Heman C. Smith
(Lamoni, Iowa: RLDS, 1901)
THE TRUTH DEFENDED,
A Reply to Elder D. H. Bays'
Doctrines and Dogmas of Mormonism.
BY ELDER HEMAN C. SMITH.
PUBLISHED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE
REORGANIZED CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
OF LATTER DAY SAINTS.
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"The Doctrines and Dogmas of Mormonism Examined and Refuted" is the title of a book written by one "Elder Davis H. Bays," and published by the "St. Louis Christian Publishing Company 1897."
The Publishing Company in a recent catalogue has given this work the following endorsement:
The subject is given a thorough treatment by one well versed in Mormonism. The author's knowledge of the teachings, doctrines and dogmas of the Mormon Church was obtained by a close relationship with all the prominent leaders of that faith. It is certainly a book of reference, accurate and reliable. Every important question pertaining to the peculiarities of the Mormons is discussed and answered from a Biblical and philosophical standpoint. The author does not use ridicule or burlesque to supply the place of logic and argument. He meets every question with painstaking arguments, showing great familiarity with the fundamental principles relied on" by Mormons to sustain their doctrines. A careful study of this work will convince the reader that the author has completely exaplained and refuted the Doctrines and Dogmas of Mormonism.
The indorsement given the book by a respectable publishing house, rather than the book itself, furnishes the apology, if one is needed, for the consideration given it, in this treatise.
The anxiety of the publishers to recommend everything opposed to "Mormonism" is apparent, however, for the same page of the catalogue where the above endorsement is found contains the following concerning the work of Elder Clark Braden in the Braden and Kelley debate:
A thorough expose of the real organ of the Book of Mormon and Mormonism.
It is well known that Mr. Braden's theory of the origin of the Book of Mormon is the Spalding Romance, while Elder Bays says:
The Spaulding story is a failure. Do not attempt to rely upon it -- it will let you down. The entire theory connecting Sidney Rigdon and the Spaulding Romance with Joseph Smith in originating the Book of Mormon must be abandoned. -- Doctrines and Dogmas of Mormonism, p. 25.
The inconsistency of a publishing house recommending two theories diametrically opposite is too apparent to need comment, and is only cited here to show the prejudice prompting the indorsement.
Again; the "Christian Church" in indorsing Elder Bays, and his theory, has made a humiliating concession that we here present in the language of Elder Charles Derry, as follows:
The elder strikes a deathblow at the long cherished theory of the "Christians" and other opponents of the Book of Mormon in showing that Sidney Rjgdon bad no connection whatever with the Book of Mormon until the latter had been published to the world.
As Elder Bays in the work under consideration presents himself not only as an advocate but as a witness in the case against "Mormonism," it is proper that the reader should know something of the witness.
In presenting a brief statement of the career of Elder Bays we disclaim any desire to do him an injury, our only object being to inform the public who it is that testifies
Elder Davis H. Bays was born in Colorado county, Texas, March 5, 1839; but later his parents resided in Montgomery county, Texas; where it the year 1848 they first beard the principles of the gospel as taught by the Latter Day Saints, through Elders John Hawley and Joel Miles, who were then connected with the colony in western Texas under Lyman Wight. They soon removed to the headquarters, and cast their lot with the colony, and were identified with them for some time.
Subsequently they became dissatisfied and emigrated to Beaver Island, in Lake Michigan, where James J. Strang was located, and were associated with the Strangite movement until the death of Strang in 1856.
Later the Bays family emigrated westward, and on May 27, 1861, Davis H. Bays united with the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, at Council Bluffs, Iowa, being baptized by Elder Charles Derry. On the 14th of June following be was ordained an elder at the same place by Elders W. W. Blair and Edmund C. Briggs. After this but little was heard of him for a few years, but subsequently he became quite active as a minister, and did considerable missionary work in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas. On September 14, 1878, be was ordained a seventy by Elder J. R. Lambert and others, at Galland's Grove, Iowa. His ministerial career was not without its trials, and he was on one or more instances silenced or released from appointment subject to inquiry, but so far as we know nothing of a serious character was developed against him on investigation until about 1880.
At the election of that year he was candidate for assessor in Grove township, Shelby county, Iowa, and took quite an active part in the campaign, during which considerable feeling was engendered between him and some of his brethren in the church who were opposed to him politically, resulting in a heated political quarrel between him and Elder John B. Hunt on election day. Personal reflections were indulged in, in consequence of which Elder Bays preferred charges against Elder Hunt, setting forth that Elder Hunt had without just cause accused Elder Bays of being religiously and politically dishonest, and of accusing Elder Bays of stealing. A court of investigation was summoned, composed of five elders, before whom the case was heard. The court in presenting its findings, after summing up the evidence, said:
Therefore the charge for declaring that the defendant J. B Hunt believed plaintiff (D. H. Bays) to be religiously dishonest without just ground is not sustained.
Three of the court signed these findings, the other two dissenting. The findings were dated March 27, 1881.
Elder Bays appealed this case to the district conference. The conference appointed a court consisting of three elders, who on July 24, 1881, presented their findings, confirming the decision of the lower court in the first and second, counts, but declaring that
The evidence does not show that the plaintiff (D. H. Bays) did or would steal property.
Therefore deciding the charge against Hunt sustained so far as it related to accusing Bays of stealing.
About the same time of instituting proceedings in the courts of the church, Elder Bays instituted proceedings against Elder Hunt in the Shelby County Circuit Court, for slander, claiming damages in the sum of ten thousand dollars. This case was filed March 22, 1881, and after some delays was decided in favor of defendant, Elder Bays, failing to secure judgment. He then appealed to the Supreme Court of the State of Iowa, and the Supreme Court at its September term for 1882 confirmed the decision of the lower court.
This ended litigation. Anyone curious to know more of this case and of the evidence produced therein is referred to the Supreme Court Documents in the case of Bays vs. Hunt.
After this Elder Bays resumed his ministerial labors, but his efforts were feeble, and be failed to regain the prestige that he had before enjoyed. The next ten years
he attracted but little attention, making one or two short missionary trips, but not continuing in the work long at a time. In 1892 he presented his resignation as a minister to the General Conference which convened at Independence, Missouri, April 6.
The following are extracts from said resignation which will disclose the condition of Elder Bays' mind at the time:
circumstances under which the book was written, I have arrived at the conclusion that there is absolutely nothing to be offered in support of its claina to divine inspiration. As a minister of the church I would be expected to defend its claim to be divinely inspired, and acknowledge its authority, neither of which can I do with a clear conscience. To act honestly both with myself and the church, I feel it my duty to resign.
The remaining part of the letter consists of argument in support of the foregoing and of objections to the Inspired Translation of the Bible.
We have given the foregoing items of history not to prejudice the case against Elder Bays, but as he assumes to be a witness against "Mormonism" to place his conclusion, and the causes leading up to the conclusion, before the reader that he may form his own estimate regarding the testimony of this willing and self-appointed witness.
Since severing his affiliation with the Saints he united with the Baptist Church with which he remained but a short time, and then transferred his allegiance to the "Christian Church" with which he now stands identified.
In preparing this treatise I have been placed under obligations to Elder Charles Derry, who kindly extended valuable aid by placing at my disposal his, manuscript written on the subject. Others have given suggestions and furnished documentary material which have been of great benefit, among whom are Brn. Joseph Smith, J. R. Lambert, J. W. Wight, I. N. White, M. H. Forscutt, T. W. Williams, C. E. Butterworth, D. F. Lambert, R. Etzenhouser, S. C. Clapp, F. M. Sheehy, H. O. Smith, R. S. Salyards, and John Pett.
With a prayer that this little volume may lead to a closer investigation. of the subjects treated upon, I submit it to the judgment of a discerning public,
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I was answered that I should join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; and that the professors were all corrupt.
The correct reading of the passage is as follows:
I was answered that I should join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; and that those professors were all corrupt.
It will be seen that Elder Bays has inserted the word and and substituted the word the for those. This separated from the context might seem to be a slight error, but when we consider the context we learn that Joseph went there to inquire regarding the teaching of certain men in his neighborhood, of whom he says:
A scene of bad feeling ensued; priest against priest; convert against convert; so that all of the good feeling entertained, one for another, was entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest of opinions.
The word those in the original evidently referred to those parties under consideration. regarding whom the inquiry was made, but Elder Bays has made the passage to read so as to include all professors.
And that this was his design is evident from his comment following this garbled quotation. He says:
This shows the light in which the founder of Mormonism viewed all other churches and creeds. The churches were all wrong, their creeds an abomidation, and their teachers and professors all corrupt.
This is repeated on pages 33 and 76. Men may by mistake misquote, but when they base a conclusion upon their interpolations it is impossible to excuse them from a design to misrepresent.
We here place in parallel columns quotations from Bays' book with original passages, italicizing words that are different. We do not exhaust this list, for this. would require too much space, as his quotations are in a majority of instances garbled. We do not say that this was always done through design; but whether done willfully or carelessly, the book is unreliable as a book of reference. The following specimens will illustrate the correctness of our statement:
"After havin& made diligent After having made diligent search among all the societies search among all. of the so- and organizations extant, with cieties azid organizations ex-
,your guide [the Bible] in tan t, -,vith your guide in your hand, where do you find hand, where do you ftrd @amidst them all, my friend amidst them all, my friend and reader, an institution in and reader, an institution in ,exact accord with the pat- exactaccord with the pattern tern of Christ's Oburch? Ah, given of Christ's church? Ah, echo answers, Where? echo answers,-where? Yet 'Yet one established accord- one established according to 4ng to this plan is all that this plan is all that God has -God has ever deigned to ac- ever deigned to acknowledge knowledge as his. What will as his. What will you do? .7ou do? Throw awav your Throw away your guide, and guide, and join the daug7it6r8 join a daughter of the old .4DE the old mother, or some in- mother, or some institution of stitution of men?"-Doctrines men? -PresideDcy and Priest- and Dogmas of Mormonism, hood, pp. 188, 189. .P. 32. "(1) Faith in God. (2) Faith (I.) Faith in God. (2.) Faith in Jesus Christ. (3) In the In Jesus Christ. (3.) In the Holy Ghost. (4) Belief in the Holy Ghost. (4.) Belief in the -doctrine of repentance. (5) In doctrine of repentance. (5.) baptism. ((i) In the lavine on In baptism. (O.) In the laying ,of hands. (7) In the resurrec- on of hands. (7.) In the res- tion of the dead. (8) Eternal urrection of the dead; and _jud-ment. (9) The Lord's (S.) Et!ernal judgment. (O. Supper. (10) The washing of The Lord's supper. (10.) The feet. These, together with washing of feet. These, to- . . . the endowment of the gether with an kvmble and Holy Ghost as realized and godly walk, including all the ex- enjoyed in the testimony oj ceZIe?tcm set out in the moral rode, Jesus,-such as faith, wisdom, with the endowment of the knowledge, dreams, prophe- Holy Ghost as realized and cies, tongues, interpretatio?t of enjoyed in the testimony of to??,gue8, visions, hearings," etc. Jesus,-such as faith, wisdom, -Doctrines and-Dogmas, pp. knowledge, dreams, prophe- 33, 34. cies, tongues, inte?,pretatioits, visions, hearings, etc.-Presi- dency and Priesthood, pp. 83, 84. "'One day, when I arose One day, when I arose from from the table, I walked di- the dinner table, I walled @rea@ly to the door and began directly to the door and vomiting most profusely. I commenced vomiting most raisedlargequan@itiesof blood profusely. I raised large .and poisonous matter, and so quantities of blood and poison- .great were the contortions of ous matter, and so great were my muscular sy.5tem, that my the contortions of my muscu- jaw was dislocated in a, few lar system, that my jaw wag
moinents. This I succeeded dislocated in a fewmoments- in replacing with my own This I succeeded in replacing hands, and I then made my -with my owA hands, and I way to Brother Whitney (who then made my way to brother was on his bed) as speedily as Whitney (who was on his bed), possibl'e. He laid his hands as speedily as possible. He on me, and administered tome laid his hands on me, and ad- in the name of the Lord, and ministered in the name of the I was healed in an instant, al- Lord, and I was healed in an. though the effect of the poison instant, although the effect of bad been so powerful as to the poison had been so power- cause much of the hair to ful as 'to cause much of the become loosened from my hair to become loosened from bead.' " (Tullidge's History, my head.-Tullidge's History, pages 141, 142.) - Doctrines pp. 141, 142. and Dogmas, p. 63. "In the New Testament In the New 'testament there, there is a history given of the is a history given of the forma- foundation of the Church of tion of the church of Christ, Christ in the times of the apos- etc.-Presidency and Priest- tles. It sets forth the class of hood, p. 49. officers belonging thereto, and defines their duties." (Presi- dency and Priesthood, , page 49).-Doetrines and Do.-mas, p. 77. "'In the light of the above In the light of the abovl- facts, can any organization, facts, can any organization, however proud and haughty however proud and haughty in its claims or large its mem- in its claims, or large itsnum,- bers, not having these God-sent berq, etc. - Presidency and and heaven-inspiredofficers, be Priesthood, p. 45, the Church of Christ?" (Ibid, page'45).-Doctrines and Dog- mas, P. 78. "It is not expedient In me It Is not yet expedient in me, that the Quorum of the Presi- etc.-Doctrine and Covenants,. dency and the Quorum of the sec. 122, par. 4. Twelve Apostles shall be filled, for reasons which will be seen and known unto you in. due time."-Doctrines and Cove- nants, sec. 122, par. 4, page 353.
When it is noted that Elder Bays in connection with the last quotation is striving to show that the Reorganized
Church has practically abandoned the form of organization formerly adopted, the leaving out of the word yet raises a suspicion of design to misrepresent.
"Now therefore are ye no Now therefore ye are no more foreigners and 8tranger8, more 8t?,a?tge?-,,? and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the but fellow citizens with the saints, and are built upon the saints, and of the, 7tou867wld of foundation of the apostles and God; and %re built upon the prophets, Jesus Christ hiuiself foundation of the, apostles and bein,@ the chief corner-stone." prophet,.;, Jesus Christ himself -Doctrines and Dogmas, p. bein& the chief corner stone. 124. -Eph. 2:19, 20. "Some have supposed that Some have supposed that they received two ordinations; they received two ordiii-ations; one under the hands of Peter, one under the hands of Peter, Jg.Tnes and John, and one by James, and John, and one b each other; but . . . there is each other; but it is seare6l@y no historical evidence of such supposabm tltat t7tey toovldfail to an event." (lbid, page 64).- Mention so important an item. Doctrines and Dogmas, p. 134. There is no historical evi- deti(fe of such an event.- Church History, vol. 1, p. (i4.
Though Elder Bays here indicates the ellipsis, he uses the conjunction but to connect what in the original is a separate sentence, thus making it to appear in different connection from that in which it appears in the original.This abuse of the ellipsis is quite frequent in "Doctrines and Dogmas of Mormonism," and we here caution the reader that where he finds the ellipsis indicated in said work it would be well to look up the original before using the quotation, or he may find himself in an embarrassing position. As instances we cite the reader to pages 33, 272, 273, 394, 398, 399, 401, 402, 411. Again, you will find places frequently where an actual ellipsis occurs that is not indicated. See pages 155, 319, 402.
Resuming quotations, we record the following:
"God has committed the The admission that God has priesthood as a means of at any time committed the authoriziti.- men to minister." priesthood -as a means of
(Page 3.)-Doctrines and Dog- authorizing men to adminis- m as, P. ter before him acceptably, must be taken as positive evidence of its necessity.@ Presidency e6nd Priesthood, P. 3. "Tbe Gospel is administered "Theroyal Zaw," the "perfect by the authority of the Mel- law of liberty," the gospel, is cbizedekpriesthood."(Page5.) administered by the authority But Mr. Kelley does not in- of the.Tylelchisedec priesthood. form us where he flnds au- -Presidency and Priesthood, thority for this remarkable p. 5. statement."-Doctrines and Doginas. p. 146. - "Behold, there shall be a Behold, there shall be a record kept among you, and record kept among you, and in it thou shalt be called a in it thou shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Je,,@us Christ, an an apostle of Jesus Christ, an ,elder of the church through elder of the church through the will of God the Father, the will of God the Father, and the grace of our Lord and the grace of your Lord Jesus Chi,ist. Wherefore, Jesus Christ; be?,ng inspired of meaning he church, thou the Holy Ghost to lai/ tA6 founda- ,e -ds, shalt giV6 7@e d to all his ivo? tion thereof, and to build it up and commandments, which unto the most holy faith,- which he shall give unto you, as he church qoas oi@qa7tized and eqtab- i-eceiveth them, walking in liv7ted, in the year of your Lord all holiness before me; for his eig7iteen 7tkndi,ed and tltirty, in word ?le shall receive, as if from the fourth month, and on the mine oien nzo?zt7t, in all patience qe,.vt7i day of the month, which is andjait7t.." (Doc.andCoy.,sec. called Api,ft. 19, pit-. 1. page 102.) T)oc- Wherefore, meaning the trities and Dogmas, pp. 319, church, thou shalt give heed 320. unto all his words, and com- maiidments, which he shall give unto you, as be receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me: for his word ye shall receive, as if from mine OWD mouth, in all patience and fajtb. - Doctrine and Covenar;ts 19: 1, 2.
These instances will serve as examples of the kind of work Elder Bays has done in the book in which be claims "the writer has endeavored to fairly state each proposition
discussed, and treat them with that degree of candor due to the sincerity of thousands who honestly believe them divine." Nor are the above instances exceptions to the general rule. Elder Bays has either through design or intent garbled a majority of the quotations made, and the above are given to direct the reader's attention to the matter that he may examine for himself.
HISTORY.When we consider the opportunities of Elder Bays to know, the following mistakes in history are not easily excused.
On page 25 Bays says-
All Mormon history and biography agree in connecting Oliver Cowdery, a man the equal of Sidney Rigdon in point of scholastic attainments and personal polish, directly with Joseph Smith in every state of the development of Mormonism.
Now "Mormon history and biography agree" to no such thing. The history is as follows:
It was early in the spring of 1820 that Joseph Smith saw his first vision that led to the final movement to organize the church.
In September, 1823, he saw the second vision, when he was informed of the existence of the plates and promised the possession of the same on condition of faithfulness.
The plates were obtained accordi5g to promise, on September 22, 1827, and sometime in the month of February following Martin Harris started with copies of the characters to New York, where he showed them to Dr. Mitchill and Prof. Anthon.
April 12, 1828, Joseph Smith began the translation of the plates with Martin Harris as scribe.
A year later (April, 1829) Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery met for the first time; and to this "all Mormon history and biography agree."
Not for nine years after its inception did Cowdery know
anything about this work, and during these nine years Joseph Smith received his visions and revelations directing him to do the work be afterwards did do, received the plates, sent copies of the characters to linguists, and began the translation, and yet Elder Bays says that all Mormon history and biography agree in connecting Cowdery with Joseph Smith in every stage of the development of Mormonism. It might be added that Cowdery was not directly connected with Joseph Smith after 1838, though Joseph Smith lived six years longer. If Bays does not know these facts he has not improved upon his opportunities to know, and is not a competent historian.
In speaking of the Book of Mormon Elder Bays says:
It describes the wanderings of the little band through the wilderness on foot till they reached the borders of the Red Sea, and their sojourn upon the banks of a large stream, which flowes into the Red Sea. From this point they traveled in a south-southeasterly direction, till finally they came to the sea, called "Ireantum." -- Page 27.
He thus represents the Book of Mormon as saying that the course of the colony was not changed until it reached the sea of Irreantum.
On page 42 of the Book of Mormon (I use the Palmyra edition, as that is the one used by Bays) we find the following:
And it came to pass that we did again take our journey in the wilderness; and we did travel nearly eastward, from that time forth.
It may be that Bays overlooked this, and we do not refer to it as an evidence of dishonesty, but it becomes necessary to refer to some things of this nature because Bays claims to be, and is recognized by many to be, thoroughly acquainted with the subject be writes upon. We only wish that it were possible to admit, what we admit in this case, regarding all his blunders, namely, that through ignorance he did it.
Again, Bays says:
But you may ask, How is it possible at this late day to determine this difficult question of Aaronic lineage?
The law of the church places this duty upon the First Presidency and not upon the Patriareh, as the following will show:
No man basalegal right to this office, to bold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant and the firstborn of Aaron; but as a high priest of the Melchisedec priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices, he may officiate in the office of bishop when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found; provided, he is called and set apart, and ordained unto this power under the hands of the first presidency of the Melchisedec priesthood. And a literal descendant of Aaron, also, must be designated by this presidency, and found worthy, etc. -- Doctrine and Covenants 68:2.
Nor, is this the only mistake in the above passage. There never has been a claim made by the church or by Joseph Smith that the above question was settled by an appeal to the Urim and Thummim. We would like to excuse Mr. Bays in this case, but there is no excuse for such glaring misrepresentations.
Bays testifies as follows:
While in charge of the Southwestern Mission, including Texas. western Louisiana, Arizona and New Mexico, I kept a record of all administrations to the sick, noting time, place, the name of patient, the nature of the malady, by whom assisted, and the results. At the close of the year I found myself unable to report a single instance of healing in the entire mission. This was in 1878-9. -- Page 66.
An examination of the record shows that Elder Bays was not at the time mentioned in charge of all the territory claimed, nor have we found any record that he was at any other time in charge of, or ever labored in, Arizona or New Mexico.
At that time there were two General Conferences held, each year, called the Annual and Semiannual. At the Annual Conference of 1878 the appointment read as follows:
D. H. Bays and Ralph Jenkins, to Texas and Indian Territory. -- Saints Herald, vol. 25, page 141.
The minutes of the Semiannual Conference for the same year contain the following:
D. H. Bays was sustained in the Texas Mission, and W. T. Bozarth wits associated with him; also Ralph Jenkins and J. W. Bryan continued in the same.-Ibid., p. 295.
The minutes of the annual conference for 1879 disclosed the following:
D. H. Bays, Texas Mission. -- Ibid., vol. 26, p. 141.
The minutes of the Semiannual Conference for 1879 have this entry:
Davis H. Bays, released, subject to inquiry by First Presidency. -- Ibid., p. 233.
Is this a lapse of memory or a willful misrepresentation? In either case it makes him an unreliable witness.
While still on the subject of miraculous power, Elder Bays says:
With forty years of acquaintance with Mormonism in its various phases, common honesty impels me to say I have never known a single instance of miraculous power. I have witnessed, it is true, what I was at the time willing to call a miracle, because, like all others who believe in such thinms, I wished to have it so; but never have I witnessed anything which would bear the test of intelligent scrutiny, or be confirmed by candid, sober second thought. -- Page 74.
In this connection it might be well to refresh Elder Bays' memory with the following testimonies from his own pen:
We then repaired to the water. A deep feeling of solemnity pervaded the assembly while nine precious souls were buried with our precious Lord in baptism. The invitation was extended to others, when Bro. Thompson.stepped forward and addressed the audience in a solemn and impressive manner, sayine: "The systems of men generally teach a 'form of godli- ness' but deny the 'power thereof,' and I have been preaching the 'Power' without the 'form.' But now, thank God, we have presented to us both the form and the power; and I feel it to be my duty to walk in the light as I now behold it, and to put on the whole armor of God." Then he came forth and was baptized. Almost the entire audience, which was larce, was in tears. Even people who had not obeyed the -ospel message, received great confirmation, some of them testifvfii- boldly that they saw a glorious and heavenly light at the close of the baptismal service. It was certainly a remarkable display of God's power: praise his great and holy name!
It might be interesting, to bear Elder Bays put this to "intelligent scrutiny" "confirmed by candid, sober second thought."
When he has disposed of that let him try the following:
In all my l@fe I have never known the truth to be put to a test at (@nce so tryiii,- and fiery as the one just referred to. But I kneio the Lord would give us the victa)ry, so we awaited patiently till the oi-deal was past, when his mercy appeared. The discussion terminated favorably to t-he cause of truth.- Extract rroni a letter written from Stocl@dale. Te.YLs, Tuly 10, 18'78, and published in the Sai?it8' Kerald for September I of the same year.
This was written concerning a discussion Mr. Bays had just closed with a Mr. Washburn, of the Baptist Church. In the absence of revelation from God, bow did Elder Days kdow what the Lord was going to do regarding this dis- cussion? He could not have known anythij3g about it. If we are to believe his testimony now, will Mr. Bays please arise and explain why he testified falsely on July 10, 1878?
Mr. Bays makes another mistake when in referring to the organization of James J. Strang he says:
Although claimants to be the legal successor to Jdseph Smith, as "prophet, seer, and reveltror," he skillfully avoided the triumvirate l@nown as the "First Presidency," and assumed the modest title of king.-Page 75.
In a periodical called the Gospel He2-ald, published at V6ree, Wisconsin, as the official organ of James J. Strang, and in its issue for August 16, 1849, there is a notice of several confereiaces, from which we quote as follows: There Nvill be a Conference held in the city of New York the bth, 6th and 7tb of October next. It is expected that a majority of both the First Presidency and the Twelve will attend'these Conferences. JAMFS J. STRANG.. Presidents. GEORGF, J. AIDAMS , (
This notice is also inserted in the next six issues follow- ing the one referred to.
Bays claims to have been for a time identifled with the organization under Strang. Yet he does not seem to know what that organization was.
Reader, no matter what your opinion is regarding "Mormonism," be careful how you depend on Bays for information - he will surely get you into trouble.
On page 160 Bays says:
Who were. present at the Kirtland endowment? Latter Day Saints 01113-, so far as tl)e iiisi,ory informs us.
The following shows plainly that there were others beside the members present:
We further add that we should do violence to our own feelings and injustice to the real merit of our brethren and friends who attended the meeting, were we here to withhold a meed of praise, which we thinlz is their just due, not only for their quiet demeanor during the whole exercise, which lasted more than eight hours, but for their great liberality in contributing of their earthly substance for the relief of the building committee, who were yet somewhat involved. - Church History, vol. 2, p. 45.
In the very next sentence after the one quoted above he
makes another historical mistake and emphasizes it as follows:
Who understood the "tongues" in which not one of the apoitles fq declared to haveve spoken? Not a soul, for they were all English-speaking people.
The following will show his error:
President S. Rigdon then made a few appropriate closing remarl@s, and a sbort prayer, which was ended with loud accia- mations of Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna to Gcd and the Lamb, Amen, Amen and Amen! three times. Elder B. Young, one of the Twelve, gave a short address in tongues: Elder D. W. Pat- ten interpreted and gave a short exhortation in tongues him- self; etc.-Ibid., p. 45.
It is only necessary here to say that Patten, as well as Young, was a member of the. Quorum of the Twelve. We insist that whether Elder Bays makes these false historical statements ignorantly, or with design to deceive, his book is not one of "reference, accurate and reliable," as asserted by the Christian Publishino, House.
In speaking of Jason W. Briggs, Bays says:
Jason became dissatisfled with his own worl<; and by his actions, at least, renouiicin.- his own 'revelation and the work built upon it, he resigned his apostolic office and withdrew from the church ataconference held at Indepei)deirce, Mo.-Pa-e 162.
Elder Briggs did not withdraw from the church at Inde-' pendence, Missouri, but at Lamoni, Iowa, in 1886, and then fiot because he was "dissatisfied with his own work, if or because he "renounced his own revelation." Let Elder Briggs speak for himself. When on the witness stand in the famous Temple Lot suit he was questioned regarding his reasons for withdrawing from the church- he said:
It was simply a matter of discussion through the columns of the Herald that caused my withdrawal. It was through a discussion which arose, and was attempted to be carried on through the columns of the He?,ald; but while the other party was allowed access to the columns of the Jlei-ald, I was deified that privilege.-Plaintiff's Abstract, p. 400.
Not one word can be produced from the pen of Elder Briggs to show that he "became dissatisfied with his own
work" in connection with the Reorganization, or that he '.renounced his own revelation." Mr. Bays therefore stands convicted of willful misrepresentation. On the very next pace he proceeds to misrepresent another of the church's early defenders as follows:
Elder Charles Derry did not ]on- remain in the "QLiorum of Twelve." He resil@ned his apostleship soon after his return from the Et)-lish Mission, for the rpason, as he told the writer shortly afterwards, that he bad no evidence that God had ever called him to be an apostle. He was too honest to retain a, place of honor to which he felt assured God had never called him. He called on me a few days a.-o, and on dep-,trtin- left his benediction. He baptized me into the Reoraanized Church nearly thirty-six years a-o. I would that all men were like him in honor and inte.-rity, and may his soul find rest and peace in the paradise o.f God.
Elder Derry left home on his English mission December 63 1862, and landed in Liverpool, England, February 4, 1863. Returning, he reached home September 6, 1861. In April, 1865, he was ordained an apostle, which office he held until April, 1870. Mr. Days has him resioning soon after he returned from his English mission, which would have been before his ordination. "Accurate and reliable," bahl
However, Elder Derry still lives and resides at Woodbine, Iowa. From a long and intimate acquaintance with Elder Derry we can heartily agree with Elder Bays in the wish "that all. men were like him in honor and integrity." Bearing in mind the character of the witness, let us bear from him on the question of fact raised by Days. When contemplating writing this review we wrote him regarding Days' statement and he answered as follows-
WOODBINE, January 16, 1901, Elder Heman C. Smith: - Your Favor of yesterday is before me. c;tllitit'r for information respecting my purported statement to D. H. Bays about my resi(rl]!LtiOn Of My membership in the Quoruni of the Twelve. Soon arter Bays published his book I borrowed a copy, and after a close examination of it, I wrote several hundred pages in reply....
I now copy from my reply to Bavs on that qu es tion as follows,. which you are at liberty to use.
"While dwelling on the question of apostleship I will crave pardon of the reader for referring to a personal matter, and especially as that person is the writer of this review. Mr. Bays mentions the fact of my being called to the apostleship. I will here remark that the same order was carried out in this case as bad been from the beginning, it being the duty of the commit- tee on selection to seek the guidance of the Almi-ht3,, as Jesu& sought it in the choosing of the Twelve in his day. In due time my name was presented in connection with thatof Brother Ells, and it was duly considered by the conference, and I was chosen by the voice of the body. I can only say for myself that my heart was set to do the will of God, and I had given myself up to God's ministry many years before, and that, too, without knowin- then that my mother had dedicated me to the service of God, in my infancy, as Haiinah of old had dedicated little Samuel. On the@8tli of April, 1865, I accepted the call to the. apostleship, believing that the call was from God. I served in that capacity about five years, but doubts of the divinity of my calling to that particular otflce crept into my mirid; it seemed .to me I was not htted for so responsible a duty. and I only wanted to occupy according to my talei)ts. I was blessed in my ministry, but 1 had always-beeti blessed in preaching the gospel of Christ, and the fear kept pressin- itself into my heart that the duty of the apostleship was great@er than I cotifd faithfully and effectually perform, and while it was my lifc's determitia- tion to continue in the gospel ministry, I determined to resimn my position in the Quorum of the Twelve, and if it was God@'s 'will, I @voul@d occupy a humbler position in his church. I resigned, but not as Mr. Bays says, 'soon after his i-ett@rn from the'English Nlissiori.' I had riot been called into ti)at Quorum until some time after I returned from the English mission, and as above stated, I remained in that Quorum about five years. I6 is very likely I told Mr. ]@ays (thou.-h I do not remember the- interview) that I had no evidence that God had called me t& that office. I told all my brethren so when I resigned, but .1 -neve?- told Afq,. BaNg, no?@ aay ot7te7- bei?@g, that I 7cnew God had -not called me, to it. Oiie thinm I did realize, and realize it today, that God had called me to preach his -ospel, as preached by Christ, and as restored aoaiii in these last da s, and I know that in all of my labors %iid travels by land and sea. God has been with me, and used me as an instrument, in his hands, in blessing my fellow man; and with that my soul is satisfied. I .have always been satisfied that the church as a body and the brethren individually, acted in good faith. The church has. never claimed infallibility for itself or any of its offlcers. God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the word of God are the only being&
for whom, as a church, we claim infallibility. If I erred in resigning my place in the Quorum of the Twelve, it was done in the integrity of my heart, and I am in the hands of a just Judge."
With respect to my visit to Bays in Persia, At his request I visited him. We had a friendly talk, as old-time friends. Doc- trine was not mentioned by either of us. An outsider would have thought from his friendly reference to the brethren of the ,church that he was still with us. I, however, knew he was not, in spirit, whatever might be his bland, outward appearance, but I had no hatred against the man, and why should I retrain from wishing him well. I still wish him well, and that he may live long enough to repent of his errors, and come out as a true - man for Christ and the true gospel. CHARLEs DEnRy.
Between Elder Bays and this man of "honor and integrity" we leave the reader to judge.
On page 234, while examining. the testimony concerning the visit of Martin Harris to Professor Anthon, Mr. Bays says.-
The best evidence, and, in fact, the o-nly evidence, of which this case is susceptible, would be' the solemn aflirniatioii, or what would be still better, perhaps, the sworn statement of Mr. Harris. But no such statement oraffirmation was ever obtained from him. Not a scrap of anything Martin Harris ever wrute - if be ever wrote anything on the subject - can be adduced in support of this claim concerning his interview with Prof. Anthon.
In the Church History, volume 1, pages 50 and 51, which Elder Bays doubtless bad before him when he wrote, as he quotes from it frequently, the following quotation from a letter written by Martin Harris appears:
SMITHFIELD, Utah, Nov. 23, 1870. Mr. E?nerRon; Sir- I received your favor. In reply I will say concerning the plates: I do say that the angel did show to me the plates containing the Book of Mormon. Further, the translation that I carried to Prof. Anthon was copied from these same plates; also, that the Professor did testify to it being a correct translation...
How Mr. Bays could make the statement he did above with this before him we will leave him and his endorsers to explain.
In the following extracts from Bays' book, page 249, he exaggerates the facts, as the evidence plainly shows:
It is impossible to believe that these witnesses, and especially Oliver Cowdery. knowiri@r that the church or,-anized by Joseph and Oliver, if their testimony is true. must be the only Church of Christ on earth, would deliberately withdraw from it, and live and die without its protecting fold? And yet this is exactly what they did.
If I had seen an an-,el; if I bad heard the voice of God; if I had bowed by Joseph's Smith's side and felt the touch of anvel bai)ds in ordination, and heard tl)e declaration that lie was a prophet of tlko living God, all the combined powers of earth atid hell cotild never have induced me to forsake him. And yet this is exactly what Oliver Cowdery did.
It is true that some of these witnesses did withdraw frorn fellowship with the church on account of disagreement with others on church policy, but this only shows that they were men who acted upon their convictions and were not under the dictation of Joseph Smith or anyone else.
This act, in the absence of any proof against their character, only shows them to be the more reliable as witnesses. If Mr. Bays had been actuated by a sense of fairness he would have stated, what he seemingly desires to conceal; vi7., that the faith of these men was never .impaired iii the principles they had espoused, notwithstanding this disagreement and consequent separation. At a spefitl conference held at Council Bluffs, Iowa, in October, 1848, Oliver Cowdery said:
Not because I was better ... the rest of mankind was I c;i.)Ied: but, to fiiinil the ptit-lios(@s or God, be called me to a hi-li zLii(I Viov I wrol.t,, with my own .... the entire Bool@ of inloi-moi) '(.,@.tve a fenv p:t(,,es), as it fell from the lips of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as lie ti-ii,ii,,,Ial,ed it by the gift and power of God, by the means of the Urim and Thummim, or, as it is c4LIled by t littt book. 'holy interpreters.' I beheld with my e.7jeR a?@.(i 7ia7idlpd with my hands the gold plates from 2oltic7i. it qoa8 trrL?i,altited. I also saw with my eyes and 11,Liidled with my hands the holy interpretors.' That book is ... Sidney Rigdon did not write it. Mr. Spalding did not write it. I wrote it myself
as it fell from the lips of the Prophet. - Church History, Vol. 1, p. 50.
In a communication written by Martin Harris from 'Smithfield, Utah, January, 1871, to H. Emerson in answer to the question, "Did you go to England to lecture against Mormonism?" he said:
I answer emphatically, No, I did not;- no mar) ever heard me in any way deny tfie truth of the Book of Mormon, the administration of the angel that showed me the plates; nor the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, under the administration of Joseph Smith, Jr., the prophet whom the Lord raised up for that purpose, in these the latter days, that he may show forth his power and glory. Church History, Vol. 1, p. 51.
lia 9, proclamation published in 1881, David Whitraer said:
To the end, therefore. . . . that the world mav know the -truth, I wish nom,, standing as it were, in the very sunset of life, and in the fear of God, once for all to make this publio -statement:
That I have never at any time denied that testimony or any part thereof, which has so lon@- since been published with that book, as one of the three witnesses. Those who know me best, well )ctiow that I have always adhered to that testimoi)y.' And that no man may be misled or doubt my present views in regard to the s-.tme,'I do ilgain affirm the truth of all of my statements, as then made and published.-Church History, Vol. 1, P. 55.
Comment is unnecessary. The reader will readily see that the statements of Rider Bays as quoted above are misleading, regarding the attitude of these men. Though his statements are partially true, he states only a part of the truth and gives to it a false coloring, which is one of -the most deceptive ways of writino- that has ever been resorted to,
This is certainly inexcusable in one who has had the opportunities to know the truth that Elder Bays has had.
But Mr. Bays continues:
I am glad to be able to state that 1, too, visited David Whitmer and talked with him on the same subject many years before either of the above named gentlemen had seen him.
Durinff the interview T made special inquiry concerning Oliver Cowdery, as I had been informed that he died an infidel, This he informed me. was incorrect. - Page 249.
Elder Bays published at the time an account of the visit above referred to, which we give in his owri words, with- out comment:
Monday, 13th. I visited Richmond, the county seat of Ray, where, to my surprise, I found Bro. David Whitmer, one of the "three witnesses." He is now 64 years old and somewhat brol@en. He entertains some ideas of minor importance, which could not be considered orthodox; but so far as his faith in the Latter Day Work is concerned, he remaii)s as flrul as the ever- lasting hills. - From a letter written to Elder M. H. Forscutt from Lafayette, Kansas, September 17, 1869, and published in the Saints' Herald for November 1, 1869.
On page 267 of his book Mr. Bavs says when speaking of Joseph Smith and the three witnesses; viz., Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris:
These witnesses say that the plates contained "Egyptian 40haldnic, Assyrian and Arabic" characters.
This is a misrepresentation, as not one of the witnesses ever claimed to know of what language the characters were. Mart in Harris quotes Professor Anthon as saying that the facsimile presented to the Professor contained such characters, but be iaowhere claims to know anything about it from his own knowledge of characters.
When Mr. Bays wrote as he says be did to certain linguists the following he misrepresented the facts:
"DEAR SIR: I herewith inclose what purports to be a fa:c- ,simile of the characters found upon the aold plates from wliich it is claimed the Book of iylormoti was translated. The advocates of Mormonism m%int-ain that these characters are 'Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyrian and Arabic."'-Page 261.
"The advocates of Mormonism" have maintained nothing of the kind.
All there is to it is that Martin Harris has been quoted as saying that Professor Anthon so determined and informed him.
On page 310, when discussing the ordinance of the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Spirit, Mr. Bays denies that the Book of Mormon teaches this doctrine, and adds:
Perhaps some of their wise men may explain why a book which contains "the fullness of the everlasting Gospel" is as silent as the grave upon a subject of such grave importance. Why did neither Jesus nor his disciples teach it? and why was it never performed as an ordinance of the Gospel to follow bap- tism? Echo answers, Why?
In answer to this it 4is only necessary to quote one pas- sage from the Book of Mormon as follows:
The words of Christ, which be spaice unto his disciples, the twelve whom he had chosen, as he laid his hands upon them. And he called them by nam(-, silying, 'Ye shall call on the Father in my name, in mighty prayer; and after that ye have done this, ve shall have power tli,,tton him on whom ye shall lay your hand;, ye shall give the Holy Ghost; and in my name shl]l ye give it: for thus do mine apostles. Now Christ spake tiiese words unto them ,tt the time of his first appearing; and the multitude heard it not, but, the disciples heard it; and on as many as they laid their hands, fell the Holy Ghost.-Book of Moroni, chapter 2.
Is this not surprising for a man who has the opportunity to be informed that Mr. Bays has had? Mr. Bays through- out his whole treatise cries, Fraud, fraud! and yet is guilty of such flagrant misrepresentations as this.. And the Christian Publishing House says he is '-accurate and reliable."
Strange to say, however, that after Mr. Bays makes the above statement he quotes the above pas@.alue from the Book of Mormon, and states that it "is the only passage in the Book of Mormon that in any way relates to the lay- ling on of bands for the gift of the Holy Spirit." If this is true (which it is not), then his statement that the book "is as silent as the grave" on the subject is false.
When it is convenient for Mr. Bays to turn witness he does not hesitate to do so, and where other testimony is
lacking he comes to the rescue and supplies the want.
Here is a specimen:
The writer has had ample opportunity to observe the prac- tical workings of the system under the auspices of two different and widely separated Mormon churches, namely, Lyman Wight, in Texas, in 1847, and James J. Strang, of Beaver Island, Mich., in 1854.-Page 318.
This testimony was given with reference to the system of polygamy. Davis H. Bays was born on the 5th day of March, 1839, and hence was eight years old in 1817. It is not necessary to comment on the "ample opportunity" of a lad of eight years to observe the system of polygamy. Elder Bays, however, is mistaken. He could have given himself the advantage of one more year, and at the same time have saved his credit as a witness, for he never saw Lyman Wight nor any of his associates in 1847. ITe arrived, with his father's family, at a place called Zodiac, near Fredericksburg, Texas, where the Lyman Wight colony was located, May 9, 1848.. So Elder Bays was ?tine years old, and of course a boy nine years old would have ample opportunities thrown in his way, and would be amply competent to investigate a system clandestinely practiced by -neighborsl
Smart boy, that!
On page 335, in an attempt to set aside a statement made by Bishop George Miller and others to the effect that polygamy was not known in Nauvoo in 1842, Mr. Days says:
Several of the men whose na@mes appear in the list of wit- nesses became noted advocates of polygamy. - George Miller, also a general in the Nauvoo Legion, and the second man on the list, was a polygamist with two wives, wlien first I knew him in 1847, but five years after his testimony was made public, and only t7@?,ee, years after the death of the prophet.
Bishop George Miller arrived at Zodiac on the 2d of February, 1848, and Henry Bays and his precocious son Davis arrived at the same place on May 9 following. This
is the first time be ever saw Bishop Miller. So Bays did not know Bishop Miller "first in 1847"; it was not "but five years after his testimony was made public"; and it was not..... 4 conly three years after the death of the prophet." Now, in all candor, is such a witness reliable? Bays was a smart boy, that is conceded, but would any boy nine years old be likely to know about the two wives, and yet forget the date of the events? If this is thought possible, there is another question which is pertinent here. Would a witness who bad forgotten the date positively testify to a date?
Further, as against the testimony that George Miller had two wives in 1847, or 1848, we submit a letter now in our possession, written by George Miller and Richard Hewett from. Bastrop, Texas, June 14, 1849, to J. J. Strang, in which occurs'the following in the handwriting of Hewett:
I want to know what your Mind is about men having the priesthood having more wives than one. 'The principle is taught amongst all that I have been with. Some have from two to ten, or twenty, and some have none. If it is consistent I want you to let me know when you write to me, and I want you to write as soon as you get this, so Bro. Miller and myself may know what to do. You must excuse me for asking so much, but you must bear with me, as I confess I am ignorant. Bro. Miller says their whoring will send them all to hell.
Bishop Miller writes a letter on the same sheet of paper and they both speak of those with whom they had associated after the death of Joseph Smith, and after relating their practices as in the above extract they want to know about this principle, that they may know what to do, carrying the plain inference that if this doctrine was supported by Strang they would not go there. As seen above Bishop Miller condemns it in language more forcible than elegant, and Mr. Hewett continues by saying:
I don't find such things in the Booli of Covenants, nor in the Book of Mormon, nor in the writings of the apostles.
Mr. Strang at this time was not advocating polygamy
and probably wrote these men to that effect, and this will explain why Bishop Miller went to Strang. Now we do not know whether Bishop Miller had more than one wife at this or any other time, but shall we condemn him upon the testimony of a man who says that when be was eight years old he knew Miller, and knew that be had two wives, when it is positively known that the said boy never saw Miller until after be was nine years old? Besides, kind reader, what is your estimate of the boy as a witness, when be testifies of other things?
On page 368, after speaking of the disaffection of the Laws and Higbees and others in 184-4, Bays states:
The reader will perhaps remember that the Laws and Higbees figured in the certificate concerning Dr. Bennett's "secret' wife system," published some two years previously.
In this tb6 ignorance of Bays is very apparent to those who are acquainted with church history. Elias Higbee, the only man of the Higbees who signed the certificate of 1842, referred to, died June 8, 1843, and consequently was not connected with the disaffection of 1844. The Higbees who figured in 1844 were Francis M. and Chauncey M., neither of whom signed the certificate of 1842. Sometimes Bays talks learnedly onslaw, but'when be tries to impeach the testimony of one man by quoting the statements of another, we are inclined to doubt the reliability of his legal learning, notwithstanding the Christian Publishing House says his book,is "accurate and reliable."
In conclusion upon this point it becomes our painful duty to call attention to the moral status of this man as a witness as revealed through himself. On page 343, in Bays' attempt to make Joseph Smith responsible for the doctrine and practice of polygamy, he says:
A "thus saith the Lord" from the prophet would have put an eternal quietus on the question of polygamy. But it never came; and so Joseph Smith, and Joseph Smith only, must be held responsible for the prevalence of the most abominable system that ever cursed and degraded a free people.
This means, if it means anything, that Joseph Smith should have used a "thus saith the Lord" when he wished to accomplish a desired end, and that, too, without reference to whether the Lord instructed him thus to speak or not, and in case he did not he is to be held personally responsible for it.
If this is or was Bays'idea of the duty, prerogatives, and privileges of a prophet he is not nor has he ever been in harmony with the church, for the church has always held that the propbet.was only authorized to speak as he was instructed by the Lord to speak when he uses the name of the Lord, and if he is presumptuous enough to speak in the name of the Lord when the Lord has not commanded him, he does so at his peril, as the Lord will not tolerate such an imposition upon his people. (Deut. 18: 20.)
Recent developments however disclose the fact that Bays years ago Ignorantly or viciously pursued that policy, as the following affidavit will show --
Territory or Oklahoma,
In the spring of 1870 or "71 I was associated with Elder D. H. Bays in the ministry for about three months in Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri. While attending a prayer meeting where now exists the Fanning, Kansas, branch, Elder Bays arose to speak and delivered a prophecy which was intended to adjust difficulties then existing there. It so worked upon the mind of one Br. Davis who was involved in the trouble that he did not sleep any that night, so it was said. Elder D. H. Bays said to me the next morning, You see, Bro. Butler, that I came out with the word of the Lord on that matter last night.
(Signed) STEPHEN BUTLER.
Subscribed and sworn to before me October 25, 1898.
WILLIAM S. WHIRCLOW,
If this was Bays' standard of honor and right it will be no surprise to Latter Day Saints and those that know our views,on such matters that he found the Spirit of the latter-day work incompatible to his proclivities.
This exhibition of shocking moral'paralysis betrayed here is supplemented by the inconsistency of, Elder Bays in his accusing Joseph Smith of manufacturing revelations to suit his convenience at times and then finding fault with him because he did not, and holding him responsible for the existence of crime because he did not manufacture a revelation expressly forbidding it. This is made worse when we consider that the allegation is false, for there were revelations coming throuch Joseph Smith expressly forbidding polygamy. This Bays well knows, and hence willfully misrepresents. The Book of Mormon translated by Joseph Smith says:
Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none: For I, the Lord God, delighteth in the chastity of women. -- Jacob 2; 6.
A revelation given through Joseph Smith in February, 1831, says:
Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shall cleave unto her and none else; and he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her, shall deny the faith, and shall not have the Spirit; and if he repents not, he shall be cast out. -- Doctrine and Covenants 42:7.
We have shown these misquotations and historical errors to present the utter unreliability of the book and its author in as brief a manner as possible. To thus expose, and to be driven to the conviction ourself, that a former associate has resorted to such contemptible work has been a painful duty to us, but the interest of truth has demanded it and we have responded. We will now go back and examine such portions of this book consecutively as may be demanded.
[ 38 ]
Reared in the faith of the Saints from early childhood, and having been, for twetity-seven years, a zealous advocate and defender of its I)eculiariLies, the writer has had rare opportunities for studying Mormonism from the inside.
The line of argument usually emplo ed by writers and speakers to rerute the Mormon dogma is of such a character as to render success almost impossible. -- Preface.
It will be pertinent to inquire, What possible advantage can this be to him? If it were a secret system, unknown to any but those on the inside, then there might be some force in the claim that be had the advantage over his less fortunate competitors in this field, but this Mr. Bays has not claimed, but,assunaes throughout to meet public questions as publicly taught by the representatives of "Mormonism." Then) if he can succeed where others who had access to the same information failed, it is a reflection upon their intelligence, and a concession that all the efforts heretofore made by his brethren and others against "Mormonism" are failures. So there is but one thing in the field against us, and that is the "Doctrines and Dogmas of Mormonism." By the unqualified endorsement of this book the Christian Publishing Rouse concedes that former efforts against us have been failures. For this concession we thank them.
No wonder that after their repeated failures they received this would-be champion with open arms, and in the language of Elder A. M. Haggard, of Iowa, said: "I believe the man and his book are children of Providence."
Again when Elder Bays and his illustrious endorsers concede that Providence provided for them in the hour of their defeat and peril, and that in that provision a man was sent who utilized only such information as was at their disposal, they concede that a man schooled in "Mormonism," possesses superior qualifications to those who have not had such schooling.
But in all this, one of the vital points at issue between us is conceded; viz., that men are sometimes specially called of God for the accomplishment of certain purposes.
Again we thank you.
The usual debater undertakes to trace the Book of Mormon to the Spaulding romance through Sidney Riadon.
Nothing can be more erroneous, and it will lead to almost certain defeat. The well-informed advocate of Mormonism wants no better amusement than to vanquish an opponent in discussion who takes this ground. The facts are all opposed to, this view, and the defenders of the Mormon dogma have the facts well in hand. I speak from experience. -- Page 22.
Now will our friends of the Christian Church hear these "children of Providence," and thereby concede that for the last half century and more they have been wrong and that their whole theory of the Book of Mormon is a mistake. Surely there is hope for the Christian Church, and we feel like singing:
The vilest siniier may return.
Bays' theory that it was Oliver Cowdery and not Sidney Rigdon that helped Joseph Smith in concocting "Mormonism," we have already exploded by showing that the work was already in progress before Cowdery appeared.
Now that the Spalding Romance Story is abandoned,
and Bays' theory is weighed in the balances. and found wanting, we suggest that it is time for the birth of more "children of Providence."
On page 26 Elder Bays misstates the case under the head of "The Foundation," as follows:
That the whole Mormon superstructure is founded upon the Book of Mormon, no one will perhaps attempt to deny.
When Elder Bays penned that he well knew that we did and do deny that proposition. He knew and does know that we claim that the superstructure which he vulgarly calls "Mormonism" is founded upon the eternal truth of Heaven, and that the Book of Mormon, like the Bible, is but confirmatory testimony of that truth.
That truth would have been the same had the Bible nor the Book of Mormon never beeLL written. It existed before them and can exist without them. On page 27 Mr. Bays again shows his ignorance when under the head of "The Purport of the Book of Mormon," he says:
Dissension flnaily arises. and Nephi, with his two younger brothers, Jacob and Joseph, separated from their elder brethren, Laman, Lemuel and Sam. Henceforth they were two separate peoples, known as "Nephites" and "Lamanites."
No possible advantage c6uld accrue to Mr. Bays in making this false statement. We therefore conclude that he must have done it through ignorance. The Book of Mormon in speaking of this division places Sam with Nephi.
It reads as follows:
Wherefore, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did take my family, and also Zoram and his family, and Sam, mine elder brother, and his family, and Jacob and Joseph, My younger brethren, tlnd also my sisters, and all they which would go with me. -- Page 71.
In chapter 3, after several pages of high sounding platitudes regarding the spiritual house erected by the Saints and the deceptive character of the same without a word of proof, he asserts on paoes 38, 39:
It is the boast of Latter Day Saints that no man living can possibly disppove or in any way invalidate their claim upon this point. In the first place the burden of proof lies with them. They affirm the perpetuity of these miraculous powers, while we simply deny. The man who affirms must prove what he affirms. It is entirely sufficient to meet an affirmative proposition with a bare denial. When affirmative evidence has been introduced, the negative may offer such evidence in rebuttal as uiay be deemed necessary. Thus it will be seen that we are under no obligation to disprove any affirmative proposition.
In this issue Mormonism has affirmed something, and has offered testimony to prove it is in fact the plaintiff in an action before the civilized world, and asks for judgment on the ground that the testimony of its witnesses sustans the allegation. Their petition sets up a claim that certain jewels -- spiritual gifts -- at one time in the possession of a woman of great distinction -- the Church of Christ -- rightfully belong to said plaintiff.
All right, we introduce as sufficient evidence in this case the testimony of Jesus Christ as follows:
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues; they shall talce up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay bands on the sick, and they shall recover. -- Mark 16; 15-18.
According to rules of law we have now presented prima facie evidence sufficient to establish our case unless rebutted. A mere denial will no longer answer the purpose of our opponents.
They must impeach the witness or raise a demurrer, in which case they must sustain that demurrer by showing that the testimony is incompetent, irrelevant, or immaterial, By this it will be seen that Mr. Bays, with all his legal acumen, misunderstands the case. If he contents himself with a simple denial he will fail to defeat us. If he raises a demurrer he is not required to prove a negative, but to introduce evidence to sustain his contention. The moment he takes advantage of this privilege the burden of proof rests on him, and if he fails to sustain his demurrer,
judgment will be rendered in favor of the plaintiff, and we will be awarded possession of the gifts claimed. When Bays attempts a rebuttal under the supposition that he is proving a negative he betrays his ignorance as a lawyer.
We make no claim to the, understanding of law, but we know just enough to smile when we hear a man like Bays suppose a case at issue before a court of justice or equity.
It might be well, however, to state here that Mr. Days' client -- the Christian Church -- has no case in court, as they make no claim to the property in question. Mr. Bays misstates the case again when he says that we are the "plaintiff in an action before the civilized world, and ask for judgment there. We have pled the jurisdiction of the court, and asked for a @earino, before the Supreme Court of heaven; the case has been entertained, and the jewels awarded, as the following evidence will show.
On pages 72 and 73 of his book Elder Bays himself quotes one of many recorded cases of healing, as follows:
"HEALING OF ONE BORN BLIND.
"So the mother took another of her daughters and put her upon his knee [that of an unbeliever], and said, 'Sir, is that child blind?' And after he had examined her eyes, he said,
"Accordingly, the mother brouzht the child to the elders, and Elder John Hackwell anointed her eyes, and laid his hands upon her, only once: and the Lord heard his prayer, so that the child can now see with both of her eyes as well as any other person. For which we [all -- H. C. S.] feel thankful to our heavenly Father, and are willing to bear testimony of it to all the world. Yours in the Kingdom of God
"P. S. -- We, the. father and mother of the child, do here sign our names to the above, as being true.
"No. 12 Bread Street, Bristol, England, Nov. 25, 1849."
The above. with over a score of other similar cases, covering variety of ailments, including leprosy, are recorded in the work from which this is taken. (See O. Pratt's works, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon. No. 5, page 71.)
Mr. Pratt was at the time an apostle of the Utah Church and in charge of the English mission, and the parties to the alleged healing were members of the same church.
Who can believe that a people who did not hesitate for a moment to violate every commandment of the Decalogue could possibly be blessed with such marvelous power, while at the same to me they are denied to the peace-loving and virtuous? The very claim is a burlesque on Christianisy, and is alike repulsive to man and dishonoring to God. It cannot be true.
The force of this testimony is by Mr. Bays set aside by gross misrepresentation of the truth. No claim has been made except by Mr. Bays and others of like views that the peace-loving and virtuous are denied. It is and has ever been our contention that the peace-loving and virtuous are not denied. The above argument we can call by no softer name than contemptible pettifoggery.
As to the charge that the people testifying "did not hesitate for a moment to violate every commandment of the Decalogue," we will quote from the manuscript of Elder Charles Derry, who was a minister among them, and to whose good. character Mr. Bays has testified. (See page 26.)
Addressing Bays he says:
Your reference to the work of the church in Salt Lake, manifests your want of candor. You know the miracles you mention were not wrought in Utah, but in Englad; nor were the elders that administered in those cases men who had ever been in Utah, nor had the abomination of polygamy been accepted by or even taught to them. That abomination was not published until 1852, and the above manifestations of the healing power, according to your own showing, which is for once in accord with the facts, was in November, 1849. These people had heard and obeyed the gospel, had sought unto God for the blessing and obtained it. And while the work in England was then under the Brighamite rule, these people had accepted the truth in its purity, as taught by Joseph Smith, and knew nothing of the apostasy that had taken place.
Elder Bays continues:
If to be found anywhere within the domain of Mormonism, these "spiritual gifts" might, with a greater show of reason. be expected among the people of the Reorganived Church, whose membership, I am glad to say, are as a rule honest and law-abiding people, and the purity of whose lives no man may truthfully question. I speak of this as the merest matter of justice to the membership of that church. But do they possess supernatural powers?
With forty years of acquaintance with Mormonism in its various phases,@common honesty impels me to say I hmye never known a single instance of miraculous power. I have witnessed, it is true, what I was at the time willina to call a miracle, because, like all others who believe in such things, I wished to have it so; but never have I witnessed anything which would bear the test of intelligent scrutiny, or be confirmed by candid, sober second thought. -- Pages 73, 74.
We agree with Elder Bays that the spiritual gifts might with reason be expected among the people of the Reorganized Church, and we thank him for his tribute to the character of the members. We here present the evidence of a remarkable case of healing in the Reorganization.
A CASE OF HEALING.
Dear Hearld: -- I forward you the facts of a most remarkable case of healing. On Saturday morning, October 13, 1877, while Bro. D. Chambers, Jun., who lives on Spring Creek, Harrison county, Iowa, was caring for one of his colts he received a severe I
In the meantime she applied oil and prayed for her, to all human appearance, dying husband, as best she could under the distressing and exciting circumstances.
On the arrival of Bro. W. Chambers a terrible sight met his gave, his brother lying with a yawning gash over his eye rendering the situll bone visible, his head resting upon his chin and but little or no signs of consciousness. Wishing to get him into an adjoining room that peradventure they might lay him on a sofa, he suggested it to Mr. Draper. An attempt was made to raise him from the chair by placing their hands under his arms, but his cries forced them to desist, but raising the chair they conveyed him to another room, propping him up as best they could and proceeded to anoint him with oil. By this time his breast was much swollen and turning blacii, yet, though swollen, there was quite an unnatural hollow or sunken place therein, and the slightest touch of the shoulders, arms, head, face, or breast, would cause the most acute pain, while the least move of the head or arms would produce sounds like the grating of broken bones. His chin still resting upon hi& breast, and signs of blood accumulated in his throat, causing apprehension of his choking. Bro. W. Chambers called upon his father to assist in laying on hands. But little beneflt was received by the sufferer, except a partial restoration to con-sciotisness. They administered a second time with but little better result. The injured man then spoke, and asked them if they had not faith to rebuke the pain. Whereupon Bro. W. Chambers administered the third time, rebuking the pain and commanding him to arise, which he did and walked into,the room from which he had been so recently carried as one almost dead, and sat down and ate a hearty breakfast.
Mr. Draper, who had assisted in carrying him to the house, while the brethren were praying, went out; but mark his surprise on returning, with three or four other non-members of the church, at seeing him whom they supposed was, or soon would be dead, seated at the table eating and drinking. They stood and gazed with astonishment, yet glad to see the change, as evidenced by the fact of each one of them shaking hands with him as if he was an intimate friend who had just returned from a long journey. This being done Bro. D. Chambers bore testimony of God's power by which he had been saved from death and made whole.
I shall not attempt to describe the joy of his wife, his brother and wife. and father all of whom were present, at seeing one so dear to them so marvelously saved from the jaws of death; all can imagine it.
The following being Sunday, be was in the house of prayer, telling the Saints or the Spring Creek branch how wondrously the Lord had wrought with him, which moved others to prayer
and praise, by which they enjoyed a, time long to be remembered.
About two hours passed from the time of the terrible accident to his being seated at the table. The gash over his eyes was drawn together and some stickina plaster applied, and it be,,tled without the least mrltteration; and, at this date, the scar is only visible by close inspection. He experienced weakness but for a few days, arter which he turned his attention to his labor, and has been as healthy and robust as ever.
Louist M. Chambers,
Mary N. Chambers,
David Chambers, Sen.,
UNIONBURG. IAWfi. Dec 11, let?.
With some if not all of these witnesses Elder Bays was well acquainted, and he will not put himself on record as against their reputation for veracity. He may try to explain it away, but he can make no explanation that will not apply with equal force against the record concerning the jewels when "in the possession of a woman of great distinction the Church of Christ."
I submit that the testimony of such witnesses cannot be set aside by the testimony of Bays that he never saw anything of the kind.
The presumption of the man is astounding. No miracles were wrought among the Latter Day Saints while he was with them because he never witnessed them. Now he goes over to the Christian Church and coolly informs its members that their efforts at fighting Mormons were futile until he came on the scene.
In regard to the existence of other manifestations of power, though we might fill a volume with the evidence of such cases, we content ourselves with referring for the present to the testimony Of Elder Bays, as found on page 23 of this work, where be testifies to a wonderful manifestation of God's power, and to his having known results before their happening.
Mr. Bays then attempts to analyze the commission recorded in Mark sixteenth chapter, and reasons that the promise made in connection therewith was limited to the lifetime of the apostles, because it was not possible for the disciples spoken to, to go into all the world, and hence the promise would only apply to those to whom they preached. He concludes his argument as follows:
Here is a promise; but to whom does it extend? Are there no limitations! Let us see. "And these signs shall follow them that believe." Follow them that believe wliat? Why, the Gospel, to be sure. "And these signs shall follow them that believe the Gospel?" Preached by whom? Why, by the disciples, of course, for none others were authorized. Analyzed, the proposition stands thus: "And these signs shall follow them that believe the Gospel preached by the disciples." Just that, and nothing more, is affirmed.
This analysis shows most conclusively that the promise of miraculous powers was limited to t-he.lifetime of tile first disciples-@he eleven, and those upon whom they had laid their bands. -- Page 40.
It will be seen that in order to limit the promise he limits the commission, claiming that no others were authorized by the commission except the disciples addressed. On the previous page this is even more plainly brought out when he says:
"Go ye into all the world." Who go into all the world? The disciples, the eleven. No one else is addressed, and hence, no one else is included. This seems conclusive.
Mr. Bays is consistent in this, for it is impossible to limit the promise without limiting the commission. But imagine our surprise when on the very next page he states an opposite conclusion. Hear him:
While the Great Commission topreach the Gospel and administer its ordinances was general, extending, under proper conditions, to every. age and every natioii under the --- "signs," or miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, were cot)fiiited, as we have already to the limes of the apostles. While these miraculous powers were limited to the apostolic age, the obligation to "preach the gospel to every creature," along with
the "conditions UPOD which SiDners are accepted under the Gospel," as provided in the commission, was made perpetual.
How he can come to a conclusion that the commission was general, extending to every age and every nation and yet that none but the eleven were authorized by it, is a, problem that perhaps none but these "children of Providence" can explain. . It is not necessary to occupy space in discussing the point. Everyone who reads the words of the Master: "He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but be that believeth not, shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe;" knows that the promise of the signs is just as general in its application as is this conditional promise of salvation, and to preach the one while you deny the other is a travesty on common sense. No rule of labguage will permit the making of one general in its application while the other is limited.
While it was not practicable for the apostles to visit every spot on the globe, their commission was not limited by geographical lines. They had the authOTity to go any- where on the earth, and more, their authority was in force whether present or not. A message from theu2, whether by tongue or pen, was and is in force wberever heard. Would Bays have us to understand that authority is something that floats around a man as he moves? If so will he please give us the cubic dimensions of the space. it occupies? We think that it is coextensive with the power behind it. Are we right? Whether the commission was to the eleven aloiae matters not, wherever it was in force it carried with it the promises connected with it. Should God call others who were not directly included in the com- mission the same conditions would apply or his ways are not unchangeable. ' If Bays is right and the signs were only to follow those who heard the eleven and received the gospel through their ministrations, then those who received it under the preaching of Matthias or Paul were
excluded. Read Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, twelfth, and following chapters, and your minds will be freed from this bungling fallacy.
Mr. Bays enters upon a long dissertation on the gifts, in which he depends almost entirely upon what he does not know. Bays did not see-Bays did not bear, hence there was nothing to see or heart To reply to such sophistry would be an insult to our readers.
Elder Bays assume&, without proof, that the prime object for which the gift of speaking in unknown tongues was given, was to preach the gospel to men of different languages, and hence confines its necessity to the days of ignorance when the ambassadors of Christ were not acquainted with the language and dialects of those to whom it was necessary to preach. This argument is quite plausible, but are the premises correct?
Elder Bays quotes as evidence Acts 2:8: "And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?" It is true that on this occasion representatives of different nations beard the gospel, each in his own tou'uue; but this does not prove that the prime purpose was the preaching of the gospel in different languages. We have no evidence that when this gift was first exercised at the time referred to there was anyone present but the disciples, who were all Galileans. The record says:
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sit.tii)g. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak With other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them spealc in his own language.
It will be seen that they began speaking in tongues
before the! multitude gathered, and the report of this is what caused the multitude to come together. They were then speaking to each other, but when thetinultitude came they did not cease. It was not then exercised for the purpose of preaching to the public, but the people came during the service and incidentally heard in their own tongue.
In connection with this please to read Paul's instruction to the Corinthians as follows: Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. -- I Cor. 14: 13.
Why should he interpret if he was speaking to men in their own tongue?
If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speal, with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? -- I Cor. 14: 23.
Why say that they were mad if they wore talking to them in their own tongue? Again,
If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let hiul speak to himself, and to God. -- I Cor. 14: 27, 28.
Where is the demand for an interpreter if you speak to a man in his own language?
It would seem from this that Bays is again wrong, but even if he were right and the preaching of the gospel in other tongues was the prime object, it does not follow that there were not other purposes for which this wonderful gift was given. Nor does it appear that the time has passed that it could be used to advantage in the preaching of the word. Instances are on record where men have spoken in the tongue of others who were present, but whether the Latter Day Saints have enjoyed these gifts or not, is not the question. The question is, Has God provided that the faithful shall enjoy them? If so, those who
do not avail themselves of this privilege are lacking, whether they be Saints or Christians.
It has always seemed strange to us that oaei3 will call on the Latter Day Saints to demonstrate practically that Christ's promise is true. Our idea is that God is true if every Latter Day Saint on earth should fdil to occupy upon his privilege. The challenge of Bays and others of like views that a sign be shown is virtually a challenge to God that if he will demonstrate through these Latter Day Saints that be told the truth they will believe him. He may accommodate you sometime, but we do not know, as we are not sufficiently acquainted with his purposes to tell; But one thing is certain, it will depend upon him to deter@ mine. whether your challenge will be met or not. While you are awaiting on him we respectfully suggest the consideration of the statement of Christ to Thomas:
Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed. blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
On paoe 56 and following pages Mr. Bays attempts an exegesis of 1 Corinthians, 12th chapter. He admits that the "gifts of the Holy Spirit were intended to continue with the church at Corinth till they had reached mature manhood in Christ." He then bases an argument on the words: "But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way" to show that this more excellent way was to entirely supersede the gifts unto their abandonment. This places Paul in the attitude of exhorting the saints at Corinth to covet earnestly the least excellent way and that, too, after they were shown the "more excellent way." This is neither good philosophy nor good theology, nor is it the work of a wise master builder such as we have. esteemed Paul to be. We cannot therefore accept of this conclusion without further inquiry. We ask, Would the exercise of the spiritual gifts hinder the exercise of charity? If not, why do away with them
in the getting of charity? It seems to us that the idea of Paul is that gifts without charity would be least excellent, and therefore he urges that they should not covet the spiritual gifts alone, but should seek charity in addition to, the gifts. He says:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
There is no intimation here that these things could not exist with charity. The contrast is drawn here between the gifts without charity and the gifts with charity. The Corinthians are exhorted to covet the best gifts because they are good, bu 't told that to have charity is more excellent than to have the gifts without it, Bays, however, hits the right idea when he says in his summing up, "In charity, or love, we have the sum of them all." '
Would the sum of them all remain if we subtract the parts?
But Elder Bays quotes what he calls positive evidence that the spiritual gifts were to cease as follows:
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whither there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. -- I Cor. 13:8,
This is evidently to be understood in the same light as that going before, where the contrast is made between a part and the whole, and this is naad'e clear by the context, for Paul includes knowledge with the things which were to vanish'away, and yet in speaking of the consummation of this transformation says, "Then small I know even as also I am 7enown." If knowledge in the absolute sense shall have passed away it will be impossible for the consummation spoken of by Paul to obtain. Nor can you make the doing away of tongues and prophecy absolute without applying the same rule to knowledge.
On page 58 Mr. Bays makes this astounding statement,
Of the nine spiritual gifts named in the twelfth chapter, but one was permanents. All others were to vanish -- pass away.
It is only necessary to invite attention to these nine to show the reader the foolishness of this position, as knowledge and wisdom are of the nine. We submit that with- out knowledge or wisdom intelligent faith would be impossible.
All men are required to become godly; that is, becozne like God.
Permit us to ask how a man can become like God with- out wisdom or knowledge?
In Mr. Bays' chapter 5, commencing on pave 62, in speaking of deadly things he criticises a statement of Joseph Smith'sthat at a certain time and place he was sick and vomited up poisonous matter, and subsequently was healed by the laying on of hands. He thinks that there should have. been evidence pr6duced that poison was administered, and then it should have been analyzed to show the presence of poison.
To ordinary mortals if the first proposition was proven it would obviate the necessity of proving the second, but he makes a case where there is none, and then demands unreasonable evidence to support it. Mr. Smith was making no effort to sus4ain a case against anybody for poisoning him, he was not trying to make a case to sustain the truth of the promise of the Savior. Nor has anybody to our knowledge ever presented it in evidence. He simply relates an experience, as anyone else would do under similar circumstances, without seeking to prove anything by it. Had he intended to have prosecuted the parties be Would have probably secured evidence to sustain his case. We think, however, that even in that case
he would not have been compelled to prove the presence of poison after he had proved that poison was administered. Had he desired to make a fraudulent case to prove that he enjoyed the blessing promised by the Savior, he would have said that he drank the poison but felt no effects from it.
Then Bays wants to know why heL suffered as much as he did, and why Bishop Whitney was not healed. Now we frankly say we do not know, but it is not the only thing that we do not know. We do not know why Timothy was not healed, but advised to "use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." (I Tim. 5:23,) We do not know why Trophimus was not healed but "left at Miletum sick." (2 Timothy 4:20.) But because we do not know these things, shall we say that we do not believe that Eneas was healed of palsy, or that Tabitha was raised? (Acts 9: 32-43.) Or shall we demand that the viper that fastened itself upon Paul's hand be analyzed to, determine that it was poison? We have no testimony in any of these cases except the narrative as related by a single writer. Some other witnesses were named, but we have not their testimony. If Bays would subject the miracles of the Bible to the same test that he does the one in question he would find just as much difflculty.
On page 65, in his attempt to show that the necessity for the healing of the sick by divine power is past, Mr.
Little was known at that aae of the world concerning the science of medicine. Phvsiology had tiot yet been born. The action of the heart was little understood. and it remained for Harvey to discover the circulation of the blood.
Physicians of that day were powerless to contend with tile malignant forms of disease which then afflicted humanity.
To make this point of any force the claim will have to be made that physicians can now successfully contend with all the malignant forms of disease which now afflict humanity.
Ts this true? Does not the devastation of certain diseases sometimes sweep our land notwithstanding the efforts of our most skilled physicians? This needs no proof. Reasoning then from Bays'. own premises, there is need now for divine interposition in the healing of the sick, and God is on record as willing to supply; that demand.
If it be argued that physicians are more skillful now than then, still from Bays' standpoint of reasoning God will supply the deficiency, whether it be great or small. Then though his premises be correct his conclusion is wrong. But what about the premises? Is it true that little was known about the science of medicine at that time?
On this point we will again quote from the manuscript of Elder Charles Derry:
Johnson's Cyclopeadia informs us that the "art and science of curing diseases had its origin away back in the early history of humanity;" among its professors and teachers may be mentioned Pythagoras who was born B. C. 582, and Hyppocrates, B. C. 460. The Alexandrian School began 320 B. C. Medicine was introduced into Rome from Greece 200 years B. C., and although it is not claimed to have been perfect then, it must have been to a degree successful, or it could not have been perpetuated; but no one will claim perfection for it now. We are also told the circulation of the blood was discovered by Harvey, A. D. 1616. This and other discoveries are said to be of recent date. If Bays' argument amounts to anythin,- it shows that ignorance of these medical discoveries, and the imperfection of the science make it necessary for God 0 place the gift of healing in the church. If that is true the same cause would render it necessary that it should have@ continued until these later discoveries were made, and since the science of medicine is not yet claimed to be perfect, the same cause demands that the gift should yet remain, uijtil a perfect panacea for all the ills of life is found. It would be a waste of time to present evidence to show that such a panacea is needed today. The tens of thousands of cases in which the skill of the wisest physicians is baffled is irrefutableevidenceof the belplesstiessof humanity. We are not desirous of detractin.- one si[i.-le meed or praise from the science of medicine, but are willing to accord it all that it deserves; but we have a thousand times more faith.in the Great Physician, who gave us our being, than all the human
skill in the world. And until it can be shown directly and positively from the word of God, that the gift of healing with every other blessiiig promised by Jesus Christ was to be limited to the apostolic age, we shtil continue to believe iii, and teach the continued verity of, the promise, "These signs shall follow them that believe."
Bays again comes to the rescue here with the testimony of what he has not seen. We need not inform our readers that this is entirely incompetent evidence. Again Mr. Bays demands a sign and concludes with the following challenge:
When any Latter-day apostle shall duplicate these miracles, then, and not till then, shall he be able to maintain the claim of Mormonism to miraculous powers. -- Page 69.
It is scarcely necessary for us to remind the reader that "Mormonism" claims no miraculous power. We claim that all power is in God and in his Son Jesus Christ, and that they are the same yesterday, today, and forever --- hence the power exercised by them beforetime may be expected now.
We will again. allow Elder Derry to answor upon this point. He says:
Mr. Bays, about thirty-seven years ago administered the ordinance of baptism to you, and I believe assisted in your confirmation. For years you i,eted as a minister of the gospel in Llit@ Rec)rg@t,iii/,ecl Church and claim to have been a 2,,ealo@is det'pncler ol' its cic)cti-iiies during Lli,%L period. Did you, during that m(-.mbet-gltip Find ministry, ever know an approved minister of the church to teach you or any of its membership or ministry, that you or they might, must, or should try to imitate any of the, gifts of the gospel in order to make the people believe that the gifts were in the church, or for any other purpose? Did you ever know any of the approved ministry of the church to countenance what they believed to be false gifts in any capacity whatever, if such were manifested? If not, where is your warrant for pronouncing these gifts a fraud, and tht, ministry and membership who claim to possess them impostors You have failed to show that God or Christ had repealed his gracious promise, "These signs shall follow them that believe" (Mark 16).
When men undertake to deceive their fellow men, there must be some advantage to be gained, either in wordly honors, or
wealth, or some prospect of advancement in the temporalities of life. They can have no hope of a reward for deception in the life to come. And right here we aslc, what worldly fame, honor, or wealth can the iatter Day Saint, whether minister or lay member, possibly expect to receive for believing and teaching a doctrine that all the world, professing Christian or non-professor, are so diametrically. opposed to? What has been their reward hitherto? It has been the blackest calumny that hell could vomit forth, and that from the lips of fiien who profess to be the followers of the pure and lowly Nay, -,trene. It has been persecution of every kind, imprisonment, mobbings, burnings of homes, desolation of farms, slaying of men, women, and children; and at last the cruel, cold-blooded murder of their Prophet and Patriatch.... This is the Iiistory of the church for the first fourteen years of its existence,, and while the mobbings, burnings, imprisonment, and murder have ce@tsecl, the vile calumny is still vomited forth both from press and Pulpit, and we are accounted as the offscouring of the earth. Verily, impostors would have wilted long a-o under such treatment; but these people "stand like the beaten anvil to the stroke." They still insist the messame they have received and betr to the world is eternal truth and God is its author. They ask for no earthly reward. They sacrifice the comfoi-ts of home, and the society of all that is dear to them; yea, they give their own lives a sacrifice in oi-der to bless and enlighten an ungrateful world -to lektd it into the narrow way of eternal life. No! Mr. Bays, you cannot prove to rue that this church is a fraud. I have tasted of the good word of God, and have drank at the fountain of eternal life; and your opposition only strenLLfiens the children of God in the wav of righteousness; for we realize that "No weapon that is forined against it shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against it in judgment shall be condemned," for God hath spoken it.
[ 58 ]
[ 79 ]
[ 98 ]
Elder Bays, however, closes this chapter as usual with some high-sounding phrases in which occurs a very amusing expression. It may be a typographical error; but if so it is one of those rare mistakes that represent the situation better than the writer intended:
If ministers can be called only by divine revelation, through what particular channel must such revelation come? "O," says one, "it must come through the prophet, the President of the church." Very well, but through which one of all the dozen or more presidents of as many different Mormon churches, must this revelation come? When some advocate of the Mormon heresy answers the above impertinent questions to the satisfaction of reasonable people, then, and not tiil and not till then, need they expect to mislead thinking people by such modes of reasoning. Pages 170, 171.
We suppose he intended to say pertinent.
In his nineteenth chapter he comes directly to the question and asks, "Is a new revelation necessary?" He proceeds to argue that apostasy does not annul existing authority.
He cites the great apostasy of the Jewish nation at the time of Christ's ministry on earth, and assumes that notwithstanding this apostasy Christ recognized existing
authority. His final conclusions are summed up is follows:
The foregoing historical facts prove,
With the first conclusion we agree with this explanation; provided all holding authority are not affected by the apostasy. To the second we suggest that if individual transgression annuls individual authority, when transgression becomes universal, then the apostasy becomes universal. With the third we agree provided that the righteous man has ever received delegated authority. To the fourth we say, Yes, provided he is directed by the Lord to confer authority; but it is not reasonable that God can be left out of the account, and man can confer the authority to act for God on whom he may choose.
Elder Bays as usual is lame in philosophy here. His second and fourth conclusions indicate that authority is something that is delegated by one person to another. His third supposes that a man possesses authority by virtue of his being righteous. If he does possess it by virtue of being righteous, he does not need that another confer it upon him. If he does not possess it by virtue of being righteous, but by virtue of its being conferred by another, then it follows that unless there is a regular line of authority from the apostles down, the chain is broken, and authority does not exist on earth until men are again directly commissioned from a divine source. Hence additional revelation is necessary, and our contention is sustained, from his own premises.
After spending several pages in argument, reasoning that if apostasy abrogated all authority then if the church organized by Joseph Smith apostatized all authority was abrogated, and hence there was none left with those who reorganized the church, but if apostasy does not abrogate all existing authority, then there was no demand for a reorganization, he gracefully concedes that neither conclusion is the correct one, as follows:
But the warmest advocate of the "rejection" dogma will hardly be willing to accept the inevitable conclusion to which his reasoning leads. He will probably argue that although the church became so corrupt that God would no longer acknowledge it as his, yet there were righteous individuals whose authority was not revoked, and who therefore were still authorized to officiate and confer authority upon others.In receding from the point he had sought to make he seeks to save another by applying the rule to the primitive church. Very well; if the Lord had directed some of the righteous individuals holding authority and remaining after the great apostasy to reorganize the church according to the primitive pattern it would have been a parallel case, and would have been all right; but we have no account of his doing so while any of these righteous men "whose authority was not revoked" were living.
Thus in the economy of God no reorganization of the primitive church was provided for; but instead he authorized the restoration in the time he had before provided. We accept it.
As a specimen of Elder Bays' logic we present the following:
How is it today? Perhaps at no period of her history has the
Church of Christ been characterized by such unquestionable deeds of charity and undoubted personal purity as at the present time.
He here makes an unsupported assertion based upon a "perhaps," and taking this doubtful assertion as a basis forms a far-reaching conclusion, and vauntingly parades such conclusion as established.
In answer to this assertion regarding the present condition, and Bays' query about the apostasy and the gates of hell, we will again ask for a careful reading of the reply of Elder Derry. He says:
Mr. Bays asks, What becomes of the declaration of Christ, "Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it?" We answer. It is evident from the teachings of Christ and his apostles that this declaration was not intended to convey the idea that the enemy would not be permitted to obtain any temporary advantage over the church, or that there could not possibly be any departure of the church from the way of truth; because the scriptures in other places teach that such departure or apostasy would take place. The church of Christ is composed of finite beings, weak and fallible, hence Christ taught his disciples to "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." He made every preparation and provided every necessary means to strengthen them against temptation, inasmuch as they would resist it, but he did not promise them infallibility, but he did promise strength to overcome, if they would put their trust in him. Individual moral agency is the birthright of all mankind. God has never curtailed it, and he holds every one responsible for it. Communities may fail as well as individuals. The mass of mankind is composed of individuals, and as each individual is weak the mass cannot be omnipotent; hence if there is danger of the individual falling there is corresponding
danger of the whole mass falling. But if the individual is faithful to his trust, strength will be given to enable him to overcome, and so with the church as a mass. This is the condition under which Jesus said, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it." That Christ and the apostles were correct when they predicted the terrible apostasy, the history of the world for over seventeen hundred years affords ample proof. The Roman church proclaims the apostasy of the Protestant churches, and they in return denounce her as the "Whore. of all the earth," "The mother of harlots:" forgetting their own maternity. One of her eldest daughters, the Church of England, in its "Book of Homilies on Perils of Idolatry," page 201, says:
not equal." The Great Controversy, by Ashley 8. Johnson, LL. D , p. 131.
In addition to the above we invite attention to the following from Alexander Campbell:
If Christians were and may be the happiest people that ever lived, it is because they live under the most gracious institution ever bestowed on men. The meaning of this institution has been buried under the rubbish of human traditions for hundreds of years. It was lost in the dark ages, and has never been, till recently, disinterred. Various efforts have been made, and considerable progress attended them; but since the Grand Apostasy was completed, till the present generation, the gospel of Jesus Christ has not been laid open to mankind in its original plainness, simplicity, and majesty. A veilin reading the New Institution has been on the hearts of Christians, as Paul declares it was upon the hearts of the Jews in reading the Old Institution towards the close of that economy. The Christian System, p. 180.
A. Campbell thinks the apostasy was complete, Bays thinks not. Who represents our Christian friends, Campbell or Bays?
Elder Bays' twentieth chapter purports to be a statement of our position regarding the Book of Mormon. He quotes largely from Elders W. W. Blair and W. H. Kelley, and puts his own construction upon their statements. It will, we think, be entirely unnecessary to follow him through
his wanderings. We will simply ask the reader to read carefully the statements of Elders Blair and Kelley, allowing them to speak for themselves without considering Elder Bays' interpretation of their meaning.
His twenty-first chapter is devoted mostly to the interpretation of Isaiah 18: 1, 2. He attempts to refute the position taken by some of the elders that the land "shadowing with wings" is America; and concludes as follows:
If the country described in Isaiah 18:1, as "the land shadowing with wings," be America, and if the 29th chapter relates to events that were to transpire on this continent, and which, as a matter of fact, did take place as predicted, then all candid people will readily concede the fact that the Book of Mormon is probably true.
This is a far-fetched conclusion. The Book of Mormon does not stand or fall upon any interpretation of these prophecies. Some of the advocates of the Book of Mormon thought they discovered in these passages predictions foretelling the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and have so interpreted and used them in presenting the Book of Mormon, not as a basis upon which the book rests, but as corroborative proof of the truth of its claims. Should he prove that this exegesis is incorrect he will of course destroy the effect of this evidence, but he has by no means proven the Book of Mormon false. The claims of the book itself remain to be disposed of, whether we are right in applying certain prophecies to it and the land of America or not. Elder Bays, however, does not state the case correctly when he says:
The Book of Mormon, it must be borne in mind, professes to
contain the "written history" of this new Ariel. The "Nephites" were a people "terrible from their beginning hitherto" (Isa. 18:2), but were exterminated by their more wicked brethren, the "Lamanites," about A. D. 420. Page 191.
The Book of Mormon makes no such claim regarding Isaiah 18:2, nor have we ever heard any representative of the church so present it.
Elder Bays states on page 192, that the "rivers of Ethiopia" referred to in the passage "are the rivers of Africa, the Nile and its tributaries." But his final conclusions are:
It is thus shown to be simply impossible that America can be "the land shadowing with wings," for the very cogent reason that the land thus described lies SOUTH of Palestine, while America, as every schoolboy knows, is directly west.
Both of these statements are wrong. Ethiopia is not directly south nor is America directly west. Parts of Ethiopia may have been directly south, and part of America is directly west. Starting from Palestine to cross the "rivers of Ethiopia," conceded by Bays to be the Nile and its tributaries, you would go neither directly west nor directly south. To cross the Nile you must go southwest. This would of course place you in Africa; but starting at Jerusalem and crossing at a point near Cairo and continuing in direct course you would land in South America in a direct line between Jerusalem and where the Nephites landed. If, then, both Africa and America were "beyond the rivers of Ethiopia," the question would not be settled by appeal to the "facts of geography." As this is the only point raised by Elder Bays against the theories of some on this passage, he has not only failed to make his point against this interpretation, but he is as far from the real
issue as he would be from the River Nile were he to travel due south from Jerusalem.
It is impossible to determine what the boundaries of Ethiopia were, as various regions at different times were known by that name as all authorities will attest; but the original signification of the word was very broad, as the following definitions will show:
Ethiopia, the Biblical Kush. Originally, all the nations inhabiting the southern part of the globe, as known to the ancients; or rather all men of dark-brown or black color, were called Ethiopians. -- Chambers's Encyclopaedia.
Probably in the days of Isaiah this broad meaning was attached to the word, hence "beyond the rivers of Ethiopia" would suggest a land beyond the southern parts of the known world, so America is at once suggested to the mind. There is another interpretation of which this passage is susceptible from a scriptural standpoint. In Revelation 17: 1 John speaks of a character "that sitteth upon many waters." The angel interprets this vision and in the fifteenth verse says:
The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
Applying the angel's interpretation to this passage, the rivers of water would mean peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. A land, then, beyond the "rivers of Ethiopia" would be beyond the peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues of the then known southern part of the world. Again the mind is carried across the Atlantic or Pacific to America. It makes no difference, then, whether we interpret the rivers of Ethiopia to be literal rivers, or whether in harmony with the angel's interpretation we interpret them to mean peoples, multitudes,
nations, and tongues, Elder Bays is wrong, and either interpretation points to America as the "land beyond the rivers of Ethiopia."
His twenty-second chapter is devoted to a consideration of Isaiah twenty-ninth chapter, in connection with the claims made for the Book of Mormon by its advocates. As usual he commences by misrepresenting the case under consideration. He states:
If these "plates" were written in Egyptian, Arabic, Assyrian and Aramaic, and were translated by a man wholly ignorant of these languages, it would amount to an argument absolutely unanswerable; and this is exactly what it is claimed has been done.
This assertion is without foundation in truth. No claim has been made by the advocates of the book that it was written in the languages mentioned, and so his conclusion based upon the claim is worthless. In speaking of Isaiah twenty-ninth chapter he says:
The Saints believe that the "coming forth of the Book of Mormon," as they term it, completely and most perfectly fulfills this prophecy in every minute particular. If it does, then the Saints are right, and the Book of Mormon is true; but if they are wrong in their exegesis, the book cannot be a revelation from God. Page 198.
This is another gross misrepresentation. The Saints do not believe that this chapter was completely and perfectly fulfilled in every minute particular in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. We see much more in it. We do think that a book read by an unlearned man is referred to, and that the Book of Mormon and the circumstances connected with it harmonize with the prediction. Bat the idea that if we are wrong in our exegesis "the book cannot be a revelation from God" is decidedly silly. The position that any book or principle depends upon the correctness of the exegesis of its supporters is not logic, it is trash.
Elder Bays in this connection proceeds to give his exegesis of this chapter, and claims that "every line of this wonderful prophecy had its complete accomplishment" in the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. Shall we say that if Bays is wrong in his exegesis Nebuchadnezzar could not have destroyed Jerusalem? If Elder Bays' philosophy is right, then the moment a man takes an untenable position in defense of the Bible it proves that the Bible cannot be a revelation from God.
That Elder Bays is wrong in the following conclusion will need no argument. He states:
From the foregoing summary of the principal points of this prophecy, it is shown most conclusively that the prediction of every event is made of Jerusalem and her people, otherwise the "Inspired Translation" is a failure and a fraud. As lovers of truth, and as fair and unbiased students of prophecy and Biblical history, we are forced to the undeniable conclusion that every line of this wonderful prophecy had its complete accomplishment in the subsequent history of the Israelitish people in the utter destruction of their beloved city by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, some 588 years before our era, and 124 years after the prediction was made. Pages 202, 203.
Isaiah twenty-ninth chapter contains the following prediction:
Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest? Verse 17.
Elder Bays in summing up the events predicted in this chapter as he does on pages 199 and 200, leaves this out. He will hardly claim that Lebanon was turned into a fruitful field when Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.
But in the latter times such has been the case. Though authors differ in regard to the former fertility of the land, all agree that the country was desolate for many years, whether from the lack of rain or because of want of care. The following is from Palest ina for June, 1897, a Jewish paper published in London, England, and is an extract
from a sermon preached in Birmingham, England, May 29, 1897, by Rev. G. J. Emanuel:
Six hundred and thirty years ago, Nachmanides, a name illustrious in Jewish literature, went to the Holy Land at the age of seventy years, and this is how he describes Palestine and Jerusalem: "Great is the solitude and great the wastes, and to characterize it in short, the more sacred the places, the greater their desolation. Jerusalem is more desolate than the rest of the country. In all the city there is but one resident inhabitant, a poor dyer, persecuted, oppressed, and despised. At his house gather great and small, when they can fret the Ten Men (Minyan). They are wretched folk without occupation and trade, pilgrims and beggars, though the fruit of the land is still magnificent and the harvests rich. It indeed is still a blessed country, flowing with milk and honey. Oh! I am the man who has seen affliction (Lamentations 8, 1). I am banished from my table, far removed from friend and kinsman, and too long is the distance to meet again. I have left my family, I have forsaken my house. There, with my sons and daughters, and with the sweet and dear grandchildren, whom I have brought up on my knees, I left also my soul. My heart and my eyes will dwell with them forever. But the loss of all these is compensated by having now the joy of being a day in thy courts, O Jerusalem! visiting the ruins of thy temple and crying over thy ruined sanctuary. There I caress thy stones, I fondle thy dust, I weep over thy ruins. May He who has permitted us to see Jerusalem in her desertion bless us to behold her again built up and restored when the glory of the Lord shall return to her."
weighing machines, and to show you that civilization is making way in Palestine, bicycles too. The pupils of this school find employment all over the East. Near the city of Jaffa is an agricultural school "Mikveh Israel"(the Hope of Israel), founded by Charles Netter twenty-seven years ago. There, besides languages, mathematics, and chemistry, the lads learn agriculture, they grow oranges, vines, fruits, corn. They make their own wine, most excellent, and make their own barrels Fifty of the past pupils are officers in various colonies; fifty are proprietors of their own lands. On the colonies of Baron Rothschild and those recently established by the Chovevi Zion Associations many hundreds, I shall not exaggerate if I say thousands, are working, growing corn and all fruits, making wine in large quantities, cultivating mulberry trees, rearing silkworms, and spinning silk, manufacturing perfumes. In addition to these large colonies actually established, tracts of land are held by Baron Rothschild which gradually will be brought under cultivation. Shall we then not hope and believe?
Though this writer Nachmanides differs from other
authors regarding the richness of the harvests, he agrees that desolation had come to the land, which he attributes to desertion. But how different the situation now as described by the Rev. Mr. Emanuel.
The Palestina for September, 1897, in describing the "Judaeo-Pcilestinian Exhibition at Hamburg," says:
The exhibition was opened with much solemnity on the 29th of June, amidst the concourse of a number of distinguished guests, including representatives of the general exhibition, the promoters of the enterprise, the leaders of the Jewish congregation, as also representatives of the local press. The visitors, who minutely inspected the exhibits, were conducted over the place by the members of the committee, Mr. Glucksmann, late a pupil of the agricultural school at Jaffa, supplying the necessary explanations. Every guest received a copy of Mr. Hambus's interesting pamphlet on "the rise and present condition of the Jewish villages in Palestine."
were despatched to Hamburg by the steamer Rhodes. When they were still in Alexandria, a large concourse of people assembled at the harbor every day for the purpose of admiring them. They suffered, of course, somewhat during their transit from the colonies to the coast, the shipping at Jaffa, and the re-shipping at Alexandria, as also from sea-water. But Mr. Gluckmann's precautions and constant care triumphed over all difficulties. The pomegranate, ethrog (citron), and pineapple trees are in full bloom, the olive, jucca, orange, and palm trees show a beautiful and fresh green' foliage. The local press is profuse in their praises of this side show, by which, they say, the horticultural exhibition has gained a most interesting feature.
Surely Lebanon is becoming a fruitful field. This part of the prediction is surely being fulfilled today; and yet Elder Bays without a word of proof would have us believe that every line of the prediction was fulfilled 588 years before Christ. That he is mistaken will also appear from the following words of Christ to the Jews of his time in which he quotes the language found in Isaiah twenty-ninth chapter:
Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweih nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matt. 15: 7-9.
If the Master was right in applying this prophecy to the people of his time, then it was not fulfilled 588 years before, and Bays is again wrong. That a part of the prediction may apply to the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar we will not deny. It seems to have a general application to the Jews and their history for a long period of time, reaching down to this latter restoration of the Jews to their home and country. Their spiritual vision is represented as being dark, and the multitude of all the nations that fight against Zion are to share in the darkness, likened unto the words of a book that is sealed, of which it is said in positive language, "is delivered to him that is not learned."
In connection with the return of Israel to her promised inheritance, a great spiritual revival was to take place, graphically described by Isaiah as follows:
Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: and the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, 1 am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it. He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He iiad no understanding? Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest? And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought. Therefore thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him. they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel. They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. Isaiah 29:9-24.
In connection with this marvelous work the book was to appear, as will be seen by reference to the above. The
Book of Mormon was given to the world in connection with the transpiring of these events, and hence the elders have concluded that this is the book referred to.
His twenty-third chapter has nothing in it not already answered. It consists in showing some points of harmony between the predictions in Isaiah twenty-ninth chapter and the subsequent history of the Jews, and then the conclusion that the whole chapter was fulfilled. The illogical and unfair method of substituting the part for the whole will be readily seen by the reader.
[ 115 ]
The persecution however became so intolerable that I was under the necessity of leaving Manchester, and going with my wife to Susquehaiinah county in the state of Pennsylvania: while preparing to start (being very poor and the persecution so heavy upon us that there was no probability that we would ever be otherwise), in the midst of our afflictions we found a friend in a gentleman by the name of Martin Harris, who came to us and gave me fifty dollars to assist us in our afflictions. Mr. Harris was a resident of Palmyra township Wayne county, in the state of New York, and a farmer of respectability; by this timely aid was I enabled to reach the place of my destination in Pennsylvania, and immediately after my arrival there I commenced copying the characters of the plates: I copied a considerable number of them, and by means of the Urim and Thummim I translated some of them, which I did between the time I arrived at the house of my wife's father in the month of December, and the February following. Sometime in this month of February the aforementioned, Mr. Martin Harris came to our place, got the characters which I had drawn of the plates and started with them to the city of New York. For what took place relative to him and the characters, I refer to his own account of the circumstances as he related them to me after his return which was as follows. "I went, to the city
of New York and presented the characters which bad been translated, with the translation thereof to Professor Antbon, a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments; -- Professor Anthon stated that the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from the Eayptian. I then showed him those which were not yet translated, and he said that they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic, and he said that they were the true characters. He gave me a certificate certifying to the people of Palmyra that they were true characters, and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was also correct. I took the certificate and put it into my pocket, and was just leaving the 'house, when Mr. Anthon called me back, and asked me how the young man found out that there were gold plates in the place where he found them. I answered that an anael of God had revealed it unto him.
"He then said to me, let me see that certificate, I accordingly took it out of my pocket and gave it to him, when he took it and tore it to pieres,.sayiii- that there was no such thing now as ministering of angels, and that if I would bring the plates to him, he would translate them. I informed him that part of the plates were sealed, and that I was forbidden to brina them, he replied 'I cannot read a sealed book.' I left him and went to Dr. Mitchill who sanctioned what Professor Anthon had said respecting both the characters and the translation." -- Times and Seasons, vol. 3, pp. 772, 773.
It will be seen by the above that Martin Harris took "a considerable number" of the characters with him, and "some of them" were translated. He first presented to Professor Anthon those which. were translated, and the Professor declared them to be Egyptian and the translation more correct than any be bad seen. He next presented those not translated, and these were pronounced by the Professor to be "Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyriac, and Arabic," and to be true characters.
It was after this that the Professor proposed to translate the plates if they were brought to him, and was told that a part of the plates was sealed, and Mr. Harris was forbidden to bring them; and in this connection the Professor said, "I cannot read a sealed book."
We are thus particular in presenting this matter clearly,
because of the bungling, confused, and misleading manner in which Elder Bays presents the narrative.
In this connection Elder Bays grossly misrepresents the defenders of the claims of the Book of Mormon and to do so he puts into the mouth of Elder W. H. Kelley words he did not use, as the following quotations will show:
Every writer who has made any attempt to defend the claims of the Book of Mormon on this ground has urged as an argument full of potency, that the learned professor could not decipher the characters submitted to him. Upon this point Elder Wm. H. Kelley says:
"Both he [Prof. Anthon] and Dr. Mitchell were waited upon by Mr. Harris with a copy of the characters, and they examined them, just as affirmed by Mr. Harris, and as predicted in the twenty-ninth chapter of Isaiah, and eleventh verse, would be done, which is the main point in the investigation, and that neither of them was able to decipher them." (Presidency and Priesthood, p. 205.)
Here we have the affirmation of Mr. Kelley, (and he is considered good authority,) that the "characters" were presented to the Professor, and that neither he nor Dr. Mitchell was able to decipher them, and that their failure to do so is "the main point in the investigation." In this declaration Mr. Kelley but repeats the position, and reflects the sentiment of all the leading Minds of the denomination from its rise to the present day. With this view of the case flrmly fixed in the mind, let us recall the witness, Martin Harris, for re-direct examination. - Page 224.
Compare this with what Elder Kelley really did say:
The reader will bear in mind that Professor Anthon made his statement a number of years after he was visited by Mr. Harris. He endeavors to treat lightly and cast discredit upon the claims made concerning the revealment and translation of the book by Mr. Smith (having taken sides with the popular current, not believing in the visitation of angels), but he confesses, nevertheless, that both he and Dr. Mitchell were waited upon by Mr. Harris with a copy of the characters, and that they examined them, just as is affirmed by Mr. Harris, and as is predicted in the twenty-ninth chapter of Isaiah, and the eleventh verse, would be done, which is the main point in this investigation, and that neither of them were able to decipher them. Indeed, there is nothing in the prediction of Isaiah to indicate that the learned to whom the, "words of the book" would be submitted would believe anything in the transaction, but rather the relverse. - Presidency and Priesthood, p. 205.
It will be seen by the above that what Elder Kelley said Mr. Anthon had confessed, Elder Bays presents as an affirmation of Elder Kelley. It will also be readily seen by examination of the connection in which the words are used that Elder Kelley did not afflrm that the failure of these learned men to decipher the characters was the main point in the investigation, but that the presentation and examination was the main point in the investigation. Words are too weak to express the contempt we feel for such a course as the above discloses upon the part of Elder Bays.
On pages 226 and 227 Elder Bays continues as follows.
Did it ever occur to you that this document, so much relied upon to support this claim for the Book of Mormon, is actually self-contradictory? And,yet such is the case.
That part of the statement just quoted, says, in substance, that Prof. Anthon could, and in fact did, "read" the words orcharacters submitted to him by Martin Harris, while the latter part of the statement represents Mr. Anthon as saying, "I cannot read a seated book."
If Prof. Anthon really examined the characters and declared them to have been "correctly translated," then it is clear to the most casual observer that he must have been able to decipher the characters in which the "sealed book" was said to have been written.
If by his great learning this distingnisbed professor of languages could translate the characters. in which it is claimed the Book of Mormon was written, then it is absurd in the extreme to urge that Joseph Smith, orany other man, should be divinely inspired in order to their translation.
If Mr. Anthon did not decipher the characters presented to him, then his alleged statement or certificate. that said characters had been correctly translated, is absolutely worthless, and amounts to nothing by way of proving what is claimed for the Book of Mormon.
If he did decipher them ---- which he must have done in order to render the allezed certificate of an y value ....-chen it does not come within the range of Isaiah's prophecy, for he declares that when the "words" were presented, the "learned man" should say, "I cannot read them."
The sophistry of this is so apparent that but little comment is needed. Reading the characters and reading the sealed book were two separate and distinct things, and
the words were used in different connections, and under different circumstances. Mr. Bays in order to make his case misquotes Isaiah. The passage does not read: "I cannot read them," but "I cannot; for it is sealed."
Concerning the testimony of Professor Anthom and Mr. Harris, Elder Bays truthfully observes: "It will doubtless be observed that these statements differ materially as to what occurred on that occasion." Then he asks, "Which of these statements are we to believe?" We certainly cannot believe Professor Anthon's. He says:
This paper was in fact a singular scrawl. It consisted of all kinds (if crooked characters disposed in columns, end had evidently been prepared by some person who had before him at the time a book containing various alphabets. Greek and Hebrew letters, crosses and flourishes, Roman letters inverted or placed sideways, were arranged in perpendicular columns, and the whole ended in a rude delineation of a circle divided into various compartments, decked with various strange marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican Calendar given by Humboldt. -- History of Mormonism by E. D. Howe, pp. 271, 272.
An examination of the accompanying photographic cut of the original paper, will show Professor'Anthon to be wrong. These characters are not arranged in perpendicular columns, nor do they end "in a rude delineation of a circle divided into various compartments, decked with various strange marks,"
Mr. Bays cannot deny the genuineness of this cut, as he has himself presented it to several scholars for examination, and, as will be seen, bases his rebuttal largely on their opinions regarding it. Professor Anthon's statement is therefore proven untrue.
Elder Bays here questions whether Martin Harris ever made this statement, and expresses the suspicion that Joseph Smith manufactured the testimony. This has already been refuted. See pages 28, 30 of this book.
On paces 232 and 233 Elder Bays says:
I wish again to call attention to the fact that the statement attributed to Martin Harris concerning his interview with Prof. Anthon never saw the light. of day, so far as the public is concerned, till May 2, 1842, fourteen years after the event is said to have taken place; and, it was then made public, not by Martin Hirris,.but by Joseph Smith, the very man, above all others on earth, the most directly interested.
In answer to this we quote from a letter written by W. W. Pbelps (before be was a member of the church) to E. D. Howe, of Painesville, Ohio, from Canandaigua, New York, January 15, 1831, and published in 1840, in "History of Mormonism," by E. D. Howe, page 273:
When th 'e plates were said to have been found, a copy of one or two lines of the characters, were taken by Mr. Harris to Utica, Albany and New York; at New York, ihey were shown to Dr. Mitcheli, and he referred to Professor Anthon who translated and declared them to be the ancient, shorthand Egyptian. So much is true. The family of Smiths is poor, and generally ignorant in common lewrnlng.
This shows that the purported interview was made public as early as January, 1831. Mr. Anthon in his letter of February 17,1834, and published in the same work, also refers to the claim made by Harris concerning the visit of Harris in New York.
After a protracted effort to show that the witnesses to the Book of Mormon might have testified falsely, which we will not occupy space to follow, Elder Bays proceeds to the direct evidence. He represents himself as follows:
Unwilling to trust to the accuracy of a transcript made in the ordinary way, I cut tbt, plate out of a copy of Mr. Kelley's book, and submitted it to a few of the best Egytologists of the present time, with a request for each to pass his professional opinion upon the unique document. Each of the gentlemen addressed returned a prompt answer, neither of them knowing what the other had said; or, to be more accurate, neither linew that anybody else was to answer the questions, and hence there could be no possibility that the statement of one could be influenced by that of another.
In this manner each depended entirely upon his own knowledge of the question to be considered, and was, therefore, entirely free from any bias that might arise from having
"MEXICAN CALENDAR IN RELIEF ON BASALT."
Photographed from page 276 of "Humboldt's Researches in America."
By comparing this with the accompanying plate, it will be seen that Prof. Anthon.errs when he states that the characters presented to him by Martin Harris were "evidently copied after the Mexican Calendar given by Humboldt."
See pages 119 and 124.
previously read the opinions of another, thus securing the independent opinion of some of the finest scholars in the Oriental languages that our country affords.
The accompanying plate, an exact reproduction of Mr. Kelley's photographic copy, will give the reader an opportunity to make. a more extended examination should he desire to do so.
To each of the gentlemen whose testimony is submitted herewith, was addressed a letter of explanation and inquiry, substantially as follows:
"DEAR SIR: I herewith inclose what purports to be a fac-simile of the characters found upon the gold plates from which it is claimed the Book of Mormon was translated. The advocates of Mormonism maintain that these characters are'Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyrian and Arabic.'
"So far as I am informed, these characters have never bile submitted to scholars of eminence for examination; and as languages named fall within your province, including Egyptology and Archeology; your professional opinion as to their genuineness will be of great value to the general reader@ in
to I this remarkabl ii:ocih, the followling question
y timej either before or since lets, or:@lates of brass? the Egyptian language?
ow that the Pentateuch was ever, written upon such plates of brass?
"4. Is there any proof that the law of Moses, or even the Decologue, was ever written in the Egyptian language?" -- Pages 260-263.
In the first place Mr. Bays misrepresents "the advocates of Mormonism" and misleads the learned gentlemen to whom he writes when he, says: "The advocates of Mormonism maintain that these characters are Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyrian and Arabic."' We have before shown that no such claim had been made by us. In making this statement Elder Bays also contradicts his own statements as follows:
There can be no question, then, that the language of the plates was Egyptian. Not the slightest intimation that any other language was ever employed in keeping these records, and hence no other letters, SignS or characters could possibly have been used. -- Page 257.
All Mormon authority unites in declaring that the plates of the Book of Mormon were written in Egyptian. -- Page 269.
For the sake of the comparison we will here quote the several answers to the above communication as received by Elder Bays and pliblisbed in his book, and also the communication of Professor Anthon as published by Howe in 1840:
"Rev. D. R. BAYS, Dear Sie: I have submitted your letter and iticlostive i@o our Proressor of Oriental langauages, who is more familiar with the subjects raised by your questions than I am. [To. is a man of large learning in Semitic languages and archeology. The substance of what lie ha's to say is:
"1. The document which you enclose raises a moral, rather than a linguistic problem. A few letters or signs are noticeable svl)ioli correspond more or less closely to the Aramaic, sometimes ctiled Chaldee language; for example, s, h, g, t, 1, b, n. There are no Assyrian characters in it, and the impression made is that the document is fraudulant.
"2. There is no evidence that the Hebrews kept their records upon plates or tablets of brass; but the Assyrians, in the eighth century before Christ, did.
"3. There is no evidence whatever to show that the Pentateuch was ever written on such plates of brass. "Yours Truly,
"James B. ANGELL."
Ann Arbor, Mich, (Italics are mine).-'Pages 263, 264.
"REV. D. H. BAYS, Dear Sir: I am familiar with Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyrian and Arabic, and have considerable acquaintance with all of the Oriental languages; and I can positively assert that there is not a letter to be found in the facsimile submitted that can be found in the alphabet of any Oriental language, particularly of those you refer to - namely, Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyrian alid Arabic.
"A careful study of the facsimile shows that they are characters put down at random by an ignorant person - with no resemblance to anything, not even shorthand.
"No record has ever shown that the Hebrews, or any other Eastern nation, kept their records upon plates or tablets of brass, but thousands upon thousands of tablets of baked clay have been broumht to light, antedating two or three thousands years, before the time of Moses, while libraries of these baked clay tablets have been found, like those at Tell el Amara. At the time the Old Testament was written paper made from
papyrus was in use, and as documents have been found in Egypt of the time of Moses. written on papyri, it is not unreasonable to suppose that we may find yet portions of the Old Testament.
"The treasures of Egypt and Palestine are only just being brought to light. Remarkable discoveries are yet to be made. -- Pages 264, 265. "Respectfully, CIIAS. ft. S. DAVIS."
"JERUSALEM [Palestine], Dec. 27, 1896.
"REV. D. H. BAYS, Deag- 8i7, and B?-other: Your letter dated Nov. 23rd I have just received. I will try to answer your questions as far as I am able. I believe the plates of the Book of Mormon to be a fraud.
"In the flrst place it is impossible to find in any old inscription, 'Egyptian, Arabic, Chaldaic and Assyrian, characters mixed to-ether. The simple idea of finding Egyptian and Arabic side by side is ridiculous and impossible.
"In the second place, though some signs remitid one of those on the Mesa Inscription, yet none bear a resemblance to Egyptian or Assyrian, aS far as I know there is no evidence that the Hebrews kept records on plates of brass, or ever wrote on such plates. About the prophecy contained in Isa. 29: 1-14, I can venture no opinion, as I am not a Biblical scholar, and only concern myself about Egyptology.
Very truly yours,
"CIIAITLES E. MOLDENKE."
The letter of Professor Anthou is as follows:
New York, Feb. 17, 1834.
Dear Sir -- I received this morning your favor of the 9th instant, and lose no time in malting a reply. The whole story about my having pronounced the Mormoriite inscription to be "reformed Egyptian hieroalyphics" is peq:fectly false. Some years aao, a pl,%in, and apparently simple-hearted farmer, called upon me with a note from Dr. Mitchell of our city, now deceased, requestili.- me to decypher, if possible, a paper, which the farmer would band me, and which Dr. M. confessed he had been unable to understand. Upon examining the paper in question, I soon came to the conclusion that it was all a tricli:, perhaps a lioa,.v. When I asked the person, who brought it, how he obtained the writing, he gave me, as far as I can.now recollect, the following account: A "gold book," consisting of a number of plates of gold, fastened together in the shape of a book by wires of the same metal, had been dug up in the northern part of the state of New York, and along with the book an enormous pair of "gold spectacles"! These spectacles were so large, that, if a person attempted to look through them, his two
eyes would have to be turned towards one of the glasses merely, the spectacles in question being altogether too large for the breadth of the human face. Whoever examined the plates through the spectacles, was enabled not only to read them, but fully to uride7-8tand their meaning. All this I aknowledge, however, was confined at that time to a young man, who had the trunk Containing the book and spectacles in his sole possession. This young man was placed behind a curtain, in the garret of a farm house, and, being thus concealed from view, put on the spectacles occasionally, or rather, looked through one of the glasses, decyphered the characters in the book, and, having committed some of them to paper, handed copies from behind the curtain, to those who stood on the outside. Not a word, however, was said about the plates having been decypbered "by the gift of God." Every thing, in this way, was effected by the large pair of spectacles. The farmer added, that he had been requested to contribute a sum of money towards the publication of the "golden book," the contents of which would, as he had been assured, produce an entire change in the world and save it from ruin. So urgent had been these solicitations, that he intended selling his farm and handing over the amount received to those who wished to publish the plates. As a list precautionary step, however, be had resolved to come to New York, and obtain the opinion of the learned about the meaning of the paper which he brought with him, and which had been given him as a part of the contents of the book, although no translation bad been furnished at the time by the young man with the spectacles. On hearing this odd story. I changed my opinion about the pa-per, and, instead of viewi'n,'g it any longer as a hoax upon the learned, I began to regard it as part of a scheme to cheat the farmer of his money, and I communicated my suspicions to him, warning him to beware of rogues. He requested an opinion from me in writing, which of course I declined giving, and be then took his leave carrying the paper with him. This paper was in fact a singular scrawl. It consisted of all kinds of crooned characters disposed in columns, and had evidently been prepared by some person who had before him at the time a book containing various alphabets. Greek and Hebrew letters, crosses and nourishes, Roman letters inverted or placed sideways, were arranged in perpendicular columns, and the whole ended in a rude delineation of a circle divided into various compartments. decked with various strange marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican Calendar given by Humboldt, but copied in such a way as not to betray the source whence it was derived. I am thus particular as to the contents of the paper. inasmuch as I have frequently conversed with my friends on the subject, since the Mormonite excitement began, and well remember that the paper contained
any thing else but "Egyptian Hieroglyphics." Some time after, the same farmer paid me a second visit. He brought with him the golden book in print, and offered it to me for sale, I declined purchasing. He then asked permission to leave the book with me for examination. I declined receiving it, although his manner was strangely urgent. I adverted once more to the roguery which had been in my opinion practiced upon him, and asked him what had become of the gold plates. He informed me that they were in a trunk with the large pair of spectacles. I advised him to go to a magistrate and have the trunk examined. He said the "curse of God" would come upon him should he do this. On my pressing him, however, to pursue the course which I bad recommended, he told me that he would open the trunk, if I would take the "curse of God" upon myself. I replied that I would do so with the greatest willingness, and would incur every risk of that nature, provided I could only extricate him from the grasp of rogues. He then left me.
I have thus given you a full statement of all that I know respecting the origin of Mormonism, and must beg you, as a personal favor, to publish this letter immediately, should you find mv name mentioned again by these wretched fanatics.
Yours respectfully, CHS. ANTRON.
E. D. Howe, B8q. Paine8,vilk, Ohio.
History of Mormonism, by E. D. Howe, pp. 270-272.
It may be thought presumptuous to criticise these learned men, but of all productions of mortal man, the productions of scholars ought to stand criticism, and if they will not, no excuse can be made.
Compare the following: (Some of the following italics are mine.)
A few letters or signs are noticeable which co?,,respond more or closely to the Aramaic, sometimes called Chaldee language; for example, s, h, g, t, l, b, n. -- Angell.
I can positively assert that there is not a letter to be found in the facsimile submitted that. c,,tyi be found in the alphabet of any Oriental langauage, ptrticularly of those you refer to namely, Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyrian and Arabic. A careful study of the facsimile shows that they are characters ptit down at random by an ignorant person with no resemblance to anytaing, not even shorthand. -- Davis.
In the second place, though some 8ignq -remind one of those on the Mesa inscription, yet none bear a resemblance to Egyptian or Assyrian. - Moldenke.
Greek and Hebrew letters, crosses tnd flourishes, Roman letters inverted or placed sideways, were arranged in perpendicular columns, etc. -- AnLtion.
There is no evidence that the Hebrews kept their records upon plates or tablets of brass; but the Assyrians, in the eighth Century before Christ, did. -- Angell.
No record has ever shown that the Hebrews, or any other Basteg,n nal?,on, kept their records upon plates or tablets of brass. -- Davis.
This is the contradictory mass that. Mr. Bays relies on as evidence in rebuttal, Mr. Angell finds signs on the facsimile more or less closely resembling Chaldee; Mr. Moldenke feuds signs that remind one of those on the Mesa Inscription and Mr. Antbon finds Greek, Hebrew, and Roman letters; while Mr. Davis finds no resemblance to anything.
Again, Mr. Angell thinks that the Assyrians kept their records on brass; but Mr. Davis says "no record has ever shown that the Hebrews, or any other eastern nation," did. However, Messrs. Antbon, Davis, and Moldenke all agree that there are no Egyptian characters on the facsimile, while Mr. Angell says nothing on this point.
We would not expect linguists to recognize Egyptian characters on the plates readily, as the Book of Mormon declares:
And now behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge in the characters, which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech. And if our plates had been sufficiently large, we should have written in the Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and it we could have written in the Hebrew, behold, ye would have had none imperfection in our record. But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our 12.nguage, therefore he bath prepared means for the interpretation tbereof. -- Page 538, Palmyra edition,
By this it will be seen that the failure of these scholars lo read, and the confusion of their statements, but confirm the statemedt of the book that, "None other people knoweth
our language." Yet there are some characters on the plates closely resembling the Egyptian, as anyone can determine by comparing Egyptian characters with the facsimile.
There is competent evidence that the prehistoric Ameri- cans were influenced by Egyptian civilization. When we consider the account given in the Book of Mormon; viz., that though this country was peopled by Jews, yet they were a people acquainted with the customs of Eaypt, the following is quite significant:
No claim has been advanced, we believe, which advocates an actual Egyptian colonization of the new world, but strong arguments have been used to show that the architecture and sculpture of Central America and Mexico have been influenced from Emypt, if i)ot attributable directly Lo Egyptian artisans. These arguments are based on the resemblance between the gigantic pyramids, the sculptured obelisks, and the numerous idols of these prehistoric countries and those of Egypt. It requires no practiced eye to trace a resemblance in general features, thoo-h it must be said that the details of American architecture and sculpture, are peculiarly original in design. The principal advocate of the theory, Delafleld, has furnished many comparisons, but we think no argument has been presented sufficiently supported by facts to prove that American architecture and sculpture bad any other than an indigenous origin. -- Short, The North Americans of Antiquity, p. 147.
Just what might be expected from the Book of Mormon theory. Their architecture and sculpture were not of Egyptian origin but bearing Egyptian resemblance.
That the language of ancient Americans also bore a resemblance to the Egyptian is well established. The following is evidence in point:
It is scarcely necessary for us to remark that the seeming analogies between the Maya (Central American) sculpture and that of Egypt have often been noted. Juarros. in speaking of Palenque art says, "The hieroglyphics, symbols and emblems which have been discovered In the temples, bear so strong a resemblance to those of the Egyptians, as to encourage the supposition that a colony of that nation may have founded the city of Palengue or Culhuacan." Giordan found, as he thought, the most striking analogies between the Central,
American remains. as well as those of Mexico, and those of the Egyptians. The idols and monuments he considers of the same form in both countries, while the hieroglyphics of Palenque do not differ from those of ancient Thebes. Senor Melgar, in a communication to the Mexican Geographical Society, has called attention to the frequent occurrence of the (T) tau at Palenque, and has more studiously Advocated the early relationship of the Palenqueans to Egypt than any other reliable writer. He cites Dupaix's Third Expedition, page 77 and plates 26 and 27, where in the first figure is a goddess with a necklace supporting a tau like medallion to which the explorer adds the remark that such is "the symbol in Egypt of reproduction or abundance." In the second plate he finds an altar dedicated expressly. to the tau. He considers that the on] tus of this, the symbol of the active principle in nature, prevailed in Mexico in many places. Senor Melgar also refers to two idols found south of the city of Mexico, "iin one of which two symbols were united, namely, the Cosmogonle egg, symbolical of creation, and two faces, symbols of the generative principle. The other s ymbolized creation in the bursting forth of an egg. These symbols are not found in the Aztec mythology, but belong to the Indian, Egyptian, Greeli@, Persian, Japanese and other cosmogunies." This, the Senor considers proof that these peoples were the primitive colonists of that region, and seeks to, sustain his views by references to the Dharma Sastra of Manou and the Zend Avesta. The reader has no doubt been surprised at the frequent occurrence of the T-shaped niches in the Palenque palace, and has observed the same symbol employed on some of the hieroglyphics of the Tablet of the Cross. The Egyptian tau, one of the members of the Crux an8ata, is cert&idly present at Palenque, but whether it was derived from any one of the Mediterranean peoples who employed it, cannot be ascertained. Among the Egyptians it signified "life," as is shown by the best Egyptologists. -- The North Americans of Antiquity, pp. 415-417.
Resemblances have been found between the calendar systems of Egypt and America, based chiefly upon the length and division of the year, and the number of interealary and complementary days. -- Bancroft, Native Races of the Pacific States, vol. 5, p. 62.
But at Lexington [Kentucky], the traits are too notorious to. allow them to be other than pure Egyptian, in full possession of the strongest complexion of their national character, that of embalming, which was connected with their religion. -- Priest's American Antiquities. p. 119.
One of the most interesting sources of comparison between Mexico, Peru, and Egypt, is to be found in an investigation of their hieroglyphic system. Each of these countries had a
peculiar method of recording events by means of hieroglyphic signs, sculptiirin- them on monuments and buildings, and portraying them on papyrus and mal-uey. - Delafield's American Antiquities, p. 42.
It is the opinion of the author that farther investigations and discoveries in deciphering Mexican hieroglyphic paintings will exhibit a close analogy to the Egyptian in the use of two scriptural systems: the one for roonumetitll inscription, the other for the ordinary purposes of record and tr,%nsmission of information. We find the three species of hieroglyphics common to Mexico and Egypt. -- Ibid., p. 46.
The ancient Maya hieratic alphabet, discovered by me, is as near @ilike to the ancient hieratic alphabet of the Egyptians as two alphabets can possibly be, forcing upon us the conclusion that the Mayas and the Egyptians either learned the art of writing from the stme masters, or that the Egyptians learned it from the Mayas. -- Le Plongeon, Sacred Mysteries, p. 113.
In tracing, then, the ancestry of the )iexicans and Peruvians, by analogy in their hieroglyphic system, where shall we take them but to Eaypt and to southern Asia? - Delafield's American Antiquities, p. 47.
Of a comparison of the "days of the Mexican calendar" with the "lunar houses of the ilindoos"; also with referelice to "the analogy between the zodiac of the Mexicans and that of the Maxitchou. Tartars," Delafield says:
These quotations we consider very positive evidence of an early identity between the aboriginal race of America and the southern Asiatic and Egyptian family. - American Antiquities, p. 51.
As to the Mexicans, it would be superfluous to examine how they attained this knowledge. Such a problem would not be soon solved; but the fact of the intercalation Of thirteen days every cycle, that is, the use of a year of three hundred and sixty-five days and a quarter, is a proof that it was either borrowed from the Egyptians, or that they had a common origin. -- Delafleld's American Antiquities, p. 53.
Much more might be adduced upon these points but space prevents.
The question as to whether the prehistoric Americans were of Jewish origin has been discussed extensively, and authorities differ upon it. On this Mr. Bancroft says:
The theory that the Americans are of Jewish descent has been discussed more minutely and at greater length than any
other. Its advocates, or at least those of them who have made original researches, are comparatively few; but the extent of their investigations and the multitude of parallelisms they adduce in support of their hypothesis, exceed by far anything we have yet encountered. -- Native Races, vol. 5, pp. 77, 78.
Mr. A. A. Bancroft, father of the historian, describes a slab found in Ohio as follows:
About eight miles southeast of Newark there was formerly a large mound composed of masses of free-stone, which had been brought from some distance and thrown into a heap without much placing or care. In early days, stone being scarce in that region, the settlers carried away the mound piece by piece to use for building purposes, so that in a few years there was little more than a, large flattened heap of rubbish remaining. Some fifteen years ago, the county surveyor (I have forgotten his name), who had for some time been searching ancient works, turned his attention to this particular pile. He employed a number of men and at once proceeded to open it. Before long he was rewarded by flnding in the center and near the surface a bed of the tougb clay generally known as pipe-clay, which must have been brought from a distance of some twelve miles. Imbedded in the clay was a coffin, dug out of a burr-oak log, and in a pretty good state of preservation. In the coffin was a skeleton, with quite a number of stone ornaments and emblems, and gome open brass rings, suitable for bracelets or anklets. These being removed, they dug down deeper, and soon discovered a stone dressed to an oblong shape, about eighteen inches long and'twelve wide, which proved to be a casket, neatly fitted and completely watertight, containing a slab of stone of hard and fine quality, an inch and a half thick, eight inches Ion,&, four inches and a half wide at one end, and tapering to three inches at the other. Upon the face of the slab was the figure of a man, apparently a priest, with a long flowing beard, and a robe reaching to his feet. Over his head was a curved line of characters, and upon the edges and back of the stone were closely and neatly carved letters. The slab, which I saw myself, was shown to the episcopalian clergyman of Newark, and he pronounced the writing to be the ten Commandments in ancient Hebrew. -- Native Races, vol. 5, pp. 94, 95.
Mr. G. R., Lederer, a converted Jew and editor of the Israelite Indeed, wrote in May, 1861, as follows:
We suppose that many, if not most of our readers have seen, in religious as well as secular papers, the accounts of some relics which were found a few months ago in a mound near
Newark, Ohio. These relics consist of stones, in strange shapes, bearing Hebrew inscriptions, which makes the case particularly interesting to me, as a Hebrew. I have read, therefore, with great interest, all that has been published concerning them, and studied the opinions of different men of science and learning, who have expressed themselves in public; but I desired to see the objects themselves, to put my fln.-er on these relics, which bear inscriptions of the holy laiiauaae, a language which once was written with the finger of God upon tables of stone; a language spoken and written by the prophets of Israel, who predicted the main features, not onlv of the history of Israel. but also of the world at large. It is one of the peculiar and national characteristics of the Jews, to feel a sacred awe for that languaae, and even for "the square characters" in which it is written, so that every written or printed Hebrew page is called "Shemos," by which the people mean to say, a paper on which holy names are printed or written. A pious Jew would never use any Hebrew book or paper for any secular purpose whatever, and carefully picl(s up every bit and burns it. Being now, by the grace of God, an "Israelite Indeed," believing in Him concerning whom Moses and the prophets did write, 'that sacred language has increased in its charming influence upon my mind; this may explain my anxiety to see those relics with the Hebrew inscriptions, without, however, entertaining the least hope of ever having that wish realized. This time, however, I was gladly disappointed; for, in calling a few days ago on my friend, Mr. Theodore Dwight, (the Recording Secretary of the "American Ethnological Society," and my associate in the editorship of this Magazine,) my eyes met with the very objects of my desire. That I examined these antiquities carefully, none of our readers will, I think, entertain any doubt. I recognized all the letters except one, (the ayin,) though the forms of many of them are different from those now in use. - This, however, is not the case with the stone found first, (viz., in July, 1860,) which has the form of an ancient jar, bearing Hebrew inscriptions on its four: sides, which are in perfectly such characters as those generally in use now. I cannot form any opinion concerning the use or meaning of this, which was found first, as @be inscriptions do not lead to any su-gestioiis whatever. They are as follows: 1. "Debar Jehovah," (meanina the word of Jehovah.) 2. "Kodesh Kodeshim," (The Holy of Holies.) 3. "Thorath Jehovah," (The Law of Jehovah,) and 4. "Melek Aretz," (King of the Earth.) -- Israelite Indeed, May, 1861, pp. 264, 265.
Much more evidence of this character might be presented, but we will close -with an extract from the
writings of Mr. George Catlin, giving reasons for believing that the AmericarL Indians were descendants from the Jews:
"I believe, with many others, that the North Americaib Indians are a mixed people-that they have Jewish blood in their veins, though I would not assert, as some have undertaken to prove, 'that they are Jews,' or that they are 'the ten lost tribes of Israel.' From the character and conformation of their heads, I am compelled to look upon them as an amalgam race; but still savages; and from manyof their customs, which seem to me to be peculiarly Jewish, as well as from the character,of their beads, I am forced to believe that some part of those ancient tribes, who have been dispersed by Christians in @o mani, ways, and in so many different eras, have found their way to this country, where they have entered amon-st t4e native stock.... I am induced to believe thus from the very many customs which I have witnessed among them, that appear tb be decidedly Jewish, and many of them peculiarly so, that it would seem almost impossible, or at all events, exceedingly improbable, that two peoples in a state of nature should have hit UPOD them, and practiced them exactly alike.... The first and most striking fact amongst the North American Indians that refers us to the Jews, is that of their worshipping,in all parts, the Great Spirit, or Jehovah, as the Hebrews were ordered to do by divine precept, instead of plurality of Gods, as ancient Pagans and Heathens did, and the idols of their own formations...
First, "The Jews had their sztnc turn sanctorums, and so it may be said the Indians have, in their council or medicine houses, which are always held as sacred places." Second, "As the Jews had, they have their High Priests tnd their Prophets." Third, "Amongst the Indians, as amongst the ancient Hebrews, the women are not allowed to worship with the men, and in all cases also, they eat separately." Fourth, "The Indians, everywhere, believe that they are the favorite people of the Great Spirit, and they certainly are, lil
themselves during the lunar influences, is exactly consonant to the Mosaic Law." Tenth, "After this season of separation, purification in running water, and anointing, precisely in accordance with the Jewish command, is required before she can enter the family lodge." Eleventh. "Many of them have a feast closely resembling the annual feast of the Jewish Passover, and amongst others, an occasion much like the Israelitish feast of the Tabernacles, which lasted eight days, (when history tells us they carried willow boughs, tnd fasted several days and nights,) making sacrifices of the first-fruits and best of everything, closely resembling the sin offering and peace offering of the Hebrews. (See vol. 1, pp. 159- 170, of Religious Ceremonies of the Mandans.)" Twelfth,
"Amongst the list of their customs, however, we meet a number which had their origin, it would seem, in the Jewish ceremonial code, and which are so very peculiar in their forms, that it would seem quite improbable, and almost impossible, that two different peoples shotild ever have hit upon them alike, without some knowledge of each other. These, I consider, go farther than anything else as evidence, and carry in my mind conclusive proof that these people are tinctured with Jewish blood." -- Catlin's North American Indians, vol. 2, pp. 231-234, as copied by Elder Mark H. Forscutt.
Here is evidence quite conclusive that our predecessors in America understood something of both Hebrew and Egyptian learning, and is in perfect harmony with the statement of Nephl:
I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians. -- Book of 'Mormon, p. 5.
Mr. Davis' assertion that the characters do not even resemble shorthand is simply ridiculous. Every principal system of shorthand in use in England or America is derived from Isaac Pitman's, and uses the same general characters. His system was based upon the complete circle, with straight, horizontal, perpendicular, and intermediate angles - struck through. So that every part of the circle and every line is utilized. One can scarcely make a stroke of the pen without imitating some character of shorthand. Anyone who is acquainted with shorthand will find by examination of the facsimile, not only characters
resembling phonographic words, but be will find phrases as well.
Mr. Moldenke has placed himself in an embarrassing situation if Mr. Bays has quoted him correctly, by writing another letter in which be contradicts his position in this letter in one important particular as the following letter will show:
MOUNT VERNON, JanuaTy 13, 1898.
MR. FRANK M. SHEEHEY,
Dear Sir:- Your inquirv has not been answered by me sooner on account of stress of work. I had occasion to answer a similar inquiry to yours while in Jerusalem last year. While some of the characters bear a very slight resemblance to Old Hebrew and Egyptian letters, still the whole page shows plainly the work of the forger and ignoramus. In fact sentences lettered in Arabic, Hebrew, Egyptia,n promiscuously would be sheer nonsense. All the characters of this "Book of Mormon" are not even a clever invention but a barefaced and idiotic scribble. Returning to you the printed sheet I remain
CHARLES E. MOLDENKE.
To Elder Bays be says: "None bear a resemblance to. Egyptian," etc.; while to Elder Sheehy who presented him a copy of the same be says- "Some of the characters bear a very slight resemblance to Old Hebrew and Egyptian letters." If Mr. Moldenke's opinion is of any value it will serve to corroborate the statement previously quoted from the Book of Mormon that they wrote in both Egyptian and Hebrew, but had changed both, which would account for the "very slight resemblance," and yet for his inability to read them. And of course anything that Mr. Moldenke cannot read is to him an "Idiotic scribble."
Messrs. Angell and Davis are very positive that the Hebrews never kept their records on brass. Mr. Moldenke very properly qualifies the statement withthe words,"as far as I know." It would have been far safer if the other two gentlemen had made some such qualifications but like many other men blessed with a little learning, they assume that what they do not know does not exist.
The occasion for this issue being raised is that the Book of Mormon claims that Lehi and family brought with them to this land plates of brass containing the genealogies of their forefathers, and Mr. Bays seeks to prove that the Hebrews never wrote on brass, in order to throw discredit on this account. He succeeds in getting these two men to say what be wanted them to say. To these he also adds brief quotations from letters he claims to have received from President Harper, of Chicago University, and Professor Price, of the same institution.
Notwithstanding these opinions of these learned gentlemen, there is evidence that the Hebrews wrote records on brass, as the following quotations will show:
The materials generally used by the ancients for their boolks, were liable to be easi)3, destroyed by the damp, when hidden in the earth; and in times of way, devastation, aiid rapacit3,, it wag necessary to bury in the earth whatever they wished to preserve from the attacks offraud addviolence. Withthisview,Jevemiah ordered the writings, which he delivered to Baruch, to be put in an earthen vessel, Jer. 32. In the same manner, the ancient Egyptians made use of earthen urns, or pots of a proper shape, for containing Whatever they wanted to inter in the earth, and which, without such care, would have been soon destroyed. We need not wonder then, that the prophet Jeremiah should think it necessary to inclose those writings in an earthen pot, which were to be buried in Judea. in some place where they might be found without much difficulty on the return of the Jews from captivity. Accordingly, two different writings, or small rolls of writing, called books in the original Hebrew, were designed to be inclosed in such an earthen vessel; but commentators have been much embarrassed in giving any probable account of the necessity of two writings, one sealed, the other open; or, as the passage has been commonly understood, the,, one sealed up, the other left open for any one to read, more especially, as both were to be alike buried in the earth and concealed from every eye, and both were to be examined at the return from the captivity. - Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, by Rev. B. B. Edwards, 1850, pp. 255, 266.
By the above we see that the claim made that the record of the Nephites was buried in earth in a time of war, was in harmony with Jewish custom, and also that the claim
that a part of the record was sealed and a part unsealed was in harmony with custom. This same authority continues as follows:
If the ancient books were large, they were formed of a number of skins, of a number of pieces of linen and cotton cloth, or of papyrus, or parchment, connected together. The leaves were rarely written over on both sides, Ezek. 2:9. Zech. 5: 1. Books, when written upon very flexible materials, were, as stated above, rolled round a stick; and, if they were very long, round two, from the two extremities. The reader unrolled the book to the place which he wanted, and rolled it up again, when he had read it, Ltike 4:17-20; whence the name magelze, a volume, or thing rolled up, Psalm 40; 7. Isaiah 34:4. Ezek. 2, 9. 2 Kings 19:14. Ezra 6:2. The leaves thus rolled round the stick, which has been mentioned, and bound with a string, could be easily sealed, Isaiah 29: 11. Dan. 12:4. Rev. 5: 1. 6: 7. Those books which were inscribed on tablets of wood, lead, brass, or ivory, were connected together by rings at the back, through which a rod was passed to carry them by. The orientals,,tppear to have taken pleasure in giving tropical or enigmatical titles to their books. The titles prefixed to the fifty-sixth, sixtieth, and eightieth psalms appear to be of this description. And there can be no doubt that David's elegy upon Saul and Jonathan,'2 Sam. 1: 18, is called in Hebrew the bow, in conformity with this peculiarity of taste. -- Ibid., p. 257.
In this. we discover two more points in harmony with the account of the Book of Mormon:
1. Metallic plates,were fastened togeti.,er with rings at the back, just as the plates of the Book of Mormon were said to have been fastened.
2. Books were inscribed on tablets of different substances including bg-ass, the very material brought into question by Elder Bays and his witnesses.
In his very popular work published in 1823, entitled, "Introduction to the Critical Study and Kizowledge of the Holy Scriptures," in footnote on page 47, volume 2, Thomas H. Horne, M. A., while discussing Hebrew manuscripts, stated as follows:
See Mr. Thomas Yeates's "Collation of an Indian copy of the Pentateuch, with preliminavy remarks, containing an exact description of the manuscript, and a notice of some
others, Hebrew and Syriac, collected by the Rev. C. Buchanan, D. D. in the year 1806, and now deposited in the Public Library, Cambridae. Also a collation and description of a manuscript roll of Lhe Book of Esther, and the Me,-illah of Ahasuerus, from the Hebrew copy, originally extatit in brazen tablets at Goa; with an English Translation." pp. 2, 3, 6, 7. Cambridge, 1812.
Here we have books written in Hebrew on brazen tablets, a copy of which is now in the public library, Cambridge.
The "Union Bible Dictionary" published by the "American Sunday School Union," 1842, under the article Book, states,
Book. (Ex. 17:14.) What we call books were unknown to the ancient Jews, at least in their present convenient form. Letters were engraved on stone, brick, metal, (as lead and copper,) or wood, and also on cloth and skins, and at a later period on parchment. (2 Tim. 4: 18.) Tablets of lead and brass or copper, of great antiquity, have been discovered in modern times.
A summary of Biblical Antiquities by J. W. Nivens, D. D., published by same firm as the dictionary, says:
Some refer the origin of writing to the time of Moses; others, to that of Abraham; while a still different opinion throws it back to the age of Adam himself.
It was long, however, before the art came to be used with anything like that convenience and else which are now known. The materials and instruments with which it was performed, were, in comparison with our peti, ink and paper, extremely rude and unwieldy. One of the earliest methods was to out out the letters on a tablet of stone. Another, was to trace them on unbaked tiles, or bricks, which were afterwards thoroughly burned with fire. Tablets (that is, small, level surfaces or plates) 6( lead or brass were sometimes employed. When the writing was wanted to be most durable, the last was chosen. Tablets of wood were more convenient. Such was the writing table which Zacharias used. -- Pages 158, 159.
Brass, then, was used where writings were desired to be most durable. Genealogies are just what they would most wish to preserve, and they would be likely to write them on brass. This array of evidence will show that Messrs. Angell, Davis, Harper, and Pried were too hasty and too
positive, and should have modestly said with Mr. Moldenke, "As far as I know," etc.
It will be observed that Professor Antbon admits that the "singular scrawl" was so well executed as to make it apparent that the person writing it "bad before him at the time a book, containing various alphabets," This was itself remarkable, for a person as unlearned and unskillful as Joseph Smith is reported to have been; and so clever was the imitation, according to Professor Antboii, that Dr. Mitchill did not detect the "hoax" or "fraud," The plain, unvarnished statements of Joseph Smith regarding his experience are more reasonable and consistent than the illogical and conflicting theories resorted to to set aside his testimony.
The theory of Professor Anthon is hardly a tenable one. It is this, that a rogue had undertaken to deceive a simple farmer by representing that he had found gold plates containing ancient and valuable records, which if translated would save the world from destruction, and all this, for the purpose of getting money from the simple farmer. Then this rogue who was such a clever imitator as ta deceive Dr. Mitchill placed the very means of detection in the hands of the farmer by sending him with the fraudulent characters to linguists. That would have been the last thing that a rogue would have done, amd the very fact that Joseph Smith sent Harris there is strong preumptive evidence that Joseph Smith was sincere in the belief that the plates in his possession were genuine.
These learned witnesses of Mr. Bays are quite positive that the Hebrews never wrote in the Egyptian language.
It may be that no instance of the kind is known to them; but it is not reasonable to suppose they were in captivity in Egypt for over four hundred years, and never acquired the art of writing the language. Considering their long sojourn in Egypt, the claim of Nephi as recorded in the
Book of Mormon, "I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the EgyptianS," is not unreasonable. If true that no instance of the Jews writidg in the Egyptian language is known to the scholarship of the time, and the Book of Mormon was a fraud from its inception, the perpetrators of the fraud would have carefully avoided making a statement such as the one quoted from Nephi above.
When the book makes a claim for which there is no direct proof, and yet the claim is in perfect accord with. what might reasonably be expected, it is strong presumptive evidence that fraud was not attempted. We have already shown that these scholarly men use language that is too positive, and that when they say a thing is not so they only mean to say that they do not know that it is so. A moment's reflection will convince anyone that when these scholars say they did not write on brass, they did not write the Egyptian, language, they are saying something they are not authorized to say. They do not, they cannot know. Had they said, We have no knowledge that such was the case, they probably would have told them absolute truth. The reader will pardon us if werelatea little incident that occurred a few years ago in the Indian Territory, as it will illustrate our point. A minister had delivered a discourse in which he strongly urged that the Holy Spirit in its inspirational and wonder-working power was not edjoyed in this age. He was approached by an old colored man when the following conversation took place:
"Massa, you said something that you oughtn't to have said.
"What was that, uncle?"
"You said there wasn't any Holy Ghost in our time."
"Well, what ought I to have said?"
"You ought to have said, Not that you knows of."
It appears to us that these eminent professors would have acted the wiser part, if, according to the old gentleman's logic, they had answered Elder Bays by saying, "Not that we knows of." To say a thing never happened is to say we know everything that did happen.
Elder Bays closes with the following:
The question now stands thus:
THE TFSTIMONY OF THREE GltriAT SCHOLA@RS,
THE TESTIMONY OF THE THREE WITliESSES.
Reader, in the light of all the facts, whose word will you take in this case? The whole question may be summed up in a single proposition. If Mormonism is true, the plates must have been written in Egyptian. The plates were not written in Egyptian. Therefore Mormonism is not true. And if Mormonism is not true, then the three witnesses were deceivers, Joseph Smith was an 4mpostor, and the Mormon Church a fraud. There is no possible means of escape from this conclusion. "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve." -- Pages 275, 276.
No, Elder Bays, the case stands tlaus: THE TESTIMONY OF THREE GREAT SCHOLAILS that they do not know,
THE TESTIMONY OP THREE WITNESSES that they do know.
In concluding this chapter we present the testimony of the three witnesses, recommending their testimony to careful and prayerful consideration:
Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come, that we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nepbi, and also of the Lamtnites, his brethren, and also of the people of Jired, which came from the tower of which hath been spoken; and we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety, that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been
shewn unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, 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; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bear record thtt these things are true; and it is marvelous in our eyes: Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things.-And we know that if we tre faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.
In connection with this testimony, consider that these men had no promise of wealth or praise, and yet they bore the testimony fearlessly, sending it to the world with an unpopular publication in the hands of a persecuted and despised man. They adhered to that testimony through the most adverse circumstances during life, and each died with the testimony upon his lips. Elder Bays and others may hurl unsavory epithets at the memory of these men, but when they state that they or any one of them ever wavered in his testimony, they, state that for which they have no proof. In this connection also consider the following testimony of eight witnesses, of whose fidelity and faithfulness all can be said that we have said of the three:
Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come, that Joseph Smith, Jr. the Author and Proprietor of this work, has shewn unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which had the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith lits translated, we did handle with our hinds; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record, with words of soberness. that the said Smith has shewn unto us, for 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 give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that whioh we have seen: and we lie not, God bearing witness of it.
PETER WHITmER, Jr.
JOSEPH SMITH, Sen.
SAMUEL H. SMITH.
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