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Painesville Telegraph
1831 Articles

Eber Dudley Howe 1798-1885

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Return to: last issue of 1830

Number 31.]                                    Friday, January 18, 1831.                                    [Vol. II.

Mormonism. -- A young gentleman by the name of Whitmer arrived here last week from Manchester, N. Y., the seat of wonders, with a new batch of revelations from God, as he pretended, which have just been communicated to Joseph Smith. As far as we have been able to learn their contents, they are a more particular description of the creation of the world, and a history of Adam and his family, and othe[r] sketches of the anti-deluvian world, which Moses neglected to record. But the more important part of the mission was to inform the brethren that the boundaries of the promised land, or the New Jerusalem, had just been made known to Smith from God -- the township of Kirtland, a few miles west of this, is the eastern line and the Pacific Ocean the western line; if the north and south lines have been described, we have not learned them. Orders were also brought to the brethren to sell no more land, but rather buy more. Joseph Smith and all his forces are to be on here soon to take possession of the promised land.

Note: The "young gentleman" here mentioned was John Whitmer, brother of the Peter Whitmer, Jr. whom the Ohioans had seen in company with Oliver Cowdery and Parley P. Pratt a few weeks earlier. Compare this news report with one written from the Whitmer's home town of Waterloo on Jan. 26, 1831 and published on Feb. 1, 1831 in the Palmyra Reflector. There the Mormons' "promised land" is reported to extend "from thence [Kirtland] to the Pacific Ocean, embracing a territory of 1500 miles in extent, from north to south." No mention is made at this early date of the fate of Cowdery, Pratt, et al. in their attempts at securing a dominion for the Mormons' "New Jerusalem" in the midst of the trans-Missouri "Lamanites." The Reflector item was reprinted in the Painesville Telegraph on Feb. 1st (see below).


Number 33.]                                   Tuesday, Feb. 1, 1831.                                   [Vol. II.

Mr. Editor:

Elder S. Rigdon left this village on Monday last in the stage, for the "Holy Land," where all the "Gold Bible" converts have recently received a written command from God, through Jo. Smith, Junior, to repair with all convenient speed, selling off the property. This command was at first resisted by such as had property, (the brethern from the neighboring counties being all assembled by special summons), but after a night of fasting, prayer and trial, they all consented to obey the holy messenger. -- Rigdon has for some time past been arranging matters with Smith for the final departure of the faithful for the "far west."

This man of many creeds, (Rigdon) appears to possess colloquial powers to a considerable degree, and before leaving this vicinity left us his blessing. He delivered a discourse at the Court House immediately preceding his departure, wherein he depicted in strong language, the want of "charity and brotherly love" among the prevailing sects and denominations of professing christians, and sorry I am to admit, that he had too much truth on his side with regard to this particular.

After denouncing dreadful vengeance on the whole state of New York, and this village in particular, and recommending to all such as wished to flee from "the wrath to come," to follow him beyond the 'western waters,' he took his leave. The prophet Spouse, and whole 'holy family' (as they style themselves) will follow Rigdon, so soon as their deluded or hypocritical followers shall be able to dispose of what little real property they possess in this region: one farm (Whitmar's) was sold a few days ago for $2,300. Their first place of destination is understood to be a few miles west of Painesville, Ohio, (the present place of the Elder's residence) which is just within the east bounds of this new land of promise, which extends from thence to the Pacific Ocean, embracing a territory of 1,501 miles in extent, from north to south.

Yours respectfully,
"Plain Truth"

Note: Although his previous letter on Mormonite activities was marked "Farmington," this correspondent evidently had a detailed knowledge of contemporary happenings between Palmyra and Fayette. Such an observer could well have been in public service, business or journalistic endeavors in a town like Waterloo, Geneva or Canandaigua (the latter village borders Farmington township). See notes appended to the Feb. 12, 1823 issue of the Palmyra Herald for Walter A. Norton's probable identification of the correspondent "Plain Truth" with Thomas B. Barnum, one of the two proprietors of the Canandaigua anti-clerical periodical, Plain Truth.


Number 35.]                                   Tuesday, Feb. 15, 1831.                                   [Vol. II.

                      [For the Telegraph.


Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed and done among the Mormonites, it seems good to me also (having had knowledge of many things from the beginning) to testify to my brethren of mankind, that they may know something certainly concerning these wonderful people.

About the last of October, 1830, four men, claiming to be divinely inspired, came from Manchester and Palmyra, Ontario county, N.Y., bringing a pretended revelation, entitled the "Book of Mormon." They came to the brethern of the reformation in Mentor, saluted them as brethern, and professed to rejoice at finding a people walking according to the scriptures of truth, and acknowledging no other guide. They professed to have no commands for them, nevertheless, they called upon them to receive their mission and book as from Heaven, which they said chiefly concerned the western Indians, as being an account of their origin, and a prophecy of their final conversion to christianity, and make them a white and delightsome people, and be reinstated in the possession of their lands of which they have been despoiled by the whites. -- When called upon for testimony, they appealed (like Mahomet) to the internal evidences of their book. The book was read and pronounced a silly fabrication. When farther pressed upon the subject, they required the brethern to humble themselves before God, and pray for a sign from heaven.

They took up their abode with the pastor of the congregation, (Sidney Rigdon,) who read their book and partly condemned it -- but, two days afterwards, was heard to confess his conviction of its truth. Immediately the subtlety and duplicity of these men were manifest -- as soon as they saw a number disposed to give heed to them, then it was they bethought themselves of making a party -- then it was they declared that their book contained a new covenant, to come under which the disciple must be re-immersed. When called upon to answer concerning their pretended covenant, whether it was distinct from that mentioned in Hebrews VIII, 10-13, they would equivocate, and would say, (to use their own words) "on the large scale, the covenant is the same, but in some things it is different." Immediately they made a party -- seventeen persons were immersed by them in one night. At this Mr. Rigdon seemed much displeased, and when they came next day to his house, he withstood them to the face -- showed them that what they had done was entirely without precedent in the holy scriptures -- for they had immersed those persons that they might work miracles as well as come under the said covenant -- showed them that the apostles baptized for the remission of sins -- but miraculous gifts were conferred by the imposition of hands. But when pressed upon the point, they justified themselves by saying, it was on their part merely a compliance with the solicitations of those persons. Mr. Rigdon again called upon them for proof of the truth of their book and mission: they then related the manner in which they obtained faith, which was by praying for a sign, and an angel was shown unto them. Here Mr. Rigdon showed them from the scriptures the possibility of their being deceived: "For Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light" -- but said Cowdrey, "Do you think if I should go to my Heavenly Father with all sincerity, and pray to him in the name of Jesus Christ, that he would not show me an angel -- that he would suffer Satan to deceive me?" Mr. Rigdon replied, "if the heavenly Father had ever promised to show you an angel, to confirm anything, he would not suffer you to be deceived, for, says the apostle John, 'this is the confidence we have with him, if we ask things according to his will, he hearkens to us.' "But," he continued, "if you ask the heavenly Father to show you an angel when he has never promised you such a thing, if the Devil never had an opportunity of deceiving you before, you give him one now."

However, about two days after, Mr. R. was persuaded to tempt God by asking this sign, which he knew to be contrary to his revealed will; he received a sign, and was convinced that Mormonism was true and divine. Wherefore, to make use of his own reasoning, we presume the Devil appeared to him in the form of an angel of light. The Monday following he was baptised. On the morning of the preceding day he had an appointment to preach in the Methodist chapel at Kirtland. He arose to address the congregation apparently much affected and deeply impressed. He seemed exceedingly humble, confessed the sins of his former life, his great pride, ambition, vainglory, &c. &c. After he was baptized, he professed to be exceedingly joyful, and said he would not be where he was three days ago for the universe. When reminded of the scriptural objection which he had made against praying for that which was not promised, he imputed his reasoning to pride, carnality, and the influence of the evil one. In short, the whole man seemed changed, so much so that Mrs. Rigdon said that Mr. Rigdon's appearance was enough to convince any one of the truth of their religion. Mr. R. and, indeed the whole of that sect, seem rather disposed to boast of their humility and piety. Mr. R. was formerly very irascible, but now thinks he cannot be ruffled, he was formerly haughty, but now affects great humility. The males among them wear a peculiar kind of hat[s], by which they distinguish themselves, and exhibit their humility; but while they are calling upon people, as it were, to come and see their humility, we cannot but call to mind an ancient anecdote: when Diogenes the Cynic, saw Plato with a richly embroidered cloak, he caught it from his shoulders, and cast it under his feet, saying "I trample upon the pride of Plato." --"Yes," said Plato, "but with a greater pride."

About three weeks after Mr. R. was baptized by Oliver Cowdery, he went to the state of New York, to see Joseph Smith, jr. while Cowdrey, with his three companions, proceeded on to the western Indians. Before they left us, however, they threw off their mask, and showed their cloven foot. They declared Joseph Smith to be that prophet predicted by Moses, Deut. xviii. 15, and applied to O. Cowdery prophetical declarations which are directly and particularly applied to John the Baptist, harbinger of the Messiah. When the apostle Peter and deacon Stephen were brought to confront them upon their application of Deut. xviii. 15, they would express wonder, saying, "do you think Christ was like Moses?"

Immediately after Mr. R. and the four pretended prophets left Kirtland, a scene of the wildest enthusiasm was exhibited, chiefly, however, among the young people; they would fall, as without strength, roll upon the floor, and, so mad were they that even the females were seen on a cold winter day, lying under the bare canopy of heaven, with no couch or pillow but the fleecy snow. At other times they exhibited all the apish actions imaginable, making grimaces both horrid and ridiculous, creeping upon their hands and feet, &c. Sometimes, in these exercises the young men would rise and play before the people, going through all the Indian maneuvers of knocking down, scalping, ripping open, and taking out the bowels. At other times, they would start and run several furlongs, then get upon stumps and preach to imagined congregations, baptize ghosts, &c. At other times, they are taken with a fit of jabbering after which they neither understood themselves nor anybody else, and this they call speaking foreign languages by divine inspiration. Again the young men are seen running over the hills in pursuit, they say, of balls of fire which they see flying through the air.

They say much about working miracles, and pretend to have that power. Cowdery and his fellows, essayed to work several while they tarried in Kirtland, one in particular, the circumstances of which I had from the Mormonites themselves. It was a young female who had been confined to her bed for two years -- they prayed over her, laying on hands, and commanded her in the name of Jesus Christ to rise up and walk; however, no effect appeared until the next day, when she was persuaded to leave her couch and attempt to walk. She arose, walked three or four steps, (which they told as a miracle) she then almost fainted, and was assisted back to her bed from which she's not since arisen. But as all their miracles have proved to be a mere sham, to speak vulgarly, the Mormonites have endeavored to save the credit of their prophets, by declaring that they never pronounced these people whole but only prayed for them -- but when confronted by one of the disciples in Kirtland upon the instance just mentioned, as it was so public they could not deny it, one of them said that he did not know but Cowdery did command her to arise, but if he did it was in a laughing, jesting way!!! --

Another of the Mormonites said Cowdery did not command her to arise, but merely asked her why she did not arise. Another instance of a man in Painesville, who was in the last stage of consumption, was attempted to be healed by Cowdery. A few days afterwards Mr. Rigdon was heard to say "that he would get well, if there was a God in Heaven!" He has since deceased. But these prophets had the policy to cover their retreat in these things, by saying that they would not recover immediately; the Lord would take his own time; and one of these people a few days ago, when put to the worst upon the subject, said that he did not think Cowdery would have attempted to do any miracles, had he have known how things would turn out.

Feb. 1. -- Mr. Rigdon just returned from the state of New York. His irascible temper only left him for a little season. Two friends went from Mentor to see him -- required of him a reason for his present hope, and for his belief in the Book of Mormon; he declined, saying he was weary, having just come off his journey; had lost much sleep, and the like. After a number of words had passed, by way of solicitation on one side, and refusal on the other, one of the friends from Mentor said he thought there was no more evidence to confirm the Book of Mormon than the Koran of Mahomet. At this Mr. Rigdon seemed very angry -- rose up and said, "Sir, you have insulted me in my own house -- I command silence -- If people that come to see us cannot treat us with civility, they may walk out of the door as soon as they please." The person then made some apology. Mr. R. said he had borne everything; he had been insulted and trampled upon by old and young; and he would bear it no longer. The other of the friends from Mentor expressed his astonishment, that a man who had just been exhorting others in so meek and humble a manner, as Mr. R. had been doing a few minutes before, should manifest such a spirit. Mr. R. denied that he was angry. The two friends bade him good night and departed. Two days after, I accompanied several friends to Mr. R.'s residence, we found him in conversation with a Methodist presiding elder -- that being soon broken off, one of my friends modestly approached Mr. R. and solicited him to give some reason for his present faith. Mr. R. with great show of good nature, commenced a long detail of his researches after the character of Joseph Smith; he declared that even his enemies had nothing to say against his character; he had brought a transcript from the docket of two magistrates, where Smith had been tried as a disturber of the peace, which testified that he was honorably acquitted. But this was no evidence to us that the Book of Mormon was divine. He then spoke of the supernatural gifts with which he said Smith was endowed; he said he could translate the scriptures from any language in which they were now extant, and could lay his finger on every interpolation in the sacred writings, adding, that he had proved him in all these things. But my friends knowing that Mr. Rigdon had no knowledge of any language but his own vernacular tongue, asked him how he knew these things, to which Mr. R. made no direct reply.

Mr. Smith arrived at Kirtland the next day; and being examined concerning his supernatural gifts by a scholar, who was capable of testing his knowledge, he confessed he knew nothing of any language, save the king's English.

Mr. R. asserted that our revelation came to us upon human testimony -- this we denied, and gave him reasons which he himself formerly urged against deists. He then said the old revelation was confirmed by miracles, but the Book of Mormon would never be; it was not designed to be thus confirmed. (And Mahomet said, nearly twelve centuries ago, "Moses and Jesus were empowered to work miracles, yet the people did not receive them; wherefore God had sent him without that attestation, to be the last and greatest prophet.") But in this Mr. R. contradicts his book, for that declares it is thus to be established.

We then asked Mr. R. what object we could have in receiving the Book of Mormon -- whether it enjoined a single virtue that the Bible did not, or whether it mentioned and prohibited a single additional vice, or whether it exhibited a new attribute of Deity? He said it did not. "The Book of Mormon," said he, "is just calculated to form and govern the millennial church; the old revelation was never calculated for that, nor could it accomplish that object; and without receiving the Book of Mormon, there is no salvation for anyone into whose hands it shall come." He said faith in the Book of Mormon was only to be obtained by asking the Lord concerning it. To this scriptural objections were made. He then said that if we had not familiarity enough with our Creator to ask of him a sign, we were no Christians; and, that if God would not condescend to his creatures, in this way, he was no better than Jaggernaut!!!!

Now, courteous reader, I have given a simple statement of facts for the purpose that you might not be deceived by the pretensions of these false prophets. They proclaim the ancient gospel, putting their own appendages to it. When they think it will best suit their purpose, they say nothing about the Book of Mormon, and at other times make it their chief topic. -- Mr. R. said to me, since he became a Mormonite, that it was no part of his religion to defend the Book of Mormon, he merely wished the people to give heed to the old revelation, to humble themselves, and enter into the privileges which it conferred upon its believing subjects. Again, there is no salvation without receiving the Book of Mormon! Mr. R. now blames Cowdery for attempting to work miracles, and says that it was not intended to be confirmed in that way. How then are we to obtain faith? Does the book offer any internal evidence of its divinity? If it does, it has not been discovered. It contains nothing but what might have been, and evidently was, borrowed from the sacred writings and from the history of the world. Was it so with the revelation that was from the beginning? far otherwise. A celebrated English writer, (Soam Jenyns) has proved to a demonstration, that the Christian religion is demonstrably divine, irrespective of any miracle that was ever wrought, from these premises, viz. that there were no writing or systems, then in the world, from which it could have been borrowed. Again, respecting Smith and his followers, do they give any proof of their honesty? They can give none but their own assertion; they have no sacrifice to make -- no loss of fortune or reputation to sustain -- they are in a land of liberty. Very different were the circumstances of those who first promulgated the "faith once delivered to the saints;" -- They had to forsake their relatives, leave their possessions, and forfeit their reputation. Scourging and torture, imprisonment and death, were often staring them in the face, and always in the prospective. Thirteen apostles, all, save one, sealed their testimony with their blood. So whether their religion was true or false, they proved their honesty. But Mormonism is to be proved from beginning to end by assertion, and this we have in whole numbers, without fractions. But we know that they cannot more roundly and positively assert than hundreds of impostors who have gone before them.

But we know who has said, "evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived," for which cause we are admonished to "continue in the things which we have learned, and been assured of, knowing from whom we have received them." The Pharisees said to the blind man, who had been healed by Jesus Messiah," we know that God spoke unto Moses, but as for this fellow we know not whence he is." So we say we know that "God has spoken unto us in these last days by his Son," but as for Joseph Smith we know not whence he is. But we know the scripture has said, "cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord; for he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land not inhabited." But the contrast is, "blessed is the man who trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is; for he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, that putteth out her root by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green, and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

Now let me conclude with the conclusion of that revelation which begins with the beginning of time and ends with the end of time: "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book; and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." --
"And all the people shall say amen."
                               M. S. C.

Mr. Editor -- I herewith send you an extract from Martindale's Dictionary of the Bible, giving an account of a sect which rose up in France. It will be acknowledged, after reading this sketch that Mormonism is of a more ancient date than people have imagined, so exactly does it agree in predictions, conduct, and ideas of spiritual things. The old maxim, therefore, that "there's nothing new under the sun," still holds good.


"They first appeared in Dauphiny and Vivarois. In the year 1689, five or six hundred Protestants of both sexes gave themselves out to be prophets, and inspired by the Holy Ghost. They soon became so numerous, that there were many thousands of them inspired. They were people of all ages and sexes without distinction, though the greatest part of them were boys and girls from six or seven to twenty-five years of age. They had strange fits, which came upon them, with tremblings and faintings, as in a swoon, which made them stretch out their arms and legs, and stagger several times before they dropped down. They struck themselves with their hands, they fell on their backs, shut their eyes, and heaved with their breasts. They remained awhile in trances, and, coming out of them with twitching, uttered all that came into their mouths. They said, they saw the heavens open, the angels, paradise, and hell. -- Those who were just on the point of receiving the spirit of prophecy dropped down not only in their assemblies, crying out mercy, but in fields, and their own houses. The least of these assemblies made up four or five hundred, and some of them amounted even to as many thousands of persons. When the prophets had for a while been under agitations of body they began to prophesy, the burden of their prophecies was, Amend your lives; repent ye; the end of all things draws nigh! The hills resounded with their loud cries for mercy, and imprecations against the priests, the church, the pope, and against the anti-christian dominion, with predictions of the approaching fall of popery. All they said at these times was heard with reverence and awe.

In the year 1706, three or four of these prophets came over into England, and brought their prophetic spirit along with them, which discovered itself in the same ways and manners, by ecstasies and agitations, and inspirations under them, as it had done in France; and they propagated the like spirit to others, so that, before the year was out, there were two or three hundred of these prophets in and about London, of both sexes, of all ages; men, women and children: and they had delivered under inspiration four or five hundred prophetic warnings.

The great things they pretended by their spirit was, to give warning of the near approach of the kingdom of God, the happy state of the church, and the millennial state. Their message, (and they were to proclaim it as heralds to the Jews, and to every nation under heaven, beginning with England,) was, that the grand Jubilee, acceptable year of the Lord, the accomplishments of those numerous Scriptures concerning the new heavens and the new earth, the kingdom of Messiah, the marriage of the Lamb, the first resurrection or the new Jerusalem descending from above, were now even at the door; that this great operation was to be wrought on the part of man by spiritual arms only proceeding from the mouths of those who should, by inspiration, or the mighty gift of the spirit, be sent forth in great numbers to labour in the vineyard; that this mission of the servants should be witnessed by signs and wonders from heaven, by a deluge of judgment on the wicked universally throughout the world, as famine, pestilence, earthquakes, &c., that the exterminating angel shall root out the tares, and there shall remain on earth only good corn; and the works of men being thrown down, there shall be but one Lord, one faith, one heart, and one voice among mankind. They declared that all the great things they spoke would be manifest over the whole earth within the term of three years.

These prophets also pretended to the gift of languages, of discerning the secrets of the heart, the gift of administration of the Spirit to others, by the laying on of hands, and the gift of healing. To prove that they were really inspired by the Holy Ghost, they alleged the complete joy and satisfaction they experienced, the spirit of prayer which was poured upon them, and the answer of their prayers. Such were these wild enthusiasts, and where are they now?

To the Editor of the Telegraph.                              


The following letter was elicited by a public challenge, given by SIDNEY RIGDON on the 30th ulto. in a public meeting held in Kirtland, at which persons from different States were present, in which he defied the world to refute the divine pretensions of the Book of Mormon. The said letter was respectfully presented on the 6th inst. by Nathan P. Goodell, accompanied by Isaac Moore, Esq. both respectable citizens of Kirtland, who inform me, that when he had read about half a dozen lines, till came to the epithet "infernal." which he found applied to his beloved book, he committed it to the flames, as Jehoiskim, the pious, mock and lowly King of Judah did Jeremiah's roll -- (Jer. 36, 23). Had Mr. R's boasted humility, meekness and patience not been so quickly exhausted, he would have been duly informed, that the writer meant neither to insult him, nor yet to depreciate his beloved author, more than Christ did the cavillous Jews, when he said to them, "ye are from beneath" -- (Jno. 8, 23.), not meaning that they were from hell, as he after explains himself in the following words, "ye are of this world." Had Mr. R. exercised as much patience as did those proud infidel Jews, he would have learned from my explanation in the very next sentence, that I applied the word infernal to the Book of Mormon, in a just and appropriate sense, according to the claims of the book itself, as being dug up out of the bowels of the earth, or from the bottom of a hill; and, therefore, justly styled infernal, taken in its primary literal sense, as I have explained and applied it in my letter. This, however, Mr. R. knows to be the easiest way to get rid of the matter, having no intention to verify his challenge, as he declared to the above named persons before my letter was presented. It also afforded him an opportunity of gratifying his proud resentment by a consequential high-blooded act of indignant retaliation, the most severe that was in his power to inflict; and which, in the mean time, I accept as a just expression of that spirit, which the Book of Mormon is calculated to inspire, and which has been as abundantly expressed in its murderous, scalping inspirations.

Without further preface or apology, the letter and the answer are hereby submitted to the public, whose right it is to form their own judgments of the merits of the cause at issue. And although the various topics of argument stated below, and designed to have been urged in the refutation of Mormonism, have not been argued, illustrated, and applied for that purpose, through Mr. R.'s failure to make good his empty, boastful challenge, which it appears he has no intention of hazarding, for he fears the light, and therefore cautiously avoids investigation -- they, nevertheless, stand as the pillars of Hercules, the insuperable barriers to the feigned pretentions of Mormonism, for the defence of all who do not willfully and blindly submit to become dupes of a shameless combination of unprincipled religious swindlers -- whose unhallowed design is to rob the simple both of their salvation and their property.
                                                          THOMAS CAMPBELL.

                                                                      MENTOR, Feb. 4, 1831.
Mr. Sidney Rigdon:
     Dear Sir -- It may seem strange, that instead of a confidential and friendly visit, after so long an absence, I should thus address, by letter, one of whom, for many years, I have considered not only as a courteous and benevolent friend, but as a beloved brother and fellow laborer in the gospel -- but alas, how changed, how fallen! Nevertheless, I should now have visited you as formerly, could I conceive that my so doing would answer the important purpose both to ourselves, and to the public, to which we both stand pledged, from the conspicuous and important stations we occupy: you, as a professed disciple and public teacher of the infernal book of Mormon; and I, as a professed disciple and public teacher of the supernal book of the Old and New Testaments of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ -- which you now say is superseded by the book of Mormon -- is become a dead letter -- so dead, that the belief and obedience of it, without the reception of the latter, is no longer available to salvation; to the disproof of this assertion, I understand you defy the world. I here use the epithets infernal and supernal in their primary and literal meaning, the former signifying from beneath, the latter from above, both of which are truly applied, if the respective authors may be accredited; of the latter of which, however, I have no doubt. But, my dear sir, supposing you as sincere in your present, as in your former profession, (of the truth and sufficiency of which you have frequently boasted with equal confidence) neither yourself, your friends, nor the world, are therefore bound to consider you as more infallible in your latter than in your former confidence, any further than you can render good and intelligible reasons for your present certainty. This, I understand from your declaration on last Lord's day, you are abundantly prepared and ready to do. I, therefore, as in duty bound, accept the challenge, and shall hold myself in readiness, if the Lord permit, to meet you publicly in any place, either in Mentor or Kirtland, or in any of the adjacent towns, that may appear most eligible for the accommodation of the public.

The sooner this investigation takes place, the better for all concerned; therefore, it is hoped you will not protract the time beyond what may justly be deemed necessary for giving sufficient publicity to the proposed discussion -- say one week after your reception of this proposal to accept the challenge you have publicly given, for the vindication and eviction of the divine authorship of Mormonism, which, if your assertion be true, that there is no salvation for any that do not embrace it; and not only so, but I am credibly informed you have asserted, that even those who have lived and died in the faith and obedience of the old book, in the triumphant assurance of a glorious resurrection and a blissful immortality, may be in hell for aught you know; therefore, I say again, the sooner this matter is publicly settled, the better. For my part, I do cordially assure you, sir, that if I were in the possession of a nostrum, upon the knowledge and belief of which, the salvation of every soul of man depended, I should consider myself responsible to the whole world for the speedy and effectual confirmation and publication of it; and if it be at all a revelation from God for the salvation of man, he must be wonderful changed since he gave the former revelation of his will for that important purpose, if he do[es] not require you so to do, for he was then willing that all men should come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved; and, therefore, he not only charged all to whom he made it known, by special revelation, to go into all the world and declare it to every creature, but also furnished them with such potent and evincive arguments, both prophetic and miraculous, as no candid inquirer could mistake, without abandoning both his senses and his reason. If then, the book of Mormon, which you assume to vindicate as a divine revelation, upon the belief and obedience of which the salvation of all men stands suspended, be such, then surely the unchanged and unchangeable author, who, it seems, has communicated it to you and others by special revelations, has, doubtless, furnished you with such special, intelligible, and convincing arguments, as are abundantly sufficient to convince every candid inquirer, as he did the heralds of the former dispensations. -- Therefore, woe is unto you if you preach not your gospel. But why should I seem to doubt the philanthropy of my former friend and brother, more than I do my own, or that of the Apostle Paul, that I should thus appear to urge his performance of a challenge, which, no doubt, the purest and most benevolent motives excited him to propose, for the purpose of promoting, as fast as possible, the benign intentions of his mission?

Taking this for granted, I shall further add, in relation to the manner of conducting this all-important investigation, that, seeing it is purely for the discovery and confirmation of the truth, upon the belief and obedience of which, depends the salvation of the world, the parties realizing the deep and awful responsibility of the undertaking, and having no private and personal interest at stake, separate from the rest of mankind, will not only afford each other every facility of investigating and exhibiting the truth by all manner of fairness, both of argument and concession, but also by the mutual allowance of any assistance that can be contributed by the friends on each side, either suggesting matter to the speakers, or by correcting any mistakes that may occur in quotations, references, &c, in an amicable and an obliging manner, without giving or taking offence on these accounts; that for these purposes, each party shall be at liberty to select as many of his intelligent friends as he pleases to assist him as prompters; and if any difficulty occur, respecting time, order, &c, it shall be referred to a competent board of moderators, equally chosen by the parties, that the whole investigation may be conducted without the least shadow of disorder or partiality.

According to the spirit and tenor of the above proposals on my part, for the speedy and effectual determination of the momentous question at issue, I shall candidly inform you of the course I intend to take, for the confirmation and defence of my side of the question, that you may be the better prepared to meet my arguments with a solid & unanswerable refutation, if possible; as I can have no wish, nor can any man in his common senses, where the salvation of the soul is at stake, but to know and embrace the saving truth. The proposition that I have assumed, and which I mean to assume and defend against Mormonism and every other ism that has been ismed since the commencement of the Christian era, is -- The all-sufficiency and the alone-sufficiency of the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, vulgarly called the Bible, to make every intelligent believer wise to salvation, thoroughly furnished for all good works. This proposition, clearly and fully established, as I believe it most certainly can be, we have no more need for Quakerism, Shakerism, Wilkinsonianism, Buchanism, Mormonism, or any other ism, than we have for three eyes, three ears, three hands, or three feet, in order to see, hear, work, or walk. This proposition, I shall illustrate and confirm by showing,
    1. That the declarations, invitations, and promises of the gospel, go to confer upon the obedient believer the greatest possible privileges, both here and hereafter, that our nature is capable of enjoying.
    2. That there is not a virtue which can happify or adorn the human character, nor a vice that can abase or dishappify, which human heart can conceive, or human language can express, that is not most clearly commanded or forbidden in the holy scriptures.
    3. That there are no greater motives, that can possibly be expressed or conceived, to enforce obedience or discourage and prevent disobedience, than the scriptures most clearly and unequivocally exhibit.

These propositions being proved, every thing is proved that can affect our happiness, either here or hereafter.

We shall, however, if deemed necessary, next proceed to expose the blasphemous pretensions of Mormonism, by examining both its external and internal evidences.
    1. By examining the character of its author and his accomplices, as far as documents for that purpose may have come to hand.
    2. Their feigned pretensions to miraculous gifts, the gift of tongues, &c.; a specimen of the latter we shall afford them an opportunity of exhibiting in three or four foreign languages.
    3. We shall next proceed to expose the anti-scriptural assertion, that there has been none duly authorized to administer baptism, for the space of fourteen hundred years up to the present time, by showing that the church or the kingdom of Christ, must have been totally extinct during that period, provided its visible administration had actually ceased during that time, is an express contradiction of the testimony of Jesus, Matt. xvi. 18.
    4. We are prepared to show that the pretended duty of common property among Christians is anti-scriptural, being subversive of the law of Christ, and inimical to the just rights of society.
    5. We shall next proceed to show, that re-baptizing believers is making void the law of Christ; and that the imposition of hands for communicating the Holy Spirit, is an unscriptural intrusion upon the exclusive prerogative the primary apostles.
    6. We shall also show that the pretensions of Mormonism, as far as it has yet been developed, are in no wise superior to the pretensions of the first Quakers, of the French Prophets, of the Shakers, of Jemima Wilkinson, &c. That all these pretended to as high degrees of inspiration, to prophecyings, to visions, to as great humility, self-denial, devotion to God, moral purity, & spiritual perfection; declaimed as much against sin, denounced as heavy judgments against their neighbors, and against the professing world at large, for their corruptions of Christianity, &c. &c. as the Mormonites have done or can do; the two latter have also insisted as much upon the supposed duty of common property, and have spoken as certainly of the near approach of the millennium, and of their relation to that happy state, as any of the Mormonite prophets, especially the Shakers, who pretend to be living subjects of that happy period, and who have also given us an attested record of their miraculous operations. --------- The obvious conclusion of this sixth argument is evident, that if the Mormonite prophets & teachers can show no better authority for their pretended mission and revelations than these impostors have done, we have no better authority to believe them than we have to believe their predecessors in imposition. But the dilemma is, we can't believe all, for each was exclusively right in his day, and those of them that remain are still exclusively right to this day; and if the Shakers be right, the whole world, the Mormonites themselves not excepted, are in the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity -- quite as far from salvation as you yourself have pronounced all the sectarians on earth to be, namely, in a state of absolute damnation.

In the last place, we shall examine the internal evidence of the Book of Mormon itself, pointing out its evident contradictions, foolish absurdities, shameless pretensions to antiquity, restore it to the rightful claimant, as a production beneath contempt, and utterly unworthy the reception of a schoolboy.

Thus, my dear sir, I have given you a fair and full statement of my intended method of defence and attack, of the principal topics of argument pro and con, which I shall use, provided you stand to your proposed challenge. I have also used great plainness of speech, and spoken of things just as I believe they deserve, as you yourself are in the habit of doing; and who can do otherwise upon a subject of such vast importance if he duly realize them? Nevertheless I would not have you think, although I consider things just as I have spoken, that I suppose myself more infallible than you do yourself; but I should blush to fall short of any one, of any sect whatever, in my expressions of confident certainty of the truth of my profession, which has stood the test of most rigorous investigation for nearly eighteen hundred years, and which I have scrupulously examined for upwards of forty, especially when the investigation is with sectarians of little more than three months standing.

But though I have spoken as positively as you have done, and we have I both spoken positive enough, I will yet venture to assure you that you will find me as changeable as yourself, provided you afford me evidence paramount to the evidence which I have proposed to produce for the ground which I at present occupy, for it has ever been with me a fixed principle, that the less should give way to the greater. But in case I should fail to convince you, or that you should fail to convince me, others may be benefited; and we shall have the consolation of having discharged our duty, both to each other and the public; for no man liveth to himself.

In the mean time I wait for your reply, which you will please to forward per bearer. I hope you will be as candid and plain with me as I have been with you. My best respects to Mrs. Rigdon, and sincerest wish for the happiness of your family.

I remain, with grateful remembrances of the past, and best wishes for the future, your sincere friend and humble servant,


Note 1: The correspondent "M. S. C." was undoubtedly the Rev. Matthew S. Clapp, son of the Campbellite Deacon, Orris Clapp. Matthew was Sidney Rigdon's first convert in Mentor, Ohio, to the new Campbellite "reformation" of Baptist doctrine. Rigdon baptised Matthew in Mentor during the late spring of 1828, effectively beginning the transformation of Rigdon's Baptist congregation in that town into a group fully supporting the religious views of the Rev. Alexander Campbell. See Matthew's biographical sketch on page 197 of Amos S. Hayden's Early History of the Disciples... Matthew's brother, Henry H. Clapp (1812-1897), also furnished some personal reminiscences of Rigdon, Mormonism, etc. in 1879.

Note 2: For Sidney Rigdon's and Joseph Smith's less than positive opinion regarding Matthew and his family, see the Dec. 1835 issues of the LDS Messenger & Advocate.

Note 3: The Rev. David Staats Burnet reprinted the 1831 Matthew S. Clapp article, along with other material from Howe's newspaper, in the Mar. 7, 1831 issue of his Campbellite paper, the Evangelical Inquirer. Burnet's compilation, entitled "Something New -- The Golden Bible" was a sort of precursor to Eber D. Howe's own 1834 book, Mormonism Unvailed. The Rev. Clark Braden, in 1891, credited his fellow Campbellite minister, Matthew S. Clapp, for furnishing a considerable portion of the material published in Howe's book. See chaps. 8 & 9 of that book for most of the material apparently supplied or confirmed by Mr. Clapp.

Note 4: Dan Vogel, in the fifth volume of his Early Mormon Documents, assigns the probable date of Sidney Rigdon's Mormon baptism to Monday, Nov. 8, 1830, basing his calculation largely upon Matthew S. Clapp's words: "The Monday following he [Rigdon] was baptised. On the morning of the preceding day he had an appointment to preach in the Methodist chapel at Kirtland." Rigdon's biographer, Richard S. Van Wagoner concurs on these dates and they are very likely the correct ones for Rigdon's first public preaching of Mormonism among his followers in Kirtland and his baptism there the following day.

Note 5: Rev. Rigdon's reported remark, "The Book of Mormon is just calculated to form and govern the millennial church; the old revelation was never calculated for that, nor could it accomplish that object," evidently states, in a nutshell, Rigdon's reason for promulgating the book and its message. Rigdon's sentiments in this regard were also recollected by several of his auditors, through the years, and additionally they can be found scattered through the pages of his own paper, the Messenger and Advocate, published at Pittsburgh in later years. Rigdon's basic argument seems to have been that the gathering of Israel upon the American continent, the rise of the millennial church there, and the re-establishment of the "ancient gospel" in latter days is not clearly spelled out in the Christian Bible -- and that additional revelation/scripture was required "to form and govern the millennial church" he so much desired to create and promote.


Number 36.]                                     Tuesday, Feb. 22, 1831.                                     [Vol. II.

Mr. Howe, Sir: Be so kind as to say to the public, through the medium of your paper, that the Saviour of the world has said: -- "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you and speak all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in Heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you."

So says the God whom we worship, and so we say, evenso, amen."

  For the Saints of the Most High God in Kirtland.

{The above was handed us by one who has enlisted under the banner of Smith, the pretended prophet; but whether it bears the sanction and approbation of all concerned, we are not able to say. We take it, however, to be a general reply to matters and things in our last. The passage quoted by the writer, we believe has always been considered a sufficient shield to cover all the fanaticism and false pretensions, if they should be opposed, or even should the truth be spoken of them, which have sprang up since the Christian era. The Muhomotan, the Pope, the French Prophets, the Swedenborgians, the followers of Ann Lee, Joanna Southcote, Jemima , and the fellow at Leatherwood, (who about two years since proclaimed himself to be Christ, and ordered his disciples to build him a throne to sit upon and judge the world) have all quoted the same passage to prove their divinity. And why not the followers of Jo Smith? We hope they will point out any thing that has been spoken "falsely," before deriving too much consolation from the words of the Saviour.}

From the Palmyra, N. Y. Reflector.


Since we have had any knowledge of the habits or propensities of the human species, we find that man has been prone to absurdities; and it too often happens that while we carefully attempt to detect them in others, we fondly cherish some gross inconsistencies within our own bosoms. The lust of power, doubtless stimulates the few, while ignorance binds the many, like passive slaves to the car of superstition.

It is passing strange, that in all ages of the world, gross stupidity in an impostor should be considered among the vulgar, irrefragible proof of his divine mission, and the most bungling piece of legerdemain, will receive from them all the credit of a well attested miracle.

Joanna Southcote published a book in the city of London, in 1804, in which her first prophecies were detailed. She declares that she did not understand the communications given her by the spirit, till they were afterwards explained to her. The spirit informed her how she could foretell the weather and other events. She declares that the death of Bishop Buller, was foretold her in a dream. One night she heard an iron ball roll three steps down stairs, which the spirit told her was the sign of three great evils, about to fall upon the land -- the sword, the plague, and famine. She relates that she foretold the extraordinary harvest which happened in 1800. She was often ordered to read the Bible, when the spirit would interpret its meaning. She informs her readers that Jacob's warning to his sons is applicable to our times -- mentions frequent contests with various preachers, and talks much about the marriage of the Lamb.

The following is from one of her communications. "As wrong they are in saying thou hast children brought up by the parrish, and that thou art Bonaparte's brother, and that thou hast been in prison; so false is their sayings, thy writings come from the devil, or any spirit but the spirit of the LIVING GOD; and that every soul in this nation shall know before the FIVE YEARS I mention to the people in 1800 are expired, and then I will return as a DIADEM of beauty to the residence of my people, and they shall praise the GOD OF THEIR SALVATION."

In 1805, Joanna published a pamphlet, attempting to confute the "five charges," which had been made against her and published in the newspapers. First, sealing her disciples. Second, on the invasion. Third, on famine. Fourth, her mission;and fifth, her death. Sealing is an important point among these people. Joanna gives those who profess a belief in her mission, and will subscribe to the things revealed in her "Warning," a sealed paper with her signature, by which they are led to think, that they are sealed against the day of redemption, & that all those who possess these seals, would be signally honored by the Messiah when he should come in the spring (of 1807). Her followers believed her to be the bride, the Lamb's wife, and that as man fell by a woman, he will be restored by a woman. Many of her followers pretended to have visions and revelations.

At present it would appear that both warning, and sealing have subsided; and they are waiting in awful suspense for the commencement of the thousand years reign on earth, when peace will universally prevail. They now pretend that Christ will not come in person, but in spirit, and all the dead who have been sealed, will be raised from their graves, to partake of this happy state.

If an imposture, like the one we have so briefly noticed, could spring up in the great metropolis of England, and spread over a considerable portion of that kingdom, it is not surprising that one equally absurd, should have its origin in this neighborhood, where its dupes are not, or ever will be numerous.

In the commencement, the imposture of the "Book of Mormon," had no regular features. At a time when the money digging ardor was somewhat abated, the elder Smith declared that his son Jo had seen the spirit, (which he then described as a little old man with a long beard,) and was informed that he (Jo) under certain circumstances, eventually should obtain great treasures, and that in due time he (the spirit) would furnish him (Jo) with a book, which would give an account of the ancient inhabitants (antediluvians) of this country, and where they had deposited their substance, consisting of costly furniture, &c. at the commencement of the deluge, which had ever since that time remained secure in his (the spirit's) charge, in large and spacious chambers, in sundry places in this vicinity, and these tidings corresponded precisely with revelations made to, and predictions made by the elder Smith, a number of years before.

The time at length arrived, when young Jo was to receive the book from the hand of the spirit, and he repaired accordingly, alone, and in the night time, to the woods in the rear of his father's house, (in the town of Manchester about two miles south of this village) and met the spirit as had been appointed. This rouge of a spirit, who had baffled all the united efforts of the money diggers, (although they had tried many devices to gain his favor, and at one time sacrificed a barn yard fowl,) intended it would seem to play our prophet a similar trick on this occasion; for no sooner had he delivered the book according to promise, then he made a most desperate attempt to regain its possession. Our prophet, however, like a lad of true metal, stuck to his prize, and attempted to gain his father's dwelling, which it appears was near at hand. The father being alarmed at the long absence of his son, and probably fearing some trick of the spirit, having known him for many years, sallied forth in quest of the youthful adventurer. He had not, however, proceeded far before he fell in with the object of his kind solicitude who appeared to be in the greatest peril.

The spirit had become exasperated at the stubborn conduct of the young prophet, in wishing to keep possession of the book, and out of sheer spite, raised a whirlwind, which was at that particular juncture, throwing trunks and limbs of trees, about their ears, besides the "elfish sprite" had belabored Jo soundly with blows, -- had felled him once to the ground, and bruised him severely in the side. The rescue however, was timely, Jo retained his treasure, & returned to the house with his father, much fatigued and injured. This tale in substance, was told at the time the event was said to have happened by both father and son, and is well recollected by many of our citizens. It will be borne in mind that no divine interposition had been dreamed of at the period.

Note: The "Gold Bible" article (the fourth in an original series about the origin of Mormonism) was originally published in the Feb 14, 1831 issue of Abner Cole's Palmyra Reflector.


Number 37.]                                     Tuesday, March 1, 1831.                                     [Vol. II.

Mr. Howe -- We hear much these days about the Mormonites, the Mormon Bible, the Book of Mormon, and people are very desirous of knowing what Mormon signifies. In answering their enquiries, I would refer them to Bailey's Dictionary, where they will find that the word Mormon comes from the Greek word mormoo, and by that author is said to signify, "bugbear, hobgoblin, raw head and bloody bones."

{The above has been furnished us by a correspondent in the country, for which he is entitled to some credit for the discovery. Bailey's Dictionary is an English work of quite ancient date, but a very few copies are now extant, and those printed in London, some fifty or sixty years ago. We have, however, seen a copy, and find the above definition correctly stated, as given by that author. It seems therefore, that the writer of the new bible, intentionally or otherwise, gave the book not only an appropriate, but a classical name. This was no doubt done for the purpose of carrying out his experiment on human credulity to the greatest extent -- even to give the book a name, in addition to its contents, which would carry on the very face of it the nature of its true character -- a fiction of hobgobblins and bugbears.}

We have received a pamphlet of 12 pages, containing a review of the "Book of Mormon" from the able pen of Alexander Campbell, of Va. It unequivocally and triumphantly sets the question of the divine authenticity of the "Book" forever at rest, to every rational mind. We shall endeavor to lay it before our readers in two or three subsequent numbers.

Note 1: The submitter of the above lexicographic information may have been the Rev. Matthew S. Clapp of Mentor. A consultation of large dictionaries from that period shows that the spelling and pronunciation entry they generally provided was the English transliteration MORMO followed by the symbol showing that the word is a noun. The resulting image, meeting the eye of the casual browser through the dictionary pages, looks like this: MORMOn.

Note 2: The published identification of the name "Mormon" with Greek spectres and Latinized designations for certain baboons, was not one that met with Latter Day Saint approval. Joseph Smith, jr. later provided a Reformed Egyptian original for the name, which, when coupled with a shortened form of the English word "more," came out as Mor-Mon or, "more good." For the publication of a dictionary example more in keeping with the above 1831 news item, see the short article published in various newspapers during 1843, entitled: "Mormon." Its reprint in the Sept. 13, 1843 issue of the Wellsboro, PA Tioga Eagle makes this conclusion: "... [the word was] used by the Greek author Theocritus, and... Aristophanes the comic poet. Solomon Spalding... being a classic Greek scholar... wrote... what he called 'Book of Mormon' i.e., as he understood it, the Book of Spectres... [although people] have attempted to clothe the word Mormon with a sacred meaning... [this] is the true definition and origin of the world, as well as of the book."

Note 3: The "pamphlet of 12 pages" referred to above was Campbell's 1831 Delusions, the text of which first appeared in the Feb. 7, 1831 issue of Campbell's Millennial Harbinger. Howe serialized the text in his paper, beginning on March 8th (see below).


Number 38.]                                     Tuesday, March 8, 1831.                                     [Vol. II.


From the Palmyra (N. Y.) Reflector -- Printed
abo[u]t two miles from Smith's Bible quarry.

It is well known that Jo Smith never pretended to have any communion with angels, until after a long period after the pretended finding of his book, and that the juggling of himself or father, went no further than the pretended faculty of seeing wonders in a "peep stone," and the occasional interview with the spirit, supposed to have the custody of hidden treasures; and it is also equally well known, that a vagabond fortune-teller by the name of Walters, who then resided in the town of Sodus, and was once committed to the jail of this county for juggling, was the constant companion and bosom friend of these money digging impostors.

There remains but little doubt, in the minds of those at all acquainted with these transactions, that Walters, who was sometimes called the conjurer, and was paid three dollars per day by the money diggers in this neighborhood for his services, first suggested to Smith the idea of finding a book. Walters, the better to carry on his own deception with those ignorant and deluded people who employed him, had procured an old copy of Cicero's orations, in Latin, out of which he read long and loud to his credulous hearers, uttering at the same time an unintelligible jargon, which he would afterwards pretend to interpret, and explain, as a record of the former inhabitants of America, and a particular account of the numerous situations where they had deposited their treasures previous to their final extirpation.

So far did this impostor carry this diabolical farce, that not long previous to the pretended discovery of the 'Book of Mormon,' Walters assembled his nightly band of money diggers in the town of Manchester, at a point designated in his magical book, and drawing a circle around the laborers, with the point of an old rusty sword, and using sundry other incantations, for the purpose of propitiating the spirit, absolutely sacrificed a fowl, Rooster) in the presence of his awe-stricken companions, to the foul spirit, whom ignorance had created, the guardian of hidden wealth; and after digging until daylight, his deluded employers retired to their several habitations, fatigued and disappointed.

The Book of Mormon reviewed, and its Divine
pretensions exposed. -- By A. CAMPBELL.


Every age of the world has produced impostors and delusions. Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, and were followed by Pharaoh, his court, and clergy. They for some time supported their pretensions, much to the annoyance of the cause of the Israelites and their leader Moses.

To say nothing of the false prophets of the Jewish age, the diviners, soothsayers, magicians, and all the ministry of idols among the Gentiles, by which the nations were so often deceived, the impostors which have appeared since the Christian era would fill volumes of the most lamentable details ever read. The false Messiahs which have afflicted the Jews since the rejection of Jesus of Nazareth, have more than verified all the predictions of the Faithful and True Witness. No less than twenty-four distinguished false Messiahs have disturbed the Jews. Many were deceived, and myriads lost their lives through their impostures. Some peculiar epochs were distinguished for the number and impudence of these impostors. If the people had fixed upon any year as likely to terminate their dispersions, and as the period of their return, that year rarely failed to produce a Messiah. Hence in the twelfth century no less than ten false Messiahs appeared.

The year 1666, was a year of great expectation, and gave birth to one of the most remarkable of the false Christs. "Great multitudes marched from unknown parts, to the remote deserts of Arabia, and they were supposed to be the ten tribes of Israel, who had been dispersed for many ages. It was said that a ship was arrived in the north part of Scotland, with sails and cordage of silk, that the mariners spoke nothing but Hebrew, and on the sails was this motto; 'The Twelve Tribes of Israel.' Then it was said that Sabati Levi appeared at Smyrna and professed to be the Messiah." The Jews gave up their business and attended to him. He obtained one Nathan in Jerusalem to pass for his Elias, or forerunner. Nathan prophecied for him, and the Jews became very penitent, and reformed under the expectation that the Messiah would appear in two years. Some fasted so long that they died -- some endured melted wax to be dropped on their flesh -- some rolled in snow -- many whipped themselves. Superfluities in dress and household were dispensed with; property was sold to large amounts, and immense contributions were made to the poor. Tho' he met with much opposition, his followers increased, and began in large numbers to prophecy and fall into ecstacies. Four hundred men and women prophecied of his growing kingdom, and young infants who could hardly speak, would plainly pronounce 'Sabatai, Messiah, and Son of God.' The people were for a time possessed, and voices were heard from their bowels. Some fell into trances, foamed at the mouth, recounted their future prosperity, their visions of the Lion of Judah, the triumphs of Sabatai."

When he was brought before the magistrates, some affirmed they saw a pillar of fire between him and the cadi or magistrates, and others actually swore that they saw it. This the credible Jews believed; -- those who would not believe him were shunned as excommunicated persons, and all intercourse with them was prohibited.

"The grand seignor, determined to try his faith by stripping him naked and setting him a mark for his archers; but rather than subject himself to this test, he turned Mahometan, to the great confusion of the Jews."

We have been thus particular in giving a view, of the incidents of the life of this impostor, as a specimen of the others; and because of some remarkable analogies between him and the present New York impostor.

Numerous have been the impostors among Christians since the great apostacy began; especially since and at the time of the reformation. Munzer, Stubner and Stork, were conspicuous in the beginning of the 16th century. "These men taught that among Christians, who had the precepts of the Gospel to guide them, and the Spirit of God to direct them, the office of magistry was not only unnecessary, but an unlawful encroachment on their spiritual liberty; that the distinctions occasioned by birth, rank, or wealth, should be abolished; that all Christians should put their possessions into one common stock, and live together in that state of equality which becomes members of the same family; and that polygamy was not incompatible with either the Old or New Testament. They related many visions and revelations which they had from above, but failing to propagate their views by these means, they attempted to propagate them by arms. Many Catholics joined them, and in the various insurrections which they effected, 100,000 souls are said to have been sacrificed."

Since the Millennium and the evils of sectarianism have been the subjects of much speaking and writing, impostures have been numerous. In the memory of the present generation, many delusions have been propagated and received. The Shakers, a sect instituted by Anna Lee, in 1774, have not yet quite dwindled away. This elect lady, as they styled her, was the head of this party, and gave them a new bible. "They assert that she spoke seventy-two languages, & conversed with the dead. Through her all blessings flow to her followers -- she appointed the sacred dance and the fantastic song, and consecrated shivering, swooning and falling down, acts of acceptable devotion. They are for a common stock, and rank marriage among the works of the flesh -- They are plain in their apparel, and assume the aspect of the friars and nuns of Catholic superstition."

The Barkers, Jumpers, and Mutterers of the present age, need not be mentioned here. Nor need we detail the history of Miss Campbell, who, in good old Scotland a year or two since came back from the dead and had the gift of tongues; who was believed in by several ministers of the church of Scotland, and some distinguished members of the Scotch bar. But we shall proceed to notice the most recent and the most impudent delusion which has happened in our time. The people that have received this imposture are called


I have just examined their bible, and will first notice its contents. It is called "The Book of Mormon, an account written by the hand of Mormon, upon plates taken from the plains of Nephi; wherefore it is an abridgement of the Record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, written to the Lamanites, which are a remnant of the House of Israel, and also to Jew and Gentile; written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of Revelation." -- "By Joseph Smith, Junior, Author and Proprietor." -- From plates dug out of the earth, in the township of Manchester, Ontario county, New York. -- "Palmyra, printed by E. B. Grandin, for the Author, 1830." It is a collection of Books said to have been written by different persons during the interval of 1020 years -- the 1st and 2nd Books of Nephi occupy 122 pages; the book of Jacob the brother of Nephi occupies 21; that of Enos 3; that of Jarom 2; that of Omni 4; the Words of Mormon 3; the Book of Mosiah 68; that of Alma 186; that of Helaman 44; that of Nephi the son of Helaman, 66; that of Mormon 20; that of Ether 35; and that of Moro[ni] 14 pages; making in all 588 octavo pages.

This romance -- but this is for it a name too innocent -- begins with the religious adventures of one Lehi, whose wife was Sariah, and their four sons, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. Lehi lived in Jerusalem all his life, up to the first year of Zedekiah, king of Judah; and when the prophets appeared foretelling the utter destruction of Jerusalem, Lehi humbled himself, and after various visions and revelations, started with his sons into the wilderness. Lehi, before his departure, forgot to bring with him the records of his family, and that of the Jews; but Nephi, his younger son, with much pious courage returned, and succeeded in getting upon plates of brass the records of the Jews from the creation down to the first year of Zedekiah, King of Judah -- and also the prophets including many prophecies delivered by Jeremiah.

From the records it appeared that this Lehi was a son of Joseph. He prevailed on one Ishmael and his family to accompany him into the wilderness, whose daughters the sons of Lehi took for wives.

Lehi was a greater prophet than any of the Jewish prophets, and uttered all the events of the Christian era, and developed the records of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, 600 years before John the Baptist was born. -- These pilgrims travelled several days journey in some wilderness, "a south, south-east direction, along the borders of the Red Sea." A ball with pointers on it, inscribed with various intelligence, legible at proper times, was the pillar and index in passing through the wilderness for many, very many days. -- By their bow and arrow they lived for eight years, travelling an easterly course from Jerusalem, until they came to a great sea. By divine revelation Nephi constructed a ship, and although opposed by his unbelieving brethren, being greatly assisted by the Holy Spirit, he succeeded in launching her safely, and got all his tribe, with all their stock of seeds, animals, and provisions, safely aboard. They had "a compass" which none but Nephi knew how to manage; but the Lord had promised them a fine land, and after many perils and trials, and a long passage, they safely arrived in the land of promise. -- Nephi made brazen plates soon after his arrival in America, for that was the land of promise to them, and on these plates he marked their peregrinations and adventures, and all the prophecies which God gave to him concerning the future destinies of his people, and the human race.

After his father's death, his brethren rebelled against him. They finally separated in the wilderness, and became the heads of different tribes, often in the lapse of generations making incurations upon each other. The Nephites, like their father, for many generations were good Christians, believers in the doctrines of the Calvinists and Methodists, and practising baptism and other Christian usages hundreds of years before Jesus Christ was born!

Before Nephi died, which was about 55 years from the flight of Lehi from Jerusalem, he had preached to his people every thing which is now preached in the state of New York, and anointed or ordained his brother Jacob priest over his people, called the Nephites. Jacob brought up his son Enos "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," gave him the plates, and left him successor in office over the people of Nephi. Enos says "there came a voice to me, saying, Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed." "And, I sayeth, Lord how it is done? And he sayeth unto me, Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast not heard nor seen." p. 143. Enos died 179 years from the hegira of Lehi; consequently, this happened 421 years before Jesus Christ was born. He was a contemporary with Nehemiah, and may we not say how much wiser and more enlightened were the Nephites in America than the Jews at their return to Jerusalem!

Enos gave the plates to Jarom, his son. In his time "they kept the law of Moses and the Sabbath day holy to the Lord." During the priesthood and reign of Enos, there were many commotions and wars between his people and the Lamanites. -- Then the sharp pointed arrow, the quiver, and the dart were invented. Jarom delivered his plates to his son Omni, and gave up the ghost 238 years from the flight of Lehi. Omni died 376 years from the hegira, and gave the plates to his son Amaron, who, in the year 320, gave them to his brother Chemish; he to his son Abinadom; and he to his son Amaleki; and he having no son, gave them to the just and pious king Benjamin.

King Benjamin had three sons, Mosiah, Helorum, and Helaman, whom he educated in all the learning of his fathers. To Mosiah he delivered up the plates of Nephi, the ball which guided them through the wilderness, and the sword of one Laban, of mighty renown. King Benjamin addressed his people from the new temple which they had erected, for they had, even then, built a temple, synagogues, and a tower, in the new world.

King Benjamin assembled the people to sacrifice according to the law around the new temple; & he enjoined upon them, at the same time, the Christian institutions, and gave them a patriarchal valedictory.

After they had heard him speak, and had offered up their sacrifices, they fell down and prayed in the following words: "O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ, that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ the son of God, who created heaven and earth and all things, who shall come down upon the children of men." Then the Spirit of the Lord fell upon them and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins." p. 162.

King Benjamin ordered his people to take upon them the name of Christ, and in these remarkable words, -- "There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore I would that you should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives." p. 166. They all took upon them the name of Christ; and he having ordained them priests and teachers, and appointed his son, Mosiah, to reign in his stead, gave up the Ghost 476 years after Lehi's escape from Jerusalem, and one 124 years before Christ was born, Mosiah gave up the plates of brass and all the things which he had kept" to Alma, the son of Alma, who was appointed "chief judge and high priest," the people willing to have no king, and Mosiah died 569 years from the time Lehi left Jerusalem.

In the 14th year of the judges, and 69 years before the birth of Jesus, they sent out missionary priests who preached thro' all the tribes of the country against all vices; "holding forth the coming of the Son of God, his sufferings, death and resurrection -- and that he should appear unto them after his resurrection: and this the people did hear with great joy and gladness." -- p. 268.

Alma's book reaches down to the end of the 39th year of the judges. These were wonderful years -- many cities were founded, many battles were fought, fortifications reared, letters written, and even in one year a certain Hagoth built an exceeding large ship, and launched it forth into the West Sea. In this embarked many of the Nephites. This same ship builder the next year built other ships -- one was lost with all its passengers and crew. p. 406.

Many prophecies were pronounced -- one that in 400 years after the coming of Christ, the Nephites would lose their religion. During the time of the judges, many were called Christians by name, and "baptism unto repentance" was a common thing. "And it came to pass that they did appoint priests and teachers throughout all the land, and over all the churches." p. 349. "And those who did belong to the church were faithful, yea all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them gladly the name of Christ, or Christians, as they were called, because of their belief in Christ." -- p. 301. "And it came to pass that there were many who died, firmly believing that their souls were redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ; thus they went out of the world rejoicing." -- p. 353. The word was preached by Helaman, Shiblon, Corianton, Am[m]on, and his brethren, &c. yea and all those, who had been ordained by the holy order of God, being baptized unto repentance, and sent forth to preach unto the people." p. 362. This happened in the 19th year of the judges, 72 years before the birth of Jesus. Before this time synagogues with pulpits were built, "for the Zoramites," a sort of Episcopalians, "gathered themselves together on one day of the week, which day they called the day of the Lord" -- "and they had a place which was high and lifted up, which held but one man, who read prayers every week; and this high place was called rameumptom, which being interpreted, is the Holy Stand." p. 311.

The book of Helaman reaches down to the 90th year of the Judges, and the year preceding that in which the Messiah was born. During the period embraced in Helaman's narrative, many ten thousands were baptized. "And behold the Spirit of God did come down from Heaven, and did enter into their hearts, and they were filled as with fire, and they could speak forth marvellous words." -- p. 421. Masonry was invented about this time; for men began to bind themselves in secret oaths to aid one another in all things, good or evil. p. 424. Powers of loosing and binding in heaven were conferred upon Nephi, the son of Helaman, and all miraculous powers such as the apostles possessed. One Samuel, also foretold that the Christ would be born in five years, and that the night before should be as light as day; and that the day of his death should be a day of darkness like the night. p. 445.

The book of this Nephi commences with the birth of the Messiah, 600 years from the departure of Lehi from Jerusalem. In the midst of the threats of the infidels to slaughter the faithful, the sun set; but lo! the night was clear as mid-day, and from that period they changed their era, and counted time as we do. A star also appeared, but it is not stated how it could be seen in a night as bright as day -- but it was universally seen throughout all the land, to the salvation of the pious from the threats of their enemies.

The terrors of the day of his death are also stated, and in the 34th year from his nativity, after his resurrection, he descended from heaven and visited the people of Nephi. Jesus called upon them to examine his hands and his side, as he did Thomas, though none of them had expressed a doubt. Two thousand five hundred men, women and children, one by one, examined him, and then worshipped him. He commanded Nephi to baptize, and gave him the words which he was to use, viz: "Having authority given me, of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." He commissioned 11 others, who with Nephi, were his twelve American apostles, and promised himself to baptize their converts "with fire and with the Holy Spirit."

He delivers them the sermon upon the Mount, and some other sayings recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. He healed all their diseases, and prayed for their children; but the things spoken were so great and marvellous that they could not be spoken nor written.

He ordained one to administer the supper, who alone had authority to dispense it to the disciples baptized in his name. The only new commandments which were given to the American Christians on his occasional visits which were repeated, were -- "Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed." -- "Meet often, and forbid no man from coming unto you when you shall meet together." p. 492.

Nephi was chief among the twelve apostles: he baptized himself, and then baptized the eleven, whose names were Timothy, Jonas, Mathoni and Mathoninah, Kumen, Cumenohi, Jeremiah, Shimnon, Jonas, Zedekiah, and Isaiah. "They were baptized in fire and the Holy Ghost." Not a new word, however, could be written in addition to those found in the New Testament; for although he spoke for several days to these American disciples, none of the new and marvellous sayings could be uttered or written!! He inspected the plates of Nephi, and only found one omission, which was that he failed to mention the resurrection of many saints in America at the time of the tempest and earthquake. He commanded these Nephites to be called Christians.

The book of Nephi the son of Nephi, gives, in four pages, the history of 320 years after Christ. In the 36 year, all the inhabitants of the land were converted. There was a perfect community and no disputations in the land for 170 years. Three of the American apostles were never to die, and were seen 400 years after Christ; but what has become of them no one can tell, except Cowdery, Whitmer and Harris, the three witnesses of the truth of the plates of Nephi, be these three immortal men. Towards the close of the history of Nephi or the record Ammaron, sects and divisions and battles became frequent, and all goodness had almost left the continent in the year 320.

Mormon appears next in the drama, the recording angel of the whole matter, who, by the way, was a mighty general and great Christian, he commanded in one engagement 42,000 men against the Lamanites!!! He was no Quaker! This dreadful battle was fought A. D. 330. The Lamanites took South America for themselves, and gave North America to the Nephites. Mormon was very orthodox, for he preached in these words, A. D. 362: -- "That Jesus was the very Christ and the very God." He must have heard of the Arian controversy by some angel!!

Moroni finishes what Mormon his father, left undone, and continues the history, till A. D. 400. He pleads that no one shall disbelieve his record because of its imperfections!! and declares that none who receive it will condemn it on account of its imperfections, and for not doing so, the same shall know greater things. p. 532. "He that condemneth it shall be in danger of hell fire." He laments the prevalency of free masonry in the times when his book should be dug up out of the earth, and proves that miracles will never cease; because God is the same yesterday, to day, and forever -- consequently must always create suns, moons, and stars, every day!! He exhorted to take heed that none be baptized without telling their experience, nor "partake of the sacrament of Christ unworthily?"!! p. 537.

Moroni, in the conclusion of his book of Mormon, says, if his plates had been larger he would have written in Hebrew; but because of this difficulty he wrote in the "Reformed Egyptian," being handed down and altered to us according to our manner of speech." p. 538. "Condemn me not," says he, "because of mine imperfections; neither my father, because of his imperfections, neither them which have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that you may learn to be more wise than we have been." p. 538. A very necessary advice, indeed!!

Moroni writes the book of Ether, containing an account of the people of Jared, who escaped from the building of the tower of Babel unconfounded in his language. These people of Jared God marched before [in] cloud, and directed them through the wilderness, and instructed them to build barges to cross seas; and finally they built eight barges, air-tight, and were commanded to make a hole in the top to admit air, and one in the bottom to admit water; in them were put 16 windows of molten stone, which when touched by the finger of Jesus, became as transparent as glass, and gave them light under "the mountain waves," and when above the water. He that touched these stones, appeared unto the brother of Jared, and said, "Behold I am Jesus Christ; I am the Father and the Son." Two of these stones were sealed up with the plates and became the spectacles of Joseph Smith, according to a prediction uttered before Abraham was born. It was also foretold in the Book of Ether, written by Moroni, that he that should find the plates should have the privilege of showing the plates unto those who shall assist to bring forth the work; "and unto three shall they be shown by the power of God: wherefore they shall of a surety know that these things are true." p. 548.

And the eight barges, air-tight, made like ducks, after swimming and diving 334 days, arrived on the coasts of the land of promise. The Book of Ether relates the wars and carnage among these people. In the lapse of generations, they counted two millions of mighty men, besides women and children, slain; and finally, they were all killed but one, and he fell to the earth as if he had no life. So ends the book of Ether. p. 573.

The Book of Moroni details the manner of ordaining priests and teachers, the manner of administering ordinances, and the epistles of Mormon to his soon Moroni. Moroni seal up the record A.D. 420, and assures the world that spiritual gifts shall never cease, only through unbelief. And when the plates of Nephi shall be dug out of the earth, he declares that "men should ask God the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things were not true." -- "If with a sincere heart and real intent, having faith in Christ, such prayers are made, ye shall know the truth of all things." p. 586.

The testimony of Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, asserting that they saw the plates, is appended. They also testify that they know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice has declared it unto them.

Another testimony is appended signed by four Whitmers, one Hiram Page, and three Smiths, affirming that they saw the plates, handled them, and that Smith has got the plates in his possession.

Such is an analysis of the Book of Mormon, the bible of the Mormonites. For noticing of which I would have asked forgiveness from all my readers, had not several hundred persons of different denominations believed in it. On this account alone has it become necessary to notice it, and for the same reason we must examine its pretensions to divine authority; for it purports to be a revelation from God. -- And in the first place, we shall examine its internal evidences.

(To be concluded  next week.)

Note: The article entitled "Joseyism" is actually an excerpt from "Gold Bible, No. 5" -- originally published in the Feb. 28, 1831 issue of Abner Cole's Palmyra Reflector.


Number 39.]                                     Tuesday, March 15, 1831.                                     [Vol. II.

Martin Harris, another chief of the Mormon impostors, arrived here last Saturday from the bible quarry in New York. He immediately planted himself in the bar-room of the hotel, where he soon commenced reading and explaining the Mormon hoax, and all the dark passages from Genesis to Revelations. He told all about the gold plates, Angels, Spirits, and Jo Smith. -- He had seen and handled them all, by the power of God! Curiosity soon drew around thirty or forty spectators, and all who presumed to question his blasphemous pretentions, were pronounced infidels. He was very flippant, talking fast and loud, in order that others could not interpose an opinion counter to his. Every idea that he advanced, he knew to be absolutely true, as he said, by the spirit and power of God. In fine, the bystanders had a fair specimen of the Mormon slang, in this display of one of their head men. The meeting was closed, by a request of the landlord that the prophet should remove his quarters, which he did, and declaring, that all who believed the new bible would see Christ within fifteen years, and all who did not would absolutely be destroyed and dam'd.


The Book of Mormon reviewed, and its Divine
pretensions exposed. -- By A. CAMPBELL.


It admits the Old and New Testaments to contain the revelations, institutions and commandments of God to Patriarchs, Jews, and Gentiles, down to the year 1830 -- and always, as such, speaks of them and quotes them. This admission at once blasts its pretensions to credibility. For no man with his eyes open can admit both books to have come from God. Admitting the Bible now received to have come from God, it is impossible that the Book of Mormon came from the same author. For the following reasons: --

I. Smith, its real author, as ignorant and impudent a knave as ever wrote a book, betrays the cloven foot in basing his whole book upon a false fact, or a pretended fact, which makes God a liar. It is this: -- With the Jews, God made a covenant at Mount Sinai, and instituted a priesthood and a high priesthood. The priesthood he gave to the tribe of Levi, and the high priesthood to Aaron and his sons for an everlasting priesthood. He separated Levi, and covenanted to give him this office irrevocably while ever the temple stood, or till the Messiah came. Then, says God "Moses shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office, and the stranger, (the person of another family) who cometh nigh, shall be put to death." -- Numbers iii. 10. "And the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near; for them the Lord thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the Lord, and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried." -- Deut. xxi. 5. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, with 250 men of renown, rebelled against a part of the institution of the priesthood, and the Lord destroyed them in the presence of the whole congregation. This was to be a memorial that no stranger invade any part of the office of the priesthood. Num. xvi. 40. "Fourteen thousand and seven hundred" of the people were destroyed by a plague for murmuring against this memorial.

In the 18th chapter of Numbers the Levites are again given to Aaron and his sons, and the priesthood confirmed to them with this threat -- "The stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death." Even Jesus, says Paul, were he on earth, could not be a priest; for he was of a tribe concerning which Moses spake nothing of priesthood. Heb. vii. 13, 14. So irrevocable was the grant of the priesthood to Levi, and of the high priesthood to Aaron, that no man dare approach the altar of God which Moses established. Hence, Jesus himself was excluded from officiating as priest on earth according to the law.

This Joseph Smith overlooked in his impious fraud, and makes his hero Lehi spring from Joseph. And just as soon as his sons return with the roll of his lineage, ascertaining that he was of the tribe of Joseph, he and his sons acceptably "offer sacrifices and burnt offerings to the Lord." p. 15. Also it is repeated, p. 18. Nephi became chief artificer, ship-builder and mariner; was scribe, prophet, priest and king unto his own people, and "consecrated Jacob and Joseph, the sons of his father, priests to God and teachers" -- almost 600 years before the fullness of the times of the Jewish economy was completed. p. 72. Nephi represents himself withal "as under the law of Moses," p. 105. They build a temple in the new world, and in 55 years after they leave Jerusalem, make a new priesthood which God approbates. A high priest is also consecrated and yet they are all the while teaching the law of Moses, and exhorting the people to keep it!!! p. 146. Thus God is represented as instituting, approbating and blessing a new priesthood from the tribe of Joseph, concerning which Moses gave no commandment concerning priesthood. Although God had promised in the law of Moses, that if any man, not of the tribe and family of Levi and Aaron, should approach the office of priest, he would surely die; he is represented by Smith as blessing, approbating, and sustaining another family in this approbated office. The God of Abraham or Joseph Smith must then be a liar!! And who will hesitate to pronounce him an imposter? This lie runs through his records for the first 600 years of his story.

II. This ignorant and impudent liar, in the next place, makes the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, violate his covenants with Israel and Judah, concerning the land of Canaan, by promising a new land to the pious Jew. If a company of reprobate Jews had departed from Jerusalem and the temple, in the days of Zedekiah, and founded a new colony, it would not have been so incongruous. But to represent God as inspiring a devout Jew and a prophet, such as Levi and Nephi are represented by Smith, with a resolution to forsake Jerusalem and God's own house, and to depart from the land which God swore to their fathers so long as they were obedient; and to guide by a miracle and to bless by prodigies a good man in forsaking God's covenant and worship -- is so monstrous an error, that language fails to afford a name for it. It is to make God violate his own covenants, and set at nought his own promises, and to convert his own curses into blessings. Excision from the commonwealth of Israel, and banishment from Jerusalem and the temple, were the greatest curses the law of Moses knew. But Smith makes a good and pious Jew the subject of this curse, and sends him off into the inhospitable wilderness, disinherits him in Canaan, and makes him more happy in forsaking the institutions of Moses, more intelligent in the wilderness, and more prosperous in adversity, than even the Jews in their best days, in the best of lands, and under the best of all governments!!! The imposter was too ignorant of the history of the Jews and the nature of the covenants of promise to have even alluded to them in his book, if he had not supposed that he had the plates of Moses in his own keeping as he had his "molten plates" of Nephi. To separate a family from the nation of Israel, was to accumulate all the curses of the law upon that family, Deut. xxix. 21.

III. He has more of the Jews, living in the new world, than could have been numbered any where else, even in the days of John the Baptist; and has placed them under a new dynasty. The sceptre, with him, has departed from Judah, and a lawgiver from among his descendants, hundreds of years before Shiloh came; and King Benjamin is a wiser and more renowned king than King Solomon. He seems to have gone upon an adage which saith -- "the more marvellous, the more credible the tale," and the less of fact, and the more of fiction, the more intelligible and reasonable the narrative.

IV. He represents the temple worship as continued in his new land of promise contrary to every precept of the law, and so happy are the people of Nephi as never to shed a tear on account of the excision, nor turn an eye towards Jerusalem or God's temple. The pious Jews in their captivity turned their faces to Jerusalem and the holy place, and remembered God's promises concerning the place where he recorded his name. They hung their harps upon the willow trees, and could not sing the songs of Zion in a foreign land; but the Nephites have not a single wish for Jerusalem, for they can, in their wigwam temple, in the wilderness of America, enjoy more of God's presence than the most righteous Jew could enjoy in that house of which David had rather be a door-keeper, than to dwell in the tabernacles of men. And all this too, when God's only house of prayer, according to his covenant with Israel, stood in Jerusalem.

V. Malachi, the last of the Jewish prophets, commanded Israel to regard the law of Moses till the Messiah came. And Moses commanded them to regard him till the Great Prophet came. But Nephi and Smith's prophets institute ordinances and observances for the Jews, subversive of Moses, 500 years before the Great Prophet came.

VI. Passing over a hundred similar errors, we shall next notice his ignorance of the New Testament matters and things. The twelve apostles of the Lamb, are said by Paul to have developed certain secrets which were hid for ages and generations, which Paul says were ordained before the world to their glory -- that they should have the honor of announcing them. But S. makes his pious hero Nephi, 600 years before the Messiah began to preach, disclose these secrets concerning the calling of the Gentiles, and the blessings flowing through the Messiah to Jews and Gentiles, which Paul says were hid for ages and generations --"which in these ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto us the holy apostles and prophets, by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel." Eph. iii. 5, 6. Smith makes Nephi express every truth found in the writings of the apostles concerning the calling and blessing of the Gentiles, and even quotes the 11th chapter of Romans, and many other passages before he had a son grown in the wilderness able to aim an arrow at a deer. Paul says these things were secrets and unknown until his time; but Smith makes Nephi say the same things 600 years before Paul was converted! One of the two is a false prophet. Mormonites, take your choice!

VII. This prophet Smith, through his stone spectacles, wrote on the plates of Nephi, in his Book of Mormon, every error and almost every truth discussed in New York for the last ten years. He decides all the great controversies -- infant baptism, ordination, the trinity, regeneration, repentance, justification, the fall of man, the atonement, transubstantiation, fasting, penance, church government, religious experience, the call of the ministry, the general resurrection, eternal punishment, who may baptize, and even the question of free masonry, republican government; and the rights of man. All these topics are repeatedly alluded to. How much more benevolent and intelligent this American apostle than were the holy twelve, and Paul to assist them!!! He prophesied of all these topics, and of the apostacy, and infallibly decided, by his authority, every question. How easy to prophecy of the past or of the present time!!

VIII. But he is better skilled in the controversies in New York than in the geography or history of Judea. He makes John baptise in the village of Bethabara, (page 22) and says Jesus was born in Jerusalem, p. 240. Great must be the faith of the Mormonites in this new Bible!!! The mariners compass was only known in Europe about 300 years ago; but Nephi knew all about steam boats and the compass 2400 years ago.

IX. He represents the Christian institution as practised among his Israelites before Jesus was born. And his Jews are called Christians while keeping the law of Moses, the holy Sabbath, and worshipping in their temple at their altars and by their high priests. 

But not to honor him by a too minute examination and exposition, I will sum up the whole of the internal evidence which I deem worthy of remark, in the following details:

The book professes to be written at intervals and by different persons during the long period of 1020 years. And yet for uniformity of style, there never was a book more evidently written by one set of fingers, nor more certainly conceived in one cranium since the first book appeared in human language, than this same book -- If I could swear to any man's voice, face or person, assuming different names, I could swear that this book was written by one man. And as Joseph Smith is a very ignorant man and is called the author on the title page, I cannot doubt for a single moment that he is the sole author and proprietor of it. As a specimen of his style the reader will take the following samples -- Page 4th, in his own preface: -- "the plates of which hath been spoken." In the last page, "the plates of which hath been spoken." In the certificate signed by Cowdery and his two witnesses, he has the same idiom, "which came from the tower of which hath been spoken;" page 16, "we are a descendant of Joseph." "The virgin which thou seest is the mother of God." "Behold the Lamb of God, the Eternal Father," p. 25. "Ye are like unto they," "and I saith unto them," p. 44. "We did arrive to the promised land;" p. 49. "Made mention upon the first plate," p. 50.

Nephi 2400 years ago hears the saying of a Pagan who lived 634 years after him -- "The God of nature suffers." p. 51. "The righteous need not fear, for it is they which shall not be confounded," p. 58. Shakespeare was read by Nephi 2200 years before he was born -- "The silent grave from whence no traveller returns," p. 61. "Salvation is free" was then announced. "That Jesus should rise from the dead" was repeatedly declared on this continent in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. And at the same time it was said, "Messiah cometh in the fulness of time that he might redeem the children of men from the fall." p. 65. "The fall" was frequently spoken of at the Isthmus of Darien 2400 years ago.

"I had no object," says Nephi, in the reign of Zedekiah, "but the everlasting salvation of your souls," 66. "I had spake many things" -- "for a more history part are written upon mine other plates," 69. "Do not anger again because of mine enemies," p. 70. "For it behoveth the Great Creator that he die for all men." "It must needs be an infinite atonement." "This flesh must go to its mother earth." "And this death must deliver up its dead," 79, were common phrases 2300 years ago -- "for the atonement satisfieth the demands upon all those who have not the law given them," 81. The Calvinists were in America before Nephi. "The Lord remembereth all they," 85. "The atonement is infinite for all mankind," p. 104. The Americans knew this on the Columbo 2400 years ago. "His name shall be called Jesus Christ the Son of God." An angel told this to Nephi 545 years before it was told to Mary, 105. "And they shall teach with their learning and deny the Holy Ghost which giveth them utterance;" this prophecy was at that time delivered against us, p. 112. "My words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth," 115. "Wherein did the Lamb of God fill all the righteousness in being baptized by water," 118. This question was discussed 2300 years ago. The "baptism by fire and the Holy Ghost" was preached in the days of Cyrus, p. 119. "The only true doctrine of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost which is one God without end. Amen," p. 120. This was decided in the time of Daniel the prophet. "I glory in plainness," says Nephi. -- "Christ will show  you that these are his words in the last day," p. 122.  Too late to prove your mission, Mr. Nephi!

"After that ye have obtained a hope in Christ, ye shall obtain riches if you seek them." So spoke Jacob in the days of Ezekiel the prophet. "They believed in Christ and worshipped the Father in his name," p. 129. This was said by Jacob in the time of Daniel. "Do as ye hath hitherto done," says Mosiah, page 158. These Smithisms are in every page. "And his mother shall be called Mary," p. 160. "The Son of God and Father of heaven and earth," p. 161. "The infant perisheth not, that dieth in his infancy." "For the natural man is an enemy of God and was from the fall of Adam, and will be forever and ever,' p. 161. This was spoken by King Benjamin 124 years before Christ. He was a Yankee, too, for he spoke like Smith, saying, "I who ye call your king." "They saith unto the king," p. 182. This was another Joseph Smith called Mosiah. "They were baptised in the waters of Mormon, and were called the church of Christ," p. 192. This happened 100 years before Christ was born. "Alma, why persecuteth thou the church of God," p. 222. "Ye must be born again; yea, born of God -- changed from their carnal and fallen state to a state of righteousness," 214. This was preached also 100 years before Christ was born. "These things had not ought to be," p. 220.

"I, Alma, being consecrated by my father Alma to be a high priest over the church of God, he having power and authority from God to do these things (p. 232) say unto you, except ye repent ye can in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." p. 237. "He ordained priests and elders, by laying on his hands, to watch over the church" -- "Not so much as a hair of the head shall be lost in the grave" -- "The holy order of the high priesthood." p. 250. The high priesthood of Alma was about 80 years before Christ. "The Lord poured out his spirit to prepare the minds of the people for the preaching of Alma, preaching repentance." p. 268. Alma was a Yankee of Smith's school, for he says: "The light of everlasting light was lit up in his soul." p. 277.

During the pontificate of Alma, men prayed thus: "If there is a God, and if thou art God wilt thou make thyself known unto me." p. 286. "Alma clapped his hands upon all they which were with him." p. 313. "Instruments in the hand of God" were the preachers of Alma, p. 323. Modest and orthodox men, truly!! "If ye deny the Holy Ghost when it once hath place in you, and ye know that ye deny, behold this is the unpardonable sin." p. 332. So Alma preached. "And now my son, ye are called of God to preach the Gospel." p. 340. "They were high priests over the church." p. 350. "The twenty and second year of the Judges this came to pass," p. 364. "They were valiant for courage," p. 376.

These are as but one drop out of a bucket compared with the amount of Smithisms in this book. It is patched up and cemented with "And it came to pass" -- "I sayeth unto you" -- "Ye saith unto him" -- and all the King James' haths, didsts, and doths, in the lowest imitations of the common version; and is, without exaggeration, the meanest book in the English language; but it is a translation made through stone spectacles, in a dark room, and in the hat of the prophet Smith, from the reformed Egyptian!!! It has not one good sentence in it, save the profanation of those sentences quoted from the Oracles of the Living God. I would as soon compare a bat to the American eagle, a mouse to a mammoth, or the deformities of a spectre to the beauties of Him whom John saw in Patmos, as to contrast it with a single chapter in all the writings of the Jewish or Christian prophets. It is as certainly Smith's fabrication as Satan is the father of lies, or darkness the offspring of night. So much for the internal evidences of the Book of Mormon.

Its external evidences are, first, the testimony of the prophets Cowdery, Whitmer, and Harris; who saw the plates and heard the voice of God; who are disinterested retailers of the books. I would ask them how they knew that it was God's voice which they heard -- but they would tell me to ask God in faith. That is, I must believe it first, and then ask God if it be true!! 'Tis better to take Nephi's proof, which is promised to us in the day of final judgment! They say that spiritual gifts are continued to the end of time among the true believers. They are true believers -- have they wrought any miracles? They have tried, but their faith failed. Can they show any spiritual gift? Yes, they can mutter Indian and traffic in new bibles.

"But Smith is the wonder of the world." So was the Apocalyptic beast! "an ignorant young man." That needs no proof. Gulliver's Travels is a heroic poem in comparison of this book of Smith. "But he cannot write a page." Neither could Mahomet, who gave forth the Alcoran. -- "Smith is an honest looking fellow." So was Simon Magus, the sorcerer. "But he was inspired." So was Judas, by Satan.

Its external evidences are also the subscriptions of four Whitmers, three Smiths, and one Page, the relatives and connexions of Joseph Smith, junior. And these men "handled as many of the brazen or golden leaves as the said Smith translated." So did I. But "Smith has got the plates of which hath been spoken." Let him show them. Their certificate proves nothing, save that Smith wrote it, and they signed it. But Smith gives testimony himself. There is one who says, "If I bear testimony of myself, my testimony ought not to be regarded."

If this prophet and his three prophetic witnesses had aught of speciosity about them or their book, we would have examined it and exposed it in a different manner. I have never felt myself so fully authorized to address mortal man in the style in which Paul addressed Elymas the sorcerer as I feel towards this Atheist Smith. His three witnesses, I am credibly informed, on one of their horse-swapping and prophetic excursions in the Sandusky country, having bartered horses three times for once preaching, represented Walter Scott and myself as employed in translating these plates, and as believers in the book of Mormon. If there was any thing plausible about Smith, I would say to those who believe him to be a prophet, hear the question which Moses put into the mouth of the Jews, and his answer to it -- "And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?" -- Does he answer, "Ask the Lord and he will tell you?" --

Does he say "Wait till the day of judgment and you will know?" Nay, indeed; but - 'When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken; the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." Deut. xviii. 8. Smith has failed in every instance to verify one of his own sayings. Again, I would say in the words of the Lord by Isaiah, "Bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob: let them bring them forth and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things what they mean, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them -- show the things which are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are prophets: yea, do good or do evil, that we may be dismayed and behold it together. Behold you are nothing, and your work of naught: an abomination is every one that chooseth you." Is. xli. 21- 23.

Let the children of Mormon ponder well, if yet reason remains with them, the following passage from Isaiah 44; and if they cannot see the analogy between themselves and the sons of ancient imposture, then reason is of as little use to them as it was to those of whom the prophet spoke:

"The carpenters having chosen a piece of wood framed it by rule and glued the parts together, and made it in the form of a man, and with the comeliness of a man, to set it in a house. He cut wood from the forest which the Lord planted -- a pine tree, which the rain had nourished, that it might be fuel for the use of man: and having taken some of it he warmed himself; and with other pieces they made a fire and baked cakes, and of the residue they made gods and worshipped them. -- Did he not burn half of it in the fire, and, with the coals of that half bake cakes: and having roasted meat with it did he not eat and was satisfied; and when warmed say, 'Aha! I am warmed, I have enjoyed the fire?' Yet of the residue he made a carved god, and worshipped it, and prayeth to it, saying, 'Deliver me, for thou art my god.'

"They had not sense to think; for they were so involved in darkness that they could not see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts: nor did any reason in his mind, nor by his understanding recollect, that he had burned half of it in the fire, and on the coals thereof baked cakes, and had roasted flesh and eaten, and of the residue had made an abomination; so they bow themselves down to it. Know thou that their heart is ashes, and they are led astray and none can deliver his soul. Take a view of it, will you not say, 'There is indeed a lie in my right hand?'

"Remember these things, O Jacob, even thou Israel, for thou art my servant. I have made thee my servant; therefore O Israel do not thou forget me. For, lo! I have made thy transgressions vanish like a cloud -- and thy sins like the murky vapor. Return to me, and I will redeem thee."

                                   A. CAMPBELL.  
Feb. 10, 1831.                                    

Notes: (forthcoming)


Number 40.]                                     Tuesday, March 22, 1831.                                     [Vol. II.

Our neighbor-in-law, Billy Perkins, says that Mormonism is the Antimasonic religion, because all who have embraced it are antimasons. This is quite a random shot, Billy. But your great eagerness to draw from any source, however filthy, a little help for the handmaid, has probably led you into this error. You appear not to be aware that some "zealous masons" and several "republican jacks," have beset Jo Smith for more light." And perhaps you have yet to learn that the Mormon bible was printed and sent forth to the world, from a masonic printing office, under a masonic, or some other injunction of secrecy. You may also discover a very striking resemblance between masonry and mormonism. Both systems pretend to have a very ancient origin, and so possess some wonderful secrets which the world cannot have without submitting to the prescribed ceremonies, and appropriating a portion or all of their property, as common stock. The secrets of masonry are kept from the world by blasphemous oaths, under a penalty of death -- the secrets of mormonism by making the candidate believe that it will be violating the "express command of Heaven," and the penalty is the eternal displeasure of God, and all "worthy and well qualified" mormons.

Billy seems willing to encourage and support any thing that he thinks will be calculated to divert public attention from the iniquitous character of Freemasonry. Mormonism, Billy, will fail in doing it, unless you give it a hoist with your press, which it is rumored you are half inclined to do, as another Bible is in a state of forwardness for the press.

We have received the following letter from Palmyra, N. Y. on the subject of Bible impostors. It is signed by two individuals of the first respectability.

                                            Palmyra, March 12, 1831.
The "gold bible" question excites but little interest in this section of country, its followers being few and generally of the dregs of community, and the most unlettered people that can be found any where, and besides there is much reason to doubt the sincerity of many of them.

The first idea of a "Book" was doubtless suggested to the Smiths by one Walters, a juggling fortune-teller, who made the ignorant believe that an old book in his possession, in the Latin language, contained an account of the ante-deluvians, &c. and the word was given out that the book Smith was about to find, was a history of hidden treasures.

Smith and his father belonged to a gang of money-diggers, who had followed that business for many years, Jo pretending he could see the gold and silver by the aid of what they called a "peep stone."

The book is chiefly garbled from the Old and New Testaments, the Apocraph[a] having contributed its share: names and phrases have been altered, and in many instances copied upwards. -- A quarto Bible now in this village, was borrowed and nearly worn out and defaced by their dirty handling. Some seven or eight of them spent many months in copying, Cowdrey being principal scribe. Some of the people will probably go to your state, but few of them are able to live without assistance. Their number may be 20 in this vicinity, and but two or three of them own any property to our knowledge. Near Waterloo there is said to be about 40, three or four being men of property. Chamberlain and Burrows, two of the principal ones, it is said, have refused to sell, or obey Jo any longer. The truth of it is, Jo overdid his business at the commencement and bore on too hard.

The whole gang of these deluded mortals, except a few hypocrites, are profound believers in witchcraft, ghosts, goblins, &c. From the best information we can obtain, the work has entirely stopped in this country and some who have been most ardent are beginning to harbor misgivings on the subject. Martin Harris, the head man here as respects property, left here a few days ago on a sojourn to your country, having received a special command thither forthwith. Cowdrey has been heard of far up the Missouri, pretending to have great success in his mission; but as ignorant as too many of the people are, it is hardly possible that so clumsy an imposition can spread to any considerable extent. We have only to add that the facts published in the "Reflector," are true as far as has come to our knowledge.        Yours, &c.

Notes: William Perkins edited and published the rival paper in Painesville at this time, the Geauga Gazette. The letter dated March 12, 1831, which E. D. Howe here prints, was probably written by Abner Cole of Palmyra.


Number 41.]                                     Tuesday, March 29, 1831.                                     [Vol. II.

The Gold Bible fever seems to be somewhat abating in this vicinity. We have never doubted that reason would in due time resume its empire over the minds of many, although many may persevere in sustaining the hoax, after they are convinced of the imposition, rather than acknowledge they were duped by so barefaced and contemptible an artifice. Some half a dozen have broken the spell which bound them to the car of their idol, and others begin to doubt. One of the imposters, who has been up the Missouri to find the promised land, has returned, after more Mormon books. What must have been his astonishment on finding that Smith and Rigdon had declared Kirtland to be the promised land, while he and others were in ardent pursuit of it near the base of the Rocky Mountains!! It was a "wild goose chase."

The following is from the last number of the Reflector, published near Smith's quarry.

"There appears to be a great discrepancy, in the stories told by the famous three witnesses to the Gold Bible; and these pious reprobates, individually, frequently gave different versions of the same transaction. In the first place it was roundly asserted that the plates on which Mormon wrote his history, (in the reformed Egyptian language) were of gold, and hence its name -- gentlemen in this vicinity were called on to estimate its value from its weight, (something more than 20 lbs.) Smith and Harris gave out, that no mortal save Jo could look upon it and live; and Harris declared, that when he acted as amanuenses, and wrote the translation, as Smith dictated, such was his fear of the Divine displeasure, that a screen (sheet) was suspended between the prophet and himself.

Whitmar's description of the Book of Mormon differs entirely from that given by Harris; both of whom it would seem have been of late permitted, not only to see and handle it, but to examine the contents. Whitmar relates that he was led by Smith into an open field, on his father's farm near Waterloo, when they found the book lying on the ground; Smith took it up and requested him to examine it, which he did for the space of half an hour or more, when he returned it to Smith, who placed it in its former position, alleging that the book was in the custody of another, intimating that some divine agent would have it in safe keeping. This witness describes the book as being something like eight inches square, the leaves were plates of metal of a whitish yellow color, and of the thickness of tin plate -- the back was secured with three small rings of the same metal, passing through each leaf in succession; that the leaves were divided equi-distant between the back and edge, by cutting the plates in two parts, and united again with solder, so that the front might be opened, as it were by a hinge, while the back part remained stationary and immoveable, and in this manner remained to him and the other witnesses a sealed book, which would not be revealed for ages to come, and that even the prophet himself was not as yet permitted to understand. On opening that portion of the book which was not secured by the seals, he discovered inscribed on the aforesaid plates, divers and wonderful characters; some of them large and some small, but beyond the wisdom of man to understand without supernatural aid.

Some of the other apostles give somewhat similar accounts, but varying in many particulars, according to their various powers of description. Harris, however, gives the lie to a very important part of Whitmar's relation, and declares that the leaves or pages of the book are not cut, and a part of them sealed, but that it opens like any other book, from the edge to the back, the rings operating in the place of common binding.

As these details, under different modifications, (for it must be borne in mind, that these Mormonites have given versions of the same particulars,) are pretty well understood in this vicinity, we shall give our distant readers but small portions at a time. We have on hand a new edition of the prophet's vision; at the time the Gold Bible was revealed to him by the spirit, and the subsequent transactions, as related by Jo's father and his elder brother; -- also several money digging schemes in which the Smiths acted conspicuous parts, all of which will be given to the public in due time."

Note: See the Mar. 9, 1831 issue of Abner Cole's Palmyra Reflector for the original text of this article.


Number 42.]                                     Tuesday, April 5, 1831.                                     [Vol. II.

Fanaticism.-- Died, in Kirtland on Tuesday night last, Mr. Warner Doty, aged about 29 years. The deceased was one of those who had embraced the imposition of Jo Smith, and was a victim to the delusion of Mormonism. He was duly commissioned after their manner, to preach, and was one of the most active and zealous in the cause. So fully did he believe in the divinity of Smith, that he had been made to have full faith that he should live a thousand years -- this he confessed to a near relative some four weeks before his decease. Five days before he expired, he was suddenly attacked with an inflammation in the bowels, which afterwards assumed a typhoid appearance. He was immediately removed to the residence of his parents, who had no faith in the Mormon remedies for the cure of diseases. -- No persuasion could induce the young man to have a physician called, so strong was he impressed with the supernatural powers of Smith. -- Several of the Mormonites soon assembled around the sick man, where they continued to encourage him to persevere, and strengthen his delusion, telling him that he was getting better and soon would be well, till they saw he was about to expire, when they all fled from the house, without offering to assist in the last sad solemnities of the dead. Smith was sent for soon after he was taken sick, and proceeded towards the house of Doty, to heal him, but (as Smith said) he received a command not to go to Doty's and "cast his pearl before swine." He however visited the sick man a day or two after, and said he would get well, and protested against calling a physician. He held his hand upon the head of Doty for 10 or 15 minutes, but with what object is not known. A few hours before the young man expired, Dr. Brainard was sent for, much against the will of the worshippers of Smith, by the interference of other friends. The Doctor immediately pronounced his disease past remedy, and told the mormon doctors that their superstitions had probably been the means of the young man's death, or something of like import. When the young man discovered that death was nigh, his faith in Smith's pretensions seemed to forsake him. He said "What a wonderful mistake I have made," and called all his friends to take his leave. Addressing himself to an old man of the Mormon faith, he said "you are a friend to every body -- I must shake hands with you -- this is a lesson that I have learnt by actual experience, by which you ought to profit, but with me it is too late." The Mormonites will probably contradict many of these statements, as they have many positive facts heretofore; but we have our information from a relative of the disceased, who was present during the last 18 hours of his life, and whose intelligence and veracity will not suffer in comparison with the whole of those deluded people who have adapted Jo Smith as their spiritual leader.

From the Journal of Commerce.

CHINA. We have received from a gentleman in the ship Alert, 141 days from Canton, a file of the Canton Register from the beginning of January, 1830, to the 18th October.

Canton, July 17. -- A sort of revelation from the gods is now being published by writing, and word of mouth, in every direction, disclosing that this year in the 8th, 9th, and 10th months, a great pestilence will prevail and cause the death of persons innumerable. The first intimation of the approaching judgments was made by the deified astronomer Chang-Teen-Sze, to Tung Talsouyah, of Hoo-pih province, on his way from Pekin, while in Knangyuea district. There will be an abundant harvest this year, but human beings will suffer greatly. The virtuous shall be spared, but the wicked will find it impossible to escape. Those who will not believe shall see.

The ground will be covered with dead bodies. At the third watch when the cocks crow, and dogs bark, a malignant god will go forth to slay by the pestilence. Those who hear their names called must be careful not to answer. Those who devoutly fast at the new and full moon shall escape the pestilence. And each individual who writes a copy of the revelation, and publishes it, shall escape. He who writes and publishes ten copies shall save a whole family. Great calamities will fall on him who writes a copy and conceals. Those who cannot write, will by communicating the revelation verbally obtain the same immunities as those who write and publish.

Note: The brother of Newel K. Whitney supplied this recollection of Warner Doty in 1885: Warner Doty, aged about 25, pretended he caught a revelation in the air which was a commission for him to preach Mormonism to foreign nations. His uncle, Nathan Goodell, said he wrote it to fool him. Doty had a fever. The Mormons took charge and watched with him day and night. His mother became alarmed and called Dr. Brainard, who told her it was too late, altogether too late. The watchers had been instructed when the fever turned to send for Jo and Rigdon. They came and laid their hands on him and pronounced him healed and told his mother he would recover because they had received a revelation that he was to preach to foreign nations. Doty soon died, being the first Mormon to die in Kirtland.


Number 43.]                                     Tuesday, April 12, 1831.                                     [Vol. II.


Some three months since, it wa[s] boldly asserted by those under the influence of the "Gold Bible" imposition, that three young men, while in the spirit, had received commissions direct from Heaven, on parchment, which they caught in their hands in the air, and had only time to copy them, before the parchment disappeared. We believe the fact is admitted, that Cowdery while here, exhibited to a chosen few a commission sealed, & signed "I am the Christ."

But the one which we give below appears to have only the seal. It was found in the pocket of young Doty, who recently died among them, and would appear to be a copy of one of the three mentioned above, by its tenor and purport. At first view, we supposed that this commission was given to Doty himself, which led us to the statement in our last, that he was duly commissioned to preach, which is said not to be the fact. We take it verbatim, only punctuating so that it can be understood:

"Oh my Servant there is a great work for you and the other two of your brethren. I send a messenger to tell you where to go and find a piece of parchment that shall contain these words: -- You shall teach repentance and remission of sins to all who shall come in the sound of your voice -- I command you that you do these things in sincerity and in truth; and if you do, you shall be blessed. The time is shortly acoming and is not far distant, when you shall be bound together for life -- the names of your brethren are these: Burr Riggs and Edson Fuller, and if they are not faithful I will choose another in their stead -- my work must be done. My servants, you shall go forth from place to place, and if you are true to your trust, they shall hear. Remember that I am the Lord your God -- serve me above all others and I will bless you, in the end, amen.

"That you had a messenger tell you to go and get the other night, you must not show to any son of Adam. Obey this and I will stand by you in all cases -- my servants, obey my commandments in all cases, and I will provide.

   | Be ye always ready,  | 
   { Be ye always ready,  }  whenever I 
   | Be ye always ready,  |  shall call. 
                               My Seal  

" There shall be something of greater importance revealed when I shall call you to go -- my servants, be faithful over a few things, and I will make you a ruler over many. -- amen -- amen -- amen."

To the disgrace of human nature, we are compelled to say, that there are some hundreds of civilized beings who actually believe that documents similar to the above have been written out by the finger of God, and sent down to certain persons. Many will indeed tell you that it is not a subject of belief with them, because they know it to be so, but alas! they are commanded of Heaven not to inform the world how they know it! We have other documents of a similar description on hand, from the factory of Smith, Rigdon & Co. which will be forthcoming. We can assure our readers that we take no pleasure in publishing any thing on this subject. But we always deemed it as a bounden duty to expose every base imposition which may be attempted upon the credulous and unsuspecting. For this reason we have endeavored to hold up Freemasonry naked before the world, and for this we must hold up Mormonism, as fast as we can obtain its secrets. The one screened itself from public view by horrid oaths and the fear of death -- the other is endeavoring to do the same thing, by impressing upon the minds of its victims, a belief that the wrath of God will abide upon them for disclosing to the world any of its mysticisms.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Number 44.]                                     Tuesday, April 19, 1831.                                     [Vol. II.


(The following document was obtained from the hand of Martin Harris, one of the original proprietors of the "Gold Bible" speculation. We publish it as a one of the curiosities of the day. What use, or whether any, is made of it in this vicinity, we know not. It was probably prepared for the latitude of New York, where creeds & con[fessionals] were not quite so unpopular as in Ohio. We believe, therefore, it has been cautiously kept from the eyes of most of the followers of St. Jo. in this vicinity. In this business the commandments and revelations of Heaven, are very easily made to yield to circumstances --Ed. Tel.)

The articles and covenants of the Church of Christ agreeable to the will and commandments of God. The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being one 1830 years since the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established agreeable to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God in the 4th month, and on the 6th day of the same, which commandments were given to Joseph Smith, jun. who was called of God and ordained an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church, and also to Oliver, who was called of God an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church, and ordained under his hand, and this according to the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be all glory both now and ever -- amen.

For, after that it truly was manifested unto the first elder that he had received remission of his sins, he was entangled again in the vanities of the world, but after truly repenting, God visited him by an holy angel, whose countenance was as lightning, and whose garments were pure and white above all whiteness, and gave unto him commandments which inspired him from on high, and gave unto him power, by the means which was before prepared that he should translate a book; which book contains a record of a fallen people, and also the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and also to the Jews, proving unto them that the holy scriptures be true, and also that God doth inspire men and call them to his holy work in these last days as well as in days of old, that he might be the same God forever -- amen.

Which book was given by inspiration, is called the book of Mormon, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and declared unto the world by them. Wherefore having so great witnesses, by them shall the world be judged, even as many as shall hereafter receive this work, either to faith and righteousness, or to the hardness of heart in unbelief, to their own condemnation. For the Lord God hath spoken it, for we, the elders of the church have heard and bear record to the words of the glorious Majesty on high, to whom be glory forever and ever -- Amen. Wherefore, by these things, we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting, the same unchangeable God, the Maker of heaven and earth, and all things that in them is, and that he is all power, and all wisdom, and all understanding, and that he created man male and female after his own image and in his own likeness created he them, and that he gave unto the children of men a commandment that they should love and serve him the only being whom they should worship; but by the transgression of these holy laws, man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man -- wherefore, the Almighty God gave his only begotten Son, as is written in those scriptures which hath been given of him, that he suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them, that he was crucified and died and rose again the third day, and that he ascended into heaven to sit down on the right hand of the Father, to reign with almighty power according to the will of the Father, that as many as would believe and were baptized into his holy name and endured in faith to the end should be saved; yea, even as many as were before he came in the flesh, from the beginning, which believed in the words of the holy prophets, which were inspired by the gift of the Holy Ghost, which truly testified of him in all things, as well they which should come after, which should believe in the gifts and calling of God, by the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and of the Son, which Father and Son and Holy Ghost is one God, infinite and eternal, without end -- Amen.

And we know that all men must repent and believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and worship the Father in his name, and endure in faith on his name to the end, or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God. And we know, that justification through the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, is just and true. And we also know that sanctification through the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is just and true to all those who love and serve God with all their mights, minds, and strength. But there is a possibility that men may fall from grace, and depart from the living God, therefore, let the church take heed, and pray always, lest they enter into temptation; yea, and he that is sanctified also. And we know that these things are true and agreeable to the [revelations] of Jesus Christ, which was [spoken] by his angel unto John, neither adding nor diminishing to the prophecy of his book; neither to the holy scriptures; neither to the revelations of God which shall come hereafter by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost; neither by the voice of God; neither by the ministering of angels and the Lord God hath spoken it; and honor, power, and glory, be rendered to his holy name both now and ever -- Amen.

And again by way of commandment to the church concerning the matter of baptism, behold whosoever humbleth himself before God and desireth to be baptized, and comes forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnesseth unto the church that they truly repent of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him unto the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received the gift of Christ unto the remission of their sins, then shall they be received unto baptism into the church of Christ.

The duty of the Elders, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons, and members of the church of Christ: -- An apostle is an elder, and it is his calling to baptize and to ordain other elders, priests, teachers and deacons, and to administer the flesh and blood of Christ according to the scriptures, and to teach, expound, and exhort, and to baptize and watch over the church, and to confirm the church by the laying on of hands and the giving of the Holy Ghost, and to take the lead of all meetings, &c.

The elders are to conduct the meetings as they are led by the Holy Ghost.

The priest's duty is to preach, teach, expound, and exhort and baptize, and administer the sacrament, and visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret, and also to attend all family duties, to ordain priests, teachers and deacons, and take the lead in meetings; but none of these offices is he to do when there is an elder present, but in all cases is to assist the elder, &c. The teacher's duty is to watch over the church always, and be with them and strengthen them, and see that there is no iniquity in the church, nor no hardness with each other, nor no lying nor backbiting, nor evil speaking; and see that the church meets together oft, and also see that every member does his duty, and he is to take the lead of meetings in the absence of the elder or priest, and is to be assisted always and in all his duties in the church by the deacons. But neither the teacher nor the deacon has authority to baptize nor administer the sacrament, but are to warn, expound, exhort and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ.

Every elder, priest, teacher, or deacon, is to be ordained according to the gifts and calling of God unto them by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is in the one who ordains him. The several elders composing this church of Christ are to meet at each of its meetings to do church business, whatsoever is necessary, &c. and each priest or teacher who is ordained by any priest is to take a certificate from him at the time, which, when shown to an elder, he is to give him a license, which shall authorize him to perform the duty of his calling. The duty of the church members after they are received by baptism: -- The elders or priests are to have a sufficient time to expound all things concerning this church of Christ to their understanding, previous to their partaking of the sacrament, and being confirmed by the laying hands of the elders, so that all things shall be done in order; and the members shall manifest before the church and before the elders a godly walk and conversation that they are worthy of it, that there may be works and faith agreeable to the holy scriptures, walking in holiness before the Lord. Every member of this church of Christ having children, are to bring them unto the elders before the church who are to lay hands on them in the name of the Lord, and bless them in the name of Christ. There can not any one be received into this church of Christ who have not arrived to the years of accountability before God, and are not capable of repentance. And the manner of baptism & the manner of administering the sacrament are to be done as is written in the Book of Mormon. Any member of this church of Christ transgressing, or being overtaken in a fault, shall be dealt with according as the scriptures direct, &c. It shall be the duty of the several churches composing this church of Christ to send one of their priests or teachers to attend the several conferences held by the elders of the church with a list of the names the several persons uniting themselves to the church since the last conference, or send by the hand of some elder, so that there can be kept a regular list of all the names of the members of the whole church in a book kept by one of the elders whomsoever the other elders shall appoint from time to time, and also if any have been expelled from the church so that their names may be blotted out of the general church record of names; any member removing from the church where he belongs, if going to a church where he is not known, may take letter certifying that he is a regular member and in good standing, which certificate may be signed by any elder or priest -- if the member receiving the letter is personally acquainted with the elder or priest, or it may be signed by the teachers or deacons of the church. A commandment unto the church of Christ which was established in these last days A. D. 1830, on the 4th month and the 6th day of the month, which is called April: -- Behold I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing, and this is a new and everlasting covenant; wherefore, although a man should be baptized a hundred times it availeth him nothing, for ye cannot enter in to the straight gait by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works, for it is because of your dead works that I have caused this last covenant and this church to be built up unto me; wherefore enter ye in at the gate as I have commanded, and seek not to counsel your God. A commandment given unto Joseph concerning the government, saying listen unto Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful, for behold I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory, remembering unto the Father my body which is laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins, wherefore, a commandment I give unto you that ye shall not purchase wine, neither strong drink of your enemies, wherefore you shall partake of none except it is made new among you; yea, in this my Father's kingdom which shall be built up on the earth. Behold this is wisdom in me; wherefore marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world: wherefore lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and be faithful until I come, -- even so -- Amen."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Number 45.]                                     Tuesday, April 26, 1831.                                     [Vol. II.

Mr. Howe, Sir: -- I ask permission through your columns to correct certain misrepresentations and falsehoods, which appeared in the last Gazette in relation to me, purporting to be editorial. I am but a plain unlettered man, and would not intrude myself on the public, or incumber your columns, were it not that justice to myself, and the public demands that, since the matter is before them, they should have facts. It is true that I, with many others, believing in the pretensions and sincerity of those called Mormonites, joined their society, and united with the family in Chardon, into which I carried what household furniture and property I had, viz.: two good beds and bedding, and sundry other articles, which although not very numerous or elegant, were yet sufficient for my family, consisting of myself, wife, and two small children. I do not design here to give a history of my experience in Mormonism, though I may possibly do so at some future time. Suffice it to say, that I remained with them through the winter, and although I saw many things which were disagreeable and repugnant to my feelings, yet I endured it in silence, and trusting to the sincerity of the professions of the members, hoped for better things. Matters continued in this way until this spring, when a majority of the society in Chardon chose Edson Fuller, one of the prophets or apostles, as they are called, as their overseer, or temporal and spiritual superintendent. Fuller, I was informed, had been sentenced to the penitentiary of this state for the crime of forgery, and when his neighbors, in consideration of his youth, petitioned for and procured his pardon, showed the sincerity of his repentance and the gratitude by stealing from one at least of those neighbors, and then, conscious of his guilt, absconded. Although I disliked very much the promotion of such a man to such a place, yet I had determined to leave the society, and had only proposed to go out to work for some necessary clothing, after being informed by said Fuller that my labor for the society could not procure it, when my house, to which I had removed, was entered, in my absence, by three of the leading females of the society, who, under the pretence of looking for property which they said belonged to them, treated and abused my wife in a manner, to say the least of it, not much like ladies and Christians. They were acquitted, it is true, but I believe all who heard the trial and the remarks of the court are satisfied that it was not on the ground of the innocence of the ladies of the assault and battery alleged. The true reason of their acquittal was not, to be sure, distinctly stated by the court, but it was very intelligibly hinted at; and if the "Learned Squire" Perkins has a desire to learn it, he has only to make the proper inquiry. But hear what the worthy squire says about the matter -- " A while since one Shattuck and his wife, a miserable vagabond joined their colony (the Mormons) in Chardon. He was destitute of even the common necessities of life. -- As they have all things in common, of course he and his wife were provided with bedding and various other utensils of comfort." "A happy circumstance it is, for these miserable vagabonds that though they may act counter to the religion of their country, they have no power to undermine its laws." Now I would ask by what precept of religion or code of morals he justifies himself for thus wantonly and falsely attempting to blast the reputation of a stranger, who has never injured him? What possible motive could he have for giving a false, one-sided, and garbled account of the matter? He certainly could not, as a good Presbyterian, wish to extend the Mormon mania -- What then could be the object? It is said that he is high in the esteem of Elder Rigdon, who is believed by many to be the author of Mormonism. Jo Smith to the contrary notwithstanding, and that they will have occasion to fee some one of the profession handsomely -- but, would he, as a lawyer, sacrifice his principles and pervert the truth, in hopes of getting a fee, and the patronage of the Mormon society? It is said that the squire was sent for by the elder to assist the state of Ohio in a prosecution commenced against me by the Mormon society for larceny, the investigation of which, it is believed, left little doubt on the minds of those who heard it, but that the thief (if any theft was committed) is yet a "beloved sister" in the Mormon communion. But one would hardly suppose that so near an approach to a retainer, could tempt the lawyer in the capacity of an editor to make so unwarrantable an attack upon me, at least when it might have an effect on questions between us not yet at an end. I harbor no ill will against the Mormon society, though headed by said Fuller. They have made every effort to blast my character and deprive me of the means of livelihood since I left them. Many of them I esteem, and sincerely hope that their eyes may be opened to see their own folly, and the iniquity of their leaders.


Note: The only known Shattuck listed among the early members of the LDS Church was Sister Sally Shattuck, who was baptized by Apostle Wm. McLellin in NH in Aug. of 1835. The 1831 Mormon communes at Chardon and Mayfield were short-lived experiments, closed down later that same year. Benjamin Shattuck's LDS membership may have been an ephemeral one.


Number 48.]                                     Tuesday, May 17, 1831.                                     [Vol. II.

Mormon Emigration. -- About two hundred men, women and children, of the deluded followers of Jo Smith's Bible speculation have arrived on our coast during the last week, from the State of New York, & are about seating themselves down upon the "promised land" in this county. It is surely a melancholy comment upon human nature to see so many people at this enlightened age of the world, truckling along at the car of a miserable impostor, submitting themselves, both soul and body, to his spiritual and temporal mandates, without a murmur, or presuming to question that it is all a command direct from Heaven, -- Such an abject slavery of the mind may endure for a season; but in due time, like the chains of Popery, the links which bind them will be rent asunder, and reason resume again her empire.

Note 1: Compare the subject matter of this article with the one published in the June 31, 1831 issue of Lockport Balance, where editor Orsamus Turner says of the Mormons: "Their prophet, Jo. has selected a spot in the State of Ohio, which he calls the promised land! It is in and about the town of Kirtland, Geauga county. Thither the deluded followers of the false prophet are repairing. -- It is but a few days since, that an entire boat load of them passed this village, principally from the counties of Ontario and Wayne." British traveler Thomas Hamilton reported in 1833 that two years earlier, while in western New York, he had "passed also several parties of what were called Mormonites, going to join a settlement established by their founder, in Ohio. Relative to this sect, of which I had never before heard..." Authoress Emily Coburn Austin recorded some similar scenes in her 1882 book Life Among the Mormons.

Note 2: The July 16, 1831 issue of Niles Register, adds the following information: "Their great prophet Jo, has selected a part of Geauga county, Ohio, and pronounced it to be "the promised land," and thither the deluded people are flocking, chiefly from New York... They say that a miracle was worked in their behalf, by clearing a passage through the ice at Buffalo..." The "clearing a passage through the ice at Buffalo" story involved Lucy Mack Smith, who was in charge of the group of NY Mormons traveling via Buffalo to Kirtland.


Number 49.]                                     Tuesday, May 24, 1831.                                     [Vol. II.

Backing out. -- One of the Mormon apostles, named Basset, a copy of whose commission we published some weeks since, which he pretended he obtained from the clouds, with the seal of God, has recently abandoned the Bible speculation, and declares it all to be a miserable hoax. Some curious developments may soon be expected.

==> We are requested to mention that Mr. ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, of Virginia, will preach in Kirtland on the 14th of June -- in Chagrin on the 15th -- in Chardon on the 16th -- in Painesville on the 17th -- and in Mentor on the 18th and 19th -- commencing each day at 10 o'clock A. M.

Note: The above notice was reprinted each issue for the following three weeks. Both Thomas and Alexander Campbell spent a considerable amount of time in Geauga county and the surrounding area during the first half of 1831, attempting to control the damage wrought among the Campellite congregations when Sidney Rigdon left their ranks to embrace Mormonism.


Number 52.]                                     Tuesday, June 14, 1831.                                     [Vol. II.


After all the good followers of Jo. Smith from York state had got fairly settled down in this vicinity, which Rigdon had declared to be their "eternal inheritance," Jo must needs invent another 'command from God.' At a meeting of the tribe on the 3d. inst. the fact was made known to them that 28 elders must be selected and ordained, to start immediately, for Missouri. Jo accordingly asked the Lord in the assembly whom he should select, and the Lord named them over to him, as he made them believe. The ceremony of endowing them with miraculous gifts, or supernatural power, was then performed, and they were commanded to take up a line of march; preaching their gospel, (Jo's Bible) raising the dead, healing the sick, casting out devils, &c. This squad comprises Jo himself, Rigdon, Martin Harris, Gilbert, Morley, Murdock, Partridge, and all the other leading and influential men among them. The flock are to be left to shirk for themselves the best way they can. It is said they are about to commence an establishment some 500 miles up the Missouri, where they contemplate building the New Jerusalem, and they have expressed doubts whether few if any of them will ever return to this "land of promise"; but in due time a command will be sent for the remainder of their deluded and infatuated followers to move -- we opine however, that very few will obey the summons. The chosen few are to be off during the present week, going by pairs in different routes, all on foot, except Jo., Rigdon, and Harris, the contrivers and commanders of the expedition.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Printed  and  Published  Every  Tuesday  Morning,  at  Painesville,  Geauga  County,  Ohio.

Vol. III.]                                     Tuesday, June 21, 1831.                                     [Number 1.

Mr. Alexander Campbell, agreeably to appointment, delivered an eloquent discourse in this village on Friday last, to a large and respectable audience. He occupied about two and a half hours, and his deservedly high reputation as a public speaker was not in the least diminished. -- Among the numerous topics introduced, he took occasion to refer to delusions and religious impositions. He did not suppose that God would ever make a new revelation of his will to men, because it would be only to acknowledge that the sending of Christ and the apostles was an abortion, a total failure of his designs. He contended that all of the revelations which had ever been sent from Heaven, were communicated by men of good repute and credibility -- however high or low their stations, whether brought up at the feet of Gamalial, or fishermen, they must sustain a character of honesty among their fellow-men. It was impossible, according to his views of the nature and character of the Supreme Being that he should make known his will by a money digger, and without giving him any power to make a sure and certain manifestation of his divine appointment.

We understand that Mr. Campbell has had an interview with Sidney Rigdon, in relation to the Gold Bible, and that the striking traits of moral depravity were so fully made manifest by the said lieutenant of Jo Smith, that no unprejudiced mind could be mistaken. We are in hopes that the substance of this interview will be given to the public.

Note: The Mentor congregation was decimated by Rigdon's conversion to Mormonism and the Kirtland "Disciples" lost almost entirely from the Campbellite ranks. Both Rev. Thomas Campbell and his son, Rev. Alexander Campbell, struggled to preserve a Disciple presence in Geauga and Portage counties during the 1830s. The playing out of these delicate religious politics, over several years, may help explain why the Campbells did not take a more aggressive public attitude in regard to Rigdon and his followers. No doubt they had hopes that the Mormon "delusion" would eventually fade away and that the old Campbellites would return to the fold, sooner or later. With the passage of time, however, the Campbells gave upon on this idealistic goal and began to treat Sidney Rigdon more harshly in their publications -- eventually exposing their opinion that Mormonism was largely a creation of Rigdon's secretive manipulations.


Printed  and  Published  Every  Tuesday  Morning,  at  Painesville,  Geauga  County,  Ohio.

Vol. III.]                                     Tuesday, June 28, 1831.                                     [Number 2.

We mentioned two weeks since that the Mormon speculators on the souls of men, were about to take up a line of march for Missourie. The leaders have already departed. Before Jo left, he had a special command for all those of his followers who had located themselves in the township of Thompson, to depart forthwith for Missourie, and all those who did not obey were to be deprived of all the blessings of Mormonism. There were in that township about twenty families, the most of whom started last week for the Ohio River, leaving their spring crops all upon the ground. Those who preferred staying to following Jo any farther, were handed over to the devil. It is verily a melancholy spectacle to view with what facility the human mind may be enslaved, under the name of religion. The main object of the Mormons leaders appears now to be, to drag their deluded followers from pillar to post, leaving behind all those who presume to doubt the infallibility of Jo Smith or question any thing he may say as being a command of God -- thereby obtaining in the end a certain set of slaves who will obey most implicitly every thing which is suggested. Many have left them on account of the various, diversified, and contradictory commands which Jo has given out to his slaves.

Note: The "followers who had located themselves in the township of Thompson" were primarily members of the NY Colesville LDS branch, who had recently arrived in Ohio to find that Elder Lemon Copley would not give them a place to settle upon his farm in Thompson township. Since these emigrants still retained their wagons and some provisions, they were abel to set out as Mormon pioneers in western Missouri. Since Cowdery, Pratt, and the otehr "missionaries to the Lamanites" had been so unsuccessful in their proselytizing misison, the Colesville branch, once they reached Independence, constituted practically the entire LDS population of that state during the year 1831.


Printed  and  Published  Every  Tuesday  Morning,  at  Painesville,  Geauga  County,  Ohio.

Vol. III.]                                     Tuesday, July 12, 1831.                                     [Number 4.

From the Burlington Sentinel.

Mr. John Stewart, of Bakersfield, put an end to his existence, May 19th by hanging himself on a tree. The cause of this dreadful deed was the following:

About two years ago, a man by the name of Davidson came into this vicinity, pretending to be endowed with the Holy Spirit, and to be inspired of God to prophesy of things to come. He is a disciple, he tells us, of Dilks, who has figured in the State of Ohio for three or four years past. Davidson pretends that Dilks has Almighty power, and is God himself. He has gained quite a number of proselytes in the towns of Bakersfield, Fairfax and Fairfield. He wears his hair long, and pretends a great deal of piety. He preaches that Jesus Christ is a woman & quite inferior to Dilks -- that the millennium will take place in 1832. -- Philadelphia is the place designated where Dilks is to assemble his followers, and then the rest of mankind are to be swept from the face of the earth, and Dilks and his followers are to inherit their possessions.

This Davidson has got about thirty disciples in the east part of Fairfield & in the west part of Bakersfield. They meet together every Sabbath and carry on in a manner most shocking to human feelings. They roll naked on the floor, both men and women. and commit other sins too revolting to be mentioned. But this is but a faint picture of their shameful conduct. Modesty forbids that I should utter the whole. A few days since they pretended to crucify a woman and put her in a box and began to pray over her in order to raise her from the dead; but being wearied with lying shut up in a close box, she finally came forth with her own accord before they intended.

They have a woman among them by the name of Thompson, who pretends now, that she is Jesus Christ, and baptises Davidson's followers. She sprinkles [them, in the first place, with flour.] The rest of the ceremony I will omit, for modesty's sake. She performs her baptism, however, in the name of the holy trinity. A man who once represented the town of Fairfax in our general assembly, I understood, was baptised by this woman at the house of a man by the name of Gardner, in Fairfield: Gardener's house is the place of their resort.

The man who hanged himself was threatened by Mrs. Thompson that unless he immediately obeyed her commands he should be sent forthwith to hell-fire! -- She had made him swear by the living God, on his knees, that he would be true to the prophet Davidson and his people, and do whatever he was required to do by him or herself. She then required of him things too horrid and indecent to be named. The poor, simple man, went to his home and put a period to his life.

It is thought by many judicious persons that Randall, of Franklin, who murdered his family a short time since, was deluded into that atrocious act by believing Davidson's doctrine. He was one of his disciples, in part, at least.

There is another man among them that is beginning to be crazy. I believe the whole of it is the work of the evil one, and that Davidson goes about and preaches only for the sake of doing all the harm he can to religion.

Immediately after Stewart hanged himself, several men agreed to tar and feather Davidson. One of the men, with several lads went to Gardner's with their apparatus for tarring, and found Davidson delivering a lecture. They waited a while for others to help them. But no one came; the man entered the room and dragged out Davidson, and the boys applied the tar. The others undertook to rescue Davidson, but shared the same fate. The tar was faithfully applied to their pates, in turn. A man from Colchester, fled to the chamber, but was pursued to his retreat, and was spared by being very penitent, and proclaiming that he would not be seen in Fairfield again.

I have just been conversing with a gentleman of undoubted veracity, who informs me that he has been present & saw with his own eyes a man get down and kiss the floor at the command of Mrs. Thompson; and says that this is but a faint picture, that I have given above, of the base conduct of Davidson and his followers.
                  Fairfield, June 3, 1831.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Printed  and  Published  Every  Tuesday  Morning,  at  Painesville,  Geauga  County,  Ohio.

Vol. III.]                               Tuesday, Sept. 13, 1831.                               [Number 13.

From the Ravenna Courier.


A responsible and intelligent individual, who has devoted much time to make himself acquainted with the principles, practices and objects of the Mormon leaders, and at whose request we publish the following, assures us that it is a correct copy of the regulations to which the deluded followers are compelled to assent, after joining the church.

The Prophets or Preachers, declare it to be a Law revealed to them from heaven, by the Almighty, on the 23d of February 1831, and assert, that they were commanded not to communicate it to the world, nor even to their followers, until they became strong in the faith.

Kirtland, Geauga Co. May 23d, A. D. 1831.
A Commandment to the Elders.

Hearken, O ye Elders of my church, who have assembled yourselves together, in my name, even Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, the Saviour of the world; inasmuch as they believe on my name and keep my commandments, again I say unto you hearken, and hear and obey the Laws which I shall give unto you, for verily I say, as ye have assembled yourselves together according to the commandment wherewith I commanded you, and are agreed as touching this one thing, and have asked me in my name, even so ye shall receive. -- Behold, verily I say unto you, I give unto you this first commandment, that ye shall go forth in my name, every one of you, excepting my servants Joseph and Sidney, and I give unto them a commandment, that they shall go forth for a little season, and it shall be given by the power of my spirit when they shall return. And ye shall go forth in the power of my spirit, preaching my Gospel, two by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the voice of a Trump, declaring my word like unto angels of God; and ye shall go forth baptizing with water saying, repent ye! repent ye! for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand, and from this place ye shall go forth into the regions westward, and inasmuch as ye shall find my disciples, ye shall build up my church in every region, until the time shall come when it shall be revealed unto you from on high, and the city of the New Jerusalem shall be prepared, that ye may be gathered in one, that ye may be my people, and I will be your God. And again I say unto you, that my servant Edward, shall stand in the office where I have appointed him, and it shall come to pass, that if he transgress, another shall be appointed in his stead even so Amen.

THE LAWS. -- Again I say unto you, that it shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my Gospel, or to build up my church, except they be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he hath authority, and has been regularly ordained by the Elders of the church; and again, the Elders, Priests, and Teachers of this church, shall teach the scriptures which are in the Bible, & the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fullness of the gospel; and thou shall observe the covenants & church articles, to do them; & this shall be their teaching, and they shall be directed by the Spirit, it shall be thee by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the spirit, ye shall not teach, and this ye shall observe to do, as I have commanded concerning your teaching, until the fullness of my scripture be given. And as ye shall lift up your voices by the comforter, ye shall speak and prophecy as so seemeth me good, for behold the comforter knoweth all things, and beareth me record of the Father and the Son, and now behold I speak unto the church.

Thou shalt not kill, and he that killeth shall not have forgiveness, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.

And again thou shalt not kill, he that killeth shall die.

Thou shalt not steal, and he that stealeth and will not repent shall be cast out.

Thou shalt not lie, he that lieth and will not repent, shall be cast out.

Thou shalt love thy wife, with all thy heart, and shall cleave unto her, and none else, and he that looketh on a woman to lust after her, shall deny the faith and shall not have the spirit, and if he repent not, he shall be cast out.

Thou shalt not commit adultery, and he that committeth adultery and repenteth not, shall be cast out, and he that committeth adultery and repenteth with all his heart, and forsaketh and doeth it no more, thou shalt forgive him; but if he doeth it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out.

Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor, or do him any harm, thou knowest my laws, they are given in my scriptures, he that sinneth and repenteth not, shall be cast out -- if thou lovest me, thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments. And behold, thou shalt consecrate all thy properties, that which thou hast unto me, with a covenant and a deed which can not be broken, and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church, and two of the elders, such as he shall appoint and set apart for that purpose. And it shall come to pass that the bishop of my church after that he has received the properties of my church that it can not be taken from [the church], he shall appoint every man a steward over his own property, or that which he hath received, inasmuch as is sufficient for himself and family, and the residue shall be kept to administer to him that hath not, that every man may receive according as he stands in need, and the residue shall be kept in my store house, to administer to the poor and needy as shall be appointed by the Elders of the church and the bishop and for the purpose of purchasing lands, and the building up of the New Jerusalem which is hereafter to be revealed, that my covenant people may be gathered in [me] in the day that I shall come to my temple, this I do for the salvation of my people. And it shall come to pass, that he that sinneth and repenteth not shall be cast out and shall not receive again that which he has consecrated unto me, for it shall come to pass that which I spake by the mouth[s] of my prophets shall be fulfilled, for I will consecrate the riches of the Gentiles unto my people which are of the House of Israel, and again, thou shalt not be proud in [thy] heart, let all thy garments be plain and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands and let all things be done in cleanliness before me.

Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle, shall not eat the bread, nor wear the garments of the labourer, and whosoever among you that [are] sick, and hath not faith to be healed but believeth shall be nourished in all tenderness with herbs and mild food, and that not of the world, and the Elders of the church, two or more shall be called, and shall pray for and lay their hands on them in my name, and if they die, they shall die unto me, and if they live they shall live unto me, thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection.

And it shall come to pass, that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them; and they that die not in me, wo is them for their death is bitter; and again it shall come to pass that he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed; he that hath faith to see, shall see; he that hath faith to hear, shall hear; the lame that have faith to leap, shall leap; and they who have not faith to do these things, but believe in me, have power to become my sons, and inasmuch as they break not my laws, thou shalt bear their infirmities, thou shalt stand in the place of thy stewardship. -- Thou shalt not take thy brother's garment. Thou shalt pay for that which thou shalt receive of thy Brother, and if thou obtain more than that which would be for thy support, thou shalt give it into my store house, that all things may be done according to that which I have spoken. Thou shalt ask, and my Scriptures shall be given as I have appointed, and for thy salvation, thou shalt hold thy peace concerning them, until ye have received them, and then I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall teach them to all men and they also shall be taught unto all nations, kindred, tongue and people; thou shalt take the things which thou has received, which thou knowest to have been Law, to be my Law, to govern my church, and he that doth according to these things, shall be saved and he that doth them not shall be damned, if he continue, if thou shalt ask thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know mysteries and peaceable things of the kingdom, that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.

Thou shalt ask and it shall be revealed unto you in mine own due time, where the New Jerusalem shall be built. Thou shall ask and it shall be revealed in mine own due time. Behold it shall come to pass, that my servants shall be sent both to the east, and to the west, the north and south, and even now let him that goes to the east, teach them that are converted to flee to the west, and this because of that which is to come, and secret combinations. -- Behold, thou shalt observe all these things, and great shall be thy reward. Thou shalt observe to keep the mysteries, of the kingdom unto thyself, for it is not given unto the world to know the mysteries, and these Laws which ye have received are sufficient for both here and in the New Jerusalem, but he that lacketh knowledge, let him ask me, and I will give him liberally and upbraid him not. Lift up your hearts and rejoice, for unto you the Kingdom is given, even so -- Amen.

NOTE -- The date at the beginning, was probably at the time of transcribing. -- The servants "Joseph, Sidney and Edward," spoken of, are Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and Edward Partridge.

(We have no hesitation in giving our unqualified belief that the above is a true extract from the Mormon records. We have had the same communicated to us verbally from other sources. They have also manuscripts among them sufficient to make several [copies] of similar [ones], which are, however, kept from the view of the weaker brethren. Jo Smith pretends that they are communicated to him by the Deity. Smith dictates to another, who writes them down, generally but a few sentences at a time. All among them who make bold to even doubt that these "commands" are the words of God, [who] made known to them, are immediately expelled as heretics. Such is human nature. -- Ed. Tel.)

Note 1: This article from the Sept. 6, 1831 issue of the Ravenna Western Courier was published two years after Lewis L. Rice left that paper to found the Ohio Star at Ravenna. The Painesville Telegraph of Nov. 10, 1829 calls Rice's new paper the "Western Star."

Note 2: Ravenna editor Lewis L. Rice declined to publish this article, the text of which was reportedly stolen from the LDS headquarters at Kirtland by ex-Mormon, Simmonds Ryder. Substantially the same text was later made into an LDS D&C section. Rice did, however, consent to publish other significant reports regarding the Mormons -- see E. D. Howe's reprint of some of this Ohio Star material, beginning in his issue of Oct. 25th (below).


Printed  and  Published  Every  Tuesday  Morning,  at  Painesville,  Geauga  County,  Ohio.

Vol. III.]                               Tuesday, Oct. 25, 1831.                               [Number 19.


The following is the first of a series of which we understand are forthcoming from the same pen, on the subject of the Mormon delusion. The writer was a celebrated preacher of the Methodist society, and was one of those who embraced the religion of Smith & Co. soon after its introduction here. He was very strong in the faith, and made a tour of the western line of Missouri at the command of the prophet, to see the "promised land," and [site] of the New Jerusalem.

From the Ohio Star

Nelson, Portage County, Sept. 12th.
Dear Sir: I received yours of the 2d instant, and heartily thank you for the favor. It revives afresh in my recollection the scenes of past years, upon the remembrance of which, I dwell with a mixture of pleasurable and painful sensation. I arrived at my home on the 1st of the present month, having finished my tour to the west, since which time the scenes and events in the history of my life, for the last few months, have passed in review before my mind.

You are not, it is probable, ignorant of the designs of my most singular and romantic undertaking: sufficient to say, it was for the purpose of exploring the promised land -- laying the foundation of the City of Zion, and placing the corner stone of the temple of God. A journey of 1000 miles to the west, has taught me far more abundantly, than I should probably have learned from any other source. It has taught me quite beyond my knowledge, the imbecility of human nature, and especially my own weakness. It has unfolded in its proper character, a delusion to which I had fallen a victim, and taught me the humiliating truth -- that I was exerting the powers of both my mind and body, and sacrificing my time and property to build up a system of delusion, almost unparalleled in the annals of the world.

If God be a God of consistency and wisdom, I now know Mormonism to be a delusion; and this knowledge is built upon the testimony of my senses. In proclaiming it, I am aware I proclaim my own misfortune -- but in doing it, I remove a burden from my mind, and discharge a duty as humbling to myself, as it may be profitable to others. You had heard the story of my wanderings, and "was induced to believe that I had been visited with a species of mental derangement," and therefore, you "had given me up, as one among those friends of early association, who in the lapse of time, would be as though they had not existed." You had concluded that the magic charm of delusion and falsehood, had so wrapped its sable mantle around me, as to exclude the light of truth, and secure me a devoted slave. But, thanks be to God! the spell is dissipated, and the "captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and not die in the pit."

When I embraced Mormonism, I conscientiously believed it to be of God. The impressions of my mind were deep and powerful, and my feelings were exerted to a degree to which I had been a stranger. Like a ghost, it haunted me by night and by day, until I was mysteriously hurried, as it were, by a kind of necessity, into the vortex of delusion. At times I was much elated; but generally, things in prospect were the greatest stimulants to action.

On our arrival in the western part of the State of Missouri the place of our destination, we discovered that prophecy and vision had failed, or rather had proved false. This fact was so notorious, and the evidence so clear that no one could mistake it -- so much so, that Mr. Rigdon himself said that "Joseph's vision was a bad thing." This was glossed over, apparently, to the satisfaction of most persons present; but not fully to my own. It excited a suspicion that some things were not right, and prepared my mind for the investigation of a variety of circumstances, which occurred during my residence there, and indeed, to review the whole subject, from its commencement to that time. My opportunities for a thorough investigation, were far greater than they could have been, had I remained at home; and therefore, I do not regret that I made the journey, though I sincerely regret the cause of it. Since my return I have had several interviews with Messrs. Smith, Rigdon and Cowdery, and the various shifts and turns, to which they resorted in order to obviate objectors and difficulties, produced in my mind additional evidence, that their's is nothing else than a deeply laid plan of craft and deception.

The relation in which Smith stands to the church, is that of a Prophet, Seer, Revealer and Translator; and when he speaks by the Spirit, or says he knows a thing by the communication of the Spirit, it is received as coming directly from the mouth of the Lord. -- When he says he knows a thing to be so, thus it must stand without controversy. A question is agitated between two Elders of the church -- whether or not a bucket of water will become heavier by putting a living fish in it. Much is said by each of the disputants; when at length, Smith decides in the negative, by saying -- "I know by the Spirit, that it will be no heavier." Any person who chooses, may easily ascertain by actual experiment, whether the Prophet was influenced in this decision by a true or false Spirit.

It is not my design, at this time, to enter into particulars relative to the evidence upon which my renunciation of Mormonism is founded. This evidence is derived from various sources, and is clear and full, and the conviction which it produces, at least on my mind, is irresistible. You are not aware of the nature of this deception, and the spirit that uniformly attends it; nor can you ever know it, unless you yield to its influence, and by experience learn what it is to fall under its power: "from which my earnest prayer is, that you may ever, ever escape."

There probably never was a plan better suited to lead the sinner and the conscientious, when in an unguarded hour they listen to its fatal insinuations. The plan is so ingeniously contrived, having for its aim one principal point, viz: the establishment of a society in Missouri, over which the contrivers of this delusive system, are to possess unlimited and despotic sway. To accomplish this, the Elders of the Church, by commandment given in Missouri, and of which I was both an eye and an ear witness, are to go forth to preach Mormonism to every creature; and now, said Mr. Rigdon -- "The Lord has set us our stint; no matter how soon we perform it -- for when this is done, he will make his second appearance."

I do sincerely, and I trust in deep humility, return unfeigned gratitude to the God of infinite mercy, who, in condescension to my weakness, by a peculiar train of providences, brought me to the light, enabled me to see the hidden things of darkness, and delivered me from the snare of the fowler, and from the contagious pestilence which threatened my entire destruction. The scenes of the past few months, are so different from all others in my life, that they are in truth to me "as a dream when one awaketh." Had my fall affected only myself, my reflections would be far less painful than they now are. But to know -- that whatever influence I may have possessed, has been exerted to draw others into a delusion, from which they may not soon be extricated, is to me a source of sorrow and deep regret. They are at this moment the object of my greatest anxiety and commiseration. I crave their forgiveness, and assure them, that they will ever have an interest in my addresses to the throne of grace. It shall be my endeavor to undo as far as possible, what I have done in this case, and also to prevent the spread of a delusion, pernicious in its influence, and destructive in its consequences to the body and the soul -- to the present and eternal interests of all men.

I am, through restoring mercy and grace, as in former years, though unworthily, yet affectionately your's in Christ,


Note: E. D. Howe gave this article first column, front space space in his Painesville Telegraph. This particular letter by Ezra Booth first appeared in the Oct. 13, 1831 issue of Lewis L. Rice's Ohio Star.


Printed  and  Published  Every  Tuesday  Morning,  at  Painesville,  Geauga  County,  Ohio.

Vol. III.]                               Tuesday, Nov. 1, 1831.                               [Number 20.

From the Ohio Star.
Mormonism No. II.

Nelson, Portage Co., Oct. 9, 1831.
Were there none but myself interested in the exposition of Mormonism, I can assure you my time would be otherwise employed than in writing upon a subject which has heretofore been to me one of deep interest, and at times has occasioned a painful anxiety of mind. I could wish, if possible, to bury it in oblivion; and to remember it no more forever. But as this is a thing which cannot be accomplished in a moment, for the sake of others, who may be exposed to the delusion, from which through the mercy of God, I have been recovered, and others who are at present involved in it: and also in compliance with your request, I will, as far as I have ability, unfold a system of darkness, fraught with glaring absurdity, and as deceptive as falsehood itself.

This system, to some, carries the face of plausibility, and appears under an imposing form. It claims the Bible for its patron and proffers the restoration of the apostolic church, with all the gifts and graces with which the primitive saints were endowed. It is called the fullness of the gospel of both Jew and Gentile: and is the test by which every man's faith is to be tried. Judgments are denounced against the sinners of this generation; or in other words, all who reject the book of Mormon, are threatened with eternal damnation. Great promises are made to such as embrace it, signs and wonders are to attend them, such as healing the sick, the blind made to see, the lame to walk, &c,; and they are to receive an everlasting inheritance in "the land of Missouri," where the Saviour will make his second appearance -- at which place the foundation of the Temple of God, and the City of Zion, have recently been laid, and are soon to be built. It is also to be a city of Refuge, and a safe asylum when the storms of vengeance shall pour upon the earth, and those who reject the book of Mormon, shall be swept off as with the besom of destruction. Then shall the riches of the Gentiles be consecrated to the Mormonites; they shall have lands and cattle in abundance, and shall possess the gold and silver, and all the treasures of their enemies.

The Mormonite preachers go forth proclaiming repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost. The form of baptism is similar to other orders; only it is prefaced with -- "having authority given me of Jesus Christ;" also, the laying on of hands -- "In the name of Jesus Christ, receive ye the Holy Ghost." Many of them have been ordained to the High Priesthood, or the order of Melchisedec; and profess to be endowed with the same power as the ancient apostles were. But they have been hitherto unsuccessful in finding the lame, the halt, and the blind, who had faith sufficient to become the subjects of their miracles: and it is now concluded that this work must be postponed until they get to Missouri; for the Lord will not show those signs to this wicked and adulterous generation. In the commandment given to the churches in the state of New York, to remove to the state of Ohio, they were assured that these miracles should be wro't in the state of Ohio; but now they must be deferred until they are settled in Missouri.

As the Mormonite church depends principally upon the commandments, and as most of them are concealed from the world, it will be necessary to make some statement respecting them. These commandments come from Smith, at such times and on such occasions as he feels disposed to speak, and Rigdon or Cowdery to write them. Their exact number I have never taken pains to ascertain. I have the "27th commandment to Emma my daughter in Zion;" and should presume there are betwixt fifty and a hundred. They received the addition of five or six while in Missouri; and these are considered a miracle in themselves, sufficient to convince any rational mind. But none but the strong in faith are permitted to witness their origin. I had an opportunity of seeing this wonderful exhibition of the wisdom and power of God, at three different times; and I must say, that it bore striking marks of human weakness and wickedness. They are received in the church as divinely inspired, and the name of the Lord is substituted for that of Smith. They are called "The Commandments of the Lord," They are considered "The mysteries of the Kingdom;" and to divulge them to the world, is the same as casting pearls before swine. When they and the Scriptures are at variance, the scriptures are wrongly translated; and Smith, though totally ignorant of the original, being a translator or an alterator, can easily harmonize them. Every thing in the church is done by commandment: and yet it is said to be done by the voice of the church. For instance, Smith gets a commandment that he shall be the "head of the church," or that he "shall rule the Conference," or that the Church shall build him an elegant house, and give him 1000 dollars. For this the members of the church must vote, or they will be cast off for revelling against the commandments of the Lord. In addition to the book of Mormon, and the commandments, there are revelations which are not written. In this department, though Smith is the principal, yet there are others who profess to receive revelations; but after all, Smith is to decide whether they come from the Lord or the devil. Some have been so unfortunate as to have their revelations palmed off upon the latter. These revelations entirely supercede the Bible, & in fact, the Bible is declared too defective to be trusted, in its present form; and it is designed that it shall undergo a thorough alteration, or as they say, translation. This work is now in operation. The Gospel by St. Matthew has already received the purifying touch, and is prepared for the use of the church. It was intended to have kept this work a profound secret, and strict commandments were given for that purpose; and even the salvation of the church was said to depend upon it. The secret is divulged, but the penalty is not as yet inflicted. -- Their revelations are said to be an addition to the Bible. -- But instead of being an addition, they destroy its use; for everything which need be known, whether present, past or future, they can learn from Smith, for he has declared to the church, that he "knows all things that will take place from this time to the end of the world." If then, placing the Bible under circumstances which render it entirely useless, is infidelity, Mormonism is infidelity.

Joseph Smith, Jun., Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris, may be considered as the principals in this work; and let Martin Harris tell the story, and he is the most conspicuous of the four. -- He informed me, that he went to the place where Joseph resided, and Joseph had given it up, on account of the opposition of his wife and others; but he told Joseph. "I have not come down here for nothing, and we will go on with it." Martin Harris is what may be called a great talker, and extravagant boaster; so much so, that he renders himself disagreeable to many of his society. The money he has expended, and the great things he has done, form a considerable topic of his conversation; he understands all prophecies, and knows every thing by the spirit, and he can silence almost any opposer by talking faster, and louder than he can: or by telling him, "I know every thing and you know nothing: I am a wise man and you are a fool;" and in this respect he stands a fair sample of many others in the church. Yours affectionately,

E. BOOTH.    

Rev. I. Eddy:

Notes: (forthcoming)


Printed  and  Published  Every  Tuesday  Morning,  at   Painesville,  Geauga  County,  Ohio.

Vol. III.]                               Tuesday, Nov. 8, 1831.                               [Number 21.

From the Ohio Star.
Mormonism No. III.

Nelson, Portage Co., Oct. 24, 1831.
Mormonism has in part changed its character, and assumed a different dress, from that under which it made its first appearance on the Western Reserve. Many extraordinary circumstances which then existed, have vanished out of sight; and the Mormonites desire, not only to forget them, but wish them blotted out of the memory of others. Those wonders which they wish to have forgotten, stand as the principal foundation of the faith of several hundred of the members of their church.

With the wonders of Mormonism, or some of them, I design to occupy your attention in this letter; and I wish you to observe here, and hereafter remember, that the evidence by which all my statements are supported, is derived from my own experience and observation, or from testimony of persons who still adhere to Mormonism; and I hold myself responsible to any tribunal, whether on Earth or in Heaven, for the truth of what I write, or at least for an intention to write the truth, and nothing but the truth.

"Being carried away by the spirit" and "I know it to be so by the spirit," are well known phrases, and in common use in the Mormonite church. We will first notice the gift of tongues, exercised by some when carried away in the spirit. These persons were apparently lost to all surrounding circumstances, and wrapt up in the contemplation of things, and in communicating with persons not present. -- They articulated sounds, which but few persons professed to understand; and those few declared them to be the Indian language. A merchant, who had formerly been a member of the Methodist society, observed, he had formerly traded with the Indians, and he knew it to be their dialect. Being myself present on some of these occasions, a person proffered his services as my interpreter, and translated these sounds to me which were unintelligible, into English language. One individual could read any chapter of the Old or New Testament, in several different languages. This was known to be the case by a person who professed to understand those languages. In the midst of this delirium they would, at times, fancy themselves addressing a congregation of their red brethren; mounted on a stump, or the fence, or from some elevated situation, would harangue their assembly until they had convinced or converted them. They would then lead them into the water, and baptize them, and pronounce their sins forgiven. In this exercise, some of them actually went into the water; and in the water, performed the ceremony used in baptizing. These actors assumed the visage of the savage, and so nearly imitated him, not only in language, but in gestures and actions, that it seemed the soul and body were completely metamorphosed into the Indian. No doubt was then entertained but that was an extraordinary work of the Lord, designed to prepare those young men for the Indian mission; and many who are still leaders of the church, could say, "we know by the spirit that it is the work of the Lord." And now they can say, "they know it is the work of the Devil." Most of those who were the principal actors, have since apostatized, and the work is unanimously discarded by the church. The limits which my want of time to write, as well as your want of patience to read compel me to prescribe for myself, will allow me only to touch on some of the most prominent parts of this newly-invented and heterogeneous system.

A new method of obtaining authority to preach the Gospel was introduced into the church. One declared he had received a commission, directly from Heaven, written upon parchment. Another, that it was written upon the palm of his hand, and upon the lid of his Bible, &c. Three witnesses, and they were formerly considered persons of veracity, testified, that they saw the parchment, or something like it, when put into the hands of the candidate. These commissions, when transcribed upon a piece of paper, were read to the church, and the persons who had received them, were ordained to the Elder's office, and sent out into the world to preach. But this also sunk into discredit, and experienced the fate of the former.

Visions also, were in high credit, and sounded abroad as an infallible testimony in favor of Mormonism. The visionary, at times, imagined he saw the city of New Jerusalem, unlocked its gate, and entered within the walls; passed through its various apartments, and then returned, locked the gate, and put the key into his pocket. When this tour was finished, he would entertain admiring friends, with a detailed description of the Heavenly City.

The condition of the ten tribes of Israel since their captivity, unto the present time, has excited considerable anxiety, and given rise to much speculation among the learned. But after all the researches which have been made, the place of their residence has never been satisfactorily ascertained. But these visionaries have discovered their place of residence to be contiguous to the north pole; separated from the rest of the world by impassable mountains of ice and snow. In this sequestered residence, they enjoy the society of Elijah the Prophet, and John the Revelator, and perhaps the three immortalized Nephites. -- By and by, the mountains of ice and snow are to give way, and open a passage for the return of these tribes, to the land of Palestine.

About this time the ministration of angels was supposed to be frequent in the church. The heavenly visitants made their appearance to certain individuals: they seldom made any communication, but presented themselves as spectacles for the beholder to gaze upon, with silent admiration.

Smith is the only one at present, to my knowledge, who pretends to hold converse with the inhabitants of the celestial world. It seems, from his statements, that he can have access to them when and where he pleases. He does not pretend that he sees them with his natural, but with his spiritual, eyes; and he says he can see them as well with his eyes shut, as with them open. So also in the translating. The subject stands before his eyes in print, but it matters not whether his eyes are open or shut; he can see as well one way as the other.

You have probably read the testimony of the three witnesses appended to the Book of Mormon. These witnesses testify that an angel appeared to them, and presented them the golden plates, and the voice of God declared it to be a divine record. To this they frequently testify, in the presence of large congregations. When in Missouri, I had an opportunity to examine a commandment given to these witnesses, previous to their seeing the plates. They were informed that they should see and hear these things by faith, and then they should testify to the world, as though they had seen and heard, as I see a man, and hear his voice: but after all, it amounts simply to this -- that by faith or imagination, they saw the plates and the angel, and by faith or imagination they heard the voice of the Lord.

Smith describes an angel as having the appearance of a "tall, slim, well-built, handsome man, with a bright pillar upon his head." The devil once, he says, appeared to him in the same form, excepting upon his head he had a "black pillar," and by this mark he was able to distinguish him from the former. It passes for a current fact in the Mormon church, that there are immense treasures in the earth, especially in those places in the state of New-York from whence many of the Mormons emigrated last spring : and when they become sufficiently purified, these treasures are to be poured into the lap of their church; to use their own language, they are to be the richest people in the world. These treasures were discovered several years since, by means of the dark glass, the same with which Smith says he translated the most of the Book of Mormon. Several of those persons, together with Smith, who were unsuccessfully engaged in digging and searching for these treasures, now reside in this county, and from themselves I received this information.

E. BOOTH.    

Rev. Ira Eddy.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Printed  and  Published  Every  Tuesday  Morning,  at  Painesville,  Geauga  County,  Ohio.

Vol. III.]                               Tuesday, Nov. 15, 1831.                               [Number 22.

From the Ohio Star.
Mormonism No. IV.

Nelson, Portage Co., Oct. 31, 1831.
From the time that Mormonism first made its appearance upon the stage, until the grand tour of the Missouri, an expectation universally pervaded the Church, that the time was not far distant, when the deaf, the dumb, the maimed, the blind, &c. would become the subjects of the miraculous power of God, so that every defect in their systems would be entirely removed.

This expectation originated from, and was grounded upon a variety of premises, included in a number of commandments, or verbal revelations from Smith, or, as he is styled "the head of the Church." As the 4th of June last was appointed for the sessions of the conference, it was ascertained, that that was the time specified, when the great and mighty work was to be commenced, and such was the confidence of some, that knowledge superceded their faith, and they did not hesitate to declare themselves perfectly assured, that the work of miracles would commence at the ensuing conference. With such strong assurances, and with the most elevated expectations, the conference assembled at the time appointed. To give, if possible, energy to expectation, Smith, the day before the conference, professing to be filled with the spirit of Prophecy, declared, that "not three days should pass away, before some should see their Savior, face to face." Soon after the session commenced, Smith arose to harangue the conference. He reminded those present of the Prophecy, which he said "was given by the spirit yesterday." He wished them not to be overcome with surprise, when that event ushered in. He continued, until by long speaking, himself and some others became much excited. He then laid his hands on the head of Elder White, who had participated largely in the warm feeling of his leader, and ordained him to the High Priesthood. He was set apart for the service of the Indians, and was ordained to the gift of tongues, healing the sick, casting out Devils, and discerning spirits; and in like manner he ordained several others; and then called upon White to take the floor. White arose, and presented a pale countenance, a fierce look, with arms extended, and his hands cramped back, the whole system agitated, and a very unpleasant object to look upon. He exhibited himself as an instance of the great power of God, and called upon those around him "if you want to see a sign, look at me." He then stepped upon a bench, and declared with a loud voice, he saw the Savior: and thereby, for the time being, rescued Smith's prophecy from merited contempt. -- It, however, procured Wight the authority to ordain the rest. So said the spirit, and so said Smith. The spirit in Smith selected those to be ordained, and the spirit in White ordained them. But the spirit in White proved an erring & a forgetful dictator; so much so, that some of the candidates felt the weight of his hands thrice, before the work was rightly done. An other Elder, who had been ordained to the same office as White, at the bidding of Smith, stepped upon the floor. Then ensued a scene, of which you can form no adequate conception; and which, I would forbear relating, did not the truth require it. The Elder moved upon the floor, his legs inclining to a bend; one shoulder elevated above the other, upon which the head seemed disposed to recline, his arms partly extended; his hands partly clenched; his mouth partly open, and contracted in the shape of an italic O; his eyes assumed a wild ferocious cast, and his whole appearance presented a frightful object to the view of the beholder. "Speak, Brother Harvey" said Smith. But Harvey intimated by signs, that his power of articulation was in a state of suspense, and that he was unable to speak. Some conjectured that Harvey was possessed of the Devil, but Smith said, "the Lord binds in order to set at liberty." After different opinions had been given, and there had been much confusion, Smith learnt by the spirit, that Harvey was under a diabolical influence, and that Satan had bound him; and he commanded the unclean spirit to come out of him.

It now became clearly manifest, that "the man of sin was revealed," for the express purpose that the Elders should become acquainted with the devices of Satan; and after that they would possess knowledge sufficient to manage him. This, Smith declared to be a miracle, and his success in this case, encouraged him to work other and different miracles. Taking the hand of one of the elders in his own, a hand which by accident had been rendered defective, he said, "Brother Murdock, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to straighten your hand; in the mean while endeavoring to accomplish the work by using his own hand to open the hand of the other. The effort proved unsuccessful; but he again articulated the same commandment, in a more authoritative and louder tone of voice; and while uttering with his tongue, his hands were at work; but after all the exertion of his power, both natural and supernatural, the deficient hand returned to its former position, where it still remains. But ill success in this case, did not discourage him from undertaking another. One of the Elders who was decrepit in one of his legs, was set upon the floor, and commanded, in the name of Jesus Christ to walk. He walked a step or two, his faith failed, and he was again compelled to have recourse to his former assistant, and he has had occasion to use it ever since.

A dead body. which had been retained above ground two or three days, under the expectation that the dead would be raised, was insensible to the voice of those who commanded it to awake into life, and is destined to sleep in the grave till the last trump shall sound, and the power of God easily accomplishes the work, which frustrated the attempts, and bid defiance to the puny efforts of the Mormonites.

Under these discouraging circumstances, the horizon of Mormonism gathered darkness, and a storm seemed to hang impending over the church. The gloom of disappointed expectation, overspread the countenances of many, while they labored to investigate the cause of this failure. To add. if possible, to their mortification, a larger assembly collected on the Sabbath, in order to hear preaching. In the midst of the meeting the congregation was dismissed by Rigdon , and the people sent to their homes. He was directed to do this, he said, by the spirit. But it was generally believed, that he was directed solely by fear; and that he had mistaken the spirit of cowardice, for the spirit of the Lord. Several of the Elders said they "felt the spirit to preach" to the congregation: and Rigdon felt the spirit to send the people home: such was the unity which then prevailed among them.

You will doubtless say, can it be possible that the minds of men, and men who possess the appearance of honesty, can be so strangely infatuated, as still to adhere to a system, after it had occasioned so much agitation, and so much disappointment. One reason which can be assigned for this, is, the adherents are generally inclined to consider the system so perfect, as to admit of no suspicion; and the confusion and disappointment, are attributed to some other cause. Another, and principal reason is, delusion always effects the mind with a species of delirium, and this delirium arises in a degree proportionate to the magnitude of the delusion. These men, upon other subjects, will converse like other men; but when their favorite system is brought into view, its inconsistencies and contradictions are resolved into inexplicable mystery; and this will not only apply to the delusions now under consideration, but in my view, to every delusion, from the highest to the lowest; and it matters not whether it carries the stamp of popularity or its opposite.

Yours affectionately,    

Rev. Ira Eddy.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Printed  and  Published  Every  Tuesday  Morning,  at  Painesville,  Geauga  County,  Ohio.

Vol. III.]                               Tuesday, Nov. 22, 1831.                               [Number 23.

From the Ohio Star.
Mormonism No. V.

Nelson, Portage Co., Nov. 7, 1831.
In my last letter I gave you a faint representation of the events which transpired and the circumstances which attended the meeting of the Mormonite Conference. Though many stumbled, yet none irrecoverably fell. Another grand object was presented, and the attention was somewhat diverted from these scenes of disappointment, through which we had recently passed. The tour to the Missouri, revived the sinking expectations, and gave new energy to faith and hope. In that distant region, anticipation was to be realized in full, and the objects of faith and hope were to become the objects of knowledge and fruition. A commandment was received, and Elders were directed to take their journey for the "promised land." They were commanded to go two by two, with the exception of Rigdon , Smith, Harris, and Partridge; and it was designed that these should find an easier method of transporting themselves, than to travel that distance on foot. They were careful to make suitable provision for themselves, both in money and other articles, that while on their journey, they might carry the appearance of gentlemen filling some important station in life; while many, who were destined to travel on foot, with packs on their backs, were so fixed with the ardor of enthusiasm, that they supposed they could travel to Missouri with but little or no money. These carried the appearance, and were justly entitled to the character of beggars, for when the little money they took with them were expended, they subsisted by begging, until they arrived at their journey's end.

Being myself one of the number selected to perform the journey by land, and not being much accustomed to travel on foot, I hesitated for a while; but believing it to be the will of God, I resolved on an unreserved surrender of myself to the work, and on the 15th of June, in company with one appointed to travel with me, took up my line of march for Missouri. I do not design to trouble you with a relation of the particulars, but will observe, that after I left the north part of the State of Ohio, I made a speedy and prosperous journey to Missouri. I preached twice in Ohio, thrice in Indiana, once in Illinois, and once in Missouri. We were commanded to preach by the spirit & my impressions were, that farther to the westward, I should enjoy more of the spirit's influence; and though I traveled one thousand miles to the west, my anticipations in this respect, were never realized. I seldom proclaimed Mormonism with that liberty, which I enjoyed in my public exercises, while a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. I supposed that at some future time, the spirit would endow me with the power to preach with an unusual degree of liberty. That period has never arrived, and I am persuaded it never will, and I now sincerely desire the spirit of truth to direct my pen, while I endeavor to expose the errors and absurdities of the system I then advocated.

When we arrived at the place to which our mission destined us, we perceived to our mortification, that disappointment, instead of being confined to the state of Ohio, had journeyed thither, and had arrived before us. We would gladly have here avoided an interview with this, our old companion; but this was impossible, she met us, & stared us in the face which way soever we turned, nor was it possible to look her out of countenance, or put the blush upon her pallid features, or expel her from our society. Some were for making the best of her they could; but for myself, I resolved that she should be expelled, or at any rate, that her visits should be less frequent, or I would abandon the habituation entirely.

When we commenced our journey for Missouri, we expected an "effectual door" would be opened, to proclaim the new system of faith, in that region; and that those who were ordained to the gift of tongues, would have an opportunity to display their supernatural talent, in communicating to the Indians, in their own dialect. Some who were ordained to this office, absolutely knew that thro' this medium, they should gain access to the Natives, and I will venture to say, I know, that their success will be similar to that of their predecessor, Oliver Cowdry, who stated that he was endowed with the same fore-knowledge. But the event has proved his presumption false. For more than two weeks, while I remained there, the disposition of the Elders appeared to be averse to preaching, either to the white or the red people, and indeed adverse circumstances prevented it.

We expected to assemble together in conference according to the commandment, and the Lord would signally display his power, for the confirmation of our faith; but we commenced our journey home before most of the Elders arrived. It is true, a conference was held, but it was considered so unimportant, that myself and another man were permitted to be absent, for the purpose of procuring the means of conveyance down the river. We expected to find a large Church, which Smith said, was revealed to him in a vision, Oliver had raised up there. This large Church was found to consist of four females.

We expected to witness the exercise if those miraculous gifts, to which some were ordained while in the state of Ohio. But the same difficulty, the same want of faith among the people, which counteracted them here, prevailed there; consequently no miracles could be wrought. We expected to see the foundation of the City and Temple laid; and this we were permitted to see, and it was in fact a curiosity, but not worth going to Missouri to see. The honor of consecrating the land, &c. was conferred on Rigdon . -- The commandment reads thus: "let my servant Sidney consecrate and dedicate the land, and the spot for the Temple" -- again, "Behold I give unto my servant Sidney a commandment, that he shall write a description of the land of Zion, and a statement of the will of God, as it shall be made known to him by the spirit, and a subscription to be presented to the Churches, to obtain money to purchase lands, for the inheritance of the children of God; for behold the Lord willeth that his Disciples, and the children of men, should open their hearts, to purchase the whole region of country, lest they receive none inheritance, save it be by the shedding of blood." The childish exultation of the Mormonite leaders, while they echoed and reechoed, the Lord has given us this whole region of country; "this whole region of country is ours;" when it was manifest, agreeable to the commandment, that the gift was only obtained, by purchasing it at a dear rate with money, and that, in order to save themselves the trouble of "the shedding of blood," would, under other circumstances, have been truly diverting. But when viewing it as an instance of a deep laid scheme, and the cunning artifice of crafty impostors, designed to allure the credulous and the unsuspecting, into a state of unqualified vassalage, it presents a melancholy picture of the depravity of the human heart, while destitute of those virtues, inculcated in the Gospel by the blessed Redeemer.

It was conjectured by the inhabitants of Jackson county, that the Mormonites, as a body are wealthy, and many of them entertain fears, that next December, when the list of land is exposed for sale, they will out-bid others, and establish themselves as the most powerful body in the County. But they may dismiss their fears in this respect; for the Mormonites as a body, are comparatively poor, and destined so to remain, until they pursue a different course as it relates to economy and industry, from what they have hitherto pursued. There were ten families, which came by water, landed there the day on which I arrived; and all the land which the Bishop said they had means to purchase, was less than thirty acres to the family; and thirty acres in that country, is little enough for wood and timber land; as fifteen acres upon an average here, are worth thirty there. Neither need they fear that the Mormonites, were they so disposed, will obtain the possession of their lands "by shedding of blood," until the spirit selects more courageous leaders than Smith or Rigdon.

Yours affectionately,                        

Rev. I. Eddy.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Printed  and  Published  Every  Tuesday  Morning,  at  Painesville,  Geauga  County,  Ohio.

Vol. III.]                               Tuesday, Nov. 29, 1831.                               [Number 24.

From the Ohio Star.
Mormonism No. VI.

Nelson, Portage Co., Nov. 14, 1831.
It is well known that the ostensible design of the Mormonites in settling in the western part of Missouri, is to convert the Indians to the faith of Mormonism. In this, the leaders appear to have in view, as a mode, the Jesuits of the 16th century, who established themselves in South America, by gaining an entire ascendancy over the hearts and consciences of the natives, and thereby became their masters. As Independence is the place of general rendezvous and head quarters of the Mormonites, it may not be amiss to notice it. It is a new town, containing a court house built of brick, two or three merchant's stores, and 15 or 20 dwelling houses, built mostly of logs hewed on both sides; and is situated on a handsome rise of ground, about three miles south of [the] Missouri river, and about 12 miles east of the dividing line between the United States and the Indian Reserve, and is the county seat of Jackson county. In this place it is designed to establish the Lord's printing press, of which Wm. W. Phelps and O. Cowdery are to have the management; and also, the Lord's store-house, committed in charge to S. Gilbert. By the means of these two grand engines, they expect to make the wicked feel the weight of their tremendous power. West of the line lies the territory, selected by the Government of the U. S. for the future residence of the Indians; to which place, a number of tribes have recently emigrated. The question is frequently asked, do the Indians seem disposed to receive Mormonism; or have any of them yet embraced it? To which question I have heard some of the leaders reply, "O yes," when the truth is, not an individual had embraced it when I left that place. Nor is there any prospect they will embrace it. It is true, that some of the Indians appear to listen with a degree of attention, while the Mormonite teacher pretends to disclose to them the secrets of their origin, the history of their ancestors, & that the great Spirit designs, in this generation, to restore them to the possession of their lands, now occupied by the whites; and the Indians shall go forth among the white people, "as a lion among the beasts of the forests, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he goeth through, both treadest down and teareth to pieces, and no man can deliver. Thy hand shall be lifted up against thy adversaries, (the whites) and all their enemies (the whites) shall be cut off." Here you have a fair specimen of the method adopted in the Book of Mormon, and preached by the Mormonite teachers, for the purpose of enlisting the feelings, and in gratiating themselves with the Indians; and should success attend their endeavors, and the minds of the Indians become inflamed with the enthusiastic spirit which Mormonism inspires, they may be inclined to try the experiment, whether "by shedding of blood," they can expel the white inhabitants, or reduce them to a state of servitude; and by this means, regain the possession of the lands occupied by their forefathers.

The laying of the foundation of Zion was attended with considerable parade, and an ostentatious display of talents, both by Rigdon and Cowdery. The plan being designated as the site where the City was to commence, on the day appointed we repaired to the spot, not only as spectators, but each one to act the part assigned him in the great work of laying the foundation of the "glorious City of New Jerusalem." Rigdon consecrated the ground, by an address, in the first place, to the God whom the Mormons profess to worship; and then making some remarks respecting the extraordinary purpose for which we were assembled, prepared the way for administering the oath of allegiance to those who were to receive their "everlasting inheritance" in that City. He laid them under the most solemn obligations to constantly obey all the commandments of Smith. He enjoined it upon them to express a great degree of gratitude for the free donation, & then, as the Lord's Vicegerent, he gratuitously bestowed upon them, that for which they had paid an exorbitant price in money. These preliminaries being ended, a shrub oak, about 10 inches in diameter at the butt, the best that could be obtained near at hand, was prostrated, trimmed, and cut off at a suitable length; and twelve men, answering to the 12 apostles, by means of handspikes, conveyed it to the place. Cowdery craved the privilege of laying the corner-stone. He selected a small rough stone, the best he could find, carried it in one hand to the spot, removed the surface of the earth to prepare a place for its reception, and then displayed his oratorical power, in delivering an address, suited to the important occasion. The stone being placed, one end of the shrub oak stick was laid upon it; and there was laid down the first stone and stick, which are to form an essential part of the splendid city of Zion.

The next day the ground for the temple was consecrated, and Smith claimed the honour of laying the corner-stone himself. Should the inhabitants of Independence feel a desire to visit this place, destined at some future time to become celebrated, they will have only to walk one half of a mile out of the town, to a rise of ground, a short distance south of the road. They will be able to ascertain the spot by the means of a sapling, distinguished from the others by the bark being broken off on the north and on the east side. On the south side of the sapling will be found the letter T., which stands for temple; and on the east side Zom! for Zomas; which Smith says is the original word for Zion. Near the foot of the sapling they will find a small stone covered over with bushes, which were cut for that purpose. This is the corner-stone for the temple. They can there have the privilege of beholding the mighty work, accomplished by about thirty men, who left their homes, traveled one thousand miles, most of them on foot, and expended more than $1000 in cash. Having completed the work, or rather finding but little business for us to accomplish in Missouri, most of us became anxious to return home. And none appeared to be more so than Rigdon & Smith, whose plans for future subsistence were considerably frustrated. They expected to find a country abounding with the necessaries and comforts of life. But the prospect appeared somewhat gloomy, and will probably remain so for some years to come. That they were disappointed, is evident from the change which appeared in their calculations. Before they went to Missouri, their language was "we shall winter in Ohio but one winter more;" and when in Missouri, "it will be many years before we come here, for the Lord has a great work for us to do in Ohio," and the great work is, to make a thorough alteration of the Bible, and invent new revelations, and these are to be sent to Missouri, in order to be printed. This coming to save the expense of postage, is parallel with their other calculations. But no matter for that, it will save them the difficulties and hardships incident to the settling of a new country; and also the dangers to which they would be exposed, in case the Indians should commence hostilities upon the whites; and moreover, they have an easy method to supply themselves with cash at any time when occasion requires. The authority of a commandment will easily untie the purse strings of those whose consciences are under their control; and they find it much easier, and better suited to their dispositions, to write commandments, than to gain a livelihood by the sweat of the brow: and indeed, Smith has commanded himself not to labor, and by his mandate, has enjoined it upon the church to support him. The Bishop, when we were in Missouri, intimated that he and others were too much inclined to indolence. -He replied, "I am commanded not to labor."

Yours affectionately,                        

Rev. I. Eddy.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Printed  and  Published  Every  Tuesday  Morning,  at  Painesville,  Geauga  County,  Ohio.

Vol. III.]                               Tuesday, Dec. 6, 1831.                               [Number 25.

From the Ohio Star.
Mormonism No. VII.

Nelson, Portage Co., Nov. 21, 1831.
The following, with but a little variation, is the copy of a letter which was written to the Bishop of the Mormonite church, who by commandment, has received his station, and now resides in Missouri. His business is to superintend the secular concerns of the church. He holds a deed to the lands, and the members receive a writing from him, signifying that they are to possess the land as their own, so long as they are obedient to Smith's commandments. The Bishop is, in reality, the Vice-gerent of Smith, and those in collusion with him; and holds his office during their will and pleasure. I think him to be an honest man as yet, but there is a point beyond which he cannot go, unless he prostrates his honor in the dust, and prostitutes his conscience to the vilest of purposes. He has frequently staggered and been ready to fall. The Conference last year, gave him a tremendous shock, from which with difficulty he recovered. The law of the Church enjoins, that no debt with the world shall be contracted. But a thousand acres of land in the town of Thompson could be purchased for one half its value, and he was commanded to secure it; and in order to do it, he was under the necessity to contract a debt to the world, to the amount of several hundred dollars. He hesitated, but the command was repeated, "you must secure the land." He was one of the number who was ordained to the gift of discerning spirits; and in a commandment, a pattern was given by which the good spirit might be distinguished from the bad, which rendered the gift of supernatural discernment useless; for the division was to be made from external appearances, and not from any thing discovered internally. -- He saw the impropriety, and it shook his faith. I am suspicious the time is not far distant, when by commandment, this office will be bestowed upon a more trusty & confidential person; perhaps Smith's brother or father, or some one who has been disciplined in the State of N. Y. Then it will become his business to make over the whole property, by deed of conveyance, to the person appointed by the commandment to supercede him. The Mormonites will tell you, that business of this nature is done by the voice of the church. It is like this: a Sovereign issues his decrees, and then says to his subjects, hold up your right hands, in favor of my decree being carried into effect. Should any refuse, they are sure to be hung for rebellion.

                                  Sept. 20, 1831.
Sir: -- From a sense of duty, I take up my pen, to communicate to you the present impressions of my mind, which originated from facts, which occurred during my stay there, and while returning home. I arrived safely at my home, on the 1st instant, after having passed thro' a variety of scenes, some of which, I design to disclose to you in this letter. You will probably be surprised, when you learn, that I am no longer a member of the Mormonite church. The circumstances which led to this are numerous, and of such a character, that I should have been compelled to sacrifice every principle of honesty, or cease to support a system, which I conceive to be grossly inconsistent, and in opposition to the best interests of human society. The first thing that materially affected my mind, so as to weaken my confidence, was the falsehood of Joseph's vision. You know perfectly well, that Joseph had, or said he had, a vision, or revelation, in which it was made known to him by the spirit, that Oliver had raised up a large Church in Missouri. This was so confidently believed, previous to our leaving Ohio, that while calculating the number of the Church, several hundred were added, supposed to be in Missouri. The great Church was found to consist of three or four females. The night we took lodgings in the school house, & the morning which succeeded it, presented circumstances which I had not anticipated. When you intimated to Joseph that the land which he and Oliver had selected, was inferior in point of quality to other lands adjoining, had you seen the same spirit manifested in me, which you saw in him, would you not have concluded me to be under the influence of violent passions, bordering on madness, rather than the meek and gentle spirit which the Gospel inculcates? When you complained that he had abused you, and observed to him, "I wish you not to tell us any more, that you know these by the spirit when you do not; you told us, that Oliver had raised up a large Church here, & there is no such thing;" he replied, "I see it, and it will be so." This appeared to me, to be a shift, better suited to an impostor, than to a true Prophet of the Lord. And from that time I resolved to weigh every circumstance; and I can assure you that no one that has a bearing on the subject, escaped my notice. But the spirit considered your insolence to Joseph too intolerable to be passed over unnoticed. Hence the commandment: "If he repent not of his sins, which is unbelief and blindness of heart, let him take heed lest he fall. Behold his mission is given unto him, and it shall not be given again." You are to be careful, to submit to all the abuse which Joseph sees fit to pour upon you; and to swallow, passively, all the spurious visions, and false prophecies, that he in his clemency thinks proper to bestow upon you, lest you fall from your Bishoprick, never to regain it. These men under whose influence you act, were entire strangers to you, until you embraced this new system of faith. Now, permit me to inquire, have you not frequently observed in Joseph, a want of that sobriety, prudence and stability, which are some of the most prominent traits in the christian character? Have you not often discovered in him, a spirit of lightness and levity, a temper of mind easily irritated, and an habitual proneness to jesting and joking? Have you not repeatedly proven to your satisfaction that he says he knows things to be so by the spirit, when they are not so? You most certainly have. Have you not reason to believe, or at least to suspect, that the revelations which come from him, are something short of infallible, and instead of being the production of divine wisdom, emanate from his own weak mind? Some suppose his weakness, nay, his wickedness, can form no reasonable objection to his revelations; and "were he to get another man's wife, and seek to kill her husband, it could be no reason why we should not believe revelations through him, for David did the same." So Sidney asserted, and many others concurred with him in sentiment. The commandment we received to purchase, or make a water craft, directed us to proceed down the river in it as far as St. Louis, and from thence, with the exception of Joseph and his two scribes, we were to proceed on our journey home two by two. The means of conveyance being procured, we embarked for St. Louis, but unpropitious events rolled on, superceded the commandment, frustrated our plans, and we had separated before we had accomplished one half of the voyage. The cause which produced this disastrous result, was a spirit of animosity and discord, which made its appearance on board, the morning after we left Independence. The conduct of the Elders became very displeasing to Oliver, who, in the greatness of his power, uttered this malediction: "as the Lord God liveth, if you do not behave better, some accident will befall you." The manner in which this was handed out, evinced it to be the ebullition of a spirit, similar to that which influenced Joseph in the school-house. No accident, however, befell them, until Joseph, in the afternoon of the third day, assumed the direction of affairs on board that canoe, which, with other matters of difference, together with Oliver's curse, increased the irritation of the crew, who, in time of danger, refused to exert their physical powers, in consequence of which they ran foul of a sawyer, and were in danger of upsetting. This was sufficient to flutter the timid spirit of the Prophet & his scribe, who had accompanied him on board that canoe, and like the sea-tossed mariner, when threatened with a watery grave, they unanimously desired to set their feet once more upon something more firm than a liquid surface; therefore, by the persuasion of Joseph, we landed before sunset, to pass the night upon the bank of the river. Preparations were made to spend the night as comfortably as existing circumstances would admit, and then an attempt was made to effect a reconciliation betwixt the contending parties. The business of settlement commenced which elicited much conversation, and excited considerable feeling on both sides. Oliver's denunciation was bro't into view; his conduct and equipage were compared to "a fop of a sportsman;" he and Joseph were represented as highly imperious, and quite dictatorial; and Joseph and Sidney were reprimanded for their excessive cowardice. Joseph seemed inclined to arm himself, according to his usual custom, in case of opposition, with the judgments of God, for the purpose of pouring them, like a thunder bolt, upon the rebellious Elders; but one or two retorted, "none of your threats;" which completely disarmed him, and he reserved his judgments for a more suitable occasion. Finding myself but little interested in the settlement, believing the principles of discord too deeply rooted to be easily eradicated, I laid myself down upon the ground, and in silence contemplated awhile the events of the evening, as they passed before me. These are the men to whom the Lord has intrusted the mysteries, and the keys of his kingdom; whom he has authorized to bind or loose on earth, and their decision shall be ratified in Heaven. These are the men sent forth, to promulgate a new revelation, and to usher in a new dispensation -- at whose presence the "Heavens are to shake, the hills tremble, the mountains quake, and the earth open and swallow up their enemies." -- These are the leaders of the Church, and the only Church on earth the Lord beholds with approbation. Surely, I never witnessed so much confusion and discord, among the Elders of any other Church; nevertheless they are all doomed to be a perpetual curse; except they receive the doctrines and precepts which Mormonism inculcates, & place themselves under the tuition of men, more ignorant and unholy than themselves. In the midst of meditations like these, I sunk into the arms of sleep, but was awakened at a late hour, to witness and consent to a reconciliation between the parties. The next morning Joseph manifested an aversion to risk his person any more upon the rough and angry current of the Missouri, and, in fact, upon any other river; and he again had recourse to his usual method of freeing himself from the embarrassments of a former commandment, by obtaining another in opposition to it. He succeeded according to his desires. A new commandment was issued, in which a great curse was pronounced against the waters: navigating them was to be attended with extreme danger; and all the saints, in general, were prohibited in journeying upon them, to the promised land. From this circumstance, the Missouri River was named the river of Destruction. It was decreed that we should proceed on our journey by land, and preach by the way as we passed along. Joseph, Sidney, and Oliver, were to press their way forward with all possible speed, and to preach only in Cincinnati; and there they were to lift up their voices, and proclaim against the whole of that wicked city. The method by which Joseph and Co. designed to proceed home, it was discovered, would be very expensive. "The Lord don't care how much money it takes to get us home," said Sidney . Not satisfied with the money they received from you, they used their best endeavors to exact money from others, who had but little, compared with what they had; telling them, in substance "you can beg your passage on foot, but as we are to travel in the stage, we must have money." You will find, sir, that the expense of these three men was 1 hundred dollars more than three of our company expended, while on our journey home; and, for the sake of truth and honesty, let these men never again open their mouths, to insult the common sense of mankind, by contending for equality, and the community of goods in society, until there is a thorough alteration in their method of proceeding. It seems, however, they had drained their pockets, when they arrived at Cincinnati, for there they were under the necessity of pawning their trunk, in order to continue their journey home. Here they violated the commandment, by not preaching; and when an inquiry was made respecting the cause of that neglect, at one time they said they could get no house to preach in; at another time they stated that they could have had the court-house, had they stayed a day or two longer, but the Lord made it known to them that they should go on; and other similar excuses, involving like contradictions. Thus they turn and twist the commandments to suit their whims, and they violate them when they please with perfect impunity. They can any time obtain a commandment suited to their desires, and as their desires fluctuate and become reversed, they get a new one to supercede the other, and hence the contradictions which abound in this species of revelation. The next day after, we were cast upon the shore, and had commenced our journey by land, myself and three others went on board of a canoe, and re-commenced our voyage down the river. From this time a constant gale of prosperity wafted us forward, and not an event transpired, but what tended to our advancement, until we arrived at our much desired homes. At St. Louis, we took passage in a steam-boat, & came to Wellsville; and from thence in the stage home. We travelled afloat about eight hundred miles farther than the three who took their passage in the stage, and arrived at our homes but a few days later. It is true, we violated the commandment by not preaching by the way, and so did they by not preaching at Cincinnati. But it seems that none of us considered the commandment worthy of much notice.

In this voyage upon the waters, we demonstrated that the great dangers existed only in imagination, and the commandment to be the offspring of a pusillanimous spirit. The spirit also revealed to Joseph, that "on the steam-boats, plots were already laid for our destruction." This too we proved to be false. While descending the Missouri river. Peter and Frederick, two of my company, divulged a secret respecting Oliver, which placed his conduct on a parallel with Ziba's; for which Ziba was deprived of his Elder and Apostleship: "Let that which was bestowed upon Ziba be taken from him, and let him stand as a member in the Church, and let him labor with his own hands with the brethren." And thus by commandment, poor Ziba, one of the twelve Apostles, is thrust down; while Oliver the scribe, also an Apostle, who had been guilty of similar conduct, is set on high, to prepare work for the press; and no commandment touches him, only to exalt him higher. -- These two persons stated, that had they known previous to their journey to Missouri, what they then knew, they never should have accompanied Oliver thither.

Sidney, since his return has written a description of Zion. But it differs essentially from that which you wrote; so much so, that either yours or his must be false. Knowing him to be constitutionally inclined to exaggerate, and suspecting that this habit would be as likely to preponderate in his written as in his oral communications, you cautioned him against it. "What I write will be written by the most infallible inspiration of the holy spirit," said he with an air of contempt. You must be careful, sir, or it will again sound in your ears, "if he repent not" for giving a false description of the land of Zion, let him take heed lest he fall from his office. This, Sidney said, was one reason why you was not permitted to return to the State of Ohio. The want of time and paper notify me to bring this letter to a close. And now permit me to entreat you, to candidly view the whole matter, from the commencement unto the present time. Look at it with your eyes, and no longer suffer these strangers to blind your eyes, and daub you over with their untempared mortar. Think how often you have been stumbled by these discordant revelations, false visions, and lying prophecies. Put into practice the resolutions you expressed to me the morning after the collision in the school-house, that you would go home, and attend to your own business. Transfer the lands you hold in your hands, to the persons whose money paid for it. Place yourself from under the influence of the men who have deceived you; burst asunder the bands of delusion; fly for your life, fly from the habitations haunted by impostors; and having done this, you most surely will be glad and rejoice, and prove to your own satisfaction, as I have done, the falsity of Joseph's prophetic declaration, "if you turn against us you will enjoy no more satisfaction in the world."
                                       E. B.
Some things are intimated in the foregoing letter, which more properly belongs to Cowdery's mission to the Indians; and when I come to notice that mission, those things will probably be more fully exhibited.

It is also indirectly stated, that Rigdon has acquired the habit of exaggeration . The truth of this statement, I presume, will be doubted but by few, who have been long acquainted with him. Most of his communications carry the appearance of high and false coloring; and I am persuaded, that truth by this embellishing touch, often degenerates into fiction. I have heard him several different times, give a representation of the interview between himself, and to use his own phraseology, "the far-famed Alexander Campbell." This man's wonted shrewdness & presence of mind forsook him when in the presence of this gigantic Mormonite; so much so, that "he was quite confused and silly." I will give you a specimen of the language, with which Rigdon said he assailed him: "You have lied, Alexander. Alexander you have lied. If you do not receive the Book of Mormon, you will be damned." With such like arguments he brow-beat his antagonist, until he had silenced and set him down, like the pusillanimous cur, at the feet of his chastising master. "You are a liar, you are a child of the Devil, you are an enemy to all righteousness, and the spirit of the Devil is in you," and the like is dealt out profusely against an obstinate opponent, and especially, one whom they are pleased to nickname apostate. I regret the necessity I am under of making such statements, and could wish there had been no occasion for them. But truth compels me to it, and the good of society demands it. -- Yours, &c.


Rev. I. Eddy.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Printed  and  Published  Every  Tuesday  Morning,  at  Painesville,  Geauga  County,  Ohio.

Vol. III.]                               Tuesday, Dec. 20, 1831.                               [Number 27.

Sidney Rigdon, the vicegerent and champion of Jo. Smith, has thrown out a challenge, in the Ohio Star, to Mr. Booth and Deacon Rider, who have renounced the Mormon faith, to meet him in mortal combat (of words) on the subject of the Gold Bible. The courage of the gentleman has probably received some new impetus since he challenged the whole world to disprove the truth of his new bible, and on being taken up by Elder Campbell, with his own wonted impudence refused to meet him.

From the Ohio Star.
Mormonism No. VIII.

Nelson, Portage Co., Nov. 29, 1831.
The origin of the aborigines of this country, and the history before the introduction of the eastern literature into the western hemisphere, has afforded a subject for much speculation, and deep research among the learned; and has occasioned considerable curiosity, among various classes of people. But the subject still remains an impenetrable obscurity; and will so remain, unless He who has the power to speak. "let there be light," and the light shall break forth out of obscurity. But as this is a subject better calculated to gratify the speculative inquirer, then to purify the heart, by rectifying wrong principles in the mind, or to increase that kind of knowledge intimately connected with, and essential to practical improvements either in civil or religious society, we may reasonably doubt, whether the great Jehovah will soon, if ever, condescend to clear away the darkness, by giving a revelation, merely to gratify the desires of persons, who delight to wander in the region of conjecture and speculation. But he has already done it, cries the Mormonite Herald. The Book of Mormon, which I hold in my hand, is a Divine Revelation, and the very thing we need, to burst the cloud and remove the darkness, which has long surrounded the mysteries and degraded aborigines. We now know that the Natives who inhabit the forests of America, are a "branch of the House of Israel;" and by means of this blessed book, they are soon, even in this generation, to be restored to the knowledge, and the true worship of the God of Israel. -- Among them is to be built, the "Glorious City of the New Jerusalem." In the midst of which is to stand, the splendid and magnificent Temple, dedicated to the Most High God, and "Oliver being called and commanded of the Lord God, to go forth among the Lamanites, to proclaim glad tidings of great joy unto them, by presenting unto them, the fullness of the gospel of the only begotten son of God," &c. The grand enterprise of introducing this new dispensation, or the fulness of the Gospel, among the Indian tribes, who have recently received the appellation of Lamanites, was committed in charge to Oliver Cowdery, a young man of high fame among the Mormonites. His credentials, and the credentials of the three others associated with him in the mission, will be found in the following revelations, which I transcribe for your perusal, and also for some future remarks, which I design to offer.

A Revelation unto Oliver, given September, 1830.
Behold I say unto you, Oliver, that it shall be given thee, that thou shalt be heard by the Church, in all things whatsoever thou shalt teach them by the comforter, concerning the revelations and commandments which I have given. But, verily, verily I say unto you, no one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in the Church, excepting my servant Joseph, for he receiveth them even as Moses, and thou shalt be obedient unto the things which I shall give unto him, even as Aaron, to declare faithfully the commandments and the revelations, with power and authority unto the Church. And if thou art led at any time by the comforter to speak or teach, or at all times by the way of commandment unto the Church, thou mayest do it; but shalt not write by way of commandment but by wisdom: and thou shalt not command him who is at thy head, and at the head of the Church; for I have given him the keys of the mysteries of the revelations which are sealed, until I shall appoint unto him another in his stead -- and now, behold I say unto you, that thou shalt go unto the Lamanites and preach my gospel unto them, and cause my Church to be established among them; and thou shalt have revelations, but write them not by way of commandment. And now I say unto you, that it is not revealed, and no man knoweth where the City shall be built, but it shall be given hereafter. Behold I say unto you, that it shall be among the Lamanites. Thou shalt not leave this place until after the Conference, & my servant Joseph shall be appointed to rule the Conference, by the voice of it; and what he saith unto thee that thou shalt tell. And again, thou shalt take thy brother Hiram between him & thee alone, and tell him that the things which he hath written from that stone are not of me, and that Satan hath deceived him, for these things have not been appointed unto him, neither shall any thing be appointed to any in this Church, contrary to the Church covenant, for all things must be done in order, and by commandment, by the prayer of faith, and thou shalt settle all these things before thou shalt take thy journey among the Lamanites; and it shall be given from time to time, that thou shalt go, until the time that thou shalt return, what thou shalt do; and thou must open thy mouth at all times declaring my Gospel with the sound of rejoicing. --Amen.

                             Manchester, Oct. 17, 1830.
I, Oliver, being commanded of the Lord God, to go forth unto the Lamanites to proclaim glad tidings of great joy unto them by presenting unto them the fulness of the Gospel, of the only begotten son of God; and also to rear up a pillar as a witness where the Temple of God shall be built, in the glorious New Jerusalem; and having certain brothers with me, who are called of God to assist me, whose names are Parley, Peter, and Ziba, do therefore most solemnly covenant with God, that I will walk humbly before him, and do this business, and this glorious work according as he shall direct me by the Holy Ghost; ever praying for mine and their prosperity, and deliverance from bonds, and from imprisonment, and whatsoever may befall us, with all patience and faith. -- Amen.
                   OLIVER COWDERY.

We, the undersigned, being called & commanded of the Lord God, to accompany our brother Oliver Cowdery, to go to the Lamanites and to assist in the above mentioned glorious work and business. We do therefore, most solemnly covenant before God, that we will assist him faithfully in this thing, by giving heed unto all his words and advice, which is, or shall be given him by the spirit of truth, ever praying with all prayer and supplication, for our and his prosperity, and our deliverance from bonds, and imprisonments, and whatsoever may come upon us, with all patience and faith. -- Amen.

Signed in presence of

In the preceding revelation, the principal thing which claims your attention, is the mission to the Indians; for with that mission many circumstances are connected, which clearly evince, that it originated from human imbecility, and diabolical depravity. -- There are also some other things the meaning of which you will not be likely to apprehend, without some explanation. In this, as well as several of the commandments, it is clearly and explicitly stated, that the right of delivering written commandments, and revelations, belong exclusively to Smith, and no other person can interfere, without being guilty of sacrilege. In this office he is to stand, until another is appointed in his place, and no other can be appointed in his stead, unless he falls through transgression; and in such a case, he himself is authorized to appoint his successor. But how is he to be detected, should he become guilty of transgression. The commandment makes provision for this. His guilt will become manifest by his inability to utter more revelations, and should he presume "to get another man's wife," and commit adultery; and "by the shedding of blood, seek to kill her husband," if he retain the use of his tongue, so as to be able to utter his jargon, he can continue as long as he pleases in the bed of adultery, and wrap himself with garments stained with blood, shed by his own hands, and still retain the spotless innocence of the holiest among mortals; and must be continued in the office of revelator, and head of the church. Some others, and especially Cowdery, have earnestly desired to relieve Smith of some part of his burden. Cowdery's desires for this work were so keen and excessive, as, to use his own language, "it was unto me a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forebearing, and I could forbear no longer;" and he did in fact, issue some productions, which he said bore the Divine impress; but Smith fixed upon them the stamp of devilish. But it seems, in order to compromise the matter, that Cowdery was permitted to "speak or to teach, at all times, by way of commandment unto the Church; but not to write them by way of commandment:" thus Cowdery is authorized to give verbal commandments to the Church by the inspiration of the spirit, which, if he afterwards writes, ceases to be inspiration; therefore, a commandment delivered orally, may be divinely inspired; but the same communicated, written verbatim, so far loses its former character, that it degenerates into a production of an infernal stamp. Here is the mystery, for aught I know, peculiar to Mormonism; and none but Mormonites, I presume, will attempt to unravel it. But it finds its parallel in the following: Smith assures his followers, that what he speaks by the spirit, and is written, is infallible in operation, but if it is not written, he may sometimes be mistaken. -- He tells them that the right to deliver written revelations, belongs exclusively to himself, and no other person shall interfere in the business; and if he transgresses he will graciously condescend to appoint another in his stead, and the only proof produced for the support of such assertions, is barely his word, upon which they implicitly rely, and become entirely resigned to place their person and property under his control, and even risk the salvation of their souls upon his say-so. Such glaring duplicity on the one hand, and unaccountable credulity on the other, seldom have a parallel in the annals of men.

Never was there a despot more jealous of his prerogative than Smith; and never was a fortress guarded with more vigilance and ardor against every invading foe, than he guards these. Smith apprehended a rival in the department of written inspiration, from another quarter, and hence Cowdery was commissioned to commence an attack and suppress the enemy, before he had acquired sufficient stability and strength so as to become formidable. "Thou shalt take thy brother Hiram, between him and thee alone, and tell him the things he hath written from that stone, &c." Hiram Page, one of the eight witnesses, and also one of the "money diggers," found a smooth stone, upon which there appeared to be a writing, which when transcribed upon paper, disappeared from the stone, and another impression appeared in its place. This when copied, vanished as the former had done, and so it continued, alternately appearing and disappearing; in the meanwhile, he continued to write, until he had written over considerable paper. It bore striking marks of a Mormonite revelation, and was received as an authentic document by most of the Mormonites, till Smith, by his superior sagacity, discovered it to be a Satanic fraud.

A female professing to be a prophetess, made her appearance in Kirtland, and so ingratiated herself into the esteem and favor of some of the Elders, that they received her, as a person commissioned to act a conspicuous part in Mormonizing the world. Rigdon, and some others, gave her the right hand of fellowship, and literally saluted her with what they called the kiss of charity. But Smith, viewing her as encroaching upon his sacred premises, declared her an impostor, and she returned to the place from whence she came. Her visit, however, made a deep impression on the minds of many, and the barbed arrow which she left in the hearts of some, is not yet eradicated.
                          Yours affectionately,
                                          EZRA BOOTH.
Rev. I. Eddy.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Printed  and  Published  Every  Tuesday  Morning,  at  Painesville,  Geauga  County,  Ohio.

Vol. III.]                               Tuesday, Dec. 27, 1831.                               [Number 28.

From the Ohio Star.
Mormonism No. IX.

Nelson, Portage Co., Dec. 6, 1831.
In this letter the mission to the Indians will be brought into view, and with it are connected circumstances and facts, sufficient, one would suppose, to convince every honest and unprejudiced Mormonite, of the fallacy and deception of Mormonism. But a Mormonite of the highest grade is invulnerable by facts the most notorious, and evidence as glaring as the noon-day sun; for they affirm, they know by the spirit that Mormonism is what it pretends to be, and should Smith acknowledge it to be a fabrication, they would not believe him. This forms the highest climax in Mormonism, and but few have attained to it. After Cowdery & his three associates had left the State of New York, while bending their course to the west, he was directed by the spirit to Kirtland, for the special purpose of enlisting Rigdon in the Mormonite cause. I have since learned that the spirit which directed in this enterprise, was no other than Pratt, who had previously become acquainted with Rigdon and had been proselyted by him into what is called the Campbellite faith. This new system appears to have been particularly suited to Rigdon's taste, and calculated to make an impression on his mind. But before he could fully embrace it, he must "receive a testimony from God." In order to do this he labored as he was directed by his Preceptor, almost incessantly and earnestly in praying, till at length his mind was wrapped up in a vision; and to use his own language, "to my astonishment I saw the different orders of professing Christians passing before my eyes, with their hearts exposed to view, and they were as corrupt as corruption itself. That society to which I belonged also passed before my eyes, and to my astonishment, it was as corrupt as the others. Last of all that little man who bro't me the Book of Mormon, passed before my eyes with his heart open, and it was as pure as an angel; and this was a testimony from God; that the Book of Mormon was a Divine Revelation." Rigdon is one who has ascended to the summit of Mormonism; and this vision stands as the foundation of his knowledge. He frequently affirms, that these things are not a matter of faith with him, but of absolute knowledge. He has been favored with many remarkable and extraordinary visions, in some of which he saw Kirtland, with the surrounding country consecrated as the promised land, and the churches in the state of N. Y. expected to receive their everlasting inheritance in the state of Ohio, and this expectation was grounded on Rigdon's visions, while in the state of N. Y. These visions are considered by the Church as entitled to no credit and laid aside as mere rubbish.

As it relates to the purity of the heart of "that little man," if a pure and pleasant fountain can send forth corrupt and bitter streams, then may the heart of that man be pure, who enters into a matrimonial contract with a young lady, and obtains the consent of her parents; but as soon as his back is turned upon her, he violates his engagements, and prostitutes his honor by becoming the gallant of another, and resolved in his heart, and expresses resolutions to marry her. But as the practice of a man will ever stand as a general criterion by which the principles of the heart are to be tested, we say that the heart of such a man is the reverse of purity.

From Kirtland, Cowdery & Co. were directed by the spirit to Sandusky, where they contemplated opening their mission and proselyting the Indians residing at that place. But neither Cowdery, nor the spirit which directed him was able to open the way to, or make any impression upon their minds. Being frustrated in this, his first attempt to convert the natives, he turned his attention and course to the Missouri, and when near the eastern line of that state, he halted for several days, for the purpose of obtaining, by inquiry, information respecting the Indians still further west. It appears that he was fearful that his infallible guide, (the spirit,) was incapable to direct him, while proceeding further to the west; consequently, he applied to men more capable of giving instruction than the spirit, by which he was influenced. When he arrived at the western line of Missouri, he passed into the Indian territory, where he remained but a short time, before he was notified by the U. S. agent, that he must either re-cross the line, or be compelled to take up his residence in the garrison, forty miles up the Arkansas river. As there was no other alternative, the former seemed to him the most expedient; and he never possessed courage sufficient to pass the line, or visit the residence of the Indians since. Thus you behold a man, "called and commanded of the Lord God, to go forth unto the Lamanites," and establish his Church among them; but no sooner is he set down in the field of his mission, and surrounded by his anticipated converts, than he is driven by a comparative nothing, from the fields, and obliged to relinquish his contemplated harvest. -- This is the person commissioned by the Lord to proceed to the western wilds, and as he himself stated, "to the place where the foot of a white man never trod," to rear up a pillar for a witness, where the Temple of God shall be built, in the glorious New Jerusalem. But alas! he was arrested by man in his course, and by the breath of man the mighty undertaking was blown into the air, and Cowdery was thrown back among the Gentiles, to wait for the spirit to devise some new plans in the place of those which had been frustrated. But as the City and Temple must be built, as every avenue leading to the Indians was closed against the Mormonites, it was thought that they should be built among the Gentiles, which is in direct opposition to the original plan -- as foreign from the design of the spirit, expressed in several commandments, as it would have been had the Directors, who were appointed to build the court-house in Ravenna, built it in Trumbull county, foreign from the design of those who intrusted them with the business.

Though their plans had hitherto failed, they were unwilling to abandon the Indian enterprise; and in a commandment it was stated, that Cowdery and others should receive a written recommendation, signed by the Elders, for the purpose of presenting it to the Indian agent, in order to obtain permission to visit the Indians in their settlements. The recommendation was written according to the commandment, and frequent opportunities occurred in which it might have been presented to the agent, but it never was presented, and of course was useless; he was censured by some for not presenting it, but I suppose the spirit directed him not to do it.

Another method has been invented, in order to remove obstacles which hitherto had proved insurmountable. "The Lord's store-house," is to be furnished with goods suited to the Indian trade, and persons are to obtain license from the government to dispose of them to the Indians in their own territory; at the same time they are to disseminate the principles of Mormonism among them. From this smuggling method of preaching to the Indians, they anticipate a favorable result. In addition to this, and to co-operate with it, it has been made known by revelation, that it will be pleasing to the Lord, should they form a matrimonial alliance with the natives; and by this means the Elders, who comply with the thing so pleasing to the Lord, and for which the Lord has promised to bless those who do it abundantly, gain a residence in the Indian territory, independent of the agent. It has been made known to one, who has left his wife in the State of N. Y., that he is entirely free from his wife, and he is at liberty to take him a wife from among the Lamanites. It was easily perceived that this permission was perfectly suited to his desires. I have frequently heard him state that the Lord had made it known to him, that he is as free from his wife as from any other woman; and the only crime I have ever heard alleged against her is, she is violently opposed to Mormonism. But before this contemplated marriage can be carried into effect, he must return to the State of New York and settle his business, for fear, should he return after that affair had taken place, the civil authority would apprehend him as a criminal.

It is with pleasure I close this exposition, having in part accomplished what I intended when I commenced it. The employment has been an unpleasant one to me, and from the first, I should gladly have avoided it, could I have done it, and maintained a conscience void of offence, towards God and man. -- But should an individual by this exposition, be extricated or prevented from falling into the delusion, which has been the subject of consideration, I shall be amply compensated, for the painful task which I have performed.
                          Yours affectionately,
                                          EZRA BOOTH.
Rev. I. Eddy.

Note: This is last article on the Mormons E. D. Howe published during the year 1831. The Ezra Booth letter first appeared in the Dec. 8, 1831 issue of Lewis L. Rice's Ohio Star, where it was the final installment in Booth's series of reports. 1831 marks the high point in Howe's anti-Mormon reporting. He would mention the Mormons only five or six times during 1832 -- perhaps because both his wife and his sister chose to follow Sidney Rigdon into the latter Day Saint faith and Howe desired to preserve some measure of domestic tranquillity once he saw that, despite his printing of hostile news items, the two ladies were not going to leave the Church. Howe's readers saw a minor resurgence in articles on the LDS in the Telegraph during 1834, but the majority of those were merely reports on the "Zion's Camp" military expedition to Missouri, news articles that many other papers were also then routinely reporting. At the beginning of 1834 Howe got out of both the anti-Mormon business and the newspaper business altogether.

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