The First Theologian of the Latter Day Saints

“Articles and Letters”

A series of articles and letters from
the newspapers of the Latter Day Saints (1834-1838)


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Vol. II.                                   Kirtland,  Ohio,  April, 1834.                                  No. 19.

[p. 151]


I feel myself called upon to notice the conduct of ADAMSON, BENTLY, a Campbellite reformer, as I have had to suffer as much from his hand as he could heap upon me, if the information which I have received be correct. He has exhausted nearly all his ingenuity, to do what little he could to injure me and my family, in both character and property. Not contenting himself with injuring my character, thinking, perhaps, that his influence was rather too small to gratify his malicious feelings, he has had recourse to other means; exercising his influence over the mind of an old superannuated man, near eighty years of age, whose mind was so bewildered, that frequently he did not know his own children whom he saw every day; and has actually succeeded in getting him to alter his will, so as to deprive my family of their just dues. This he told me himself!

Some time in the winter of 1832, I was in the township of Weathersfield, Trumbull Co. I was then informed by a number of people, that Mr. Bently had declared publicly, that I dare not meet him and investigate the subject of religion. At the time when I heard it; I disbelieved it; but seeing Mr. Bently some time afterwards, I interrogated him on the subject; he to my astonishment, confessed it was true! I asked him if I were to understand it as a challenge? He said, I had a right to understand it as such. I then informed him, that I held him bound by it. As a man of truth and veracity he had to acknowledge that he was bound to support it, and in case I called on him to support his boast as a challenge, he was bound to meet me. I told him, that I accepted it as a challenge, and I therefore required him to meet me. He agreed he would, and gave his word so to do before a number of persons whose testimonies can be had at any time; but said he could not for some weeks, as some engagements he had would hinder. I was going on a journey, and it was mutually agreed that the meeting should take place immediately after my return. Accordingly, as soon as I returned, I informed him by letter of my return, and that I was now ready to make the necessary arrangements for the proposed investigation; but to my astonishment he entirely declined, and utterly refused, though he had previously pledged his word that he would do it. So the matter stands up to this date. As I am occasionally hearing of his making many boasts what he can do, it is but justice to the public that they should be correctly informed on this matter. When this man is disposed to boast of what he can do, let the public know, that I am ready to meet him on his challenge at any time, and he can yet have an opportunity of displaying his wisdom and intelligence. SIDNEY RIGDON.    


Vol. I.                         Kirtland,  Ohio,  September, 1835.                         No. 12.

[p. 182]


The ancient order of things has engrossed the attention of the religious public to some extent in modern times, and has given rise to many parties and sects in the so called christian world; each one in their turn supposing that they had the ancient order of things among them, and had come to the standard of righteousness set up in the scriptures, and representing other religious denominations as having come short of the glory of God, and as not having come to the standard of truth, or else they had departed from it.

On this subject I am disposed to offer a few reflections, through the medium of the Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate, by permission of the Editor.

What I understand by the ancient order of things, as used in modern dialect, is the order of things revealed in the bible, and taught to mankind by the holy prophets and apostles, who were divinely inspired to teach them the way of life and salvation. If I am correct in this conclusion the only way to settle the question about this order of things is to have recourse to the book, and let it speak for itself, and set forth the ancient order of things, as the holy prophets and apostles declared it, by the spirit of inspiration.

I conclude, and I think correctly too, that it requires the entire order of things established by the Savior of the world, to constitute the ancient order of things, and not a part of it only.

The cause of the greatest difficulty among the religious sects seems to be this: that some take one part of this order, and add to it some things of their own invention; others take another part of it and add to that, and some content themselves with taking part of the order without adding any thing to it; and then the difficulty arise among them, who it is that is correct: if they would all stop, and consider, and view the ground on which they stand, I think that they would be enabled with but little reflection, to determine that there are none of them on tenable ground; neither can they be without taking the entire order of things laid down in the scriptures.

In attempting to set forth this order of things, we must begin where it begins; for if we commence right, we can end right, and if not, it will be impossible for us to understand the subject. We ask then what was the first thing that our heavenly Father done, when he began to establish this order among men? Answer: He inspired a man, or some men, and called them from among the rest of the world, to be his messengers to the world, and to proclaim his will to their fellow-men: to whom he revealed himself, and to whom he made known his will concerning the generation among whom they lived. -- To them he gave revelations and commandments, not only for the regulation of their own conduct, but for the conduct of those who would receive their testimony. After they were sufficiently instructed, whether it took a longer or shorter period, they were sent forth to call upon their fellow men, and to administer to them in the name of the Lord Jesus according to the will of God, with certain promises which should be fulfilled on their own heads, as well as on the heads of those who should receive their testimony, and obey the commandments which should be delivered to them through these men; and the fulfillment of these promises was to be a testimony that the Lord had sent the men who had administered unto them.

In establishing his kingdom, church, or order, in the world the Savior seems to have pursued a certain system, if we can credit the account given by the apostle Paul in his epistles to the Corinthians and Ephesians. In his first epistle to the Corinthians, chap. 12: v. 28, he says: "And God set some in the church; first, apostles; secondarily, prophets; thirdly, teachers; after that miracles; then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." In the Ephesians, chap. 4: v. 11, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers."

From these quotations it appears, the first thing the Savior done in order to establish his kingdom, was to choose and call apostles, or witnesses for himself; for apostles are witnesses; and these men after using the office of apostles or witnesses, became prophets, and after they were prophets, they became evangelists, and then came pastors, and teachers, and after that miracles, healings, diversities of tongues, and interpretation of tongues, &c. Such then was the ancient order of things, and in this manner did the Son of God build his church on earth, and establish his order among men.

If this matter is kept in view, that is, what Christ done first and what he done secondly and thirdly, the ancient order of things as set forth in the scriptures, will be easily understood; for if this account be true, the ancient order of things can never exist unless there are apostles first to begin this order with; for where apostles are not, there the ancient order is not; for the ancient order of things commenced with apostles, then came prophets; so that both apostles and prophets are necessary for the ancient order of things; for where prophets are not, there the ancient order of things is not; for the second thing which the Savior of the world done to establish this order, was to give some, prophets; and after this comes evangelists; and where evangelists are not, there the ancient order of things is not; for the third thing which the Savior done to establish the ancient order of things was to give some, evangelists. -- And having these three orders established: namely, apostles, prophets, and evangelists; then followed on other things in their order, such as pastors, teachers, helps, governments, &c.; and then comes miracles, healings, diversities of tongues, and interpretation of tongues. This fills up the account which the apostle gives us of the ancient order of things, in the above quotations.

Now where these things are found, there the ancient order of things is found, and where they are not found, the ancient order of things is not found; or where any one of them is lacking, there the ancient order of things is not; and that for the best of all reasons, because it takes them all to make the ancient order of things. It would not be a perfect human body if there was an arm or leg taken off, and the reason would be that, without the arm or or leg the body could not be perfect, for it required every member which belongs to the body, to make it a perfect body; so in like manner, if any one of the above things are wanting, the remainder would not make the ancient order of things, no more than where an arm or a leg was wanting, the remaining members could make a perfect human body.

There is this peculiarity about the works of God, that to add to them is to injure them: and so it is to take from them. All the ingenuity of the world combined could not add any thing to the structure of the human body without injuring it; neither could they take any thing from it without doing it an injury; it is best just as it is; so is all the other works of God, in the spiritual as well as the natural kingdom; they are best as God formed them; to alter them any way is to make them worse instead of better.

The order of things which God established for the salvation of man, which is called in modern dialect, the ancient order of things, is in every respect calculated to produce the effect for which it was intended, that is to save men, and in order that men might be saved, it was necessary that an order of things should be established, beginning with apostles, and then to have prophets, and then evangelists, and after that pastors, teachers, &c. with gifts healings, miracles, tongues, interpretation of tongues, as an established order to continue as long as the Lord our God should call men to be his sons, and women to be his daughters.

When any man sets himself for to search out the ancient order of things, this is what he will find, if he succeeds in his design, and if he does not obtain this, he will not get the ancient order of things. No church need say to their fellow men, lo here is the ancient order of things, or lo it is there, unless they have the order before mentioned; for it matters not what order they may have, if they have not the order before mentioned, they have not the ancient order.

But let us descend to particulars; for there are ways and means which lead to the full development of this order. If there were apostles, it was because there were ways and means ordained of God to make them such, and ways and means too, which were calculated to produce this effect, to make men apostles. In order then to be an apostle a man must in the first instance believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the next place he must repent of all his sins, and then must be baptized for the remission of his sins, and must receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; after that he must continue in faith and obedience until he has obtained a manifestation of the Savior; for it was not sufficient to make apostles, that they saw Jesus Christ while he was in the flesh; but it was necessary that they should have a manifestation of him after he rose from the dead, that they might testify to the world, that he lives, and that he is on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens; this made men apostles, or witnesses for Jesus Christ.

Such was the ancient order of things in laying the foundation to establish the order of God, and out of this all the rest of the order grew.

These men thus qualified for their office, went forth, and called upon the rest of their fellow men to believe, repent of their sins, be baptized for the remission of them, and receive the Holy Spirit, which they ministered unto them by the laying on of their hands, and the people thus receiving the Holy Ghost were enabled by this gift, to prophecy, to see visions, and to dream dreams, and by these means grow up to be witnesses for Jesus Christ also, and become apostles, and obtain all the powers of the first; and as the first apostles grew up to be prophets, so those who were brought to a knowledge of the truth by their testimony, would grow up to apostles; and as the first would advance to be evangelists, those who came after them would be advancing to be prophets, and, until they also would become evangelists, -- which seems to be the same as Patriarch, whose office it was to administer blessings and cursings in the name of Jesus Christ, according to the will of God. So each one in his turn as he passed along in his course, partook of all the powers of the spiritual kingdom, or the world to come, exactly according to the commission given to the apostles, that those who believed them (the apostles) should have signs following them. They were to cast out devils, speak with new tongues, lay hands on the sick and they should recover, take up serpents, and if they were to drink any deadly thing it should not hurt them, &c.

In the whole history of this religion as set forth in the scriptures, its order was the same; it produced the same effect among all people, whether they were Scythian, Barbarian, bond or free, Jew or Gentile, Greek or Roman, it mattered not what they were; for in this respect, there was neither Greek nor Jew, bond nor free, male nor female; but they were all one in Christ Jesus, and the same blessing belonged to all, and the same fruits followed all, and the order was the same, whether it was in Africa, Asia, or Europe, and that so perfectly so as to establish this fact forever, that the Lord has but one order of things, and that all other orders are not of him, and where this order of things is not found, there the Lord's order is not. This then is the ancient order of things, if we mean by the ancient order of things, the order of things laid down in the scriptures.

Men may invent order after order, and scheme after scheme, but as long as their order or orders of things do not consist in having apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, gifts, healings, miracles, divers kinds of tongues, the interpretation of tongues, &c. their order is adverse to the order of heaven, and is not the ancient order of things as revealed in the scriptures.

All other order of things beside this are human orders, and not divine orders, and all other teachers are human teachers; for no teacher can be found in the world, of whom God approves but one who has obtained his office by reason of an apostle, whom God first called, and through him others were called; -- we do not mean a dead apostle but a living one; for whenever there ceases to be apostles on earth, then the order of God has ceased, and the order of men, or devils, or of both has got its place.   R.


Vol. II.                           Kirtland,  Ohio,  November, 1835.                          No. 2.

[p. 212]


Brother J. Whitmer: --
      I feel I feel at this time like writing a letter for the Messenger and Advocate, on a subject which I shall call the order of the new testament church. A subject I conclude which is not very well understood, if I may have the privilege of judging from what passes before my eyes, and what is sounded in my ears.

The many persons who are traveling through every part of the country, passing to preach what they call the gospel, and to call men into the kingdom of God; saying that they have the right to do so, not only the right to do so; but are under the strongest obligation to do it, both as a duty to God and man, that they may glorify the former, and save the latter; and this duty and obligation, grows out of the commandment of the Savior, found recorded in the new testament, and reads thus. "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.-He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not, shall be damned."

I feel a little disposed to inquire into the nature of this commission, and the circumstances attending its promulgation, to see how far they are bound by it, and are in danger of being cursed if they do not obey it, or in other words, who is able to obey it; for my part I think there is less danger of a curse by not attempting to act under it, than there is by attempting to act under it.

I should think that I was in greater danger of being condemned, to go forth into the world to preach the gospel, by virtue of that commission, that I would be to follow the plough, to shove the plain, to use the hammer or to pursue any other honest calling in life, and would benefit mankind more, and glorify God better. And so would any other man also.

It is a very common thing for men who are unlearned in the truth, to be very conscientious in advocating error, and exceedingly zealous in propagating, and teaching for doctrines the commandments of men, and doing what the Lord never required at their hand, and leaving undone the things which he has required; this seems especially to be the case in relation to preaching the gospel, (as the people call it.) for while the order of things which the Lord established for the redemption of the world is left untouched, the order of things which men have invented for themselves, is propagated with the most untiring perseverance, and with a zeal worthy of the best cause in the world.

Men encompass sea and land to establish their opinions, and to give force and power to their doctrines, and to all appearance are as conscientious as if the Lord had called and commissioned them, and had sent them forth to do so, under the penalty of the perdition of ungodly men if they did it not. A looker on would be ready to conclude, that they were ordained from days of old to this ignorance. But notwithstanding all the zeal, and perseverance, and apparent consciousness of the many teachers of religion, still, when a man takes the new testament into his hands and begins to hunt for their authority, he is greatly difficulted to find it, to be sure, we can there find it written "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, he that believeth, and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned." But to whom was this said to every man of ever generation, who might start out of himself, or be sent out by other? no, but very far from this to men who were called and chosen of God for this purpose, and called by name too, so that there could be no mistake about the manner. These men in this commission, were required to go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; but none others: it was they and they only, whose names were there mentioned, who had to perform this duty, or see that it was performed, and none others were bound by it.

Let us suppose for instance that some of the other Jews, or Gentiles, or even some of the saints, had taken it into their heads in the days of the apostles to have acted on this commission; could they have done it? I answer they could not; there would not one solitary sign have followed them, it would have been in vain for those who believed them to have undertaken to cast out devils, or to have spoken in other tongues, or to lay hands on the sick, with the idea of effecting any thing; and the reason would be that the persons who had administered unto them, were without power themselves, and a stream could not rise higher than its fountain; therefore, of necessity the persons administered to, would be without power also.

It was more than a windy business to execute this commission, it required power as well as wind; it required more than to go forth and be very ingenious, in proving to the people that they must be immersed for the remission of sins: the person who done that according to this commission, if he effected any good by it must have power, also to administer in the name of the Lord Jesus, not baptism only, but the Holy Spirit also.

The truth is, there were no persons on earth in the days of these apostles, nor have there been any since their day, who could not act upon their commission, it was peculiar to themselves; for instance, there were in the primitive church, not only apostles; but prophets, and evangelists, pastors, and teachers, and each of these orders had other respective works assigned unto them and each one must have a commission suited to his calling.

Out of these orders, it fell to the order of apostles, to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature: suppose the pastors, or teachers, had taken it into their heads to go and act upon the commission given to the apostles, could they have done it? -- most assuredly they could not, and that because God had not called them to the work of apostles, and having not called them, he did not endow them with power, sufficient, and their attempt would have been vain; indeed it would have been worse than vain; for the apostles alone, God had given the power to act on a commission given to apostles.

To every candid reader of the new testament, it is very plain, that it required a power adapted to the nature of the commission, to enable any person, to act on a commission received from the most High, whether that commission required them to travel into all the world, or whether it did not; the power given would be according to the work required. If a man or a number of men, were required to act in the office of evangelists, they would receive power, accordingly: or if to act in the office of apostles; their power would be proportionate to the work assigned to them. So that each one might be able to perform the duties of his own office.

In the commission given immediately after the resurrection of the Savior, we have the work set forth which belonged to the office of apostles, and every person who acted under that commission, acted in the office of an apostle. Now to prepare men to act under this commission, required a great deal of teaching, as well as divine manifestation. It was impossible for the apostles to act under this commission, without revelations being given unto them directly from heaven, for their own direction, as well as the direction of those who believed on the savior through their word.

Let us inquire how it was that the apostles were enabled to fulfill this commission; enabled we say, for it has been the lot of few men to be able to perform the duties of the commission given to the twelve apostles, who were commissioned immediately after the resurrection of the Savior.

Let us inquire, what preparation was necessary to enable the apostles themselves to fulfill the duties of their office, and how it was that they became qualified to be apostles, agreeable to the commission given to them.

We are told that at a certain time the Savior inquired of the apostles to know what men said about him. -- "Whom say men that I the son of man am?" they answered some say that you are Elias, others Jeremias, or one of the ancient prophets, by this we understand most clearly, that the miracles which he had wrought among the people, had failed to give them a true understanding of his character.

The highest notions which they entertained of him was, that he was a prophet, such as had been on earth before, with this exception probably, that some might have thoughts that he was one of the prophets who was raised from the dead. But it does not appear that there was any other thought of his being the Son of God: so that all his miracles had failed to give the people a correct idea of his true character.

Neither do we think, that miracles could produce this effect alone: there must be something else: indeed if we are left to draw our inference from what follows, it will be seen, that there was but one thing that could give the idea that he was the Son of God, and that was a revelation from God. For the Savior again says to the apostles. "But whom do ye say that I the Son of man am." Peter answered and said, "thou art Christ the son of the living God." What was the answer the Savior made to his declaration? It was this. "Blessed art thou Simon Barjonah; for flesh and blood have not revealed this unto thee; but my Father which is in heaven:" as much as to say: it is not the miracles which I have wrought in your presence, neither the casting out devils, nor yet healing the sick; but a revelation from my Father who is in heaven.

If we are left to draw a conclusion from these premises, what would that conclusion be? would it not be that a knowledge of the Son of God, was not to be denied from the working of miracles? for if this could have been done, the disciples would have found it out, and it would not have been said as it was to Peter. "Flesh and blood have not revealed this to thee; but my Father which is in heaven." But on the contrary, it would have been said. "Blessed art thou Simon Barjonah for thou hast discovered my true character from the miracles which have wrought in your presence."   R.


Vol. II.                           Kirtland,  Ohio,  January, 1836.                          No. 4.

[p. 241]

For the Messenger and Advocate.


A short time since I got the 12th No. of the 4th volume of the Evangelist (as the editor calls it) my attention was particularly arrested with some quotations taken from some paper which by the by is not mentioned; but appears from the editor's remarks on them, that they were written by somebody whom the editor calls "our respected brother Stone;" and he is spoken of as holding a very grave rank among the brethren of that faith. How the brethren of that faith are divided into ranks I am not able to say, but it appears that there is one rank which they call the grave rank, whether it ascends from this into graver gravest, or whether it descends into less grave least grave or some other way, is not for me to say, neither is it a matter of any consequence.

It would seem however that Mr. Scott thinks he (Mr. Stone) has acted injudiciously in publishing his sentiments to the world in the manner in which he did, as it has given great occasion to the Mormons whom Mr. Scott represents as making a great ado about it. How true or false this is, I do not know; -- for my own part, all the ado I have heard about it, is in the Evangelist, and from the pen of the grave Mr. Scott its editor; for of course I conclude that he belongs to the grave rank of that brotherhood as well as Mr. Stone; for from his writings I conclude he thinks himself graver than Mr. Stone; indeed Mr. Scott seems to be too grave to either utter the sentiments of the bible, or to believe them when they are uttered by others. It is the very perfection of a false religion, to make its subjects so grave that they dare not utter the sentiments of the bible nor at all believe them, at least their gravity should be greatly disturbed.

While reading the remarks of Mr. Scott on Mr. Stone's piece, I was led to ask myself, What is the difficulty with Mr. Scott? What has Mr. Stone said which is calculated to so much disturb his feelings as to call forth his public disapprobation? I cannot see that Mr. Stone has done any thing more or less, than to profess belief in the things which are written in the New Testament. Now if he had quoted from the book of Mormon, it would certainly have been but right to give Mr. Scott the privilege of objecting, though it should be the very words which are written in the old and new testament; for transcribing them into the book of Mormon would surely make them untrue; but the words quoted by Mr. Stone are found in the new testament, yes, the new testament, the very book about which Mr. Scott has said so much and written so much and professed to believe with all his heart, and called upon others to believe also.

Mr. Stone has asked, "can we in these last days claim the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit? and answers unhesitatingly yes," and quotes the second chapter of the acts of the apostles as proof. Now that Mr. Scott should take exceptions at this is marvelous, marvelous we say, because who in all the world has said so much about the gospel as preached by Peter on the day of pentecost as Mr. Scott? not one man in this generation: the second chapter of the acts of the apostles has been his theme, and the pentecostean gospel the topic of his conversation, and the substance of his public ministry; and Mr. Stone has done no more, and said no more, than to profess his belief most unhesitatingly in it.

That Mr. Scott should take exceptions at this is marvelous, that he should have the effrontery to assert, that he did not believe the ancient gospel, is placing himself in the most awkward attitude in which any human being can be placed; after preaching it with the most untiring perseverance, and indefatigable exertion, and now after all his toil, and labor, openly declare he does not believe it. Mr. Scott has filled the country with his proclaiming to the people and his great zeal to get them baptized for the remission of their sins, assuring them, if they did so, they should receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, as set forth by the apostle Peter on the day of pentecost; but no sooner does Mr. Stone declare his firm belief that those who are baptized for the remission of sins have a right to claim the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that because the apostle said so on the day of pentecost, then Mr. Scott demurs, and declares his unbelief and undertakes to prove, or rather says that Mr. Stone's opinion is founded on mistake. And who does not know that if Mr. Stone's opinion is founded on mistake, he is in good company, for the apostle Peter's was so before; for Mr. Stone founds his belief on the apostle's declaration and that on the notable day of pentecost, that the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit, on condition of repentance and baptism for remission of sins, was to them, and their children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

That Mr. Scott should feel disposed to charge Mr. Stone with a want of gravity, because he has thus freely expressed the honest convictions of his mind is rather surprising, more particularly, as he has been such a champion for free investigation, and open and frank declaration. Mr. Scott never found fault with a baptist preacher, or a methodist preacher, for expressing his feelings in the most public manner, particularly, when he was about to leave his former connection and join the one with which he is associated; but change the scale, and it is soon found that Mr. Scott is as unfriendly to free investigation as any other. It is a fact that "as face answereth to face in water so does the heart of man to man." Mr. Scott could cry free investigation; free expression of sentiment; but as soon as he got a few flatterers around himself, he begins to plead their grave station, and manifests grief at such freedom in writing; thus shewing that he is of the same spirit as those whom he condemns.

The conduct of Mr. Scott in this instance reminds of Mr. Campbell, one of the same brotherhood in relation to Mr. Bosworth, also a preacher of the same order. Mr. Bosworth like Mr. Stone was led to inquire, seriously whether or no, we were authorized to claim the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit as promised by Peter on the day of pentecost. At the time his mind was called up to investigate this subject, Mr. Campbell had one of his big meetings in the town of Wadsworth Medina county Ohio, -- as Mr. Bosworth resided in an adjoining town, he concluded that he had a fair opportunity of getting his mind satisfied on the subject, and not being willing to take a hasty step, he goes to the meeting and calls on Mr. Campbell, telling him in a frank manner the honest feelings of his heart, and the difficulties which existed on his mind in relation to the gift of the Holy Spirit; but what was his astonishment, instead of receiving from Mr. Campbell that kind reception which honesty and candor demands, he was told (whether gravely or not gravely I am at present not able to say,) that he ought not to have condescended for one minute to have investigated the subject, and that it was not surprising at all that the brethren should feel hurt at him for attempting to investigate it. So much for the honesty of these gentlemen when they call upon others to investigate the subject of religion.

Investigation is very commendable when it tends to advance their cause, but when it does not, silence is much better. The weakness of their cause is beginning to be discovered, and they soon raise the cry do not investigate, you hold too grave a rank among the brethren, you ought not to do it. And in order to avoid investigation, this brotherhood will condescend to mean low subterfuges, to which a noble minded man would never condescend; no, he would suffer martyrdom first. Witness Mr. Campbell's recommendation of Howe's book, while he knows, as well as every person who reads it, that it is a batch of falsehoods. Mr. Booth the author of a series of letters (which have found their way into that book and forms a principle part of it,) has long since proven to the world that his letters were a bundle of falsehoods; for though he declared that he was willing to appear before any tribunal either human or divine in vindication of the truth of them, yet when called upon to do so, he dare not appear in their defence because he knew his letters were false, and would not bear the test of investigation any more than the religion of the Campbellites, which has to be hid under a refuge of misrepresentation to conceal it from the shafts of truth.

Mr. Bentley's bombast in Wethersfield in Trumbull county in this State, will not be soon forgotten, where he cursed the author of this piece, as the Indian did the king on the other side of the hill, and declared that he dare not meet him (Mr. Bentley) and investigate the subject of religion; but when he was called upon to support his challenge, and show as much boldness in my presence as he had done when he was fifty miles off, dare not venture, and to hide his shame, indulged himself in slandering my character, because he dare not expose his religion to investigation.

Let me here mention Simonds Rider as another instance of the same kind, he could blow like a porpoise when there was no person to oppose him; -- but when called upon to be as bold in the presence of those whom he envied, as in their absence, he had recourse to the same means of slander and abuse: but to the credit of Simonds, we will say that since that time he has been silent on the subject, in this he has displayed more honesty than some others of his brethren.

No society has been more clearly laid before the public within a short time than the Campbellites, and they have proven themselves to be destitute of candor and honest in their pretentions, they will cry to other sects investigate, it is through investigation that truth is brought to light say they, and then in the most bold manner declare we are ready to receive truth as soon as we can discover it, yet, in the face of all these pretentions, when they are called upon to investigate an item of the religion of the new testament, which they never had reached, that instant they have recourse to all kinds of stratagem to avoid it, and for no other reason, than they are sensible that their system will not bear close examination, and there is no way to keep it in existence, but hide it under the falsehood.

We venture to make the following declaration without fear, and that is, there is not a Campbellite preacher possessing the common intelligence which belongs to men, who dare hazard an investigation before the public, on the subject of the Holy Spirit as set forth in the new testament, and all the way they have to keep their followers, is to hush it into silence. But to return to Mr. Scott and Mr. Stone.

Mr. Scott's pretentions to belief in the ancient gospel is fairly put to the test, he is weighed in the balances and found wanting; Mr. Scott has come out and fairly denied the gift of the Holy Spirit as proclaimed on the day of pentecost, evidently proving that after all his pretentions he is an unbeliever in the ancient gospel; for it is in vain for him to hide himself under the vain subterfuge of modifying the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit into something different from what the apostle did on the day of pentecost, the promise that was made by Peter was one which consisted in prophesying, seeing visions, dreaming dreams &c. and he who does not believe in this promise, is an unbeliever in the ancient gospel, he might as well say that men were not to be baptized until they had received the remission of their sins, and then say that was what was published on the day of pentecost, as to say that the gift of the Spirit did not consist in the power of prophesying, seeing visions, and dreaming dreams, and then say that was what Peter proclaimed on the day of pentecost.

Mr. Scott's observations on Mr. Stone's piece, are too pitiful to come from a man of understanding, and if Mr. Scott were not such, he might be excusable; but being the man he is, he has no cloak for his sin.

He thus replies to Mr. Stone's queries. "The answers to the above extract (referring to the questions he had quoted from Mr. Stone's piece) are all founded upon misapprehension that every one who receives the Holy Spirit must needs be able to work miracles." Why should Mr. Scott have recourse to this vain subterfuge to escape from believing the bible? Is it not plain to the least discerning, that if all did not work miracles who received the Holy Spirit, that some did, and that the Spirit was so distributed in the body, that all the gifts were in it, some had one and some another, no man ever pretended that all must work miracles, or that all did work miracles, and there is nothing said in the quotations which he has made from Mr. Stone's piece, which involves such a conclusion, this attempt of Mr. Scott is a mere stratagem to keep his followers asleep.

To prove that all the saints who received the Holy Spirit did not work miracles, he brings up the case of John the Baptist, a very unhappy case for him; for in shunning Silly he is wrecked on Charybdes.

What a hue and try, himself, Mr. Campbell, and others, have made about false prophets, and all this, because say they, "God never sent a messenger into the world but he enabled him to prove his mission to be divine by miracles;" but now the case is changed, it answers the purpose of Mr. Scott better to deny this; for if he confesses it, then indeed, his brother Stone involves him in a difficulty out of which he cannot extricate himself, therefore, he is ready to assert or deny, as the case may require, and yet he is an honest man, seeking after truth. Who can believe it?

One would think that from this time forth, Messrs. Campbell, Scott, and company, would be in silence, as they have been driven to the necessity of confessing that he, of whom it was said there was no greater born of a woman, never worked a miracle to prove his mission to be divine.

Mr. Scott could not have found a case in all the books, which more effectually silences him on the subject of the messengers of the Most High proving their mission by miracles, and I hope for time to come, he will act accordingly. No man ever had a more important mission than John the Baptist: it was he who put a period to the Jewish polity: it was he who changed the services of the priesthood from sacrificing to baptizing: he was Messiah's harbinger to announce his advent, on which depended the fate of the Jewish nation, and yet, notwithstanding the vast importance of his mission; for so important was it, that those who rejected his baptism rejected the council of God against themselves, still not one miracles was wrought to prove him to be a messenger of the Most High.

Why then have these men said so much about all the messengers sent of God having proved themselves such by working miracles, when they knew all the time it was not the fact, and at last their brother Stone has compelled them to acknowledge it, and that to their shame too.

Mr. Scott asks again: "Do all christians work miracles? they do not, what is the reason? The writer of the extract who is our beloved brother Stone, is inclined to suspect their faith. But rather than suspect the faith of all the saints who have lived since the days of miracles, and all who now live and especially his own faith, I would much prefer suspecting his reasoning, yet, I do not suspect his faith but his reasonings."

Now, never did any sayings come from any person with a worse grace than these from the pen of Mr. Scott. This is the man who laid the platform of his preaching on the broad heresy of the world, read his proclamation to the people of New Lisbon in 1827 -- but now he has discovered that all is well now he has discovered that all is well in Zion; it is offering indignity to the grave rank of the Campbellites to suspect the faith of all christians since the days of miracles; but is this worse than to do what he has done? he has denounced them all as heretics, and yet now he says he should not call in question the faith of those whom he has called heretics, and called on them to repent. Why should Mr. Scott call on them to repent if their faith is not to be suspected? surely he cannot make them any safer than they are; for all things are possible to them who have faith was one of the Savior's maxims, and who will say it is not a true one, and if true, Mr. Scott may leave them where they are, for he can never place them in a better situation, for he cannot do more than make all things possible to them, and that is the case with them now if their faith is not to be suspected. So strangely inconsistent does a false religion make even men of sense.

Supposing Mr. Scott should prove that there were thousands of saints who never worked miracles. Would this prove that the apostle Peter did not tell the truth on the day of pentecost, when he promised the gift of the Holy Spirit. Did he mean to deceive, as Mr. Scott is inclined to do?

Mr. Stone, if I understand him, is not asking how many or how few worked miracles; but are we authorized in these last days to claim the gift of the Holy Spirit as promised in connection with the gospel, or rather as a part of the gospel published on the day of pentecost, or are we not, he thinks we are, Mr. Scott thinks not.

Mr. Scott seems willing to believe the ancient gospel, providing he can have the liberty of leaving out what he pleases and explaining the rest to suit himself: as to baptizing for the remission of sins, he has no doubt about that; but then the gift of the Holy Spirit, that must be modified, and explained. Why must that be done? because if he lets it stand, as the apostle proclaimed it, down goes his religion, and all his pretended reformation with it, therefore, it must be explained, not for the truth's sake, but to save his religion from ruin, and his pretended authority to administer in the name of the Lord Jesus from contempt; for let him admit the fact, that the gift of the Holy Spirit is our right as much to day as it ever was, and it will try every man's authority whether it is of God or not; for that gift was never enjoyed, only as it was administered by those who had authority to do so by direct communication from God and by his calling to themselves.

Let Mr. Scott or Mr. Stone either of them believe as firmly as they believe any other item of their religion, that it is our privilege in these last days to have the gift of the Holy Spirit as in days of old, but they will never see it enjoyed until it is administered by the laying on of the hands of those whom God has caused to be ordained unto this power, and let them once try to administer this unto them whom they baptize, and they will find that their ministry is vain; It is indeed administering this gift to the children of men, which puts to the proof who has a right to preach and who has not; but keep this gift out of view, and make it any thing and every thing but what it is, and nothing, and the world is all alike, one man has as much authority as another, and the disciples of one man, are as good as the disciples of another, and one religion as good as another.

The disciples of Ann Lee, Joanah Southcoat, the French Prophets, Jemimah Willkeson, Hull Barton, Matthias, Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott, or Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian or any other, are all alike, as far as their salvation is concerned one is just as near eternal life as the other. It is the gift of the Holy Ghost as administered by the apostles, by the laying on of hands, which makes the difference, and it is this alone, and the society which has this power are the people of God and those who have not are not.


Vol. II.                           Kirtland,  Ohio,  February, 1836.                          No. 5.

[p. 258]
Kirtland, November 15, 1835.    
Elder O. Barr,
    Dear Sir: -- A letter written by you to your brother of this place, was put into my hands by him some time since, with a request that I should answer it. A press of business prevented me of doing it until now.

I can say that it is with a degree of pleasure, that I avail myself of the opportunity of forming an acquaintance with a stranger, by investigating an item of our holy religion, believing that there is nothing in this world, which could profit us more, than a fair and candid investigation of the subject of revealed religion: being myself a firm believer in revelation.

Before I proceed to answer your four principle queries, I will notice some things said in the preceding part of your letter. You say, "The design of revelation, was, then, 1st To make known the being of God." to this I must object, and my reasons for so doing are the following. Revelations from God were at all times the result of the faith of those who received them; for without faith it is impossible to please him." (God) Now if revelations were the result of the faith of those who received them, this faith could not exist, without the persons having it, had personally an idea of the being of God. "For how can they believe on him of whom they have not heard," is an apostlic maxim, founded both in reason and revelation. This being the fact, no revelation could come only through those who previously had the idea of the being of God.

With regard to the idea of the being of God, it has doubtless been a matter of tradition, since the creation of Adam our common parent, who at his creation stood in the presence of his God, and beheld him face to face, and had the most perfect knowledge of his existence; and having this knowledge, he communicated it to his posterity, and thus the idea of the being of God came among men. And this idea being among men, some of them sought unto God by reason of the faith they had in the being of God, and obtained the revelation of his will.

You ask, "How was the revelation made to man? Was it made directly to every individual for whose benefit it was designed, or was it made to individuals, who were chosen and commissioned to instruct the rest of mankind? That it was not made to every individual it needs no argument to prove. It follows then that it was made by individuals chosen and commissioned to instruct the rest of the human family. -- On their veracity then we are dependant for our knowledge of the way of salvation."

If I understand you in these last expressions "That we are dependant on the veracity of some men for our knowledge of the way of salvation" I must object to it with every feeling of my heart. Indeed sire, I consider the assertion a contradiction in terms. It is impossible for one man to be dependent on another for his knowledge of the way of salvation. The first idea that a man has of the way of salvation, he may have, by reason of the credence he gives to the word of others; but his knowledge of the way of salvation depends on something very different from this. Nothing less than a revelation from God directly to ourselves can give us knowledge of the way of salvation; however strong our faith may be in it, still, it is a very different thing to have knowledge of it.

While I am on the subject of revelations, and by way of reply to your observations on that subject, -- Let me observe, that though there were men chosen of God through whom he gave revelations to the world, yet it does not follow of necessity, that those for whose use the revelations were given, had no other way of testing their truth, but the veracity of those through whom they came. This would to all intents be staying ourselves on man, and making flesh our arm; which is strictly forbidden in the word of the Lord.

I conceive Sir, that the heavens have always been accessible to the saints of God, and that God who gave revelations would also give testimony to the truth of them by his spirit, to those who sought it in sincerity and truth. So that the saints at no period of the world, were indebted to the veracity of inspired men alone for their firm reliance on revelations.

You again ask, "How can we know that their communication is a revelation from God? Will their bare assertion satisfy us that God speaks by them? I say no. We must have evidence or we cannot believe. But what evidence will satisfy? Nothing short of a miracle can."

To the idea of our being confined to a miracle, to know that a communication was or is a revelation, I must object; for it would justify the Jews in rejecting the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah and others; for we have no account of their ever working a miracle to prove to the Jews that their communications were a revelation from God, the Jews must have found it out some other way, and if they could not have done it, they were justified in rejecting them as imposters, and not sent of God. I think Sir, if you were to consider this subject again, you would find that according to the faith of all believers in the old and new testament, you have espoused an untenable ground, in saying that a miracle is the only way by which we can determine that a communication is a revelation from God; for there are a great many things in the scriptures, that the persons delivering them never confirmed them by a miracle.

The Jews on this principle, were surely justifiable in refusing to acknowledge Jeremiah as a prophet of God, and his communication, as revelation for he never pretended to confirm them by a miracle; though he was greatly abused by the Jews and insulted, (at one time cast into a pit, at another incarcerated;) but no miracle was wrought to prove to the Jews that they were persecuting a prophet of the living God, and that he was delivering to them the word of the Lord; and if mankind are justifiable in rejecting every thing as a revelation only what is confirmed by miracles, they were surely justified also.

This is a conclusion Sir which I conclude is at war with both your faith and practice, yet, it is fairly deductible from your premises, and the only one that can be deduced from them. So that your own faith and practice are at war with your assertion contained in your letter.

On the subject of confirming revelations by miracles, you descend to particulars. You say, "If a person should say that he had a communication from God, and then to convince us that God did speak by him, should say to a dead man, arise! and he should rise up.-Or should command the elements, and they should obey him, the wind should cease to blow, and the waters to flow, these miracles done, would be sufficient evidence that God spoke by him. But these miracles would need to be done publicly, in the presence of friends and foes, that there might be no ground for cavil. And these miracles would need to be continued until the revelation was completed, and no longer."

All the reply I wish to make to this lengthy quotations is this. Where is it recorded, that the prophecies of Isaiah. Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Amos, Zachariah, Zephaniah, Joel, Haggai, Micah, with a number of others were ever established as you have said a revelation must be confirmed, in order to receive credence. I think Sir, you would be difficultied to find it, indeed there is no such thing written, and yet, you believe these prophecies to be a revelation, and consider the Jews to have been bound by them, at the time they were written, notwithstanding they were unattended with the evidence necessary to give them the character of revelations, if your assertions in the above quotations are correct.

I must confess Sir, believing as you do, I cannot see the consistency of your course. It does seem to me, that in order for you to be consistent with yourself, you must exclude from the canonical books all those which have not the evidence above required, and if you do this, you will certainly lessen the quantum of our revelation very much.

As to Moses and some of the prophets performing splendid miracles there is no dispute. Neither as to Christ and his apostles: but to use the prophets indiscriminately, it cannot be done in truth; for there are some of them of whose miracles we have no account, neither have we evidence that they wrought any. But the most objectionable part of this assertion is the conclusion which you draw from them, and that is, because Moses and some of the prophets wrought miracles, and Jesus Christ and his apostles did so also, that from these facts you draw the sweeping conclusion, that we are not authorized to receive a communication as a revelation, unless it is confirmed by such miracles as you are pleased to mention. But to pass on to your four queries.

They stand thus. "1. Did not Jesus Christ and his apostles declare the gospel, and the whole gospel to the world? 2. And did they not receive it by revelation from God? 3. Will not the miracles they wrought expressly to convince the world that they were divinely authorized teachers, and that what they taught was from God? -- 4. And were not the miracles which they wrought abundantly sufficient to confirm the fact that God spoke by them?" On these four principle queries you ask the following questions. -- 1. "If they delivered the whole gospel, What more is there to be revealed? -- Or what reasons have we to expect more revelations? 2. And if no new revelation is to be made, Why should miracles be continued?"

In order to reply to these queries, I will in the first place correct a singular mistake, which runs through your whole letter upon the subject of miracles. You seem to think that the object of miracles was to confirm revelation, at least take this thought away from your letter and what you have said would be without meaning. Now a greater mistake than this, could not exist in the mind of man. You talk about Moses and the prophets, Jesus and the apostles working miracles, to confirm the scriptures as though there were no other characters in the world who had wrought miracles but them.

I should think from your writings that you had never duly considered the commission given to the twelve apostles. Which reads thus. "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, not the apostles, but those that believed on their word. They were to lay hands on the sick. They were to take up serpents. If they were to drink any deadly thing it should not hurt them. Mark then dear Sir particularly, that the signs were not to follow the apostles themselves; but those who should believe on their word: there is no exception here both men and women were alike included. --These signs shall follow them that believe, making no exceptions.

Now if Jesus and the apostles wrought miracles to prove that they were Messengers sent of God, and that God spoke by them. For what purpose do you think those wrought miracles, who believed on their word? was it to prove to themselves that the apostles were men of God? Not so most assuredly, but something else, and what was that something? Why to prove to the world, that they were the churches of Jesus Christ. Now Sir as you argue that there can be no apostles and revelators unless they can prove their mission to be divine by miracles, so, upon the same principle I argue that there can be no Church of Christ unless they can prove themselves to be so by miracles, and the very same evidence which is brought to prove one of these things will prove the other. And there is no reasonable man, who is conscientiously convinced that there can be no apostles unless they can prove their mission by miracles, but must also be convinced that there are no Churches of Christ unless they prove it by miracles also. For argue that the ancient apostles did so, and the argument is equally as strong that the ancient churches did so also, and the rule will quadrate: it will meet at every corner.

I have been no little surprised to hear men contending with all the zeal of their nature to guard the world against receiving any man as a messenger of heaven unless he can prove his mission by miracles; and yet call any thing and every thing the church of Christ, miracles or no miracles. -- There is nothing in the world more pleasing than consistency (I mean to the candid mind) and no man can be consistent with himself, who says that he is forbidden to receive any man as an apostle unless he can work miracles, and yet say that he is authorized to acknowledge a society as the church of Christ, without that society having the gifts which were in the ancient churches.

After saying so much upon the subject of miracles, I shall return to your queries.

Having seen then, that the power of miracles as it existed among the former day saints was of such a nature as to put it as much out of our power to claim the right of being churches of Christ as for us to claim apostleship, your queries will be very easily answered.

Let it be observed then, that there is no dispute, as to the apostles having fully preached the gospel, and of their having proven themselves to be messengers sent of God, but the point of difference, if any, is this, that the whole religious world have departed from the gospel as preached by Christ and his apostles, and what the world now preaches is not the gospel, which was preached by the Savior and his apostles, and that the whole religious world without excepting one sect, is in danger of the curse which Paul pronounced on the head of those who preach another gospel as there is not one single sect of all the sects who preach the gospel that Paul preached, and the Galatians received, and as you said, so say I, "I awfully fear for those false Prophets and false teachers, who are publishing to the worth for gospel what Moses and the prophets, Christ and the apostles never taught, may God pity them and save them from delusion."

I wish you to understand distinctly that I believe as much as you can believe, that Christ and his apostles preached the gospel, and the whole gospel; but I also believe that it was a very different thing from what is new preached for gospel in the world. Let me invite your attention to some of the differences between the gospel of Christ and what is now proclaimed in the world.

The first difference then I shall mention is that of the priesthood. That gospel had a priesthood attached to it, which had the power of getting revelations, and obtaining visions, as well as the ministering of angels. They had power to administer in the name of the Lord Jesus to the sick, and in his name to rebuke diseases of all kinds, they had also power to give the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, they obtained revelations, not only for their own direction in the world; but for that of the churches also that they raised up. So that they were truly ministers of Christ sent forth to minister in his name to all who would believe, and by means of this ministry, and power, they could build up the kingdom of Christ among men, and establish his cause in the world. The gospel that men preach in these days have no such ministry or priesthood: the priesthood of modern times has no such power or authority. No revelations; no ministering of angels; no heavenly visions; no ministering of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands, and yet claim to be the ministers of Christ acting under the same commission, and the same authority as they did. Surely the disparity is too great no to be seen by the least discerning. Will you be so kind as to shew [show] to me how this great difference can exist, and yet the two priesthoods be the same priesthood, acting under the same commission, and the priesthood of the same gospel? For take the priesthood away by which the gospel was administered, and of what avail is the gospel? the answer is, it is of none; for the gospel is only of use to man, when there is somebody to administer it to them.

The second grand difference is the different effects which is produced by the two. The gospel preached by the Savior and his apostles produced the most marvelous effects, the persons who were administered to by the priesthood of that gospel, found themselves in possession of something very different from the rest of mankind. They too could lay hands on the sick and they would recover, they could take up serpents and they could not hurt them, they could drink any deadly thing and yet be unhurt. They also had the power of getting revelations, of seeing visions, of prophesying enjoying the ministering of angels as well as many other marvelous things, which are no where found among those who embrace the gospel of Modern times; but enjoyed by all those who received the gospel administered by the apostles.

Now Sir, I should be glad to know how it is that the same gospel can be preached by the same authority, and the effects be in every respect different? The gospels which are not preached possess not one single characteristic which distinguished the gospel preached by the Savior and his apostles. Neither is there the least resemblance between the effects of the two. One was attended by power, and by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The other is unattended by power, or by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Both those who preach them, and those who receive them, reason as you have done in your letter, to prove that both the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit which always attended the gospel are done away; but still contend for the same gospel they say, and for the same commission, and yet declare that the effects of both have ceased. This surely is marvelous, a great deal more so, than that there should be revelations in the last days.

If I should ask by what power did the former day saints heal the sick, cast out devils, raise the dead, take up serpents, drink deadly things and yet not be hurt, work miracles, speak with tongues, interpret tongues, prophesy, dream dreams, see visions, &c. &c. -- The answer would be, that it was by the power of the gospel by which they did such things, as administered by the Savior and his apostles. And this is what is proposed in the gospel as proclaimed by the former day saints, and if those who received it did not enjoy these blessings, they did not receive the blessings proposed to them in the gospel.

This then, is what I contend for; that the gospel as proclaimed by the Savior and his apostles, and as written in the new testament has disappeared with the ministry thereof, and this is the reason why revelation has ceased, and the power of the Holy Spirit known no more. If the gospel of the new testament was proclaimed, all the effects of it would follow those who received it,-So that the same order of things would be on the earth now as was then.

You ask "If they revealed the whole gospel, what reason have we to expect any more revelation."

Let me ask a question in connection with this, If the world has departed from the gospel revealed by the Savior and his apostles so as to loose both its ministry and its effects? How will the God of heaven restore it to them again, but by revealing unto them that they are wrong, and showing to them and that by revelation too wherein they are wrong, that they may repent and turn to him and obtain forgiveness. -- Or can you show me when it was, that a generation of people had apostatized from the truth, and ever turned back to it again without revelation being given unto them?

When you answer these questions I will answer yours.

Now Sir, having noticed everything in your letter which I consider of importance I submit it to your inspection, desiring that you would reply as fully as the case required hoping that this communication will be received in as good feelings as it was written.

In consideration of high respect, I subscribe myself your friend and well wisher,


Vol. II.                           Kirtland,  Ohio,  March, 1836.                          No. 6.

[p. 273]
Kirtland, March, 1836.    
Mr. O. Barr,
    Sir: -- Yours of February has come to hand by which you request me to answer a number of questions; this is something which I did not expect, as I intended in mine to you to be explicit as to have rendered your interrogatories unnecessary, particularly, on the points on which you have required information, in this, it appears by yours, I have failed.

You ask me, "What is the gospel?" In answering this question I think I will render it unnecessary to give a formal answer to the rest of your queries, as I shall answer them all by answering this one.

I answer then in the language of the New Testament Romans I:10, "The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to all that believe:" or in other words, it is God's scheme of saving men, and this scheme is made known in the New Testament, which scheme of things (or gospel) consists in putting men in possession of the power of God; for it is God's power to save men, and how is it God's power unto salvation? Answer by putting those who receive it into possession of the power of God. Hence says the Savior when he commissioned the apostles at Jerusalem to preach the gospel. These signs shall follow them that believe, that is the power of God shall rest upon them. When Peter proclaimed the gospel on the day of pentecost; after he told the Jews that they must repent and be baptised [baptized] for the remission of sins, he told them that they should receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and by that, they were to prophecy, dream dreams, see visions &c. plainly showing that they were to be made partakes of the power of God unto salvation.

And when the apostles went forth from Jerusalem to proclaim the gospel, those who received it at their hand, or from their mouth spake with tongues, and prophesied, shewing to all that they had received of the power of God.

In the 12th chapter of the 1st epistle to the Corinthians the apostle Paul sets this so plainly before the mind, that none need mistake, he says in the 28th verse "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers; after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues."

Such then was the way by which God administered his power to the children of men as set forth in the New Testament, and such was the gospel proclaimed by those commissioned by the Savior himself, and this, and this only is the order of things set forth in the New Testament. When I say that this order of things has disappeared from among men, I say no more than you and all the protestant world says also; and if this is not the gospel order? pray what is it? and if it is the gospel order, you agree with me that is has disappeared.

The whole matter then comes to this, that the gospel as set forth in the New Testament, is an order of things through which men were made partakers of the power of God while in the flesh, and that by one man administering to another by the authority of God in the name of Jesus Christ, this is what is called the gospel in the New Testament. It was enjoyed by the ministry of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists &c. and through the ministry of these men the power of God was received; they administered to the believers by the laying on of the hands, and the power of God attended, and thus men in days of old received the power of God unto salvation, and it was because of this, that the gospel is called the power of God unto salvation.

You ask if we have the gospel, and where is the gospel?

I answer that the power of administering in the name of the Lord Jesus to men through which they were made partakers of the power of God, was never enjoyed by any of the human family but by the revelation of Jesus Christ as Paul got it, if we have got the gospel that is the way we have got it, and this power we profess to have, and we obtained it by the ministering of Holy Messengers.

Thus I have answered your queries in as few words as possible in order to cut the work short in righteousness.

I shall await you reply to my whole communication, hoping I shall not have to wait long.

Believe me, Yours in
                   the best of feelings,
                                    S. RIGDON.


Vol. II.                           Kirtland,  Ohio,  April, 1836.                          No. 7.

[p. 297]

For the Messenger and Advocate.

Br. O. Cowdery.
    Sir: -- It appears that the notice which I took of Simons Rider in the Messenger and Advocate of January last, has given some offense to him, as according to his usual way of correcting my errors, he has been leveling his shafts at me, at the distance of thirty or forty miles; where he thinks I suppose that he can vent his feelings with safety, as there will be no person to call him to an account for it.

He complains it appears, that I have injured his character to publishing his conduct to the world in your periodical. Now, that he should be ashamed to have his conduct made a public thing is not at all surprising to me; for I should think that would of necessity be the case; for while there are any people who acknowledge him as a public teacher, his conduct is not very credible to him. But what surprises me is, that he should charge me with injuring his character, as he knows that there was nothing said in your paper concerning him but what was strictly true; for he does know most assuredly, that without cause or provocation, he made an unmanly attack as well as an unrighteous one, upon myself, as well as others of the church of the Latter Day Saints.

He attacked both our characters and religion, in public assemblies, and in his public proclaimings; and that at a time, when we had no way of exposing his wickedness: we had no paper through which we could communicate to the world. He availed himself of this our defensless [defenseless] situation, to do all the injury he could, and if possible, to stop the spread of truth; but in this he failed, and when called upon to support his assertions in my presence, he had recourse to slander and abuse: these things Simons knows to be true. Why then complain that I have injured his character, by publishing them to the world? it is the same as to say, that his character cannot stand where truth prevails, and I have no reason that I know of, to doubt it. I am sure his religion cannot stand the test of truth, and he knows it as well as I do, and I expect he things his character is equally as weak, and would fall as easy to prey to the truth as his religion.

How far the charge of dishonesty, can be preferred in truth against Simons Rider, as well as others, of the smaller animals of this species (I mean the Campbellites) remains yet to be made manifest; as they, at present, are under tutors and governors, and not at liberty to think for themselves. For instance, there are A. Bently S. Rider as well as others, who at present are not at liberty to think for themselves; but must think as A. Campbell, and W. Scott think. They are not at liberty to believe what the bible says, unless they first find it in the Evangelist, or Harbinger, and then, and not till then dare they believe it; but if they find it in the Evangelist, or Harbinger, it matters not whether it is in the bible or whether it is not in it, of course, in their estimation it is true; because brother Campbell, or brother Scott, has said it, that is enough: bible or no bible.

We feel in the mean time at liberty to say, that we have all the evidence necessary to satisfy our mind, that Messrs. Campbell, and Scott, the leaders of that brotherhood, are not honest in their religion: they are men who think and act for themselves, independently, and they do know, that the same Jesus who said to his disciples "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." Also said "That signs shall follow them that believe &c."

Now that Messrs. Bently, Rider and others, should not know this is not surprising, because they never saw it, in either the harbinger, or evangelist and not having seen it there, of course could not say whether it was in any other place or not. But Messrs. Campbell and Scott, are not thus trammeled: they know it is there, and they do know also, that they have the same authority for saying "these signs shall follow them that believe" that they have to say unto the people believe and be baptized, that is, they have the authority of Jesus Christ for both; delivered at the same time, to the same people, and on the same occasion; and of equal truth, and duration. We are not afraid of a contradiction in truth, when we say, we know that Messrs. Campbell and Scott know these things; and the greater share for them, as keep such men as Simons Rider, and A. Bently, held in bondage, whose minds are too limited to exercise one independent thought for themselves, and only think as they are permitted by their masters.

They do know too, that the same Peter who said "Repent and be baptized every one of your in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and said, it consisted in dreaming dreams, and seeing visions, prophesying, &c., and that Peter made that promise to all that were afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

These things they do know, because they read for themselves, and think for themselves, and are not under bondage to any man, therefore, they have no excuse for their sin, neither cloak for it: all the excuse which can be pled for them is, that the God of this world has blinded their minds, so that when they see a thing, and know it, they will not confess it; for such there is a day of judgment, when their injustice will come up in remembrance before the Lord, and if there is one place in hell hotter than another, or where the torment is great than another, it is surely had in reserve for such men.

Some excuse can be pled for Presbyterians, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalians, &c. for they profess to be governed not by the bible, but by their respective creeds and confession; against which Messrs Campbell and Scott have spoken with great freedom, denouncing them as heretical in the extreme, and offering in the most positive manner, that the bible, and the bible only, should be our creed, and by that alone we should be governed for rations, deny that which is written as with a sun-beam on almost every page of it, and profess to believe and try to establish an order of things (which by the by he will never accomplish) that is no where found in it.

After generations will rise up and instead of calling them blessed, will view all their labor, and toils in a light less favorable, than they do the crusaders, the missionary projects of the day: yes, worse than the veriest follies of any age.

The scheme of Messrs. Campbell and Scott is the most barefaced and impudent imposition ever attempted to be pawned on any generation, and those who are stupid enough to continue to follow them, will cast a shade upon the character of this generation as long as the name of it is known among the living.

These gentlemen surely have the right to investigate the religion of the bible, but after the principles of it have all been fairly brought to light to call them the barest of impositions, and those servants of God whom he called to this work for the world, fanatics, and impostors, when they do know that those who they thus denounce are contending for the pure principles of the bible, and for that only; and all this because God understood the base corruption of their hearts, did not choose them to be among the honored ones into whose hands the kingdom should be delivered in the last days; but saw proper to choose those whom he knew to be more righteous than they. If it were to be asked why did not the Lord choose Messrs. Campbell and Scott, to lay the foundation of his work in the last days? the answer would be, that God who knows the hearts of all living, knew that they were corrupt to the very core, and destitute of that nobleness of soul which would entitle them to this honor, and because God saw proper thus to reject their sacrifice, as he did Cain's they thought to destroy those on whom God conferred this high honor, (for their honor is truly of man, but not of God) thus proving that they were of the same spirit of Cain, and only lacked in power or else they would have done as he did.

I would call on them now to reflect for a moment on the situation in which they have placed themselves, by reason of their great desire to destroy the saints. Let them look at him who catered lies for them, I mean old Clapp of Mantor, who has sunk into everlasting disgrace, and dragged his family with him because it is a just judgment of God on them for their iniquity.

Would God have suffered a righteous family to have been thus disgraced. I answer nay their very shame rises up and cries against them, and will tell their iniquities to all generations; and why? because they sought to disgrace the saints, and God has disgraced them, or he has permitted them to be disgraced to their latest generations; for the scandal of their progenitor will be entailed upon them for a patrimony until the race is blotted out from under heaven.

This man Clapp, was the coadjutor of Messrs. Campbell and Scott, he was there fellow laborer in the persecution, and as such they are justly entitled to a share in his disgrace, and that of his family, which is a token of the righteous judgment of God. "For it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you" 2 Thessalonians 1:6, says Paul to the saints.

If Messrs Campbell and Scott were to consider for but a moment, they could not avoid seeing, that they had espoused a bad cause, and were leagued with adulterers, and of the same spirit. Were they not the same spirit of old Clapp? let them ask themselves and see?

Did old Clapp persecute the saints? So did they. Did he slander them? So did they. Did he exert himself to give credibility to a book of falsehoods? So did they. Are not they then of the same spirit with him? Surely, as face answereth to face in water, so does their conduct and his correspond with each other.

But all their attempts have been vain: their shame is rolling back on their own heads, while the word of God grows and multiplies, and the multitude of the saints increase greatly, and are edified together. And well may the saints rejoice; for the Lord he is their God, and their maker is their husband; and their Redeemer, the holy one of Israel.


Vol. II.                           Kirtland,  Ohio,  June, 1836.                          No. 9.

[p. 321]
Kirtland, June, 1836.    
Mr. O. Barr:
    Sir -- I have received your last, and I think that it will not be strange to you, that I should be surprised at receiving such a production from your pen.

When a gentleman, gratuitously, gives a challenge to a whole society, and any one of them sees proper to accept it, and replies to him in a respectful manner, it will surely be expected that he will be treated with common courtesy. This, sir, was my expectation; but you must know if it were, that in reading your letter I must have been greatly disappointed; for surely you know, that so far from its being respectful, it is scurrilous. Your plow and drag story, savors of any thing but christian propriety and decorum; but perhaps you designed it to be as the shade in the picture, to make the other parts of your letter appear more brilliant. If this were the case, I think you acted wisely; for it would certainly require the very dregs of vulgarity to have that effect upon your letter.

You, sir, have certainly forgotten that you had written a letter, previously, or if you had not forgotten it, you neglected to read it before you wrote your last; otherwise you never would have written as you have; for you seem to have written about almost every thing, but the subject which you introduced in your first letter, and to which I replied.

Let me invite you to go back and look a little at your first letter. In the second paragraph I read as follows: "How can we know that their communication is a revelation from God? Will their bare assertion satisfy us that God speaks by them? I say no. We must have evidence or we cannot believe. But what evidence will satisfy? Nothing short of a miracle-[mark this last sentence particularly]-If a person should say that he had a communication from God, and then to convince us that God did speak by him-should say to a dead man arise-and he should rise up. Or he should command the elements, and they should obey him-the winds should cease to blow, and the waters to flow; these miracles done, would be sufficient evidence that God spoke by him. But these miracles would need to be done publicly, in the presence of friends and foes, that there might be no ground for cavil. And these miracles would need to be continued until the revelation was completed, and no longer."-This is sufficiently plain to show that you make the entire design of miracles to be for the purpose of establishing revelations.

But if there is need of any more proof as to the light in which your first letter presents the subject of miracles, it is found in the following expression. "And if no new revelation is to be made, why should miracles be continued?"

The foregoing leaves the subject without doubt, and it amounts to this: That nothing is to be received as a revelation but what is confirmed by miracles; and those miracles must continue all the time the revelation is giving; and that the design of miracles was to establish revelations and nothing else; for when you say "And if no new revelation is to be given, why should miracles be continued?" You virtually say, that miracles had this alone for its object. To this then in our letter to you, we objected, and said "that a greater mistake could not exist in the mind of man." We say so still; and if we needed any thing to convince us of it, your last letter is sufficient to do it, most effectually.

These assertions of yours we met with fair argument and scripture facts, and we conclude from your last letter that our arguments were unanswerable; seeing you have not been able to touch them.

The first argument was, that God sent messengers into the world who gave revelations to mankind, and by whom God spake, that never confirmed their mission, nor their revelations by miracles. And the second was, that persons wrought miracles who never gave revelations to the world. These facts being established, your whole theory vanishes; for if there were revelations given, and the persons who gave them never established their revelations, nor yet their own mission by miracles, the question is forever settled, that your theory is false. And if there are persons mentioned in the scriptures, who wrought miracles that never gave revelations to the world; then it is a question never to be controverted by honest men, that miracles had some other object besides establishing revelations; even if it could be proved, that in some instances they were wrought expressly for the purpose of establishing revelations. This is all we ever tried to prove or wanted to prove; for this done, it was enough for our purpose; for it left your theory forever worse than a bubble; either the result of the most consummate ignorance, or foulest corruption.

Now, Sir, you may labor and labor, again and again; you may bring up all the persons mentioned in the bible from Genesis to Revelations, who wrought miracles; and though you should prove that a hundred, or a thousand of them wrought miracles to prove that they were messengers sent of God, and that the revelations which they gave were from God, and when you have done, your theory at last, is as false as satan; and that for the best of all reasons, because there were other messengers sent of God who gave revelations to men, and through whom God spake to the world, who never wrought miracles for any purpose of which we have any account; and a theory which requires us to believe that they did, when we have no such account, is founded upon false principles, and is without foundation in truth.

This, sir, you seemed to be apprised of, and thought to obviate the difficulty by drawing an inference that they all did so. This you did in defiance of the bible, and with an effrontery surely peculiar to yourself; because it is positively said of John the Baptist that he wrought no miracle; see John's gospel, chap. 10, ver. 41; and yet he was a prophet, yea, more than a prophet, and God spake through him, and he was the messenger of the Most High, and yet he wrought no miracle to prove that he was a messenger of God, and that God spake through him; and yet, sir, in the face of this positive declaration you have had the effrontery to say in your letter (drawing your conclusion from premises which you had laid down) that all the messengers of God did work miracles to prove their mission; and their revelations to be of God. And why, I ask, was this foul inference drawn? Because, sir, you saw that unless you could establish it to be so, your whole theory fell to the ground; and rather sir, than renounce a false system after all your pretentions to honesty, you would endeavor in a sly and shameful manner to establish it by drawing an inference in open defiance of the plainest declarations of the bible.

But, sir, this is not all the foul attempt made in your last letter; there is another of equally as bad, if not worse character. I allude to the attempt to make it appear, that the Savior when he said to his 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." That the them in that instance, alluded to the apostles themselves. In this attempt, you have put at defiance all grammatical rules, and surely made common sense ashamed. The schoolboy of ten years old can detect you in this senseless attempt. And yet you are an honest man willing to learn the truth!!! O tempora! O mores!! Here we need battalions of exclamation points and interjections without number.

Did you think, sir, that any gentleman who regarded the laws of righteousness and the rules of propriety, would ever condescend to investigate any subject with a man who could descend to such shameful means to support any cause. If you did, sir, you have as little acquaintance with human nature, as you have with the rules of propriety.

Once more upon this subject. You speak of my being elated with my imaginary triumph. This is as foolish and as wicked as some other attempts in your letter. Was there any such appearance in my letter as my being elated with anything? I say there is not the appearance of such a thing; it is an attempt on your part to misrepresent as shamefully as you have done in other cases; no sir, so far from this, you confess in your second letter that mine to you was written in a kind spirit. Who of common sense does not know that there is a great difference between writing in a kind spirit and being elated with an imaginary triumph. But now to the case of Isaiah, about which you made the above false assertion.

You knew most assuredly, if you read my letter with any degree of attention, that I had before me when I wrote, your theory, which required that revelations had to be established by miracles which were wrought in the presence of both friends and foes, and that these miracles must continue until the revelation was closed.

Now, sir, I say hold -- not quite so fast, sir. How is your theory established by the case of Isaiah? Isaiah commenced prophesying in the reign of Uzziah, and terminated in the reign of Hezekiah -- a space occupying a little over an hundred years.

You have shown that in the days of Hezekiah, the sun went back on his dial fifteen degrees; but, sir, where is your theory in all this, that the miracles must needs continue all the time the revelation is given. Was this the case with Isaiah, judge ye? And here let me remark, that it is you, sir, who have been elated with an imaginary triumph; and imaginary one, sure enough.

As I said in my first to you, so say I again: Where is it written that the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Amos, Malachi, and others, were confirmed, as you say I say, sir, there is no such thing written; and if you believed your own theory, you would deny that those writings were revelations from God. But, sir, your conduct manifests clearly that you do not believe your own theory.

Now, sir, all that you have said and quoted, or can say and quote, about the messengers of God working miracles to prove their mission, or revelations, or both to be of God, leaves your theory to be one of the most senseless things that was ever put on paper by a rational being.

As I have had a peep into your grammar, I will look a little into your logic. I find the following sayings in your letter.

Again: "You seem to admire consistency,["] come then and look at your own. You say "it is impossible for one man to be dependent on another for his knowledge of the way of salvation, and yet you make us dependent on the tradition of men for the idea or knowledge of God." Now sir, this is about on a par with the rest of your letter. I am now looking on the first paper, where I ever saw it written by the pen of a man who pretended to be a man of letters, that our first idea, and our knowledge of a thing was the same thing.

Did I make any person dependent on tradition for his knowledge of God? Most assuredly, sir, I did not. I said we were dependent on man for the first idea we had of the way of salvation and of the existence of a God; but our knowledge was a very different thing, and I must confess that I am no little surprised at you. Is it possible, sir, that you came forward with such great boldness to challenge a whole society to an investigation of the subject of religion, and yet you do not know the difference between a man's first ideas and his actual knowledge of a thing? How do you think, sir, a man is to reason with such a being?

Your ideas of God as a moral governor are about on a par with the rest of your letter, the direct opposite of the bible. What does a man pray for but to obtain the will of God. "Seek and you shall find. Ask and you shall receive. Knock and it shall be opened unto you. If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth liberally to all men, and upbraideth not." -- What! a moral governor thus requiring his subjects to seek after his will, and more particularly, when he wants them to serve and obey him; how strange this is! Why not have told them without asking, and have commanded them to obey? Strange or not strange, however, God is just such a moral governor, it matters not how much any person may differ from it.

Once more and I am done -- you take quite exceptions at the apostles definition of the gospel: that it is the power of God unto salvation; but I am not to be accountable for this; for after all you have said it still stands written that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to all them that believe. -- The apostle did not say that it was the power of God to them who did not believe; and this is the reason why it is not the power of God unto your salvation; you do not believe, and the fate of the unbeliever is plainly told by the sacred writers, your works are sufficient evidence that you do not believe. Those who believed what the apostles taught, received the power of God unto salvation. Those who did not believe did not receive that power, and was of course damned.

And seeing you have declared that you are among the number of unbelievers. I warn you in the name of Jesus Christ, and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood conferred on me by the revelation of Jesus Christ, to repent of your sins, and be baptized for the remission of them, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit by laying on of the hands of those who are ordained in these last days unto that power, or you shall be damned; for your great ignorance of the things of God, clearly manifests that you are in the gall of bitterness, and bonds of iniquity, and an entire stranger of the gospel of Christ: having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof, from such my master commands me to turn away, as I do from you; believing that if I were to indulge you in writing any more to be published in the papers in this place, I should offend the readers thereof. Seeing that the least discerning cannot help but see, that you are capable of any violation of the rules of investigation and of the most unwarrantable effrontery; and that the fear of God is not before your eyes, for if it were, you would not put at defiance all scripture, all reason, all language, all common sense; for surely your letter is shocking to all.

Before you ever present yourself again as a braggadocio challenging with a high hand, people to investigate with you the subject of religion, I would seriously recommend to you to get some Yankee school master to give you some lessons on english grammar, that you may know that them apostles is not quite according to the rules of grammar, and also get some country girl to give you a few lessons on logic, so that you may be enabled to tell the difference between a man's first ideas and his knowledge.

By way of conclusion I say sir that I feel myself insulted by being brought into contact with such a man and the correspondence between you and I closes. Farewell

[p. 334]

Br. O. Cowdery:
    Sir -- I have just received the desperate information, that Simons Rider, in consequence of the notice which I have taken of him, is going to prosecute me; and I greatly desire, through the medium of your paper, to plead with him for quarters. For O! I do not want to be sued for the terrible crime of telling the truth about a man.

I know that the truth is a tight fit upon Simons, and I think it is likely that it hurts him some too; as no chastisement for the present is joyous but grievous, nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them who are exercised therewith. And could Simons avoid suing me, for a little season, perhaps it might have that effect upon him. O Simons! do not sue me if you can any way avoid it!

But if Simons cannot in his patience possess his soul, I think I can put him on a better scheme to ally his feelings, and I think gratify them perhaps more.

I have an old uncle in the state of Maryland, that was never married, and he possesses a large property. I would say to him, get his brother Adamson Bentley (for he is an animal of his own kidney) and go there; he is now about eighty years of age, & of course it is will -- making time, and about the right age for Bentley to prevail on him to make a will that will disinherit a monstrous heretic. I think it is probable there will be no difficulty in engaging Bentley in his service; seeing he has been so successful in his former attempt with old Mr. Brooks, my wife's father, and got his own wife so -- well fattened on other people's property. -- He can, no doubt, be engaged again for the same service. Be sure my uncle is not a Campbellite in religion, but a regular Baptist; but that will not make any difference; for Bentley can become all things to all men, that he may gain some.

This course I think may satisfy Simons until his chastisement works out the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and I will escape being sued; and if my family should lose a few thousand dollars, if Bentley's wife only gets it, it is as well; it is all in the family.

Simons would do well also to say to his brother Darwin Atwater, as he has a great deal of labor to carry about and read Howe's book, that he can be favored with the history of old Clapp, his wife's father, to carry with him; so that he can shew the people Campbellism unveiled also.

Yours in great haste, and you may well think, not without some anxiety too.


Vol. III.                           Kirtland,  Ohio,  November, 1836.                          No. 2.

[p. 401]


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 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 Millennium 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 height 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 appellations of fanatic, enthusiasts, 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, impostors, &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 emissaries 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.


Vol. III.                         Kirtland,  Ohio,  December, 1836.                         No. 3.

[p. 417]


The opinions entertained by the world respecting the saints, are such as to excite feelings of no ordinary kind, in the mind of those who are enlightened in any degree to understand the nature of their religion, and the extent of their privileges as saints of the last days; concerning whom so much has been said by the prophets of former times.

The world being ignorant of what the Lord was to do, after the Gentiles had corrupted the religion of the New Testament so as to deprive themselves of the kingdom of heaven, have compounded together a little of the religion of Abraham, and of Moses, and of the new testament, seasoning it pretty well with heathenism, and making to themselves thereby both a religion, and a god, which is neither the religion nor the God of Abraham, nor Moses, nor the apostles, but something widely different from them all.

And such has been, and now is the influence of this strange commixture of unamalgamated materials, that all people have been confused, and darkened by it; and the very wisest of them have been thrown into difficulty, and derangement, on the subject of their future interest; so much so, that when the saints themselves receive the everlasting gospel, it takes them a long time to get rid of their prejudices, so as to understand their privileges, and enter into that course of life which is plainly marked out by the prophets, as the course which alone can accomplish the object for which they are called.

For instead of their immediately pursuing the course intended by the God of heaven to build them up and establish them in honor, and power, they are difficultied by an attempt to subject them to some antiquated law, either of revelation or tradition, which is not at all suited to their condition of life, nor to their situation as the saints of the last days.

The Lord always has an order of things or a dispensation of things suited to the times and seasons, and the same dispensation or order of things will not suit at all periods of the world. Hence the order of things introduced in the days of Abraham, would not suit in the days of Moses, and the order of things in the days of Moses, had to give way in the days of the apostles. And the order of things established by the apostles, must cease when the dispensation of the fulness of times comes in. See Eph. 1st chapt. 10th verse. -- For the dispensation in the days of Moses, was intended for regulating the saints in circumstances different from that in the days of Abraham, and that in the days of the apostles, different from that of Moses, and the dispensation of the fulness of times different from all.

So that every dispensation must have laws differing from each other, and the laws which would be good and wholesome under one dispensation, would be injurious and destructive under another; and instead of their tending to good they would tend to evil. Because they would not at all tend to accomplish the object for which the dispensation was introduced.

The purposes of God in relation to this world, must be accomplished, and the different dispensations necessary must be introduced, in order that they may be accomplished, otherwise the testimony of the prophets must fail, and the glory of God be tarnished forever.

It is not my intention in writing this treatise, to occupy the attention of my readers, with remarks on the dispensations preceding my own day, only as occasion may require, but to invite their attention to the one under which we live.

And the first item, is the fact that a dispensation was to be introduced in the last days, different from all that had gone before; that was neither the dispensation of Abraham, of Moses nor yet of the apostles of the new testament (so called.) For proof of this we quote Eph. 1:10. "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him."

Here, then, there is not only a dispensation mentioned, but the features of it so clearly set forth as to preclude the necessity of mistake. For we are told in so many words that it was to be a dispensation of gathering together all things which are in Christ Jesus whether the things to be gathered, were on earth or in heaven, they were all to be gathered together. It wants but a moment's reflection to see that the dispensation mentioned in this verse, is neither the dispensation of Abraham, of Moses, nor yet of the apostles; for neither of those dispensations nor the laws and regulations pertaining thereto, had power neither were they designed to gather together all things in Christ. This must be the work of the last dispensation which will be introduced in the world.

The apostle Peter calls this dispensation by another name, in the 3rd chapter of the Acts of the apostles and 1st verse. He there calls it the times of the restitution of all things. Every observer of the ways of men and things knows that the present order of things in the world is not the restitution of all things. The apostle further says of this restitution of all things, that it has been spoken of by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began. So that it has been a matter of public notoriety among the saints of all ages and of all generations. It is with this dispensation of things with which we have to do in the days in which we live.

Let me here remark, that the religion of Abraham, of Moses and of the apostles, have all ceased to exist; they are no where found in the world, neither do men believe that they will ever return to the earth. Ask any of the professors of religion of the different denominations, if that religion which consisted in inspiring apostles, prophets, evangelists, and also in mighty works, such as healing the sick, casting out devils, raising the dead, &c. is now in the world, and they will answer you in the negative, and will further assure you, that it will never return again.

So, when I say that the religion of the former dispensations is no more, I have the concurrence of all the professing world, of all parties and of all religions. And that any of them will return to the world in the form in which they once existed has yet to be proven to my mind, for as yet I do not so understand the scriptures. That they may yet return to the world, in part, or in whole, as forming a part of the dispensation of the fulness [fullness] of times, I am now not disposed to dispute, but shall leave it for further investigation. But as the apostle has told us that the dispensation of the fulness of times or the times of the restitution of all things, has been spoken of by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began; to them we shall look for its features. And this becomes the more necessary, as it is with this dispensation we of the last days have to do.

There will be no dispute among correct biblical students, that under this dispensation our heavenly Father will bring about the deliverance of his people, fulfill his covenants which he made with the fathers since the world began, and bring about rest and peace on the earth: so that songs of everlasting joy will crown the heads of the righteous, and peace reign within their borders.

And I presume that it will also be admitted, that the saints of the last days must be a people of a character on whose heads such blessings can descend. In all investigations of this kind, we should remember that we are speaking or writing of men, not of heavenly messengers; and we must, therefore, enquire, what kind of people they must be in order that they may inherit the blessings of the last days? and through whom the Lord can accomplish what he has designed to accomplish by them.

The prophet Jeremiah in speaking of the dispensation of the fulness of times in which all things in Christ were to be gathered in one; says, "Therefore behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, the Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but the Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave to their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks." Jer. 16:14, 15, 16.

These expressions of the prophet, give us an idea of what kind of people the people of the Lord will be in the times of the restitution, or gathering. That they will be a people of most daring courage, and of untiring perseverence [perseverance], otherwise they will never fish Israel, and hunt him from every mountain, and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. It is a well known fact, that Israel is widely scattered, and that they help to people almost every division of the earth with which we are acquainted, and must people some parts with which we are not acquainted, or else the ten tribes are not in existence on the earth, and if that is the case, the testimony of the prophets is surely false; and they will be found false witnesses for Israel; for Jeremiah has declared in the third chapter of his prophecy that Judah and Israel shall walk together: and Ezekiel has said they shall be one nation on the mountains of Israel, and shall be two nations no more. Jer. 3:18. Ez. 37:20, 21, 22.

So then it comes to this, that the Lord's fishers and hunters, have to visit the mountains, the hills, and the rocks, of all nations, in order that the word of the Lord need not be spoken in vain. This surely will require enterprise and perseverence [perseverance] and patience too, will need have her perfect work in order that they may do the will of their Lord and master, and gather Israel according to his decree.

And it will not require much reflection to see that previous to the time of gathering the scattered remnants of Jacob, and the outcasts of Israel, that the saints will have to use a vast of exertion, in order that they may be able to bear up under the heavy burden which is placed upon them; for it will require great wealth to visit every nation, and gather up, in many instances, a poor and ignorant people, as those must be who are found in holes of the rocks, and in the mountains, and bear all the expense of taking them to their own land, that which was given to their fathers; and there build them up. Who does not know that all this will be attended with great expense, and who is to bear this expense, the answer is the fishers, and the hunters; if so then, how great must be their exertion and their enterprise? to obtain all the wealth necessary to accomplish so great an undertaking: And how liberal too must they be, when after so great exertion to obtain so great wealth, they will be willing to spend it in thousands; yea, in millions to gather together, and to build Israel in order that the word of the Lord fail not.

In those days, the words of Isaiah will most assuredly be fulfilled, that "The vile person shall no more be called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful," Isaiah 32:5. They will try every man's work of what kind it is. No man can live among a people whose souls are sufficiently enlarged, to undertake an enterprise of so daring a character as this, and yet be a churl: depend upon it, in those days the vile person will not be called liberal, nor the churl bountiful, for liberality and enterprise must be the motto of every saint, or so gigantic a work will never be accomplished.

But in addition to the gathering together of Israel, we have many things said of the Zion of the last days, which shew [show] unto us what kind of a people the saints of the last days must be; for who does not know that the Zion of the last days mentioned by the prophets, is the place where the people are to be gathered, when the fishers and the hunters fish and hunt them, from every mountain, and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.

The Psalmist David says of Zion, in Psalms 48th Ps. and 2d ver. that she is beautiful, the joy of the whole earth.

The prophet Isaiah has the following interesting sayings in the 62d chapter of his prophecy: commencing with the first verse we read as follows: "For Zion's sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory, and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God."

He further says, in 6th and 7th ver. of the same chapter, ["]I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence. And give him no rest till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.["]

In the 60th chapter of Isaiah, we have one of the most beautiful descriptions given of the Zion of the last days, that can be given of any place by the pen of man. Any person who will give himself the trouble to read this chapter, must see that the Zion here spoken of, is one which is built up by the gathering together of the righteous from the different parts of the world where they are found. As the chapter is too long to quote, we shall make some extracts from it; though we would solicit our readers to take their bibles and read the whole chapter carefully through, as it contains matter of great consequence to the saints.

In the 6th verse, in speaking of Zion, he says: "The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ehpah, all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord" 7th verse, "All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee; the rams of Nabaioth shall minister unto thee, they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory" -- 9th verse, "Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish, first to bring thy sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee" -- 13th and 14th verses, "The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons of them also that afflicted thee, shall come bending unto thee: and all they that despise thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, the city of the Lord, the Zion of the holy one of Israel."

We have made these quotations in order to find out what kind of people the people of the Lord shall be in the last days. This we proposed to do in our own minds, by ascertaining what they had to do, and out of hundreds of quotations which we might make out of the prophets to the same effect, we shall be content with the few which we have made, as being sufficient to give an idea of what sort of people the Lord will have in the last days.

For though great things are to be accomplished, still those things are to be accomplished by the agency of men. It will be found to be a fact, that if the the Lord ever does fulfill the testimony of the prophets, it will be by the faith and agency of his saints.

But to return to the sayings of the prophets, as quoted above.

From these sayings we learn some very important things. We learn first, that the Zion of the Lord is to be built up by gathering his saints together, from all places, even from the islands of the sea. Let us quote two more verses from the 60th chapter of Isaiah, the 3rd and 4th which reads thus: "And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and Kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see, all they gather themselves together, they come: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side." In the 43rd chapter of this same prophecy of Isaiah and the 6th verse, the prophet thus expresses himself, speaking of this same gathering together of the people, "I will say to the north, give up; and to the south, hold not back, bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth." This quotation gives us a pretty clear idea of the nature and extent of the gathering spoken of in the 60th chapter 3rd and 4th verses, that it is to be from the ends of the earth. And the prophet says that they shall be gathered unto thee; what thee, I ask is this? This question is answered in the 14th verse, and the thing or place which is called thee in the 3rd and 4th verses, is called the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy one of Israel. So there can be no doubt that the place where the saints are to be gathered, is the Zion of the last days mentioned by the prophets.

Concerning this Zion, we have the following sayings:

First. She is beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth. Ps. 48:2.

Second. That the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto her, and the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto her.

Third. The multitude of camels shall cover her, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah. All they of Sheba shall come with their gold and incense.

Fourthly, The isles shall wait for her, and the ships of Tarshish, to bring her sons from far, their silver and their gold with them.

Fifthly, The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee; the fir tree, the pine tree and the box tree together, to beautify the place of the Lord's sanctuary, and to make the place of his feet glorious.

Now let me ask the saints of the last days, what kind of people must you be, in order that you may accomplish so great a work? -- That you may bring to the Zion of your God (the foundation of which is now laid, in spite of the powers of earth and hell combined; for surely their utmost exertion has been used to prevent it, but it has been used in vain) the forces of the Gentiles, to obtain for to enrichen her, the abundance of the sea; the camels in sufficient abundance to cover her; the dromedaries of Midian, and of Ephah; the gold and silver of Sheba.

To put into requisition the ships of Tarshish, or in other words, great ships, that the Lord's sons may come from far, and his daughters from the ends of the earth; to bring unto her the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box tree together, in order that you may beautify the Lord's sanctuary, and make the place of his feet glorious, and by all kinds of refinement, and learning, make Zion the joy and praise of the whole earth, until the kings of the earth shall come to the brightness of thy rising. Will not the accomplishment of so great a work as this, require exertion and enterprise? Surely it will.

May I not again ask, how is Zion to become the joy and the praise of the whole earth, so that kings shall come to the brightness of her rising? Surely, it will be by her becoming more wise, more learned, more refined, and more noble, than the cities of the world, so that she becomes the admiration of the great ones of the earth. And by what means is this to be obtained? -- The answer is, by the superiority of her literary institutions, and by a general effort of all the saints to patronize literature in our midst, so that the manners of the saints may be properly cultivated, and their habits correctly formed.

In addition to this, her buildings will have to be more elegant, her palaces more splendid, and her public houses more magnificent; otherwise, she will not be the joy and praise of the whole earth, and kings will never come to the brightness of her rising.

Neither are we to leave out of the question, the dress of the saints, for this supplies a place also in effecting this great object; the beauty and neatness of their dress in characteristic of the degree of refinement, and decency of a society. The nobles of the earth would not be likely to admire disgraceful apparel, untastefully arranged; but the very reverse: indeed, if ever Zion becomes the joy and praise of the whole earth, the saying of the Psalmist must be literally fulfilled. -- That our sons must be as plants grown up in their youth; our daughters as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace. Psalms 144:12.

If these things should not take place, then surely the voice of the prophets is of no avail, and the purposes which God hath proposed to himself will come to nought.

From this the saints may have something of an idea unto what they are called; that they are called unto glory, and virtue, or in other words, to enterprise and courage; that in order to fulfill their calling, there must not be an idler in all their ranks, but that they must cultivate the habits of industry, and of enterprise, so that they can be prepared to visit all lands, and acquit themselves like men, in the presence of all people; the wise, and the learned, and even the nobles, and the kings of the earth not excepted.

Let not any of the saints be deceived by the ignorant of this age, neither let them be led astray by design, to have their minds confused by an attempt to subject them to laws, either of revelation or tradition, which are not in accordance with their calling, and the dispensation under which we live; it matters not what might have been the laws which regulated the saints under other dispensations, it belongs to us, to be regulated by the order of things which has been introduced for our benefit and salvation, and though it could be shewn that there were regulations among the former day saints, which were opposed to the order which regulates us, it would only prove that at different times and ages, God had different things to accomplish, and that it required different orders of things to accomplish them.

I am well aware of the wild chimeras of the human brain. There has been a notion prevailing amongst a great many people, that the nearer a man got to his God the less enterprise he should exert, that he should shew [show] forth his righteousness by his rags, and his holiness by an utter contempt of the rules of decency: Indeed among some that would be called wise, to this day, they think that the cut of their coat and the shape of their hat is of great importance and has a considerable to do with their salvation; hence we have to this day the broad brimmed hat and the long tailed coat, and the vest with skirts, worn as a badge of righteousness; but let the saints know assuredly that their righteousness does not consist in putting on some old antiquated dress: but in enterprise in accomplishing the will of God and building up a city to his name, in beautifying his sanctuary and making the place of his feet glorious.

Let the saints, therefore, acquit themselves like men. Let them seek learning and wisdom, refinement and elegence [elegance]. Let industry and enterprise be encouraged, not merely as appendages of our religion; but as an identity with it, as part of it, without which the other parts would be of little consequence; yea, may I not say, let them get riches; however some might be ready to say in opposition to this, that it is impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven; admit it, but does this argue that those who have sacrificed their all for the kingdom of heaven's sake and entered in, should not get rich after they got there, no verily; for the Savior has said in language not to be misunderstood, "That he that forsaketh father or mother, wife or children, houses or lands, for my sake and the gospel's shall have in this world an hundred fold, and in that which is to come eternal life."

So then the saints who have first sought the kingdom of heaven and the righteousness thereof, may calculate the addition of all things; yea, even an hundred fold. And may I not say if we fail of getting the earthly promise, what hope can there be of our getting the heavenly? for it is as assuredly said we shall have an hundred fold in this life, as it is said we shall have eternal life in the world to come.

Again let us observe in order that Zion may become the joy and praise of the whole earth, it is necessary that the saints should cultivate the principles of honesty and integrity in all their intercourse with the world, so much so that those who have dealings with them, will have to say, that their intercourse is honorable above all others. The saints must become notorious for this, so that all men will be willing to deal with them, and rather do it than with any others, for this is one of the ways by which they will obtain wealth, without which they will never be able to fulfill the end of their calling.

Once more, in order that Zion may become the joy of the whole earth, -- the saints must practice holiness in the fear of the Lord; for without this, no man can see the Lord, neither will he prosper them unless they do it.-They must attend punctually to the orders of his house, every head of a family must see that his or her house is kept in order before the Lord, so that in their midst the name of the Lord may be had in reverence, and his commandments regarded with veneration, and his worship respected as of the first importance.

In so doing, the saints may anticipate the blessings of heaven to attend them more abundantly, and with every increase of wealth and honor an increase of blessings, until as the prophet Malachi has said, "The earth will not be able to contain it."

Let the saints then consider the nature of their high calling, lest any man deceive them with fair pretenses and with vain tradition after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ. Let them remember that God has called them, that they may distinguish themselves by the boldness of their enterprises; by the magnificence of their schemes, and by the greatness of their industry, and by their untiring perseverance, and by their patience and indefatigable zeal. Let them be patient in all things till they overcome the world, the devil and the flesh, and Zion becomes the joy and the praise of the whole earth.

The apostle Paul has a valuable saying in his epistle to the Hebrews, 10:36. "For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." The saints would do well to give heed to this saying, that they may never get weary in well doing. Let them recollect that after they have done the will of God they have need of patience in order to inherit the promise. How many may have done the will of God, and yet for want of patience to wait upon the Lord have lost the promise altogether; when if they had had patience to wait on the Lord, they might have received it to the joy and gratitude of their hearts.

Remember then ye saints of the last days!! that you are called upon by the great God to be ministers of righteousness in the last days to all people, languages and kindreds of the earth; ye are called upon to visit every nation under heaven; to waft yourselves over every sea and every ocean: to stand in the presence of kings and of princes and of the nobles of the earth; to gather up of all nations, tongues and languages under heaven, and of them to build up the Zion of the last days to the Most High. And nothing of all this can fail if you are faithful in your calling and consider the nature and the end thereof; for great is he who has called you, and none of his promises can be broken, neither can his faithfulness fail.

Arm yourselves, therefore, like men, ye elders of Israel; store your heads with knowledge and your hearts with grace, and as the heads of the Israel of the last days go forth without fear; for strong is he who hath called you; and omnipotent is the arm of him who sustains you; fear not and your peace shall be like a river and your righteousness as an overflowing stream. Rejoice upon the hills and shout hosannah upon the mountains; until you shall bring the last stone of the building of your God with the shout of grace, grace, unto it.


Vol. III.                         Kirtland,  Ohio,  January, 1837.                         No. 4.

[p. 436]


The spirit of persecution has prevailed in every age of the world, to the great disgrace of the human race, and if there is justice in heaven, to the condemnation of millions; for if the great God proves at last to be the being the Bible represents him to be, millions and tens of millions of the human race will make their bed in hell for persecuting and reviling men on account of their religion. It will be said to them, who required at your hand to judge another man's servant; to his own master he stands or falls.

God has made it the prerogative of every individual under heaven, to have, to believe, and to practice any religion which may seem good unto himself, and to stand not accountable to man, but to God, when such religion does not infringe upon the rights of others. Or, it is his privilege to have no religion at all; and it is not the prerogative of man to call him to an account therefor, nor yet to slander and persecute him for it. If he worship fifty gods, or if he worship none, what is that to his neighbor, so long as he grants to him the privilege of worshiping [worshipping] according to the dictates of his own conscience, or of not worshiping [worshipping] at all, if he choses [chooses].

But notwithstanding this just and unalienable right, which the Creator has granted, in common, to all his intelligent creatures, there has not as yet been found a nation, or a people, in any generation which would grant this right to the saints of God, of worshiping [worshipping] as the great God required. Let the nation boast as she might, of her liberties, the excellencies of her institutions, and the perfection of her constitution: the very instant that God began to reveal himself to any portion of the people, that very instant persecution would begin to rage, and those who made the greatest boast of their liberties, would use all their exertions to take away the just rights of others.

All the means that could be resorted to, would be used to prevent men from worshipping according to the dictates of their own conscience, and from serving God according to his law, and his requirements, and yet would boast of their liberties and of their freedom, and how blessed were their privileges. Letting all the world see that if men had privileges, they were not obtained thro' their means.

There is no country, perhaps, in the world, which boasts more of its liberties, than our own; and no people who extol the excellencies of their institutions, as we do. We tell it to the ends of the earth, we proclaim it on the house tops, and we reveal it in the secret places, and send it to the nations afar off, and bid them to come and taste of our liberties; and yet, wonderful to tell, after all our pretensions, a man is not at liberty to worship according to the dictates of his own conscience.

This, the saints of the last days have been made to know, in all places where they have made their appearance. It is demonstrated to a certainty, that there is not a State in this UNION, where a man is at liberty to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience; neither is there a society in this nation, that will suffer the saints of God to enjoy their rights undisturbed, not even to escape violence and death, after all our boast of liberty and freedom, and the rights of conscience, which, instead of being protected, are infringed. Governors and rulers will refuse to discharge the duties of their offices, notwithstanding they are bound by the solemnities of an oath to do so; but oaths nor anything else can bind men to do their duty, when the rights of the saints are concerned.

In our own vicinity we have a most striking proof of the spirit of persecution in a religious society which made as great a boast of liberty and the blessings of freedom, as any other. I mean the Campbellites. But the very instant the truth made its appearance, they soon let the world see the extent of their liberal feelings, and have left an everlasting testimony, that however they may claim the right of thinking and acting for themselves, they are as unwilling as Catholics, or any others, to grant to others the rights which they claim to themselves.

The shameful and disgraceful house kept by old Clapp, of Mentor, where all men and women were at liberty to come and slander the saints, not even prostitutes excepted, as late revelations have shown: Let it be remembered, that this said old Clapp is a Campbellite deacon, whose house was devoted to defamation, slander, and to crown the whole, ADULTERY! How far the priests, who frequented his house, have criminated themselves in this last act of impropriety, remains yet to be disclosed; but people have a just right to draw their own conclusion, respecting the character of the priests, from the company they keep, and the character of the house they frequent.

Adamson Bentley, of will-making memory, was one of the loungers about the pious old deacon's house. Now had he have gone there to have reproved his wickedness, and to have purged his house of harlots, then, indeed, his visits might have done him honor; but when it was to be a partner in his slanders, he is entitled to a full share of the disgrace of his house. Indeed, Mary, the wife of Adamson, has been trying to palliate the old man's crimes, by telling how he was tempted, and that the temptation was too strong for him to bear. O Mary!! You had better found some better excuse for your good old deacon, at whose house you have had the blessed privilege of slandering the saints so shamefully, than this; for it does not tell very well, for a pious, good old soul to have, and to keep, females about his house, whose characters are so loose. This is that Mary who has been so well dealt by in old Mr. Brooks' will, as to get a double portion of the estate: one portion left directly to herself, and another to come to her through her mother, Mrs. Holmes, now of Indiana; while the old man's children are left, some of them, without; and others, a small portion, to be given them when there companions die: in the mean time, the executors, with Bentley at their head, to have the use of the property until then.

One of the executors is also, like old Clapp, a Campbellite deacon. I mean Richard Brooks, who, with his wife Rachel, united with the before mentioned kidney in slandering and vilifying the saints of the last days, and kept a house devoted to slander, for years; notwithstanding the very persons whom they were slandering, were at that very time, and at this, hiding the shame of their family, which if exposed, must bring them to open disgrace.

One of the great cries of this horde of iniquity against the saints, was, that they were trying to get people's property into their hands, and to cheat them out of their just rights. Now, for the sincerity of this plea, as made by this band of persecutors, it is only necessary to let the public know, that this Adamson Bentley used his priestly influence, to help old Mr. Brooks make his will, by which the old man's children were cheated out of their just rights, and his wife (who is an illegitimate child in the family, and of course her very existence a disgrace to them) either directly, or indirectly, got as much of the estate as two of them, yea, a great deal more.

This shews how much this man Bentley cared about other people's rights. If there were any difficulty, it was because he could not have the fingering of the property himself. -- Another proof of his high regard for justice is, that he has, by a piece of legerdemain, kept his property out of his creditors' hands, by getting it put into the hands of his son, thereby depriving his creditors of their just dues.

Of course, then, gentle reader, after this man Bentley has given such high proof of his deep anxiety for the rights of others, he would, certainly, use his greatest influence to guard the world against being cheated by the saints.

It will be hard to persuade us, or any other persons who are acquainted with the circumstances, that nine-tenths of all the lies put in circulation against the saints, did not originate with the before mentioned gang.

That the public may have some faint idea of what the saints have had to bear from them, it will only be necessary to tell them that when this brood could do nothing else to injure the saints, they actually sent their children, from thirteen years old and upwards, to their houses, to sauce and scandalize them. I speak this from experience: never was my house so abused and scandalized, by any human beings, since I kept a house, as it was by a gang of these creatures' children, sent from Richard Brooks', in Warren, and Adamson Bentley's. I am now convinced, and always shall be, that there are no children on earth who would act as basely as they did, unless they were put up to it, and encouraged in it, by their parents. And then to finish the matter, after they went away, they hatched up and told some of the basest lies, that could be invented by human beings; and when I complained to Adamson Bently of their conduct, he tantalized me, and justified the children in what they did; though he knew that they had told base lies. And what adds to this whole matter is, that these children were members in the Campbellite church; Adamson Bentley was their preacher, and Richard Brooks deacon: truly as priest, so people. Not only this once, but at different times, I have been insulted, and so has my house, by children from these hordes of impudence and ill breeding, and dens of slander.

Had this band of persecuting Campbellites, came out like men, and attacked the religion of the saints, and conducted themselves with common decency, then there would have been no reason to say why do you so? nor would any have found fault: but instead of this, to think to put down the truth by shamefully slandering, vilifying and abusing the saints of the Most High, is so great an outrage upon all common decency, as to subject them to the scorn of every well wisher to society; more particularly, since they have fallen in the pit which they had dug for others.

It is a fact, kind reader, whether you can believe it or not, that the said old Clapp, with his two pious sons, one of them a Campbellite priest, the other the most pious man of the whole kidney, did actually go and swear, before a justice of the peace, that they would not believe any of the saints under oath; when there was not one out of fifty of them, whose names they had ever heard, nor of whom they had the most distant knowledge; and knew nothing about them, still they were ready to swear, without the most distant knowledge of them, that they would not believe them under oath. If this does not amount to false swearing, in the sight of the great Jehovah, I must confess I do not know what does.

There is perhaps no people now living, who have said more about the rights of conscience, than this brood of persecuting Campbellites: it has formed a part of all their public performances; they have called upon people every where, to think and act for themselves, as their just right, to call no man master on earth, nor any father; but take the bible and think and act for themselves. But, gentle reader, pause, and marvel!!! It is one thing for a people to pretend to liberality, and it is quite a different thing for them to be so in feelings. Have we not all the evidence that can be given, that these pretensions are the basest hypocrisy? What have the saints done to enrage the malice, and excite the wrath of this gang of persecuting Campbellites? O! they have taken the liberty of thinking and acting for themselves, they have chosen to worship according to the dictates of their own consciences.

This is their great crime, this is what has set the bristles of Campbellism all on end; this indeed, YES, THIS, has armed their piety with vengeance, and their tongues with lies: INDEED, gentle reader, it is this and nothing else but this, that has made Campbellism shew its teeth. This is the great crime of which the saints have been guilty, and for which Campbellism has poured out its acrimony.

One thing has been done by the coming forth of the Book of Mormon; it has puked the Campbellites effectually, no emetic could do half so well. Lobelia is not a circumstance to it -- it has searched for the nethermost corner of their stomachs, and found it, and exposed the secret feelings of their heart. Never more, then, let Campbellism boast of liberty of conscience, no more let it boast of freedom of thought, or of human rights.

Let the advocates of that faith, from henceforth tell the truth. Let them declare to the world, that they can have full liberty to think and act for themselves, providing they do not think and act in opposition to Campbellism; for if they do, they will destroy them if they can, and then they will tell the truth.

The Book of Mormon, then, has revealed the secrets of Campbellism, and unfolded the end of the system. Every eye may see, and every heart understand; for the public may depend upon it, that the vomit which it has received, is too severe for it; it has spewed itself to death, and in a very short time it will have fled the Lake shore, to appear no more forever.

While we thus ponder upon the passing events, we are forcibly reminded of what the historian Luke tells us, in the Acts of the Apostles, about Herod; he says, "God smote him, the worms eat him; but the word of God grew and multiplied." So say we of Campbellism: God has smitten it, lying and harlots have wasted it; but the word of God grows and multiplies.

We are well aware that we have written in great plainness; but we are also satisfied that we were called upon to do so, it is a duty we owe to ourselves and family, as well as to the saints in general, and also to the public, to let them know the source from whence such infernal lies as have been put in circulation, have emanated and also what kind of characters were employed in putting them in circulation.

We have hinted at some things which are brutal in the extreme, and found no where but among the most beastly of the human race; yet it is a fact, that they are found among the Clapp Campbellites, (for such we will call them, to distinguish them from others of the same society, who are not identified with their iniquities.) And we know that the most distant allusion to them, is calculated to offend the delicate ear; notwithstanding this, we feel ourselves bound to bring them to view, as we want other generations to read the history of our persecutions, and our children, and our children's children to know of our persecutions and of the characters by whom their fathers were persecuted.

And as our periodical is intended for a book, to be bound, and handed down from generation to generation, among our children, it is the proper place to publish such things.

Having said so much, we take our leave for the present.


Vol. III.                         Kirtland,  Ohio,  March, 1837.                         No. 6.

[p. 477]


Persecution has been the lot of the righteous since the days of righteous Abel; no righteous people have escaped, or ever will; for the nearer that a person draws to the living God, the farther off the world thinks he gets. -- Hence says the Savior, "They that kill you, think they do God service; and they do this, because they know neither the Father nor me."

For this very cause the saints may expect nothing but persecution at the hand of any people; because no other people but them know the Father nor the Son, and for want of this knowledge, they are always ready to persecute, and not only persecute; but to persecute unto death; for "they that kill you think they do God service."

A persecuting spirit always arises from ignorance of the Father and the Son, and this ignorance leads men to seek the lives of the saints; and there is nothing wanting but power to fulfill their designs.

The Savior says, in speaking of his mission into the world, "Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth: I come not to send peace but a sword. For I am come to set man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." -- Matthew 10: 32,35,36.

When the Savior says "I come to set a man at variance against his father," &c. the very expression, "set against" supposes that the persons were not at variance before, but on terms of peace and friendship; for he could not set a man at variance with his father, when he was so before.

We are necessarily called upon to view the persons thus set at variance, as being on terms of friendship; having so conducted themselves as to be entitled to each other's friendship and esteem, until they were put at variance by the teaching of the Savior; one or the other of them receiving the Savior in his true character, or any of his disciples whom he had authorized to teach, was sufficient cause to excite the bitterest feelings of the others, not only to object to their religion, but also to justify them in attacking their characters, and destroying them if possible; yea, more than this, their lives also. -- No doubt it was in that day as in this; the very instant an individual or individuals received the gospel, though their characters were without blemish, yet their former associates had their recollections greatly brightened; they could call to remembrance a great many things which they had said, and a great many things which they had done, which were very exceptionable; they could look back for years and call to remembrance blemishes in their character, improprieties in their behavior, and they now recollect that, at that time it made a bad impression on their minds, though they had entirely forgotten it until their recollections had been enlivened. They could also now call to mind that the persons thus transgressing, had always been enthusiastic, versatile, and unsteady minded, and withal weak minded, with an indescribable multitude of evils that were very gross indeed.

There is perhaps in the whole brood of persecutors not one single one who is honest enough to confess that they persecute a man purely on account of his religion; they will hatch up some cause to justify themselves in their wickedness, though they know that it is alone on account of the man's religion; but being unwilling to confess this, they will invent and circulate the basest lies that human nature is capable of, for the purpose of blinding the eyes of the people, or rather of giving a handle to those base wretches who are capable of persecuting a man on account of his religion. For I will venture an assertion which will be found true in the day of God Almighty, if it should not before, that is, that there is not a man nor a woman under heaven who will persecute any people for their religion, that is not a base liar, be they priest or people.

It is most remarkable to see how some people's recollection can be improved when their supposed interest, ambition, or pride, dictates to them the necessity of persecuting some person or persons; their whole ingenuity is put into requisition to find out a justifiable cause for their railing and abuse; and they soon begin to recollect of most marvelous things: they can call to mind with the greatest ease of hearing things (which things by the by were never heard by themselves nor any body else,) which were of an alarming character, and called immediately for their exertion to prevent some great evil. They could also recollect of having seen things (it happened, however, that there were no such things to be seen,) which a sense of duty required them to expose. You would suppose, to hear them talk, that their recollection having been so greatly refreshed, it, by gathering up past things, and the great discoveries they were making at the present time, of things as they actually existed, had transformed them into a bundle of pure consciousness; for they were so conscientious, that they could not rest day nor night, until they discharged the duty they were bound to discharge, for the benefit of both God and man.

However, when the matter comes to be examined, and the great bustle a little allayed, it is found out that some people found, as they supposed, that it was their interest to persecute some body on account of their religion, and because they had no truth with which they could injure them, they found it very convenient to hatch up a good bundle of lies; and that is all there is of it.

In every age the Savior's words have been verified, that wherever his religion is embraced, it "sets the father against the son, and the son against the father, and a man's enemies will be they of his own household." The reason of this the Savior gives in a former quotation. "This they will do, because they know neither the Father nor me."

There is no truth plainer than this, that all false religionists, in the world, are unable to tell when a people are doing the will of God: there never was but one religion which had the power to give this understanding to men, and that is the religion of Jesus Christ; this alone is able to do this. All other religions have the direct different tendency; instead of making men acquainted with the will of God, they tend to bewilder the mind, and prevent men from understanding his will, or knowing what he requires of them.

In attending to the history of the former day saints, as written in the scriptures, there seems to be one thing written as with a sunbeam, that is, that in every age when any people began to listen to the voice of God, and give heed to his teachings, and were thereby in some good degree conformed to his image; all the religionists of that day would begin to proclaim against them with great energy, pronouncing it the works of the adversary, and the persons who were thus taught, as being in the very likeness of satan.

This strange tact was so clearly exemplified in the days of the Savior, that the most blind might see, that the nearer any person or persons approached to the likeness of the Deity, the nearer the false religionists thought that they resembled the prince of darkness, and if a person were to be transformed into the very likeness of the Deity, then the false religionists would say that they were the very image of the prince of devils himself.

The Savior of the world, of whom it was said, that he was the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person, was called by all other sects in religion in his day, the beelzebub, the very prince of devils. So little did they know of either the Father or the Son, that when the express image of the Father was before them, in the person of the Son, they supposed that it was the prince of devils himself.

Those sects and parties knew as much of God, as do the sects of this day. The Presbyterians, the Methodists, the Episcopalians, the Baptist, and the Campbellites, know as little of the Father and the Son, as did the Pharisees and Saducees of the Savior's day, and the Savior has said, that, "If they have called the Master beelzebub, so will they call the servant also."

The saints of the last days may calculate on being scandalized by every evil epithet which malice and ignorance combined can invent, and the nearer they approach to the image of the Savior, the nearer these ignoramuses will think, they will approximate the likeness of satan, and if they should so purify their hearts, as to be in the express image of the person of the Savior, then they may confidently expect to be called beelzebub the prince of devils.

There have been some things truly amusing, if wickedness could be said to be amusing, among those who have persecuted the saints of the last days. Take, for instance, Matthew Clapp, the Campbellite beloved disciple. At one time, to have heard him talk, you would have supposed that his whole breast was a mass of recollection, so that he could recollect from the waistband of his breeches, to the crown of his head. At another, you would have thought his whole carcass to have been a monstrous pair of eyes, with which he could see out of his back, or the calves of his legs, as easily as he could look out of his face. At another, to hear him spout, and see him stride through the streets, you would necessarily have supposed, that he was nothing but an outlandish pair of ears, with which he could hear out of the ends of his fingers, or the end of his toes, or from between his shoulders or any part of his body as easily as his head.

It wanted only, however, for a person of the least discernment, to see him once, to discover that he was nothing more or less, than the veriest folly, wrapped up in a mantle of the most perfect pride, that there was any where on this side the gates of perdition.

The scandalous conduct of the persecutors of the saints of the last days, the base lies which they have made and circulated in order to stop the progress of the truth, are another comment upon the Savior's words, "If they call the Master beelzebub, so will they call the servant also." This is what the Master of the house has forewarned us of, and of which he has testified; therefore, we may expect to receive it at the hand of this persecuting, though very religious generation. And when it comes we have another testimony of the truth of the Savior's saying, and an additional proof that we are his disciples.

Let us then do as he did before us; let us endure with much long suffering, the contradiction of sinners against ourselves, until he who is our life shall appear, and then shall we appear with him in glory, and where he is, there shall we his servants be also.     S. R.


Vol. III.                         Kirtland,  Ohio,  August, 1837.                         No. 11.

[p. 545]


For a new paper, to be published at Kirtland, Geauga co., Ohio, called the


As the Latter Day Saints Messenger and Advocate, published at the above place, is to be closed with the present volume which closes in the month of September, and as the publishers of that paper have declined publishing any more for the present, at least. A large body of the elders of the church of Latter Day Saints have united and rented the printing establishment, for the purpose of publishing a paper with the above title.

This paper is intended to be a vehicle of communication for all the elders of the church of Latter Day Saints, through which they can communicate to others, all things pertaining to their mission, and calling as servants of the living God, and messengers of righteousness to the nations among whom they are sent. As there have been many desires expressed by the elders of said church, to have a periodical of this kind published; it is hoped that the present proposals will meet with their most unqualified approbation, and will find a patron and a friend in all those into whose hands it comes.

This paper is intended to occupy vacant ground, as there is no other periodical with which we are acquainted, that presents itself in the attitude to the public, that this does. The church of the Latter Day Saints is increasing very rapidly, perhaps more so at this time considering its circumstances, than any other society in our country. The number of elders amounts to many hundreds and are constantly increasing: and out of the number there are many who are respectable in point of both learning and talents, and some of the first order.

The great excitement which has been produced by the coming forth of this church; the unparalleled rapidity of its growth; the excessive rage of persecution against it by all sects and parties, together with the wide range it is destined to take among the nations, form at once a source of interest peculiar to itself. And every thing pertaining to either its prosperity or adversity, its advance or decline, its favorable or unfavorable reception among the nations, where its doctrines are promulgated, and where it is destined to present the majesty of its truth in formidable array against the errors and false doctrine of the age, is now, and will be more abundantly hereafter, sought with an eagerness by both friends and foes, in this country, and elsewhere, unknown, since the days that the former apostles proclaimed the same doctrine among all the nations of the world.

Already has the sound gone forth into every State of the Union, and messengers sent by the church have safely (as appears by letters,) arrived at Liverpool (England,) from whom accounts are expected continually, making known the progress of the work in the old world.

What proposals then, could be made to an inquiring public better calculated to gratify their desires than a periodical of this kind; designed to give information on the very points where information is desired, and to satisfy the unceasing anxiety excited by reason of the progress of the church.

It may be confidently expected, that this paper will be enriched with important intelligence from the eastern as well as the western continent, and at no very remote period we may anticipate with great assurance, to see its columns abounding with matter of deep interest, from all nations in the civilized world. It will be a rich repast to ladies and gentlemen, of all religions, or to those who professed none; inasmuch as the contributors to this paper will be in every part of the world, and thereby afford facilities to obtain information through its columns, equal, if not superior to any in the union. The great events of nations, tending to that point of consumption spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began, will be diligently sought for, and correctly presented.

This paper is therefore intended to be a counter part to this lying mania, which seems to pervade all ranks of men, when engaged to try to stop the progress of truth, and prevent the kingdom of God from spreading, by affording the traveling elders an opportunity of presenting the truth to the public, in relation to the events, and occurrences which transpire within the reach of their observation, and which occur with, and by themselves, while they are traveling and proclaiming the gospel, in obedience to the high and holy calling wherewith God has called them.

It becomes a duty not to be dispensed with, that the saints of the last days owe to themselves, and their children, as well as the public in general, to use all lawful endeavors to disabuse the public mind in relation to the affairs of the kingdom of God, which has been committed to them; so that as far as in them lies, they will guard the public against the abuses which are heaped upon them, by reason of a spirit of persecution which rages most unhallowedly against the truth.

It has been the usage of all saints in every age as far as our knowledge extends, to transmit to succeeding generations an account of their religion, and a history of their travels, and of the reception which they met with in the nations, among whom they executed their divine commission. With an account of their travels, both by sea and land, among strangers and acquaintances; and these accounts stand as an armed man, guarding both their characters, and religion, against the aspersion of foul calumniators, and base slanderers.

May we not ask, What saved the name of the Waldenses, from being handed down to all generations with infamy and contempt? The answer is their own writings. Had it not have been for the exertions which they used, to transmit to posterity, a true account of themselves; their enemies would have left the world in perfect ignorance, of both their character and religion; and stamped their name with as much infamy, as they exercised cruelty upon their persons: and the name of Peter Waldo, would have been associated with every thing that was base and abominable. But the course which they took to be their own historians, has turned this infamy upon the heads of their enemies, and most effectually redeemed themselves from under the power of their slanderers; until their memory is had with reverence among all men, whose approbation is worth having.

It is equally as possible for the saints of these days, to guard themselves against the abuses of a corrupt people, and the rage of an unrighteous priesthood, against which they have to contend; as it was for those to do so, who have gone before them.

In view then to obtain objects so laudable, and so desirable, this paper is offered to the public. In its success and prosperity, we presume all the elders will feel suitable interest; for it is through this medium, that they have an opportunity offered them, of handing down to their children, and their childrens children, as well as to all others who are disposed to read, an account of their labors and sufferings, the success and discouragements they may meet, through the course of their ministry in the world, and be able to give and receive information from every part of the world, and thereby enrichen their own minds with much useful knowledge, as well as bestow great light on the world.

In proportion as the church increases, and the knowledge of the gospel spreads abroad upon the face of the earth; in the same proportion our desires are increased to know how it fairs with the servants of God who are employed in this good work of gathering the saints together, out of all tongues, languages, and kindreds, under heaven.

For instance, since our missionaries started for England, how many deep anxieties are felt in the minds of many, that they never felt before, to know how they will be received, and what will be the success of their mission; and this by persons who never saw any of the individuals who have gone. How grateful then would a letter be from any of them, making its appearance in the Journal, by this means satisfying the desires of all at once, which could not be done in any other way, but by great expense and great waste of time.

How indispensable then is a periodical of this kind to the saints. It is essential to their peace and happiness as saints. It will always be hailed as a welcome messenger to the habitation of the truly pious. It will be cherished by the saint of God as a kind friend come to allay his anxieties, and to open a new field of contemplation and prayer: to heighten his devotion by making him acquainted more extensively with the works of God; and to calm his mind in the hour of affliction, by making him acquainted with the sufferings, and yet the patience and perseverance, of others of his brethren in tribulation.

How many that would be otherwise slothful, will be provoked to good works, by hearing of the zeal, and of the great exertions of others, in extending the work of God.

In a word then, let every saint lay to a helping hand, use his or her influence to get subscribers, and obtain as extensive a circulation for the paper as possible, so that it may be sustained, and there by the cause of God be advanced.

It is expected that all the saints into whose hands this prospectus comes, will feel themselves authorized to get all the subscribers they can, and every person getting ten new subscribers and forwarding the money shall have the eleventh gratis.

The JOURNAL will be edited by Joseph Smith Jun. and printed once a month on a superroyal sheet, and followed in form for binding, at one dollar a year in advance: and should the subscription list justify, it will soon be published semi monthly at two dollars a year.

The first number will be issued in October next, and will be forwarded to the subscribers of the Messenger and Advocate, unless they say to the contrary.

All letters whether for publication or other purposes, sent to the office must be directed to DON C. SMITH, and the postage => PAID, <= or they will not be attended too.

Done by the request and in behalf of the elders.


Vol I.                                 Kirtland, Ohio, October, 1837.                                   No. 1.

[p. 7]
Tere Haute, Ia. Oct. 13th, 1837.    
Brother Don C. Smith,
    Having arrived here last evening in a heavy shower of rain, and calculating to pursue our journey on the morrow, I thought I would occupy part of the day, in writing a few lines to you for the Journal.

This place is about five hundred miles from Kirtland, and about half way from Kirtland to the city of Far West; which makes the distance from Kirtland to Far West, one thousand miles.

Part of the way the roads were exceedingly good, and part of the way, were as bad as they could be. -- The immence travel on the national road is incredible, and this composed of all classes, and descriptions of character. Here indeed you may see the rich and the poor, the noble and ignoble, all traveling together along the same way; just like they all have to the grave, the common lot of all.

I observed as I passed through Ohio, that there was quite a diversity of both soil and timber, some parts of Ohio through which we passed, I think is not surpassed in any part of the country, for fertility of soil, beauty of attraction, and splendor of improvements. I have not, as yet, to this point seen anything to equal it.

Through Indiana, there is a much greater uniformity of soil, timber, and surface, than in Ohio, I mean in the parts through which we passed. From the time we crossed the state line, until say within 12 of 15 miles from this place, there is a uniformity in soil, timber, and surface, that amounts to a dull monotony in the eye of the observer. The timber is principally beech and maple. The surface is very flat; and the soil not above second quality, if it would be considered of that quality.

Indiana as far as I have traveled through it, until I came within a few miles of this place, does not justify the general report which has been given of it; at least, I confess, that I was disappointed, not finding the country as good as I expected from report.

There are a multitude of villages springing up on the national road, of which Richmond, Indianapolis, and Tere Haute are principle, of these three, I should consider Richmond quite in advance of the others. Indianapolis, the seat of government, is a village of considerable size; but the buildings are generally small, many of them from one, to one story and a half high, and very few excel two storys high. -- The greater part of the houses are wood. -- The town is built on the east side of White river: the situation is pleasant, and would admit a city of the largest size.

This village (Tere haute) is situated on the east side of the wabash, which is a beautiful river, and flows majestically along the west side of the village. The steamboats ascend the river to this point. The village is situated on a wide spreading prairie of exceedingly rich soil, and the surface is level, and presents a sublime prospect, to the eye of the traveler as he comes from the east. From where the national road enters the prairie; it is about three miles to the river, where the village stands.

The prices of land on the national road is astonishing; take it at any point you will, and you will find, the wild land, from twenty to thirty dollars per acre; while the improved land, is from fifty to a hundred, according to the situation and improvements.

No thinking mind can travel through the country, and observe the ways of man and things, without deep reflection. In passing along you will see wealth, beauty, and eligance, flowing in all richness, and the next minute, you will see poverty, want, and wretchedness, praying like a vulture upon the happiness of their subjects. The wretchedness and sufferings which abound in many habitations, make the heart sicken, and throws a gloominess over the spirit of the philanthrophist.

A person who is acquainted with the purposes and work of God in the last days, by traveling only increases his desire, that the great work of God may be speedily accomplished; for the amelioration of the world depends entirely on the accomplishment of the purposes of God. For this cause, the intelligent saint earnstly desires the gathering of the elect; to be completed; that the scene of wretchedness may cease in the world, and the remainder of man may have rest.

For, however flourishing we may figure to ourselves is the condition of this or any other country, the representation is always partial, it is never universal. For amid the glory of our greatest prosperity, there are thousands, yea tens of thousands, of our race suffering grief and woe, that would melt the stoutest heart, if it would but stop to reflect.

There are many scenes which exhibit themselves in, traveling through the western settlements, which are painful to behold; multitudes of little children clothed in rags, deprived of all the advantages of good society, with a bare subsistence, and that of the coursest kind, their fathers are in many instances indolent, and do not make the provision necessary for their wants, and at the time when they ought to be receiving their education, they are deprived of all advantages, and grow up under circumstances calculated to deprive them of many privileges, and the enjoyments of society in its more refined state.

I am convinced of the great advantages there are in settling any new country, to do it by colonizing. It enables the settlers to obtain the comforts of life sooner, to establish schools, erect machienery; and colonies uniting in good faith, could soon have as many advantages as the elder settlements; while those who attempt to settle remote regions by individuals; according to the usual plan, is attended with the sacrifice of almost every comfort of life, and during the life time of the first settlers, if not longer: you shall hear from me again.
              yours as ever.
                                    SIDNEY RIGDON.


Vol I.                                 Far West, Mo., August, 1838.                                   No. 4.

[p. 7]


In order that the object for which the saints are gathered together in the last days, as spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began, may be obtaincd, it is essentially necessarv, that they should all be gathered into the Cities appointed for that purpose; as it will be much better for them all, in order that they may be in a situation to have the necessary instruction, to prepare them for the duties of their callings respectively.

The advantages of so doing are numerous, while the disadvantages are few, if there are any. As intelligence is the great object of our holy religion, it is of all things important, that we should place ourselves in the best situation possible to obtain it. And we wish it to be deeply impressed on the minds of all, that to obtain all the knowledge which the circumstances of man will admit of, is one of the principle objects the saints have in gathering together. Intelligence is the result of education, and education can only be obtained by living in compact society; so compact, that schools of all kinds can be supported, and that while we are supporting scbools, we, without any exception, can be benefited thereby.

It matters not how advanced many who celebrate the gospel, be in life, the true object of their calling, is to increase their intelligence; to give them knowledge and understanding in all things which pertain to their happiness and peace, both here and hereafter. -- And it is therefore required, that they place themselves in a situation accordingly.

Vain are the hopes of those who embrace the gospel, and then suppose, like the ignorant sectarians of the day, they have nothing more to do, but hold on to what they have gotten. Oh indeed! they think, or at least some of them do, that it is very well to have their priest educated, as well as they can; but for the people, they can serve God as well in ignorance as any other way: they can say their prayers, whether there is sense in them or not; and sing Psalms, it matters not whether they are suited to their condition or not; and thus in the most profound ignorance, with a learned blockhead, at their head, blunder on, until they blunder into heaven. But this stupid ignorance cannot exist among the saints. -- It will do well enough, for creatures that know not God, and have not obeyed the gospel. But for saints it will not do. The great God when he began to work for his name's glory, never thought of doing so, by raising up a society of ignoramuses, but of men and women of intelligence; of first intelligence. Of intelligence as high as human nature was susceptable; and by this means glhrify himself.

One of the principal objects then, of our coming together, is to obtain the advantages of edication; and in order to do this, compact society is absolutely necessary: it cannot be obtained without it, at most only by the few, to the exclusion of the many; which is a principle, at war with the principles of the church of Christ; for the principle of the church is, that what one has, all have; and equal privileges must be granted to all, or else it is not the church of Christ. And if those, on whom the important duty of regulating this matter devolves, should neglect to do their duty in, this matter, they will be found transgressors.

We wish the saints then to be apprised of this, that in order to obtain the ends of their calling, they will find it, unavoidably, necessary that they should be gathered into the cities, in as compact order as possible. Let parents then see to it, that they deprive not their children of their just rights, by not complying with this order. --

And let the youth of our number see also, that they avail themselves of all the means put into their hands, to cultivate the mind as well as make provisions for the body; for they can do both, by proper attention, by occupying those leisure hours which are too often spent in vanity, and in vain and foolish conversation.

It will be found that farming, as well as all other business, can be carried on to better purpose, through a well arranged order of things by living in cities, than it possibly can, by living in any other situation of life; and the opportunities of education be complete, so that not only the rising generation, but that which has risen also, be able to obtain all the education that heart can wish, and that which will be well pleasing to God.

The principles of selfishness, which have obtained to so great an extent in the world, is the cause of the great reign of ignorance which now prevails all over the earth. Let that principle once be done away; and let the apostolic lesson, "To esteem each other better than themselves" be once fairly establishhed among any people and the benefits to society will be incalcalable, both a relates to enriching the mind, and the body. We exhort all men therefore, who call themselves after the name of Christ, or have taken upon them his name according to law, to begin to prepare themselves to act according to his will, as set forth by all the holy prophets since the world began. And we recommend to them a careful and prayerful reading of the prophets, in order that they may see what they have got to do, or else they cannot be of the church of the last days.

Finally brethren, remember that you are saints, and as such, you cannot fashion yourselves after this world, for the fashion of this world passeth away. But be ye fashioned after Christ in all things, by keeping his law, and by meditating upon it both day And night.

And may the God of all grace, preserve you, till his kingdom and coming; is the desire of your brother in tribulation, and in the patience of Christ.

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