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Messenger and Advocate/3/2
Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate: Volume 3, Number 2
Summary:Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Messenger and Advocate Vol. 3
|Number 1||Number 3|
Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate: Volume 3, Number 2
|LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE|
|Volume III. No. 2.]||KIRTLAND, OHIO, NOVEMBER, 1836.||[Whole No. 26.|
THE LATTER DAY GLORY.
The subject of the latter day glory, has produced as much speculation among professed believers in the bible, perhaps, as any other which is supposed to have been a subject of revelation. Every new sect in religion which has made its appearance, has been supposed by its founders, to be the sect which is to lead the world to the full blaze of the latter day glory: and every sect in all sectariandom supposes, that when the latter day glory comes they will be the principal or prevailing party. The never ending variety of clashing opinions upon this subject, is a clear manifestation of the great darkness which exists in the world, together with the unsettled state of the public mind in relation to it.—Some think it will be ushered in in one way, and some in another. Some by one means, and some by another: but one widely different from the other; and a careful reader of the scriptures would surely say, that they all widely differ from the bible.
The subject however seems to have gained pretty general belief, that the latter days are to bring forth something different from what has been in the former periods of the world; and the belief in that fact has no doubt been the cause of multitudes of new parties in religion springing up in the different ages of the world, and has been the cause, as people of modern times say, of much enthusiasm in former times.
We, in modern times, speak of the exertions of the ancients to usher in this day, as the greatest folly, and even wickedness. For it is a fact of great notoriety, that the generations back for many centuries, felt as much zeal in the ushering in of the latter day glory, and as much interest in that day, as we in modern times feel; and used as great exertions to bring it about: but they differed widely with us as to the means by which it was to be accomplished. For instance, Peter the hermit thought that the only way by which this day was to be ushered in, was by taking the holy land (as it was called) and dispossessing the infidels who then held it, and thereby prepare the way for the coming of the Son of man. And in the greatness of his zeal to accomplish so laudable an object, he went through all Europe proclaiming the coming of the Son of man, and the necessity for all christian kings to arouse, and prepare his way, by rescuing the holy land out of the hands of the barbarians, that the Son of man might come again to his own inheritance.
And such was the effect of his zeal, that all Europe was litterally [literally] electrified: the kings were aroused to put their armies into requisition; and army after army marched off into Asia, to redeem the holy land. In history, their armies are known by the name of crusaders. And after much fighting and blood shed, they finally succeeded in getting possession of the holy land; but the Son of man not coming according to their expectations, the land finally rolled back again into the hands of unbelievers, and remains so to this day. But though the crusaders failed to bring about the latter day glory, and this great waste of human life was an unavailing effort, still, the belief in the coming of the Son of man, and the latter day glory, did not perish with this fanaticism, (as we are pleased to call it,) but continues an article in the faith of a large majority of the professing world to this day.
It is the belief in the coming of the Son of man and in the glory which shall follow that is the spur to all the efforts of the religious communities of the present day. The great exertions which are made to excite revivals of religion, and bring mankind under the dominion of some religious party or other, is in view of the near approach of the latter day glory, and the coming of the Son of man. All the missionary schemes of the age are founded on the belief of it. The attempts which are making to convert the heathen on every continent, and in the islands of the sea, grow out of this belief. The cry of Millen[n]ium is heard all over the land, and men are required to use all their exertions to usher in the glory of the last days, by converting the world, as they call it, so that the knowledge of God may cover the earth, as the waters do the sea,
and the testimony of the prophets not fail.
It is the same faith and the same zeal that excite the religious societies of this day, that excited Peter the hermit in former days: it is the faith which both have in the coming of the Son of man, and the glory which shall follow. Both agree as to the fact of such a time, and that it will be; but they disagree as to the means by which it is to be brought about. Peter the hermit thought that it was to be introduced by raising armies, and taking the land of Palestine or Canaan, (or the holy land as it was called,) so that when the Son of man came, he might find his own disciples dwelling on the land where he was to make his appearance, and in accordance with his belief he acted; and actually succeeded in raising the armies, and in taking the land, but could not hold it, but it fell back into the hands of barbarians again, and so all his efforts were fruitless.—And in modern times we look at them, and call them the heighth of enthusiasm; and we say so, because we differ from him not in the fact of the coming of the Son of man; but in the proper means to be used in order to prepare the way of his coming.
We believe in the coming of the Son of man, as much as he did, and in the glory that shall follow; but we think that the means which he used were no way calculated to obtain the object for which they were intended, but the very reverse; and suppose that we have fallen upon the only means which can be used in relation to it, that will be of any avail, and that is, to convert the world to the belief in God, and in Christ; and believing this to be not only probable, but an indispensable duty, the religious world has entered into it, with all the zeal of their nature, firmly believing, that in so doing, they are preparing the way of the Son of man, and also the glory that shall follow.
The Jews who also have a belief in the glory of the last days, as well as in the coming of the Son of man, or their Messiah, differ from both Peter the hermit, and the present sectarian world; not in the fact of such a day coming; but in the means by which it is to be brought about. They say that it is to be done by gathering the scattered remnants of Jacob together, and collecting the outcasts of Israel from all lands whithersoever they have been driven in the time of their affliction, and returning them again to the land of their fathers. And their entire course of conduct is in view of this advent; all their worldly circumstances are regulated by it in all countries as far as we have account of them, so that it is their polar star to direct all their movements, and they are entirely under the influence of this belief.
Any person who has made himself in any good degree acquainted with the movements of those who believe in the bible, whether Jew or Gentile, must see, that the belief in the coming of the Son of man; and the latter day glory, are, after all that men may say to the contrary, holding the influence over their minds; and their movements are all in a greater or lesser degree, made in view of it. And it is in relation to this subject that those different parties are constantly upbraiding each other with the appel[l]ations of fanatic, enthusiasts, imposters [impostors], and not because they do not believe the facts of the coming of the Son of man, and the following glory, after they all believe in this; but they disagree about what that glory shall be, and in what it is to consist, and by what means the way is to be prepared for it. Some think it will come one way, and some another. And some think it will consist in one thing, and some in another, and thus it is that they are calling each other fanatics, imposters, &c.
For instance all the religious world Jews and Gentiles say of Peter the hermit that he was a fanatic, and that the crusaders were the veriest enthusiasts in the world; and the Jews say of the present Gentile churches that they are fanatics, and enthusiasts, to believe as they do about the latter day glory.—And the Gentile churches say of the Jews that they are fanatics for their belief in relation to it: and it is no uncommon thing to hear the Gentile churches denouncing each other as fanatics, and enthusiasts, because they hold different opinions about it.
Now, these all believe in the second coming of the Savior, and that a great glory will follow; but they differ about the events which will precede that advent, and about what the glory will be when it comes. And on these points they frequently grow wrathy, denounce
each other as heretics, fanatics, enthusiasts, &c. &c. and deal out their anathemas against one another with a liberal hand.
It is in relation to these things that the church of the Latter Day Saints has been so shamefully abused and belied by all these parties both Jews and gentiles, reformers and non-reformers, (not even excepting the pious A. Campbell and old Clapp, his Sanco Panza, and the will-making A. Bently, one of his flunkies:) not that they do not believe in the second coming of the Savior, and in the glory that shall follow; but because they differ from all the other parties about the means by which the Savior will prepare the way of his second coming, and what the glory will be which will follow.
The Latter Day Saints believe that Christ will prepare the way of his coming by raising up and inspiring apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, and under their ministry restore again to his saints all the gifts of the church as in days of old.—And the glory which shall follow, will consist in the increase of faith on the earth, by which men shall obtain revelations, visions, the ministering of angels, and the manifestations of the Savior himself; so that the saints shall know that he lives, and shall each one know it for himself, and not for another; and these blessings will gradually multiply and increase, until they will have power to behold the Father of glory; and spiritual gifts through faith will so greatly increase, until every individual saint shall have power to behold the face of God in the flesh, as did Moses and others in days of old, until the prophecy of Isaiah shall be literally fulfilled, that the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters do the sea.
The Latter Day Saints also believe that God has began this work, by raising up and inspiring men to bring forth revelations, and to direct his saints as in days of old, that the church may come out of obscurity, and out of darkness, and begin to shew forth her light, and her glory, so that the way of the Son of man may be prepared.
And for this their belief, the saints of the last days have been made to partake of the sufferings and afflictions of those of former days. Priests and drunkards, deacons and scoundrels, professors and thieves, have all shewn themselves to be of one spirit, and of one clan, and of one mind.
The Latter Day Saints further believe that previous to Christ's coming, and at the time of his coming, he will cut off and consign to the perdition of ungodly men, the before mentioned motley gang of professors, and non professors, priests and drunkards, deacons and scoundrels, professors and thieves, as being of their father the devil, and materials suitable for his kingdom, and there will none be able to stand in this great and notable day of the Lord, except such as have obtained like precious faith with the apostles, and have power over all things this side the celestial world; among whom all the spiritual gifts are found that ever were known among men, and if these gifts never return to the world, God will come and smite the whole earth with a curse, and not one will escape.
Such is the faith of the Latter Day Saints, and for this their belief, earth and hell have combined for their overthrow: the devil and his emis[s]aries on earth, the priests of all denominations, have used their utmost exertions, but their exertions have been vain for the truth prevails exceedingly, far beyond the expectations of any of the saints.
Another item of their faith is, that before the coming of Christ, and the general destruction of the wicked, God will gather his saints together from every nation, tongue, language and kindred, under the whole heaven, unto places before appointed, and will try his saints in those places, and try them until there is not one left but those who are pure and holy in his sight: that among those who are left after the bad are gathered out, he will shew forth his glory: they shall be the ones, of whom it is said, they shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest of them; among them the knowledge of God shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea; and all the rest of the world will without exception be cut off; and when this is done, and all the rest of the world cut off but the saints which are gathered, then the earth will be of one heart, and one mind: then men will beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, and learn war no more: then shall the cow and the bear feed, and
their young ones lie down together: then shall the lion eat straw like the ox: then shall the time come when they shall neither hurt nor destroy in all the Lord's holy mountain, which holy mountain is the place where the saints will be gathered.
For believing these things, and acting accordingly, the saints have been made to feel the hand of persecution from this ungodly generation which is fast ripening for the damnation of hell; for the saints have began to gather together, in spite of all the lying priests there are this side the perdition of ungodly men, (and this is only such as are in the flesh) until they shall all have come from one end of heaven to the other, and not one left in all nations, tongues, languages and kindreds, under heaven, and then, and not till then will Christ come and the glory will follow. S. R.
MISSION IN THE SOUTH.
I left this place (Kirtland) on the 3rd day of May last, and bent my course to the south, with the intention of visiting the churches in Kentucky and Tennessee which I had been instrumental in building up on a previous mission to that country.
I went on board a Steamer at Wellsville, a small town on the Ohio river, situated 450 miles above the city of Cincinnati, and travelled down it about 1000 miles, touching at a great variety of towns on its banks, in Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, either to discharge or receive freight and passengers, and up the Tennessee river 80 miles. While performing this journey, I obtained permission & preached several times to the passengers on board who listened with attention and treated me with respect, and as there were many persons traveling to different parts, I cheerfully embraced the opportunity of saluting their ears with the sound of that gospel that our Savior has commanded his servants to proclaim in all the world to every creature. I also witnessed several of those distressing occurrences, that are so common on our southern waters, occasioned by steam boats running against each other, boilers bursting, &c. in consequence of the unskillful management of captains and pilots, and indeed when I reflect upon the abominations that are practiced on board these floating sinks of iniquity, I marvel that God does not execute more speedy vengeance upon them.—At about midnight having just dismissed the congregation on board, to whom I had been preaching the word, I found myself landed in Henry county, Tennessee, on the very spot where I stood upon the banks of the river something less than one year before, and lifted up my voice to a multitude, and proclaimed salvation to them upon the terms of obedience to the gospel of the Son of God as revealed to us in the new and everlasting covenant; and I not only stood upon its banks, but troubled its waters by administering the ordinance of baptism, and while I took the parting hand with them and bid them farewell, they were overwhelmed in tears. I was now in the neighborhood of the churches to which I hastened with great anxiety and was received by them with every expression of joy. But among those who were not of the fold of Christ I met with a very different reception. I found many of those whose minds had been enlightened, who had witnessed the fruits of the ancient gospel, and had been believing, were not unlike the inhabitants of Lystra, when Paul and Barnabas ministered to them: the preaching of these servants of God so far exceeded the preaching of their idolatrous priests, they cried, that the gods had come down in the likeness of men, and rushed to the temple of Jupiter which stood without the gates of the city, aud [and] sought to crown them with garlands, and sacrifise [sacrifice] even to their worship, and it was with difficulty that the apostles persuaded them to desist from their unhallowed offering, and rent their clothes as a mark of detestation and abhor[r]ence of their conduct. But not long after certain of the unbelieving Jews and idolaters of Antioch and Iconium, followed Paul to Lystra, and persuaded the people that he was a wicked majician [magician], and they rose with one consent and stoned him, and dragged him out of the city; and left him unburied in the high way believing him to be dead. I have said that our enemies in the south were not unlike the inhabitants of Lystra. Perhaps they would not have sacrifised [sacrificed] their oxen to us, upon the altar of burnt offerings, but they cheerfully sacrifised [sacrificed] of their substance to feed and
clothe us, and their meetings and priests to attend, to our ministration, and acknowledge the force of truth while sitting under its influence, and cried out from whence have these men this great wisdom of the things of God and appeared willing to lay down their lives for us. On the other hand they were not unlike them. Soon after I returned to the south, I fell in company with elder Patten, my fellow laborer in this part of the Lord's vineyard; with whom I have endured many perils, afflictions and persecutions, in our own native land, and in distant countries, by land and by water, among congregated multitudes, and in the solitary wilderness. We visited the churches, and again suffered persecution together; wicked men and idolatrous worshipers led by priests and peace officers enlisted their combined influence against us, and sought our lives and again they were like the unbelieving Jews of Thesalonica, when Paul entered into their synagogues, and reasoned with them out of the scriptures; moved with envy they took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort and set all the regions round about in an uproar and assaulted the house of one Utley, and brought us out unto the people crying, these that have turned the world upside down, have come again to Benton county and teach doctrines contrary to sectarianism, saying, that there is another prophet, one Joseph Smith like unto Moses, whom the Lord hath chosen to lead his people out of the wilderness in these last days, and by whose hand he hath brought forth the record of Ephraim; and they were minded to take us before the magistrates; but when they had taken large security they let us go till another day. Our lives were threatened and sought for, in public and in private, like the hunted roe in the forest; at length we were taken before the rulers, and examined not by scourging, but by threat[e]ning , and strictly charged to teach no more in their midst the fulness of the gospel in the name of Jesus and banished from their society, and the brethren immediately sent us away to Middle Tennessee; and we entered into their synagogues and preached the word. These were more noble than those of Benton county, for they searched the scriptures daily whether these things were so; but certain philosophers, clergymen of the Presbyterian and Methodist faith said What is it that these bab[b]lers say?—"They seem to be setters forth of strange gods," because they preach unto us the doctrine contained in the Bible and Book of Mormon, saying, these are the fulness of the gospel; "Others spent their time in nothing but to hear or tell some new thing." However there seemed to be many believing, and a vast field open for laborers in the vineyard of the Lord in the south.
On our return from Middle, to West Tennessee we passed through Benton county. As soon as we arrived within its boundaries we were hunted by our persecutors who followed us like blood-hounds through the county, the distance of about twenty miles, but out of their hands the Lord delivered us.—I took the parting hand with elder Patten and set out by stage from Tennessee for home. I passed through many towns in this state and Kentucky, and gave the warning voice to many of them; in some towns I spent three days and others six. And I feel it a duty I owe to the southern people in general, to acknowledge the hospitality and politeness with which I have been treated while travelling among them as a minister of the gospel: and I verily believe that God has much people in that country, that will come like doves to the windows when He calls to the north to give up, and the south to keep not back, his sons to be brought from afar and his daughters from the ends of the earth. And although in my mission of four months, during which time I travelled upwards of three thousand miles and preached about 70 discourses, and baptized but few, yet I trust that my labors will be like bread cast upon the waters, the fruits of which, is seen many days after.—When I found myself safely restored again to the society of my companion and friends, and on retrospecting the past goodness of God, my soul breaks forth in adoration and praise to my heavenly Father, for his tender mercies are truly over me continually, his great liberality supplies all my wants, and his protecting and fostering hand, shields me from all harm. Thou O Lord art exalted above all other gods,—there is none in heaven, or on earth, like unto thee,—thou dost hold the des-
tinies of all nations in thine almighty hand,—thou art the giver of all good, and perfect gifts,—in the deepest wounds of affliction thou hast comforted me,—when wicked men have sought to ensnare my feet, thou hast delivered me,—when I have been surrounded with the turmoils, and miseries, incident to human life, thou hast calmed my stormy feelings and quelled my rising fears,—when pestilence has walked in darkness and destruction wasted at noon day, thou hast tranquilized my mind, and said, "Be still and know that I am God,—Therefore will I magnify the name of the Lord of hosts forever more.
PERFECTION. No. II.
On examining the subject of perfection closely, it will be found that the ancients, such we mean as were under divine influence, had views quite different from those entertained by the men of our day; they set it forth as something of a very God-like nature. Paul says, when speaking of the privileges of the saints, that they were to be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ Jesus. This, most manifestly, sets forth the nature of perfection as it pertains to the saints.
For a person to be an heir of God, and a joint heir with Christ Jesus, would be to endow him with the powers of the great God; for how can any person be an heir of God, and yet never partake of either his power or glory; where would his heirship be?—a mere fiction, as bad as a Methodist God, without either body or parts. If a person is ever an heir of God, he will partake of his glory; and this he cannot do, unless he first partakes of his power. Or if a person is ever a joint heir with Christ Jesus, he will be so by reason of his partaking of the same power and glory: And the Savior said of himself that, "all power is given unto me, in heaven and on earth."—Now may I not ask, with propriety, can a person be a joint heir with him who has all power in heaven and on earth, and yet have no power in heaven nor on earth. This would be too paradoxical for any rational being to pretend to believe. For any rational being must know, that for a person to be a joint heir with another, requires nothing less than to equally partake of the power, by which that other person partook of, and enjoyed his heirship; for if he did not he never could be heir with him.
A great many persons, for want of proper reflection, have supposed, that an instrument of writing, such as a will, or deed, or some such thing, could make one person another's heir; but a minute's reflection would correct the error; for it is not more the instrument of writing which makes the heir, than it is the power to husband the heirship; for if the legatee has not power to manage the legacy, his heirship is more nominal than real.
We have a most striking instance of this set forth in the scriptures, in the case of Solomon and his son Rehoboam, whom Solomon undertook to make heir of his kingdom. There was nothing wanting in instruments of writing, or in formalities; for every thing was done, that either wind or ink could do; but with all, they could not make Rehoboam Solomon's heir: Could they have given him a few ounces of common sense, it would have tended more to have made him his father's heir, than all the soundings of trumpets, the riding on mules, and the passing of decrees, and the sealing of covenants, did, or could do: and as it was not in their power to give him common understanding: So it was not in their power to make him Solomon's heir.—The very first act of his life, rent his father's kingdom in twain, and the cry throughout the camp of Israel was, "TO YOUR TENTS, O ISRAEL!" and the ten tribes revolted from the house of David, and served them no more to this day.
So much then, for instruments of writing, covenants, deeds and decrees, making one man another's heir. It requires the power, the wisdom, and the sagacity of the predecessor, to make the successor his heir, and nothing short of that could do it.
When the scriptures speak of making the saints "heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ Jesus;" they surely take into consideration what will be necessary to do it, and if so, the thing proposed to men in the religion of heaven is, to put them in possession of the power, the wisdom and the knowledge, sufficient to make them heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ Jesus. If a person is to partake of only part of the
heirship of Christ, then, part of his qualifications will be sufficient; but if he is to be a joint heir, and be an equal partaker with Christ, then, nothing short of the same powers which Christ possesses, will enable him to do it.
The query which now arises to the mind is this, Is the human mind capable of possessing such power, and such authority? If it is, perfection, as far as it relates to man, consists in obtaining it; for without it, no person can be perfect, for where there is one attainment wanting that person is not perfect. And if the human mind is not capable of enjoying and exercising such powers, why say that we are to be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ? Surely it would be an insult upon our good feelings thus to trifle with us.
From this view of the subject, which is both scriptural and reasonable, it can be easily seen why the Savior said to his disciples, "Be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect." Because that, and that only, would crown them with glory, honor, and immortality, and without it, their religion would be vain, yea, worse than vain; for instead of its adding to their happiness, it would make them of all men most miserable.
When perfection, as relates to the saints, is once understood, it throws great light on the whole scheme of things revealed in the bible; and enables us to see the consistency, and propriety of the whole. The object proposed to men in embracing the scheme of heaven, is to make them perfect, and that perfection consists in putting them in possession of the powers of the Deity, by which they heir, and of course govern all things: making them equal sharers in all power, in heaven and on earth. Hence, says the Savior, "Thou hast been faithful in a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
Let us keep this in mind, and then see the consistency of the scheme of the heavens by which they propose to save men.
It was said to the apostles, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe," &c.
By this commission, it will be seen by the candid reader, that it was proposed to those who believed the testimony of the apostles, that they should be put in possession of a power different from that which was enjoyed by the rest of the world, and a power tending directly towards perfection, even, towards the power enjoyed by the Deity, by which they were heirs of all things, and of which heirship the saints were to be made partakers.
Read carefully the account given in the bible, and it will be seen that as soon as the gospel was received, the power which was according to the nature of their heirship, began to be exercised by them, and kept increasing, and increasing, until they had power over water, and over fire, and could command the very elements, the sun, moon, &c. and they would obey them, exercising a power which tended directly to make them partakers of all power, in heaven and on earth; and to make them heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ Jesus; whose heirship consisted in an identity with the Father. "All mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them," says the Savior to his Father, John, 17:16. So the saints heirship was to consist in an identity with the Father and the Son "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." John 17:21. So then, with the greatest propriety, the apostle promised to the saints of his day, that they should be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ Jesus. And if so, must be partakers of both their power and glory.
It is, therefore, easily seen, that a religion which does not immediately tend to put men in possession of power, power supernatural, (so called,) does not in any degree tend to perfection; and if it does not tend to perfection, it does not towards salvation: and all the labor, and pains, which men may spend to establish, and to build it up, is only building a house on the sand, which will fall with awful ruins, in the day when the winds blow, and the rains descend.
Let it here be observed, that when men in days of old had obtained this
power with God, that they could exercise power over the earth, and over the elements, they were said to be perfect: as was the case of Noah, of Abraham &c. And those who had not this power, were never said to be perfect, no, nor never will be by the God of heaven.
Thus it was, that all the saints of former days, made their way towards perfection, the exercise, and in the increase of power; and as they approached toward the power which Jesus had, when he said, "All power in heaven and on earth is given unto me" in like proportion they approximated perfection; but inasmuch as they did not approximate towards that power, they did not advance towards perfection; for this and this only constitutes perfection before God: and when he speaks of men being perfect he means the perfection which belongs to himself.
There can be nothing more ridiculous to the ear of a correct biblical student, than to hear the men of this generation talking about perfection, and about men's getting perfect, while they deny the very existance [existence] of such a thing: for they openly declare that all the powers of the spiritual kingdom have ceased, and are to be exercised no more. Let it be so; but we ask, where is perfection then? we answer no where; for take the powers of the spiritual kingdom away, the enjoyment of which constitutes perfection among men, and surely perfection ceases with them, and there is an end to it, both in heaven and on earth, as far as men are concerned.
A few more words about the former day saints, and the sects of this generation, and I have done for the present. It is this, either the saints of former days were more than perfect (and that is impossible) or else the sects of this day are infinitely short of it. The former day saints could by their faith stop the mouths of lions, quench the violence of fire, escape the edge of the sword, put the armies of the aliens to flight, receive their dead children to life again, heal the sick, cast out devils, speak with tongues, interpret tongues, prophecy, dream dreams, see visions, &c. &c. I say then either the exercise of these powers among the former day saints was more than perfection, or else the sects of these days are no where near to perfection neither are they making the least advances towards it, and which of the two it is, I will leave a candid public to judge. S. R.
Kirtland, Sept. 15, 1836.
BROTHER O. COWDERY:
I started from Kirtland on the 17th of May last, in company with brothers Joseph Young and Elijah Reed, and traveled east as far as Whitesborough, Oneida co. N. Y. there I separated from them and traveled into Washington co. N. Y.; there I labored for a short time, and in the edge of Vt. and baptized two. I then left the place and falling in company with brother J. Young we continued our course to the east for the express purpose of visiting our friends, which we had anticipated doing with deep interest. We called in Canaan Conn. where we preached and baptized four: from thence pursued our journey to Providence and Boston where we preached several times; and in the latter place baptized two. I there left bro. J. Y. and went as far as Newry, Oxford co. Me. attended a conference in company with elder Lyman E. Johnson, there we baptized two; the Spirit of the Lord attended our conference; at our public preachings we had large and very attentive congregations. I then returned to Boston, in company with elder Lyman E. Johnson and others who were coming to Kirtland, there I tarried over the Sabbath preached and baptized two more.
Brother J. Y. and I then started for home, via, Providence where we called a conference and ordained brother Bennington to be an elder: we also called in Conn. at Canaan and baptized one: from thence we continued our journey home, and arrived in Kirtland on the evening of the 9th of September, having labored much to spread the everlasting gospel, and baptized thirteen, visited our friends as we anticipated, with whom we conversed freely on the subject of the gospel as brought forth in the last days: many of them seemed to realize the truth of it and none rose in opposition to it.
May the Lord bless those whom we visited, and gather them into the covenant of his grace, and save them through Jesus Christ in his presence. Amen. B. YOUNG.
For whatever things were written, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.—Romans 15:4.
Various methods have been employed, at different periods and by different persons, to convey useful knowledge to mankind. The knowledge most useful and most important to man is that of morals and religion. These sciences afford not only the most pleasant and elevated subjects of meditation, but evidently possess a very powerful influence over human happiness, both in the life that now is, and that which is to come.
The principles of morality and religion, have by some, been delivered in short plain significant sentences, and have been left to produce their effect by their own weight and evidence.—Public teachers have at other times taken pains to explain and enforce these principles; have demonstrated their reasonableness and utility; and have exhibited the criminality, the danger and the misery of neglecting or transgressing them. The charms and graces of poetry have been employed to set off the native modest beauties of truth and virtue, and allegory has spread her veil over them, in order to stimulate our ardor in the pursuit, and to heighten our pleasure in the discovery. The penetration of genius, the enchantment of eloquence, and the creative energy of fancy, have successively lent their aid to those gentle guides of human life, those condescending ministers to human comfort.
But in the lapse of time, and waste of years, thousands of their pretended advocates have run before they were sent, multiplied words without that wisdom which comes from above, and darkened counsel without conveying that knowledge that is necessary to salvation.
The historian's page has been unfolded, ages and generations elapsed and gone, have been made to pass in review; the lessons of religion and virtue have been forcibly inculcated, by a fair and impartial disclosure of the effects, which the observance or neglect of them, have produced on the affairs of men. And the pencil of history has enriched the canvass, not only with men in groups, but selecting distinguished individuals, delineating them in their just proportions, and enlivening them with the colors of nature, has exhibited a collection of striking portraits, for entertainment and instruction. In contemplating these, we seem to expatiate in a vast gallery of family pictures, and take delight in comparing the various features of the extensive kindred as they resemble or differ from each other, and through the physiognomy piercing into the heart, we find them though dead, yet speaking and pleasing companions.
The holy scriptures possess an acknowledged superiority over all other writings in all the different kinds of literary composition which is called Biography or a delineation of the fortunes, character and conduct of particular persons; and whether the historians be themselves the men they describe and record, or whether from proper sources of information, they record the lives and destinies of others.
Now the professed purpose of all history is without fear or favor, without partiality or prejudice to represent men and things as they really are,—that goodness may receive its just tribute of praise and vice meet its deserved censure and condemnation. It is evident this end is most easily and most certainly attained when our attention is confined to one particular object, or to a few at most; this may be judged of by the feelings and operations of the mind in the contemplation of other objects.
When from the summit of some lofty mountain we survey the wide extended landscape; though highly delighted we feel ourselves bewildered and overwhelmed, by the profusion and variety of beauties which nature spreads around us. But when we enter into the detail of nature; when we attend the footsteps of a friend through some favored beautiful spot, which the eye and the mind can take in at once; feeling ourselves at ease with undivided, undistracted attention we contemplate the whole, we examine and arrange the parts; the imagination indeed is less expanded but the heart is more gratified; our pleasure is less violent and tumultuous, but it is more intense, more complete and continues much longer; what is lost in respect of sublimity, is gained in perspicuity, force and duration.
Take another instance:—The starry heavens present a prospect equally
agreeable to every eye. The delights of a calm serene evening, are as much relished by the simple and unlettered, as by the philosopher. But who will compare the vague admiration of the child or the clown with the scientific joy of the astronomer, who can reduce into order, what to the untutored eye is involved in confusion: who can trace the path of each little star; and from their past experiences can calculate to an instant of time their future oppositions and conjunctions?
Once more:—It is highly gratifying to find ourselves in the midst of a public assembly of agreeable people of both sexes and to partake of the general cheerfulness and benevolence.—But what are the cheerfulness and benevolence of a public assembly compared with the endearments of friendship and the meltings of love?
To enjoy these we must retire from the crowd and have recourse to the individual. In like manner whatever satisfaction and improvement may be derived from general histories of mankind, which we would not be thought by any means to depreciate; yet the history of particular persons, if executed with fidelity and skill while it exercises the judgement [judgment] more severely, so it fixes down the attention more closely and makes its way more directly and more forcibly to the heart. To those who are acquainted with this kind of writing, much need not be said, to convince the superior excellence of the sacred penmen. Biographers merely human, uninspired, necessarily lie under many disadvantages and are liable to many mistakes. The lapse of time is incessantly thick[e]ning the veil which is spread over remote persons and events. The materials of history lie buried, confounded, and dispersed among the ruins of antiquity; and cannot be easily distinguished and separated, even by the eye of discernment and the hand of dishonesty, from the rubbish of fiction. And as they are not always furnished by truth and nature, so neither are they always selected with judgement [judgment], nor employed with taste and discernment.
Besides, every man sits down to write, whether of ages past or the present, of characters near or remote, with a bias upon his mind, and this he naturally endeavors to communicate to his reader. All men have their favorite periods, causes, characters, which of course, they strive, at any rate, to embellish, to support, to recommend. They are equally subject to antipithies [antipathies] on the other hand, under the influence of which, they as naturally, strive to depress, to expose, to censure what they dislike, and as men write and speak, so they read and hear under the influence of prejudice and passion. Where the historian's opinions coincide with our own, we cheerfully allow him to be in the right; when they differ, without hesitation we pronounce him to be mistaken.
Most of the writers of profane ancient history are chargeable with an absurdity, which greatly discredits the facts they relate, and reduces their works almost to a level with fable.—They attempt too much, they must needs account for every thing; they conjecture when light fails them, and because it is probable or certain that eminent men employed eloquence on important public occasions, their historians at the distance of many centuries without record or written document of any kind whatever, have from the ample store of a fertile imagination, furnished posterity with the elaborate harangues of generals, statesmen and kings. These it is acknowledged are among the most ingenious, beautiful and interesting of the traces of antiquity which they have transmitted to us: What man of taste could bear to think of stripping these elegant performances of one of their chief excellencies? But truth is always injured by the slightest connexion with fable. The moment I begin to read one of the animated speeches of a hero or a senator, which were never composed, delivered or written, till the historian arose, I feel myself instantly transported from the real theatre of human life into a fairy region. I am agreeably amused, nay delighted; but the sacred impress of truth is rendered fainter and feebler on my mind; and when I lay down the book it is not the fire and address of the speaker, but the skill and ingenuity of the writer, I admire. Modern history more correct and faithful than ancient, has fallen however into an absurdity not much less censurable. I mean that fanciful delineation of character, with which the accounts of certain periods, and the lives of distinguished personages,
commonly conclude; in which we often find a bold hypothesis hazarded for the sake of a point; and a strong feature added to, or taken away from a character, merely to help the author to round his period.
Finally a great part of profane history is altogether uninteresting to the bulk of mankind. The events recorded are removed to a vast distance and have entirely spent their force. The actors exhibited are either too lofty to admit of our approach with any interest or satisfaction to ourselves; too brutal to be considered without disgust or too low to be worthy of our regard. The very scenes of action are become inaccessible or unknown; are altered, obliterated or disregarded. Where Alexander conquered and how Caesar fell, are to us mere nothings.
But on opening the sacred volume, all these obstructions in the way of knowledge, of truth, of pleasure, disappear; length of duration can oppose no cloud to that intelligence with which "a thousand years are as one day, and a day as a thousand years." The human heart is there unfolded to our view by him that knows what is in men, and whose eyes are in every place beholding the evil and the good. The men and the events therein represented are universally and perpetually interesting, for they are blended with the "things which accompany salvation," and affect our everlasting peace. There the writers, whether they speak of themselves or of other men are continually under the direction of the spirit of all truth and wisdom. These venerable men, though subject to like passions with others, there speak not of themselves, but from God, "for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and all scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
When we study the lives, the characters of men, we are almost imperceptibly led to contemplate our own. Lost to ourselves, lost to our friends, lost to the society in which we live and lost to the world, will be our time spent in reading the history of other men and other times than these in which we live, if we do not shun the views and follies, imitate the examples, and emulate the virtues of these characters our better judgment teaches us to admire.—Our fathers were, we are. The curtain has dropped, and has hid ages and generations past from our eyes. Our scene is going on, and must likewise speedily close. We are not perhaps furnishing materials for history.—When we die, obscurity may spread the vail of oblivion over us, but let it be remembered that every man's life is of importance in himself, his family, his friends and in the sight of God his heavenly Father. They are by no means the best men who have made the most noise in the world, neither are they the worst against whom the shafts of calumny and bitter reproach have spent their force. Actions that have obtained the greatest celebrity have not always been the most commendable in the sight of God. While those springing from a heart actuated by a consciousness of the approbation of heaven, have more frequently been the fruit of modest innocence and retirement, and will remain in oblivion till the searcher of hearts "shall try every man's work of what sort it is." Scenes of violence and blood; the workings of ambition pride and revenge, compose the annals of men.—But piety and purity, temperance and humility, which are little noticed and soon forgotten of the world; are held in everlasting remembrance before God. And happy, (we believe) had it been for many of those, whose names and deeds have been transmitted to us with renown, if they had never been born. Our corruption subdued, is a victory infinitely more desirable and more truly honorable, than a triumph gained amidst the confused noise of ten thousand warriors and as many garments rolled in blood; "for he that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." Let us all remember that to be a child of God is far more honorable than to be descended from kings, and to be a saint is a much higher title than hero.
The period is fast approaching when time itself shall be swallowed up or as the revelator expresses it, should be no longer, when Adam and his youngest son will be contemporaries, when the mystery of providence shall be
closed up, the mystery of grace finished, and the ways of God fully vindicated to men.
Though wickedness now abounds and the love of many waxes cold, however we may deprecate it, such is yet the fact, and such will be the fact till the arch deceiver is bound and his works swept from the earth.
Notwithstanding iniquity abounds and will abound as we have before remarked, yet that does not lessen the obligation of every individual of the human family.
To govern his passions with absolute away,
And grow wiser & better as life wears away.
Messenger and Advocate
Messenger and Advocate.
Kirtland, Ohio, Nov. 1836.
TO THE CHURCHES OF LATTER DAY SAINTS.
As we have frequent applications by letter and otherwise, for advice respecting official members of this church relative to their observance of the word of wisdom, we have thought proper, that the churches need not be deceived nor official members think of living in transgression and hold their stations in said church, to publish below the decision of the High Council on that important item of our faith, given Feb. 4th, 1834.
"That no official member in this church is worthy to hold an office after having the words of wisdom properly taught to him, and he, the official member, neglecting to comply with, or obey them, after which the counsellors voted according to the same."
And above all these things put on charity which is the bond of perfectness, and let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.—Collossians 3:15, 16.
That we may have a clear idea of the force and meaning of the apostle's expression couched in the words we have quoted; it may be proper to notice some of his reasoning in the context. And first, it is evident that he addressed his epistle to the saints, to the members of that church which was built up and established upon those pure principles of the gospel which were inculcated by Jesus Christ himself and preached and promulgated by all the holy apostles to that time, so that he might with equal propriety as to the church at Ephesus, say, "Ye are built upon the foundation of the prophets and apostles Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." The apostle enumerates a catalogue of crimes of which probably many of the Collossians had been guilty, and warns and exhorts them with all his warmth of feeling and holy zeal for his Master's cause, to forsake them, and "deny themselves of all ungodliness and every worldly lust." He knew the power of habit, the strength of prejudice and the influence of surrounding examples; he, therefore, urges them with the greater vehemence to "put off concerning the former conversation, the old man which is corrupt and put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." After rehearsing those sins of which they had been guilty, and into which he well knew they were yet liable to fall, if they did not watch and pray, he now introduces the words we have chosen, as if he would propose something to them of more importance, of greater moment than the instructions he had before given them. "Above all these things said he, put on charity which is the bond of perfectness." By the term charity he doubtless would be understood to mean that commendable grace of which he speaks in the 1st epistle to the Corinthians 13th:1, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 verses.
It was not only necessary that they should abstain from evil, but that they should be exercised with love to God and one another, for the good reason that charity, or love, was the bond of perfectness. It was that which (if in exercise) secured them not only from every evil, but from every appearance of evil. It was that which rendered them acceptable to God; it was that which inspired them with confidence in their heavenly Father. It was the foundation of every springing hope in their breasts, and prompted every act of pure devotion that they or any other saints ever exercised towards the King of heaven. It necessarily opens up that intercourse with the upper world, that enables the saint, though he live in this world, to live above it.
Under the influence of this grace, the peace of God will rest with them, rule in and reign over them, to which the apostle says to his brethren they were called, in one body: and from a consideration that the peace, the joy and consolation, that the saints enjoy, and that they flow from him, from whom emanates light and life, he exhorts them to be thankful. It is, therefore, but just that we render thanksgiving and praise to God for all his mercies, "for every good gift and every perfect gift cometh from above, from the Father of lights in whom is neither variableness nor shadow of turning."—What heart so black with infamy and crime as not to be touched with feelings of gratitude to a disinterested benefactor! We should be ready to conclude there was none, were we not from experience, compelled to think otherwise. Our own observation in our intercourse with the world has verified what the same apostle said in his epistle to Timothy should be in the last days. Men shall be unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, &c. with all the train of vices and evil propensities, incident to a heart void of that charity which he commends so highly, calling it the bond of perfectness.
We ought to be very careful that we do not mistake mere sympathy for the grace of which we have spoken.—We shall find sympathy to dwell in a greater or less degree in the bosom of every intelligent being in the universe—even the brute creation evidently possess a share of it, but are as destitute of that charity, that love to God our heavenly Father, of which the apostle speaks, as the vilest wretch that the Lord ever suffered to live. That distress and anxiety to relieve a fellow creature in pain which we often see manifested is by no means charity—therefore, can no person claim the peculiar favor of heaven for the exercise or influence of it. And neither can any one expect the approbation of heaven without it. Destitute of it we should be unfit to assemble together, and for all society here below, where calamities, casualties, and all the miseries incident to frail mortality beset the traveler in his pilgrimage through this unfriendly, inconstant world.
There appears to be no obscurity in the apostle's meaning when he writes to his brethren on this subject; he was not only plain and conclusive in his addresses to them, but he seemed to have designed the same instructions to benefit other churches, for says he, when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church at Laodicea. If it were proper for the church at Laodicea, it was because they were prone to the same vices, and had need of the same admonition, the same rebuke and the same self denial on their part to entitle them to the rewards of the righteous.
Once more in conclusion we say, if we are the saints of the most high God, the same remarks apply with equal and unabated force to us. God is the same, his gospel the same and he requires the same obedience to his commands. W.
TO FRIENDS IN THE EAST.
Dear brethren, according to your solicitations I now drop a few lines to you in the name of the Lord for your information as also for my satisfaction. After leaving Kirtland, May 29, 1835, according to previous arrangements I united with elder Lorenzo Barns at New Portage, and proceeded eastward through the State of Pennsylvania to Susquehannah Co. and from thence to Elmira, N. Y. and after setting forth in simplicity the fulness of the everlasting gospel, I had the pleasure of baptizing four persons, three of them were relatives; and you must think I had a time of great joy in the Lord, notwithstanding the multitude of lies, and slanderous reports which were circulated concerning me, and the people to whom I belong in the best of blessing with persecutions. After leaving elder Barns, the next place of particular labor, was Mc'Donough, where there is a small church of the saints: here one went forth in the waters of baptism for a remission of sins according to the gospel. Many were attentive to the word, declaring it to be the gospel according to the Bible, but, as I was in great haste, I left them and pursued my journey into Canaan, Ct. where I found a small branch of the church, determined to press forward unto the coming of the Lord. After paying them a short visit, I went into New Haven Co. where I labored for some time; and notwithstanding very many not only acknowledged the things
declared, to be true, but bore witness of it. I may say there were hundreds who bore testimony to these things, but did not obey them as only three went forward in baptism. After this I visited the church at Killingsworth, and so passed on to Hadam, where I labored a few weeks, and being assisted by elders H. Redfield, and Wm. Spencer, I established a church of saints containing a dozen members, who were determined not only to keep the word of wisdom, securing to themselves health and strength; yea, even great treasures of knowledge, but were determined to keep the commandments, that thereby they might have an inheritance in the celestial kingdom of God; I would not say that satan came in human shape, but human beings came in devil's shapes, (if our traditions be correct) for they were blacked, and transformed; and of all the yells of savages in war, I think that these could not be outdone. Besides disturbing the peaceable inhabitants, they threw large stones at persons who had never offended them only by obeying the gospel, they knocked others down, and broke in windows and the like.—In fact, for me to describe the scene would be impossible; but the elders who have seen the like, need no description. From this scene, I traveled through the States of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, preaching by the way, and arrived at Kirtland Oct. 31, 1836, where I found, instead of the few friends, thinly scattered around the bare frame of the Lord's house, multitudes of brethren, laboring through the week, and when the sabbath arrives, assemble to hear the doctrine of heaven distil from the lips of the Lord's servants, while they stand in the consecrated pulpits of the temple of the Lord, a monument for this generation to gaze at, while they marvel and wonder and perish, because they will not believe though it be declared unto them not only by ancient prophets and apostles, but by living witnesses, and a wonderful cloud of them to, who set forth the gospel as plain as plain can be, so plain that even they themselves acknowledge that they cannot deny it. For want of time I at this time make an end, but when I get more leisure, I shall, by the permission of the Lord, write you again.
As ever, your brother and friend in the new covenant to Israel.
BROTHER O. COWDERY—Since I have the privilege of being numbered with the saints in these last days, I feel willing to mourn with those that mourn and delight to rejoice with those that rejoice. The teachings of the Savior on the mount, "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you do ye even so to them." Therefore I take up my pen that others may know that the cause of our great Redeemer is rolling forth amid this crooked and perverse generation. I do feel to rejoice and thank the Lord for his goodness and the blessings that he has bestowed upon me, the fulness of which I shall not be able to give you in this brief sketch of my labors this season. In the opening of the spring I started from Kirtland, on a mission East; went by water as far as St. Lawrence county, N. Y. and in the town of Decalb I commenced lifting a warning voice; bending my course East to Chittenden co. Vt. In the town of Underhill, seven obeyed the Everlasting Gospel by going down in the waters of baptism—many more were convinced of the truth of the work, for elder Butterfield in a few days came along and baptized eighteen. From Underhill I went into the province of Lower Canada: took me up a circuit in the towns of Stanstead, Hatley, Compton, and Bamston, where I spent the most of my time for three months. School-houses were opened in almost every district, and I improved the time as the Lord gave me strength. I baptized eleven, and many more were searching the scriptures to see if the things preached were so. I left them in the care of elder Winslow Farr to carry on the work—for I believe that it has but just begun. I am now bending my course west. The saints here are very anxious that I should tarry with them a little.
I remain your brother in testimony of the word of God.
Ogdensburg, N. Y. Oct. 10, 1836.
A conference was held in Perry church, Richland Co. O. Sept. 3 & 4, 1833. In organizing to transact business elder H. G. Sherwood was duly called to the chair, and George C. Wilson was chosen clerk. Meeting opened by prayer and remarks from the chair on the nature and design of the meeting. The business was then called for, when Daniel Cam, a priest, represented Perry church as having 37 members, nearly all in good standing. Lewis Wilson represented Perrysville church with 29 members all in good standing. Jacob Myers, presiding elder in Worthington branch, represented that with 24 members nearly all in good standing. Cephus Mc'Vay presiding elder of Wayne church, Knox Co. represented that church with 24 members in good standing. Elder Sherwood represented 7 members in Licking Co. near Granville, all in good standing; making 121 in all. Several persons were presented for ordination. After being addressed from the chair upon the subject of being ordained to the holy priesthood of God, the following persons came forward, and Daniel Cam, William Rood, Lewis D. Wilson, and George C. Wilson were ordained to the office of elders. It was voted that James Huntsman, a priest in Perry church, then off on a mission, be ordained an elder. William Werick, John Mc'Vay, and John Jenkins were ordained priests. Nathan Packer, a teacher, and Jacob Werick a deacon. After much instruction to priest and people present, the meeting of the first day closed with much love to God and man.
Sabbath at ten o'clock the meeting opened by elder Myers who addressed us on the sugject [subject] of the depravity of man, and followed by elder George A. Smith, on the gospel; and closed by elder Sherwood with an address appropriate to the situation of the members, their privileges duties &c. after which two came forward for baptism. After the administration, we convened for a sacramental and confirmation meeting, when two others came forward for baptism, who after the administration were confirmed at the water edge and the meeting closed, when many were greatly encouraged to strive for the crown.
H. G. SHERWOOD, Ch'n.
GEORGE C. WILSON, Cl’k.
BROTHER O. COWDERY:—
I left Kirtland July 21st, travelled as far east as Aurelius, Cayuga co. N. Y. tarried there a short time and held forth to the inhabitants the principles of salvation: proceeded from thence to Galeda and labored principally in the towns of Boonville and Vienna, baptized 3 in the former, and one in the latter place. Had large and very attentive congregations; found many enquiring after truth, together with others who were ready and willing to oppose the principles of the everlasting gospel, by openly declaring against it, before they made themselves acquainted with its tenets, and slandering the character of those they knew not; thereby plainly demonstrating to the world that they are the false prophets and false teachers, spoken of by Peter in his second epistle to the ancient saints who "speak evil of the things that they understand not." The brethren and friends in the above places, are desirous to have the Elders call on them when convenient.
Kirtland, Oct. 9, 1836.
DIED in Tompkins, Delaware Co. N. Y. on the 22nd of May last, Thomas L. Willes, aged twenty six years and ten months. Brother Willes embraced and obeyed the fulness of the gospel Nov. 11, 1832; he was a young man of an unimpeachable character, his heart ever rejoiced in the prosperity of the cause of truth, and the spread of the fulness of the everlasting gospel; and while his friends and brethren mourn his loss, how consoling is the thought that he kept the faith and died in hopes of a glorious resurrection.
OF the same family on the 14th of August last, Polly W. Willes, aged 22 years and 4 months. Sister Willes obeyed the fulness of the gospel Sept. 23, 1832; she was a worthy member of society, and adorned her profession by a well ordered life, truly becoming a saint of God.
IN Perry, Richland Co. O. on the 26th day of Sept. last, Elder Jesse Huntsman, after an illness of eighteen days. He had been a member of the church about three years; went to Zion with the saints in 1834, and was ordained at Kirtland one of the first sev-
enty, in the spring of 1835. Although he has not been abroad much preaching, yet, his example as a member of the church has been such that his loss is deplored by all who were acquainted with him, and more especially by the church over which he presided.—[Communicated.]
IN Bradford, Mass. on the 28th of Sept. last, Marinda Johnson, daughter of Thomas and Hannah Burbank, aged thirteen months and seventeen days.
IN this town, Oct. 1, Moroni, son of Otis & Sally Shumway, aged one year three months and eight days.
IN Lebanon, St. Clair Co. Ill. on the 15th of Sept. last, Thomas H. Pea, son of John and Elizabeth Pea, aged 20 years seven months and ten days.
In this town, on the 26th ult. Eliza, daughter of br. Benjamin K. Hall; aged seven years.
In forming estimates of human greatness, it is natural for men to consult their senses, not their reason.—With the idea of royal majesty we connect those of a chair of state, a numerous retinue, an ermine robe, a scepter and a crown. But wisdom and goodness are the qualities which confer real dignity and command just homage and respect. Our preconceptions of earthly magnificence much exceed the truth, and knowledge speedily levels the fabric which imagination had raised. But the wonders of nature, the mighty works of God grow upon us as we contemplate them. No intimacy of acquaintance reduces their magnitude or tarnishes their lustre.—And if the very frame of nature, the vastness, the variety, the harmony and the splendor of the visible creation, is so calculated to fill us with astonishment and delight, how must the plan of providence, the work of redemption, the great mystery of godliness excel in glory!
In the discoveries which it has pleased God, at sundry times and in diverse manners to make of himself to mankind, he has at one time addressed himself directly to the understanding at another made his way to the heart and conscience through the channel of the sense. The law was given in every circumstance of external pomp; it was accompanied with every thing that could dazzle the eye, fill the ear, and rouse the imagination. The kingdom of God, in the gospel of his Son, "came not with observation." The great Author of the dispensation of grace, according as it was predicted concerning him, "did not strive nor cry, nor cause his voice to be heard in the streets." He had in the eyes of an world, "no form nor comeliness, no beauty why he should be desired." And therefore "he was despised and rejected of men." But we are taught to think very differently of his second appearance. "He shall come in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory;—In his Father's glory, and all his holy angels;—With the voice of the arch angel and the trump of God."
—————> Love the Lord and keep his commandments without being reminded of it every day.
Love your neighbor as yourself, and make his welfare your welfare, and the Lord will reward you for it.
Love labor, and whatever you do, remember the poor and needy.
Thank the Lord for the blessings you daily enjoy from his holy hand.
Thank the Lord for all things for his goodness is endless.
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