(Newspapers of Ohio)

Hamilton County, Ohio

The Evangelist
1832-1843 Articles

Walter Scott -- Restorer of the "Ancient Gospel"

Feb 05 '32  |  Apr 01 '33  |  Sep 02 '33
Oct 01 '38  |  Dec 01 '38  |  Jul 01 '39
Sep 01 '40  |  Jan 01 '41  |  Feb 01 '41
Mar 01 '41  |  May 01 '41  |  Jul 01 '41
Feb 01 '42  |  Sep 01 '43

Articles Index  |  Christian Baptist and Millennial Harbinger


To him that loved us, & washed us from our sins in his own blood, & hath made us kings and priests
unto God, even to his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. - Amen, - Rev., Chap. 1.
Vol. I.                          Cincinnati, Monday, February 5, 1832.                        No. 2.

Extract of a Circular Letter,
for the Mahoning Association of 1830.

BELOVED BRETHREN -- The Christian of the 19th century has been permitted to witness the accomplishment of wonderful events; Providence has stationed him on a sublime eminence, from which he can behold the fulfilment of illustrious prophecies, and look backwards upon nearly the whole train of events leading to the Millennium.

Afar off, and upon the back-ground of the picture before him, of wonderful extent, and in all the greatness of imperial ruin, appear the three great empires of Babylon, Persia and Greece. Nearer to hand lays Rome, eternal Rome! terrible in her origin, terrible in her glory, terrible in her decline and fall! Living and acting through a long series of ages, she approaches the very verge of the present scene of things, till she assumes the distracted form of the ten kingdoms spoken of by Daniel, the remains of which now reel to and fro upon the face of Europe like a drunken man, ready to be ingulphed in the yawning judgments of Almighty God. Sic transit Gloria Mundi.

But from amidst the blaze of her glory, see yet loftier scenes arise -- Behold the kingdom of our Lord Jesus; awaking under the eye of the imperial Ceasrs; small in its beginning, it rolls forward, it survives all Roman greatness; and that which was yonder, a little stone, is here become a vast mountain, and fills the whole earth; the waters which yonder issued from the threshold of the Lord's house, have here arisen, they have become waters to swim in -- a river that cannot be passed over!

Here, too, are the impostures of Mahomet and the Pope, with temples the lowermost part consecrated to God -- the upper to the worship of idols. Arrayed in purple and scarlet, decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, behold the apostate church mounted upon her imperial beast, holds forth to the intoxicated nations a golden cup in her hand, full of abomination and of the filthiness of her fornication; on her fair, but unblushing forehead; is inscribed Mystery -- Babylon the Great -- the Mother of Harlots, and abominations of the earth. She shall be thrown down with the violence of a mill-stone plunged into the midst of the ocean.

Her portentous offspring also, issued to mankind at the mature age of 666, with the head of a Lamb and the heart of a Dragon -- the Inquisition raiseth itself on high, with the power, the delusion, and cruelty, of its parent -- it comes roving o'er the earth, and causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their forehead -- and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Here, also, is the French Atheism, filled with all presumption, and magnifying himself above every God -- he speaketh marvelous things against the true God -- his hands are filled with spears, and his skirts are drenched in blood -- but he shall come to his end, says Daniel, and none shall help him.

All these things, beloved brethren, have passed in review before the christian of the 19th century; but if we have had to witness schemes of policy and superstition, so wild and enthusiastic, and apparently unfavorable to the true religion, we have seen many things introduced, also highly conducive to its promulgation and reception among mankind -- above all we have seen the church in America, seated down under a gracious and efficient government, affording her and all men an unprecedent security of life and property -- and if her unity be still a desideratum, we ought to remember that the saints, for nearly 300 years, have been combating tyranny and superstition, with astonishing success, until those who despise every name and phrase; not found in the scripture, have become probably by far the most numerous party of professors in the United States. But who would have thought it remained for any so late as 1827, to restore to the world the manner, the primitive manner, of administering to mankind, the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; or which of you, brethren, would have thought, two years ago, of men coming from 40 to 120 miles to the ministries of the infant church for baptism? Yet these things have actually occurred; and who cannot see that, by the blessings of God, the ancient gospel and ancient order of the church, must prevail, to the certain abolition of all those contumacious sects which now so woefully afflict mankind.

Brethren, we have a right to expect great things at the hand of our Father -- if we are united and stand fast, striving together for the faith of the gospel. And be it known to you, brethren, that individuals, eminently skilled in the word of God, the history of the world, and the progress of human improvement, see reason to expect changes much greater than have yet occurred, and which shall give to political society, and to the church, a different, a very different complexion from what many anticipate.

The Millennium -- the Millennium described in scripture -- will doubtless be a wonder, a terrible wonder, to All."   W. S.

Notes: (forthcoming)


To him that loved us, & washed us from our sins in his own blood, & hath made us kings and priests
unto God, even to his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. - Amen, - Rev., Chap. 1.
Vol. II                             Cincinnati, April 1, 1833.                           No. 4.


LETTER  No. 4.

Can you return with me to 1827? Can you imagine yourself seated on some lofty peak upon the sea shore, the wild ocean at your feet, spreading wide, and covered over with innumerable vessels, some at hand, some afar off, and all of them with canvass in full display to catch the living breezes as they blow?

If you can, the picture will afford us no incorrect medium through which to take a rapid retrospective view of Christianity, up to the period referred to....

'The Church of God' is a vessel of original mould and bottom, but differing in the first instance from the Christian, which, as originally fitted out, had more sail than ballast. The Church had more ballast than sail, and so moved forward tardily till meeting with 'The Restoration,' she hoisted an additional sail and now the three ships are all along to Jerusalem, in a league of peace and amity!

But to 'the Restoration.' You must see, Sir, that she is a vessel of the divinest and most peculiar mould. I do not refer to any display she makes, for she makes none; but look at the length and strength and sturdiness of her timbers! Her keel and ribs are made as for eternity! and within her capacious walls may walk at ease, if they would walk in the truth, the whole world of mankind....

In 1827, then, there were three parties on the carpet, struggling to restore original christianity. The first of them calling ourselves the Churches of Christ. The second calling themselves Christians, and the third laying at that time chiefly in the bosom of the Regular Baptist Churches, and originating with the writings and labours of Bro. A. Campbell. The first of these party's concerning which more particularly by and by, up to 1826 belonged,
Your humble servant,               W. S.        

Notes: (forthcoming)


To him that loved us, & washed us from our sins in his own blood, & hath made us kings and priests
unto God, even to his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. - Amen, - Rev., Chap. 1.
Vol. II                          Cincinnati, September 2, 1833.                        No. 9.

The inhabitants of Jackson county, Missouri, have voted the following resolutions against the Mormonites:

'1. That no Mormon shall in future move and settle in this county.

'2. That those now here, who shall give a definite pledge of their intentions, within a reasonable time to remove out of the county, shall be allowed to remain unmolested until they have sufficient time to sell their property and close their business without any material sacrifice.

'3. That the Editor of the "Star" be required forthwith to close his office and discontinue the business of printing in this county; and as to all other stores and shops belonging to the sect, their owners must in every case strictly comply with the terms of the second article of this declaration, and upon failure, prompt and efficient measures will be taken to close the same.

'4. That the Mormon leaders here, are required to use their influence in preventing any further emigration of their distant brethren to this county, and counsel and advise their brethren here to comply with the above regulations.

'5. That those who fail to comply with the requisites, be referred to those of their brethren who have the gifts of divination, and of unknown tongues, to inform them of the lot that awaits them.'

In conformity with the foregoing, the citizens of Jackson county deputed a committee of thirteen persons to wait on the Mormonites, and inform them of the determination of said meeting. The Mormonites refused to leave the place -- but held out some hopes of a peaceable arrangement, if permitted to consult their friends in Ohio and elsewhere. The length of the demand would not suit the views of those who composed the public meeting, and they forthwith proceeded to demolish the printing office of the Mormonites. After razing it to the ground, and securing the press and types, the meeting adjourned to meet again on the 23d of July. When this meeting took place, the committee appointed by the first reported that an arrangement had been made with the Mormonite leaders, for their removal out of Jackson county. This removal is to take place as soon as possible. On making this known to the meeting, it was acquiesced in, and the meeting was adjourned.

On the above proceedings we need say nothing more, than that they savor of religious persecution. In our opinion, the citizens of Jackson county might just as reasonably hold meetings, and pass resolutions against many other religious sects, as the Mormonites.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VI.                                 Carthage, Ohio, October 1, 1838.                               No. 10.


The following letter was sent under date of 11th August, to one of the brethren in Ohio. Mr. Parish, the writer, is one of the 70 persons, who was appointed to the high priesthood by Messrs. Smith and Rigdon, and he had therefore a right to know something of the matter. This vile imposture, like an abominable tumor, is swelling and coming to a head again in the State of Missouri. The whole plot in Kirtland having come to nothing after flooding some parts of the country with their worthless bank notes, Joseph and Sidney to save their bacon have reached the holy land in Missouri, whither their devotees are resorting in vast numbers. Seventy wagons in one train it is reported, were lately seen on their way thither:

                                                  KIRTLAND, AUG. 11th. 1838.
Sir -- In answer to your inquiries,

1st. Whether I believe in the book of Mormon as being of divine origin? I answer, I do not; and that for the best of reasons, viz. Martin Harris, one of the subscribing witnesses; has come out at last, and says he never saw the plates, from which the book purports to have been translated, except in vision; and he further says that any man who says he has seen them in any other way is a liar, Joseph not excepted; -- see new edition, Book of Covenants, page 170, which agrees with Harris's testimony.

2d. Whether J. Smith's brothers are still in the faith? I answer, that I do not believe they are, or ever were; neither do I believe that Joseph or Rigdon either believe in the Bible, book of Mormon, or book of Covenants; they are notorious infidels. Smith says he has got as good an inquisition around him in Missouri, as the pope ever had, and he says that Mahomet was a true prophet, and he propagated his religion by the sword, and so will he; this he intends to do to my certain knowledge, if his own assertions can be believed.

3d. Orson Pratt was preaching Mormonism in New York the last I heard from him.

4th. William McLellen, Oliver Cowdery, David and John Whitmers and many others have withdrawn from them. Lyman Johnson, one of the 12 apostles, withdrew from them, and they tried to kill him, they fired thirteen guns at him while he was leaving.     W. PARRISH.

To. E. Holmes.

Note: See also Warren Parrish's Feb. 15, 1838 letter to the Ohio Painesville Republican.


Carthage,  Ohio,  December, 1838.


It may be asked us as a previous question -- Whether the true gospel required to be restored either in matter or form in 1827 -- Whether at that time a person equal not merely to the disentaglement of the great element of belief -- that "Jesus Christ is the Son of God," but also to the urging upon society attention to the saving nature of this oracle was wanted -- Whether a person with such just views of the original Gospel as should enable him in the confidence of true faith to receive converts to remission and the Holy Spirit, was needed -- Whether a man was needed to inculcate prompt obedience to the gospel, and to say to such of his audience as believed "Why tarry you? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling upon the name of the Lord" -- finally, Whether a person was wanted who, having gone this far, felt himself prepared to take the converts, and avowedly immerse them for remission and for the Holy Spirit?

It would but illy comport with self-respect for a person to urge that he was the man, but it is admitted in this reformation, I imagine, that if the true gospel is not proclaimed and administered by our evangelists, it is proclaimed and administered by no Protestants, and, consequently that such a person is yet wanted to restore to order and society the Original Gospel. But that this was done in 1827, or, at least, was supposed by very sensible men to have been done, the following testimonies will further prove: and we insert them the more willingly in order that father Campbell may not appear as a sole witness in a matter in which more than one person thinks he has a right to write. The excellent person who wrote the following will not, it is presumed, be denied the right of knowing what had been proclaimed in the Mahonning Association by himself, brother Alexander Campbell and others anterior to 1827.

My Dear Brother Scott, -- This letter leaves me and my family in usual good health, for which I cannot sufficiently express the gratitude due to our adorable heavenly Father. We hope it goes to find you and family in the enjoyment of the same blessing. I write this letter by request of your numerous friends who are anxious to see you, and who anticipate a gratification of their wishes on Friday preceeding the first Lord's day of November, at one o'clock, P. M. We feel as though we could, with propriety, solicit a personal interview with Brother Campbell and yourself, knowing that your presence will create a desire in others to read your works, and in reading to find assistance how to understand God's method of saving sinners as recorded in his holy word.

We also feel as though we had a special claim upon yourself, as this part of the country is the field you first occupied, and where God honored you as the restorer of the ancient gospel. You can never forget New Lisbon and Warren, those places where it commenced, and whence it sounded out, and has spread to every quarter of the globe. It is a great consolation to me when I reflect that God honored me with being your companion in labor at that time and to associate me with you, and with the venerable Thomas Campbell, who came to your assistance, and who labored to indefatibably for five months, and bore with us the contradiction of sinners, &c. &c.
A. BENTLEY.         

Note: Both Elder Scott and Elder Bentley conveniently leave out any 1827 reference to the arch-apostate, Sidney Rigdon, of course. William H. Whitsitt says: "who was the editor of the Book of Mormon [?]...The first point that is claimed to be established is that the editor was a divine of the Disciples persuasion. In its theological positions and coloring, the Book of Mormon is a volume of Disciple theology... the Book of Mormon bears traces of two several redactions. It contains in the first redaction that type of doctrine which the Disciples held and proclaimed prior to Nov. 18, 1827, when they had not yet formally embraced what is commonly considered to be the tenet of baptismal remission... It also contains the type of doctrine which the Disciples have been defending since Nov. 18, 1827 under the name of the Ancient Gospel, of which the tenant of so-called baptismal remission is a leading feature... Mr. Sidney Rigdon: The above specifications, which may all clearly be demonstrated out of the Book of Mormon, point to Mr. Sidney Rigdon (q.v.) as the theological editor of the book. Rigdon was the only Disciple minister who vigorously and continuously demanded that his brethren should adopt the additional points that have been indicated."



Vol. VII.                                       Carthage, Ohio, July 1, 1839.                                     No. 7.


The Boston Recorder of last week contains the following singular development of the origin and history of the Mormon Bible. It accounts most satisfactorily for the existence of the book, a fact which heretofore it has been difficult to explain. It was difficult to imagine, how a work containing so many indications of being the production of a cultivated mind, should be connected with a knavery so impudent and a superstition so gross as that which must have characterized the founders of this pretended religious sect. The present narrative, which, independently of the attestations annexed, appears to be by no means improbable, was procured from the writer by the Rev. Mr. Stow, of Holliston, who remarks that he has "had occasion to come in contact with Mormonism in its grossest forms." It was communicated by him for publication in the Recorder.
                        Boston Daily Advertiser.


As this book has excited much attention, and has been put, by a certain new sect, in the place of the sacred scriptures, I deem it a duty which I owe to the public to state what I know touching its origin. That its claims to a divine origin are wholly unfounded, needs no proof to a mind unperverted by the grossest delusions. That any sane person should rank it higher than any other merely human composition, is a matter of the greatest astonishment; yet it is received as divine by some who dwell in enlightened New England, and even by those who have sustained the character of devoted Christians. Learning recently that Mormonism had found its way into a church in Massachusetts, and has impregnated some of its members with its gross delusions, so that excommunication has become necessary, I am determined to delay no longer doing what I can to strip the mask from this monster of sin, and to lay open this pit of abominations.

Rev. Solomon Spaulding, to whom I was united in marriage in early life, was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and was distinguished for a lively imagination and a great fondness for history. At the time of our marriage, he resided in Cherry Valley, New York. From this place we removed to New Salem, Ashtabula county, Ohio; sometimes called Conneaut, as it is situated upon Conneaut creek. Shortly after our removal to this place, his health sunk, and he was laid aside from active labors. In the town of New Salem there are numerous mounds and forts, supposed by many to be the dilapidated dwellings and fortifications of a race now extinct. These ancient relics arrest the attention of the new settlers, and become objects of research for the curious. Numerous implements were found and other articles evincing great skill in the arts. Mr. Spaulding being an educated man, and passionately fond of history, took a lively interest in these developments of antiquity; and in order to beguile the hours of retirement, and furnish employment for his lively imagination, he conceived the idea of giving a historical sketch of this long lost race. Their extreme antiquity of course would lead him to write in the most ancient style, and as the Old Testament is the most ancient book in the world, he imitated its style as nearly as possible. His sole object in writing this historical romance was to amuse himself and his neighbors. This was about the year 1812. Hull's surrender at Detroit occurred near the same time, and I recollect the date from that circumstance. As he progressed in his narrative, the neighbors would come in from time to time to hear portions read, and a great interest in the work was excited among them. It claimed to have been written by one of the lost nation, and to have been recovered from the earth, and, assumed the title of "Manuscript Found." The neighbors would often inquire how Mr. S. progressed in deciphering "the manuscript," and when he had a sufficient portion prepared he would inform them, and they would assemble to hear it read. He was enabled, from his acquaintance with the classics and ancient history, to introduce many singular names, which were particularly noticed by the people, and could be easily recognized by them. Mr. Solomon Spaulding had a brother, Mr. John Spaulding, residing in the place at the time, who was perfectly familiar with this work, and repeatedly heard the whole of it read.

From New Salem, we removed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Here Mr. S. found an acquaintance and friend, in the person of Mr. Patterson, an editor of a newspaper. He exhibited his manuscript to Mr. P., who was very much pleased with it, and borrowed it for perusal. He retained it a long time, and informed Mr. S. that if he would make out a title-page and preface, he would publish it, and it might be a source of profit. -- This Mr. S. refused to do, for reasons which I cannot now state. Sidney Rigdon, (* one of the leaders and founders of the sect,) who has figured so largely in the history of the Mormons, was at this time connected with the printing office of Mr. Patterson, as is well known in that region, and as Rigdon himself has frequently stated. Here he had ample opportunity to become acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's manuscript, and to copy it if he chose. It was a matter of notoriety and interest to all connected with the printing establishment. At length the manuscript was returned to its author, and soon after we removed to Amity, Washington county, Pa., where Mr. S. deceased in 1816. The manuscript then fell into my hands, and was carefully preserved. It has frequently been examined by my daughter, Mrs. M'Kenstry, of Monson, Massachusetts, with whom I now reside, and by other friends. After the "Book of Mormon" came out, a copy of it was taken to New Salem, the place of Mr. Spaulding's former residence, and the very place where the "Manuscript Found" was written. A woman-preacher appointed a meeting there, and in the meeting read and repeated copious extracts from the "Book of Mormon." The historical part was immediately recognized by all the older inhabitants as the identical work of Mr. Spaulding, in which they had been so deeply interested years before. Mr. John Spaulding was present, who is an eminently pious man, and recognized perfectly the work of his brother. He was amazed and afflicted that it should have been perverted to so wicked a purpose. His grief found vent in a flood of tears; and he arose on the spot, and expressed to the meeting his deep sorrow and regret, that the writings of his sainted brother should be used for a purpose so vile and shocking. The excitement in New Salem became so great, that the inhabitants had a meeting, and deputed Dr. Philastus Hurlbut, one of their number, to repair to this place and to obtain from me the original manuscript of Mr. Spaulding, for the purpose of comparing it with the Mormon Bible, to satisfy their own minds and to prevent their friends from embracing an error so delusive. This was in the year 1834. Dr. Hurlbut brought with him an introduction and request for the manuscript, signed by Messrs. Henry Lake, Aaron Wright, and others, with all whom I was acquainted, as they were my neighbors when I resided in New Salem.

I am sure that nothing could grieve my husband more, were he living, than the use which have been made of his work. The air of antiquity which was thrown about the composition doubtless suggested the idea of converting it to the purposes of delusion. Thus an historical romance, with the addition of a few pious expressions and extracts from the sacred scriptures, has been construed into a new Bible, and palmed off upon a company of poor, deluded fanatics, as divine. I have given the previous brief narration, that this work of deep deception and wickedness may be searched to the foundation, and its author exposed to the contempt and execration he so justly deserves.
                                 MATILDA DAVISON.

Rev. Solomon Spaulding was the first husband of the narrator of the above history. Since his decease she has been married to a second husband, by the name of Davison. She is now residing in this place; is a woman of irreproachable character, and an humble Christian, and her testimony is worthy of implicit confidence.
            A. ELY, D. D., Pastor Cong. Church, in Monson.
            D. R. AUSTIN, Principal of Monson Academy.
Monson, (Mass.) April 1, 1839.

Since reading "Mormonism Unveiled" we had but little doubt that Sidney Rigdon is the leading conjuror in this diabolical affair; and that the widow of Solomon Spaulding, if found, could give some authentic and satisfactory information on the subject of the Book of Mormon -- so far at least as the romance of Mr. Spaulding, the real basis of the fraud, was concerned. It would seem that she has been found in the wife of a second husband, Mrs. Davison, and that the whole affair is now at length fairly divulged. Much pains ought to be taken to send this document through the length and breadth of the land -- as the emissaries of Smith, Rigdon, and Co., like the father of lies, are ever on the alert to beguile unstable souls, and continually lying in wait to deceive. The gullability of the present generation has not, in the memory of history, been often equaled -- never surpassed. A people ignorant of one Bible are always an easy prey to the ministers of delusion and error.
                            A. C.

When "Mormonism" made its appearance in Ohio, we threw ourself into our saddle, and in company with our son in the common faith Dr. Richardson, rode 100 miles in the dead of winter to examine it, and to defend the churches which groaned under or lay in the immediate vicinity of its baleful, blighting influence. Rigdon the shameless impostor, spoken of in the above letter, had anterior to this been a Baptist minister, but hearing by his relative Mr. B[entley], of the true gospel of Christ, he visited our field of labor, and voraciously seized upon my reasonings of the gospel of Christ, and engrafted them on the abominable imposition to which soon after he joined himself. This accounts for the success of the ministers of Mormonism, for the Golden Bible, the book in question, is never once spoken of till the very statement of the gospel for which our own Reformation is now remarkable, is first submitted. The converts being thus made by a veritable proclamation of the gospel, are then taken and declaratively immersed for the remission of their sins and the spirit of Christ; that these people first state the gospel in its original terms, and afterwards introduce their imposition of the Book of Mormon, is known to every one who has attended with care to their procedure, and that Rigdon filched from us that elementary method of stating the gospel, I will cite for witnesses Rigdon's Brother-in-Law, the excellent Mr. Bentley, also Wm. Hayden, Dr. Thomas Wright, and the brethren of Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, who probably will as long as they live recollect Rigdon's visit to their town.

That Rigdon was ever connected with the printing office of Mr. Patterson or that this gentleman ever possessed a printing office in Pittsburgh, is unknown to me, although I lived there, and also know Mr. Patterson very well, who is a bookseller. But Rigdon was a Baptist minister in Pittsburgh, and I knew him to be perfectly known to Mr. Robert Patterson.

Why is not Mr. Patterson's testimony adduced in this case? He is now in Pittsburgh, and can doubtless throw light upon this part of the narrative, which, to me at least, appears exceedingly doubtful, if not positively erroneous. The Lord willing, we shall see to this matter and report accordingly.
                            W. S.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VIII.                                   Carthage, Ohio, September 1, 1840.                                 No. 9.


(under construction)



The march of science and triumph of civilization must carry in their train liberty and toleration in matters of religion; and the peace now prevailing among Christian Powers affords an admirable occasion to inquire into the expediency and justice of extending further protection to the Jewish people. It is true that all the civilized powers of Europe have removed nearly the disabilities under which the ancient people have for centuries struggled; but something more remains to be done. A great, an important act of justice remains yet to be consummated, and it only can be done by and with the consent and exertions of Christendom; namely, To restore the Jews their rights as a nation...

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IX.                                       Carthage, Ohio, January 1, 1841.                                     No. 1.


The Book of Mormon. -- Translated by Joseph Smith Jr., third edition carefully revised by the translator. Nauvoo, Ill., printed by Robinson and Smith. Stereotyped by Shepard and Stearns, West 3rd St Cincinati, Ohio, 1840.

The Mormon Bible, of which the above is the title page, purports to give the history of a certain family which, under the guidance of its imagined father named Lehi, emigrated from Jerusalem southward to the regions around the red sea about the year of the world 3400, and afterwards from these parts westward to the American continent about six hundred years anterior to the christian era. The family is fancifully described as having kept and preserved records of its affairs for the period of a thousand years, extending from the time of its imagined arrival in the new world to the four hundred and twentieth year after Christ. The plates upon which the ideal history is said to have been engraved were called the plates of Nephi. These descending with other ancestral lumber from father to son through a long list of governors came finally by the favour of Ammaron into the possession of Mormon son of Mormon a lineal descendant of the original settlers, and a priest and prince among his brethren. Mormon added to them his own record, and at his death consigned the whole to his son Maroni [sic].

To this history is added by Maroni an abridgement of the history of another family styled the family of Jared. Said Jared is affirmed to have been one of those antique personages who were present at the building of the tower of Babel, and who were scattered abroad upon the face of the earth in consequence of the confusion of tongues which obtained at that memorable era.

Finally; this son of Mormon  Maroni who had abridged the history of Jared. adds to the whole the things of his day -- seals up the vision and concludes the fiction by depositing the ideal plates with their fancied contents under ground, to be brought forth, according to prophecy, in due season, or 1428 years after their interment, by Joseph Smith Jr., author and proprietor, while digging for money amid the hills of Manchester, Ontario Co., N. Y.

These are the outlines of the Book of Mormon, certainly one of the dullest, baldest and most barren of interest in both thought and expression of all the books of fiction it has ever been our fortune to peruse. The prosaic monotony, which pervades it, is scarcely broken once, by aught either in the form of poetry or rhetoric. The writer is, I believe on one occasion, either by extraordinary inspiration or by a very natural sympathy led to compare something to an ass; but with the exception of this figure of the ass, the whole performance from Alpha to Omega, from the beginning to ending, is a tissue of the most abominable and prosaic farrago ever published. Saying nothing of its high-handed profanity or rather blasphemy, for it must have been written by an atheist, we hesitate not to pronounce it both in plot and under plot, in thought, expression and catastrophe the very apocrypha of all apocryphies without matter, without manner, without language, without logic, and infinitely beneath contempt as it is infinitely beneath criticism.

The boldness of this conspiracy against Christ and the apostles appears especially conspicuous in three doctrines vis:

1st. Where the impostor confounds history with prophecy, or substitutes the one for the other, putting in the mouths of his fictious seers the language of the apostles and causing them to utter a thousand things concerning Christ, his apostles, John the Baptist and the virgin Mary in the style of the New Testament four, five, and even six hundred years before the New Testament was written; and all that time before either John, Jesus, Mary, or the apostles were born into the world!

2d Where setting up a worship which he styles the law of Moses, he does contrary to that law, transfer the priesthood to the tribe of Ephraim, of which tribe God or Moses spoke nothing as pertaining to the priesthood.

3d And last, but not least, where he projects a new church -- the Millennial church -- to be founded not on the scriptures alone, but upon the Bible and Book of Mormon united, of which church Joseph Smith is to be Seer, Apostle, and Fact Totum in order to confer the spirit of Mormonism on all comers, in signs, wonders, and divers miracles, according to his will!

Such are the prominent features of the history and the doctrine of Mormonism, and that the imposture may be more certainly imposed on the listener, he is first of all dazzled and afterwards won by an exhibition of the true gospel of Christ in its utmost simplicity, and in language and expression that can rarely be condemned, immediate obedience to the faith being pled for in matter and manner entirely as it is argued for among ourselves.

In reading the Book of Mormon we perceived readily that Baptism for the remission of sins is not in it, and that this is not a doctrine which is the natural growth of the system itself! It becomes a question therefore, By what accident did the advocates of this imposture graft upon their scheme this doctrine? For the plan of remission laid down by J. Smith and his co-adjutors is "remission by fire" not by water; the following are his words as they stand in the Mormon Oracle page 418 Stereotyped Edition 2nd book Nephi.

"For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh remission of sins by fire and by the holy Ghost."

But baptism for the remission of sins and the holy spirit together with the other part of that excellent order which distinguishes the proclamation of the gospel among our brethren, is not the only graft found in this vicious plant Mormonism. Its abettors have inoculated their deadly Upas with our plea for immediate obedience also, and now everywhere demand submission to baptism upon the spot in order to [effect?] the remission of sins!

The accident by which these impostors were put in possession of our manner of stating and pleading the gospel will be shown in a subsequent No.

We have here given the outlines or most important features of the Book of Mormon considered as a book of history and doctrine. Touching its history it affects to unfold, as we have said, the causes which led to the settlement of the American continent, and account for the presence on it of the aborigines or Indians. This is presumed to be done by the prosaic narative which is given of the two fictious families of Lehi and Jared, the former a Jew from Jerusalem, the latter a Gentile from Babel. Touching its doctrine we have stated that the bold and wicked projectors of this imposture have anticipated in their profane romance, by six hundred years, Christianity in all its peculiarities, and by so doing have made religion like the lame devil in the old French novel, stand upon one foot -- namely; Prophecy alone. Yes, the impostors who invented this fable seem to have had so limited an acquaintance with our religion considered as a system depending upon the harmony which subsists between prediction and fact, prophecy and history, or the apostles of Christ and the prophets of the Jews, that they have absolutely erected christianity upon one foot namely: prophecy alone! and have made the woods of Mormon ring with faith and repentance, the holy spirit, the resurrection, the atonement, crucifixion, baptism and all other christian matters 540 years before the birth of the Redeemer. See Book Mosiah pg. 189-215.

There is a difference between foreknowing and foretelling, as there is also a difference between false prophets and true ones. The true prophet foretels, but he does not foreknow; hence the Jewish prophets being used as mere instruments of the holy spirit to foretel without understanding what they foretold, did of their own accord, as Peter informs us, inquire accurately and diligently into the hidden imports of their own predictions touching the suffering of the Messiah, and the glory which was to follow. But their curiosity was represented by the spirit's revealing to them that all things embodied in their predictions were for another people and another dispensation; so that the Jewish prophets died and were buried without knowing the import of their own prophecies: infidels and ignorant people suppose that true prophets foreknow events, and false ones do not. Now the very reverse of this is the truth in the case, the true prophet is ignorant, the false prophet knowing: the former is an instrument in the hand of God, and merely foretels; the latter is a knave in the hand of the Devil and foretels only because he foreknows by cunning calculations. Hence even a true prophecy is but one witness at most; and would not be a witness at all unless sustained by history; or the regular occurrence of all those events to which its predictions point. God has, therefore, always raised up men to record history as well as men to record prophecy, and it is only when those two witnesses or two branches of testimony go hand in hand that they form one infallible proof for our faith to rest upon. Hence Christianity, as written in the New Testament, is said to stand upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets; but Christianity as ministered in the ideal family of Lehi in South America, 500 years before there was any Christianity, is made to stand upon the prophets alone; and who are they? Forsooth, fathers Lehi, Nephi, Jacob, Omni, Mosiah, Alma, and Mormon, or rawhead and bloody bones, for that is the etymological import of the word Mormon.

But that our readers may see that fathers Lehi, Nephi, and the other imaginary gentry of the Golden Bible, are to be classed with those prophets who foreknow as well as foretel, we will let them hear Rabbi Nephi in his plainness. After observing that Isaiah spoke too dark or hard for his people, he tries his hand himself, and says, "Wherefore I shall prophecy according to the plainness which has been with me since I came out of Jerusalem with my father." "Again, my soul delighteth in plainness." Humph! father Nephi. Again: "Behold I proceed with mine own prophecies according to my plainness; in the which I know that no man can err." Here, then, the point before father Nephi is to outstrip the Jewish prophet in plainness, and to foretel the things of Christ in so striking a manner, that there shall be no need of history in the case, or any error whatever. But let us hear Mr. Rawhead in his plainness:

"For there is save one Messiah spoken of by the prophets, and that Messiah is he that should be rejected by the Jews. For according to the words of the prophets, the Messiah cometh in six hundred years from the time my father left Jerusalem; and according to the words of the prophets, and also the word of the angel of God, his name shall be Jesus Christ the Son of God." -- 2 Nephi, page 103.

Now, reader, if you are a prophet, beat this in plainness, if you can. Nephi felt so relieved by unburdening himself of this oracle, that he could not help expressing his high satisfaction thus: "And now brethren, I have spoken plain that ye cannot err." But hear him again: "As the Lord liveth, there is none other name given under heaven, save it be this Jesus Christ of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved." Having not only beat the Jewish prophets in plainness, but rivaled the apostles themselves, and even hit upon their very words, what think you reader; ought to be Nephi's reward? He tells us that on account of the plain manner in which he spoke, the Lord promised to have his predictions recorded, and "handed down from generation to generation," -- page 104, 2 book Nephi. On the same page he says we are made alive in Christ, "we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach Christ, we prophecy of Christ," This is plain work verily for the year of the world 3400, or six hundred years before Christ appeared! We could fill the Evangelist with the plain prophecies of father Nephi, but enough for the present. Mr. Goblin was certainly an Isaiah of a prophet, and must be allowed to have fairly beat him in plainness, and to have well understood what he foretold.     W. S.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IX.                                     Carthage, Ohio, February 1, 1841.                                   No. 2.


In the prophecies there are some seeming contradictions between predictions and their accomplishment.

"When, both a prediction, and the event foretold in it, are recorded in Scripture, there is sometimes, an appearance of disagreement and inconsistence between them.

This appearance generally arises from some difficulty in understanding the true meaning of the prediction; it may be occasioned by any of those causes which produce the peculiar difficulties of the prophetical writings; and, it is to be removed by the same means which serve for clearing these difficulties.

It may proceed from any sort of obscurity or ambiguity in the expression, or from any sort of uncertainty in the structure of a sentence.

In particular, it often proceeds from the figurative style of prophecy.

It may be occasioned by the ordinary manner of the prophets, predicting what relates to the moral and religious state of the world, in metaphors borrowed from the parts of the natural world.

It may be occasioned by the prophets expressing what relates to the Christian dispensation and worship, in terms borrowed from the Mosaic religion.

It may be occasioned, by a prediction relating only to one part of a complex character, or event, and, on that account, seeming to be inconsistent with the other parts of it; and the appearance will be removed, by taking in such predictions as relate to these other parts, and considering them all in connexion.

It sometimes arises from several of these causes, or from them all together.

But, reader, although for special purposes the holy scriptures present themselves for our faith with many difficulties, and candidly propound for examination things "hard to be understood," yet it is not so with the Book of Mormon. All is plain in the Golden Bible. There is neither type, figure, symbol, nor emblem here; all is as literal in the predictions of fathers Lehi and Nephi as history itself. Take the following as descriptive of the talent of Lehi for prophecy,

"Yea, even six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews; even a Messiah or, in other words a Savior of the world. And he also spake concerning the prophets, how great a number had testified of these things, concerning this Messiah, of whom he had spoken, or this Redeemer of the world. Wherefore, all mankind were in a lost and fallen state, and ever would be, save they should rely on this Redeemer.

And he spake also, concerning a prophet, which should come before the Messiah, to prepare the way of the Lord; yea, even he should go forth and cry in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for there standeth one among you whom ye know not; and he is mightier than I, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. And much spake my father concerning this thing.

And my father saith that he should baptise in Bethabaray, beyond Jordan; and he also spake, that he should baptise with water; even that he should baptise the Messiah with water. And after that he had baptised the Messiah with water, he should behold and bear record, that he had baptised the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.

And it came to pass that after my father had spoken these words, he spake unto my brethren concerning the gospel, which should be preached among the Jews; and also, concerning the dwindling of the Jews in unbelief. And after that they had slain the Messiah which should come, and after that he had been slain, he should rise from the dead, and should make himself manifest, by the Holy Ghost, unto the Gentiles.

Yea, even my father spake much concerning the Gentiles, and also concerning the house of Israel, that they should be compared like unto an olive tree, whose branches should be broken off, and should be scattered upon all the face of the earth. Wherefore, he said, it must needs be that we should be led with one accord, into the land of promise unto the fulfilling of the word of the Lord, that we should be scattered upon all the face of the earth. And after that the house of Israel should be scattered, they should be gathered together again; or, in fine, that after the Gentiles had received the fullness of the gospel, the natural branches of the olive tree, or the remnants of the house of Israel, should be grafted in, or come to the knowledge of the true Messiah, their Lord and their Redeemer. And after this manner of language did my father prophesy and speak unto my brethren; and also many more things, which I do not write in this book: for I have written as many of them, as were expedient for me, in mine other book: And all these things of which I have spoken, were done as my father dwelt in a tent, in the valley of Lemuel."

What a miserable commixture the above citation is, of New Testament scriptures and words and phrases, borrowed from Methodism and other corrupted systems of Protestantism! Here we have the advent of the Messiah, the entrance of the Harbinger, Baptism, the immersion of the Saviour, the gospel, the death of Christ, his resurrection, Paul's olive tree, the grafting in of the Gentiles, the dispersion of the Jews; and their final restoration, all told us in a breath; and told us too, without figure, trope, type, symbol, or emblem, in the very language of the New Testament and modern divinity! Swedenborgh averred he was in heaven and saw an angel of a size so enormous that it would have required many days to travel over the bridge of his nose; and it is said that his whole system was written as a burlesque, and to test the credulity of his fellow creatures. But many have believed it nevertheless; and we have even among us in the far West Swedenborghers, or New Jerusalemites, for they, like the Mormons, imagine that their master was a deputy under Christ to found the Millennial church. But Swedenborgh was vailed in figures, tropes, and parables: It is not so with Joseph Smith: He speaks plainly. He lies openly; and hopes to succeed by inspiring falsehood with the fearlessness of truth. You have heard Lehi. Here comes his dear son Nephi, who speaking of the first coming of the Messiah says,

"And he spake unto me again, saying. look! And I looked, and beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people which were sick, and which were afflicted of all manner of diseases, and with devils, and unclean spirits; and the angel spake, and shewed all these things unto me. And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out.

And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying, look! And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the everlasting God, was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record. And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross, and slain for the sins of the world. And after that he was slain, I saw the multitudes of the earth, thatthey were gathered together to fight against the apostles of the Lamb; forthus were the twelve called by the angel of the Lord."

As the former part of Lehi's vision related to the descent of the Messiah upon the old continent, the latter part promises his appearance on the new, namely; America, and as he had made twelve apostles for the one, so he would have as many for the other; accordingly he proceeds.

"And I saw the Heavens open, and the Lamb of God descending out of heaven; and he came down and shewed himself unto them. And I also saw and bear record, that the Holy Ghost fell upon twelve others; and they were ordained of God, and chosen.

And the angel spake unto me, saying, behold the twelve disciples of the Lamb, which are chosen to minister unto thy seed. And he saith unto me, thou remembereth the twelve apostles of the Lamb? Behold, they are they which shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel: wherefore, the twelve ministers of thy seed, shall be judged of them; for ye are of the house of Israel; and these twelve ministers which thou beholdest, shall judge thy seed. And behold, they are righteous forever; for because of their faith in the Lamb of God, their garments are made white in his blood."

Perhaps there could not be framed a more daring piece of profanity than the above quotation. It demonstrates that the heart of the wretched being who composed it, was lost to all sense of divine authority. Who but a person disbelieving wholly in our religion could have dared to treat the Son of the living God, and the sacred things of our religion thus?     W. S.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IX.                                       Carthage, Ohio, March 1, 1841.                                     No. 3.


We have had a visit of the Mormons. There came hither a few weeks ago, according to a previous appointment, a Mr. Lummerce, a preacher of this sect. The topic was the Millennium, of course; and we attended, with the rest of our good citizens. The views delivered were precisely those of Winchester, afterwards retailed in a contracted form by Elias Smith,

In conclusion, he engaged to prove at a subsequent meeting, that the Mormon Bible had been a subject of prediction with the Jewish prophets. At this juncture we could not resist the temptation which his words afforded us of asking him for the texts to which he intended to refer for authority. He gave us them to the amount of perhaps half a dozen. The curiosity of the people was excited, and at the succeeding meeting the house was crowded. After his thundering harangue we sat down coolly and examined his texts, as we say, one by one. The first of them which we heard, was in Ezekiel c. 37, verses xvi and xvii: -- "Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, "For Judah, and for the Children of Israel, his companions." Then take another stick, and write upon it, "For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the House of Israel, his companions." And join them one to another unto one stick, and they shall become one stick in thine hand," It is known to our readers, no doubt that the nation of Israel was dismembered in the days of Rehoboam the son of Solomon. This schism was the source of unnumbered woes to both parties, for they continued to vex each other till the moment that God carried the ten tribes into Assyria. The intention of Ezekiel's prophecy then, is to promote the hopes of God's people, who were still existing in the nation, by giving them assurances that the time was coming when the tribes should again be united, and form but one people, or to use God's own words: "I will make them one nation -- they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all." -- v. 22. But what does our reader imagine the two sticks or sceptres signified in the hand of our sagacious Mormon? I will tell him. He vouched then with much sound and little sense, that the two sticks signified was our Bible and the two sceptres in the hands of the prophet, to become one Book for converting the world -- to Mormonism of course, and for the bringing back of the Jews to their own land! We need not tell the reader that this commissioned officer of Joseph Smith, Jr., supplied us in this place with two sticks to break his own head with. It was enough: all his other references were equally pertinent, and equally impertinent; the people perceived the imposture, and like a candle in the socket, Mormonism expired on the floor of the schoolhouse, where it had been for a few minutes lighted up. But this only by the way.

We promised to show our readers that this vulgar imposture of the Mormon Bible had anticipated Christianity by hundreds of years, and had described the aborigines of the American continent as being possessed of all its peculiar privileges, principles and ordinances long before the divine institution was brought into existence by its proper author, our Lord Jesus Christ. And this will do, if God permit.

We have had ourselves, during the last year, touching the name Christian, somewhat of a contention, characterized on all sides perhaps with too great intensity of feeling. Had King Benjamin of the Golden Bible been our dictator, he would have settled the business in short order. When he had resigned the government in favor of his son Mosiah, and was about to go the way of all the earth, he promised to give his people a name. Well, the time came for imposing upon them the promised cognomen: and what does our reader imagine King Benjamin selected for the grand appellation? He chose Christian. "And now," said his kingship, "It shall come to pass that whosoever shall not take upon them the name of Christ, must be called by some other name; therefore he findeth himself on the left hand of God, And I would that you should remember also that this is the name that I said I should give unto you." Here, then, is the name of Christ imposed with a vengeance. Condemnation is declared to be the fate of all such as should refuse to wear it. And mark, reader, all this took place 124 years before Christ came, and ere the name Christian was ever uttered on earth. King Benjamin was a preacher as well as a prince, and on one occasion is said to have acquitted himself with such astonishing success, that his audience, like that of the late Mr. Whitfield's is described, as crying out in the agony of petulance, "O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ, that we may receive the forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God," -- page 150. Abinadi was a preacher, and held forth in the presence of King Noah. But Noah had too much experience to believe without evidence, and he ordered his guards to give the prophet his mittimus; so they burnt him. But Alma, a youth belonging to the priesthood, picked up the doctrine, and resorting to the woods of Mormon, he taught them first privately, and afterwards publicly, till 204 souls were baptized, and finally 450. These formed the first Christian church, something upwards of a hundred years before our religion was founded. We shall here quote the history of the first Mormon baptism introduced by Alma. Observe, however, that the compiler of this profane romance had no settled apprehension of the Christian baptism as being for the remission of sins. This piece of knowledge the impostors obtained from Rigdon at a later date than that of the publication of their Book. But here follows the baptism:

"And it came to pass that he said unto them, Behold, here are the waters of Mormon; for thus were they called. And now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light; yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort and to stand as witnesses of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life: Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him that ye will serve him and keep his commandments? that he may pour out his spirit more abundantly upon you. And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed, This is the desires of our hearts."

"And now it came to pass that Alma took Helam, he being one of the first, and went and stood forth in the water, and cried, saying, O Lord, pour out thy spirit upon thy servant, that he may do this work with holiness of heart. And when he had said these words, the spirit of the Lord was upon him, and he said, Helam, I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead, as to the mortal body; and may the spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ, whom he has prepared from the foundation of the world. And after Alma had said these words, both Alma and Helam were buried in the water; and they arose and came forth out of the water rejoicing, being filled with the spirit. And again, Alma took another, and went forth a second time into the water, and baptized him according to the first, only he did not bury himself again in the water. And after this manner he did baptize every one that went forth to the place of Mormon; and they were in number about 204 souls; yea, and they were baptized in the waters of Mormon, and were filled with the grace of God: and they were called the church of God, or the church of Christ, from that time forward.

"And it came to pass that whosoever was baptized by the power and authority of God, they was added to his church."

Of such stuff is this miserable and profane romance, -- the Golden Bible, composed, fitted, it may be, to deceive the unjudging, but certainly utterly incapable of commanding the belief of any human being who has the least desire to be guided by proof and truth. We once conversed with the impostor himself. He gave us, on the wharf at Cincinnati, his experience, and when we heard it, we could not refrain from telling him in answer, that there was not an old Methodist lady in the community, who would not, if put to the proof, tell a better story. The Book of Mormon, in spirit, matter and form, is, to all intents and purposes, worthy of Joseph Smith, Jr., -- its author and proprietor.

But what we wish our reader to observe by the quotations made from the profane Book of Mormon, is this, that the name of Christ, the peculiar principles and doctrines of the gospel, baptism, and all other matters recorded there as having been taught in America before, long before they had any existence on that other continent, and hundreds of years before Christ came upon earth.     W. SCOTT.

Note: Near the end of his comments, Elder Scott says: "We once conversed with the impostor himself." By this he probably means the June, 1831 meeting he had with Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon, at Cincinnati. See the LDS History of the Church, Vol. 1, p. 188, where Smith says: "We went by wagon, canal boats, and stages to Cincinnati, where I had an interview with the Rev. Walter Scott, one of the founders of the Campbellites, or Newlight church. Before the close of our interview, he manifested one of the bitterest spirits against the doctrine of the New Testament (that "these signs shall follow them that believe," as recorded in Mark the 16th chapter,) that I have ever witnessed."



Vol. IX.                                       Carthage, Ohio, May 1, 1841.                                     No. 5.


Carthage has had another visit from the Mormons. The fact that we touched their idol the Golden Bible, has excited the highest indignation of these deluded men. At a previous meeting it was announced that the speaker named Page would, on Wednesday evening, address the audience relative to certain papers on Mormonism published in the Evangelist. Wednesday evening came, and there was a full house. In the beginning of his speech Mr. Page observed, "If Mormonism be false how comes it to pass that so many of the Disciples, Reformers, or Christians, as they sometimes call themselves, embrace it?" He had baptized many of them, and Rigdon himself had been a Reformer. To this it was replied that the question touched in the Evangelist did not relate to conversion, but to the Book of Mormon. Satan had left heaven, and Judas the college of Apostles, but the apostacy of the Devil and Judas argued nothing against heaven or the holy apostles. They had gone to their own place it was said: and with equal propriety it might be said of Rigdon and others who had apostatized from the Bible -- they had gone to their own place and would make better Mormons than Christians.

What a horrible picture of pollution and discord does christendom at this moment present us with in its profession of Christianity! Protestants rebaptize Catholics, Baptists rebaptize Paedobaptists, Paedobaptists rebaptize Reformers, and Mormons rebaptize all!

Having already shown that the Book of Mormon describes the christian religion as being on the Western Continent, and received there on the testimony of prophecy alone, hundreds of years before the facts occurred of which it consists and consequently that the Book is its own confutation, we come to our second proposition namely: that in affecting to describe a religion in operation at the isthmus of Darien 600 years before Christ, which it styles the law of Moses, it estimates, contrary to that law and all law, the priesthood of Melchisedeck in the house of Joseph! of which God or Moses said nothing as pertaining to Aaron's priesthood, far less Melchisedeck's priesthood.

Thirty years after the imaginary hegira of Lehi from Jerusalem Nephi is represented as building a temple. The following is an account.   page 72.

And it came to pass that we began to prosper exceedingly, and to multiply in the land. And I, Nephi, did take the sword of Laban, and after the manner of it did make many swords, lest by any means the people who were now called Lamanites, should come upon us and destroy us: for I knew their hatred towards me and my children, and those who were called my people. And I did teach my people to build buildings; and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores which were in great abundance. And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon, save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land; wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon's temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceeding fine."

This false story of the temple by Nephi, is without doubt the grand cause why the Mormons cherish such a fondness for temples. They built one first at Kirtland in Ohio, where we visited them in the winter of 1830. They next laid the foundation of one at Independence, Missouri, from which they were ultimately driven by the populace. Finally they have lately laid with much pomp and farce, the foundation of a third Temple at Nauvoo, Illinois. Six thousand people are said to have been present, and the whole ceremony was heralded by the oratory of Rigdon, and supported by the Nauvoo Legion of 600 men under the command of Gen Bennet directed by the Prophet. The daily papers inform us that they are in full favour in Illinois, and have lately obtained no less than three charters for "exclusive privileges." One incorporates their new city of Nauvoo, another a great University, and the third a Nauvoo Military Legion. Dr. Bennet, the Quarter Master General of the State, is elected Mayor of Nauvoo! A writer in the Baptist Advocate after furnishing many evidences against the leaders of the Mormons touching their war in Missouri observes that they all with many others go to show,

"Beyond all dispute, that the ring-leaders of Mormonism, and many of their followers are a gang of murders, assassins, robbers, rebels, and outlaws that ought to be swept from the face of the earth, as much as ever the Old Man of the Mountain and his sect of assassins deserved to be. No community on earth would suffer them to dwell in their midst under the circumstances that existed in Missouri. It is in that State that they have located their Zion, which, according to their own writings, as contained in a work called their 'Doctrine and Covenants,' they are to obtain "by purchase or by blood." All their proselytes, in this country, and every other part of the world, are directed to set their faces "Zion-ward," and to go up to Missouri. Expelled from that state at present, they have fixed their head quarters at a place which they have named Nauvoo, in that vicinity. And now they are going on and making their proselytes, not only in this country but in England. Proselytes from the latter country have already begun to arrive here. Thus are they rapidly increasing at the West. And then again, their writings teach, that the Indians are to embrace Mormonism, and are to be among the Gentiles like a lion -- are to lift up their hand against our citizens, and cut them off, and repossess the land -- and all who do not embrace Mormonism are to be cut off.

Put all these things together; and then, taking into consideration what they have already dared do 'in the green tree;' and may we not ask, what will they not do in 'the dry?' If, three or four years ago they dared rebel against the state, what will they not do a few years hence, when they become ten times as strong, and perhaps delude the Indians into the support of their scheme? It seems to me that any one, with the least particle of reflection, must perceive that unless the career of these outlaws is speedily checked, they will involve the far West in a ferocious and exterminating war."

The Mormons then, mean to introduce the Millennium with a vengeance -- war to the knife. Isaiah's prophecy of these peaceful times must, it seems, be reversed in order to be verified; and instead of beating swords into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks, we must turn pruning hooks to spears and beat our plowshares to swords. All these monstrous aberrations from God and truth ought to cause the righteous to adhere more and more to the holy scriptures. Be satisfied with the present salvation, brother, and look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ at his appearing and kingdom.

The Priesthood of the Mormon Romance began as follows, "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did consecrate Jacob and Joseph, that they should be priests and teachers over the land of my people. And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness. And thirty years had passed away from the time we left Jerusalem. And I, Nephi, had kept the records upon my plates, which I had made of my people, thus far." pg 73.

Thus as Moses consecrated Aaron, so uncle Nephi is here said to have consecrated his brothers Jacob and Joseph to the priesthood of the Law of Moses as set up on the isthmus of Darien 570 years before Christ! And according to this vile fable, we must believe that God gave the same law on two continents, with different priesthoods, one being in the house of Levi, the other in the house of Joseph! But as the Mormon prophets Lehi, Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarum, Omni &c. were more excellent and spoke much plainer than those of Israel: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea &c. so the priesthood of Mr. Hobgoblin is described as being of an order far superior to that of Aaron, even that of Melchisedeck! It is said by the holy apostle Paul that if Christ were on earth even he would not be a priest; because God had appointed the house of Levi according to law to be the priesthood of the economy. Accordingly when Korah, Dathan, and Abiram rebelled against God in this manner, and intruded themselves upon the priesthood they were slain every soul of them. The earth opened her mouth, say the scriptures, and swallowed them up. The following blasphemous farrago on this point is made to proceed out of the mouth of the fabulous Alma.

"Now as I said concerning the holy order of this high priesthood: there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of the exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness, rather than to perish; therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white, through the blood of the Lamb. Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin, save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceeding great many, which were made pure, and entered into the rest of the Lord their God. And now, my brethren, I would that ye should humble yourselves before God, and bring forth fruit mete for repentance, that ye may also enter into that rest; yea, humble yourselves even as the people in the days of Melchizedek, who was also a high priest after this same order which I have spoken, who also took upon him the high priesthood forever. And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one tenth part of all he possessed. Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order; and this, that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord.

Now this Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem; and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abominations; yea, they had all gone astray: they were full of all manner of wickedness; but Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of high priesthood, according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father. Now there were many kings before him, and also there were many afterwards, but none were greater; therefore of him they have more particularly made mention. Now I need not rehearse the matter; what I have said, may suffice. Behold, the scriptures are before you; if ye will wrest them it shall be to your own destruction." pg 253-4.

Thus the Book of Mormon teaches the absurdity that, before Christ, the law of Moses was administered on the isthmus of Darien, America, by a Melchisedeckian priesthood! Yet Paul describes this distinguished ancient Meichisedeck, as being the only person on earth who ever enjoyed this priesthood, and as having indeed neither predecessor nor successor in his office, but made like to the Son of God, and abiding priest continually. But that which makes this whole fable supremely ridiculous is the ignorance of its inventors. They speak, as may be seen above, of the priesthood according to the order of Melchisedeck, when it is evident that they knew not what constituted its most distinguishing attribute, namely: its royalty. Melchisedeck was a kingly priest, or a priest upon his throne. Now observe, Uncle Nephi makes his brothers Jacob and Joseph priests who were not kings! and thus in the Book of Mormon, by the ignorance of its inventors, we have a Priesthood after the order of Melchisedeck without the attribute of royalty! Touching the whole of this matter then, we have the Law of Moses with a priesthood after the order of Melchisedeck! and a priesthood after the order of Melchisedeck without the essential attribute of royalty!!

There have been written three books against this imposture -- 1. "Mormonism Unvailed," 2. "Mormonism Unmasked," and 3 "Mormonism Exposed." The scheme, however, takes and triumphs: It has a prophet with his orator: a Military Legion, a general, a city, the charter of a great University, numerous preachers, and thousands of converts.   W. S.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IX.                                     Carthage, Ohio, June 1, 1841.                                   No. 6.


The following respecting this imposition, is a document that will explain itself. It was written by brother Josiah Jones, formerly of Kirtland, the seat of Mormonism in Ohio, but now of Carthage, and a member of respectable standing in the church here. He was one of the faithful few belonging to the church of Kirtland, who refused to follow Rigdon when he made a surrender of himself and his flock to the Mormons.


Feeling it to be a duty I owe to myself and to the community to take some notice of the transactions of that sect of men known by the name of the Mormons, which has lately sprung up here and in the vicinity, I shall from time to time (living in their midst) commit to writing whatever I already know, and may in future hear about them, in order that the world may know of their rise and their proceedings. What I shall write of their proceedings from the commencement of them until this time, must be mostly from recollection; hereafter, however, it is my intention to note down some things in the form of a diary.

In the last part of October, 1830, four men appeared here by the names of Cowdery, Pratt, Whitmar and Peterson; they stated they were from Palmyra, Ontario County, N. Y. with a book, which they said contained what was engraven on gold plates found in a stone box in the ground in the town of Manchester, Ontario co. N. Y., and was found about three years ago by a man named Joseph Smith, Jr. who had translated it by looking into a stone or two stones, when put into a dark place, which stones he said were found in the box with the plates. They affirmed while he looked through the stone spectacles another sat by and wrote what he told them, and thus the book was all written. The doctrines which they taught are contained in the book which the world may have recourse to. These men appeared in the town of Mentor at Elder Sidney Rigdon's on Thursday evening about the 6th [26th?] of October last. On Sunday following the elder with two or three of these men attended a meeting at Euclid. I also attended and here I was first informed by I. Morley that such men and such a book had appeared. The next Wednesday evening they held a meeting at the Methodist Meetinghouse in this place, at which time they read some in their new book, and exhorted the people to repent of their pride and priestcraft and all other sins, and be baptized by them for the remission of them, for they said that if they had been baptized it was of no avail, for there was no legal administrator, neither had been for fourteen hundred years, until God had called them to the office, and had sent them into the world to publish it to this generation. The next day we heard that after they went home, or to the family where they put up, they baptized seventeen into the faith which they published.

Perhaps it will be necessary to give some account of the family which I have mentioned. For nearly two years past, Isaac Morley had contended that in order to restore the ancient order of things in the church of Christ, it was necessary that there should be a community of goods among the brethren; and accordingly a number of them removed to his house and farm, and built houses, and worked and lived together, and composed what is here called the "Big Family," which at this time consisted of perhaps 50 or 60, old and young. They also had another branch of the family in the town of Mayfield, about eight miles from this, but the number was small at that time. To return -- on Friday evening they held meeting at the family, and on Saturday evening also, at which time I attended, and saw Elder Rigdon much affected and shedding tears. The next day, Sunday, Elder Rigdon had an appointment to preach in this place, and attended having these four men with him; he opened the meeting as usual, and arose to address the congregation but was so affected that he could not; he said all that he had to say to us was to repent and humble ourselves before God. After a short exhortation he sat down and the new teachers exhorted us a short time and the meeting closed. In the evening they held another meeting at the schoolhouse; at this meeting or in the daytime Elder Rigdon told us that for two years past his preaching had been of no use to us; it was more to please our fancy and tickle our ears, than to affect our hearts.

A few days after these men appeared again, a few of us went to see them and Cowdery was requested to state how the plates were found, which he did. He stated that Smith looked into or through the transparent stones to translate what was on the plates. I then asked him if he had ever looked through the stones to see what he could see in them; his reply was that he was not permitted to look into them. I asked him who debarred him from looking into them; he remained sometime in silence; then said that he had so much confidence in his friend Smith, who told him that he must not look into them, that he did not presume to do so lest he should tempt God and be struck dead.

On Monday, Elder Rigdon was re-baptized, and additions have continued to be made almost daily to them since that time. Sidney Rigdon said in private conversation that no one could tell what virtue there was in Cowdery's hands, for when he took hold of him to baptize him he felt a shock strike through him. They pretend to give the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands; many of them receive it so that it makes them fall prostrate to the ground; some do not receive the spirit until a number of days after the laying on of hands; some have not yet received it at all. They laid hands on the sick, and in the name of Jesus told them to recover. Two cases occurred in this place, one man that had fits, by the name of Lake, whom they commanded not to let it be known; but he not receiving any benefit from it told of it. Another was a boy about twelve years old that had fits dai[l]y whose father and mother had joined them; his father said that he had no more doubt that his son would get well then he had of his existence; but he is no better yet. One other case was in Painesville, on a man by the name of Champney, who is no better; another was a sick woman in Mayfield that has been confined these two or three years, and who, they still say, will yet get well. --

About five or six weeks ago some of them began to have visions and revelations, and to prophesy, as they say. They said a man by the name of Wight, who was ordained their elder with authority to lay on hands, one night in meeting, had what they call "the Power of God," &c. that his face and hands shone so that it was plain to be seen by all in the room, and that he sung a song which no one ever heard before, and which they said was the most melodious that they ever listened to. It was sung in another tongue. While in these visions they say they are carried away in the spirit to the Lamanites, the natives of this country, which are our Western Indians, which are the lost Jews, and which are now to be brought in with the fullness of the Gentiles. While in these visions they say that they can see the Indians on the banks of the streams at the West waiting to be baptized; and they can hear them sing and see them perform many of the Indian manoeuvres, which they try to imitate in various ways; those that have these visions are mostly young men and girls from twelve to twenty years old. -- They say that they know they have the spirit of prophecy, and this is some of that which was spoken by Joel the prophet, that in the last days it shall come to pass that "I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and they shall prophesy" &c. -- These young men and women will lay sometimes for hours almost lifeless to appearance, and when they begin to recover, they begin to pray in a low voice or whisper, and after a little time, to act, they say, as the Indians did where they were carried by the spirit.

One girl about thirteen years old, while under the influence of the spirit of prophecy, as they term it, would select passages of prophecy from the Bible both old and new Testament, and also from the Mormon book, and put them all together and make a complete chain or connection of prophecy, which they say "they defy Scott or Campbell to connect with equal perfection." While in these visions, they say they have writing come on their hands which no one can read but one in the same situation; if any one of their brethren or sisters talk to them in Indian it will so please them that they will laugh, and set out many Indian capers and motions.

But of late their prophesying seems to have ceased, and they have taken to running; the young men after falling down and recovering will start and run half a mile, and then get upon a stump and begin to preach and pray as loud as they can bawl. They have been seen to run to the river or brook and make as though they were baptizing some person. Sometimes they call out in these scenes --'There I have baptized one, then two, then three,' and so on. They also have a way of receiving a commission from the Lord to go and preach. They are first warned and called while in a vision that they must go into the world and preach; at another time they receive a commission on a roll of paper handed to them from above in the presence of all in the room; but what is contained on the paper I have not yet learnt; three of the young men that have received their commission in this way have gone to preach; one by the name of Heman Bassett, one Edson Fuller, and Burr Riggs; they have been gone about ten days and I have not yet heard from them. They also see a great many lights in the night; one of their foremost men in this place, while baptizing in the evening, (for they perform this ceremony mostly in the night,) said he saw across the river a light as large as the palm of his hand, which stood there while baptizing, which he knows was a supernatural light; they have now become quite common and they all see the lights; but others standing by do not see them. I. Morley said while in meeting at Mayfield, he saw a ball of fire about the size of a dollar, come into the room and light upon a woman's clothes near her feet, and from her come to him, and then to another person, and so disappeared, to the astonishment of some others that saw it -- E. Fuller while lying on the floor has been seen to jump up and cling to a beam for a while and then drop like a log on the floor: -- at other times they will reach up until they touch a certain beam and then fall flat on the floor; these accounts I have received from information a few hours after they transpired, not have been an eye witness of many of them myself. And many other signs and wonders and fanatical exhibitions, truly were done by this people, which are not written, but these are written that you might believe, and that believing you might remain firm in the doctrines of the New Testament and not turn aside to Mormonism. -- OBSERVER.

Reader, can it be imagined or admitted for a moment by any sensible man, that such pernicious and visionary impostors as these were ever destined in the providence of God to detect and develop amid the confusion of these sectarian times, the principles of the true gospel of Christ -- to arrange and apply them in practice, and set up and introduce to general use with reformers, that plea for immediate obedience which distinguished the proclamation of the gospel by the apostles? No, reader, there is lying on our desk at this moment unequivocal proof of the plan according to which the Mormons came to possess themselves of our manner of pleading and propagating the true gospel of Christ. It will appear from the testimony of brother Jones, as given above, that the Mormon messengers Cowdery, Pratt, Whitmer and Peterson never opened their mouths in Ohio in way of preaching till they had first heard Rigdon at Euclid, speak of baptism for the remission of sins and urge upon the audience immediate obedience to the gospel. On this day five persons presented themselves for immersion, and were baptized by Rigdon. One of them, brother and sister Jones say, was Brother Dilly's son of youth of __ years. The Mormons immediately profited by this lesson from Rigdon; entered Kirtland, as we have seen; proclaimed the simple gospel, and soon after rebaptized 17 for the remission of sins. Rigdon, like a true wolf in sheep's clothing, next surrendered himself and flock to these impostors, and thus the first vintage of converts to this vile sect was reaped by the true gospel of Jesus Christ plead and preached as we do it ourselves. Of the way in which Rigdon was possessed of our manner of stating and pleading it we shall inform our readers in due time. A letter from his brother-in-law, who was one of the ministers of the Mahoning Association when Rigdon obtained an acquaintance with these things will make all this sufficiently plain. We suspend further observation on this point at present.   W. S.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IX.                                       Carthage, Ohio, July 1, 1841.                                     No. 7.

MORMONS -- Extract of a letter dated from
the vicinity of Nauvoo, Illinois.

"The excitement on both sides of the river against the mormons, is increasing very fast. The conduct of Jo. Smith and other leaders, is such as no community of white men can tolerate. It is the entire absence of all moral and religious principle, that renders them so obnoxious to the Gentiles, of all denominations, wherever they reside.

"Jo. Smith was yesterday arrested, between Nauvoo and Quincey, by the authorities of Illinois on a requisition from the Governor of Missouri, may justice be meted out to him for his villainy.

"Martin Harris who was one of the witnesses of the book of Mormon; and who has been for some time lecturing in Illi. against the Mormons was found dead last week, having been shot through the head. He was no doubt murdered,

Mormonism, it is said, is now making rapid progress in England and Scotland. We have recently received from Philadelphia a complete exposure of this modern delusion by E. D. Howe. In the next two or three numbers we intend to devote a few pages to this subject.   Ch. Mess. & Ref., Eng.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. X.                                       Carthage, Ohio, February 1, 1842.                                     No. 2.


                                       PITTSBURGH. JAN. 18, 1841 [sic - 1842?].
Bro. Scott: --
I have taken a moment of time to write you. Some two weeks ago our dull monotony was broken in upon by an announcement in our city papers that a Mormon was to preach in the Bethel meetinghouse, and afterwards in the room known as Irvin's Long-room. Curiosity was upon tiptoe, and every body must needs hear him; I among the rest. He professed to be an apostle called of God, and the Book of Mormon, to be divine. To prove the divinity of the book he assured us that a prophecy, and the description of certain cities in South America were accurately laid down, and that recent discoveries made by Stevens and Catherwood in 1840 confirmed the sayings of the book and together with other discoveries made in Guatemala and elsewhere, were internal evidences of the book to prove beyond a doubt its authenticity, and he defined a successful confutation at the hands of any man.

Our Clergy would not engage him; saying "if we let him alone his base pretensions will discover themselves to the minds of the people, and the whole tumble into nothingness," After a few nights lecturing, however, a fearful impression was manifest upon the minds of many individualism who themselves began to contend that if the doctrine &c. were false it ought to be refuted, but they did not believe any man could meet this valiant apostle. Endeavours were now made to bring about a contest, without success, until after repeated challenges to discuss the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, had been made by the Mormon, our bro. Church accepted the challenge. The Mormon, whose name is John E. Page, would not meet him unless brother Church would discuss the Abrahamic covenant, the literal gathering of the Jews, and determine what had become of the house of Joseph first. Brother Church held to the challenge as accepted, and gave him notice that in the mean time he would publicly examine his credentials (if he could find any) to his apostleship.

On the night set apart bro. C. shewed by the scriptures, the testimonials God ever gave to his messengers, and ministers specially sent, and rendered it necessary for Mr. Page to produce that authority he claimed, but for which bro. Church had in vain sought. Mr. Page promised to meet Bro. Church, on this point in our meetinghouse, and expose the deceitful way in which bro. C. handled the word of truth, and if he had any feeling to bring to bring the blush to his cheek. The evening came. (Thursday 13th inst.) and about 500 persons were compactly stowed into our small meetinghouse. Brother Church arose, and in the presence of all, and in an audible voice gave Mr. P. a Charte blanche, and told him not to spare the rod, for when it came to his time he would lay on hard.

Mr. Page proceeded to show that the miracles wrought by the prophets were not to produce faith, but to bring destruction, and that it was out of the power of our dear Master to work many miracles in his own country because of their unbelief, that miracles were wrought among the Mormon believers, to the healing of leprosy &c. In quoting the passage relating to our Lord, he said "He could not do many miracles because of their unbelief;" and finally said we were like the Pharisees and Herod of old who tempted the Lord for a sign, and that they, no doubt like us, thought it was from inability that the sign was not given.

Brother Church began about 9 o'clock by requesting the assent of the people to reply, which being given, he proceeded to shew how differently the Bible and Mr. Page spoke of the purposes for which miracles were wrought: (Mr. P. here denied that he stated they were for destruction but was set right by the audience). He shewed that the Mormons and our newspapers would have given ample proof if any leprosy had been cured, or miracle of any kind wrought, and set him straight as to his various tortured quotations, and finally stripped every feather from his crest, by asking him to say whether he would, as he had often proposed, discuss the authenticity of the Book of Mormon: Mr. P. said he would not. Bro. Church then shewed that the design of the Mormons was not truth and religion, but empire, and pointed to the Nauvoo Legion with Lieut. General Joseph Smith at their head

I have, in my earlier days, seen men cower at the approach of danger to their persons, but never did I see any poor soul in so much agony as was this poor Mormon. He changed countenance almost every moment, and situation too. As brother Henry would say "the old Jerusalem blade (the Bible) is more powerful than the best Damascus."

Our good Master's work is going on here finely, we have baptized eleven very recently, among whom is a clerk in our Counting Room. -- On Lord's day we baptized 3 -- the Baptists 8 -- the Methodists 4 -- and the colored Methodists 4 -- all on the same day, in our beautiful Alleghenay and Monogahela. Oh! my dear brother how it gladdens my heart to see the good work going on. Your affectionate brother in the Lord,
                  LEVI O. C. NICKLIN.

Notes: LDS Apostle John E. Page apparently arrived in Pittsburgh at about the beginning of January 1842. After spending only a few weeks there he was summoned back to Nauvoo. During his visit in Pittsburgh, Page so impressed the local Mormons and their non-Mormon friends that several of them sent a petition to the Church officials in Nauvoo, requestimg "that he may be permitted to return unto us and reap the fruit of the good seed he has sown," (Times & Seasons, April 1, 1842). The LDS Spring Conference in Nauvoo appointed Apostle Page to go back to Pittsburgh and organize a branch of the Church there. By May 8 he had returned to that city, where he organized a branch of the Church and persided over the same until about June 8, 1843, at which time he apparently turned over his office in that congregation to Elder William Small. While in Pittsburgh Page initiated and published a Mormon newspaper, The Gospel Light. This small journal replaced Elder Benjamin Winchester's defunct Gospel Reflector. When Page moved to Philadelphia in mid-June 1843, he continued to publish his newspaper in that city until after Joseph Smith's death in June 1844.

In a letter written to James T. Cobb, dated Nov. 12, 1878, long-times Pittsburgh resident, Rev. Samuel Williams stated: "About in 32 or 3 John E. Page came to P'gh... and raised some excitement... But only remained about two years... About this time I delivered four lectures on Mormonism to crowded houses and the substance of these lectures were published. In regard to his reply to my pamphlet I do not believe 300 copies were ever printed..." In another letter written to James T. Cobb, dated Dec. 3, 1878, Williams added the following information: "... without much thought gave you that date, 1832, but 1842 and not `32 is the correct date... I was opposing John E. Page and I know he flourished in Pittsburgh in 1841-2..."

The lecture material mentioned by Rev. Williams was published in Pittsburgh by Williams himself during the early spring of 1842, under the title Mormonism Exposed. Page's 1843 pamphlet,The Spaulding Story, was not just a reply to Rev. Williams, but to all advocates of the Solomon Spalding authorship claims for the Book of Mormon. That booklet appeared early in 1843 and part of its contents were presumably first printed in Page's The Gospel Light.

In a letter dated Sept. 13, 1876, former Pittsburgh Branch President, RLDS Elder William Small recalled: "While I was living in Pittsburgh in 1841, at the time so much was said of the Book of Mormon, and in connection with the Solomon Spaulding Story. It was stated that the Spaulding manuscript was placed in Mr. Patterson's hands for publication, and that Sidney Rigdon was connected with him at the time. In connection with John E. Page I called upon General [sic] Patterson, the publisher..." Although Elder Small seems to indicate that John E. Page's visit with Rev. Robert Patterson, Sr. occurred in some time in 1841, it is much more likely that his interview with Patterson was conducted after Page's return to Pittsburgh in the late spring of 1842. Thus, Apostle Page, in company with Elder Small, visited Rev. Patterson at about the same time Rev. Samuel Williams took a statement from the Presbyterian minister and businessman. Page, however, makes no specific mention of that visit in his 1843 pamphlet refuting the Spalding claims for Book of Mormon authorship. Either Patterson told Page some things not of any practical use to a Mormon Apostle attempting to refute a Spalding authorship, or he told him nothing. According to Elder Small's recollection, the former explanation was the truth, not the latter.



Vol. ?.                                       Carthage, Ohio, September 1843?                                     No. ?.

MORMONISM -- The Means by which it stole the True Gospel.

It is well known that the Mormons preach the true gospel and plead for immediate obedience to it on the part of the hearers, as the advocates of original Christianity do. This was not on original measure of Mormonism; for, indeed, baptism for the remission of sins is a phrase not found in their book. A few of their leaders took it from Rigdon, at Euclid, on the Western Reserve, as may be learned from brother Jones' account of their first visit to Kirtland, published in a preceding volume of the Evangelist. Rigdon, we were perfectly aware, had possessed himself of our analysis of the gospel and the plea for obedience raised thereupon; but not, choosing to rely on my own recollection of the means by, and the times at, which they were imparted to him, we wrote to Mr. Bentley, who is his brother-in-law, for the necessary information. Mr. Bentley's letter shows not only whence he received his knowledge of the true gospel; but also that, coward that he was, he had not the independence necessary to preach it in his own vicinity after he had received it. Thus the knowledge of ordering and pleading the elements of the true gospel by that people, is seen to arise near the same time and from the same source as that of our own reformation. Mr. Bentley's letter is as follows: --

                    Solon, [Ohio] January 22, 1841.

"Dear Brother Scott -- Your favor of the 7th December is received. I returned from Philadelphia, Pa., on the 10th, and the answer to your acceptable letter has been deferred. I was much gratified to hear from you and family, but would be much more so to see you once more in the flesh, and talk over our toils and anxieties in the cause of our blest Redeemer.

Your request that I should give you all the information I am in possession of respecting Mormonism. I know that Sydney Rigdon told me there was a book coming out (the manuscript of which had been found engraved on gold plates) as much as two years before the Mormon book made its appearance in this country or had been heard of by me. The same I communicated to brother A Campbell. The Mormon book has nothing of baptism for the remission of sins in it; and of course at the time Rigdon got Solomon Spaulding's manuscript he did not understand the scriptures on that subject.*  I cannot say he learnt it from me, as he had been about a week with you in Nelson and Windham, before he came to my house. I, however, returned with him to Mentor. He stated to me that he did not feel himself capable of introducing the subject in Mentor, and would not return without me if he had to stay two weeks with us to induce me to go. This is about all I can say. I have no doubt but the account given in Mormonism Unmasked, [sic] is about the truth. It was got up to deceive the people and obtain their property, and was a wicked contrivance with Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith, Jr. May God have mercy on the wicked men, and may they repent of this their wickedness!

May the Lord bless you, brother Scott, and family! Mrs. Bentley is much out of health, and I fear will never be better.
Yours most affectionately,
                                        ADAMSON BENTLEY.

* Sidney Rigdon accompanied brother Campbell to the M'Calla debate in 1823 and must have heard what was said on baptism on that occasion, and forgot it. This was not wonderful neither; for things presented to the mind apart from an obvious and acknowledged practice, are soon forgotten. But neither Rigdon nor any other person who has seen me baptize for remission, could possibly forget the import of the ordinance. So we think.
             W. S.


Baptism is for the remission of sins. And when the current plea for obedience was introduced the rite was publicly administered for the remission of sins,' the baptizer saying audibly, 'For the remission of your sins I baptize you,' &c. Was not this enough? * Is it necessary to harp forever on this ordinance as if it were the grand essential? Is baptism the alpha and the omega of reformation?

Some persons seem to have hanged their immortality with posterity upon baptism for remission. We have at present no less than three debates on the subject announced; one already in progress, and two in contemplation.

But what has all this talking, writing, and debating done for the cause? There are several things which it has done. First, it has turned the minds of the brethren very generally outward upon the ordinance, instead of inward upon faith and penitence. Secondly, it has made them very lightly esteem the most evangelical faith and unfeigned repentance in others who do not understand the ordinance as we do. Thirdly, it has made very wrong impressions upon the public mind in relation to our views of the comparative value of gospel truth, for the world both see and feel that in the discourses of many of our evangelists, "Christ and him crucified" -- the pains, and groans, and tears of Calvary -- are made to give way to a silly and irreverent oratory on baptism, its adjuncts, or its corruptions. So that while many persons among us speak and write about baptism for the remission of sins, they have not a syllable to utter concerning a crucified Redeemer. This is a fatal mistake. Finally, this eternal talk about baptism for remission by our more eminent brethren, encourages those among us of no character (and we have thousands such) to argue for baptism, when all the world knows that they have themselves dishonored their baptism."§

* It was not enough, as our experience proves. Had it not been for writing, debating, talking, and harping on the subject,' it would have attracted comparatively but little attention, So testify both history and my experience.
Who those persons are that have hung up their immortality, &c. upon baptism for remission, I know not. Some, indeed, seem to regard the baptizing and being baptized for remission," &c. a very good basis for immortality! But I never knew any of these have any public debate on the subject.
It has in a good measure, and primarily in my knowledge, placed it where it is. The States where these debates occurred have more disciples now, by thousands, than any other States in the Union; and there the cause has always flourished first and last most successfully. Some there are, however, who too much depreciate the labors of others to enhance their own. Now as this is not the case with the Editor of the Evangelist, he ought not to appear to so much disadvantage by thus speaking of other men's labors in contrast with his own.
§ certain portions of this address appear to have been written too much under the influence of Millerism -- too much, at least, to be copied into this work. I do not think that the brethren are worthy of such unmeasured reprobation. Though I admit that there is reason to complain of multitudes being drawn and urged into the Christian profession by an improper preaching of baptism for the remission of sins. But, then, as the brethren say, no man in the nation is more to blame for this than the Carthage Evangelist. I have low remonstrated against the passion for bringing in multitudes of untaught persons into the Christian church. Some of our Evangelists have done much damage to the cause, as well as to men's souls, by pressing them by improper arguments and an anti-evangelical appeals to be baptized. This I am in duty bound to say: and to urge upon our [readers...]

Note: The text for the above two articles was extracted from "Mistakes Touching the Book of Mormon," by Alexander Campbell, as published in The Millennial Harbinger, Third Series, Vol. 1 No. 1 (Jan. 1844) pp. 38-41. Campbell's article alludes to the source of the two reprinted texts as being the most recent "September" issue of The Evangelist. The Adamson Bentley letter was apparently delayed in publication after its probable mention at the very end of Walter Scott's "Mormon Bible -- No. V" article in the June 1, 1841 issue of The Evangelist.

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