THE  1830s

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The Unitarian Christian Palladium
see also:  Campbell's "Delusions" (1831)  |  "More of Imposture" (1836)


The Unitarian
(Boston: James Munroe & Co., 1834)

  • 1834: January
      "The Book of Mormon"

  •    An 11 page article written by Jason Whitman,
       brother of the editor, poet Walt Whitman.

  • 1834: May
      "Extracts of Letters from a Mormonite"




    Vol. I.                         January 1, 1834.                         No. 1.

    [pg. 40]

    N O T I C E S   O F   B O O K S.



    An Account written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates, taken from the Plates of Nephi. By JOSEPH SMITH, JR., Author and Proprietor.
    THIS is the title of the volume which contains the collection of writings held sacred by the Mormonites; in other words, it is the title of the Mormon Bible. The Mormonites, as they are commonly called, or, as they call themselves, the members of the true church of Christ, -- as our readers are probably aware, are a new denomination of religionists. It is but a few years since they made their appearance in the western part of the state of New York. They have already met with some success in the spread of their opinions; and preachers of this denomination are now scattering themselves abroad over the land, labouring with much zeal to gain proselytes to their faith. The account which has been given of the origin of their sacred writings is, briefly, this: -- Joseph Smith, Jr., whose name appears on the title-page as author and proprietor of the work, was directed by the Spirit of God to dig, in a hill in the "township of Manchester, Ontario county, N. Y.," for certain golden plates, which were there concealed, and upon which were inscribed sacred records. He obeyed the direction and found the plates. The inscriptions upon them were in an unknown tongue. But, by the special power of the Spirit, Smith was enabled to translate them. This translation is the volume, the title of which is placed at the head of this article. To confirm the truth of this account, the volume contains two certificates, one of which is signed by three, and the other by eight witnesses. The three witnesses testify, "That an Angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates and the engravings thereon." The eight witnesses testify, "We have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken, -- and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work and of curious workmanship."


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    The volume contains a collection of writings, or, as they are called, of different Books, purporting to have been written at different times, and by the diflerent authors whose names they respectively bear. The following are the names of the different Books, in the order in which they occur.

    1. First Book of Nephi.
    2. Second Book of Nephi.
    3. Book of Jacob, brother of Nephi
    4. Book of Enos, son of Jacob.
    5. Book of Jarom, son of Enos.
    6. Book of Omni, son of Jarom.
    7. Words of Morrnon.
    8. Book of Mosiah.
    9. Book of Alrna.
    10. Book of Helaman.
    11. Book of Nephi, son of Helaman.
    12. Book of Nephi, son of Nephi, one of the disciples of Christ.
    13. Book of Mormon.
    14. Book of Ether.
    15. Book of Moroni.

    We shall not undertake to give a particular analysis of each of these Books. We shall give only a brief outline of the contents of the whole. The volume is composed of what purport to be, historical records, prophetical declarations, and direct exhortatory addresses. The following is a brief sketch of what purport to be the historical records of the volume.

    One Lehi, a devout and holy man, was moved by the threatenings of Jeremiah and other prophets who foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, to flee from that devoted city. He left in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah. From Jerusalem he went forth into the wilderness. After having travelled for three days, he pitched his tent in a valley, by the side of a river which emptied into the Red Sea. Lehi left behind, in Jerusalem, as he went forth, all his riches, and took with him only his family, which consisted of his wife Sarai and four sons, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. After he had pitched his tent, he sent his sons back to Jerusalem, to obtain the plates which contained the genealogical records of his family, that the remembrance of their origin might be preserved among his descendants. His sons succeeded in obtaining the plates, from which it appeared that Lehi was a descendant of Joseph, the son of Jacob, who was sold into Egypt. Again Lehi sent his sons back to Jerusalem to seek out for themselves wives, who might go forth with them wherever the Lord should direct. The sons persuade one Ishmael to unite himself unto them, and to go forth into the wilderness, with his family, which consisted of daughters. The whole company now journey along the coast of the Red Sea for some days, and then strike off and journey in a direction due east, until they come to the great waters. Here, Nephi was directed of the Lord to construct a vessel; and being assisted by the Spirit, he at length succeeded, notwithstanding his elder brothers laughed him to scorn for his attempt. The vessel is completed, and the whole company now


    42                                         The  Book  of  Mormon                                         [Jan.

    launch forth upon "the mighty deep." It is impossible to ascertain, precisely, from what place they sailed; and, as the direction and length of their voyage are not particularly mentioned, we lose all further geographical traces of them. During the voyage, the elder brothers, Laman and Lemuel, refuse to submit to their younger brother, Nephi. They rise in mutiny, seize Nephi, bind him hand and foot, and beat him with rods. While Nephi lay bound, a tempest arose, and they were driven from their proper course. As Nephi was the only one that had been instructed of the Lord in regard to the management of the vessel, the elder brothers, through fear, released him and restored him to the command. They at length arrive at a land unknown to the rest of the world. After their arrival, Laman and Lemuel revolted from the command of' Nephi. This laid the foundation for two general divisions called Lamanites and Nephites. These names came, however, in the course of time to denote distinctions of character, rather than difference of family descent. Those, who disbelieved and disobeyed, were classed with the Lamanites, while the believing and the obedient were ranked with the Nephites. These two general divisions were each divided into various subordinate tribes. They scattered themselves over the land, cultivated the earth, built cities and towns. They enjoyed prosperity or experienced adversity, as the people were obedient or disobedient. There were frequent wars between the Lamanites and Nephites, and victory sided sometimes with one party and sometimes with the other. The history is more directly that of the Nephites and it is only incidentally that we are made acquainted with the affairs of the Lamanites. The Nephites were sometimes governed by kings and sometimes by judges. After the ascension of our Saviour, as recorded in the New Testament he is represented to have appeared to the Nephites. While among them, he healed the diseased, and gave religious instruction. The religious instruction, which he gave, accords well with what is recorded of his discourses in the New Testament, since it is but a copy, almost word for word, from those discourses. After our Saviour had ascended from the Nephites, his gospel was preached and spread rapidly among the Nephites and among a part of the Lamanites. But, at length, the Nephites "dwindled in unbelief;" the infidel portion of the inhabitants gained the ascendancy, the true believers became extinct, and the plates, which contained the records of the nation, were "hid up unto the Lord in the earth, to be brought forth in due time by the hand of the Gentile."

    Such is a brief sketch of the historical records contained in the Book of Mormon. In all this history, there is but one allusion which affords us an intelligible hint in regard to the geography of the land, in which the Nephites and Lamanites dwelt.


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    There is, incidentally, mention made of a narrow neck of land which connects the North country with the South, which, we suppose, means the Isthmus of Darien. The preachers of this faith, we understand, endeavour to prove the truth of the history by a reference to the face of the country. They suppose the mounds throughout the western states, which have heretofore excited so much curiosity, are the remains of the cities of the Nephites and Lamanites.

    The prophetical declarations of the Book of Mormon relate to the prosperity and adversity of the people to whom they are addressed, to the coming of Christ, and to "the hiding up of the plates and their being brought forth by the hand of the Gentile;" together with denunciations of woe upon all, who, at the time the plates may be brought forth, shall object to "more Bible" and shall contend that miracles have ceased. The prophecies which relate to the prosperity and adversity of the people, are, many of them, clothed in the language of the Jewish prophets; or, in other words, are composed of expressions taken from the prophetical writings of the Old Testament. In one instance, the Prophet, instead of making new disclosures professes simply to read to the people from the prophecy of Isaiah, and, consequently, we have several chapters of that Book, copied almost word for word. The prophecies in regard to the coming of Christ and his precursor, John the Baptist, are more definite than the prophecies of the Old Testament, being clothed, for the most part, in the language of the New Testament, or in the language of modern theology. We find the following prophecy in regard to John the Baptist: --

    "And he spake also concerning- a prophet, which should come before the Messiah to prepare the way of the Lord; yea, even he should go forth and cry in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord and make his paths straight, for there standeth one among you whom ye know not, and he is mightier than I, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. And much spake my father concerning this thing. And my Father saith, that he should baptize in Bethabara, beyond Jordan; and he also spake that he should baptize with water, yea, even that he should baptize the Messiah with water. And after that he had baptized the Messiah with water, he should behold and bear record, that he had baptized the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world."

    We find the following prophetical vision of the times of the Saviour: --

    "And it. came to pass, that the angel spake unto me again, saying, Look! And I looked, and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people, yea, the Everlasting God was judged of the world. And I, Nephi saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world."


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    We find the following prophetical declarations, which have reference, we presume, to the present times: --

    "And because my words shall hiss forth, many of the Gentiles shall say, A Bible, a Bible; we have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible. Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible, ye need not suppose that it contains all my words, neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written."

    From these quotations our readers may gain some idea of the character of the prophecies contained in the Book of Mormon.

    In regard to the exhortations, there is one singular circumstance. We should naturally suppose, that, coming, as Lehi and his family are represented to have done, from Jerusalem, there would be some traces of Jewish manners and customs among the people. But we are disappointed. Nephi did, indeed, build a temple, after the manner of Solomon's temple. But we see no account of sacrifices and of national festivals, and but an allusion to synagogues. No. The moment they are established in their new land, we read of the church, of preaching, according to the modern style of preaching, of converts, dissenters, and of baptism. The exhortations are strongly tinctured with the doctrines of modern Orthodoxy. Those given before are near]y the same with those given after the Saviour's appearance. In the one case, the people were exhorted to believe that a Saviour would come and that an atonement would be made, in the other, that a Saviour had come and that an atonement had been made. We find the following account of an interview between Aaron, one of the preachers, and the King, which may serve as a specimen of the exhortations. This interview took place, we would observe, before the appearance of our Saviour.

    "And it came to pass, that when Aaron saw that the King would believe his words, he began from the creation of Adam, reading the Scriptures, unto the King; how God created man after his own image, and that God gave him commandments, and that, because of transgression, man had fallen. And Aaron did expound unto him the Scriptures, from the creation of Adam, laying the fall of man before him, and their carnal state, and also the plan of redemption, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, through Christ for all whosoever would believe on his name. And, since man had fallen, he could not merit any thing of himself, but the sufferings and death of Christ atoneth for their sins through faith and repentance."

    We have thus given a brief sketch of the contents of the whole book. -- In regard to the style in which the book is written, we have but little to say. There is an attempt to imitate the .style of the sacred Scriptures. But the attempt is unsuccessful. Some of the more obvious peculiarities of scripture language are indeed exhibited. Nearly two thirds of the paragraphs are introduced with the phrase, "And it came to pass."


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    In endeavouring to preserve the solemn style of the Scriptures there is a total disregard of grammatical propriety. We read "The Lord sayeth unto me, and I sayeth unto the Lord." But perhaps a few extracts, selected at random, will give our readers a more correct idea of the general style of the book, than any remarks we might offer.

    "And it came to pass that when they had arriven in the borders of the hand of the Lamanites."

    "And it came to pass that I Nephi did make bellowses where with to blow the fire."

    "And it came to pass that Limhi and many of his people was desirous to be baptized."

    We might fill our pages with quotations like these. We will, however, bring forward but one or two more. On page 182, we find Abinadi, a true prophet of the Lord, breaking forth into sublime strains of holy indignation against the false prophets who had caused the people to pervert the ways of the Lord. The following is the passage: --

    "And now Abinadi saith unto them, 'Are you priests, and pretend to teach this people, and to understand the spirit of prophesying, and yet desireth to know of me, what these things mean? I say unto, Wo be unto you for perverting the ways of the Lord. For if ye understand these things, ye have not taught them, therefore ye have perverted the ways of the Lord. Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding, therefore ye have not been wise. Therefore what teachest thou this people? And they said, we teach the law of Moses. And again he saith unto them, if ye teach the law of Moses, why do ye not keep it? Why do ye set your hearts upon riches? Why do ye spend your strength upon harlots, yea, and cause this people to commit sin, that the Lord hath cause to send me, to prophesy against this people, year even a great evil against this people? Knowest thou not that I speak the truth? Yea, thou knowest that I speak the truth; and you had ought to tremble before God."

    On page 515, we learn what to expect during the period of the much-talked-of Millenium. For we find a description of the state of society among the Nephites, at a time when the influence of religion was universally felt. At that time, we are told, "there were no robbers, nor no murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor no manner of ites." -- But we have satisfied our readers, we trust, with specimens of the style of the Book of Mormon. We will only add, that the different writers seem to have been all educated in the same school, since the same style is manifest in the writings of all.

    That the Mormon faith has spread, with some degree of rapidity, since its first appearance, cannot be disputed. We are told, that there are already six hundred preachers of this faith, scattered abroad over the land. We have, therefore, in reading


    46                                         The  Book  of  Mormon                                         [Jan.

    the Book of Mormon, sought carefully for the peculiarities which are calculated to give it success, and we have also inquired as to the course pursued by the preachers in setting forth their views. There is some degree of plausibility, both in the course pursued by the preachers, and in the contents of the book itself. The course pursued by the preachers we understand is this. They state, what all admit to be facts, that, in the primitive ages of the church, there was among the disciples the power of speaking with tongues and of working miracles; that, at the present day, no denomination of Christians possesses this power. From these facts they draw the conclusion, that all denominations of Christians have departed from the true faith of the primitive church. They then claim for themselves and the members of their church the power of speaking with tongues and of working miracles. They jabber with some strange sounds, and call this the speaking with tongues. They assert it as a fact, that among them the dead have been raised and the sick healed. From these facts, as they call them, they draw the conclusion that they are the members of the true church of Christ. If you object to the historical accounts of their sacred books, they refer you to the mounds of the western country, as remains of ancient cities, and as proofs that this country was once inhabited by a race of people better acquainted with the arts of civilized life, than the present race of savages; and this, they contend, is satisfactory presumptive proof of the truth of the history. Do you ask, what reason there is to believe that our Saviour, after his ascension, appeared to the former inhabitants of America? They answer you in the words of their sacred books, in what purport to be the words of our Saviour himself while among the Nephites: --

    "And verily I say unto you, that ye are they, of which I said, Other sheep I have which are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd. And they understood me not, for they supposed it had been the Gentiles."

    Now all this presents itself to the minds of the ignorant, as being plausible, as being forcible. They see not the sophistry. They know not what answer to give, and they are consequently carried away. In addition to all this, the preachers do not shock previously existing attachments, by rejecting the Bible. They profess to receive the whole Bible, just as it stands, and to regard it just as Christians generally regard it. They direct their hearers to search the Scriptures, and they themselves undertake to explain the declarations of the Old and New Testaments. They bring forward the Book of Mormon as another and more clear and distinct revelation, given to another branch of the descendants of Abraham, but as corresponding in its design and its general tenor with the sacred Scriptures.


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    And then, too, the book itself is with some art adapted to the known prejudices of a portion of the community. It is well known, that, among a portion of the community, there is a strong prejudice against the support, by the people, of a regular ministry. All such will find in the Book of Mormon, that among the members of the true church, the preachers did not set themselves above the people, that they laboured with their own hands for the supply of their wants, that, when the period of religious worship arrived, the preachers, as well as the people, went from their labours to their devotions, and that, when this period had passed, the preachers, as well as the people, returned to their labours.

    Again, it is well known, that, among some, there are complaints that officers of government should be supported in what they regard a life of ease and laziness, by salaries, drawn from the pockets of the hard-labouring people, in the form of taxes. All such will find in the Book of Mormon, that those rulers are spoken of as most acceptable in the sight of God, who laboured, working with their hands, for the supply of their wants, that so the people might not be burdened with taxes for their support; and, consequently, all such are led to hope, that, when the doctrines of the Book of Mormon, or the true faith of the primitive church, shall prevail, they shall be freed from taxes for the support of government.

    Still further, it is well known that, in some minds, there is a prejudice against fine clothing, or even against decent apparel, as indicating pride In the wearer. Those, who are under the influence of this prejudice, find something in the Book of Mormon to suit their taste. They find that calamities were often brought upon the Nephites, through the pride of those who wore costly apparel. They find that, on one occasion, when the devout were blessed of the Lord with worldly prosperity, they had, among other things, great supplies of "homely clothing."

    Finally, it is well known that, in many minds, there is a strong feeling of opposition to the institution of Masonry. All such find something in the Book of Mormon to meet their views. They find that, at a certain time,

    "Satan did stir up the hearts of the more parts of the Nephites, insomuch that they did unite with those bands of robbers, and did enter into their covenants and their oaths, that they would protect and preserve one another, in whatever difficult circumstances they should be placed in, that they should not suffer for their murders .and their plunderings and their stealings. And it came to pass, that they did have their signs, yea, their secret signs, and their secret words, and this, that they might distinguish a brother who had entered into the covenant, that, whatsoever wickedness his brother should do, he should not be injured by his brother, nor by those who did belong to his band who had taken this covenant; and whosoever of their band should reveal unto the world their


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    wickedness and their abominations, should be tried, not according to the laws of their country, but according to the laws of their wickedness, which had been given by Gadianton and Kishkurmen. Now behold, those secret oaths and covenants did not come forth unto Gadianton from the records which were delivered unto Helaman; but behold, they were put into the heart of Gadianton by that same being who did entice our first parents to partake of the forbidden fruit."

    Thus there are, in the book itself, artful adaptations to the known prejudices of the community. And, besides, there are circumstances, in the condition and views of those among whom this faith spreads, which are calculated to secure it success. In a large portion of the community, there is a great degree of ignorance in regard to the geography of the sacred Scriptures, the manners and customs of the Jews, and the natural history of the Bible. There are many, who read their Bibles daily, and with devotional feelings it may be, who have no idea that the places mentioned in sacred history, like those mentioned in any other history, can be traced on the map, can be found and visited at the present day, although disguised under modern names. It makes no part of their study of the Bible, to ascertain where the places mentioned are to be found, and what they are now called. They have no idea that the allusions to manners and customs, found in the Bible, can be understood, through an acquaintance with the practices and habits of the people described; and, consequently, the study of Jewish manners and customs makes no part of their preparation for understanding the Scriptures. They have no idea that the allusions in Scripture to facts in natural history can be verified by an acquaintance with that science; and, consequently, they make no exertions to understand the natural history of the Bible. They do not take up the Bible and read it with the expectation of being able to understand it, even in regard to these particulars, as they would understand any other book. All such are prepared, by their very ignorance on these subjects, to become the dupes of the Mormon delusion; or, rather, they are not prepared to detect and withstand this delusion. They open the Book of Mormon. The paragraphs begin with the phrase, "And behold it came to pass." They read of the cities of Zarahemla, Gid, Mulek, Corianton, and a multitude of others. They read of prophets and preachers, of faith, repentance, and obedience; and having been accustomed, in reading the Scriptures, to take all such things just as they are presented, without careful examination, they can see no reason why all this is not as much entitled to belief, as are the records of the Old and New Testaments. But if, on the contrary, they were acquainted with the geography and the natural history of the Bible, and with the manners and customs of the nations there mentioned, and especially, if, in


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    their reading of the Scriptures, they were accustomed to examine carefully into these points, they would at once perceive the utter impossibility of identifying the cities mentioned in the Book of Mormon, with any geographical traces which they can now make. They would thus perceive the great chance there is for deception, and would be put on their guard. And then, too, upon further examination, they would discover that the manners and customs of the people, the sentiments and disputes, are not such as belong to the period of the world in which the people are represented to have lived, that they take their colouring from modern customs, from modern opinions and controversies; and so they would, from this knowledge, and from these habits of examination, be led to reject the whole as a delusion.

    Again, there prevail, in the minds of a large portion of the community, pernicious errors in regard to the influences of the Spirit. There are those, who believe that they can certainly tell, from their own feelings at the time, when the Spirit is specially operating upon their hearts; that they can distinguish the operations of the Spirit from the workings of their own minds. There are those who believe that they can tell, from the appearance of an assembly, when the Spirit of God is specially and powerfully present in "their midst." If the speaker is more than usually earnest and fluent, they believe that the Spirit of God is present to his mind affording special assistance. If the assembly is more than usually interested, and, especially, if many are affected unto tears, they believe the Spirit of God to be powerfully operating upon the hearts of the people. The language, used by preachers and in religious periodical publications, encourages this belief. Go to the camp-meeting ground, or into a protracted meeting, and you will hear the preachers declaring that the Spirit of God is specially and powerfully present. And what is the proof? The speakers felt great freedom in laying open the truths of the gospel, and great earnestness in exhorting sinners. The people were much affected, and many were in tears. Turn to the religious periodical publications of the day, and read the accounts given of revivals. You will read, that on such an occasion, at such a meeting, the Spirit of God was visibly present. The proofs are the same as those mentioned by the preachers. Nay, more; these revivals, these special manifestations of the Spirit, are represented as proofs that the doctrines advanced at such times are the truths of the gospel, and that the measures adopted are "owned of God." The great mass of the more ignorant part of the community understand these expressions to mean what they literally purport to mean And this, as it seems to us, has given success to many of the delusions that have prevailed. It is well known to most of our readers, we presume, that, some years since, the Cochran delusion, as it is called, prevailed in and


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    around Saco, a village in the State of Maine. What gave that delusion success? Why, Cochran spoke with great fluency, warned sinners with great earnestness, and poured forth his prayers with great fervour. The people were much affected. Many were in tears, many were sobbing aloud, many cried out for mercy, and some were even prostrated upon the floor. "Surely, then," those under the influence of the delusion we speak of would say, "the Spirit of God was powerfully and visibly present." "Surely," they would say, "the doctrines advanced by Cochran must be true, the measures adopted by him are 'owned of God.'" So with the Mormon delusion. The preachers are fluent, they warn sinners with earnestness, they pray with fervour; the people are affected, the Spirit of God is especially powerfully, and visibly present, and, consequently, the opinions advanced must be correct, the measures adopted are "owned of God." In this way, men, of sound judgment in other respects, are carried away, through the influence of their erroneous views of the operations of the Spirit, and become the dupes of the delusion.

    We here close our remarks upon the Book of Mormon and the causes of the success which has attended the Mormon delusion. We hope that what we have said may serve to gratify the natural curiosity of our readers upon the subject. Nay, more; we hope that it may serve to awaken them to the importance of strenuous exertions, on their part, to remove all improper prejudices, to spread abroad a correct knowledge of the sacred Scriptures and proper principles in regard to the study of the Bible and to extend sound and rational views of the nature of religion and of the influences of the Spirit.   JASON WHITMAN.

    (the remainder of this issue has not been transcribed)




    Vol. I.                                     May 1, 1834.                                     No. 5.

      [pg. 251]




    A gentleman in this immediate vicinity early became affected with the Mormon delusion. His rank in life, his respectability, his education, his talents, his Christian character, were equal to those

      252                                Correspondence and Intelligence.                                [May.

    majority of thc Orthodox church to which he belonged. He removed his family to the West and joined the deluded multitude of fanatics who were collecting from all parts of the country. We have been favoured with the perusal of two long letters which he wrote last autumn to his aged father, and are permitted to take such extracts as may interest our readers. We present the following specimens believing they will show very clearly the effects of error and fanaticism.

                                                     "Independence, Missouri, December, 1833.

    "The village of Independence stands on the south bank of Missouri river; it contains thirty houses. One half a mile to the west there is a beautiful cultivated spot of one hundred and fifty acres. Notwithstanding the dark cloud which appears to hang over our heads at this time, on this spot of land will shortly be built the temple, and the city of the New Jerusalem, into which our Lord and Saviour will descend in a cloud from heaven with power and great glory. We have a plan given by revelation of the city and the temple. The temple is to be like Solomon's, only far more splendid. Many of our dear brethren, who have been driven from this land by our enemies, will shortly return in the Lord's due time and help to accomplish this great and glorious work. I have sufficient authority for saying, this, for the Lord has spoken it.

    "The inhabitants of Jackson county are mostly emigrants from Kentucky and Tennessee. They are generally an indolent and illiterate people. They have been very friendly to us till within six months. They are mostly enemies to the cause of Christ. This county is ruled by about twenty-five rich and designing men from the Southern States, who are mostly engaged in trafficking amongst the Indians. The leaders of this body are about half a dozen of those who receive pay from government and your missionary society. Yea, there was Mr. M., the Baptist missionary to the Indians, who was the leader of a mob of thirty-two who fell upon us in November, and sware in their wrath that they would slay us, if we were not off in twenty-four hours. So the Lord suffers the lofty-minded hypocrite to show out the evil of his heart, that his condemnation may be just. These great men all had a hand in pulling down our printing-office. Great was the waste of property. Thousands of bushels of grain were trodden under feet. Houses were destroyed. Through the mercy of God we all have abundance to subsist on yet. The price of wheat is fifty cents, corn twelve and a half cents, per bushel; beef and pork two and a half to three dollars per hundred.

    "You wished to know how we spend the Sabbath. We mean to spend it as the Lord has commanded us by revelation. We are strictly forbidden to do any other work on the Lord's day but to prepare our food, and to assemble ourselves together to worship the Lord. We commence our service with prayer. Then it is the duty of every member, both old and young, to arise, one at a time, and speak of the goodness of God, and to confess our sins, if we have committed any the past week, to one another and before the Lord This is frequently done in an unknown tongue, and then interpreted by one who may have the spirit for this work. Here is the wisdom of the Lord to search out all iniquity; for many of us have been moved by the Spirit and spoke in another tongue that which, when interpreted, would prove to be the secrets of the heart and sinful deeds that we should not confess in our own tongues. Many a one has risen with tears in his eyes, and confessed the truth of the interpretation. Furthermore, in obedience to the commands of the Lord, we on every Sabbath commemorate the death and sufferings of our Lord and Saviour, by partaking of the bread and wine, yea, pure wine, the clear juice of the grape. One branch made one barrel this fall.

    We have had many trying scenes to pass through since we arrived here

      1834.]                                Correspondence and Intelligence.                                253

    one year ago. The Lord spake by revelation that he was not well pleased with his children in Zion, and that we all had great need of repentance, pointing out our greatest sins, which were, breaking the law of the celestial kingdom, and not reading the book of Mormon. Again we received the word of the Lord in June by revelation through the prophet in Kirtland, that we had much iniquity amongst us, that he would not have his holy land polluted, and that there was a scourge and a judgment awaiting the inhabitants of Zion. Accordingly our chastisements were very severe. Many were cut off from the church from that time. For several weeks we received great blessings from the Lord. The most of the church that stood received the gift of tongues, to speak in the language of the Lamanites as well as in those of the isles of the sea and the nations of Ur. It was given to some in each branch of the church to interpret all that was spoken; and also it was given to many of us to prophesy of things shortly to take place. James lived with me last summer; he bids fair to make a holy child; he can speak in as many as twenty-five different tongues."


    Christian Palladium
    (Rochester: Christian Connexion, 1830-9)

  • 1833-4:   The Mormons, etc.

  • 1834-5:   Udney Jacob letter, etc.

  • 1835-6:   Mormons, etc.

  • 1836-7:   Oliver Barr articles. etc.

  • 1837-8:   (under construction)

  • The Christian Palladium was begun in western NY by the "Christian" (or Christian Connexion) movement, in the wake of Rev. Finney's 1830-31 "Great Revival" -- its pages are full of accounts of revivals and the progress of the sect. Vol. 2 (May 1833-April '34) occasionaly mentions the Mormons. Probably Vol. 1 also noticed the rise and progress of the LDS. Readers of the paper may have included Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, who lived in the area prior to their conversion to Mormonism in 1832. -- The Jessie C. Eury Library of Lincoln Christian College & Seminary, Lincoln, IL, has a complete file of the Christian Palladium, from Jan. 1832 to Dec. 1857.




    Devoted to the Improvement and Happiness of Mankind.

    Vol. II.                                     (various dates)                                     No. ?


    Included in the number of paragraphs or brief comments about the Mormons
    in Vol. 2 of this paper are the following:

    A report mentioning Orleans, Phelps twp., Ontario Co., NY, part of which says:

    "Near that place is a small company of fanaticks called Mormonites. They pretend to have the gift of tongues and of healing diseases by miracle. The preacher claims the power of taking away the peace of any one who has the presumption to oppose his system, and of shutting up the kingdom of heaven against all such. He preaches that all will be damned who do not embrace Mormonism. I was informed on good authority, that one of the Mormon women in that place, said she was sometimes so filled with the fire of Gods, Spirit that she had to drink cold water to keep from burning"

    Note: Unless this is a retrospective account, it documents a remnant of Ontario Co. Mormons after the departure of the main body of the LDS during the first months of 1831. Although Orson Hyde and Samuel Smith came through the area as missionaries in 1832, it does not seem that they left any branch or congregation of Mormons at this place. Alternatively, the presence of these people in Ontario Co. may have been part of the 1833 gathering of Mormons in and around Jamestown, NY. ???

    The report of a traveler in Ohio, who writes:

    "... on my route I passed through a portion of Joseph Smith's Land of Zion; tarried all night within two miles and a half of Smith's residence. He is situated in a very pleasant part of the country, near the Chagrin, where he is engaged in translating the Bible, making proclamations, and issuing his reveries of the name of the Lord; and such is the infatuation of his deluded followers, that they receive him as that Prophet which Moses told the Israelites, the Lord God would raise up among their brethren".

    In an article on delusions, the editor says:

    "Campbellism, Mormonism, Dilksism, and Patchingism are so many parties, framed by the craft and fancy of ingenious men; and must be regarded as delusions peculiar to the present times."




    Devoted to the Improvement and Happiness of Mankind.

    Vol. III.                                     August 1, 1834.                                     No. 7.

      [pg. 110]


    Br. Badger -- I have read in the Palladium of June 15, 1834, the opinions of Unitarians from the Christian Reister, respecting future punishments, upon which I ask the privilege of making a few remarks, believing it my duty for the good of Zion. It is there said, "In one word, we believe that every human being in the future world will find himself, at each successive stage of his eternal existence, just as happy as he shall have made himself holy, or just as miserable as he shall have made himself sinful." Now I ask you, is not this doctrine calculated to injure those that receive it? Will not the man who loves a little sin say to himself -- True, I indulge myself in a few forbidden pleasures; I sometimes gratify my lusts; I am pleased if it is true, with the honoes and applause that comes from men, and I have a considerable hankering after wealth; but then, I mean to do about right, and maintain a pretty fair character in the world. I believe I am about as good as men in general, and much better than many of the vile, and my situation in the world to come will be tolerably comfortable. For I shall bear the same comparison with others that I now hear, and I believe that I am at least upon a mediocrity with mankind.

    This would be a modest judgment for a man to make who is always inclined to judge of himself as favorably as possible. Would a man with such views be apt to deny himself and take up his cross? Would he crucify his own feelings and thereby give himself pain? (for crucifixion is a painful operation.) I think not.

    But again I ask, is this a doctrine of the Bible? If not, it is dangerous. Let us read first about sinners... It is worthy of remark that Jesus does not compare sinners to little fig trees and big fig trees, and declare that in case they do not bear fruit, he will hack, and bruise, and pound them according to their size.. Neither does he say, except ye repent ye shall be miserable to all eternity in proportion to your sinfulness. No such thing. And I boldly affirm that there is no such doctrine found in the sacred volume. and whatever is not Bible doctrine will surely be found at last dangerous heresy.

    For Zion's sake, therefore, I dare not hold my peace. The idea that men are to be rewarded in the world to come exactly according to the several acts which they shall perform in this life prevails in the minds of many, and is I am confident a vain philosophy, according to the wisdom of this world, but not according to Christ. The sinner is wholly fruitless, he has no fruit to the glory of God, and unless he repents, he shall perish as a useless comberor of the ground; this is the doctrine of Christ. "If the wicked will turn away from his wickedness and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed they shall not be mentioned unto him. But when the righteous man turneth away from righteousness and committeth iniquity, all the righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned, in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned in them shall he die." -- Ex. 17. Hence saith Jesus, Behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me to give to every man as his work shall be, Rev. xxii. 12, not as all the works of his whole life have been, if some of them have been good and some bad, but as his work shall be when I come. The doctrine which teaches that wicked men are to live eternally, is the same as to say that they shall have immortality, even eternal life. Against this doctrine, whatever shape it may take, on account of the sorrows which I have experienced from it, on account of the dangerous conceits into which it naturally leads the reflecting mind, and on account of its being an unscriptural doctrine, I do now enter my most solemn protest in the fear of God, and warn the church of Christ to be cautious, lest they be led astray by the error of the wicked. It is worthy of remark that Christ says, when he comes his reward is with him. This means as it says; judge ye what the reward must be: it is with him, not in the future endless ages of eternity.

      Aug. 1834,                           Udney H. Jacob.



    Devoted to the Improvement and Happiness of Mankind.

    Vol. IV.                                     May 15, 1835.                                     No. 2.

      [pg. 24]

    From an Honest Inquirer, Springfield, Pa.

                                                                   April 19, 1835.

    Elder Badger -- Having been a constant reader of the Palladium, and finding many subjects freely investigated, I have been much interested in the rich explanations with which your valuable paper abounds...

    ... [Jesus says] "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be sazed; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay their hands on the sick and they shall recover." Now if these signs are to follow, not only the Apostles, but those that believe; where are we to look for believers at the present day? Shall we go to the Mormon Society, or to the Mormon book; no, for Jesus never taught us such a lesson... [Paul says] "Now ye are the body of Christ and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues." Now if God set these gifts in the church in the days of the apostles, I would ask my more experienced brethren, to show me some place in scripture where he has taken them from it, or I shall conclude that the church lost them by wandering from God... If some of my aged and more enlightened brethren will favor me with an explanation, and inform me when these gifts were taken from the church, they will greatlyrelieve the mind of an anxious and honest inquirer.



    Devoted to the Improvement and Happiness of Mankind.

    Vol. IV.                                     January 51, 1836.                                     No. 18.

      [pg. 280]

    From Elder Ephraim Easley, Reading, N. Y., 1835.

    Brother Badger -- We have of late been favored with a plenty of Mormon Preachers. The principle part of their message consisted in attempting to prove that the Book of Mormon was the stick of Joseph, and, that our Scripture was the stick of Judah, and these two sticks were to become one book.

    For my own information I borrowed the Mormon Book and examined it for myself, and if I am not very much mistaken the book is all a farce. To give all my objections to the work, I have not time or patience; but, I will refer your readers to a passage under the 582d page. "Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless Hell. -- Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children needeth baptism, is in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity for he hath neither faith, hop, or charity: wo be unto him that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent." And again "wo unto such for they are in danger of death, hell and endless torments." This Brother, is driving business in earnest. The best information that we have is, that Lehi and his family, came from Jerusalem to America, that in process of time, Jesus Christ showed himself after his crucifiction to them. See chap. 5, page 476. Now, is it not extraordinary that in this new world, there should have sprung up the same opinion, in favor of infant baptism as was believed in the old world, and second; is it not extraordinary when they had written and men, endowed with the Holy Ghost, that the inhabitants when found by Columbus and others, should have been so horribly destitute of the gospel, or of any tradition relative to it. Nothing left but the golden leaves which Jo. Smith said he found in Manchester, Ontario Co. N. Y. This is as great a mystery as the Trinity. Who can or do denounce all who hold that little children ought to be baptized are in the gall of bitterness and in danger of hell and endless torments. Thousands think, and justly think too, that it has no foundation in truth, yet who could say this to the pious reformers; of a Wesley, a Fletcher, a Nelson, and hundreds of devoted Paedo Baptists of this country. My soul revolts from the thought. I spurn it from me, as the effusion of a fanatic, and I would ask those advocates of this very singular production, the Mormon Book, if they do not think that Mr. Mormon in this, made a very wild shot! and we think that even Smith himself must shudder at this extravagant paragraph in looking at it anew. He may hold a conference with himself, and in conclusion cry: Wesley! Wesley! where art thou? My book of Mormon has denounced thee as in the gall of bitterness, in danger of hell and endless torments. No answer is given -- all is as silent as the shades of death. The ashes of the pious Wesley sleep undisturbed. What! no answer given. Methinks I see his works springing up, well seasoned with the holy unction from on high. Sinners melted down by the power of God under his ministry. -- I too hear the dead speak in thousands of volumes now scattered over Europe and America, the very substance of all that is excellent in the Book of God, or Christian experience. He now lives in the paradise of God. He lives in the hearts of almost an innumerable company of saints. May God Almighty save this land from every wile of the Devil.



    Devoted to the Improvement and Happiness of Mankind.

    Vol. V.                                     December 1, 1836.                                     No. 15.

      [pg. 227]

    For the Christian Palladium.

    "What is Truth?"


    In this day so prolific of religious theories, controversy, intolerance and proscription, how natural, and how important the question, "what is truth?" and how satisfactory and consoling to the Christian, is the answer of our Savior to his Father, and our Father, "Thy word is truth."

    Among other theories of modern times, "Mormonism" assumes a conspicuous place and claims the attention of the world, which for a variety of reasons I wish to notice.

    1. It unchristianizes the whole world, both Catholic and Protestant; denying that there has been either Gospel, or gospel Ministers in the world for more than fifteen centuries, until they were revived in the state of New York in 1824. [sic]

    2. They profess to be the only true Church, alone possessing the Gospel and its Ministry.

    3. They present the Mormon Book as divine revelation, and of equal authority with the Bible.

    4. A Brother of mine, who is among them, commenced a correspondence with me on the subject, which I gave a prompt reply, promising him, if he, or any of that people, could and would answer my honest objections to the Mormon theory, I would be a Mormon. Mr. Sidney Rigdon a high priest of that profession proffered his services, and commenced the work by a lengthy reply to my letter to my brother, which he concludes by saying, "I submit to your inspection, desiring that you would reply as fully as the case requires."
    Then without giving me some notice of his design, or an opportunity to prepare mine for the press, published mine, to my Brother, and his reply in their paper, called, "Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate." In examining his letter, I found the four following prominent points of difference:

    1. "Relative to the design of revelation."

    2. To the design of miracles.

    3. What the Gospel is.

    4. "Relative to the necessity of revelation and Miracles at the present day."
    To all those particulars I replied fully. -- I assumed that the design of revelation was

    1. To make known the being of God.

    2. to make known his will.

    3. The consequences of doing, or not doing his will.
    [4. ?] I argued that the great design of miracles was, to attest the divine mission of those, whom God authorized to bear messages to mankind. In support of this posotion I gave him Ex. iv. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 39. &c. also Ex. xix. 9, 2. Kings xx. 9, 11. Here and in numerous other places we find the avowed object of miracles to be to confirm the testimony of God's messengers, and while the miracles of some of the Prophets are recorded, I think we have no just reason to suppose that they did not all work miracles for the same purpose.

    Elijah was answered in his request, when he prayed that it might not tain -- again when he prayed for rain. He continued, the oil and meal of the widow of Zarephath. He raised the widow's son -- brought down fire on the fifties -- fire to consume the sacrifice -- the wood -- the water, and the alter; that the people might know that the Lord was God -- and he his prophet. Elisha caused iron to swim -- raised a dead child, and cleansed a leper; and from attending circumstances, there is no doubt but the prophets were all in the habit of working miracles. The captive maid said, she would to God Naman was with the prophet of Israel, for he would heal him. When Naman came to the King of Israel to be healed, Elisha said, "send him to me, and he shall know there is a prophet in Israel." Thus plainly intimating that a prophet was known by his miracles. Christ says "if I do not the works of my father believe me not." -- again, "believe me for the very works sake." The Apostles went out preaching God also, hearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and divers miracles.

    Mr. Rigdon declared that "the doctrine preached by Christ and the Apostles had disappeared," which Gospel he considers to be that power by which miracles are wrought -- the sick healed -- and the holy spirit confered, by laying on of hands, &c. I assumed that the Gospel is the glad tidings of a Savior, and of salvation to all nations. Gal. iii. 8. This Gospel is called "the word of truth" Eph. i. 23. Where Christ says "go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel" -- he means yje same as "preach the word." "The word which God sent by Jesus Christ." This word is called the New Testament, or Gospel, and is written in the Bible. This is the Gospel Paul preached, which "he received by revelations of Jesus Christ" -- which, "when ye read, ye may understand." If this be the Gospel, every man that has got a Bible has got the Gospel -- hence the Gospel has not disappeared. The argument that the Gospel is power, does not prove that the word is not the Gospel. The word of God is quick and powerful." "The scriptures are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith." But "the word did not profit when not mixed with faith." "The word of God which effectually worketh in you that believe." Thus it is seen that the Gospel (or word) is "the power of God unto salvation to all who believe." If we have got the Gospel where is rge seed of a further revelation? We do not want another Gospel. If in the Apostles' days, the Gospel was able to save sinners, it is now. If it was then a sufficient rule of life, it is now. If the primitive disciples needed no more to make them wise unto salvation, neither do we. We have got the whole Gospel, why do we need more revelation? surely we do not. And if miracles were to attest revelation, we need no more miracles, and this is the reason why we do not have them.

    Mr. Rigdon published the letter above alluded to and replied in a foreign and ungentlemanly manner, then closed his columns against me. Thus thrusting me into their paper without my consent, and then out again at his own pleasure, not allowing me to speak for myself. The following is a specimen of his reply, and of the spirit of Mormonism:

    When he saw that I was not caught by his sophistry, he says -- "I warn you in the name of Jesus Christ, and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood conferred on me by the revelation of Jesus Christ, to repent of your sins, and be baptized for the remission of them, and receive the gift of the Holy spirit by laying on of the hands of those who are ordained in these last days unto that power, or you shall be damned; for your great ignorance of the things of God, clearly manifests that you are in the gall of bitterness, and bonds of iniquity, and an entire stranger of the Gospel of Christ: having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof, from such my master commands me to turn away, as I do from you; believing that if I were to indulge you in writing any more to be published in the papers in this place, (Kirtland,) I should offend the readers thereof." This is a much easier way to dispose of arguments than to refute them by plain testimony and logical reasoning.

    5. They are drawing many into this awful vortex -- this strongest of delusions. The consequences of which I cannot here mention. Lastly, they have reported far and wide, that I have already become a Mormon, and that to the great grief of some of my dear friends and brethren, and in various instances have used this false report, as a bate [sic] to catch others, with whom they supposed I had influence.

    I have candidly examined the Mormon Book and theory. And now Mr. Editor, if you and your council shall consider the subject sufficiently interesting to your readers, and as calculated to add any thing to the "Improvement or Happiness of mankind," I will give you a few Nos. by way of "Expose" to that system.

    Conneaut Ohio, Oct. 28th 1836.



    Devoted to the Improvement and Happiness of Mankind.

    Vol. V.                                     December 15, 1836.                                     No. 16.

    [pg. 241]

    For the Christian Palladium.

    "This wisdom decendeth not from above."


    That the origin of the Mormon Book is not divine, is evident from the fact

    1. It is not accompanied by one of those testimonials which has formerly accompanied divine revelation. When the Law was given at Sinai, it was handed down from God in the presence of all the people, and accompanied with the most awful testimonials of the divine Majesty. When Jesus Christ came down from heaven as the messenger of grace and truth; not only did angels announce his birth, but at his baptism, in the presence of all Judea and Jerusalem the Holy Spirit lowered down in a bodily form, and rested on him, while the Eternal Being audibly declared "This is my beloved Son;" and at another time added, hear ye him." But where is the divine testimony that Joseph Smith is God's messenger? Or where the divine testimonials in favor of the Mormon Book? There is not one! True, Cowdry, Whitmer and Harris, with others, have witnessed that they saw and handled the plates; but this does not prove what we want. I do not doubt but they saw and handled plates. -- But did they see them buried? The query is not whether Smith had plates; but who made them? When, and by whom were they buried? It would not be very hard for any one to find plates in the earth, and to prove that they took them out of the earth; but it would be difficult to prove that God ordered those plates to be buried there! Did God order the Mormon plates buried? Let it be proved. It has not been.

    2. It is evident that the Mormon book is not of Divine origin from the fact -- It was not needed. When the Gospel was introduced it was needed. The world was enveloped in an awful moral darkness. At that time there was no system of morals competent to reform them. The best system of morality only laid on external restraint. But the morality taughtby our Lord, did not stop here -- it went much deeper -- it imposed its restraints where they ought to be, on the thoughts, and on the heart. And has not the Gospel been effectual where it has been received and obeyed? If the Gospel has not lost its power to renovate the heart, and reform the life, where is the necessity of another revelation? The Gospel has not lost its power, therefore another revelation is not needed. And would God send us a system we did not want -- that could be of no use? If he sent us the Mormon Book he has sent us such a system. Unless the Mormon Book is better than the Bible, we have no use for it. Why do we need it, if we can supply no deficiencies of the bible? We must find deficiencies in one, before we can see need for the other. If God has sent us the Mormon Book, it must be for the noble purpose of effecting some good? Many from different denominations have gone over to the Mormons: but are they better? Are they more humble, more affectionate, or more charitable? Do they possess a more meek and quiet spirit? Are they more like Christ than others -- or than they were before? Those who are acquainted with the fruits of Mormonism, will not accuse me of exaggeration, if I only say, it makes them ten fold more ignorant, bigoted, and pharasaical than they were before. As a specimen of the Mormon spirit, hear this; Mr. S. Rigdon, a high priest declared it would not be safe for me to come to Kirtland, and talk as I write, for if I did, he would cuff my ears! Is that like Jesus? Is that the fruit of his spirit? Or is it the spirit that would command fire to come down and destroy those who follow not with us?

    The Mormons hold forth their book as a counter-part to the Bible, and of equal authority with it. But we have not more strong evidence that Joseph Smith did not create the world, than that God is not the author of both the Mormon book and the Bible. Look at the design, the low style, and the vulgarisms that are found in every part of the book, then compare it with the noble design, the inexpressible sublimity, the exquisite beauty, and the pure morality of the Bible, and then ask, could they both have had one author? The bible was from above, with God for its author. The Mormon book was from the earth with "Joseph Smith, Junior, for its author and proprietor," according to the title page

    3. The Mormon book had not God for its author, from the fact, it positively contradicts the Bible. The prophet Alma says p. 240, "And behold he (Christ) shall be born of Mary at Jerusalem." The prophet Micah said he should be born at "Bethlehem," which is six miles south of Jerusalem. Were both of these prophets inspired? -- What wonderful faith Mormons have to believe both of these prophets true. Which of these prophets shall we believe? In the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word shall be established. An Angel from heaven declared to the shepherds, "Unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." Luke ii. 11: and in ver. 4, Luke says, the "city of David is called Bethlehem," and that there Christ was born. Math. ii. ch. declares that the wise men found the young child there. Thus Alma is found a false prophet. This Alma prophesied less than 100 years before Christ was born. But can even Mormons believe he spoke by inspiration? Did the God who told Micah that Christ should be born at Bethlehem, and sent his angel to tell the shepherds he was born there, tell Alma he "should be born at Jerusalem?" What blasphemy! What an imposition upon the credulity of the ignorant! If Smith is as ignorant as he is reported to be, he may have been honest in making Alma fix on Jerusalem, as the birth place of our Lord. But what shall we say for those who know more? Are they honest when they declare that God has revealed it to them, that Alma is a true prophet? This they do declare.

    Look at Lehi's perversion of Isaiah xlix. 3th and 9th, and say did he write by inspiration? Thus he gives it, "Thus saith the Lord, in an acceptable time have I heard thee, oh isles of the sea, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee, and I will preserve thee and give them my servant for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth to cause to inherit the desolate heritages, that thou mayest say to the prisoners, go forth." &c. The expressions "Oh, isles of the sea," and "my servant," are not found in the true text. This reading entirely perverts the meaning of the text. It makes God address the "Isles of the Sea," instead of his Son. It makes the Isles of the sea, say to the prisoners, go forth. But Isaiah, not only here, but elsewhere, declares that Christ shall "proclaim liberty to the captives." It was Christ, whom God promised to hear, and to uphold, and who should say to the prisoners go forth; not the "isles of the sea." But why this perversion? It is to make the prophet appear to speak of Joseph Smith, as God's servant, whom he would give. If any of the old prophets ever alluded to the prophets of Mormonism, it must have been Jer. v. 12, where he says, "They have belied the Lord." Also, xxiii, 25, 26, "They are prophets of the deceit of their own hearts." Also Zeph. 3, 4. "Her prophets are light and treacherous persons, her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law." Did not Nephi do violence to the law, when he "consecrated Jacob and Joseph that they should be priests over the land?" p. 73. The law limits the priesthood to the tribe of Levi. -- But Nephi transferred it to the tribe of Joseph. Jacob and Joseph whom Nephi consecrated, were of the tribe of Joseph. The law confined the high priesthood to the family of Aaron. The Bephites made Alma high priest. The law admitted but one high priest in the church at one time. But the Nephites, while they professed to keep the law, but Ammon, Giddonah, and Alma high priests in the church, at the same time. p. 304. At another time, Helleman and his brother officiated in that office at the same time, p. 350. Thus "doing violence to the law."

    The Mormons at Kirtland have gone farther yet. They have transferred the priesthood from one nation to another. -- From the Jews to Gentiles, and have three grades of the Aaronical priesthood, officiating in their temple at Kirtland; all made out of Gentiles, all owned and blessed of God -- when God has declared, Num. iii. 10, "That the stranger that cometh nigh (to officiate as priests) shall be put to death." Is God a liar -- or is the Mormon system an unlawful delusion? Again, they have three grades of the Melchesedeck order officiating in the same temple, and the same church. Thus making Mormonism neither Judaism nor Christianity, but both perverted, then compounded.

    Neither the Jewish, or Christian Church, ever had more than one high priest over it at once, by divine direction. The Jews "truly had many priests because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death." Jesus Christ is now "high priest over the house of God." But the Mormons have a plurality of high priests over their house, all made of Gentiles. Thus making void the law of God by their traditions. Nor is this all. Paul says "Every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices." Heb. iii. But have these Mormon high priests any gifts and sacrifices to offer for the errors of their people? The Jewish "high priests entered into the holy place every year with the blood of others." Smith has provided no holy place for his Aaronical priests, nor do they offer sacrifices. What presumption! What blasphemy! Professing to be God's high priests, yet have neither tabernacle to enter, nor sacrifice to offer! -- Christ, our high priest of the Melchisedeck order, has entered into "the holiest of all," in the true tabernacle, which God pitched, and not men, even into heaven itself. This is the only place or tabernacle for the Melchisedeck high priest, for "When Christ was on earth he could not be a priest." Heb. viii. 4. Sidney Rigdon professes ro be a high priest of the Melchisedeck order. Has he any gifts to offer, or sacrifices for his people? Does he enter into the inner tabernacle, not with the blood of others, but with his own blood? The Melchisedeck high priest must be "holy, harmless, undefiled." Does he possess this character? It was necessary that Christ, as high priest, "should have somewhat to offer." Therefore he "offered up himself." What resemblance can even Mormons see, between their high priests, and the priests of God's house -- or what relation of their system, to the Gospel Paul preached?

    Among the Nephites, believers were called Christians, seventy-two years before Christ was born: so says Alma, p. 351. -- Luke says they "were called Christians first in Antioch." Who is the true historian, Luke or Alma?

    Paul says the mystery that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, was not made known to other ages, "as it is now revealed by the spirit, unto the holy Apostles." Smith has Nephi declare the same mystery 600 years before Paul was converted.

    What I have presented of contradictions, and perversions of the Bible found in the Mormon book, ans theory, are but as a drop in the bucket. May God help us that we may not "give heed to fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth."

    In my next, I shall examine the Doctrines of Mormonism.

    Conneaut Ohio, Nov. 5, 1836.

    Joe Smith-ism, alias Mormonism.

    Mr. Editor: -- Within a few weeks past our city has been visited by a swarm of these deluded beings, who are going to and fro, (in imitation of their father) and up and down the earth, seeking whom they may lead astray from the truth as it is in Jesus, to the fabrication of lies by Sidney Rigdon, Joe Smith & Co.

    I took the opportunity to attend one of their meetings, at the request of several friends, in order to question the gentlemen on the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, their views, customs, &c.

    Mr. Sidney Rigdon, (who is no doubt the author and contriver of the book,) was the speaker for the evening. His discourse was founded upon the confession of Peter: Matt. xvi. 13-18. After a lengthy exordium, he attempted to show that notwithstanding Christ had wrought many miracles, and done many mighty works, yet they did not prove to the people that he was the Messiah, "the Son of God." No person, therefore, knew that Jesus was the son of God, till it was revealed unto Peter. The fact was only obtained by a direct revelation to Peter, at this moment when he made the confession to Christ. All that was known from his miracles, was that he was "Jeremiah, or one of the Prophets."

    His first object. -- As Smith, and his coadjutors, have not, and can not work miracles, they endeavor to show that they are of no use. If they were of no use in the establishment of Christianity, then they could be of no use in the establishment of Mormonism.

    His second object. -- As the Mormons abound in revelations, the main object with them is to show that Christianity was founded on the doctrine of direct and personal revelations to every man. When once this is established in the mind of a professed Christian, then they appeal to this principle, and demand faith in Mormonism on the same ground of Christianity. Thus Mr. Rigdon taught, "Blessed art thou Simon Barjona (because thou hast got a revelation,) flesh and blood have not revealed this unto thee but my father who is in heaven. Now says Mr. R. This is the rock on which Christ has built his church. Here the church commenced. Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, because thou hast got a revelation, and on this rock, (viz: this doctrine of direct, personal revelation, to all who believe and embrace the Christian religion, by which they shall know its truth, independently of other evidences.) On this rock, he said Christ had built the church. Moreover, he had given the keys of the kingdom to Peter; i. e. he had given him the power of obtaining revelations from heaven at any time. So that "what he bound on earth was bound in heaven." Every disciple of Mormonism is instructed to believe that he shall be favored as above with direct and personal revelations from God, of the truth of the things reported by Rigdon, Smith & Co. When a person will take this ground, he may become in the same hour, almost any thing else within the region of fanaticism, and wild enthusiasm.

    The Examination. -- When Mr. R. had finished his discourse, I begged the privilege of asking a few questions. It being granted I proceeded to ask: 1. Did I understand you to say, sir, that no person on earth ever knew that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, till it was revealed to Peter in Ceserea Phillipi, as recorded in the text.

    Ans. (Mr. Rigdon.) Yes, I did say so, and refer you to the text in proof of the assertion.

    2. How does it happen, them sir, that at his baptism, two years before this, that a voice from heaven proclaimed him to be the Son of God, to the multitude that had assembled at the Jordan to be baptized of John. And how is it that John "saw and bare record at this time, that this is the Son of God." (Some confusion, no satisfactory answer.)

    3. Did you say, sir, that miracles were no proof of Jesus being the son of God?

    Ans. (Mr. Rigdon.) I did, and refer you to the text in proof of it, again.

    4. How can this be, when in the 11th ch. of Mat. 3-6 verses, Christ referred John the Baptist to his miracles, in direct proof of his being the true Messiah. I need not say that the mormon gentleman was confounded, though he attempted to extricate himself by his sophistry, in which he abounds, yet it only made a bad matter worse. He knew what he had stated was false. His object was to deceive and lead astray the innocent disciples of Christ. He, however, did not make many disciples on this occasion.

    If the heralds of the cross would only meet these deceivers promptly, they would save their flocks from the disastrous influences of this delusion.
    Boston Mass., Sept. 28, 1836.


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