, 'the Lord delayeth his coming,' for behold, the day draweth near, the hour approacheth, be ye ready. Be virtuous, be just, be honorable, be full of faith, love, and charity, pray much, and be patient, wait a little season and the voice of God shall thunder from the heavens, his voice shall be very terrible, then the wicked shall tremble and fall back, they shall be taken in their own snares and fall into the pits which they have digged for others, but the just shall live by faith, and shall shine forth as the stars in the firmament, their glory shall be as the brightness of the sun, for they are God's.
The following account of preparing and managing books, is taken from Dr. Jahn's Biblical Archaeology. Tablets, tables, and plates, are all of the same import, and the mode of fastening leaves, plates or tablets together at the back with rings, is the same way the Book of Mormon was connected. We may, at some future day, pursue this subject far enough to convince honest people, that the stone tables of the Bible, and gold plates of the Book of Mormon, were constructed and carried alike.
"(Books), (which are mentioned as very well known as early as Job 19: 23 Num. 21: 14. Exod. 17: 14,) were written most anciently of skins, on linen, on cotton cloth, and the reed papyrus; and subsequently on parchment. The leaves were written over in small columns, called delautote, (Heb.) Jer. 36: 23. If the book were large, it was of course formed of a number of skins, of a number of pieces of linen and cotton cloth, or of papyrus, or parchment, connected together. The leaves were rarely written over on both sides, Ezek. 2: 9. Zech. 5: 1. Whether the lines were written as in the Sigean inscription, and in the Etruscan inscriptions, might yet be determined, if the stones mentioned Josh. 8: 32. could be found.
Books being written upon very flexible materials, were rolled round a stick; and if they were very long, round two, from the two extremities. The reader unrolled the book to the place which he wanted, and rolled it up again when he had read it, Luke 4: 17-20; whence the name megeelau (Heb.) a volume, or thing rolled up, Ps. 49: 7. Is. 34: 4. Ezek. 2: 9. 2 K. 19: 14. Ezra 6: 2. The leaves thus rolled round the stick, which has been mentioned, and bound with a string, could be easily sealed, Is. 29: 11. Dan. 12: 4. Rev. 5: 1. 6: 7. Those books, which were inscribed on tablets of wood, lead, brass, or ivory, were connected together by rings at the back, through which a rod was passed to carry them by.
Inasmuch as the public mind has been unjustly abused through the fallacy of Dr. Bennett's letters, we make an extract on the subject of marriage, showing the rule of the church on this important matter. The extract is from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and is the only rule allowed by the church.
"All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church, should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband."
TO THE CHURCHES ABROAD AND NEAR BY.
As many false reports are circulated to delay the building of the Temple of God at Nauvoo, we take this public method of stating that the saints are constantly engaged in rearing this great house for their salvation, by tithing and donations--according to the commandments; and in order that the work may progress more speedily; we call upon the churches abroad and near by, to bring or send us their tithes or donations, that we may be enabled to go on prosperously and finish it in an acceptable time to the Lord. The work hands upon this house need provisions and clothes, and the brethren, these plentiful times, have these things and others means, and can, if they will, help us. Brethren remember the commands of the Lord and help fulfil [fulfill] them.
Nauvoo, Aug. 25, 1842.
From the circumstance growing out of the pretended exposures of John C. Bennett, a rumor has gone abroad that the Nauvoo House has ceased to progress. This is therefore designed to inform the brethren of the churches throughout the United States and elsewhere, that the work is still progressing as in times past. It is true we have little or no means to carry on the work, nor have we at any time had a sufficiency of means to go on with that rapidity we would wish. But if no preventing providence we will progress with the work until its final completion, and hereby call upon the brethren to take stock in the house if they have not, that the hands of the laborers may be strengthened thereby.
GEORGE MILLER, P. N. H. A.
The Hebrew priest, when they appeared before the Lord, performed the service with naked feet a symbol of veneration. See Exodus 3: 5.--Josh. 5: 15. Now a days the world's priests wear boots or shoes well blacked as an act of decorum and not see God.
TO THE PATRONS OF THE TIMES AND SEASONS.
Three numbers more closes this volume, and as the distance to many of our subscribers, requires three or four weeks for the papers to reach them, we take the time in advance to stir up their minds by way of remembrance, that our terms are in advance, and to continue the paper in as respectable a standing as it is entitled to by the church it represents, we solicit a continuance of the subscribers, and an extra effort by elders and agents for new subscribers; and request those in arrears to remit the balance due immediately; as well as to invite all that wish the fourth volume, which we mean to make worthy the patronage of all well wishers to the great cause of Jesus Christ, to send us the amount of their subscriptions before the commencement of said volume on the 1st of Nov. next.
Times & Seasons Office,}
Nauvoo, Sept. 1, 1842. }
For the Times and Seasons.
BY MISS E. R. SNOW.
O God! thou God that rules on high,- The work is thine-thy promise sure-
Bow down thy ear to me; Though earth and hell oppose;
Listen, O listen to my cry- Roll, roll it onward and secure
Hear thou, my fervent plea. Thy prophet from his foes.
Rebuke the heartless, wicked clan O hide him in they secret fold
That fain would do us harm; When on his path they tred [tread];
Protect us from the power of man, Safe as Elijah who of old,
By thy Almighty arm. Was by the ravens fed.
Let unseen watchman wait around Bring his accusers' deeds to light,
To shield thy servant's head- And give thy people rest;
Let all his enemies be found Eternal God! gird on thy might
Caught in the net they spread. And succor the oppressed.
Thy grace, like prairie dews distill'd,
To all his needs apply;
And let his upright heart be filled
With spirit from on high, August 13th, 1842.
THE SPIRIT OF GOD.
BY W. W. PHELPS.
The prospects of life, on the earth are dear, The glory of earth is sublime and grand,
While fortune to youth, or to age seems near; When spring lends her charms, and the zephyr bland,
While time gives a moment new scenes to scan, Perfumed with odours [odors] from ev'ry lawn,
Or hope holds a laurel afar for man: Salutes us with joy as she passes on:
Yet one better blessing than these is given- Yet one thing is sweeter than spring's soft breath-
The Spirit of God as a guide to heaven. The spirit of God in the hour of death.
The fame of the world is immensely great, The sun, O the sun! what a world of light?
Where wealth rides in splendor, and art in state; The moon from his fountain can lamp the night,
Where pearls from the ocean do shine in crowns; And comets in splendor, as spirit cars,
And gold from the mines with the rich abounds: May luminate heaven, amid the stars:
Yet one thing is richer than wealth or art- Yet one thing is greater than all we see-
The spirit of God to the pure in heart. The Spirit of God fills eternity.
BOOKS OF MORMON, &C.
Just published and for sale, Books of Mormon, and Hymn Books, together with some other publications in defence [defense] of the faith of the saints.
Nauvoo. Aug. 20, 1842.
The Times and Seasons, Is edited, printed and published about the first fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by JOSEPH SMITH.
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 Joseph Smith, publishers, POST PAID, or they will not receive attention.
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