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Messenger and Advocate/1/10
Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate: Volume 1, Number 10
Summary:Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Messenger and Advocate Vol. 1
|Number 9||Number 11|
Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate: Volume 1, Number 10
|LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE|
|Volume I. No. 10.]||KIRTLAND, OHIO, JULY, 1835.||[Whole No. 10.|
LETTER NO. 9.
Dear Brother in the Lord:—I have perused your sixth letter, addressed to me in the April number of the Messenger and Advocate, and, besides your own matter, it contains many valuable quotations for the edification and instruction of the saints of God, and the world of mankind. For me, however, to go into all the particulars of your letter, would be a matter of supererogation; I therefore shall only touch such items as the spirit of the Lord shall direct, and pray him to guide my pen to good things and great conclusions.—And first—your quotation from the sublime song of Moses: "Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people!"—is so full of meaning, and breathes such an inviting command, that I feel impressed to observe its important import.
On reading the song of Moses one is led to marvel; to wonder; to hope; to glory; to rejoice, and bless,—for what was, and is, and is to come. Why did Moses command the nations to rejoice with the Lord's people? Because the children of Israel, his chosen, his elect, were to be gathered from all the countries whither they had been scattered and driven for their transgressions, that they might come home to Zion, in the last days, with songs of everlasting joy, and live with Christ on earth, a thousand years, in perfect peace and holiness. And as we read that some out of every nation, kindred, tongue and people will be gathered, well might Moses command the nations to rejoice with the Lord's people!
Though thousands may wonder, and even doubt how Moses came to know what should take place in the last days, let us, being enlightened by the revelations of God from the beginning till now, rejoice!—firstly for that glorious messenger of truth which sprung up out of the earth, the book of Mormon, to light up a smile in this world, in the aspect of woe; and secondly that our lives were hid with Christ in God to come forth in this august era, to labor in the vineyard for the last time, before the earth rests from wickedness. We need not wonder that Moses knew what would come to pass in the last days:—he held the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom of God, and could unlock the door that led to heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and gaze upon what was, and is, and is to come, as well as see the Lord face to face and talk with him, as man with man. Again, the Urim and Thummim was in the church of Moses, and he could read great things as they were rolled down from heaven upon the holy parchment, and written for the benefit of coming generations. Time must be filled and the earth purified. The Lord is light. When Peter, and James, and John went up into the mount with the Savior, Moses and Elias were there; and the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom were conferred upon them, Peter being at the head.—It is written in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, that after he (Jesus) ascended into heaven, he gave commandments, thro' the Holy Ghost, unto the apostles whom he had chosen, that is, to Peter, James and John, they forming the first presidency of the church of Christ, after the meridian of time: hence we have a sample of the way and manner which God uses to give the scriptures to man:—The Urim and Thummim and the Holy Ghost.—The word of the Lord could come to our forefathers of the church, through the Urim and Thummim, as well as by vision, but then the word of the Lord was read upon the parchment let down from heaven. When the word came by open vision, it was through the Holy Ghost, which is the mind of God, and never dwells in unholy temples.
Having said so much by way of elucidation, let me turn to the subject again. The song of Moses is replete with heavenly and earthly knowledge. When Moses commenced the song, he exclaimed:— Give ear O ye heavens, and I will speak, and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Now why did Moses call upon the HEAVENS TO GIVE EAR, when he was about to drop his doctrine as the rain, and distil[l] his speech as the dew? Was it because he held certain keys, and spoke the mind of the Lord? because he had open visions, and knew the first and last of Israel? He had viewed the kingdoms of God spread through the regions of space; he had looked upon Israel driven and scatter-
ed over the face of the whole earth, and he had gazed upon the gathering and glory that should follow after much tribulation, and by commandment from the Great I AM—it is no wonder that he could exclaim, Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people!
While on the subject of church history let me remark, that our venerable fathers in the church of Christ of former day saints, being chosen and ordained to offices, took no ordinary pains to preserve and hand down to their posterity, the blessings which they conferred upon their children: and who is not desirous of receiving a father's or an evangelist's blessing? Who can read the ancient patriarchal blessings, recorded in the bible, for the benefit of the church, without a heart filled with joy, and the eyes flowing with tears of gratitude, to God for his merciful kindness towards his children?
A blessing, in its general acceptation is favor from God—happiness from heaven—joy from Jesus—prosperity from Providence—peace from the Prince of glory—or a boon from above. From the earliest age a rule was known to obtain blessings: Please the Lord by works of righteousness; offer an acceptable offering, or do all you do with an eye single to the glory of God.—Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord; and Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof: and the Lord had respect unto Abel, and to his offering:—It was done in righteousness, and the Lord smiled upon him: But he had no respect unto Cain nor his offering because it came from an impure heart, and from the ground which had been cursed.
But to come nearer to the point, let me refer to the blessings of God—and man—for man being created in his likeness and image, had a claim for blessings—and a right to bless, so long as he was in the right way. After Adam and Eve were created—the holy language is,—and God blessed them, and he said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Surely man and woman came from the hand of God, in his own image, for lords and ladies of creation,— blessed—for posterity—for virtue—for industry—for peace and glory: and notwithstanding they fell, the decree of God continued, that, where there was righteousness, there should be blessings: and this is brought to pass through the plan of salvation which requires belief, repentance, faith, prayer, good works, and endurance to the end, to be in favor with God in this world, and enjoy his presence in the world to come.
After the earth had been baptized by a flood, for a remission of her sins, and Noah had besought the Lord for her while she remained, that seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, might continue without cessation, he blessed Noah and his sons, with a command like that given to father Adam, saying, the fear of you, and the dread of you, shall be upon every beast, &c. adding—flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require: at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. From this scripture it is made clear, that the Lord blesses upon conditions, fulfils his promises, requires the conditions, and punishes every transgression. The Judge of all the earth does right.
But I must not pursue this subject too far; the great object I had in view, in quoting the blessing bestowed upon Adam and Noah, was to show that God, the Father and Author of all good, established an order of blessing in his church upon earth, in all ages: which order had been lost for centuries, even from the flight of blessings and glory in the apostolic days, till the book of Mormon spoke from the dust to cheer the heart of the humble with the fulness of the everlasting gospel—with all its requisitions—with all its promises—with all its glories—with all its plainness, and with all its blessings! No wonder that God blessed Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; no wonder that Melchizedec met Abraham returning from the slaughter and blessed him; no wonder that Jacob called his sons around him, in his old age and blessed them; no wonder he blessed the children of Joseph; no; all these blessings are no wonder—for i[t]
was a fulfilling a joyful, solemn ordinance of the everlasting gospel! It was acting in one of the sacred functions of the high priesthood for the good of man: It was acting according to the order of God—the order of heaven, in the beauty of holiness, for the benefit, the comfort, the joy and the salvation of man.
Moses, who was a man of God, a prophet, a revelator, and a seer, blessed the tribes of Israel, and who can turn over the sacred pages and read the blessing which he bestowed upon the heads of that chosen, though rebellious nation, without rejoicing? With holy aspirations he commands: Let Reuben live; hear, Lord the voice of Judah; let the Urim and Thummim be with Levi; Benjamin, the beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety with thee; Joseph, blessed of the Lord be his land for the precious things of heaven; (how I rejoice for the book of Mormon when I read this) rejoice Zebulun, in thy going out; blessed be him that enlargeth Gad; O Napthali satisfied with favor! Dan shall leap from Bashan; and let Asher dip his foot in oil. Who can read the blessing from which these items are taken, and not rejoice with his people? and not long to suck of the abundance of the seas, and of the treasures hid in the sand? Yea, who would not rejoice to be among the favored of the Lord to receive the chief things of the ancient mountains; and to know of the precious things of the lasting hills? Shall I say there is not an honest person in the world but will give all he has, and even suffer much tribulation for such a multitude of blessings? Yes.
I shall not be able in this letter, to set forth the ancient order and manner of blessing as full as I could wish, notwithstanding, I think I have opened the subject, as connected with the history of the church from the beginning, so plainly that the saints, if not many who as yet are without the kingdom, will see and know that, God has always had, in his church, among his people, men endowed with power and authority to bless the fatherless and the widow, besides the power which was given to the fathers to bless their children, that might be brought up in the way of holiness before the Lord.
The bible and the book of Mormon are plain on this subject. The word of the Lord is plain: the more I read it the more I learn: This is the way, walk ye in it, and the Lord will bless you—which I pray may be the happy lot of the faithful, in time and eternity.
W. W. PHELPS.
TO OLIVER COWDERY. Esq.
"The House of God."
It will not be deemed improper for us to give the saints and friends of the everlasting gospel, a few words relative to the house of worship now erecting in Kirtland, Ohio. The first stone was laid on the twenty third of July, 1833, when, without faith, yea precious faith in the promises of the Lord, the appearances of the church would have indicated any thing but a speedy completion. Let it be remembered that the unparalleled outrages of the mob of Jackson county, were committed about this time, and the church in its infancy, had to weep over this cruel tragedy as a sore affliction upon the children of Zion.
Trusting, however, in the God of Enoch, who succors the needy, and exalts the humble, a few commenced the work; and though other important matters rolled round, which, to many, would have seemed insurmountable, and calculated to retard the progress of the building, still, the walls and the timbers of the roof were finished, being raised late last fall: and the roof is now covered.
This edifice is stone, to be completed on the outside with a "hard finish of cement." Its length is eighty feet; its width, sixty; its height, from the ground to the top of the eaves, about fifty; from the basement forty four, giving two stories of twenty-two feet each, besides an attic story in the roof for school rooms. It will be lighted with thirty-two Gothic, three Venetian, ten dormer, one circular and two square gable windows. The dome of the steeple will be not far from 110 feet high, and the bell about ninety.
The sum expended, thus far, towards its erection, may be computed at about ten thousand dollars, and the whole cost, when finished, will probably be from twenty to thirty thousand. Like many houses for public worship, this house has been, so far, reared, and must be finished, by donations from the saints, and all that feel an interest in the salvation of the human fam-
ily. As a sample of the liberality and faith of the saints at Kirtland, we have the pleasure of saying, that on Thursday the 18th of June last, $950 were subscribed for the work; and, that on Thursday the 25th of the same month, $6,232, were subscribed for the same glorious purpose, making seven thousand one hundred and eighty two dollars. So much for the laudable object of preparing a house where the incomings and the outgoings of the saints may be in the name of the Lord, as in old times.
This noble example is a good pattern, and must be imitated by every well wisher of the cause of Zion. The churches abroad will not, they cannot honestly withhold their abundance or little,—no; they will contribute till the spirit of the Lord will bear witness, and write upon their hearts—"well done thou good and faithful servants"—you shall receive your rewards.—When the saints bless, they may expect to be blessed; be with God and God will be with you.
The honest, who may not as yet have come into the kingdom, and embraced the everlasting gospel, it is to be hoped, will not scruple to lend to the Lord, for he is good to reward; mighty to save, and ever to be honored. Nothing uncommon is solicited of the children of men, when donations are asked: House after house has been reared by subscription; want after want has been supplied by alms; and heart after heart has been feasted and comforted by charity—and surely when our object is good and our motives pure, we shall not be less happy in finding faithful friends for the benefit of fallen man!
We rejoice, when we reflect what the Lord of glory has said on this subject. After giving line upon line according to promise, he has said:—"Therefore, verily I say unto you, my friends, call your solemn assembly, as I have commanded you; and as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom: seek learning even by study, and also by faith. Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; that your incomings may be in the name of the Lord; that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord; that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High."
Brethren and friends! the commandments of the Lord are sure; the prospect of the saints is cheering; the harvest is great; the laborers are few; the work is glorious; the cause is righteous, and the reward eternal: Be ready, then, to tithe yourselves, and prepare yourselves, that you may be among the happy number who shall be invited to the supper of the great Bridegroom, because you have added virtue to your faith; and knowledge to your virtue; and temperance to your knowledge; and patience to your temperance; and godliness to your patience; and brotherly kindness to your godliness; and and charity to your brotherly kindness:—for "the house of the Lord, built by the Latter Day Saints."—P.
The following slanderous slip is cut from the New-York Mercury, of June, 25:
"An Angel Caught..—The Magazine and Advocate says, that while the Mormon Prophet, Jo. Smith, was in Ohio, engaged in proselyting the people to the faith of the "Golden Bible," he sought to give additional solemnity to the baptismal rite, by affirming that on each occasion an angel would appear on the opposite side of the stream, and there remain till the conclusion of the ceremony. The rite was administered in the evening in Grand River, near Painesville, not by the Prophet in person, but by his disciples. In agreement with the prediction of the Prophet, on each occasion a figure in white was seen on the opposite bank, and the faith of the faithful was thereby greatly increased. Suspicions, as to the incorporeal nature of the reputed angel, at length induced a company of young men (unbelievers of course) to examine the quality of the ghost, and having secreted themselves, they awaited its arrival. Their expectations were soon realized, by its appearance in its customary position, and rushing from their lair, they succeeded in forcing it into the stream, and although its efforts at escape were powerful, they succeeded in bearing it in triumph to
the opposite side of the stream, when who should this supposed inhabitant of the upper world be, but the Mormon Prophet himself!— Rochester Rep."
There are, in our day, many kinds of craft; some have but a small, while others have a large support. Some have many advocates while others have few; but among them all, one would suppose that the great Babylon, spoken of in the Apocalypse, might be found—that notable city, which is to fall in one hour, while the inhabitants of the earth lament and mourn.
I do not suppose that the Messenger and Advocate will fall into the hands of but a few, if any, of those who severally read this ridiculous falsehood in the "Magazine and Advocate," which appears was the first to give it publicity; neither the patrons of the "Rochester Republican," (which I did believe possessed too much patriotism and liberality to give any attention to such a tale without proof,) and the "Mercury" which eagerly follows; but that a few thousand, among the many, may know that it adds another to the numerous catalogue, framed by designing men, and put in circulation by them and their dupes, and that it is noticed enough to be contradicted.
It may be distinctly understood that Joseph Smith, jr. the translator of the book of Mormon, has, since the winter of 1831, resided in the State of Ohio, and for the most part of the time, within nine miles of Painesville; and had any occurrence of the kind ever transpired, it would have been proclaimed, through this region, upon the house tops; and further, that he never baptized any one, neither were he present when an individual was baptized, into this church, near Painesville. It carries the stamp of its author upon the face of it.
Every well-wisher of his fellow-men will say at once, that such reports are only put forth with a design to calumniate the innocent and abuse the public, by forestalling their opinion before a man can be heard, or his character and principles known. Are the editors of either of those papers acquainted with the character of Joseph Smith, jr.? Whether they are or are not, I venture to say, that it is as good in the sight of either God or man as theirs. Did they ever see him? Were they present on the occasion of which they have mentioned? Or have they seen a person who says he was? I venture to say, again, that if they are acquainted with the one who reported the lie, he is among that class who think scandal no harm, nor falsehoods upon the innocent, a crime; and if they have seen the man who says he were present when such an occurrence transpired, or ever heard Mr. Smith make or give such a promise to any one, they have given publicity to the falsehood of an individual who was ready to laugh them in their face for their credulity, and blush at their folly.— C.
IS THE END NEAR?
It is with no ordinary feeling that I reflect upon the fact, that there are now upon the earth, say, one thousand million of inhabitants, and that all this vast multitude are bound to the bar of their Creator! Let the man, if one can be found upon the foot stool, who feels himself to be great, think, whether, in this assemblage, he would be considered of much consequence; and then ask, if his significance will not dwindle into insignificance when all generations are brought together?
But let the reflecting mind once peruse the accounts of distress and afflictions, which are going the rounds; and can he, will he doubt, that the end is near?
A riot lately occurred in New York, another in Hartford, Ct. and another in Philadelphia. It appears that disaffections arise between the white and black population, and in some instances serious injuries have been sustained.
An alarming tornado lately passed over the towns of New Brunswick and Piscataway, with which many houses were literally swept away, and several lives lost.
Another awful eruption of Mount Vesuvius has taken place, attended with earthquake, and the emitting of lava to the height of twelve or fifteen thousand feet. The grand crater was said to be two thousand feet across, from which ascended a column of fire and heated rocks. This is the second eruption which has occurred this year.
A tornado lately passed over Williamsport, Pa. one at Little Falls, N. Y. and another in Warren county, N. J. on the same day that the fatal one passed over New Brunswick. Several shocks of an earthquake have lately
been felt in Maryland. No particular damage has been experienced.
Besides the destruction of a large district of country in Chili, of late, with the loss of many lives, it is said, that the island of Juan Fernandes is sunk. If this is the fact, one would be sensibly reminded of the saying in the prophet, "Behold he taketh up the isles as a very little thing."
The cholera has again began its ravages in the South. The waters of the Mississippi Valley are troubled, and many who rise in the morning in health, close their eyes on time before the setting of the sun.
A destructive plague has broken out in Egypt, and hundreds and thousands are falling victims to its alarming progress. T[h]e following extract is the last intelligence received:
"THE PLAGUE IN EGYPT.—We have accounts from Alexandria to the 28th of March, at which time the plague was still raging in that city with unabated violence. The deaths were on an average 200 daily. Several European and many Greek houses were infected. Most of the foreign vessels in the harbor had the pestilence on board—several had been obliged to re-land their cargoes after losing part of their crew. The disorder had been very fatal to the crews of an Egyptian ship of the line and a frigate, which were in the roads. The disorder at Cairo was still more destructive than at Alexandria. There it was thought not to have yet reached its height, and yet the deaths were from 300 to 400 daily. But it was at Fua, a town containing about 25,000 to 30,000 inhabitants, & situate on the banks of the Nile, directly opposite to the canal of Mahmedie, that the visitation of this dreadful scourge had been most fatal. It is stated that in that place, out of 19,000 persons attacked, scarcely 500 survived! So that by the sweeping extermination of the great bulk of the population, and the flight of the remnant, the town was wholly depopulated. It is added that all the villages on both banks of the Nile suffer severely, & that the disease gradually reaches those parts of Egypt which had hitherto been spared. All the Foreign Consuls had left Cairo and Alexandria. A report prevailed at Leghorn that Mehemet Ali was again ill, and had been given over by his physicians. It has been said he had fallen a victim to the pestilence, but the report did not rest upon any authority."
Our political horizon is also agitated. Trouble seems to be brooding over our fair and happy land: Brother seems to be arrayed against brother in politics—strife follows strife, and threat succeeds threat—all seem to be waiting for the voice of the Lord: "To war!" when with a tumultuous rushing men and elements will combine to wind up the last scene of wo!" The New Governments to the South West are in commotion: one ambitious chief strives for the mastery over his fellow, and war, desolating war, follows as a consequence.
Nor is the New World alone in trouble—Europe's fair shores are drenched with blood, to gratify the pride and malice of princes. With wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and calamities, afflictions and distress, the sea and the waves roaring, and men's hearts failing them for fear, who can doubt but the end is nigh? And where, within a short space, will be this boasting generation, with their pride, popularity, wealth, grandeur and millions? Consumed by the wrath of the Most High, if they repent not! C.
Not long since the people of Kirtland were favored with a discourse from a Mr. Bradley, a preacher of the Universal doctrine. I was not present during the entire lecture, therefore cannot speak upon the merits or demerits of the whole. It may be said, that it is unjust to judge any matter without hearing the whole of it; but as that part which I did hear seemed to be a detached, or an entire subject (though short) of itself, I shall take the liberty to say a few words.
The speaker labored very hard to make his audience believe that they received no punishment after death; but that in common with all men would enjoy eternal life and bliss, whatever were their conduct here. To prove this position he quoted the following, Proverbs, 11:31. "Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner."
On this item from Solomon I only remark, that to give it the interpretation the gentleman would have us receive, concerning the wicked and the sinner, we may say that the righteous have no joy after death, with as much
propriety as we can that the wicked and sinner have no affliction or misery, because if they are to be recompensed in the earth, or in this life, as Mr. Bradley carried the idea, the righteous receive their reward, also, and thus end their hopes and expectations.
While speaking of the gospel, (for he professed a great love and veneration for it,) he said that the Lord sent forth his apostles to preach the gospel of peace, good will, glad tidings, &c. to every creature; to bind up the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to the captive, and the opening of prisons to those who were bound.
I do not say that the gospel is not glad tidings: I know it is, and of great joy, but this leap from the commission (not half told) given to the apostles, to Isaiah, is worthy of notice. Isaiah says, 61:1,2,3: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified."
This short quotation is of some importance, as it talks of a day of vengeance as well as a proclamation of liberty to the captive. But, that this will refer to the just, and not the unjust, is evident from the fact, that these good tidings were to be preached to the meek, and the comfort to be administered to those in Zion. Now, if the sinner and the wicked are the meek, they may claim this language, but if not, they cannot in justice.
Luke, in the 4th chapt. of his testimony, has given a relation of the Savior's saying that that scripture was fulfilled in the ears of the Jews—that is, he was the person referred to, by the prophet, who was to proclaim this good news: that fact is not controverted, but in the commission of the apostles, there is an item worth our attention, as it is as positively the condition on which all men may get into the kingdom of God, (and if men can be saved out of it I have yet to learn the fact,) as there is such a kingdom or men, whose condition required it for their salvation.—It reads thus: Mark, 16:15,16: "And he [Christ] said unto them, GO YE [you apostles] INTO ALL THE WORLD, AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE. HE THAT BELIEVETH AND IS BAPTIZED, SHALL BE SAVED; BUT HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT, SHALL BE DAMNED." Has Mr. Bradley a diploma like this?
It may be said by some, that the word "damned," in this place only means condemnation or reproof, and that no principle like this exists in the law of the Lord. Mark 3:29 says: "But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." Now, if there were no possibility of blaspheming against the Holy Ghost, the Lord of glory never would have warned us against doing this act; and if no such principle exists as damnation, and that eternal, to be inflicted upon such as do blaspheme, he certainly has spoken nonsense and folly.
On the subject of the wicked's being rewarded as well as the righteous, in this life, I give a few words from John, and leave this part of the lecture. John 5:28, 29: "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his [Christ's] voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation!"
Another item I wish to notice. Mr. Bradley instructed his audience, that it was unnecessary for the followers of Christ to receive persecution. As this puts at defiance the actual experience of the world from the earliest period to the present, I add only a few remarks. Was Abel a saint, a righteous man? and was he, or was he not slain by the hand of his brother? and for what?—Says John, 1st epistle, 3:12: "Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous."—What course could Abel have pursued in order to escape persecution? The answer may be, to have done as Cain wished. Query, then, would he have
been a saint, since we learn that Cain was of the devil?
Paul said to Timothy, 2 ep. 3:10, 11, 12: "But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long suffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. You, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." Were James, Peter, Paul and thousands of the righteous, slain for the testimony of Christ, or were they not? and if so, why did they not pursue a course in life differently, so as to avoid those painful afflictions, miseries and death? But to decide this matter I add the word of the Lord himself, and let Mr. Bradley, and his followers reconcile it with their creed: John 15:18,19,20: also 16:2:
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. They shall put you out of the synagogues, yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doeth God service."
I do not say that those who persecute the saints are justified—far from this; but I do say, that the man that preaches that the saints could live, in past ages, and keep the commandments and ordinances of the Lord Jesus, without suffering persecutions, afflictions, and death, says at once, that the religion of heaven is a farce, and the word of Christ a lie. And that if a people can live, in obedience to the gospel, amid a corrupt and sinful generation, without receiving scoffs and reproaches, is sporting with the common sense and experience of every man of God. The disgraceful scenes of the Missouri mob are too fresh in my mind to be imposed upon by Mr. Bradley, or any other man who thus perverts the word of life, and insults the good feelings of those who have been dispossessed of their homes and houses by lawless marauders, for their religion's sake! Yes, the groans of the dying, the cry of innocent mothers and virgins, the shrieks of helpless infants, have ascended up into the ears of Jehovah, as a testimony of the truth of the religion of the Lord Jesus, and will ever stand as a memorial, on the records of heaven, against those who afflicted them without cause, and slew without law. And it may be understood, that no man can offer a higher insult to the feelings and dignity of the people in this place, than to say that he that lives godly, in an ungodly generation, will not be persecuted, saying nothing of the perversion of the word of truth, and the attempt to prove that "he that entereth not by the door into the sheep-fold, but climbeth up some other way is not a thief and a robber!" C.
Virtue is succeeded by vice in the extreme, and all parade and pomp attached to religion is sound without substance—solemn mockery before the Lord, and an offering of vanity which never raises a soul to heaven. It is in vain to buy eternal life with money; it is in vain to please God, if we neglect the poor; it is vain to serve the Lord with fashions, and it is in vain to expect corrupt trees to bring forth good fruit. If we ever enter a world of happiness it will be because we have obeyed the commandments of the Lord; visited the fatherless and the widow and administered to their afflictions and necessities; because we have visited the saints in prison and comforted them; because we have never looked upon sin with any degree of allowance, and because we have fought the good fight of faith and been faithful to the end—yea, our ears will hear the word of the Lord, behind us, saying; "This is the way, walk ye in it."
Our nation is certainly receding from virtue; from many places there might be reason to say the people know how to act better than they do. We subjoin the following from the Albany Mercury as one evidence in support of the premises we have entered:
"MISSIONARIES.—It is a lamentable truth, that, notwithstanding the preeminent advantages the Americans enjoy, notwithstanding the great diffusion of education among them, there is a degree of religious fanaticism existing in the United States, that, if permitted to come to maturity, will sweep away, in one common ruin, liberty, happiness, and the rights of man. Do but examine one single feature of this fanaticism, and then Judge what princi-
ples the WHOLE must be composed of. Look at the thousands of dollars that are sent out of the country, day after day, to support a Legion called 'Missionaries.' Look to individuals that will subscribe tens of thousands of dollars to the support of this fund, who would not give a single cent to the relief of his fellow creature on a bed of sickness, with his weeping and half naked children around him;—and then take a view of the solitary captive, the American Artisan and Mechanic, with a trifling debt on his shoulders, looking through the bars of a prison on the blessed Sabbath day, and, in our own city, depending for a morsel to eat on the charity of their fellow citizens." P.
It affords us no small consolation to witness the slow but steady increase of the church of Christ of Latter Day Saints. The fulfilment of the prophecies, and the natural evidence of the fruit of righteousness—are sufficient signs for those that believe—and we rejoice that it is yet to-day—praying that many may hearken to the everlasting gospel. We hope, knowing that great things await us in this generation; we have faith because the promises of God are sure, and we pray for the faithful laborers in the Lord's vineyard: they send us good tidings and we glory with them at the prospect before us.
"The twelve" have been blest: at their conference in Freedom, N. Y. May 22, they "Resolved that the limits of that conference should extend from Lodi, so far east as to include the branch of the church in Avon; south to the Pennsylvania line, and north to lake Ontario—to be called Freedom Conference." The representations of the numbers of the churches, were, Freedom 65 members; Rushford 28: Portage 26; Burns 30; Niagara 4; Holland and Aurora 18, who had suffered some, from the false insinuations of the enemy of righteousness. They established a conference at Lyons, N. Y. In one month they had baptized 36.
At Pillow-point, N. Y. eleven branches of the church were represented, containing in all 109 members, who, with the others above, are said to be in good standing. The conference or council at this place, tried a brother "John Elmer (who had lately joined the church) for holding doctrines and views opposed to the principles of the church of the Latter Day Saints.—When called upon, he stated that he had had many visions and revelations, and he said that the Lord had revealed to him of a certainty that he would make his second appearance within fifteen years; also that the Spirit of God often came upon him and threw him down and caused him (as he expressed it) to disfigure himself, or die the death of the righteous, and also of the wicked, and then come to life again, in the presence of others in order to convince them that he was a man of God, and had great power. He also stated that in one of his visions the Lord Jesus appeared to him personally and laid his hand upon him, and sanctified him both soul and body; and that he was now immortal, or changed, so that he would never die. He stated many other curious notions and vagaries ascribing them all to the power of God, and that he never would deny them altho' the council and the whole church should decide against them. The council endeavored to show him that he was deceived by the adversary, but to no effect. He said he had rather be excluded from the church than to give up any of his views or say they were not of God: consequently the church lifted their hands against him."
During the ministering at this place, eleven were added to the church. They held a conference at Loborough, Upper Canada, the 29th of June; the branch of the church there consists of 25 members in good standing, but much in want of the pure knowledge and doctrine of the kingdom: they think, with us, that the Messenger and Advocate is of great consequence, in giving the saints strength to maintain the cause of the Lord. Elders Henry and Jacob Wood, who had been suspended for some time, were excluded, and the church lifted their hands against them. After the conference closed they baptized three. We shall continue to pray for the twelve, that they may be with God and God with them. P.
By request, a conference will be held at New Portage, on Friday, the 4th of Sept. next. On Saturday public preaching may be expected, commencing at 9 o'clock, A. M. C.
Messenger and Advocate
KIRTLAND, OHIO, JULY, 1835.
In the most friendly manner, but with some feelings of regret, we shall endeavor to lay before the saints the absolute necessity of training up their children in the way they should go, that they may be saved while it is called to day, for tomorrow cometh the burning. We look to parents and guardians, in the church of Latter Day Saints, with intense interest, and anxious desire, for the welfare of the children under their care and direction. The Lord now, as in days of old, has given express commandments for the benefit of children; and where parents or guardians, suffer children to grow up without observing these commandments strictly; without instructing them in the laws, covenants, and holy precepts, which have been given for their guidance, to lead them into the kingdom of the Lord, the sin will rest upon their heads and not upon the children.
This is not all: any unlawful indulgence; every unholy license; every unsanctified principle, and every foolish practice, allowed to children, is an abomination in the sight of God. Shall the disciples of the living God walk in the paths of vice and folly, with impunity, and claim the name and blessings of saints?
Many things are wrong: not only children bring a reproach upon the glorious cause of our Redeemer, but even some elders stoop from the responsible and holy office to which they have been exalted by the voice of the Spirit, to the frivolous practice of playing ball, and other vain amuzements [amusements]. Who is he that disrespects the ordinances of the house of the Lord? who but he that disgraces his own reputation? "He that receiveth my law," saith the Lord, "and doeth it, the same is my disciple: and he that saith he receiveth it, and doeth it not, the same is not my disciple, and shall be cast out from among you."
The practice of suffering boys and girls to be strolling about the streets without any business, is unrighteous, and leads to vice; to vicious habits; to laziness; to profanity and disobedience, and, without speedy repentance, will leave many souls to reap the reward of their folly in outer darkness, where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
But how much more is the heart of a saint pained to witness such unhallowed conduct on the holy Sabbath; especially if the house of worship is made the place of such abomination, and public worship disturbed by the running and yelling of a parcel of ungained children before the Lord?
Are the children entirely to blame for such insults upon our holy religion? Are they to be their own reformers? let those interested answer: for already, like an uncultivated field, full of sturdy weeds, we behold such follies. How vain! How transient! How degrading! How destructive to the peace and happiness of the Latter Day Saints! Alas! it is, like the pestilence, walking in darkness and wasting at noon day! Beware lest the Lord chastise in his hot displeasure!
The saints' children should be brought up as ensamples of virtue, of piety, of modesty, and good breeding, for others, that they, seeing every action well seasoned with godliness, righteousness and decorum, may be constrained to exclaim:—How good and pleasant it is to see brethren dwell together in unity, and children brought up in holiness! We will go and do likewise.
It is a vain speculation to think of living without manners, politeness, or learning as may have been taught by some of the untaught elders of the church. The Lord has had respect unto us, and do let us have virtue enough to respect each other, for this is right and acceptable unto him.—Moses, who was a man of God, was a pattern of meekness and manners: It reads in Exodus: "And Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and did obedience, and kissed him, and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent." So much for a sample that our forefathers did obedience to each other, (not however wishing to introduce the custom of kissing for a salutation,) honor to whom whom honor is due.
While on such an important subject, the words of Paul to his Corinthian brethren may not be amiss: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And
what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" It is honorable and just to treat all with decency, respect and politeness, but to see a young brother or sister, associating, or more properly making bosom companions of those who believe not, but spurn the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, is so far from patterning after the order of heaven, that we wonder how such members can expect to be in fellowship with those that mean to be saved by walking in all the ordinances of the Lord blameless, and keeping his commandments continually. Treat those without the kingdom with tenderness and respect: train up your children to serve the Lord and not satan, that they may shun the cunningly devised fables of this perishing generation.—Save yourselves.
—> To save any improper feelings among the servants of the Lord, we have to say, that want of space and time, have caused us to abridge & condense the letters which come in from the travelling elders, &c. And we take this opportunity of suggesting the propriety of brevity: short letters, containing matters of fact, are what we want, and what the saints need to build them up in righteousness. To worship God in spirit and truth, can be done without much speaking; and facts may be told in few words. P.
—> Brother Pliny Foot, of Norfolk, Litchfield County, Con. now in this place, wishes us to inform Bishop Partridge, through the Messenger, that he is desired to call on him at his residence during his tour to the east. In consequence of Br. Foot's not knowing where he can address a line to meet Bishop Partridge, we admit his request.
TO W. W. PHELPS, ESQ.
DEAR BROTHER:—Circumstances having heretofore intervened to prevent my addressing you previously upon the history of this church, you will not attribute the neglect to any want on my part, of a disposition to prosecute a subject so dear to me and so important to every saint, living as we do in the day when the Lord has began to fulfil his covenants to his long-dispersed and afflicted people.
Since my last yours of May and June have been received. It will not be expected that I shall digress so far from my object, as to go into particular explanations on different items contained in yours; but as all men are deeply interested on the great matter of revelation, I indulge a hope that you will present such facts as are plain and uncontrovertible, both from our former scriptures and the book of Mormon, to show that such is not only consistent with the character of the Lord, but absolutely necessary to the fulfillment of that sacred volume, so tenaciously admired by professors of religion—I mean that called the bible.
You have, no doubt, as well as myself, frequently heard those who do not pretend to an "experimental" belief in the Lord Jesus, say, with those who do, that, (to use a familiar phrase,) "any tune can be played upon the bible:" What is here meant to be conveyed, I suppose, is, that proof can be adduced from that volume, to support as many different systems as men please to choose: one saying this is the way, and the other, this is the way, while the third says, that it is all false, and that he can "play this tune upon it." If this is so, alas for our condition: admit this to be the case, and either wicked and designing men have taken from it those plain and easy items, or it never came from Deity, if that Being is perfect and consistent in his ways.
But although I am ready to admit that men, in previous generations, have, with polluted hands and corrupt hearts, taken from the sacred oracles many precious items which were plain of comprehension, for the main purpose of building themselves up in the trifling things of this world, yet, when it is carefully examined, a straight forward consistency will be found, sufficient to check the vicious heart of man and teach him to revere a word so precious, handed down to us from our fathers, teaching us that by faith we can approach the same benevolent Being, and receive for ourselves a sure word of prophecy, which will serve as a light in a dark place, to lead to those
things within the vail, where peace, righteousness and harmony, in one uninterrupted round, feast the inhabitants of those blissful regions in endless day.
Scarce can the reflecting mind be brought to contemplate these scenes, without asking, for whom are they held in reserve, and by whom are they to be enjoyed? Have we an interest there? Do our fathers, who have waded through affliction and adversity, who have been cast out from the society of this world, whose tears have, times without number, watered their furrowed face, while mourning over the corruption of their fellowmen, an inheritance in those mansions? If so, can they without us be made perfect? Will their joy be full till we rest with them? And is their efficacy and virtue sufficient, in the blood of a Savior, who groaned upon Calvary's summit, to expiate our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness? I trust, that as individuals acquainted with the gospel, through repentance, baptism and keeping the commandments of that same Lord, we shall eventually, be brought to partake in the fulness of that which we now only participate—the full enjoyment of the presence of our Lord. Happy indeed, will be that hour to all the saints, and above all to be desired, (for it never ends) when men will again mingle praise with those who do always behold the face of our Father who is in heaven.
You will remember that in my last I brought my subject down to the evening, or night of the 21st of September, 1823, and gave an outline of the conversation of the angel upon the important fact of the blessings, promises and covenants to Israel, and the great manifestations of favor to the world, in the ushering in of the fulness of the gospel, to prepare the way for the second advent of the Messiah, when he comes in the glory of the Father with the holy angels.
A remarkable fact is to be noticed with regard to this vision. In ancient time the Lord warned some of his servants in dreams: for instance, Joseph, the husband of Mary, was warned in a dream to take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt: also, the wise men were warned of the Lord in a dream not to return to Herod; and when "out of Egypt the Son was called," the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph again: also he was warned in a dream to turn aside into the parts of Galilee. Such were the manifestations to Joseph, the favored descendant of the father of the faithful in dreams, and in them the Lord fulfilled his purposes: But the tone of which I have been speaking is what would have been called an open vision. And though it was in the night, yet it was not a dream. There is no room for conjecture in this matter, and to talk of deception would be to sport with the common sense of every man who knows when he is awake, when he sees and when he does not see.
He could not have been deceived in the fact that a being of some kind appeared to him; and that it was an heavenly one, the fulfillment of his words, so minutely, up to this time, in addition to the truth and word of salvation which has been developed to this generation, in the book of Mormon, ought to be conclusive evidence to the mind of every man who is privileged to hear of the same. He was awake, and in solemn prayer, as you will bear in mind, when the angel made his appearance; from that glory which surrounded him the room was lit up to a perfect brilliancy, so that darkness wholly disappeared: he heard his words with his ears, and received a joy and happiness indescribable by hearing that his own sins were forgiven, and his former transgressions to be remembered against him no more, if he then continued to walk before the Lord according to his holy commandments. He also saw him depart, the light and glory withdraw, leaving a calmness and peace of soul past the language of man to paint—Was he deceived?
Far from this; for the vision was renewed twice before morning, unfolding farther and still farther the mysteries of godliness and those things to come. In the morning he went to his labor as usual, but soon the vision of the heavenly messenger was renewed, instructing him to go immediately and view those things of which he had been informed, with a promise that he should obtain them if he followed the directions and went with an eye single to the glory of God.
Accordingly he repaired to the place which had thus been described. But it is necessary to give you more fully the express instructions of the angel, with
regard to the object of this work in which our brother had now engaged—He was to remember that it was the work of the Lord, to fulfil certain promises previously made to a branch of the house of Israel, of the tribe of Joseph, and when it should be brought forth must be done expressly with an eye, as I said before, single to the glory of God, and the welfare and restoration of the house of Israel.
You will understand, then, that no motive of a pecuniary, or earthly nature, was to be suffered to take the lead of the heart of the man thus favored. The allurements of vice, the contaminating influence of wealth, without the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit, must have no place in the heart nor be suffered to take from it that warm desire for the glory and kingdom of the Lord, or, instead of obtaining, disappointment and reproof would most assuredly follow. Such was the instruction and this the caution.
Alternately, as we could naturally expect, the thought of the previous vision was ruminating in his mind, with a reflection of the brightness and glory of the heavenly messenger; but again a thought would start across the mind on the prospects of obtaining so desirable a treasure—one in all human probability sufficient to raise him above a level with the common earthly fortunes of his fellow men, and relieve his family from want, in which, by misfortune and sickness they were placed.
It is very natural to suppose that the mind would revolve upon those scenes which had passed, when those who had acquired a little of this world's goods, by industry and economy, with the blessings of health or friends, or by art and intrigue, from the pockets of the day-laborer, or the widow and the fatherless, had passed by with a stiff neck and a cold heart, scorning the virtuous because they were poor, and lording over those who were subjected to suffer the miseries of this life.
Alternately did these, with a swift reflection of the words of the holy messenger,—"Remember, that he who does this work, who is thus favored of the Lord, must do it with his eye single to the glory of the same, and the welfare and restoration of the scattered remnants of the house of Israel"—rush upon his mind with the quickness of electricity. Here was a strug[g]le indeed; for when he calmly reflected upon his errand, he knew that if God did not give, he could not obtain; and again, with the thought or hope of obtaining, his mind would be carried back to its former reflection of poverty, abuse,—wealth, grandeur and ease, until before arriving at the place described, this wholly occupied his desire; and when he thought upon the fact of what was previously shown him, it was only with an assurance that he should obtain, and accomplish his desire in relieving himself and friends from want.
A history of the inhabitants who peopled this continent, previous to its being discovered to Europeans by Columbus, must be interesting to every man; and as it would develope the important fact, that the present race were descendants of Abraham, and were to be remembered in the immutable covenant of the Most High to that man, and be restored to a knowledge of the gospel, that they, with all nations might rejoice, seemed to inspire further thoughts of gain and income from such a valuable history. Surely, thought he, every man will seize with eagerness, this knowledge, and this incalculable income will be mine. Enough to raise the expectations of any one of like inexperience, placed in similar circumstances. But the important point in this matter is, that man does not see as the Lord, neither are his purposes like his. The small things of this life are but dust in comparison with salvation and eternal life.
It is sufficient to say that such were his reflections during his walk of from two to three miles: the distance from his father's house to the place pointed out. And to use his own words it seemed as though two invisible powers were influencing, or striving to influence his mind—one with the reflection that if he obtained the object of his pursuit, it would be through the mercy and condescension of the Lord, and that every act or performance in relation to it, must be in strict accordance with the instruction of that personage who communicated the intelligence to him first; and the other with the tho'ts and reflections like those previously mentioned—contrasting his former and present circumstances in life with those to come. That precious instructions recorded on the sacred page—pray always—which was expressly impressed
upon him, was at length entirely forgotten, and as I previously remarked, a fixed determination to obtain and aggrandize himself, occupied his mind when he arrived at the place where the record was found.
I must now give you some description of the place where, and the manner in which these records were deposited.
You are acquainted with the mail road from Palmyra, Wayne Co. to Canandaigua, Ontario Co. N. Y. and also, as you pass from the former to the latter place, before arriving at the little village of Manchester, say from three to four, or about four miles from Palmyra, you pass a large hill on the east side of the road. Why I say large, is, because it is as large perhaps, as any in that country. To a person acquainted with this road, a description would be unnecessary, as it is the largest and rises the highest of any on that route. The north end rises quite sudden until it assumes a level with the more southerly extremity, and I think I may say an elevation higher than at the south a short distance, say half or three fourths of a mile. As you pass toward Canandaigua it lessens gradually until the surface assumes its common level, or is broken by other smaller hills or ridges, water courses and ravines. I think I am justified in saying that this is the highest hill for some distance round, and I am certain that its appearance, as it rises so suddenly from a plain on the north, must attract the notice of the traveller as he passes by.
At about one mile west rises another ridge of less height, running parallel with the former, leaving a beautiful vale between. The soil is of the first quality for the country, and under a state of cultivation, which gives a prospect at once imposing, when one reflects on the fact, that here, between these hills, the entire power and national strength of both the Jaredites and Nephites were destroyed.
By turning to the 529th and 530th pages of the book of Mormon you will read Mormon's account of the last great struggle of his people, as they were encamped round this hill Cumorah. (It is printed Camorah, which is an error.) In this valley fell the remaining strength and pride of a once powerful people, the Nephites—once so highly favored of the Lord, but at that time in darkness, doomed to suffer extermination by the hand of their barbarous and uncivilized brethren. From the top of this hill, Mormon, with a few others, after the battle, gazed with horror upon the mangled remains of those who, the day before, were filled with anxiety, hope, or doubt. A few had fled to the South, who were hunted down by the victorious party, and all who would not deny the Savior and his religion, were put to death. Mormon himself, according to the record of his son Moroni, was also slain.
But a long time previous to this national disaster it appears from his own account, he foresaw approaching destruction. In fact, if he perused the records of his fathers, which were in his possession, he could have learned that such would be the case. Alma, who lived before the coming of the Messiah, prophesies this. He however, by divine appointment, abridged from those records, in his own style and language, a short account of the more important and prominent items, from the days of Lehi to his own time, after which he deposited, as he says, on the 529th page, all the records in this same hill, Cumorah, and after gave his small record to his son Moroni, who, as appears from the same, finished, after witnessing the extinction of his people as a nation.
It was not the wicked who overcame the righteous; far from this: it was the wicked against the wicked, and by the wicked the wicked were punished.—The Nephites who were once enlightened, had fallen from a more elevated standing as to favor and privilege before the Lord, in consequence of the righteousness of their fathers, and now falling below, for such was actually the case, were suffered to be overcome, and the land was left to the possession of the red men, who were without intelligence, only in the affairs of their wars; and having no records, only preserving their history by tradition from father to son, lost the account of their true origin, and wandered from river to river, from hill to hill, from mountain to mountain, and from sea to sea, till the land was again peopled, in a measure, by a rude, wild, revengeful, warlike and barbarous race.—Such are our Indians.
This hill, by the Jaredites, was call-
ed Ramah: by it, or around it, pitched the famous army of Coriantumr their tents. Coriantumr was the last king of the Jaredites. The opposing army were to the west, and in this same valley, and near by, from day to day, did that mighty race spill their blood, in wrath, contending, as it were, brother against brother, and father, against son. In this same spot, in full view from the top of this same hill, one may gaze with astonishment upon the ground which was twice covered with the dead and dying of our fellowmen. Here may be seen where once sunk to nought the pride and strength of two mighty nations; and here may be contemplated, in solitude, while nothing but the faithful record of Mormon and Moroni is now extant to inform us of the fact, scenes of misery and distress—the aged, whose silver locks in other places and at other times would command reverence; the mother, who in other circumstances would be spared from violence; the infant, whose tender cries would be regarded and listened to with a feeling of compassion and tenderness; and the virgin, whose grace, beauty and modesty, would be esteemed and held inviolate by all good men and enlightened and civilized nations, alike disregarded and treated with scorn!—In vain did the hoary head and man of gray hairs ask for mercy; in vain did the mother plead for compassion; in vain did the helpless and harmless infant weep for very anguish, and in vain did the virgin seek to escape the ruthless hand of revengeful foes and demons in human form—all alike were trampled down by the feet of the strong, and crushed beneath the rage of battle and war! Alas, who can reflect upon the last struggles of great and populous nations, sinking to dust beneath the hand of justice and retribution, without weeping over the corruption of the human heart, and sighing for the hour when the clangor of arms shall no more be heard, nor the calamities of contending armies no more experienced for a thousand years? Alas, the calamity of war, the extinction of nations, the ruin of kingdoms, the fall of empires and the dissolution of governments! O the misery, distress and evil attendant on these! Who can contemplate like scenes without sorrowing, and who so destitute of commiseration as not to be pained that man has fallen so low, so far beneath the station in which he was created?
In this vale lie commingled, in one mass of ruin, the ashes of thousands, and in this vale was destined to consume the fair forms and vigerous [vigorous] systems of tens of thousands of the human race—blood mixed with blood, flesh with flesh, bones with bones, and dust with dust! When the vital spark which animated their clay had fled, each lifeless lump lay on one common level—cold and inanimate. Those bosoms which had burned with rage against each other for real or supposed injury, had now ceased to heave with malice; those arms which were, a few moments before nerved with strength, had alike become paralyzed, and those hearts which had been fired with revenge, had now ceased to heave with malice; those arms which were, a few moments before nerved with strength, had alike become paralyzed, and those hearts which had been fired with revenge, had now ceased to beat, and the head to think—in silence, in solitude, and in disgrace alike, they have long since turned to earth, to their mother dust, to await the august, and to millions, awful hour, when the trump of the Son of God shall echo and re-echo from the skies, and they come forth, quickened and immortalized, to not only stand in each other's presence, but before the bar of him who is Eternal!
With sentiments of pure respect, I conclude by subscribing myself your brother in the gospel.
Awake! for the morning is come:
Rejoice in the Lord, and trust in his mercy,
And pray unto him, in meekness and love,
For knowledge and health, and all his good
To comfort and happily home.
O Lord, thou good Shepherd and King
We want, through the day, to feed in thy
And feast on thy bounteous goodness and
O lead us along the banks of still waters,
To gladden our hearts and to sing.
Lord turn all our hearts unto thee,
To walk in the paths of virtue and wisdom,
To live in the bonds of union and peace,
And glorify thee on earth as in heaven:
O keep us unspotted and free!
O thou art the staff and the rod,
On which we can lean in ev'ry condition,
In youth and in age, or the valley of death
For raiment and food, for joy and for comfort,
So praise ye the Lord, who is God. P.
From the letters of the elders abroad, we make the following extracts:
Elder L. Jackman, and his fellow laborer write from Flatbush Ill. June 2, that they have baptized 2 since May 4.
William Berry writes from Canton Ill. June 16, and desires the Elders, if they pass that way, to call and help them onward in the cause of truth.
Elder D. Evans writes from Stark co. Ohio, June 30: He has baptized 3 since he wrote last. And desires to have some errors corrected in an extract of his letter, published in the June No. of Messenger and Advocate.—Page 141, second column, first paragraph 6 line, instead of Methodist Episcopal discipline: read "Radical," &c. and second paragraph 7th line, in stead of Sabbath read "Thursday."
Elder J. Blakesly writes from Sackett's Harbor, N. Y. June 12, and says, that he, in company with Elder F. Dutcher, has baptized 10 since May 22.
Elder J. Emett writes at this place, July 2, and says that he in company with Elder P. Dustin has baptized 22 since December last.
Elder L. Jackman writes from Paris, Ill. June 19, and says that he in company with C. Baldwin, has baptized five more since he wrote last.—Editor.
Letters to the Editor, or publishers, of the Messenger and Advocate, must be post paid, or they will not be taken out of the office. Every honest man must see the propriety of our requiring the postage on letters, paid. If we were to pay the postage on a hundred letters, each letter containing a subscriber, the sum might be twenty five or fifty dollars, and where is the profits?
TUNE—From Greenland's Icy Mountains.
O God th' eternal Father,
Who dwells amid the sky,
In Jesus' name we ask thee,
To bless and sanctify,
(If we are pure before thee,)
This bread and cup of wine,
That we may all remember,
That off'ring so divine.
That sacred, holy off'ring,
By man least understood,
To have our sins remitted,
And take his flesh and blood.
That we may ever witness,
The suff'rings of thy Son,
And always have his spirit,
To make our hearts as one.
When Jesus, the anointed,
Descended from above,
And gave himself a ransom,
To win our souls with love;
With no apparent beauty,
That men should him desire—
He was the promis'd Savior,
To purify with fire.
How infinite that wisdom,
The plan of holiness,
That made salvation perfect,
And vail'd the Lord in flesh,
To walk upon his footstool,
And be like man, (almost,)
In his exalted station,
And die—or all was lost!
'Twas done—all nature trembled!
Yet, by the power of faith,
He rose as God triumphant,
And broke the bands of death:
And, rising conq'rer, "captive
He led captivity,"
And sat down with the Father
To fill eternity.
He is the true Messiah,
That died and lives again;
We look not for another;
He is the Lamb 'twas slain;
He is the Stone and Shepherd
Of Israel—scatter'd far;
The glorious Branch from Jesse;
The bright and Morning Star.
Again, he is that Prophet,
That Moses said should come,
Being rais'd among his brethren,
To call the righteous home,
And all that will not hear him,
Shall feel his chast'ing rod,
Till wickedness is ended,
As saith the Lord our God.
He comes, he comes in glory,
(The vail has vanish'd too,)
With angels, yea our fathers,
To drink this cup anew—
And sing the songs of Zion,
And shout—'Tis done 'tis done!
While every son and daughter
Rejoices—we are one. P.
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