Messenger and Advocate/3/1
|←Volume 2, Number 12|| Messenger and Advocate
Volume 3, Number 1
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Messenger and Advocate Vol. 3
Note: Some headings and bracketed texts are editorial and not part of the original text.
|LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE|
|Volume III. No. 1.]||KIRTLAND, OHIO, OCTOBER, 1836.||[Whole No. 25.|
For the third volume of the
Latter Day Saints'
Messenger and Advocate.
At the frequent solicitation of Elders, who obtain the principal part of the subscribers for this paper, we have thought proper to strike off a short prospectus on a separate sheet, for their special convenience. It frequently happens that when brethren are abroad proclaiming the gospel, they have neither a prospectus nor a specimen sheet, to exhibit before the public, and being strangers their agency is doubted.
The present (Sept.) No. closes this volume; and considering the weight of influence and determined opposition, against which it has been compelled to contend, its circulation has become extensive towns, counties and states, have, through the medium of this little sheet, learned our views and principles on the subject of the gospel of the Son of God; and we humbly trust, many have found it a welcome visitant in the hour of despondency and doubt, while surrounded by contending religionists who serve to divide the world into parties, and set the hand of man against his fellow. And whenever it has found a reader, to such, a recapitulation of the doctrines it has carried to a perishing world, would be superfluous, as on almost every page may be found some point leading to the great and essential plan of salvation.
As those principles are found written over the face of scripture, to give, even a synopsis, in a short prospectus, could not be expected: It cannot be doubted, however, by a discerning mind, that the end draws near, and that the time is not far distant when a breaking up of corrupt systems will commence, and discordant factions, at present so mysteriously interwoven, will be severed, preparatory to the universal deluge of misery which must envelop the wicked.
We do not say how long before the completion of the purposes of God in the salvation of Israel, nor the overthrow of false religions; but this we say, that the words of the prophets must be fulfilled; the arm of the Lord will be made bare; the afflicted of Jacob find their Ancient Rock true to his promises—and the earth will rest.
It said we differ from the prevailing sects in matters of religion—we do not deny it; but that difference is an honest one. From a careful reading of the word of God, and a candid research into those things which concern the world in the last days,—gazing upon the foundation, scrutanizing [scrutinizing] the order, contrasting the example of the apostles with those sects, as an honest man, we are bound, by every feeling of our hearts, to dissent from those systems, which, although they have continued to grasp the earth, deny the gift of inspiration, set at nought the gospel of Jesus Christ, and spread darkness and corruption over the face of the world.
As it is frequently reported that we disbelieve the bible and contend against its precepts, it may be well to correct that report in this short article, as it may, by chance, fall into the hands of some who might otherwise go undeceived:— it is false, unequivocally false! We believe that sacred record from the evidence we have of its divine authenticity, and because we believe it a consistent book, when taken in its true meaning—which is at it reads, our chara[c]ter is vilified, and we compelled to bear the scandal of "false teacher and impostor," from thousands who know nothing of our character, either moral or religious. And we are bold to say, that we can draw proof and arguments to justify our belief in the system we profess, from this holy word, and from its hallowed pages can we read a direct declaration from the mouth of its Author, against the crafts and plans of men.
The Messenger will contain such notices of the spread of the gospel, and the preaching of the elders, as will be interesting, from time to time, besides such articles upon the subject of religion, as may be furnished by them; by means of which we hope to justify a liberal support. It will be as formerly, once a month on a Super Royal sheet, duodecimo, once a month, at
one dollar per annum, payable always in advance. We had designed publishing it semi monthly, but owing to the fact that a great portion of our former subscriptions are unpaid, and some owe for the Star, published four years since, we cannot carry our wishes into effect.
We wish our correspondents, one and all, to remember, that all communications addressed to us, to ensure attention, must come free of postage. Any person forwarding us ten dollars shall be entitled to eleven copies for one year.
Kirtland Geauga Co. Ohio, Sept. 1836
P. S. Persons forwarding us subscribers' names will be particular to give the name of the post office, county, and State, where papers are to be addressed, in a plain and intelligible manner.
The following is a second letter from the editor, to his brother here, written in accordance with a promise contained in one published in the last Messenger it will be perused with interest. W.
Boston, Ms. Aug. 24, 1836
Since I wrote you on the 3d. (should have been dated the fourth) I have visited a short extent of our eastern seaboard, conversed with many people, and had other opportunities of witnessing the degraded and darkened State of the human mind, even in those places where this day's science holds her seat, and modern religion boasts perfection—a land so pure that in olden time, the whip, the fagot, and the halter, were the mild remedies applied to sober the rational mind and teach them the true way; and where, in modern, the lawless banditti has laid desolate and in a heap, the property of the weak and to reconcile their feelings and bend their consciences to the precepts of the strong!
I closed my last by telling you something about New-York. This city reminds me of Ezekiel's description of Tyras, "situated at the entry of the sea, a merchant for many isles." See Ezekiel 27 chapter. While passing from the foot of Chambers st. from which the boat took its passengers, one has a tolerably fair prospect of the shipping in the Hudson, though it lies thickly crowded far above. New-York Bay forms a fine harbor, immediately protected by the fortifications on Gove[r]nor's island, sufficient to batter down the city. East River is lined with craft from the Oyster-man's skiff to the lofty and majestic ship which rides the waves of the giant Pacific. Here the wealth of the world and merchandize of the earth, have been wafted to fill up the blessings of a people, the most favored of any now on earth.
What Spirit of prophecy or forethought influenced the mind of the honest German, two hundred and twenty two years since, to erect his humble log cabin, is not for me to say; but did we not positively know this to be the fact, when we consider the size and extent of New York, we might doubt, that a little over two centuries had reared such a noble city.
Brooklyn, on Long Island, is a growing town, opposite New-York, and from appearance, I should judge, possessed considerable wealth. The U. S. Navy Yard is at this place, not far from which is the celebrated Hare. gate. I suppose, from the name, I had formed an idea, like many others, that something strange was to have been seen. But the secret was soon disclosed—the river being narrow at this place, with racks in the centre, when the tide ebbs and flows, a strong current is formed which creates ed[d]ies and whirls, similar to those frequently seen on the surface of the Missouri River.
A little farther you pass Blockwells Island, celebrated for the large prison and numerous convicts it contains—we saw them scattered about at labor, in small companies, each under the inspector of its overseer. Society is deprived of a large number of persons who are generally very busy week—days for their board and incomes, or rather for their keeping. It is to be hoped that a large number of them may make a lengthy visit to this little spot of earth, so delightfully situated in the middle of East River, and to be regretted that, many others have not been favored with a pass to that Castle long ago—it would have saved much trouble no doubt.
Supper was soon announced. Perhaps I may be allowed to give you a specimen of the order, or rather confession, which prevails at eating times on one of our long steam boats. True in many respects, they resemble a large floating hotel but the bustle and crowding for the first seats at the table, or in fact, for one at all, defies description. The moment the bell rings, a general rush is made for the Cabin door—"first come first served"—but wo be to the man who is so feeble that he cannot crowd his part. If ever a greater rush, anciently and bustle occurred when prisoners were released from incarceration, or freightened [frightened] fugitives fled from devouring flames, the individual unable to have a dozen others on his back, ought certainly to have been pitied—one is a fair sample for the other.
Night soon hid from our eyes the land on either side, except faintly, only now and then the bright glimmer of a light house, on some important point, would change the scene. In a short time all was still, but the jarring and the thrashing of the wheels, and the trembling of the boat, as it was propelled through the water by two mighty engines, soon the crooking and crowing of some young bucks, who were so unfortunate as to get no births [berths].
Early in the morning the waiter's bell awaked the passengers, to give room for adjusting beds and preparing for breakfast—neither of which agreed very well with my appetite—first, I lacked considerable of my usual proportion of sleep, and further, I dreaded another pushing and crowding, as I had hardly recovered from my former ones. This in fashionable company thought I, as I slowly put on my clothes: gentlemen, riding for health—travelling for pleasure somewhere down east to see men and mountains. But as each is a stranger to each, and no one knows as he may meet with any of his company again, it matters not whether he is a man or a brute. If men were as egar [eager] to press themselves into the Kingdom of heaven, surely they would "take it by force."
At about 7, A. M. we entered the mouth of Providence River, on the east bank of which our Government is erecting or preparing a large fortification, if I mistake not, called Fort Adams. It is large, well built, and strong: it may be called one of the strong holds of this nation. This, with other forts on islands immediately within the mouth of the river, is sufficient to defend its entrance against a formidable fleet. Near to, and on the same side of the river with Fort Adams, stands the old town of New Port. What may constitute the wealth or enterprise of the place. I know not, but suppose they "go down to the sea in ships" from which they reap their principal support.
Thirty miles from this stands the city of Providence. The name of the founder of this place, as well as this little State, is familiar with every man acquainted with the history of New England, as well as the cause of his early leaving the colony of Plymouth, and seeking refuge amid barbarians in a dense, trackless forest—it was because he had religion, and his neighbors had not, except such as deals death to its dissenters and those who absent from their communion. Roger Williams was a man of soul—he chose rather the hardship of a new uncultivated home, rather than sacrifice his rights of conscience; and by his saving himself and family from massacre, by the hands of his persecutors, God thus opened a way, or prepared a place, to which others fled in the time of similar difficulties. This good man saw the fallen state of the church, and the want of authority to administer in the holy priesthood; and after various unsuccessful attempts to convert the nations to christianity, hesitated not to declare, that when they should be converted, God would endow men with the gift of tongues, and thus by his power turn them from darkness to light. This I confess is a great puzzle to the priests of the day—They own that Mr. Williams was a learned man—well acquainted with the original languages; and a good, pious christian, strange to tell, "he did not understand the rules of interpreting the scriptures:" He thought the clause found in the Apocalypse, relative to the Savior's second coming, meant as the great revelator penned it, while these modern men—revelators say otherwise!
Providence, this day, was literally alive: it was the anniversary of their town and State—two hundred years
had elapsed since its settlement. We had on board a company of artillery from New Port, and before we reached the town, were saluted by cannon placed on the high bluff, the smoke of which we saw rolling up from the mouth of the discharged ordinance, long before we heard the report.
Strange, thought I, as we approached the city, where so many hearts were light with animation, and changed the scene, from the one two hundred years since:—Now lofty spires rear their heads among the clouds, and costly dwellings spread their broad hearths, and render peace and comfort to their occupants, while the canvass of a thousand ships float in the gentle breeze over these still and peaceful waters, and wealth and ease flow down the streets of a city blessed of heaven!—Then the sturdy oak was only made to bend beneath the force of the whirlwind, the kindred boughs uniting to keep from the face of earth the enlivening influence of the sun, that it might not blush to shine on unconsecrated ground—soil not dedicated by a christian's prayer, but polluted by the blood of victims, slain by savage hands, to satiate the desire of an imaginary deity, whose power was in the sun, and whose habitation was in the wind; a noble river only streaked with the native's bark canoe, on the bank of which stand a father and a husband, forsaken by his friends, persecuted for his religion, and driven from the face of civilization, to seek an asylum among prowling beasts and wild men because he believed in God!
The boat soon landed, and we were quickly seated in the car for Boston. The cars on this rail road are superior, for the ease and convenience of passengers, to any I have yet seen. A few hours brought us to this city, the queen and emporium of New England.
It would be altogether uninteresting to lead you all the round of scouting to, and bathing in the sea, and how beneficial a change of climate, as well as a recess from business, has so far been to my health. I will therefore pass over these, and leave them till I see you face to face.
During my tarry in this country, I have visited Salem, 15 miles from this city. I viewed the hill, immediately to the north-west of the town, on which they used, in olden ttmes [times] when they were very righteous, to hang people for the alleged crime of witchcraft—it still bears the name of "witch hill," and looks down upon this ancient town like a monument set up to remind after generations of the folly of their fathers. This witch business began in 1691, and was so effectually carried on for about two years* that the innocent blood of hundreds moistened the earth to gratify the vile ambition of jealous mortals.
It may not be wholly uninteresting to the readers of the Messenger, to give a short account of this disgraceful affair, as found in some of the ancient writings on that subject. I am aware that the fact is familiar with us all, but the matter of fact is not. The first appearance of any thing of this nature, was in the family of a priest, by the name of Parris, who, it is said, could not make money fast enough by merchandizing, therefore undertook the traffic in men's souls—he lived in Salem. After preaching about two years, he contrived to get "a grant from a part of the town, that the house and land occupied, and which had been allotted by the whole people to the ministry, should be and remain to him &c. as his own estate in fee simple." At this many of the good people revolted, upon which strife and contention were stirred up. Soon a number of Mr. Parris' children were sorely tormented—bewitched—thrown down—scratched—pinched—bitten—squeezed, and many other grievous things, by some of the neighbors. The result was, prosecution, imprisonment and death. Remember, by the way, that none of these were afflicted by corporeal hands, but could see the persons' spirits or appearances coming to, and tormenting them—sometimes in the form of cats, dogs, hogs, &c.
A deeper laid plan for the purpose of satiating revenge, upon such a principle, I think I never read of. In the family of this Parris, resided an Indian and his wife: the latter, as appears, was the first complained of by Parris' children. She was committed to prison, and her master (P) refusing to pay the fees, suffered her to be sold for the same. The account is not a little astonishing, while it discloses the
* In the April of 1693, all then in the prisons for the alleged crime of witchcraft, were liberated.
grand secret of the matter. Speaking of her being sold for the fees, the historian says:
"The account she since gives of it is, that her master did beat her, and otherwise abuse her, to make her confess (such as he called) her sister witches; and that whatever she said by way of confessing, or accusing others, was the effect of such usage: her master refused to pay her fees, unless she would stand to what she had said."
This, I consider the main torch—the fire brand, by which the whole was made to ignite, until the good people of Massachusetts colony, were made to lament that the name of "witch," or even Parris, was ever known.
As a fair sample of the course pursued in their courts, I will give you a short paragraph: "A child of Sarah Cood's was likewise apprehended, being between four and five years old. The accusers said this child bit them, and would show such like marks as those of a small set of teeth, upon their arms: as many of the afflicted as the child cast its eyes upon, would complain they were in torment: which child they also committed."
Look at the picture! Comments on it from me are unnecessary. Nothing is wanting to show the subtle and predetermined plan of the accusers, to take life, nor arguments to prove the total want of righteousness, on the part of judges, to receive such bare faced falsehoods against a helpless, harmless babe, who had never committed a sin in its life! I confess, dear brother, that my bosom burns with indignation at the very thought.
But since I have really engaged in giving a detail of this intentional evil, I cannot do it better than by quoting the proceedings of certain trials, entire, as I find them recorded, or the account of certain individuals themselves, who were immediately interested.
"May 24.—Mrs. Cary, of Charlestown, was examined and committed. Her husband, Mr. Jonathan Cary, has given account thereof, as also of her escape, to this effect:
"I having heard, some days, that my wife was accused of witchcraft, being much disturbed at it, by advice we went to Salem Village, to see if the afflicted knew her; we arrived there 24th May; it happened to be a day appointed for examination; accordingly, soon after our arrival, Mr. Hawthorn and Mr. Curwin &c. went to the meeting house, which was the place appointed for that work; the minister began with prayer; and having taken care to get a convenient place, I observed that the afflicted were two girls of about ten years old, and about two or three others, of about eighteen: one of the girls talked most, and could discern more than the rest. The prisoners were called in one by one, and as they came in were cried out of, &c. The prisoners were placed about seven or eight feet from the justices, and the accusers between the justices and them: the prisoners were ordered to stand right before the justices, with an officer appointed to hold each hand, lest they should therewith afflict them; and the prisoners' eyes must be constantly on the justices: for if they looked on the afflicted, they would either fall into their fits, or cry out of being hurt by them. After an examination of the prisoners, who it was afflicted these girls, &c. they were put upon saying the Lord's prayer, as a trial of their guilt. After the afflicted seemed to be out of their fits, they would look steadfastly on some one person, and frequently not speak; and then the justices said they were struck dumb, and after a little time they would speak again: then the justices said to the accusers, Which of you will go and touch the prisoner at the bar! Then the most courageous would adventure, but before they had made three steps would ordinarily fall down as in a fit. The justices ordered that they should be taken up and carried to the prisoner, that she might touch them; and as soon as they were touched by the accused, the justices would say, they are well, before I could discern any alteration; by which I observed that the justices understood the manner of it.—Thus far I was only as a spectator; my wife also was there part of the time, but no notice taken of her by the afflicted, except once or twice they came to her and asked her name.
"But I having an opportunity to discourse Mr. Hale (with whom I had formerly acquaintance) I took his advice what I had best to do, and desired of him that I might have an opportunity to speak with her that accused my wife: which he promised should be, I acquainting him that I reposed my trust in him. Accordingly he came to me after the examination was over, and told me I had now an opportunity to speak with the said accuser, viz. Abigail Williams, a girl of 11 or 12 years old; but that we could not be in private at Mr. Parris' house, as he had promised me; we went therefore into the alehouse, where an Indian man attended us, who it seems was one of the afflicted: to him we gave some cider: he showed several scars, that seemed as if they had been long there, and shewed [showed] them as done by witchcraft, and acquainted us that his wife, who also was a slave, was imprisoned for witchcraft. And now, instead of one accuser, they all came in, and began to tumble down like swine; & then three women were called in to attend them. We in the room were all at a stand, to see who they would cry out of: but in a short time they cried out, Cary; and immediately after a warrant was sent from the justices to bring my wife before them, who were sitting in a chamber near by, waiting for this.
"Being brought before the justices, her chief accusers were two girls. My wife declared to the justices, that she never had any knowledge of them before that day. She was forced to stand with her arms stretched out. I requested that I might hold one of
her hands, but it was denied me; then she desired me to wipe the tears from her eyes, and the sweat from her face, which I did; then she desired she might lean herself on me, saying she should faint.
"Justice Hathorn replied, she had strength enough to torment those persons, and she should have strength enough to stand. I speaking something against their cruel proceedings, they commanded me to be silent, or else I should be turned out of the room. The Indian before mentioned was also brought in, to be one of her accusers: being come in, he now (when pefore [before] the justices) fell down and tumbled about like a hog, but said nothing. The justices asked the girls who afflicted the Indian; they answered, she (meaning my wife) and that she now lay upon him; the justices ordered her to touch him, in order to his cure, but her head must be turned another way, lest, instead of curing, she should make him worse, by her looking on him, her hand being guided to take hold of his; but the Indian took hold of her hand, and pulled her down on the floor, in a barbarous manner; then his hand was taken off, and her hand put on his, & the cure was quickly wrought. I, being extremely troubled at their inhuman dealings, uttered a hasty speech, That God would take revenge on them, and desired that God would deliver us out of the hands of unmerciful men. Then her mittimus was writ. I did with difficulty and charge obtain the liberty of a room, but no beds in it; if there had been, could have taken but little rest that night. She was committed to Boston prison; but I obtained a habeas corpus to remove her to Cambridge prison, which is in our county of Middlesex. Having been there one night, next morning the jailer put irons on her legs (having received such a command;) the weight of them was about eight pounds: these irons and her other afflictions soon brought her into convulsion fits, so that I thought she would have died that night. I sent to entreat that the irons might be taken off; but all entreaties were in vain, if it would have saved her life, so that in this condition she must continue. The trials at Salem coming on, I went thither, to see how things were managed; and finding that the spectre evidence was there received, together with idle, if not malicious stories, against people's lives, I did easily perceive which way the rest would go; for the same evidence that served for one, would serve for all the rest. I acquainted her with her danger, and that if she were carried to Salem to be tried, I feared she would never return. I did my utmost that she might have her trial in our own county, I with several others petitioning the judge for it, and were put in hopes of it; but I soon saw so much, that I understood thereby it was not intended, which put me upon consulting the means of her escape; which through the goodness of God was effected, and she got to Rhode Island, but soon found herself not safe when there, by reason of the pursuit after her; from thence she went to New York, along with some others that had escaped their cruel bands; where we found his excellency Benjamin Fletcher, esq. governor, who was very courteous to us. After this, some of my goods were seized in a friend's hands, with whom I had left them, and myself imprisoned by the sheriff, and kept in custody half a day and then dismissed; but to speak of their usage of the prisoners, and the inhumanity shewn [shown] to them at the time of their execution, no sober christian could bear. They had also trials of cruel mockings; which is the more, considering what a people for religion, I mean the profession of it, we have been: those that suffered being many of them church members, and most of them unspotted in their conversation, till their adversary the devil took up this method for accusing them.
"PER JONATHAN CARY."
"MAY 31.—Capt. John Aldin was examined in Salem, and committed to Boston prison. The prison-keeper, seeing such a man committed, of whom he had a good esteem, was after this the more compassionate to those that were in prison on the like account and refrained from such hard things to the prisoners, as before he had used. Mr. Aldin himself has given an account of his examination, in these words:
An account how John Aldin, senio,r [senior,] was dealt with at Salem Village.
John Aldin, senior, of Boston, in the county of Suffolk, mariner, on the 28th day of May, 1692, was sent for by the magistrates of Salem, in the county of Essex, upon the accusation of a company of poor distracted or possessed creatures or witches; and being sent by Mr. Stoughton, arrived there the 31st of May, and appeared at Salem Village, before Mr. Gidney, Mr Hathorn and Mr. Curwin.
Those wenches being present, who played their juggling tricks, falling down, crying out, and staring in people's faces: the magistrates demanded of them several times, who it was of all the people in the room that hurt them: one of these accusers pointed several times at one Capt. Hill, there present, but spake nothing; the same accuser had a man standing at her back to hold her up; he stooped down to her ear, then she cried out, Aldin, Aldin afflicted her: one of the magistrates asked her if she had ever seen Aldin. She answered no; he asked how she knew it was Aldin; she said the man told her so.
Then all were ordered to go down into the street, where a ring was made; and the same accuser cried out, There stands Aldin, a bold fellow with his hat on before the Judges; he sells powder and shot to the Indians and French, and lies with the Indian squaws, and has Indian papooses. Then was Aldin committed to the Marshal's custody, and his sword taken from him; for they said he afflicted them with his sword. After some hours Aldin was sent for to the meeting house in the Village, before the magistrates; who required Aldin, to stand upon a chair, to the open view of all the people.
The accusers cried out that Aldin pinched them, then, when he stood upon the chair, in the sight of all the people, a good way distant from them. One of the magistrates bid the marshall to hold open Aldin's hands, that he might not pinch those creatures.—Aldin asked them why they should think that he should come to that Village to afflict those persons that he never knew or saw before.—Mr. Gidney bid Aldin confess, and give glory to God. Aldin said, he hoped he should give glory to God, and hoped he should never gratify the devil; but appealed to all that ever knew him, if they ever suspected him to be
such a person, and challenged any one, that could bring in any thing upon their own knowledge, that might give suspicion of him being such an one. Mr. Gidney said he had known Aldin many years, and had been at sea with him, and always looked upon him to be an honest man, but now he saw cause to alter his judgment. Aldin answered, he was sorry for that, but he hoped God would clear up his innocency, that he would recall that judgment again; and added, that he hoped that he should with Job maintain his integrity till he died. They bid Aldin look upon the accusers, which he did, and then they fell down. Aldin asked Mr. Gidney what reason there could be given, why Aldin's looking upon him did not strike him down as well; but no reason was given that I heard. But the accusers were brought to Aldin to touch them, and this touch they said made them well. Aldin began to speak of the providence of God, in suffering these creatures to accuse innocent persons. Mr. Noyes asked Aldin why he would offer to speak of the providence of God: God by his providence (said Mr. Noyes) governs the world, and keeps it in peace; and so went on with discourse, and stopt [stopped] Aldin's mouth as to that. Aldin told Mr. Gidney, that he could assure him that there was a lying spirit in them, for I can assure you that there is not a word of truth in all these say of me.—But Aldin was again committed to the marshall, and his mittimus written, which was as follows:
To Mr. John Arnold, keeper of the prison in Boston, in the county of Suffolk.
Whereas captain John Aldin, of Boston, mariner, and Sarah Rice, wife of Nicholas Rice, of Reading, husbandman, have been this day brought before us, John Hathorn & Jonathan Curwin, esquires; being accused and suspected of perpetrating divers acts of witchcraft, contrary to the form of the statute, in that case made and provided: these are therefore, in their majesties king William and queen Mary's names, to will and require you to take into your custody the bodies of the said John Aldin and Sarah Rice, and them safely keep, until they shall be delivered by due course of law, as you will answer the contrary at your peril: and this shall be your sufficient warrant. Given under our hands at Salem Village, the 31st of May, in the fourth year of the reign of our sovereign lord and lady, William and Mary, now king and queen over England, &c. Auno Domini 1692.
John Hathorn, }
John Carwin, }assistants.
To Boston, Aldin was carried by a constable; no bail would be taken for him; but was delivered to the prison keeper, where he remained fifteen weeks; and then, observing the manner of trials, and evidence then taken, was at length prevailed with to make his escape, and being returned, was bound over to answer at the superior court at Boston, the last Tuesday in April, auno 1693; and was there cleared by proclamation, none appearing against him.
PER JOHN ALDIN.
At the examination, and at other times, it was usual for the accusers to tell of the black man, or of a spectre, as being then on the table, &c. The people about would strike with swords, or sticks, at these places. One justice broke his cane at this exercise: and sometimes the accusers would say, they struck the spectre, and it is reported several of the accused were hurt and wounded thereby, though at home at the same time."
I presume your patience is exhausted in reading this horrid affair,—one which spreads, and must, while the account remains upon the pages of history, or in the minds of men, a dark gloom over Salem, with all its modern politeness, refinement and religion.—In this place and in Boston, you know, the poor Baptists and Quakers, suffered, also, because their religion was better than their neighbors', of the good steady habits order. Undoubtedly you have read of their sufferings and are prepared to decide upon the injustice of their persecutors as well as the cause. And having been much more lengthy on these matters than I designed, I will dismiss them, and close, by saying something of this country as it is now. Though we must not forget, while looking at the imperfections of our fathers, that this was the cradle of liberty—where the first germ of American independence was seen to sprout. The celebrated Gen. Putnam was born in Salem, and in Boston did the pure spirit of patriotism kindle to a blaze.—But 14 miles from this, was the celebrated battle of Lexington, where disciplined British troops gave way before American yeomanry! and in full view, across a narrow neck of water, on Bunker (or Breeds) hill, was spilled the life-blood of oppressed and abused citizens, to secure to posterity that which is dear still—LIBERTY!
Salem is a pleasantly situated town, with fifteen thousand inhabitants; its streets, though narrow, are remarkably still, and the people very civil. In fact, I may say in truth, that I never visited a place of its size where so little bustle and noise were to be seen and heard. The inhabitants as I learned are generally wealthy and the almost entire business of the place is commercial. Marblehead, Beverly & Danvers, in the immediate vicinity, and in sight, are said to contain as many more inhabitants. Between Boston and Salem, say eight miles from the former, is Lynn, an industrious manufacturing town, fast increasing in wealth and population.
Boston, you know, takes the lead in these parts. A large state house on
the highest ground of the city, overlooks the same, and the country adjacent this is a place of considerable business, and a great deal of ready wealth, fast improving. Charlestown, Roxbury, Cambridge and South Boston, are so near, and the spirit of building so prevalent, that, undoubtedly, in a few years, no other name will be known but Boston. Cambridge, you know, is the place where they make "Doctors."
Having just returned from a visit to the navy yard, Bunker hill monument and the burnt convent, in company with bro. R. I must say a word on these:
The navy yard is situated at Charles town: we entered through a narrow gate way, at the side of which was a wide one, with a chain drawn across, and close by an American Marine, in full uniform, with a musket—bayonet fixed, and a polite low bow, with—"Pass in gentlemen." The yard contains a number of acres of ground entirely occupied with U. S. property, sailors, marines, workmen, officers, &c. with a park several rods long, with ever and anon, painted on the fence—"No admittance inside the Park."—And for one I had no desire to, for it was so literally filled with cannon and mortars, that I thought their weight, superceeding [superseding] the necessity of throwing balls, would sink a number of ships—The fine frigate Independence, lying at the wharf, is fast being rigged, and fitted for sea—if I mistake not, she will carry 64 guns. We saw men at work about her from the bottom to the top of the masts—with the shrill voice of the sailors—',He'o-Hea'vo." A short distance from this, at another wharf, lies the Columbus, a first line of battle ship, 120 guns, and the Vermont, now on the stocks, with four decks, pierced for 160 guns looks like a castle. The Columbus is undergoing a state of repair—she has neither rigging nor masts. We saw 4 eighteen pounders, with the English crown, and G. R. 111—when or how they got onto brother Johnathan's ship I know not. The government has recently given orders for the construction of some two or three vessels to be built at this yard for the South Sea expedition.
From this we went to Bunker hill, viewed the ground which, on the 17th of June, 1775, was drenched with blood for the liberty I enjoy, and the monument now erecting, by the liberal contributions of the sons of patriots, it is now 80 feet high, and is to be, when completed, 220—built of large granite. The history of this battle is so familiar in the minds of the readers of the Messenger, that it would be occupying space unnecessarily, to give even a detail; but judge of the feelings of my heart, when I viewed, from the top of the monument, the entire theater on which was fought one of the most important battles ever recorded in history. It was no laborious task to portray before the mind the 3000 British troops, led on by Gen. Howe, to attack a little group of American farmers, environed by a little redoubt 8 rods across with one wing of the same patriotic army, (encouraged by Prescott, Stark, Warren, Putnam, & others,) reaching into Charlestown, now inhumanly set on fire, with flames ascending to the clouds, women and children running from desolation and destruction, the spires of churches, roofs of houses, and every prominent point at Boston, thronged with spectators, eager to, not only see the first blow struck, but to learn the result, and this ground, hallowed by the best blood of fathers and brothers, strewed with the mangled limbs of our ancestors, to secure to us the blessing of freedom! I confess the reflection was too much for nature.
From this place we visited the ruins of the burnt convent, 2 or 3 miles distant, situated on a beautiful hill, overlooking Charleston, Boston, Roxbury & Cambridge, besides an extent of country. The premises contain, as was told us, 30 acres, owned by one of the bishops of the Catholic church. We saw, upon the corner of a small newly erected house, "All persons are forbid trespassing on these premises." Accordingly we enquired if we were at liberty to look about, without incurring damage, and were told we could look "about here,"—by a coarse looking son of the Emerald Isle, who appeared to have the authority of saying "how far, and no farther we might go," pointing in front of the ruins, where were the remains, as we supposed, of a circular flower garden. Not satisfied yet we enquired the fee for admittance within the highly enclosed ground in which were the ruins. "A ninepence, (12 1/2 cents) a piece," said an urchin
of about twelve years of age. What great curiosities are there, we enquired? "O that's the garden." So we passed into the garden, walked about, "saw the length thereof and the breadth thereof." The building, as was occupied before destroyed, must have been conveniently and tastefully arranged—of brick, three stories high. The garden, at the back side of which is the cemetary [cemetery], when occupied by the nuns, must have been delightful—alleys, fruit and flowers, enclosed with a high fence over which Miss Reed leaped when she made her escape, as she says, and sprained her ankle. Thought I, this building was reared, and these grounds laid off, by a certain religious society, now extant, in consequence of certain principles in their faith. They purchased this land with their money—they built this house with their money—they laid off and cultivated these grounds with their money, at least, they have not been convicted of robbing other churches to obtain this money—and why were they not permitted to enjoy it? Ah! that's the question: Why? It was said that a nun was misteriously [mysteriously] missing, and besides, Miss Reed had just escaped who told some very "big" stories, and the good people of Boston, or at least, about as many as once knocked open the tea chests, sallied out, and in the presence of an armed military force, drove out the inmates and demolished this fine building! Was this religion? To be sure, we read many horrifying accounts of the Roman Inquisition, of the seduction of innocent females, by a priesthood, who live in celibacy,—much may be true and much untrue—if any part is true, so much to be deplored, and so much more can we see the corruption of the human heart, and the need of the gospel. But, in our country, where all these stories are afloat, the public forewarned of the previous conduct of Catholics, if accounts are true, I cannot see why, if young ladies in the face of all this, are so minded, cannot be permitted to absent themselves from the society of this wicked world, and live secluded, if they are disposed.—I own, as an individual, the idea is unpleasant; but different people think differently, and of course, women may be lead to do that which men esteem folly—in the mean time, however, if they were permitted to come out when they wished. But allowing Miss Reed's story to be correct, and besides another nun misteriously [mysteriously] missing, certainly, the act of destroying the convent, was unlawful, and must reflect dishonor, and disgrace upon the people of Boston. It was a religious persecution—a disgraceful, shameful religious persecution—one, or more, religious societies rising up against another. Is this religion? The good people here, being very tenacious of right, as well as the tradition of their ancestors, thought it doing God a service to burn a Catholic convent, because of Catholic religion was different from their own. The author of my existence knows the sorrowing of my heart, on the reflection that our country has come to this, that the weak must be trodden down by the strong, and disorder, confusion and terror, must distract our land and sow the discordant seeds of party strife and party animosity in the hearts of ignorant men, led on by infatuated priests, to overwhelm the continent with blood, and spread destruction and devastation throughout our happy asylum, and expose us to the fire, the sword, the rack and to death! I confess I retired from this scene of mobbery with a heavier heart than from the far-famed Bunker hill, rendered doubly so, by the patriotism, virtue, integrity, connected with the righteousness of the cause in which our fathers died! Sincerely, as ever, your brother,
Died on the 26th of July, about 60 miles from Liberty, Clay Co. Mo. ANDREW H. ALDRICH, aged 68 years. Brother Aldrich was a member in good stonding [standing] in the church of Latter Day Saints and died in full faith of the everlasting gospel.
Died; in Holland Erie Co. N. Y. May 13th 1836, Benjamin F Baldwin, son of JOHN D. and ABIGAIL BALDWIN, aged 19 years and two months. On the first of May he obeyed the commandments of the Lord, became a member of the church, and from that time, until death closed the scene, he manifested an unshaken confidence in the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Died, in this town, on the 17th ultimo an infant son of JOHN E. and LORAIN Page.
Messenger and Advocate
Messenger and Advocate.
KIRTLAND, OHIO, OCT. 1836.
We have frequently had occasion to notice the vast difference there was between men of liberal minds, and the narrow minded sectarian bigots of this very religious generation in which we live. All, or nearly all, profess to be republicans in principle, to allow every man to think as he pleases in matters of religion, and to worship God agreeably to the dictates of his own conscience, but no sooner than one comes forward and pleads for the religion of the bible, the plain unvarnished truth as taught by the Savior and his apostles, than those whose crafts are in danger, whose systems are schemes devised by men, and cannot bear investigation, set up the stale cry of false prophet, false teacher, away with him. A little sober reflection, we should suppose, would teach them two things: first that their great uneasiness when any system differing from their own is brought to view, is a good witness to the world of their consciousness of the falsity of their own. And, secondly of the wickedness and corruption of their hearts in continuing to embrace it.
A man, who knows his religion is the religion of heaven has nothing to fear from all the arts or crafts of men or even devils themselves. Truth certainly can lose nothing by investigation, and, we have always thought that that scheme of things devised by the great God for the salvation of men, shone brighter and brighter the more it was developed, and reflected greater honor and the most glory upon its divine Author, when it is the best understood.
Our friend, the extract of whose letter we have inserted below, may be a Jew, a Mahomedan, a pagan or an infidel, that is a matter between him and his God, and we have no disposition to controvert his legal claim to the right of thinking as he pleases.—One thing we can say, in the sincerity of our hearts, that we admire his kindness and liberality of feeling towards us, and would have him assured that we reciprocate them most heartily. If all men would be willing to hear our cause, and then judge from the force of evidence we can adduce, instead of judging before they hear the whole matter, we should have little to fear, and every thing to hope in the progress of truth and correct principles. But as it was anciently so it is now, "evil men and seducers wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived."
* * * * * *
"Permit me to give you a mere glance at my opinions, or rather views of that base spirit of persecution now stalking abroad, sapping the vitals of our government; and which will shake it to its very foundation before the present generation shall have passed from the stage of action. This anti-christian spirit is now levelling all its batteries of evil speaking and defamation, against the society of Latter Day Saints, vulgarly called "Mormons," exhibiting the straining of the strings of every scheme to exterminate the society, and if possible, drive its members from the land, without leaving them an abiding place any where. To establish this fact the public eye need only be cited to the awful and alarming treatment they have received in Missouri. There, to prepare the illiterate fanatics and superstitious dolts, for scenes of rapine and blood, we see publications, in relation to their emigration, of the most barefaced and malignant falsehoods ever set before any people—falsehoods, the writers evidently knew to be such! If we tolerate or squint at this evil, base and envious spirit, where will it stop or who will be safe? Our boasted liberties and blood-bought inheritance will be at an end, and no society or person will be safe.
"I have read nearly all the publications of this society, as well as those against them, and have formed, I think,
an impartial opinion:—I have cultivated a limited personal acquaintance with many of their leading men, and I do assure you, that I have formed a high estimate of them, as christians and as men. They possess all those shining virtues and ennobling traits of philanthropy and generous bearing that endears man to his fellow, and smooth our passage through this unfriendly world. I have not been altogether convinced of the truth of their religious faith, but am certain that their charity and liberality far exceed that of many others. And as to their temperate habits and moral conduct none can, in truth, find fault.
"It would be a Herculean task to point out the innumerable falsehoods and misrepresentations, sent out detrimental to this society. The tales of those days in which Witches were burnt, and the ridiculous inconsistencies of those who directed the building of the funeral pire, could be no more absurd than the every-day tales, relative to the conduct and professions of the "Mormons."
JUDGE AFTER HEARING.
Liberty is a principle, though perhaps, but little cultivated in its true sense, which serves to soften the feelings of the human heart, and instead of widening the breach, already existing between men of different views and sentiments, will, if not bring them to see alike, do away many prejudices, and thereby better human society.—By liberality we do not merely mean giving to the poor, and alleviating the distressed, but a willingness to give each a candid hearing upon matters where a difference of opinion arise.
It has appeared to us, that but few were to be found who really and truly understood, or sought to understand, the purpose of the great author of our being in placing us here. Some say, to prepare for a latter state. True, we grant; but how widely they differ from us on the point of preparation.—They say religion is necessary—so say we: "pure and undefiled before God and the Father." But, are no feelings of friendship, sociality and interchange of sentiments, to be cultivated. Are not these an important link in the purpose for which God placed us here? We are aware of the saying "keep themselves unspotted from the world:" but this is not saying we are not to show ourselves social and familiar, (in soberness and propriety,) upon the principles of truth, with our fellowmen.
It not unfrequently happens, that when a man is what many call converted, a spirit of strife, animosity, hatred, and intolerance, mingled with bitter feeling against all such as differ from his particular dogmas, spring up in his bosom; as though, after sorrowing and mourning, for several months, and perhaps years, and having, as he says, his "soul set at liberty," he is to distinguish himself, from the rest of the world, in his party, by being very orthodox, precise and tenacious. Such is the love that common religion creates, that it is a matter of difficulty that any of the elders of the church of Latter Day Saints, can obtain liberty to deliver a lecture upon the principles of their faith in a building owned, or occupied, by the different sects, or one over which they hold influence. True, in many cases we have no claim other than the great admonition of Paul to the Thessalonians "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
It may be urged, that the principles advanced by this church are so perfectly known, that they are already proven. We ask how have they been made known, that they might be proven? The answer must be—"From rumor!" This, we declare to be very incorrect. In all our experience in this matter, hardly in any instance, have we known rumor to speak the truth, especially, when it touched upon the principles of our faith. Such being the case, the public are uninformed relative to what we approve or disapprove, touching religion. If then, they are uninformed, how shall they be informed, except they hear us?
Aside, however, from the general course pursued by the different religionists toward us, we are happy to say, there are many honorable exceptions, as we are informed by elders from the east. Many houses, owned or occupied by other denominations, have been gratuitously furnished our brethren while travelling among strangers to proclaim the gospel; and so far as we have been able to learn, when ever such has been the case, a general
expression of good feelings has been manifested.
Our readers may say, that we ought not to expect favors from others, that we will not grant ourselves. To which we answer: since our meeting house has been finished suitable to convene a congregation, but two persons have made application to occupy it, to our knowledge,—one a Campbellite, (so called,) and the other a Methodist. And we believe, that it was more from the solicitation of some members of the church to preach in our house, than from a request from them, first. The Campbellite did not preach, the other did. Previously to the finishing the house, a Universalean; made application, and attained a hearing—we know of no others. But for any preacher of respectable character, and in fellowship, with his society, or of respectability if he is joined to no sect, almost any day of the week, except the Sabbath, our doors will be opened, and he or they may preach whatever they call or think to be the gospel. There may be times or seasons when our house will be occupied by the society here; but generally, not. So far as regards propriety and decency; we do not intend there shall be rudeness or improper conduct in the house on any occasion.
We have made these remarks, and given this general invitation to all or any professed teacher of religion, at the request and suggestions of several of the brethren, and proprietors in our house; and also in perfect accordance with our own feelings.
Burville, Jefferson Co. N. Y. Sept. 5, 1836
Br. O Cowdery,
Sir, I left Kirtland on the 6th day of April after a few day's travel through the mud and rain arrived in the province of U. C. here I commenced lifting a warning voice, testifying against their iniquities, exposing their religious systems by contrasting them with the system of the bible which not unfrequently produced no small stir, for the craftsmen, not of the great goddess Diana, but of great Babylon, brought no small gain unto themselves by making not silver shrines but religious systems by which through covetousness and feigned words they could make merchandise of the people. And when th[e]y saw their doctrines exposed by the all powerful word of God and uncovered in the sight of men, they were ready to cry out in their hearts as their works manifest, saying we know by this our craft we obtain our wealth moreover we see and hear that not alone in Canada but almost throughout all the United States, these Mormon elders have persuaded and turned away much people, saying, that our systems and doctrines which uninspired men have invented, are false and that we ought to believe in the doctrine of the New Testament which teaches that the church (or body) of Christ, is composed of the following members, viz: apostles, prophets, teachers, workers of miracles, discerners of spirits, speakers with tongues, interpreters of tongues, &c. so that not only this our craft is in eminent danger, but the great mystery Babylon will be ruined and come to nought whom the whole world worshipeth.
I will now give you an example of their exceeding great zeal in opposing the doctrine of the New Testament which they call Mormonism.
On the 27th of April last elder F. Nickerson and myself went to the village of Brantford, U. C. and obtained the privilege from one of the trustees of the school house of leaving an appointment for the next evening, which was circulated through the town. The next evening I went down alone to Mount Pleasant to fill the appointment; went to the school house found it crowded with men but no females, I went into the pulpit and was about to open the meeting by reading a chapter in the bible when a man by the name of Lewis Burwell a Methodist by profession arose and requested me to answer a few questions previous to preaching. He then proceeded as follows. To what church do you belong? Answer. To the church of Latter Day Saints slanderously called Mormons. Do you believe in the book of Mormon? Yes sir, with all my heart. He then said he had read the book and made some very harsh expressions, desiring to know of me if I could speak with tongues prophesy, &c. I replied that I had not come to boast of what I or the church to which I belonged could do, but to hold forth the gospel and the promises and blessings which it proposes to all the faithful and obedient, but
he insisted on my answering him yes or no, I replied that I did not consider myself under the least obligation to answer any of his questions till after my discourse, in which I would set forth our sentiments as a society in plainness, after which he or any gentleman present should have the privilege of taking exceptions and exposing publicly every erroneous principle, but he insisted on knowing what our church believed before preaching. About this time the congregation began to stamp with their feet and hiss, they also began to be divided the more part were determined to hear, while the remainder said that I should not preach, and the whole house was in an uproar some crying one thing and some another, some crying liberty of conscience as loud as they could hallow; while others were yelling delusion, impostor &c. and they began to contend one with another very sharply, becoming angry they proceeded to blows, two or three were knocked down in the school house, the noise was such for one or two hours that it might have been heard some distance, but I stood in the pulpit very much composed lifting my heart in silent prayer that the Lord would deliver me out of their hands unhurt; some threatened to lay violent hands upon me while others said I was a stranger and they would protect me, but one man laid hands upon me who reached over the pulpit and gave me a sudden pull against the side of the same; at length some gentlemen present kindly assisted me in escaping they opened one of the pulpit doors took me by the hand and we passed through their midst. The whole congregation however followed us through the main st. of the village and seeing myself surrounded by a multitude part friends and part foes I concluded the better way of escape would be to go into a tavern and pass out the back door, which I accordingly did, being accompanied with two men as guides. I travelled that night to Mount Pleasant on foot and alone pondering npon [upon] the scene through which I had passed and the corruptions of this generation, the next day the people in Brantford sent an express requesting me to come the next evening and preach with an assurance that I should be protected.—I accordingly went had a crowded house and good attention, after my discourse gave liberty 4 arose, one at a time and brought forth their objections till they run themselves out of arguments and some of the assembly began to hiss at them, the meeting was closed and the people departed without any disturbance.
Thus we can see the zeal of the religious denominations of our land in opposing what they call Mormonism.
I tarried in the province not far from two months held 34 meetings, baptized 12 and then took my journey to Jefferson co. N. Y. in which vicinity I have held fifty six meetings baptized 14 attended one conference in the same county at which there were 13 more that came forward in baptism two elders and two teachers were ordained. The truth seems to be progressing in these parts.
Kirtland, Sept. 1836.
The following objections to the book of Mormon were proposed by a gentleman of Toronto, U. C. the answers were furnished for the use of a friend, and are now offered for publication, with prayer to God that he will make them subserve the cause of truth and righteousness.
I am your brother in the bonds of the gospel.
Oliver Cowdery, Esq.
1st "How is it that the same style is observed throughout the whole, though given in different ages and to different people." From this I infer the objectors opinion to be, that the word of God, if given in different ages and to different persons must discover diversity of style. So that the word of the Lord, (as far as style is concerned) is subject to the conditions of a certain age and a certain person. But John says "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God." Therefore the converse is the truth—that ages and persons are subject to his word.
2d "How comes it that the quotations from scripture are given in the same language, in the same words as we have them in the bible?" This objection is made without comparing the two word for word, or else the objector has knowingly suppressed the truth: for he could not have so compared them with-
out discovering, not merely that words are occasionally expunged, but that words sentences and sometimes whole verses are introduced which beautify the style, and render the sense full and complete. If completeness of sense, and perspicuity of style, pertain to good writing, the querist shall see those advantages enjoyed by the book of Mormon, by comparing the sixth chapt. of the first book of Nephi with the 48th and 49th of Isaiah. The added sentences and verses found in the book of Mormon were surely indi[c]ted by the Spirit which indi[c]ted the whole: they are equally beautiful and sublime: and the querist thought so to when he read them, if not, I must conclude that he was unable to discern, between what was indicted by the Spirit of prophecy & what is not. For I cannot but believe that he discovered the difference but forbore making mention of it.— For remember that he says the quotations from scripture are in the same words.
3d "Is it not rather singular that these scriptures going through the channels of the Hebrew and Greek languages into the coptic or Egyptian, should finally appear in our own tongue in the exact words of our own translators of the scriptures?" In another place the objector says (without proof) that up to the time of Lehi the prophets prophesied in Hebrew only. Therefore he contradicts himself by saying that the scriptures came through the channels of the Hebrew and Greek. History supports this view, referring the first translation of the Pentateuch into Greek to about 285 years before Christ.
4th "There are several words used as taken from this reformed Egyptian prophecy, which are no more Egyptian than Chippewa, for instance the words Jesus and Christ." I may now safely denounce this objector, ignorant presumptuous and incompetent to handle the matter he has undertaken. The book of Mormon is an English translation of a prophecy delivered in reformed Egyptian, and this sapient critic wishes to know why it should contain words which are not Egyptian: or words which are current in the English language. Is it not the duty of a translator to use those words which are best understood by the people for whom he translates? So as the words are understood, it matters not the least their etymology. Take notice that this querist objects to an English translation of an Egyptian writing, because it contains words which are not Egyptian. [S]o according to him, a translation from reformed Egyptian should consist of reformed Egyptian words: and on the same principle a translation from Greek should consist of Greek words, a translation from French of French words: in a short there could be no such thing as a translation. The Hebrew word "Jehoshua" or "Joshua" when translated into Greek is "Jesus," both words signifying "He who shall save." The Hebrew word "Messiah" when translated into Greek is "Christ" both words signifying "Anointed of God." Lactantius an ancient author observes "Christ is not a proper name, but denotes power: for the Jews used to give this appellation to their kings, calling them Christ or anointed by reason of their sacred unction." The words Jesus and Christ therefore are radically neither English nor Greek, for both have Hebrew roots.
5th "How came Ezra who compiled the scriptures to his own time, to overlook the prophecy of Lehi." I will now ask a question or rather nine questions which are valid or invalid according to that of the querist. He shall take any one of them, and if he can answer I promise to do so likewise.—How came Ezra who compiled the scriptures up to his own time to overlook "the prophesy of Enoch, the book of the Wars of the Lord—The book of Nathan the prophet—the book of Gad the Seer—The prophecy of Ahijah—The vision of Iddo—The book of the prophet Shemaiah—The book of Jehu—The book of the prophet Isaiah which he wrote of the acts of Uzziah first and last."
6th "Why was not Lehi's prophecy referred to by our Savior or the evangelists, as being fulfilled in different incidents of his life, seeing the prophecy was so very clear, that there could have been no mistake about it." Lehi prophesied of no incidents in the life of our Savior; at least none are recorded in the book of Mormon. Therefore O Querist, don't be surprised that prophecies are not referred to, which for any thing we know were never recorded.—Supposing that Lehi had prophesied of certain incidents in the life of our Lord,
it would not be safe to reject him as a false prophet because the New Testament writers have not referred to him: they do not refer to Isaiah's prophecy concerning the rich man's making the tomb, but merely record the event which fulfills the prophecy.
"It does not appear to me that the Church is in need of a revelation of the above stamp." This mam [man] turns away from the only church upon earth which was founded upon and is governed by revelation (the rock upon which Christ said he would found it) and says he has no need of it. But perhaps he means that the church which is not founded upon that rock has no need of it, in which I concur. For the Mother of harlots with all her daughters of harlotry, will never obtain revelations, though they will obtain power of the Devil to work miracles. Here the objector turns a certain writing revelation, and says the church has no need of it. Forbear to call it revelation, or speak out and say, that God has revealed what the church does not want. The words "of the above stamp" are surely excessively stupid when applied to a revelation. The whole of these objections I consider an imbecile display of self sufficiency. The Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and that is the full and complete answer to all the objections against the style. And it is strong proof of this, that its style is entirely dissimilar to that of any other book. The only book that bears any resemblance is the Bible: but the simplicity of the Book of Mormon far exceeds that. Every person who has cultivated in writing, knows that true simplicity is of the most difficult attainment. Those authors who are remarkable for sublimity are also remarkable for simplicity. In the Book of Mormon we find such great subject as atonement justice good and evil. Resurrection et cetora [cetera] treated with childlike simplicity. The most educated man in existence, is incapable of writing a single page like that book. Talk no more about delusion.
The man who can believe that a person uninspired could discourse of such profound subjects with more ease and simplicity than Isaiah Paul or Peter—I say the man who can believe this, is the subject of deep and awful delusion.
Minutes of Conference
At a conference of Elders of the church of Latter Day Saints, convened in the town of Amity, Allegany County, N. Y. on the 17th of September, 1836: on motion of Elder L. T. Coons, Elder Cyrus Smalling was called to the chair, and Elder Joseph M. Cole appointed Clerk. The conference was then opened by prayer by the chairman; after which the clerk presented Benjamin S. Wilbur, Amos Babcock, and Abram Rose to the conference for ordination, as recommended by the branch of the church of Latter Day Saints in Howard, Steuben county. Richard Mann, of the branch in Amity, was also presented by Eld. L. T. Coons, for ordination: After which the conference proceeded to ordain the above named brethren to the office of Elders in the church of Latter Day Saints. Those ordained were then particularly addressed by the chairman and Elder L. T. Coons, who set forth in a plain but impressive manner some of the duties belonging to the office of an Elder.
The conference was closed by prayer by Eld. Hiram Kellog.
JOSEPH M. COLE, Clerk.
The minutes of a conference were recently put into our hands purporting to have been held on the 19th of April last, in the town of Dresden county of Muskingum and State of Ohio.
Elder Seymour Brunson was present and officiated as Chairman and Richard C. Wetherbee, as clerk. Six elders of the church were present and after prayer and due examination, the council thought proper to ordain brother James Reeves to the office of an elder.
Elder Libbeus T. Coons states to us verbally that he left Kirtland on the 12th of April travelled and preached mostly in the State of New-York where notwithstanding the prejudice and prepossession of men, he proclaimed the word as opportunity offered and doors opened, and as he trusts, left a favorable impression upon the minds of many that were before darkened by bigotry and superstition. The Elder tarried at no time long in any place, having travelled about one thousand six hundred miles by land and water, du-
ring his absence and returned on the fifteenth of last month! Yet notwithstanding the Elder's short stay in any one section of country, the testimony he was able to bear, was such, that he baptized thirteen, and many more were willing to hear and investigate the things of which he spoke.
Elder Stevens left Kirtland in May last, travelled into the State of N. Y. and preached in different places as opportunity offered, but confined his labors more particularly to a region of Tompkins County where through his instrumentality a small branch of the church was raised up, consisting of eight members The elder returned here the first of Sept. after having but barely sown the good seed, but, we hope it may grow and multiply.
AFFLICTING CASSUALITY [CASUALTY].
Died on the 27th of August, Lucy the daughter of Lorenzo and Persis Young's aged three years and ten months. Her sufferings were short but excrutiating [excruciating]. Her clothes took fire in the abscence of the family, and notwithstanding her shrieks, no one arrived in time to extinguish the flames and save the child! So the morning flower, which but yesterday bloomed in all its native loveliness, was cut down and withered in an hour.
Our brethren and friends who recently held a conference in New Portage, will excuse us for omitting the insertion of their minutes in this month's paper. We had no time, owing to a press of other business, to condense them or even make a synopsis, and they were too lengthy to be given entire in our columns. We hope to be able to notice them in our next. We have also an article from the pen of an able and intelligent correspondont [correspondent], that has to be exoluded [excluded] from this number, which shall have a place in our next.
Elder Hiram Stratten is requested by the Presidents of the Seventies, to come to Kirtland without delay.
MARRIED—In Norton, Medina co., O. on the 23d ult. by Elder Salmon Warner, jr. Mr. Joseph R Hurlbert to Miss Deborah Spencer; both of that place.
What wond'rous things we now behold,
Which were declar'd from days of old
By prophets, who in visions clear
Beheld those glories from ofar [afar].
The visions which the God,
Confirm'd by his unchanging word;
That to the ages then unborn
His greatest work he would perform.
The second time he'd set his hand
To gather Israel to their land,
Fulfil the cov'nants he had made,
And pour his blessings on their head.
When Moab's remnant, long oppress'd,
Should gather'd be and greatly blest;
And Ammon's children, scattered wide,
Return with joy, in peace abide.
While Elam's race a feeble hand,
Receive a share in the blest land;
And Gentiles, all their power display
To hasten on the glorious day.
Then Ephraim's sons, a warlike race,
Shall haste in peace and see their rest,
And earth's remotest parts abound,
With joys of everlasting sound.
Assyria's captives, long since lost,
In splendor come a num'rous host;
Egyptia's waters fill'd with fear,
Their power feel and disappear.
Yes, Abram's children now shall be
Like sand in number by the sea;
While kindreds, tongues, and nations all
Combine, to make their numbers full.
The dawning of that day has come.
See! Abram's sons are gath'ring home,
And daughters too, with joyful lays,
Are hast'ning here to join in praise!
O God, our Father, and our King,
Prepare our voices and our theme;
Let all our pow'rs in one combine
To sing thy praise in songs divine.
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