William H. Kelley
Presidency & Priesthood
(Lamoni, IA: RLDS Church, 2d. ed. 1908)
PRESIDENCY AND PRIESTHOOD
REFORMATION, AND RESTORATION.
ELDER WM. H. KELLEY.
HERALD PUBLISHING HOUSE AND BOOKBINDERY.
BY WILLIAM H. KELLEY.
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The priesthood being the foundation of the authorized system of worship in the old dispensation, its proper place is sought to be assigned to it in the new; and the Church of Christ is presented in striking contrast to all other systems of worship, in its authority, organization, and doctrine, with the view of inciting inquiry in the truth-seeker, putting him in the right path, and encouraging investigation in the thoughtful everywhere. The apostasy and reformation are necessarily considered in connection with the restoration. No apology is due for the ungarnished manner in which the wrong is arraigned and the right vindicated. It is truth only
that is sought. If we have it not, let others, more fortunate, point out the errors. We are in the line of the march of ideas and progress, and say, in the broadest liberality and complete freedom of inquiry, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." We confidently believe that the "latter-day glory" has dawned, and the "dispensation of the fulness of times" has been ushered in, and that all the inhabitants of the world are called upon to give ear. "Hear ye." The cardinal principles of the faith are set forth, and those usually assailed by opponents are discussed at length. It is definitive, aggressive, and defensive. After an extensive research, the author has been compelled to assume some new positions, at variance with the old school or notions, and these, of course, are to be tried by the test of time and criticism. Since the appearance of the original article, others have expressed the belief that "James, the Lord's brother, succeeded to the presidency of the church at Jerusalem, soon after the crucifixion of the Saviour." In order for convenience, and to render the work as authoritative and useful as may be, references are given to nearly all of the citations, from both sacred and profane history. Some subjects should have been more elaborately presented, but what is written will at least suggest thought, and the reader can extend his inquiry at will. On the subject
of archaeological researches, space would not permit the extended investigation desired for it.
Indeed, evidences on that subject bearing upon the question considered are almost limitless. The appended history will be found a convenience, and will also incite thought in the right direction. Infallibility is not claimed for this work. It is handed out to take its chances among readers and critics, believing that it possesses sufficient merit to commend itself. Elder C. Scott rendered suggestive aid in this revision? which is credited with pleasure. I also commend the reading of "Romanism and the Republic," by Rev. Isaac J. Lansing, A. M., as a book of merit and suited to the times. Submitted in the interest of progress, free investigation, and fact, with the view of asserting exact Bible truth and the indorsement of the highest conditions manifest for the exaltation and salvation of man.
WM. H. KELLEY.
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"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." -- Jas. 1.5.
He was too young and confiding to presume that God did not say what he meant, and meant what he
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said; so he retired into a grove and kneeled down and prayed; and while at prayer a vision was opened to him, and two personages appeared unto him in glory, standing above him in the air. One of them spake unto him, calling him by name, and said, pointing to the other, "This is my beloved Son; hear him!" The following is his language: --
"My object in going to inquire of the Lord, was to know which of all these sects was right, that I might know which to join.... I asked the personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right, -- for at that time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong, -- and which I should join. 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, that those professors were all corrupt, 'They draw near me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; they teach for doctrine the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.' He again forbade me to join any of them." -- Times and Seasons, Vol. III., page 727.
This was enough to start a conflict with the professedly pious, when once he gave an account of the "vision," and he was contemptuously informed, by accepted ministers, that "It was all of the Devil; that there were no such things as visions or revelations in these days; that all such things had ceased with the apostles, and that there never would be any more of them."
On the eve of the 21st of September, 1823, through fervent prayer, another vision was presented to Mr. Smith, and he gives it, in part, as follows: --
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"After I had retired to my bed for the night, I betook myself to prayer and supplication to Almighty God for forgiveness of all my sins and follies, and also for a manifestation to me, that I might know of my state and standing before him, for I had full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation, as I had previously had one.
"While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in the room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor. He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen, nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant. His hands were naked, and his arms also, a little above the wrists; so, also, were his feet naked, as were his legs little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open so that I could see into his bosom. Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him I was afraid, but the fear soon left me. He called me by name, and said unto me, that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do, and that my name should be had
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for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues; or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving, an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Saviour to the ancient inhabitants. Also, that there were two stones in silver bows (and these stones, fastened to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim), deposited with the plates, and the possession and use of these stones was what constituted seers in ancient or former times, and that God had prepared them for the purpose of translating the book.
"After telling me these things, he commenced quoting the prophecies of the Old Testament. He first quoted a part of the third chapter of Malachi, and he quoted, also, the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy, though with a little variation from the way it reads in our Bible. Instead of quoting the first verse as it reads in our books, he quoted it thus: 'For behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall burn as stubble; for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.' And again, he quoted the fifth verse thus: 'Behold, I will reveal unto you the priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the Prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.' He also quoted the next verse differently: 'And he shall plant
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in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers; if it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.' In addition to these, he quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, saying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted, also, the third chapter of Acts, twenty-second and twenty-third verses, precisely as they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ; but the day had not yet come when 'they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,' but soon would come. He also quoted the second chapter of Joel, from the twenty- eighth verse to the last. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled, but was soon to be. And he further stated, the fulness of the Gentiles was soon to come in. He quoted many other passages of Scripture, and offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here. Again, he told me that when I got those plates of which he had spoken, -- for the time that they should be obtained was not then fulfilled, -- I should not show them to any person; neither the breastplate with the Urim and Thummim; only to those to whom I should be commanded to show them. If I did, I should be destroyed. While he was conversing with me about the plates, the vision was opened to my mind that I could see the place where the plates were deposited, and that so clearly and distinctly that I knew the place again when I visited it." -- Times and Seasons, Vol. III., page 729.
The points of identity between the predictions as found in the twenty-ninth chapter of Isaiah and their fulfilment
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in the revelation of the "Book of Mormon" as the " book that is sealed" of verse eleven, concerning which this angel message gave the first insight, are many and most wonderfully striking. They cannot fail to attract with deep interest any thoughtful reader.
(1.) A certain people was to be unto the Lord "as Ariel." (v. 2.) The meaning of the word "Ariel" is obscure. It is thought to be " Lion of God," or "Hearth of God." Most likely the former. Accepting that "Ariel" proper was the city or people where David dwelt, Jerusalem, then the people who were to be unto the Lord "as Ariel" were to dwell elsewhere, become great, and constitute a new "lion of God," or dwell as around "the hearth of God," meaning that they were to receive his especial care, aid, and protection. The margin reads, "Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, of the city where David dwelt!" So that we have presented in these texts what may be termed an old and a new "Ariel." A comparison between two. The reading is, "It shall be unto me as Ariel."
(2.) This new "Ariel" after becoming great was to be "camped against," besieged, and "forts" raised against it. It was to be "brought down" and "speak out of the ground." "Thy speech shall be low out of the dust." As one that hath a familiar spirit "out of the ground." " Thy speech shall whisper out of the dust." (v. 4.)
By reason of the great destruction which would eventually be sent upon this people, it is said their "strangers" and "terrible ones" would be like "small dust" and as "chaff that passeth away." (v. 5.) Dissension,
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conflict, war, "thunder," "storm," "earthquake," "tempest," and the "flame of devouring fire were to unite as the wrath of God to bring about their utter destruction. (v. 6.) Now, the only way that a people could "speak out of the ground," or "whisper out of the dust" to intelligent mortals in fulfilment of this prediction, would be that their history should be written at some period in the day of their power and prosperity, and it become lost, rest in mute silence among their former habitations or desolations, since their "terrible ones" became as the "chaff that passeth away," and be discovered and brought to light by some means or other "out of the ground," to be read by an intelligent world that knew not of them. Such a history is clearly indicated in verse 11 as the "vision of all" which was to become as the "words of a book that is sealed," and to be of special notice and importance at the time of its revealment.
Such are the claims set forth in the "Sealed Book, or Book of Mormon." There we are informed that about six hundred years before the birth of the Saviour, a colony of Jews left Jerusalem and by miraculous guidance came to this western continent, -- the Americas. Here they grew up an intelligent, thrifty, and powerful people. They were highly favored of the Lord, and received commandments and revelations from him for their guidance and direction. They engaged in all the labors common to secular life. They tilled the soil, mined, manufactured, built cities, churches, temples, and finally became a great nation and empire in the New World. But as may be observed in the
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history of all nations, the elements of dismemberment and destruction were early sown in the new colony. In process of time, jealousies, division, and discords precipitated war and conflict. Great leaders marshalled their hosts for the terrible strife. Strong places of defence were prepared, and forts and towers were erected. The great nation was divided, and rushed to arms. She was lifted up in pride, and forgot her God. Her sins reached to heaven. For her transgression, her glory was to depart. The enemy camped against her "round about," and laid " siege against" her "with a mount," and at about the close of the fourth century of the Christian era, having been in existence about one thousand years, by sword, and judgment, and robbery, and the wrath of the elements, sent of God, she was "brought down," laid low with the dust, to speak forever "out of the ground," if she spoke at all, by the revelation of her history written in the day of her power, peace, and learning. The wild, heartless savage possessed himself of their lands, cities, courts, churches, homes. For long ages he has roamed sullenly over the sacred places where civilization, learning, the arts, sciences, and the true order of worship were the glory of the great nation. Yet he is a savage still. Their ancient habitations remain upon the continent. Those desirous of learning from other sources of this great nation, read the late archæological works of Catherwood and Stephens, "Ancient America," by Baldwin, and "The North Americans of Antiquity," by John T. Short, and other similar works. Read also the full account found in the "Book of Mormon."
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Note further the salient points in the prediction of Isaiah concerning the revelation of the history of this lost nation: (1.) The book was to be delivered to an unlearned man. (2.) The words of the book were to be delivered to the learned man. (3.) The learned would not be able to read them. (4.) The Lord would inspire the illiterate man to read it, for he was to 'confound the wisdom of the wise.' (5.) The deaf were to hear the words of the book. (6.) God was to proceed to 'do a marvellous work and a wonder.' (7.) It was to commence at a time when the people would not believe that God could or would do anything of a miraculous nature. That he had done his work, and the canon of revelation was full. (8.) 'There would be no prophets or seers among the people they would be things of the past, -- all dead. (9.) It would be revealed at a time when the people would be very religious in their own way. (10.) They would preach by the precepts and doctrine of men. (11.) Many would 'seek deep' to hide their council; and say, 'Who seeth us?' (12.) It was to come forth just before God should favor Israel and their land. Jacob's face would soon cease its paleness. (13.) They that murmured should learn doctrine, detect their false notions that had been inflicted upon them by false teachers, and set them in the way of the true doctrine. (14.) It would detect false spirits. They that erred therein should come to understanding. (15.) The meek should increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men should rejoice in the Holy One of Israel, etc.
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Under these circumstances, and in fulfilment of these predictions, God was to move against the pride and haughtiness of men, and confound the wisdom of the wise and startle the world by his great wisdom, power, and inspiration; inaugurate his 'marvellous work and a wonder.' This he has done. Here is a brief narrative of some of the events that transpired in brining to light the long-lost history.
After Joseph Smith, Jr., had procured the plates from which the 'Book of Mormon' was translated, he transcribed a number of the characters and committed them to Martin Harris, of Palmyra, New York, with instructions that he should proceed to New York City and submit the characters to the learned linguists of that city. Harris obeyed the instructions, and waited upon Prof. Anthon and Dr. Mitchell, with the paper containing the hieroglyphics submitted to his care. The following is Mr. Harris's statement concerning his visit to these learned men: --
"I went to the city of New York and presented the characters which had been transcribed, with the translation thereof, to Prof. Anthon, a gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. Prof. Anthon stated that the translation was correct; more so than any he had before seen translated from tile Egyptian. I then showed him those that were not translated, and he said they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyrian, 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 the true characters, and that the translation of such of them as had been translated was also
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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 there were gold plates in the place where he found them. I answered, 'that an angel of God had revealed it unto him.' He then said unto me, 'Let me see the certificate.' I accordingly took it out of my pocket and gave it to him, when he took it and tore it to pieces, saying 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 a part of the plates were sealed, and that I was forbidden to bring them. He replied, 'I cannot read a sealed book.''
This statement of Martin Harris is corroborated and confirmed by Prof. Anthon himself, notwithstanding his private opinion about the characters and his attempt to cast derision upon the claim made for the book. Said he: 'Some years ago a plain, apparently simple-hearted farmer called on me with a note from Dr. Mitchell, of our city, now dead, requesting me to decipher, if possible, a paper which the farmer would hand me, and which Dr. Mitchell confessed he had been unable to understand. When I asked the person who brought it how he obtained the writing, he gave me, as far as I now recollect (note this language, 'as far as I 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, which had been dug up in the northern part of the State of New York, and along with the book an enormous pair
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of gold spectacles. (Urim and Thummim.) These spectacles were so large that if a person attempted to look through them, his two eyes would have to be turned toward one of the glasses merely, the spectacles in question being altogether too large for the human face. Whoever examined the plates through the spectacles was enabled to not only read them, but understand their meaning. All of this knowledge, however, was confined at that time to a young man who had the trunk containing the plates and spectacles in his sole possession. He put on the spectacles, or rather looked through one of the glasses, and deciphered the characters in the book, and having committed some of them to paper, handed copies to a person outside. This paper was in fact a singular scroll. It consisted of all kinds of crooked 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 flourishes. Roman letters inverted or placed sideways, were ranged 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.' (E. D. Howe's work, page 272.)
(Here is presented a fac-simile of the characters sent by Mr. Smith to Prof. Anthon and Dr. Mitchell by Martin Harris, the ones not translated. The ones translated were written in columns, if Anthon's statement is correct as to the character having been written in columns. (Plate 1.) These characters were photographed
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from the original document borne by Mr. Harris, at the direction of the late David Whitmer, who had in his possession, at the time, said paper. They were carefully examined and compared by the author.)
The reader will bear in mind that Prof. 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 reverse.
They were real characters; so much so that the opinion is expressed that the copyist must have had several ancient alphabets before him when the characters were made.
Now, it is universally conceded that Mr. Smith was both young and illiterate when this transaction took place. He was a poor reader of the English language, and a poorer penman. It was necessary for him to employ a scribe, who wrote as he dictated. Not, as stated
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by Prof. Anthon, by 'handing copies to a person outside,' but the scribe wrote the words as they were pronounced by Smith, the harder ones being spelled out letter by letter. According to the prophecy, the unlearned man was to possess the book. To the 'learned' man was to be delivered the 'words of the book.' The implication is all through that the illiterate man, by God's aid, would be able to translate the book, and of course would be the one to submit the characters to the learned. Mr. Smith did both. The book is here to speak for itself. It can be read. It is in deed a 'marvel.' All agree that Smith could not have written it. No origin has been assigned to it by its enemies that is worth considering. The old Spaulding theory advanced, -- set on foot in a similar manner that the story was started that the disciples came by night and stole him away while the soldiers slept, -- gulped down by some for the want of something more reasonable other than the facts, is too absurd for any candid person to believe. With the touch of truth its deformity, absurdity, and rottenness appear at once. No proper reader can indorse the Spaulding fraud, however inconsistent he may think the claim for the 'Book of Mormon' may be.
How strange and marvellous all this is! Especially when we observe that the universal belief, at this time, was that revelation, immediate and direct from God, had ceased; that there could be no more visiting of angels, or the obtaining of a message from them. The description of the heavenly inhabitant who visited Mr. Smith is so exact, natural, and real, that conviction is at once forced upon the mind by the narrative. It
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has all the ring and exactness of truth. A plain, straightforward narration of facts, as seen; as truthful and real as that related as seen by Paul while on his way to Damascus.
Strange, however, as it all may seem, and is, it is in exact accord with the manner that it is predicted in the prophets that the gospel should be restored in the last days. Bring your Bible, the true guide and test in this investigation, and I will point out as strange and remarkable things in it. Look at the book of Revelation, fourth chapter and first and second verses, which reads: --
"A door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set."
This vision was given in about the year 96 of the Christian era. The angel was to show him "things which must be hereafter."
Many things were presented to the mind of the apostle, in rapid succession, and among them was the beautifully arrayed woman of the twelfth chapter; her decline, change, and dispersion into the "wilderness," when darkness and gloom settled down upon the great world. Men were left to grope their way without divine aid or direction; hence the reign of night that ensued, as has been shown, from the fifth to the fifteenth centuries, especially. In the fourteenth chapter there is presented a brighter day to dawn, when light would reappear; so we read: --
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"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
"Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." -- Rev. xiv.6, 7, 8.
This Babylon "is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth." (Rev. xvii.18.) It is the woman that hid the "golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication." (Rev. xvii.4.) Indeed, it is "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT," of verse 5. This Babylon is to fall to rise no more; and it is written, "Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets." (Rev. xviii.20.) Note, that just before the downfall of BabyIon, God was to send his angel from heaven, "having the everlasting, gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people."
This "everlasting gospel" is the grand old Jerusalem gospel that was preached by Jesus and the apostles, pure and unsullied. It was to be restored to earth by an angel just before the end of the world, or the destruction of the wicked, and in time for it to be preached to "all nations" before the second coming of the Saviour. As one of the signs of the times to precede his coming, Jesus said: --
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"This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." -- Matt. xxiv.14.
It is clearly indicated from this that it was foreseen that there would be a departure from the primitive faith at some period subsequent to the death of the apostles or early Christian times, and the true gospel obscured and lost, or there would have been no announcement that God would send his angel to restore it. How perfectly this prediction accords with the narrative given of the angel's visit to Mr. Smith! He was commanded to join none of the existing sects. They were all out of the way, -- wrong. "Their creeds are an abomination in my sight," said the Lord. This was the hard hit in the angel's message. Sectarians, as such, like the old Jewish Pharisees, wanted compliments from the Almighty; an indorsement of their institutions and work. The angel's announcement sent consternation and dismay into their ranks, and they armed for a conflict. But it was the dawn before the day. The time had come when there should be a shaking among the dry bones, and the creeds were to go. It is nothing new to read of some one rising up against the creeds nowadays, and denouncing them as of human origin, and false. One by one great leaders rise up and declare them to be "yokes," "man-made," what nobody believes, and a "reproach." If false, added, and leading to division and discord, then God is not the author of them, hence "abomination in his sight." The following confirms this position. At the Episcopal Convention held at New York, October the 2d and 5th,
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while discussing the revision of the Creed, Rev. J. J. Vance, of Arkansas, gave expression to the following: --
"In regard to the Nicene Creed, it is not the creed of the church; it was forced upon the church by civic power. It is the, Roman Creed, and it is obligatory on us just as much as the creed of the infallibility of the Pope. Not only is it true that it is not the Catholic creed, but the Church of England and the Church of America do not call it the Nicene Creed.
"No such yoke as this should be put on any church in this free country. Is the Reformation complete ? Are we to follow the Church of England? Are we in this land of religious liberty to follow the mother (Roman Catholic) church?" -- Newark, New Jersey, News. (S. H., page 680.)
"The Rev. Dr. Henry Van Dyke asks, in the Presbyterian: 'Why should we retain in our creed what none of us believe, what all our teachers of theology reject, and what serves only to bring reproach upon our doctrine among them that are without?'" -- S. H., page 649.
Philip Schaff, D. D., LL. D., in speaking concerning certain things contained in the Presbyterian Creed, says: --
"These doctrines are no longer believed by a majority of Presbyterians, nor preached by any Presbyterian minister, as far as I know. They certainly could not be preached in any pulpit without emptying the pews.... What cannot be preached in the church and taught in the Sunday school, ought not to be put into a Confession of Faith, and imposed as a yoke upon the conscience of ministers and elders... They will in future prevent many promising students from entering the ministry, and intelligent laymen from serving as elders, so long as they are required to subscribe to that document as 'containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures.'" -- Creed Revision, page 48.
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"We need a theology and a confession that is more human than Calvinism, more divine than Arminianism, and more Christian and catholic than either; a confession ... that will ...prepare the way for the great work of the future, - - the reunion of Christendom in the creed of Christ." -- Ibid., page 42.
Sectarians themselves being the judges, "creeds are no part of Christianity, and are not believed by those professing a faith in them. They are getting to be an "abomination" in the sight of the people, those traditioned to believe them, because of their absurdity. Is there anything strange, then, that God, in order to lift these "yokes" from the people's necks, should declare to Mr. Smith, upwards of fifty years ago that he had no delight in them? Joseph Smith was right in his inspiration and announcement, although he had the world to combat. Those of advanced thought now support the truth of his announcement by striking at the creeds themselves. Note that nothing of worth among men, among the reformers, among those contending for progress and the right, was denounced by the angel, but the " creeds," that are too hard and inconsistent for the sects to believe and obey themselves.
But it is not difficult to prove them all to be wrong. We have done so in this article. The continual strife, sneering, and contention among themselves prove them to be wrong; and the further proof, as predicted, that it would become necessary for God to send his angel to earth in order to set up the truth, shows them all to be out of the way, under the creeds, and directed by men only.
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It is a fact, then, that on this side of the dark day that has intervened between us and the apostles, Christ was to send his angel to earth, and commit the "everlasting gospel," precisely as claimed by Mr. Smith was revealed to him, scoff who may. The angel announced his name, Moroni. He said, as related by Mr. Smith, "that God had a work for me to do and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues."
How prophetic! How unlikely at that time that it would ever be fulfilled! But it has come to pass. That fixes it as from God. For no man can forecast the future of his own wisdom.
It was said, "Those professors were all corrupt"; but it is not intended by this, that they were all wicked of heart and dishonest of purpose. No; their creeds had misled them, corrupted their judgments, and they were being guided by them rather than walking by the light of the word of God. Like the old Pharisees, they "encompassed sea and land to make a proselyte, and when he is made, he is twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." Why? Because he was now creed-bound, under the domination of a system invented by men, that would blind, distort, and corrupt the judgment and conscience, and lead him headlong to destruction, - following dogmatically and persistently in the way of "blind guides." Creeds lead to doubt, selfishness, infidelity, irreligion, intolerance, bigotry, disunion, pious frauds, blindness, bondage, priestcraft, and death. No wonder they are denounced as " abominations " in the sight of God. All of the advanced
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thinkers, the world's benefactors, and good men and women are ready to exclaim, "Hallelujah, Amen! Let them fill, to rise no more; but we will hold on to the word of God."
Further, the angel also made mention of a book that was to be associated with the restoration of the gospel, and the setting up of the kingdom of God, just previous to the end of the world, or second coming of the Saviour.
Go with me now to the twenty-ninth chapter of the Book of Isaiah, and beginning with the ninth verse, we read: --
"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, I am not learned."
Here is a book spoken of in the "Holy Bible, book divine," that is to be a most wonderful book when manifest. It is called "the vision of all." The words of this book were to be delivered to a learned man, with the request, "Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed." With all of his professed wisdom and pride of knowing, he would not be
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able to decipher its contents. To him it was to be a sealed, locked book.
But the "book" is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, "Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned." Neither the learned nor the unlearned are masters of the situation here. Both are to confess their inability to read the book.
Now this event was to take place at a time when the "spirit of deep sleep" would be poured out upon men. When they would be "drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink." What is the difficulty with them? Answer: they are blind and groping, and staggering their way -- among the creeds of earth -- in spiritual things; blinded, deceived, and tossed about by the conflicting opinions of men, -- "winds of doctrine." The learning of men is all they have to guide them ; and these construe the word of God to cause it to read to their own liking. It is a time when there are to be no "seers" or "prophets"; they are all done away, in the opinion of this "drunken," blind, and staggering people.
What is to be done, under the situation? Who is to read the book? These drunken and sleepy inhabitants of earth, who have no communion with God, can do nothing with it; neither the learned nor the unlearned. Nevertheless, it is to form a conspicuous part in the setting up of God's latter-day work.
"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth (this staggering drunken people), and with their lips do honor me (they are a very pious people, however, in their own estimation, -- church going), but have
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removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men (nobody believes in, or receives divine inspiration or guidance, but the things of God are thought to be pointed out by the precepts, wisdom, of men): therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people (among this pious, self-wise, and drunken people, who deny revelation, and do not believe in 'prophets' or 'seers'), even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. -- Isa. xxix. 13, 14.
There were to be called "wise" and "prudent" men among these blind and staggering inhabitants. But "God is going to do such a "marvellous work" among them that it will eclipse all of the learning and pretension of the age. He is going to cause to be read that " sealed book for the "deaf" are to " hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind (by reason of what is written in it) shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness." Out of the wilderness and darkness of "mystery, Babylon," and the conflicting creeds and doctrines of men. (v. 18.) For they that erred in spirit shall come to understanding (those who had received a false spirit for the true), and they that murmured shall learn doctrine." (v. 24.) Those who have been led by the doctrines and precepts of men will now discover their mistake, that they have been blinded and imposed upon.
But how will God proceed to perform his "marvellous work and a wonder" among this people? He will act just like himself, and it is written, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." (Amos iii. 7.) He
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will do that which will confound the "wise " and the "prudent"; cause to be done that which they could not do; and how? He will take the man that is "not learned" and inspire him to read the "sealed book." This is a very important book, and contains very excellent and important things, or the Lord would not have had anything to do with it. For it was to be connected with his work in the last day. The time for its revealment is fixed. So we read: --
"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. -- Isa. xxix. 17, 18.
What day? The day that God will remove the curse from the land of Lebanon or Palestine that has been so long upon it, and restore its former fertility, the early and latter rain. That has been done, and, too, since the revelation of the "sealed book." It was to be performed in "a very little while thereafter."
Now read what a recent traveller has said about Lebanon, or the land of Palestine: --
"I arrived in Indiana a few days since, from the Eastern Continent. I stopped at Joppa nearly the whole winter. For my part, I was well pleased with the country. It is certainly a land of most wonderful fruitfulness, with a delightsome climate, producing everything, if properly cultivated, and from two to three crops in a year. They have grain, fruit, and vegetables all the year round; in fact, I never was in such a country before. I have seen much good country in Europe and America, but none to compare with Palestine; its fruitfulness is uncommon, and the climate the most delightsome; even in winter I did not see the least sort of frost, and vegetables of every sort were
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growing in perfection in their gardens. It is a fact that the rain, and dew are restored; recently, in 1853, the former and the latter rain were restored, to the astonishment of the natives.'
Jesus said, concerning the temple that stood upon Mt. Moriah, in his day: --
"There shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And they (the Jews) shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." -- Luke xxi. 6, 24.
This shows that a great calamity was to befall Jerusalem and the Jews; and that it was to continue until the "times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Which is to say, that at that time God would make a change, and favor his land and the Jews. But before all this, the "sealed book" was to be read, and in "a very little while" Lebanon, or the parched land of Palestine, was to be turned into a "fruitful field," and soon thereafter it was to be said, "Jacob (the Jews) shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale." (Isa. xxix. 22.)
The time is fulfilled. Palestine is reviving, budding, and blossoming, and bearing fruit in abundance; and Jacob's face is turning with smiles of rejoicing to the land of his fathers.
Moses wrote of Joseph's land and that of his posterity as follows: --
"And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath,
"And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon,
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"And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills,
And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren....They are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh." -- Deut. xxxiii. 13- 17. (See Gen. xlviii.; xlix. 22-26.)
This land of Joseph, upon which the great latter-day work was to begin, and the sealed book be brought to light, was descried in vision and announced by Isaiah, as follows: "Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia." (Isa. xviii. 1.) That is, west of Northern Africa or Ethiopia, west of her rivers, and still farther west lie the Americas, stretched out amid oceans like two great wings. He goes on: --
"All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye." -- Isa. xviii. 3.
God's "ensign" is the gospel banner. All the world are called upon to behold when he sets it up. It was to be established as the "marvellous work and a wonder," inaugurated by the Almighty, in sending his angel to restore the gospel just "afore the harvest" (v. 5), or end of the world.
Again Isaiah says: --
"He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." -- Isa. xi. 12.
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This, too, was to precede the return of the Jews to their ancient home.
Mr. Smith then received the right messenger, the right message, was in the right place, lived in the right time, and made the right claim to fulfil these prophecies in the work that he did. Under the movement of this "marvellous work and a wonder," to begin previous to restoring the fertility of ancient Palestine, and also restoring the Jews to their ancient home, God was to
"Take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand." -- Ezek. xxxvii.19.
This "stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim," contains the things of God revealed to Ephraim, as the stick of Judah (the Bible) contains the things of God revealed to Judah. Ephraim (and Manasseh) was to dwell "to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills," from Palestine or Egypt. (Gen.xlix.26.) This brings us again to America, Joseph's or Ephraim's, his son's, land. Here he was to dwell, and of course here his record would be: Mr. Smith was in the right place, and proceeded in the right way in order to get it. It was to be revealed before the return of the Jews to their promised inheritance. (See Ezek. xxxvii. 20-28, inclusive; Ps. lxxxv. 8-13; Deut. xxxiii. 13-17 ; Gen. xlix. 22-26; xlviii. 9-20.)
It was to come out of the earth. (See Ps. lxxxv. 8-13; Isa. xxix. 4.)
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The full time had come for the introduction of the dispensation of the fulness of times that is to ultimate in the return of the Saviour to the world; hence he sent his angel to reveal the "everlasting gospel" (Rev. xiv.6), to be preached to all nations preparatory to that event. Mr. Smith testified truly, then, when he said that God sent his angel unto him to enlighten him concerning these things. He also testified truly when he affirmed that there was committed unto him the " Urim and Thummim" as a means by which he might translate the "sealed book" to the confounding and bringing to naught the wisdom of the wise.
God says, "I will proceed to do a marvellous work."
Hitherto people did not believe that he could work "marvellously," miraculously, any more.
But Mr. Smith might have received the visitation of angels, discovered the "sealed book" and been able to translate it, and yet not have been qualified to build up the church of God, or even to preach and administer the gospel. Hence it is necessary to carry our inquiries further, in order to determine the manner of the rise and founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Mr. Smith proceeds with his account as follows: --
"We still continued the work of translation (the sealed book' by the aid of the Urim and Thummim) when, in the ensuing month we, on a certain day, went into the woods to pray and inquire of the Lord respecting baptism for the remission of sins, as we found mentioned in the translation of the plates. While we were thus employed, praying and
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calling upon the Lord, a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light, and having laid his hands upon us, he ORDAINED us, saying unto us, 'Upon you, my fellow-servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sin; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness. He said the Aaronic priesthood had not the power of laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred on us hereafter, and he commanded us to go and be baptized, and gave us directions that I should baptize Oliver Cowardly, and afterwards that he should baptize me.
"Accordingly we went and were baptized; I baptized him first, and afterwards he baptized me; after which I laid my hands upon his head and ordained him to the Aaronic priesthood; afterwards he laid his hands on me and ordained me to the same priesthood, for so we were commanded.
"The messenger who visited us on this occasion, and conferred this priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James, and John, who held the keys of the priesthood of Melchisedec, which priesthood should in due time be conferred on us, and that I should be called the first elder and he the second. It was on the 5th day of May, 1829, that we were baptized, and ordained by the hand of the messenger."
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Oliver Cowdrey writes of this event as follows:
"On a sudden, as from the midst of eternity, the voice of the Redeemer spake peace to us, while the veil was parted, and the angel of God came down clothed with glory, and delivered the anxiously looked for message, and the keys of the gospel of repentance. What joy! What wonder! What amazement! While the world was racked and distracted, while millions were groping, as the blind for the wall, and while all men were resting upon uncertainty, as a general mass, our eyes beheld, our ears heard. As in the blaze of day, yes, more, above the glitter of the May sunbeam, which then shed its brilliancy over the face of nature! Then his voice, though mild, pierced to the centre, and his words, 'I am thy fellow-servant,' dispelled every fear. We listened, -- we gazed, -- we admired! 'Twas the voice of the angel from glory; 't was a message from the Most High! And as we heard we rejoiced, while his love enkindled upon our souls, and we were rapt in the vision of the Almighty! Where was room for doubt? Nowhere; uncertainty had fled, doubt had sunk, no more to rise, while fiction and deception had fled forever.
"But, dear brother, think, further think for a moment, what joy filled our hearts, and with what surprise we must have bowed (for who would not have bowed the knee for such a blessing) when we received under his hands the holy priesthood, as he said, 'Upon you, my fellow-servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer this priesthood, and this authority, which shall remain upon earth, that the sons of Levi may yet offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.'"
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What a "marvellous work," sure enough! What a "wonder"! What a breaking away from old sectarian methods and ways! What a contrast with the church building by men, where all is assumption, human, uncertainty, and doubt! What a lesson to proud men, vain boasters and doubters, that there is a God in heaven who revealeth secrets, and that he will do his work in his own way! There is nothing new, however, in this display of light and glory as such. It is only God's way of doing. He but acted like himself; as in the days of Noah, Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist, the apostles, and Christ. While the world was being tossed about with conflicting opinions and creeds, he condescended to reveal himself by the hand of an angel of light. But there is nothing, in this great revelation, of the Congregationalist self-appointment to the ministry, and church building; nothing of the strange deflection and assumption, "If we have authority to preach, we have authority to baptize"; nothing of building a church on the "Bible and Bible alone"; nothing of the tame uncertainty of, "We are but a band of brethren, having a form of godliness, and seeking the power"; no transmitted authority from papal Rome, or the Roman Catholic hierarchy, or the discordant sects; nothing from old "mystery, Babylon nothing of a Baptist "chain," or Episcopalian "meshes" claim of a transmission: but in the quiet resort, of a stately forest, -- nature's solemn temple, -- where purity and innocence reign complete, and naught but growing leaf and blooming flower might disturb the deep devotions and peace of prayer of men of faith,
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an angel of glory, -- sent by Jesus, -- under the direction of Peter, James, and John, to whom was committed the keys of the kingdom of God in days of old, -- in the blaze of day, -- wends his way to earth, and conferred with his own pure hands and divinely uttered words the priesthood, -- long since lost, taken to heaven, as represented by the man-child of Rev. xii., -- and thus authorized men, once more, to preach the gospel and baptize in the name of Messiah, authoritatively, and lay the foundation of this church and kingdom of God in these last days.
John the Revelator had the right view of the matter: "I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth." That angel has come. He conferred upon these men the Aaronic priesthood. In due time the Melchisedec priesthood also was conferred, and on Tuesday, the 6th day of April, 1830, the church of Jesus Christ was regularly organized. The following is written concerning its rise: --
"The rise of the church of Jesus Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established agreeably to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April, which commandments were given to Joseph Smith, Jr., who was called of God and ordained an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the first elder of this church; and Oliver Cowdrey, who was also called of God an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the second elder of this church, and ordained under his hand." -- Covenants and Commandments, Sec. 17, Par. 1.
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Further, concerning the priesthood, it is written: --
"And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry; and of the same things which I revealed unto them, unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last time; and the fullness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven and which are on earth." -- Covenants and Commandments, Sec. 26, Par. 3.
"And now, behold, there are others who are called to declare my gospel, both unto the Gentile and unto the Jew; yea, even twelve, and the twelve shall be my disciples, and they shall take upon them my name.... They are called to go into all the world to preach my gospel unto every creature, and they are they who are ordained of me to baptize in my name according to that which is written.... And now I speak unto the twelve. Behold my grace is sufficient for you; you must walk uprightly before me, and sin not. And behold, you are they who are ordained of me to ordain priests and teachers to declare my gospel, according to the power of the Holy Ghost which is in you, and according to the calling and gifts of God unto men; and I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it." -- Covenants and Commandments, Sec- 16, Par. 6.
Thus the Melchisedec and the Aaronic priesthoods were conferred on men, and they authorized to preach the gospel and baptize those who accepted Christ and his doctrine; and in process of time, the church was fully organized, by the appointment and ordination of men to the several offices of the priesthood, in harmony with the pattern given in the New Testament of the establishment of the church, by Christ and the apostles, at Jerusalem, with --
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(1.) A chief apostle and high priest, with two associate counsellors.
(2.) A quorum of twelve apostles.
(3.) Seventy elders.
(9.) High priests, evangelists, and pastors, in their proper places and order.
The ministry of this church were commissioned as follows : --
"Go ye into all the world, and whatsoever place ye cannot go into, ye shall send, that the testimony may go from you into all the world, unto every creature. And as I said unto mine apostles, even so I say unto you; for you are mine apostles, even God's high priests; ye are they whom my Father hath given me; ye are my friends; therefore, as I said unto mine apostles, I say unto you again, that every soul who believeth on your words and is baptized by water for the remission of sins, shall receive the Holy Ghost, and these signs shall follow them, that believe.
"In my name they shall do many wonderful works; in my name they shall cast out devils; in my name they shall heal the sick; in my name they shall open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf; and the tongue of the dumb shall speak; and if any man shall administer poison unto them, it shall not hurt them; and the poison of the serpent shall not have power to harm them. But a commandment I give unto them, that they shall not boast themselves of these things, neither speak them before the world: for these things are given unto you for your profit and for salvation.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, they who believe not on
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your words, and are not baptized in water, in my name, for the remission of their sins, that they may receive the Holy Ghost, shall be damned, and shall not come into my Father's kingdom, where my Father and I am. And this revelation unto you, and commandment, is in force from this very hour upon all the world." -- Covenants and Commandments, Sec. 83, Pars. 10, 11,12.
Again, to Sidney Rigdon: --
"Thou didst baptize by water unto repentance, but they received not the Holy Ghost; but now I give unto thee a commandment that thou shalt baptize by water, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands." -- Covenants and Commandments, See. 34, Par. 2.
How this rings like the old gospel of Pentecost day, when Peter said: --
"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
"For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." -- Acts ii. 38, 39.
And the manner of Paul: --
"When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
"And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied." -- Acts xix. 5, 6.
And the statement of Jesus: --
"And he said unto them, 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.
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"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
"They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." -- Mark xvi. 15, 16, 17, 18.
The grand old Christian test, given by Jesus, has come again, as follows: --
"My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." -- John vii. 16, 17.
This church has thus been established by the will and commandment of God, and the administration of angels, and the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, in these last days, and its ministry has been authorized and commissioned, as the apostles and saints in days of old, to preach the gospel "to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, under the whole heaven"; and the voice of warning is to all men, Repent, repent, for the coming of the Lord is nigh, and the hour of God's judgment is at hand! Repent, and believe the gospel. Read, test, and be convinced.
This church, in its great outlines and chief doctrines, is in harmony with God's order of government, although in conflict with that of men. Hence, the world is moved with derision, and the devil has been enraged against it ever since its very inception, the same cause producing the same effect. From first to last, Satan has been on hand with his old tactics, scorning even-handed justice and fairness. He said of
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Jesus, "He is a wine-bibber," a "glutton," a "friend of publicans and sinners "casts out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils"; an enemy of the state, a rival of Caesar. It was said, "This sect was everywhere spoken against." Derision, vituperation, misrepresentation, slander, opprobrium, persecution, intolerance, and death were the weapons used against the truth in the time of the Saviour and the apostles, in order to blind, corrupt, and mislead the people. It was successful in controlling the masses until they nailed Jesus to the cross, slayed the apostles and thousands of the saints, who at the same time thought they were doing God's service. Jesus said, "He that is of God, heareth God's word." But that blind, professedly pious, intolerant, and ungodly mass of humanity did not want any word of God. They wanted their own way; and they "cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas," the thief. Anybody but the good.
Reader, this gives you a clear insight into the methods and tactics used by the opposers of the truth, whether by vain men or devils, and you need not be blinded, decoyed, or led thereby. So that when you hear men deriding, slandering, misrepresenting persecuting and saying all manner of evil against the church of Jesus Christ, and the chief instruments that God used in founding it, do not be dismayed or alarmed, as though some new thing had appeared. It is the old enemy of the truth come again. His weapons are the same; he has no better to use. He dare not appeal to what is written, -- the word of God, -- because his is a lost
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cause when he attempts that. To-day, as of old, "He that is of God, heareth God's word." "Come and let us reason together." "To the law and to the testimony if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isa. viii.20.) "As ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." (Jesus.) God is ever the same, -- true, tolerant, and considerate. Men, too, are always the. same, -- proud, full of malice, jealousy, revenge, and hate; lovers of themselves more than lovers of God.
But some professedly pious person, or blind guide, exclaims, "Joseph Smith was a bad man. We have heard it."
Indeed, some one has spoken evil of all good and great men; sometimes from a just cause, and sometimes from no incentive at all but their own innate meanness, jealousy, and superstitions. Does any one refuse to read the books of Psalms and Proverbs because David and Solomon did wicked things? or the Pentateuch, because Moses went so far astray that the Lord would not permit him to cross over Jordan into the promised land? or the New Testament, because Peter cursed and swore, and Paul and Barnabas engaged in an altercation, and the saints were "spoken against everywhere. Do any refuse to unite with the great and powerful organizations of Protestant sects, because of what their enemies, as well as their friends, say of their leaders or chief men? or what is before all eyes, the wicked ways of many of their chief pastors?
Here is a Roman Catholic view of Protestant reformers in general: --
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How do Luther and Calvin, and Zwinglius and Knox, and Henry the Eighth, compare with these genuine and saintly reformers (Roman Catholic churchmen, popes, etc., Charles Borromeo, Bartholomew, Ignatius of Loyola, Alphonsus, and Philip Neri), both as to their moral character and the fruit of their labors? The private lives of these pseudo-reformers were stained by cruelty, rapine, and licentiousness; and as the result of their propagandism, history records civil wars, and bloodshed, and bitter religious strife, and the dismemberment of Christianity into a thousand sects." -- The Faith of our Fathers, by CARDINAL GIBBONS, page 47.
"Luther and his colleagues, Melanchthon and Bucer, permitted Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, to have two wives at the same time.
"Karlstadt, another German reformer, justified polygamy." -- Faith of our Fathers, page 430.
Those who are inclined to judge others by public rumor, and what their enemies say of them, rather than by a considerate and just judgment, can be profited by reading the following, as expressive of the estimate put on the Christians and the Christian religion by the popular masses and powerful organizations, at the beginning of the second century of the Christian era: --
"I never had the misfortune to be present at any examination of Christians before I came into this province. I am therefore at a loss to determine what is the usual object of inquiry or punishment, and to what length either of them is to be carried. It has also been with me a question very problematical, whether any distinction should be made between the young and the old, the tender and the robust; whether any room should be given for repentance, or the guilt of Christianity once incurred is not to be expiated by the unequivocal retraction....I ask them whether they are Christians. If they plead guilty I interrogate them twice afresh, with a menace of capita
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punishment. In case of obstinate perseverance, I order them to be executed. For of this I had no doubt, whatever was the nature of their religion, that a sullen and obstinate inflexibility called for the vengeance of the magistrate. Some were affected with the same madness, whom, on account of their citizenship, I reserved to be sent to Rome, to your tribunal.... And this was the account which they gave of the nature of their religion they once had professed, whether it deserves the name of crime or error; namely, that they were accustomed on a stated day to meet before daylight, and to repeat among themselves a hymn to Christ, as to a god.... After which it was their custom to separate, and meet again at a promiscuous, harmless meal.... I forbade any societies of that sort.... On which account I judged it the more necessary to inquire by torture, from two females, who were said to be deaconesses, what is the real truth; but nothing could I collect except a depraved and excessive superstition. Deferring, therefore, any further investigation, I determined to consult you. For the number of culprits is so great as to call for serious consultation.
"Many persons are informed against, of every age and of both sexes; and more still will be in the same situation. The contagion of the superstition hath spread, not only through cities, but even villages in the country." -- C. Pliny to Trajan, Emperor.
"These people must not be sought after. If they are brought before you and convicted, let them be capitally punished; yet with this restriction, if any one renounce Christianity, and evidence his sincerity by supplicating our gods, however suspected he may be for the past, he shall obtain pardon for the future on his repentance." -- The Emperor Trajan to Pliny.
The Emperor, Antoninus Plus, wrote A. D. 140 to the Common Council of Asia: "But you harass and vex the Christians, and accuse them of atheism and other crimes, which you can by no means prove. To them it appears an advantage to die for their religion."
Tacitus had the common feeling about Christianity as a destructive superstition, and about Christians as undeserving of mercy." -- MARSH'S Ecclesiastical History, page 167.
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Tertullian says: --
"What are we to think of it, that most people so blindly knock their heads against the hatred of the Christian name, that when they hear favorable testimony to any one, they mingle with it abuse of the name he bears? 'A good man,' says one, 'is Caius Seius, only that he is a Christian.' So another, 'I am astonished that a wise man like Lucius should have become a Christian.'" -- Apology, Chap. III., Vol. Ill., Anti-Nicene Fathers.
Again, it is said: --
"The Christians were denounced as the common enemies of mankind. The learned looked upon them with contempt as a vulgar throne of deluded enthusiasts," etc.
Such, once, was the opinion of the great and gay world of Christianity and Christians. This should caution us not to pass upon any people or their claims hastily, but, after making diligent inquiry as to the facts of their claims, then pass a considerate and just judgment.
The common proverb, "Those who live in glass houses should not cast stones," ought to admonish some people not to be in too much haste in scorning and condemning others, and unheard. Rant, slur, and opprobrium are no arguments for or against anything or anybody but those who deal in them.
Even of our good Mr. Wesley it is related that
"He was accused of diverting the people from labor (while laboring as a missionary at Savannah, Ga.), of fomenting divisions, of claiming high and unwarranted ecclesiastical authority. His conduct towards a niece of one of the principal settlers (a Miss Williams) was highly resented by her friends. Thirteen indictments, for alleged offences, were found against him; but
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before the time of trial he returned to England (left under cover of his friends at night), and there for many years pursued a successful and distinguished career of piety and usefulness." -- History of the United States, by WILEY, published in 1830, in New York.
With so much to admonish, and this is not a tithe that has been said, both of the great reformers and chief reformed churches, the most superstitious, illiterate, and prejudiced of persons should be moved to act upon the Christian virtues of fairness and justness toward poor Mr. Smith, and judge him according to the facts of history, as manifest in his life and work, written, not altogether by his enemies, but by his friends, also. Judge him according to the principles, doctrine, and faith which he announced. The work that he did is the only apology he needs. His whole life shone with a lustre of morality, purity, and devotion to truth equal to, not to say in advance of, the most perfect and upright of the reformers of worldly fame and honor. Let us be fair and just, then, and accept the exhortation, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
Take warning dear reader, and pursue a steady, unbiased course in the search for knowledge. It will make you free.
In confirmation of the declared purpose of the Almighty to establish a marvellous work among men, and publish the gospel to the nations just previous to the Saviour's coming, or in the last days, we cite the statements of some of the most eminent Bible students and divines of modern times.
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Said Roger Williams: --
"I conceive that the apostasy of antichrist hath so far corrupted all, that there can be no recovery out of that apostasy, till Christ shall send forth new apostles to plant churches anew."
Mr. Alexander Campbell exclaimed: --
"At evening time there shall be light. The primitive gospel, in its effulgence and power, is yet to shine out in its original splendor to regenerate the world."
Mr. John Wesley wrote as follows: --
"The times that we have reason to believe are at hand -- if they are not already begun -- are what many pious men have termed the Latter-Day Glory, meaning the time wherein God would gloriously display his power and love in the fulfilment of the promise that 'the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea.' The generality of Christians can see no signs of the glorious day that is approaching; but how is this to be accounted for? How is it that men who can now 'discern the face of the sky,' who are not only great philosophers but great divines, as eminent as ever the Sadducees or Pharisees were, do not discern the signs of the glorious times, which if not begun are nigh even at the door?
"And yet the wise men of the world, men of learning and renown, cannot understand what we mean by talking of an extraordinary work of God. They cannot discern the signs of the times. They see no signs at all of God's arising to maintain his own cause, and set up his kingdom over all the earth.
"What could God have done which he hath not done to convince you that the day is coming, that the time is at hand when he will fulfil this glorious promise, and will arise to maintain his own cause, and set up his kingdom?" -- J. WESLEY, Sermon, 71
Charles Wesley wrote and sang as if inspired with a view of the inauguration of the latter-day dispensation, as follows: --
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Almighty God of love
Set up the attracting sign,
And summon whom thou dost approve,
For messengers divine.
From favored Abraham's seed
The new apostles choose,
In isles and continents to spread
The dead-reviving news.
We know it shall be done;
'Tis God's almighty word;
All Israel shall the Saviour own,
To their first state restored.
Send, then thy servants forth,
To call the Hebrews home,
From east and west, and south and north,
Let all the wand'rers come.
With Israel's myriads seal'd,
Let all the nations meet,
And show the mystery fulfill'd,
The family complete.
This is in accord with the declared statements of the prophets. Daniel says: --
"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." -- Dan. ii. 44.
This was to take place after the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, and its division into ten kingdoms. The division did not occur for many centuries after the beginning of the Christian era; hence the setting up of the kingdom of God, as indicated by Daniel, was to be a latter-day event, in the day of the Lord's "preparation."
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Nahum says: --
"The chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken. The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings." -- Chap. ii.3, 4.
This clearly indicates modern improvements, and the employment of the agency of steam and electricity as a means of transportation. Who has not viewed with admiration and wonder the latter-day chariots as they "run like the lightnings," and "justle one against another in the broad way"? In the distance, they "seem like torches," and the trees are "terribly shaken." This fixes the day of God's" preparation."
Old Israel is to be aroused as by a new inspiration, and his face turned with smiles of hope toward the "city of the great King." So the prophet proclaimed: --
"Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
"Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins."
"Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
"And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." -- Isa. xl.1, 2, 4, 5.
"And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations."
"For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them." -- Isa. lxi.4, 7.
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"Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people." -- Isa. lxii.10.
"And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." -- Isa. xi.12.
This ensign is the gospel "standard," to be unfurled upon "the land shadowing with wings" (the Americas), and "All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when be bloweth a trumpet, hear ye." -- (Isa. xviii. 1, 3.)
These predictions portray a great latter-day work; one in which the hand of God is to be seen moving among the nations with favor towards old Israel, and the erecting of an ensign in which all the world are interested. "Kings shall be their nursing fathers, and their queens their nursing mothers."
The time is again fixed, by Jesus and Paul, as follows: --
"And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfiled." -- Luke xxi.24.
"Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles."
"Blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
"And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
"For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins." -- Rom. xi.11, 25, 26, 27.
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Jesus says, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled"; Paul, "Until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in." This indicates that there would be a time when Jerusalem would cease to be trodden down, and favor and blessing should be upon it. "So all Israel shall be saved." "Ungodliness shall be turned away from Jacob." Israel shall be restored. So sang Wesley: --
"Oh, send thy servants forth,
To call the Hebrews home!
From east and west, and south and north,
Let all the wand'rers come."
This is "the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts iii.21.) Hence the revelation, and restitution of the "sealed book" of Isaiah xxix., in which is written : --
"And my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel." (See, also, Rev. xiv.6, 7.)
"O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads." -- Sealed Book, page 105.
The great events of the last days to precede the coming of the Saviour are: First, the revelation of the "sealed book," the restoration of the gospel, and the conferring of the priesthood. Second, the removing of the
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curse from the land of Palestine, and the restoration of the Jews. Third, the preaching of the gospel to the nations as a warning. It was at this time that the saying of Jesus was to be fulfilled, "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matt. xxiv.14.) Fourth, the gathering out and preparing a people to meet the Lord when he comes. Fifth, plagues to be sent upon the wicked in the form of sickness, fire, sword, flood, tempest, famine, the thunder of heaven, and fierce and vivid lightnings. Old Babylon is to be had in remembrance before God, and is to fall to rise no more. So it is written: --
"O the wise, and learned, and rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord; woe, woe, woe be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell.
"Woe unto them that turn aside the just for a thing of naught, and revile against that which is good, and say that it is of no worth: for the day shall come that the Lord God will speedily visit the inhabitants of the earth; and in that day that they are fully ripe in iniquity, they shall perish. But behold, if the inhabitants of the earth shall repent of their wickedness and abominations, they shall not be destroyed, saith the Lord of hosts. But behold, that great and abominable church, the whore of all the earth, must tumble to the earth; and great must be the fall thereof: for the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance." -- Sealed Book, page 103.
Again, as indicating the moral condition of the world when these great events shall transpire, we read: --
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"And the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom, and their own learning, that they may get gain, and grind upon the face of the poor; and there are many churches built up which cause envyings, and strifes, and malice; and there are also secret combinations even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the foundation of all these things." -- Sealed Book, page 98.
"They deny the power of God the Holy One of Israel, and they say unto the people, Hearken unto us and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God to-day, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men. Behold, hearken ye unto my precept. If they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work. Yea, and there shall be many which shall say, Eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we die, and it shall be well with us. And there shall also be many which shall say, Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God. He will justify in committing a little sin. Yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this. And do all these things, for to-morrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark, and the blood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them. Yea, they have all gone out of the way; they have become corrupted. Because of pride, and because of false teachers and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted,
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and their churches are lifted up; because of pride they are puffed up. They rob the poor, because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor, because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart, because in their pride they are puffed up. They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride and wickedness, and abominations and whoredoms, they have all gone astray, save it be a few who are the humble followers of Christ. Nevertheless, they are led that in many instances they do err, because they are taught by the precepts of men." -- Book of Mormon, page 102.
"And it came to pass that I saw among the nations of the Gentiles the foundation of a great church. And the angel said unto me, Behold the foundation of a church, which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God; yea, and tortureth them, and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity. And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the foundation of it. And I also saw gold and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots. And the angel spake unto me, saying, Behold the gold and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church; and also for the praise of the world do they destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity." -- Book of Mormon, page 23, paragraphs 33, 34.
"Thou seest the foundation of a great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches." -- Page 25, paragraph 40.
"And that great pit which hath been digged for them, by the great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell; yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men, shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God." -- Page 27, paragraph 44.
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"And it came to pass that I beheld that the wrath of God was poured out upon the great and abominable church, insomuch that there were wars and rumors of wars among all the nations and kindreds of the earth; and as there began to be wars and rumors of wars among all the nations which belonged to the mother of abominations, the angel spake unto me, saying, Behold, the wrath of God is upon the mother of harlots; and behold, thou seest all these things; and when the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose foundation is the devil, then at that day the work of the Father shall commence, in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his covenants, which he hath made to his people who are of the house of Israel." -- Page 28, paragraph 51.
Further concerning these times the Saviour spake: --
"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
"Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
"And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
"And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
"When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
"So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled." -- Luke xxi.25-32.
The generation in which the signs here indicated are to take place, was not to pass until all be fulfilled.
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The great destructions and perplexities by sea and land; the signs in the sun, moon, and stars; the distress of nations, "with men's hearts failing them for fear"; the restoration of the gospel, and the movement among the nations of the earth favoring the restoration of the Jews; the especial favor of Providence upon their land; the revelation of the "sealed book" of Isaiah xxix.; the conferring of the priesthood, the preaching of the gospel to all the world as a witness; the extreme recklessness, infidelity, and wickedness of the world, -- all events announced to transpire in this latter-day dispensation, to eventuate in the coming of the Saviour to reign on the earth.
To the intelligent and thoughtful Bible student, and observer of the momentous events thus transpiring in the political, religious, and social condition of the world, together with the strange calamities and unheard-of exhibitions in the physical universe and moral world, in the form of flood, and flame, and trial, with destruction on sea and land, and the depravity of man, the great movements among the kingdoms and nations of the earth, there is a significance and certainty attaching to these announcements made by the prophets, that is all-absorbing and convincing that there is a God in heaven, and that he is accomplishing his declared purposes among men, and "has arisen to maintain his own cause" to usher in the "Latter-Day Glory," in this the "dispensation of the fulness of times," in the which he will "restore all things" and "gather together in one, all things that are in heaven and that are in the earth," and "bring in everlasting righteousness when
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the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom, "under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High" (Dan. vii.27); when the Saviour's prayer shall have been answered, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.
In further proof that Joseph Smith, Jr., was divinely inspired, and that God has sent his angel to restore the "everlasting gospel," in fulfillment of Rev. xiv.6, 7, the following is submitted in evidence: --
When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken." -- Deut. xviii.22.
This is equal to saying, that if the thing does "follow," and "come to pass," that is the thing which the Lord hath "spoken."
The angel said to Joseph Smith, Jr.: --
"The knowledge which this record (the 'Sealed Book' -- 'Book of Mormon') contains will go to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people under the whole heaven." -- Voice of Warning, page 72.
"On them (the plates) is contained the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ as it was given to his people on this land; and when it shall be brought forth by the power of God, it shall be carried to the Gentiles, of whom many will receive it... And because the power of God shall be displayed, those who profess to know the truth, but walk in deceit, shall tremble with anger." -- Ibid., page 71.
When they are interpreted, the Lord will give the holy priesthood to some, and they shall begin to proclaim this gospel and baptize by water, and after that they shall have power to give the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. Then will persecution rage more and more." Ibid., page 72.
"Your name shall be known among all nations." -- Ibid.,
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Were there ever predictions made by God, angels, or men, that came to pass more fully and truly? They were beyond human wisdom. Then these are the "things" that the "Lord hath said." After the translation of the "Sealed Book" many shall say, "A Bible! a Bible! we have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible." ("Book of Mormon," page 105.)
"For after the book of which I have spoken shall come forth (the 'Sealed Book' -- 'Book of Mormon'), and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written" ("Book of Mormon," page 106, paragraph.) Could any living man have known so much by his own wisdom? It has come to pass. That fixes it as true.
"At that day when the book shall be delivered unto the man of whom I have spoken ... three witnesses shall behold it, by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered, and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the things therein." -- Book of Mormon, page 100.
Here is their testimony: --
"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 Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who 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
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work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates, and they have been showed 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 that these things are true; and it is marvellous in our eyes; nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded 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 are 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.
These witnesses were none of them known to Joseph Smith, Jr., at the time the "Book of Mormon" was revealed, except, possibly, he knew of Harris; hence there was no chance for collusion or fraud. The statement in the book was as literally fulfilled as any announcement could have been. The integrity of those men is known and admitted. They were faithful to their testimony before friends and foes, until death. Their names are unsullied with the odium of Salt Lake and polygamy, having denounced the intrigue and wickedness of that people, as being not of the faith. They went out from us, not " being of us."
The angel further declared that in that "Sealed Book" was "contained the fulness of the gospel of
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Jesus Christ as it was given to his people on this land, and when it shall be brought forth by the power of God it shall be carried to the Gentiles, of whom many will receive it." How could Mr. Smith of himself have known that anybody would receive it? But they did receive it, and are receiving it.
Again, says the angel, "I give unto you another sign; and when it comes to pass, then know that the Lord is God, and that he will fulfil his purposes, and that the knowledge which this contains (the 'sealed book' of Isaiah xxix.) will go to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people under the whole heaven." Could Mr. Smith of himself have divined this? Yet it has nearly or quite come to pass.
But the angel continues: --
"This is the sign: When these things begin to be known, that is, when it is known that the Lord has shown you these things, the workers of iniquity will seek your overthrow. They will circulate falsehoods to destroy your reputation, and also will seek to take your life; but remember this, if you are faithful, and shall hereafter continue to keep the commandments of the Lord, you shall be preserved to bring these things forth."
Was there ever a thing declared that was more faithfully true?
Again, it is written: --
"And the blood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them." -- Sealed Book, page 103.
Who could have forecast, but the all-wise God, that in this land of liberty, sanctified by the blood of our Revolutionary fathers, where the equal rights of men
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and freedom of worship are the pride and boast of the people, and which are guaranteed by constitutional enactment, where the grand old stars and stripes waved in heaven as security of those rights, that men, women, and children would be shot down in cold blood, and otherwise maltreated and killed, just because they differed from their neighbors in religious belief? Let the history of the States of Illinois and Missouri attest the divinity in the above statement. In Illinois, Joseph Smith and his brother Hiram were shot dead because of their religious beliefs, and their blood still stains the floor of the old prison at Carthage. In Missouri seventeen innocent people were shot on account of their faith and thrown into one well as a burying place, and numbers of others killed, whipped, robbed, and upwards of three thousand souls expelled from the State, in the dead of winter, under the exterminating order of the governor, and not a single indictment against them on the records indicating wrong-doing upon their part. It is preposterous to assume that Joseph Smith could have divined by his own wisdom that these terrible, atrocious, and reproachful deeds should have been perpetrated in free America.
When a man speaks in the name of the Lord, and it follows, -- comes to pass, -- that is the thing the Lord has said.
In 1831 the Lord said unto Joseph Smith: --
"Verily I say unto you, that great things await you; ye hear of wars in foreign lands, but behold I say unto you, they are nigh, even at your doors, and not many years hence ye shall hear of wars in your own lands." -- Covenants and Commandments, Sect. 45, paragraph 11.
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"The judgments of God are almost ready to burst upon the nations of the earth.... And now I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of our nation." -- Letter of Joseph Smith to N. Seaton, of New York, Jan. 5, 1833.
"Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls. The days will come that war will be poured out upon all nations beginning at that place, for behold the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations in order to defend themselves against other nations, and thus shall war be poured out upon all nations. And it shall come to pass after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshalled and disciplined for war. And it shall come to pass, also, that the remnants who are left of the land shall marshal themselves and shall become exceeding angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation; and thus with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquakes, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightnings also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath and indignation and chastening hand of an Almighty God until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations, that the cry of the saints and the blood of the saints shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies. Wherefore stand ye in holy places, and be not moved until the day of the Lord come; for behold it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen."
Is not the great Rebellion of 1860 a sufficient attestation that these utterances were inspired of God? Men
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could not have given such a forecast of the future. When the thing follows and comes to pass, of such an extraordinary character, it is God that speaks. Revelation given in 1832. published in the Pearl of Great Price, in 1851, at Liverpool, Eng,.
"The angel said to Mr. Smith, 'Your name shall be known among the nations; for the work which the Lord will perform by your hands shall cause the righteous to rejoice and the wicked to rage.'" Voice of Warning, page 72.
It is predicted in the "Sealed Book" that it would be brought to light: --
"In a day when the blood of the saints will cry unto the Lord, because of secret combinations and the works of darkness; yea, it shall come in a way when the power of God shall be denied, and churches become defiled, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts; ... It shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth; there shall be murders, and robbing, and lying, and deceivings, and whoredoms, and all manner of abominations, when there shall be many who will say, 'Do this or do that,' and it matters not, for the Lord will uphold such at the last day....
"Behold, Jesus Christ has shown you unto me, and I know your doings and I know that you do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none, save a few only,` who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts. For behold, ye do love money, and your substances, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted." -- Pages 406, 497.
None can deny that the things set forth in the above have been increased in a surprising manner since the revelation of the "Sealed Book." So that the prevailing influence of such things in society, and throughout Christendom, support the position that these utterances were divinely inspired.
[ 252 ]
Mr. Harris says that Prof. Anthon "said they were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyrian, and Arabic characters." (See page 202.)
Let us examine these statements, especially that of Prof. Anthon, in the light of the statements made in the "Book of Mormon," compared with modern scientific discoveries, and judge as to whether it is safe to lightly treat Smith's claim to having obtained plates and translated them, or not.
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The "Book of Mormon" asserts that a colony of people came from the tower of Babel, crossed the ocean, and settled in Central America They were called Jaredites. This migration from the Old World took place upwards of two thousand years previous to the birth of the Saviour. From Central America they spread into North America, but they never inhabited South America.
A second colony, called Nephites (of whom the "Book of Mormon" is mainly an abridged history), left Jerusalem under divine guidance, in the days of "Zedekiah, king of Judah." about six hundred years before Christ, and finally landed upon the west coast of South America, not far from the territory now known as Chili or Peru. They were Jews, and possessed a knowledge of the "learning of the Jews, and the language of the Egyptians."
They brought with them a copy of the Hebrew Scriptures, extending down to the days of Jeremiah the prophet, and they wrote a history of themselves (engraved it upon metallic plates), in what they called the Reformed Egyptian language."
Still a third colony came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive to Babylon, one of Zedekiah's sons, named Mulek, being among the number. They also settled in the country now known as Eastern Central America. In process of time they changed their language, or rather, it "became corrupted." ("Book of Mormon," pages 1, 3, 9, 43, 95, 137, 394, 500, and 510.)
The Nephites also changed their language, both the
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Hebrew "and the Reformed Egyptian," to suit their time and circumstances. (Page 500.)
These two latter nations were finally united into one nation. One king reigned over them, and they grew and spread into South, Central, and North America, from sea to sea, east and west. They reinhabited Central and North America, where the Jaredites, who came out from Babel twelve centuries before the Nephite colony arrived from Jerusalem, had dwelt, and became a great nation, the Jaredite colony now having become extinct.
Accepting all this as true, together with the statement that these distinct peoples possessed a written language, two of whom at least were educated Jews, of one it is expressly stated that he possessed a knowledge of the "learning of the Jews, and the language of the Egyptians"; and another colony, that they came from the tower, at the confusion of tongues, bringing with them the old prehistoric Cushite, Arabic, and Chaldaic language (for their was not confounded), for their language was not confounded), and there is nothing in the statement of Prof. Anthon, in his description of the characters taken from their records, which represented their manner of writing as averred by Mr. Smith and others, that is so wonderfully inconsistent with what might logically be expected. They consisted of "all kinds of crooked characters," a "singular scroll," "Greek and Hebrew letters," crosses and flourishes," "Roman letters inverted," and "ranged in perpendicular columns." Mr. Harris says they were declared to be "Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyrian, and Arabic characters."
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From a consideration of the history of those peoples, as given in the "Book of Mormon," it would be reasonable to conclude that their writings would appear very much as set out by Prof. Anthon. It is now known that in primeval times, Egypt, Chaldea, lonia (Asia Minor), and Canaan were settled by emigrants from Arabia, which belonged to the old Cushite or Hamite nation, both of these being of the same, or similar, national habits and culture. They were the civilizers and educators of their time. Their attainments were simply marvellous, especially in the science of mathematics and astronomy. From their old alphabet it is alleged were derived all the alphabets of modern Europe, and it was out from that people that the first colonies came to this western continent. Says John D. Baldwin, A. M.: --
"What is usually talked of as Greek culture had its origin in Asia Minor, and was richly developed there long before its light appeared at Athens. The earliest intellectual movement that found expression in the Greek language was wholly Asiatic. It appeared in Ionia, the country of Homer, Thales, Pythagoras, and Herodotus, where, during many ages before the Ionians and their language became predominant, another people had richly brightened the land with their culture. The literature, language, and sway of the older people were superseded or absorbed by the Ionic family of the Greek race, just as in Italy, some centuries later, the speech, culture, and dominion of Etruria were superseded by the Romans. The cities of Ionia and of the whole coast of Asia Minor were built and occupied originally by the race represented by the Phoenicians, followed by the Pelasgians; and in that beautiful region, whatever culture was known to Arabia, Egypt, Chaldea, and the East, received its most elegant development.
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"The scholars of Ionia itself studied in the schools of Phoenicia and Egypt. They reached a degree of intellectual independence and of progress in science never equaled by any community on the other side of the Aegean.
"Only a small portion of the literature of Ionia has been preserved; but the earliest Greek writers known or mentioned were all natives of Asia Minor, or representatives of its culture. Homer was born and educated there; Hesiod's parentage and literary training were both Ionian; Archilochus, 'the first Greek who composed iambic verses according to fixed rules,' was born on that coast in the eighth century before Christ, and had a fame 'second only to that of Homer.' There appeared the first development of what has been called the 'Greek philosophy,' and Herodotus tells us that Thales, 'the father of Greek philosophy,' was 'of Phoenician extraction'; he was born at Miletus in the seventh century before Christ...In Asia Minor rose the most elegant and beautiful order of Greek architecture -- The Ionic.
"At the beginning of the sixth century before Christ the Greek world had two matchless temples that moved all beholders with admiration and wonder. They were both in Asia Minor, one being the temple of Hera, at Samos, the other the temple of Diana, at Ephesus. Artistic architecture had not then made its appearance in Hellas... Herodotus showed that religion, letters, and civilization came to the Greeks from the Phoenicians and Egyptians." -- Prehistoric Nations, pages 43-45.
Here we have presented a remarkable civilization that existed in primeval times, which antedates the civilization of Greece, or Rome, or Phoenicia. Its original was in old Arabia; from thence the inhabitants emigrated westward and laid the foundations of Egypt, Chaldea, Mesopotamia, indeed all western Asia, Canaan, and Phoenicia. They had "reached a degree of intellectual independence and progress in science never
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equaled by any community on the other side of the Aegean." From their alphabet, "all of the alphabets of modern Europe have been derived." This discovery is indeed a strange kind of missing link, that scientists have luckily run on to, in these modern times. What a contrast it is from our former notions of what these ancient people were! These late discoveries reveal the fact that away back in those primeval times there dwelt a large, enterprising, and flourishing nationality, not of ignorance and heathenish darkness, as had been supposed, but of civilization and culture. Greece and Rome were not the originators of civilization, the arts and sciences, the places where they grew up spontaneously like weeds from the field, then, as has been hitherto taught and believed; but what they possessed in the way of learning, in the arts and sciences, was borrowed from an older and higher civilization, one which they never equaled in intellectual and scientific attainments.
It will pay, then, to retrace our steps and come back to the old stable Bible ground: that language, civilization, and culture began at Eden, and were transmitted across the flood in the family of Noah, and thence to his descendants, rather than having been evolved with the evolution of man from protoplasm, and through the monkey in his various changes and links, as held by some.
In the "Book of Mormon" we are informed that upwards of twenty centuries before the birth of the Saviour (at the fall of Babel and the confusion of tongues) there came a colony out from this old Cushite
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civilization, under divine guidance, to the land of America. they were called Jaredites, and they brought with them the civilization, the arts, sciences, habits, customs, traditions, and language of their day and time. The Bible account is: --
"The Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth." -- Gen. xi. 9.
The "Book of Mormon" affirms that a colony came directly from the tower to this Western Continent, and the Bible says God "scattered them abroad upon the face of all the earth." So the two books are in accord. The people of this old colony brought with them the language of their fathers (for their speech was not confounded), containing Egyptian, Chaldaic, Arabic, Assyriac, and Ionic letters, the old alphabet from which "all the alphabets of modern Europe have been derived."
Some twelve centuries later than the migration of the Jaredites a colony of Jews left Jerusalem, and in process of time they, also, landed in America. They understood the Hebrew language and that of the Egyptians: the latter being the old Cushite tongue, containing whatever of change that time and circumstances had caused to be made in it (including that of miracle at the confusion of tongues), and they made this language the current language of their nation and people. They called it the "Reformed Egyptian." In after years the Nephites came in possession of the written language of the Jaredites, the records of the Jaredites
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falling into their hands. One of these nations having spoken the old Cushite tongue, pure and simple, only as changed by time and circumstances, and the other, that of the Hebrew and the old Cushite tongue "reformed." It would be natural for them to retain characters from both of these languages, and combine and perpetuate them in the common language of the nation. Is there anything surprising, then, in the discovery of the records of these peoples, that they should be found to contain Hebrew, Greek, Chaldaic, Egyptian, and Arabic characters? Would it not be more surprising if they were not found? Smith was right, then, in his announcement that he had discovered and had in his possession the true characters used in writing by those prehistoric nations, and Anthon's statement confirms that of Smith, as do also the historical facts cited.
Says Josiah Priest: --
Hebrew words are found among the American Indians in considerable variety. They are of Jewish origin."
So also declares the "Book of Mormon."
Again, says Mr. Baldwin: --
"It seems to me impossible for any free-minded scholar to study the traditions, mythologies, fragmentary records, mouldering monuments, and other remains of prehistoric ages, and fail to see that the people described in the Hebrew Scriptures as Cushites were the original civilizers of Southwestern Asia; and that, in the deepest antiquity, their influence was established in nearly all the coast regions, from the extreme east to the extreme west of the Old World." -- Prehistoric Nations, page 18.
"In some respects, the most important discovery made in Arabia is that which brings to light the old language of the
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country, and shows its affinity with that of Egypt and of Western Asia in the earliest times. In these studies nothing is more reliable than the historical revelations of the science of language.
"It is now beyond question that this Cushite tongue, found in the Chaldean ruins, and traced throughout Western Asia, was the ancient language of Arabia." -- Ibid., Pages 88, 89.
"The oldest Cushite alphabet known to us is that which the Phoenicians carried to Southern and Western Europe, which, however, was not preserved without modification. The names of its letters, and some of their forms, show that it was derived originally from hieroglyphics. Aleph meals an ox; bit, bith, or beth, a house or temple; and gamel or gimel, a camel...The invention of this alphabet, from which all the alphabets of modern Europe have been derived, was attributed to the Phoenicians... The original country of the Cushite race, to which the Phoenicians belonged, -- the original home where this culture had birth, and from which the Cushite colonies and influence went forth in every direction to spread civilization, and create such nations as Egypt and Chaldea, -- was not merely the little district of Phoenicia; it was the whole Arabian peninsula." -- Ibid., page 94.
The Cushite origin of the Phoenicians is shown no less distinctly by the architectural remains of their oldest cities. In every country and on every shore where the old Cushite settlements are traced, are found the remains of vast constructions that astonish and perplex beholders. They are found in Egypt, Nubia, Arabia, India, Greece, Italy, Great Britain, and Phoenicia. In Chaldea, where there was no stone, there were immense structures of brick.
"According to the uniform and explicit testimony of Greek and Roman antiquity, the art of alphabetical writing was brought into existence, or first diffused, by the Phoenicians. This art was evidently originated by the Arabian Cushites, in ages older than Egypt and Chaldea." -- Ibid., pages 141, 167.
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In speaking of the settlement of America in prehistoric times, Mr. Baldwin further says: --
"If, as seems probable, this knowledge was a reality, the people who communicated with America must have gone from the great nation created on the Western Mediterranean by the earliest Cushite communities established in that region." -- Ibid., page 397.
It should be borne in mind that this is the precise point which the "Book of Mormon" states the ancient inhabitants of America came from, some twenty-two centuries before Christ. The same country and the same people to which Mr. Baldwin refers.
"Everything points to the conclusion that the most ancient inhabitants of America were little inferior in antiquity to the earlier inhabitants of the Old World." -- Prehistoric America, by Nadaillac, page 506.
Here the veil has been pushed back by modern research beyond the time of Moses, or Abraham, or Homer, or Hesiod, or Babel, when " the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech." (Gen. xi. 1.) And the world is found to have been populated with a civilized, progressive, intelligent, and cultured race of people. Their architectural remains and immense superstructures "astonish all beholders." They dot the world wherever this people colonized or dwelt. In Arabia, Chaldea, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ionia, Canaan Greece, Rome, Phoenicia, and in Central and North America their footprints are the same; stupendous buildings, marvelous superstructures, that
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strike with awe and astonishment all who make their history a study. The same people who built in Egypt, Chaldea, Ionia, and Babel, built in America, and before the people from whom the Indians descended came here, as is affirmed in the "Book of Mormon." This is confirmed by the Indian himself. Says J. W. Foster, LL. D.: --
"Whilst the Indians are notoriously superstitious, and invent legends which they attach to every unusual aspect of nature, with regard to the origin of the mounds their statements are uniform, that their antiquity reaches back to a period beyond the memory of their ancestors, who saw them as they see them, reposing in an unbroken solitude, and shaded by an apparently primeval forest." -- Prehistoric Races in the United States, page 375.
The "Book of Mormon" account reads as follows: --
"The king said unto him, Being grieved for the afflictions of my people, I caused that forty and three of my people should take a journey into the wilderness (in South America), that thereby they might find the land of Zarahemla; that we might appeal unto our brethren to deliver us out of bondage. And they were lost in the wilderness for the space of many days, yet they were diligent, and found not the land of Zarahemla, but returned to this land, having travelled in a land among many waters; having discovered a land which was covered with bones of men, and of beasts, etc., and was also covered with ruins of buildings of every kind; having discovered a land which had been peopled with a people who were as numerous as the hosts of Israel. And for a testimony that the things that they have said are true, they have brought twenty-four plates, which are filled with engravings; and they are of pure gold. And behold, also, they have brought breastplates, which are large; and they are of brass, and of copper, and are perfectly sound. And again, they have brought swords, and the
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hilts thereof and the blades thereof are cankered with rust; and there is no one in the land that is able to interpret the language or the engravings that are on the plates." -- Book of Mormon, pages 158, 159.
This history is in harmony with the Indian tradition; that is, a "uniform statement" among them everywhere, that the mound-builders preceded their nation in settling in America. The mound-builders were here centuries -- twelve centuries -- before the progenitors of the Indians came, according to the "Book of Mormon," and this king who sent out forty men in search of friends, was in ancestor of the Indian race. The "Book of Mormon" and other reliable history agree.
The old Cushite people that came from Babel became divided as a nation, warred among themselves, about the time that the colony of Jews, the ancestors of the Indians, left Jerusalem in the days of Zedekiah, king of Judah, and they became exterminated. Nothing was left but their monuments, mounds, and mammoth superstructures, built ages before, that the Indian knows nothing more of than the white man. The colony from Jerusalem finally possessed their history, however, learned of their origin and great calamity, and reinhabited their deserted lands, which they called "desolation," the account of which is found in the " Book of Mormon." Now, could Mr. Smith have guessed all this out, and have it accord with the facts and particulars of later revealments, -- conjured it out of his own head? It is easier to believe in miracles than to believe that he could have done so. There is something, then, to support the claims of the "Book of Mormon."
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Further, it is known that the oldest nation that inhabited America has long since been exterminated. So says the "Book of Mormon." So says tradition. So says modern research. The evidences point out the fact that it was sudden and complete. People left their daily pursuits, as did the people of Pompeii and Herculaneum at the time of the great eruption of Vesuvius, as if made aware that some awful impending doom awaited them; they quit their mining camps with the coveted ore partially and altogether out of the earth, which was of immense value, and never returned to claim it. They may have left it with some hope of returning, but went down to death before the power of the enemy. So the great nation became extinct. God's ways are not as man's ways. This utter destruction was presaged long before it came to pass, by the Prophet Jeremiah, as follows: --
"Flee, get you far off (Hebrew, flit greatly), dwell deep (that is, go in secret), O ye inhabitants of Hazor, saith the Lord; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath taken counsel against you, and hath conceived a purpose against you. Arise, get you up unto the wealthy nation, that dwelleth without care, saith the Lord, which have neither gates nor bars, which dwell alone. And their camels shall be a booty, and the multitude of their cattle a spoil: and I will scatter into all winds them that are in the utmost corners; and I will bring their calamity from all sides thereof, saith the Lord." -- Jer. xlix. 30-32.
Nebuchadrezzar had decreed war and destruction against Jerusalem and the Jews, and the nations round about. Hazor was the old capital of the land, and the prophet uses this name instead of Jerusalem in delivering
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this warning to certain of the inhabitants to "Flee, get you far off, dwell deep," "get you up unto the wealthy nation, that dwelleth without care," and "I will bring their calamity from all sides." There was no nation in the Eastern world that dwelt without care or fear from other nations, that had neither bars nor gates. It is said concerning the sway of the kingdom of BabyIon, "And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold." (Dan. ii. 38.) There were no inhabitants in the Eastern world who did not serve the powerful kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Macedonia, etc. We must look elsewhere for one that dwells alone and without care.
The "Book of Mormon" affirms that about the time that the king of Babylon laid siege against Jerusalem, that the Lord led a few families of Jews to the continent of America. Here they settled, and here they found that a great found that a great and powerful nation had preceded them, and for some unknown cause to them had been utterly destroyed. Nothing was left as memorials but the work of by-gone ages. Their mounds, pyramids, dwelling places, implements of agriculture and war testified of their greatness. They had neither "bars nor gates," but dwelt "alone." The Indian is right, then, when he says the mounds were here when his ancestors came, the "Book of Mormon," the Bible, and historical facts being in evidence.
The old Cushite and Semitic peoples were necessarily the early descendants of the patriarch Noah. Near
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relatives, or the immediate offspring of Shem, Ham, and Japheth first located away back in old Arabia, thence around the Persian Gulf, and finally settled in Chaldea, Egypt, Canaan, Mesopotamia, and Ionia, or Western Asia. They carried with them the language, civilization, traditions, and scientific and architectural knowledge that they had attained. On this point says Cunningham Geikie, D.D.: --
"The plains of Lower Mesopotamia had long been the seat of an ancient people when the forefathers of Abraham wandered towards them from the south, that is, from Arabia. Known to us as Accadians, and doubtless connected with the Accad mentioned in Genesis (x.10), they had literature and a high civilization peculiar to themselves. Columns of Accadian, or early Chaldaic, as it is sometimes called, are found accompanied, side by side, by Assyrian words to explain them, as already obsolete... So strangely remote, however, was the rise of this civilization, that all the great temple structures of Babylonia were founded by kings who must have reigned earlier than the sixteenth century before Christ... Nor was their empire famous only for architecture. The Accadians had already distinguished themselves by careful astronomical observations and calculations; had a careful graded system of weights and measures; a money system skilfully settled; and a literature of which copious remains are now found in European museums, embracing works on geography, astrology, mythology, grammar, and mathematics... On this busy scene of the very dawn of time, a new people after a while appeared, wandering from Arabia to the south of Babylonia, and settling first in and around Ur, the present Mugheir, in the delta of the Euphrates. This was the race from a branch of which Abraham was, hereafter, to spring, for they were of Semitic stock. Steadily fighting their way north, they slowly mastered the Accadians, and became their rulers." -- Hours with the Bible, pages 25, 26, 27.
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"The perfection to which the art of writing had arrived so soon after Nimrod may well lead us to believe it was an art transmitted from across the waters of the deluge. The old Accadian account of the creation, so strangely recovered, is intensely interesting, at once for comparison and contrast with that of Genesis. Only two tablets out of at least five have as yet been found." -- Ibid., page 29.
Dr. Geikie gives the translation of these tablets, compares them with the first chapters of Genesis concerning the creation, and concludes his comments as follows: --
"The story of Genesis thus existed before Moses, in its completeness, both as a whole and in detail, and even in the order of its incidents." -- Ibid., page 36.
This account is in harmony with the claims of the "Book of Mormon," that there was a civilized and cultured race of people that dwelt upon the plains of Shinar at the tune of the building of Babel and the confusion of tongues, who possessed a knowledge of the creation, Noah, and the flood. The "Book of Mormon also affirms that it was from this place and from among the people dwelling, there that a colony emigrated at the confusion of tongues, and found a home upon this Western Continent in Central America. They represented all of culture, tradition, and written history known to this old civilization, possessing a knowledge of letters, the arts and sciences, Noah, the flood, and the creation, with the methods of building the marvelous superstructures erected by that people, having even seen the tower of Babel itself.
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This position is supported by the scientific findings made in Central America, revealing traditions of Noah, the flood, the ark, and the creation of the world, together with stupendous superstructures of various kinds, and great pyramids that rival any found in the Old World, and abundant evidence of various kinds, showing that at one time there existed in that country an intelligent and powerful nation of people. The evidence goes to show that they must have been of the old Cushite and Semitic race and culture that built Arabia, Egypt, Chaldea, Western Asia, Greece, Rome, and Canaan, thus confirming what was announced in the "Book of Mormon," long before these scientific discoveries were made. This is further corroborative proof that Smith's claim to having had in his possession genuine characters of a prehistoric people who inhabited America was correct. But the evidence accumulates.
Continues Mr. Baldwin: --
"To find the chief seats and most abundant remains of the most remarkable civilization of this old American race, we must go still farther south into Central America and some of the more southern states of Mexico. Here ruins of many ancient cities have been discovered, cities which must have been deserted and left to decay in ages previous to the beginning of the Aztec supremacy. Most of these ruins were found buried in dense forests, where, at the time of the Spanish conquest, they had been long hidden from observation.
"The chief peculiarity of these ruins, that which especially invites attention, is the evidence they furnish that their builders had remarkable skill in architecture and architectural ornamentation. All who have visited them bear witness that the workmanship was of a high order. The rooms and corridors
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in these edifices were finely and often elaborately finished, plaster, stucco, and sculpture being used. Throughout," he again says (quoting Stephens), "the laying and polishing of the stones are as perfect as under the rules of the best modern masonry... The ornamentation is no less remarkable than the masonry and architectural finish." -- Ancient America, pages 93 and 99.
This defeats the old position that the prehistoric nations that inhabited America were savages or but semi-civilized, that was current in the world at the time of the publication of the "Book of Mormon," and supports the historical account found in the "Book of Mormon," that they were an enlightened, cultured, and enterprising race of people, and this information was obtained from the characters in Smith's possession.
The Marquis de Nadaillac, author of "Prehistoric America," in writing of the old civilization of Peru, says: --
"Nowhere in the world, perhaps, has man displayed greater energy. It was in these desolate regions that arose the most powerful and most highly civilized empire of the two Americas, and at the present day its memory is everywhere preserved in the imposing ruins covering the country, the fortresses defending it, the roads intersecting it, the acequias, or canals, conducting the water needed for fertilizing the fields, the tambos or houses of refuge, in the mountains for the use of travellers, the potteries, the linen and cotton cloth, and the ornaments of gold and silver concealed in the groves, and which are sought for by the Tapadas with insatiable zeal.
"The empire of the Incas, of which we are now to speak, was three thousand miles in length by four hundred in width...It included within its limits Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, part of Chili, and the Argentine Republic." -- Prehistoric America, page 388.
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Keeping in mind that this was the identical region that the "Book of Mormon" affirms that the intelligent and refined colony of Jews settled some six hundred years before Christ, and introduced all of science, and art, and enterprise peculiar to the Jews, Egyptians, and other kindred nations of those times, and this is a great acquisition in confirmation of the truthfulness of that record. In 1830, when the "Book of Mormon" was published, these things were not known, and were not discovered until after the year 1841, and by far the larger proportion much later, except some superficial view of some of the ancient ruins may have been had by the warring Spaniards that entered some parts of the Country.
The "Book of Mormon" says, that there was a decadence in after centuries of the intelligent race that settled in that country; that their enemies, an ignorant and warlike race, prevailed against them, and the refined nation was utterly destroyed, and their civilization obliterated by their vicious, stupid, and bloodthirsty conquerors. Mr. Nadaillac confirms this as follows: --
"In every direction, for an extent of several leagues (describing the ruins of a vast ancient city), long lines of massive walls, huacas, palaces, aqueducts, reservoirs of water, and granaries can be made out. Everything proves the power and wealth of a people, the very name of whom has remained uncertain." -- Ibid., page 395.
"At every turn South America presents vestiges of a vanished race, of a culture now lost; and we are always compelled to one conclusion as to our absolute powerlessness to decide on
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the origin or cause of the decadence of these races, now represented by a few miserable savages without a past, as without future." -- Ibid., page 465.
The "Book of Mormon" affirms that this ancient nation not only possessed the art of writing, but that they wrote (engraved) upon metallic plates, -- gold, brass, copper, etc. The plates in Mr. Smith's possession, from which the characters in question were taken, were gold, about as thick as common tin, and beautifully engraved. In l830, when the "Book of Mormon" was first published, we were told that savages did not engrave, and knew nothing of gold plates (indicating that a civilized and intelligent people never lived upon the continent of America); but Mr. Nadaillac writes, on page 413 of his work, in speaking of the Temple of the Sun, and says it was named the "town of gold." "Squires relates having seen, in various houses in Cuzco, sheets of gold preserved as relics which came from the Temple of the Sun. These plaques, he tells us, were scarcely as thick as a common sheet of paper." This, too, confirms Smith's announcement. They "were acquainted with bronze, copper, tin, lead, gold, and silver," and "their chief object was the fabrication of gold and silver objects." (Ibid., page 463.)
Further, Mr. Stephens, after having explored the old ruins of Palenque, "palaces, temples, and public buildings," concludes his description and remarks concerning what he saw, as follows: --
"What we had before our eyes was grand, curious, and remarkable enough. Here were the remains of a cultivated, polished, and peculiar people, who had passed through all the
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stages incident to the rise and fall of nations, reached their golden age, and perished entirely unknown. The links that connected them with the human family were severed and lost, and these were the only memorials of their footsteps upon earth. We lived in the ruined palace of their kings, we went up to their desolate temples and fallen altars, and wherever we moved we saw the evidence of their taste, their skill in arts, their wealth and power." -- Stephens, Travels in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan, Vol. II., page 356.
Speaking of the ruins of Palenque, Mr. Short says: --
"Four hundred yards south of the palace stands the ruins of a pyramid and temple... The temple. faces the east, and on the western wall of its inner apartment, itself facing the eastern light, is found (or rather was, for it has now entirely disappeared) the most beautiful specimen of stucco relief in America. M. Waldec, with the critical insight of an experienced artist, declares it 'worthy to be compared to the most beautiful works of the age of Augustus.' He therefore named the temple the Beau Relief... Correctness of design and graceful outlines predominate to such an extent, that we may safely pronounce the beautiful youth who sits enthroned in his elaborate and artistic throne, the American Apollo. In the original drawing the grace of the arms and wrists is truly matchless, and the chest and muscles are displayed in the most perfect manner."
"The next subject of interest to the student of sculpture is found in the Temple of the Cross, in the inmost sanctuary of all, and is known as the tablet of the cross. Three stones covered most of the surface of the rear wall of the sanctum sanctorum, and present an area six feet, four inches high, by ten feet eight inches wide... The two lateral stones (the left-hand one being shown in our cut) are covered with hieroglyphics, which begin at the left-hand upper corner with a large capital letter... By referring to the hieroglyphic tablet at the left of the cross, it will be observed that just below the large initial or word is a threefold hieroglyphic, while seven others in the
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same column are double. This would indicate, we should think, that the characters were read from the top downwards." -- The North Americans, by Short, pages 387-391.
Here is skill exhibited in architecture, science, and the arts, and the work so fixed, and sturdy, and beautiful, as to be worthy to be compared with the finest models known. A language, a writing is also revealed, -- beautiful engravings, -- and strange to announce, like Mr. Smith's characters presented to Prof. Anthon, they are arranged in columns, and are supposed to have been read from top to bottom. Smith's characters are still found to be in the line of facts.
"We must give attention to one fact that has peculiar significance," says Mr. Baldwin. "The zodiac, representing the apparent path of the sun in the heavens, with the name and symbolical figures of its signs substantially the same, was common to Chaldea, India, Egypt, and Arabia. Sometimes eleven signs were counted, the claws of the scorpion representing the sign known as Libra. Sextus, Empiricus, and others stated that the zodiac, as we have it, came directly from the Chaldeans. The great similarity of the zodiacs used in Egypt, India, and the countries of Western Asia shows that they must have had a common origin, and to find their origin we must go to the older people who gave all these countries civilization, and prepared them to become great." -- Prehistoric Nations, page 117.
Admitting this announcement as true, that the zodiac had a common origin among all of the Old World peoples, the Greeks and Romans having received it from the Chaldeans and Egyptians, the argument is still in favor of the claims of the "Book of Mormon," for a knowledge of the zodiac and astronomy was had
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among the prehistoric people that inhabited Central America, of whom it is affirmed that they came out from the ancient Chaldeans, and possessed a knowledge of their arts and learning. They also understood astronomy, and had astronomical instruments and observatories.
The following is in proof that the prehistoric peoples of America did possess a knowledge of the zodiac, the same as the ancient Chaldeans, Egyptians, Arabians, and Greeks: --
"The calendar system of Mayas and Nahuas present analogies to the system employed by the Persians, Egyptians, and certain Asiatic nations, and the presumption is very strong that the latter furnished the ground-plan upon which the Nahua system was constructed. The accuracy of the Aztec calendar must ever be a monument to their intellectual culture, and an undeniable proof of the advanced state of ancient Mexican civilization." -- North Americans, by Short, page 519.
"The antiquities of Mexico and Central America reveal religious symbols, devices, and ideas nearly identical with those found in all countries of the Old World where Cushite communities formerly existed... He (Humboldt) found evidence of it in the religious symbols, the architecture, the hieroglyphics, and the social customs made manifest by ruins, which he was sure came from the other side of the ocean." -- Prehistoric Nations, page 393.
"The ruins show that they had the art of writing and that at the south this art was more developed, more like a phonetic system of writing than that found in use among the Aztecs. The inscriptions of Palenque, and the characters used in some of the manuscript books that have been preserved, are not the same as the Mexican picture-writing. It is known that books
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or manuscript writings were abundant among them in the ages previous to the Aztec period. They had an accurate measure of the solar year, and a system of chronology, and many of their writings were historical." -- Ancient America, page 187.
Here is furnished ample support (and this is not a tithe at hand) for Mr. Smith's characters, which were submitted to Prof. Anthon and Dr. Mitchell, even accepting the statement of Prof. Anthon himself, as having had a legitimate origin, and were true characters as claimed", -- "Greek," "Hebrew," "Roman letters," " flourishes," "circles," etc., -- rather than to presumptuously conclude them to have been a fraud, and obtained by copying from the Greek, Hebrew, and other ancient alphabets, simply because no one believed, at that time, in the administration of angels, or that a civilized and highly cultivated people had at one time dwelt upon this continent previous to its discovery by Columbus. The illiterate Smith believed in both, and advocated both as being true in fact, having obtained his knowledge from the characters upon the plates. The latter claim is now conceded by every one. Smith's foresight, given by divine inspiration, was a long way ahead of the scholar.
"The ruins of ancient Peru are found chiefly on the elevated table-lands of the Andes, between Quito and Lake Titicaca, but they can be traced five hundred miles farther south to Chili, and throughout the region connecting these high plateau with the Pacific coast. The great district to which they belong extends north and south about two thousand miles... The Peruvian ruins show us remains of cities, temples, palaces, other edifices of various kinds, fortresses, aqueducts (one of
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them four hundred and fifty miles long), great roads (extending through the whole length of the empire), and terraces on the sides of mountains. For all these constructions the builders used cut stone laid in mortar or cement, and their work was done admirably."
Cieca de Leon, speaking of the ruins of Lake Titicaca, says: --
"There are stones so large and so overgrown that our wonder is incited, it being incomprehensible how the power of man could have placed them where we see them... Large gateways with hinges, platforms, and porches, each made of a single stone. It surprised me to see these enormous gateways made of great masses of stone, some of which were thirty feet long, fifteen high, and six thick.
"In some respects, the Peruvian civilization was developed to such a degree as challenged admiration. The Peruvians were highly skilled in agriculture and in some kinds of manufactures. No people ever had a more efficient system of industry. This created their wealth, and made possible their great public works." -- Ancient America, by Baldwin, pages 222, 223, 232, 233, and 247.
These citations speak for themselves. The ancient remains to which they refer are located precisely where the "Book of Mormon" assigns them, or rather where it affirms the ancient inhabitants made their first and among their largest settlements.
"No American people," says the Marquis de Nadaillac, "has surpassed the Peruvians in the manufacture of woven tissues. The cotton they cultivated in the warm and humid valleys, with the wool of llamas, alpacas, and vicu–as, supplied excellent material. They knew the art of dyeing, the stuff was often woven in wool of different colors, and by this means the most varied designs were obtained in the woof. The cotton cloths, generally of great fineness, were dyed in different colors,
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and the workmen knew how, by combinations of ornaments or figures, to obtain the most happy results." -- Prehistoric America, page 449.
This further confirms the claim that there was a highly civilized and cultivated race, who dwelt in South America in prehistoric times, as announced in the interpretation of the characters in Joseph Smith's possession.
Let us examine a little further into the facts relating to the mound-builders. On this subject, Mr. Baldwin writes as follows: --
"A careful study of what is shown in the many reports on these ancient remains seems plainly to authorize the conclusion that the mound-builders entered the country at the south, and began their settlements near the Gulf."
So declared Smith's characters, long before these scientific discoveries were made.
"Remains of their works have been traced through a great extent of country. They are found in West Virginia, and are spread through Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa to Nebraska...Most numerous in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Texas.
"That appears to me the most reasonable suggestion which assumes that the mound-builders came originally from Mexico and Central America.... Coming from Mexico and Central America, they would begin their settlements on the Gulf coast, and afterwards advance gradually up the river to the Ohio Valley. It seems evident that they came by this route." -- Ancient America, pages 31 and 70.
This further confirms the statements found in the "Book of Mormon," that the first settlements made upon this continent, in primeval times, were made in
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Central and South America, and that the migrations of the people were from south to north.
Bear in mind that Peru is the identical spot, or nearly so, affirmed by the "Book of Mormon" that the colony of Nephites landed that came out from Jerusalem six hundred years before the birth of the Saviour, and commenced to build a nation and people in South America. The way-marks in the "Book of Mormon" are clearly and definitely set out, so there can be no mistaking the locality. This finding of antiquated cities; great roads, that cost an immense capital and skill to make them (one single road in Peru is supposed to have cost more to build it than it did to build the whole of the Union Pacific Railway); aqueduct's extending, hundreds of miles; reservoirs and cisterns; magnificent temples, palaces, towers, and monuments; with utensils of ordinary use in life among thriving enterprising and intelligent communities, -- all unite to confirm the story of the "Book of Mormon," that this was the seat of a thrifty, intelligent, and industrious prehistoric people; yet these discoveries, so far as being made known to the great world, have been made since the publication of the "Book of Mormon." Did Smith guess at this, and put it in the plates? or did he really get it from the plates himself, as claimed? Which is the more reasonable? Smith never travelled, and knew but little of letters, so he could not have acquired this information. No other person could, for these discoveries were not then made.
The writer of the "Book of Mormon" could not have known, were it but the emanations of some mere man
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who lived in these modern times, for this fact was not determined by the scientists at the time of his publication, but long since. Human sagacity could not have determined it from anything known in the world. The guesses (?) of the "Book of Mormon" proved to be as valid and exact as the predictions of the Bible. Is it consistent, then, to declare one to be reliable, and to contain true history and prophecy, and the other but guess-work and the invention of men?
The following is in further confirmation of the position taken in the "Book of Mormon" that the earliest settlers upon the American continent understood the habits, customs, arts, and sciences of the ancient Egyptians: --
"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 Egypt, if not attributable directly to 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 practised eye to trace a resemblance in general features, though it must be said that the details of American architecture and sculpture are peculiarly original in design." -- Bancroft's Native Races, page 122. The North Americans of Antiquity, by John T. Short. page 147.
"The fact that Cortez found the Julian reckoning, employed by his own and every other nation, to be more than ten days in error when tried by the Aztec system, -- a system the almost perfect accuracy of which was proven by the adjustments which took place under Gregory XIII., in 1852 A. D., -- excites our wonder and admiration. How the Nahuas, whether Toltec or Aztec we know not, were able to approximate the true
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length of the year within two minutes and nine seconds, thus almost rivaling the accuracy of the learned astronomers of the Caliph Almamon, is a mystery. The venerable civilization of the Mayas, whose forest-grown cities and crumbling temples hold entombed a history of vanished glory, no doubt belongs to the remotest period of North American antiquity. It was old when the Nahuas, then a comparatively rude people, first came in contact with it, adopted many of its features, and engrafted upon it new life." -- North Americans of Antiquity, by Short, page 519.
In the old seats of empire in America, Dr. Foster communicates,
OF THE WRITTEN LANGUAGE,the following: --
"The hieroglyphics displayed upon the walls of Copan, in horizontal or perpendicular rows, would indicate a written language in which the pictorial significance had largely disappeared, and a kind of word-writing had become predominant. Intermingled with the pictorial devices are apparently purely arbitrary characters which may be alphabetic. This, however, may be said, that in Central American hieroglyphics we have a highly artificial system of writing, to interpret which the Aztec picture-writing affords no aid." -- Prehistoric Races in the United States of America, by J. W. Foster, LL. D., page 322.
Says Prof. Rafenesque: --
"The glyphs of Otolun (an ancient city of America) are written from top to bottom, like the Chinese, or from side to side indifferently, like the Egyptian and the Demotic Lybians. Although the most common way of writing the groups is in rows, and each group separated, yet we find some formed, as it were, in oblong squares or tablets, like those of Egypt." -- Atlantic Journal for 1832.
The reader will please note that these characters, as described, were arranged very much as were those submitted
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by Messrs. Smith and Harris to Prof. Anthon, Anthon being the witness; yet Prof. Rafenesque's discovery was made subsequent to Mr. Smith's characters being submitted to Prof. Anthon. This also confirms Smith's claim that his characters were true ones, and also further supports the claim of the "Book of Mormon," that these ancient inhabitants were an intelligent race of people, and possessed a written language.
But whether the prehistoric nations of America possessed a written language which contained characters that resemble those found in the old Egyptian, Chaldaic, Arabic, Greek, and Hebrew languages or not, is the question at issue; and for the benefit of those controverting this position, the evidences on this subject are here extended. It follows, as may be readily seen, that if the prehistoric nations who at one time inhabited America did possess a written language containing characters resembling those found in the Hebrew, Greek, Egyptian, and Chaldaic languages, etc., that Mr. Smith's claim of having had in his possession true characters -- the ancient language of these lost nations is sustained, and the "Book of Mormon" is proven to be a true record; for Mr. Smith was the first and only one to announce to the world that such a nation of people did inhabit America, and that they understood the Hebrew, Egyptian, Chaldaic, and Arabic languages; or rather it is said the characters which he submitted to the learned, which he affirmed were the writings of these ancient nations, resembled characters found in the Egyptian, Greek, Hebrew, Roman, Chaldaic, and Arabic languages.
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On the 23d of April, 1843, while some parties were digging in a mound near Kinderhook, Pike County, Illinois, they made the discovery of "six brass plates" (see plate No. 2), "with four lines of characters or hieroglyphics on each." A description of the plates, and the manner of finding them, was published in the Quincy Whig at the time, a part of which is as follows: --
"After penetrating the mound about eleven feet, they came to a bed of limestone, that had apparently been subjected to the action of fire. They removed the stones, which were small and easy to handle, to the depth of two feet or more, when they found SIX BRASS PLATES, secured and fastened together by two iron wires, but which were so decayed that they readily crumbled to dust upon being handled. The plates were so completely covered with rust as almost to obliterate the characters inscribed upon them; but after undergoing a chemical process, the inscriptions were brought out plain and distinct. There were six plates, four inches in length, one and three quarters wide at the top, and two inches and three quarters wide at the bottom, flaring out to points. There are four lines of characters, or hieroglyphics, on each. On one side of the plates are parallel lines running lengthwise. A few of the characters resemble in their forms the Roman capitals of our alphabet; for instance, the capital B and X appear very distinct. In addition, there are rude representations of three human heads on one of the plates, the largest in the middle. From this head proceed marks or rays resembling those which usually surround the head of Christ in the pictorial illustrations of his person. There are also figures of two trees with branches, one under each of the two small heads, both leaning a little to the right. One of the plates has on it the figure of a large head by itself, with two hands pointing directly to it. On each side of the mound in which this discovery was made was a mound, on one of which is a tree growing that
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measures two feet and a half in diameter near the ground, showing the great antiquity of the mounds, and of course all that is buried within them."
The finding of these plates is attested by nine witnesses viz., Robert Niley, George Dickenson, W. Longnecker G. W. F. Ward, J. R. Sharp, Ira S. Curtis, Fayett Grubb, W. P. Harris, and W. Fugate.
There are characters on these plates that resemble letters in the Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Chaldaic, and Hebrew alphabets, and they are arranged in columns, resembling very much in form and arrangement, according to Prof. Anthon, the ones that were submitted to him by Mr. Harris, as copied by Mr. Smith from the plates in his possession, from which he translated the "Book of Mormon"; yet none would be so audacious as to presume to say that they had been copied b some "bungling" hand, with the various ancient alphabets, as mentioned, before him, with a view to perpetrate a fraud. Prof. Anthon decided too hastily upon Smith's characters, because the idea of miracle was attached to the discovery of them. These scientific revealments confirm Smith's claim, and condemn Prof. Anthon's hasty conclusion.
Prof. Rafenesque further states: --
"By the great variety of Egyptian forms of the same letters I thought that I could trace some resemblance with our American glyphs. In fact, I could see in them the Egyptian cross, snake, circle, delta, square, trident, eye, feather, fish, hand, etc., but sought in vain for the birds, lions, sphynx, beetle, and a hundred other nameless signs of Egypt... I was delighted to find it so explicit, so well connected with the Egyptian, being also an acrostic alphabet, and, above all, to find that all its
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signs were to be seen in the glyphs of Otolum, the American city (Palenque). The numerical analogy is thirty-two per cent with the Egyptian." -- Ruins Revised by an Americanist, S. F. Walker, page 175.
Again says Dr. LePlongeon: --
"I must speak of that language which has survived unaltered through the vicissitudes of the nations that spoke it thousands of years ago, and is yet the general tongue in Yucatan, -- the Maya... The Maya, containing words from almost every language, ancient or modern, is well worth the attention of philologists...One third of the tongue is pure Greek. Who brought the dialect of Homer to America? Or who took to Greece that of the Mayas? Greek is the offspring of the Sanscrit. Is Maya? Or are they coeval? The Maya is not devoid of words from the Assyrians." -- Ruins Revised, page 176.
"The Maya language seems to be one of the oldest tongues spoken by man, since it contains words and expressions of all, or nearly all, of the known polished languages of the earth." -- Ibid., page 177.
"The Mayas had signs and characters identical with the Egyptians; possessing the same alphabetical and symbolical value in both nations. Among the symbolical I might mention a few, -- water, country, king, lord, offering, splendor... A, I, X, and pp. are identical with the Etruscan... Certain signs and symbols were used by the affiliated (in the Maya mysteries) that are perfectly identical with those used among the Masons in their symbolical lodges." -- Ibid., page 180.
Accepting, as has been proved, that the old Cushite civilization brought the arts and sciences from Arabia into Western Asia, Chaldea, Egypt, and Canaan, and that from their alphabet that of the Greek, together with all of the alphabets of modern Europe, were derived, and that from them was learned the science of
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astronomy, the mechanical arts, a knowledge of the zodiac, and how to construct the vast superstructures that exist in all of the countries where this people have dwelt, together with the fact that a colony representing this old civilization, when it was in the height of its power and scientific and intellectual attainments, came to America from Babel, and here settled, built, flourished, and became, a great nation; also that a colony, indeed two of them, of similar origin and culture, directly from the Semitic line, possessing a knowledge of all that was known among the Egyptians, Jews, and all the nations round about, came directly from Jerusalem some six hundred years before Christ, and settled in America, and in process of time these latter colonies, whose language was derived from the old Cushite and Semitic tongues, containing "pure Greek," became acquainted with the language of the older people that came out from Babel, possessed their records, became familiar with their architecture, manner of life, language, etc., and Dr. LePlongeon's question, as to how "pure Greek" became known among the Mayas of Central America, is answered. Much of their tongue was "pure Greek" to begin with. The Greeks learned from Chaldea, Arabia, and Egypt. There is where they obtained their alphabet. The ancestors of the Maya race of Central America learned in the same school. So declares science. So says the "Book of Mormon." Homer, Hesiod, Solon, and all other Greeks and Romans received their knowledge of letters from this common source, the Cushite or Semitic tongue, which, up to Babel, were identical. "The whole earth was of one
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language and of one speech." The Hebrew and other kindred languages were from the same source, only deflections. So the "Book of Mormon" still stands like a very Gibraltar, undisturbed by ridicule, scathing criticism, or scientific demonstration. Is it not time that we grow a little serious and think of things as they are, and not as we would like to have them?
Again: on the 10th of January, 1877, there were found near Davenport, Iowa, "two tablets of coal slate, covered with a variety of figures and hieroglyphics." In the report of the Davenport Academy for 1882 is an interpretation of tablets found in a mound in that vicinity, including, doubtless, the ones discovered in 1877. (See plate 3.) The report says: --
"The tablets Nos. I., III., and IV. contain nearly two hundred characters, of which, however, sixteen occur several times. The remaining one hundred and fifty or more different figures, the human and animal delineations not being taken into the account, demonstrate that the primitive inhabitants of the country did not use the simple Noachian alphabet of twenty-five letters, but a great number of syllabic signs, originated from the said alphabet, as was and still is the case in Egypt, Japan, Corea, China, and Central America."
"Plate III. This tablet ... represents a planetary configuration, the twelve signs of the zodiac, known to all nations of old, and the seven planets, conjoined with six different signs...The figures of the signs are the same which we find depicted on Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and other monuments... The signs Aries, Taurus, Gemini are plain enough. Gemini is expressed by two sitting children, like the constellation of Gemini, at present Castor and Pollux. Capricornus
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was, as we learn from the astronomical monuments of the Egyptians, a species of antelope, and the same animal, though a little deformed, resembles our Capricornus." -- Ruins Revisited, page 209.
These citations from standard authors clearly show that there was a civilized, intelligent, and highly cultivated nation or nations that inhabited America in prehistoric times, and that their first and early settlements and great centres of population, refinement, and wealth were made in Central and South America, and afterward in North America; that they possessed a written language, and understood sculpture, building, ornamentation, which resemble in a special manner the style of the Egyptian; and, also there are to be found Hebrew, Greek, Chaldaic, Roman, and Assyriac letters; mammoth superstructures, mounds, and pyramids, rivaling the most wonderful in huge dimension found in Egypt, Chaldea, Arabia, Ionia, Greece, Rome, or Canaan. All of this confirms the historical statements of the "Sealed Book" brought to light, that the ancient inhabitants of America were of Jewish and Cushite, or Semitic, origin, and that they brought with them their respective languages and customs, and left their impress here in the New World.
Before, or about the time of, the arrival of the two colonies of Jews to the continent, the old Jaredite nation had attained its highest ascendency, deteriorated, and became extinct. So says the "Book of Mormon," and so says the universal testimony of the Indian, north and south; that is, their places of habitation were here when the ancestors of the Indian came: and scientific research confirms these statements.
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There is something of marked significance in a statement found on page 425 of "North Americans of Antiquity," in regard to the word "Mulek." The "Book of Mormon" affirms that at the time the Jews were taken captive to Babylon, "Mulek," one of the sons of Zedekiah, came over, with others, to this continent, and settled in Central America; and in the account above referred to the statement is made that, "By means of Landa's key, Mr. Ballaert translated some of the hieroglyphics found in Yucatan, and the word 'Mulek,' or 'Mulue,' as written by Short, was deciphered, and was found to mean 'to unite, "reunion." -- Considering that historical statement in the "Book of Mormon," that there was a union formed, or federation between the Nephites and Mulekites in Central America, in primeval times, and it goes far to prove that there was something more than fancy and guess-work, the emanations from the brains of mere men, that inspired the revelation of the "Book of Mormon." This word "Mulek" was also applied to one of the days of their months, seemingly to retain it in memorial. Who can question that if so good a coincident or discovery had been made in support of the Bible, from Egypt, Chaldea, Babylon, Tyre, or elsewhere, it would not have been hailed as a great finding, and would be used as a club to hurl at the head of the scoffing infidel, because so pusillanimous and persistent in refusing the truth when the facts were so patent? What, then, should believers in the "Book of Mormon' say to doubting Christians, who persist in disregarding these plain evidences that support the Christ idea? When the Mulekites and Nephites first
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met, as the narrative shows, they could not understand each other's language. After inquiry and study, they were able to communicate, and were delighted to learn of each other's origin, and history, and speech. They also possessed the records of the Jaredites, and the ancient remains of the latter covered the land. Here was a writing and mingling of the languages of three distinct nationalities, -- two of Jewish origin, learned in the language of the Egyptians; the other, the old Cushite, with possible changes made by time and events, the very language from whence was derived the Greek and "all the languages of modern Europe."
It would be but natural that leading features of these languages would be introduced or united, and made the common language of the united people and future nation. In confirmation of this, the following is in point: --
"The study of languages affords a reliable guide in tracing the migration of tribes, even when they have become intermingled with other tribes. In the social relations thus established there would not result a total obliteration of the language of the one tribe, but certain words and forms of speech would be adopted and perpetuated." -- Prehistoric Races of the United States, page 318.
In the light of the above we have a legitimate origin for all of the peculiar characters submitted by Mr. Smith to Prof. Anthon and Dr. Mitchell, -- "Greek," "Hebrew," "Assyrian," "Chaldaic," "Roman letters," "circles and flourishes," -- the "Book of Mormon" speaking for itself, as confirmed by facts brought to light in modern archaeological discoveries. Also ample
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ground for Dr. LePlongeon's "pure Greek" found in Yucatan and Central America. So all of the facts go to show that Mr. Smith was right in his claim to have possessed and translated the records of the prehistoric nations of America, and the characters which he submitted to Prof. Anthon were correct ones, and the criticism that they contained Greek, Hebrew, Chaldaic letters, circles and flourishes, etc., is in support of his claim rather than against, for it is now known that a people conversant with those languages, or the ground plan of them, did, at one time, inhabit this Western Continent. Strange to say, it was almost upon the same parallel of latitude that the metallic plates of Illinois, the coal-slate tablets of Davenport, Iowa, and the gold plates obtained by Mr. Smith in Northern New York, were found, and the characters on each in some respects resemble those upon the other, Prof. Anthon being witness. Let truth prevail, though all men oppose.
Again, the Marquis de Nadaillac writes: --
"In the province Tarapaca, considerable surfaces are covered, not only with figures of men and animals, most of them of a remarkable execution, but also with characters which appear to be written vertically. I am disposed to attach more importance to the discoveries of Prof. Librarani, in Santa Maria Valley, Province of Catamarca, in the Argentine Republic. He describes figures of animate objects, geometrical figures, and lines of dots differently combined. The same signs are met with (and this is a fact worthy of attention), constantly repeated, and always in a similar order. Ameghino considers these inscriptions to indicate a complete system of writing, made up partly of figures and symbolical characters,
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partly of purely phonetic characters; and he is even disposed to admit that these are remains of ancient Peruvian writing." -- Prehistoric America, pages 255, 256.
"There is a very distinct resemblance in some of these hieroglyphics (of Central America) to those of Egypt." -- Ibid., page 328.
"Above the door, and simulating windows (in the valley of Yucay, one of the tributaries of the Amazon), we meet again with the Egyptian tau that we have already seen at Palenque." -- Ibid., page 417.
"The ornamentation of the buildings resembling that upon Egyptian monuments." -- Ibid., page 324.
"Statues resemble those of Egypt, and head-dress a little like that of the Assyrians." -- Ibid., page 327.
"They had a knowledge of astronomy, and were acquainted with the divisions of time founded upon the motion of the sun." -- Ibid., page 305.
"Possessed astronomical instruments." -- Short, page 43.
"They wore a head-dress which has been pronounced Egyptian." -- Ibid., page 392.
These evidences all unite, and confirm the truth of the claims of the "Book of Mormon," that it answers to the prediction found in the twenty-ninth chapter of Isaiah concerning the "Sealed Book," and that it came forth in fulfilment thereof; that it is a true record of the ancient inhabitants of America; and that they did occupy this land in prehistoric times, and were an intelligent, God-fearing and accomplished race of people; that they understood the arts and sciences, and had a regular and well-defined system of writing; that their alphabet was derived from the old original alphabet, from which all the alphabets of modern Europe
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were derived, and was composed of characters identical with and resembling the Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyrian, Greek, Hebrew, and Roman letters, with symbols, circles, and pictorial emblems; that they understood the Hebrew and Egyptian language and customs of social life and architectural building and ornamentation; that they engraved upon stone and metallic plates; that the ancient nations are extinct; that they were conquered, overcome, and destroyed by a wild, ferocious, and savage race of people, who spared neither old nor young, male nor female ; that the emigration was from south to north; that the oldest nation was destroyed ere the second colony of civilized people settled upon the continent; that the very names of these older nations are unknown, living only in their monumental remains, that testify of their existence, greatness, power, wisdom, and glory, all of which is absolutely outlined and affirmed in the "Book of Mormon" itself. These ancient inhabitants possessed a "knowledge of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians," and of course their customs, social, political, religious, architectural, and scientific.
In the light of these facts, affirmed by the "Book of Mormon" and confirmed by scientific demonstration, it is possible, yes, highly probable, from the scientific evidences themselves, that the alphabetical characters which constitute the writings of these ancient peoples would resemble very much those affirmed by Prof. Anthon, was submitted to him by Messrs. Joseph Smith and Martin Harris: "all kinds of crooked characters disposed in columns... Greek and Hebrew
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letters, crosses and flourishes, Roman letters, inverted or placed sideways, were arranged in perpendicular columns, etc.; Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyrian, and Arabic characters," as evidenced by Mr. Harris. Thus scientific disclosures confirm the truth of the "Book of Mormon," and support the claim of Joseph Smith, Jr., that he had in his possession the ancient records of these ancient nations, and the characters which he had submitted to Prof. Anthon and Dr. Mitchell were true ones.
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"Nothing could be more simple and unpretending than the form of church organization and government in primitive times. Each church consisted of a company of believers
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"Nothing could be more simple and unpretending than the form of church organization and government in primitive times. Each church consisted of a company of believers in the Lord Jesus, united in covenant relationship, for the worship of God, the maintenance of gospel doctrines and the due administration of the ordinances appointed by Christ. 'Every church' says Waddington, an Episcopalian, 'in the management of its internal affairs, was essentially independent of every other.... The churches formed a sort of federative body of independent religious communities, dispersed through the greater part of the empire, in continual communication and in constant harmony with each other."' -- WADDINGTON, Church History, page 43. History of Romanism, page 36.
"According to New Testament usage, the title of bishop belonged to presbyters or elders. Soon after the death of the apostles, however, this title began to be claimed exclusively by such as sought pre-eminence over their brethren in the ministry.... After the death of the apostles and the pupils of the apostles, to whom the general direction of the church had always been conceded, some one among the presbyters of each church was suffered gradually to take the lead in its affairs. In the same irregular way the title ____; (bishop) was appropriated to the first presbyter. Hence the different accounts of the order of the first bishops in the church at Rome." -- GIESELER'S Ecclesiastical History, Vol. I., page 65.
"In process of time, all the Christian churches of a province were formed into one large ecclesiastical body, which, like confederate states, assembled at certain times, in order to deliberate about the common interests of the whole. This institution had its origin among the Greeks, with whom nothing was more common than this confederacy of independent states.... These councils, of which we find not the smallest trace before the middle of the second century, changed the whole face of the church, and gave it a new form." -- Ibid., pages 37, 38.
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"Soon after Constantine's professed conversion to Christianity (in the year 312) he undertook to remodel the government of the church, so as to make it conform as much as possible to the government of the state. Hence the origin of the dignities of patriarchs, exarchs, archbishops, canons, prebendaries. etc., intended by the Emperor to correspond with the different secular offices and dignities connected with the civil administration of the Empire. Taking these newly constituted dignitaries of the church into his own special favor, he loaded them with wealth and worldly honors, and richly endowed the churches over which they presided.... From this time onward, the progress of priestly domination and tyranny was far more rapid than in any previous age. The lofty title of patriarch was assumed by the bishops of Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, and also of Constantinople, after the removal of the seat of the Empire to that city, claiming, according to Bingham ('Antiquities,' B. II., Chap. XVII.), 'the right to ordain all the metropolitans of their own diocese; to call diocesan synods, and to preside over them,' etc." -- Ibid., page 31.
"The bishops of the three great cities of the Roman Empire, Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, according to the learned and accurate Gieseler, had the largest dioceses. Hence they were considered is the heads of the church, and in all general affairs particular deference was paid to their opinions." -- Ibid., page 32.
"Constantine has been styled the first Christian Emperor. During one of his campaigns (A. D. 312) he is said to have seen a miraculous vision of luminous cross in the heavens, on which were inscribed the following words, 'In hoc signo vinces,' -- 'By this conquer'. Certain it is, that from this period, Constantine showed the Christians marks of positive favor, and caused the cross to be employed as the imperial standard; in his last battle with Licinius, it was the emblem
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of the cross that was opposed to the symbols of paganism; and as the latter went down in a night of blood, the triumph of Christianity over the Roman world was deemed complete.
"The most important events in the reign of Constantine, after he had restored the outward unity of the Empire, were his wars with Sarmatians and Goths, whom he severely chastised, and his domestic difficulties, in which he showed little of the character of a Christian; also the establishment at Byzantinus of the new capital of the Roman Empire, afterwards called Constantinople, from its founder. The motives which led Constantine to the choice of a new capital on a spot which seemed formed by nature to be the metropolis of a great empire, were those of policy and interest, mingled with feelings of revenge for insults which he had received at Rome, where he was execrated for abandoning the religion of his forefathers." -- Outline of History, by MARCIUS WILSON, page 123.
Constantine "assumed to unite in his own person the civil and ecclesiastical dominion, and claimed the power of convening councils and presiding in them, and of regulating the external affairs of the church."
The bishop of Rome far surpassed all others in the magnificence and splendor or the church over which he presided. It was the centre of wealth and power. The bishop is said to have outdone princes in the expense of his tables, sumptuous feasts, rich coaches, and costly array and display. "This led Prætextatus, a heathen, who was prefect of the city, to say, 'Make me bishop of Rome, and I will be a Christian, too!'" -- ARMINIUS MARCELLINUS, Liber XXVII., Chap. XXXI.
It is true that so early as the second century, Victor, bishop of Rome, had attempted to lord it over his brethren of the East." -- History of Romanism, pages 32 and 34.
There was a rivalry between Rome and Constantinople,
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the two seats of empire. Hitherto the chief city had the chief bishop. Rome was overrun by barbarians, and was on the decline. Constantinople, the seat of civilization, was on the ascendency. There was a conflict between the bishops of these respective cities of power and wealth, as to which would be recognized as the greatest in the esteem of the popular will. There was nothing settled as to who carried the "keys" of St. Peter, or who was his successor. Earthly power and opulence were the means of dignifying and making prominent bishops.
"The council of Chalcedon was held A. D. 451, and notwithstanding the pre-eminence assumed therein by the legate of the bishop of Rome, he had not power or influence to prevent the passage of a canon which proved extremely odious to his lordly master, Leo, who has been surnamed the Great, and which resulted in a protracted and bitter controversy between the bishops of Rome and Constantinople, as to who should be greatest. Some years previous to this time, since the removal of the seat of the empire to Constantinople, the ambition and assumption of the bishop of Constantinople had almost equalled that of Rome. He had lately usurped the spiritual government of the provinces of Asia Minor, Thrace, Pontus, and the eastern part of Illyricum, very much to the chagrin and dissatisfaction of Leo. This dissatisfaction was increased when, by the twenty-eighth canon of the council of Chalcedon, it was resolved that the same rights and honors which had been conferred upon the bishop of Rome were due to the bishop of Constantinople, on account of the equal dignity and lustre of the two cities in which these prelates exercised their authority. The same council confirmed also, by solemn act, the bishop of Constantinople in the spiritual government of these provinces over which he had ambitiously usurped the jurisdiction." -- Ibid., page 41.
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"By general consent a kind of superiority of rank had long been conceded to the bishop of Rome, chiefly from the fact that that city was the first in rank and importance, and the ancient capital of the Empire; and upon the same ground it was that the council of Chalcedon, already referred to, 'proceeding on the principle that the importance of a bishop depended alone on the political consequence of the city in which he lived, decreed the same rights to the bishop of Constantinople in the Eastern church which the bishop of Rome enjoyed in the Western."' -- GIESELER, Vol. I., page 269.
Concerning the popish claims that Peter was the first bishop of Rome, and that the keys committed to him had descended to them, it is asserted that "there is no historical proof whatever" that Peter was ever at Rome. "There is no mention in the New Testament that Peter ever was at Rome, and hence Scaliger, Salmasius, Spanheim, Adam Clark, and many other learned writers have denied that he ever visited that city. But supposing the Romish tradition to be true, that he suffered death at Rome, in company with the Apostle Paul, about A. D. 65, still there is no proof whatever that he was bishop of Rome, or that he had any particular connection with the church or churches in that city, any more than had Paul, or any other of the apostles.... Now, if Pope Peter was also at Rome, and more especially if he was there in the character of 'supreme head of the church universal,' is it not most astonishing that Paul should take not the slightest notice of him, and that neither the sacred Scriptures nor any of the apostolic fathers should say one word in relation to his connection with the church in that city?" -- History of Romanism, page 45.
Further: "Supposing that it could be proved, which we have shown that it cannot, that Peter, during his life, was the supreme head of the church on earth, still it would be impossible to prove that this supremacy descended down from
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one generation to another, through the long line of popes, many of whom, as we shall show, in the progress of this work, were monsters of vice and impurity; there is no evidence that the apostles had the slightest expectation of any such regular line of descent. The New Testament does not say a single word about it, and even the Roman bishops themselves did not make the claim to have derived their power from Peter till several centuries after the apostolic age."
"In the course of the sixth century, the city of Rome thrice witnessed the disgraceful spectacle of rival pontiffs, with fierce hated, bloodshed, and massacre, contending with each other for the spiritual throne."
During the last few years of the sixth century, the contest for supremacy between the bishops of Rome and Constantinople raged with greater acrimony than at any preceding period. The bishop of Constantinople not only claimed an unrivalled sovereignty over the Eastern churches, but also maintained that his church was in point of dignity no way inferior to that of Rome." -- Ibid., pages 48, 50, 51.
Says Mosheim: "To enumerate the rights and institutions that were added in this century to the Christian worship would require a volume of considerable size."
By the beginning of the sixth century, "the Roman pontiff was constituted judge in the place of God, which he filled as the vicegerent of the Most High." -- MOSHEIM, pages 396 and 443.
Under Constantine, in the year 325, church and state were in a manner united, and the Emperor became the chief director in both. The decline and transition were onward and rapid, until the ancient church was completely changed, disrobed of all her power and beauty, and obscured utterly in the dark wilderness of sin.
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THE SUPREMACY OF ROMANISM. -- THE POPES. -- THE MIDNIGHT OF THE WORLD.The Middle Ages, to which it is impossible to fix accurate limits, may be considered as embracing that dark and gloomy period of about a thousand years, extending from the fall of the Western empire of the Romans nearly to the close of the fifteenth century, at which point we detect the dawn of modern civilization, and enter upon the clearly marked outlines of modern history. "The history of Europe during several centuries after the overthrow of the Western Roman Empire offers little real instruction to repay the labor of wading through the intricate and bloody annals of a barbarous age. The fall of the Roman Empire had carried away with it ancient civilization." -- WILSON'S Outlines, page 237.
"The period upon which we are now to enter," says Dowling, "comprising the ninth and tenth centuries, with the greater part of the eleventh, is the darkest in the annals of Christianity. It was a long night of almost universal darkness, ignorance, and superstition, with scarcely a ray of light to illuminate the gloom. This period has been appropriately designated by various historians as the 'Dark Ages,' the 'Iron Age,' the 'Leaden Age,' and the 'Midnight of the World.'... . During these centuries it was rare for a layman, of whatever rank, to know how to sign his name; still more extraordinary was it to find one who had any tincture of learning. Even the clergy were for a long period not very superior as a body to the uninstructed laity.... In almost every council the ignorance of the clergy forms a subject for reproach, and by one council, held in 992, it is asserted that scarcely a single person was to be found in Rome itself who knew the first elements of letters...." (HALLAM, page 460.) -- History of Romanism, page 181.
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THE TITLE OF "UNIVERSAL BISHOP" BESTOWED ON BONIFACE, BISHOP OF ROME, BY THE USURPER AND TYRANT PHOCAS, IN THE YEAR 605."Boniface, who succeeded to the Roman see in 605,... applied to the Emperor Phocas, a cruel and blood-thirsty tyrant, who had made his way to the throne by assassinating his predecessor, and earnestly solicited the title (of universal bishop), with the privilege of handing it down to his successors. The profligate Emperor, who had a secret grudge against the bishop of Constantinople, granted the request of Boniface, and after strictly forbidding the former prelate to use the title, conferred it upon the latter in the year 606, and declared the Church of Rome to be the head of all other churches.
"Hence forward the religion of Rome is properly styled POPERY, OR THE RELIGION OF THE POPE. Previous to the year 606 there was properly no POPE." -- History of Romanism, page 55.
"The bestowment of the title of universal bishop by Phocas, the tyrant, upon Boniface M., bishop of Rome, the first of the popes, and the consequent establishment of papal supremacy, was the memorable event that embodied into a system and cemented into one the various false doctrines, corrupt practices, and vain and superstitious rites and ceremonies which had arisen in earlier ages, to deface the beauty and mar the simplicity of Christian worship. Before this event, the bishop of Rome had no power to enforce his decisions upon other churches and bishops." -- Ibid., page 57.
Says Marsh: --
"At length, in the commencement of the seventh century, the Emperor Phocas conferred upon Boniface M., bishop of Rome, the title of ecumenical, or universal, bishop. This title had been usurped by the bishop of Constantinople, but
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it was now in this public manner taken from him and conferred upon the bishop of Rome; and this, too, by one of the most odious tyrants that ever lived.... The world was sunk in Egyptian darkness. The cultivation of the human intellect was abandoned.... The great mass of the clergy were incapable of reading the Apostles' Creed." -- MARSH, page 225.
"The priests and bishops were a most worthless, stupid, and corrupt race. They often passed their lives in the splendor of courts, or it the head of soldiers, and aspired to the honors of dukes, marquesses, and counts. Even the Roman pontiffs, with a few exceptions, were monsters of iniquity." -- Ibid., page 226.
THE POPE MADE A TEMPORAL PRINCE BY THE USURPER PEPIN; A REIGN OF TYRANNY FOLLOWED.At the time of the Saracen invasion of France, Charles Martel, the guardian of the nominal sovereign, governed France, with the humble title of mayor, or duke. His son Pepin succeeded him, and during the minority of his royal ward, the imbecile Childeric M. wielded the power without assuming the name and honors of royalty; but at length, in 752, he threw off the mask, obtained a decree of Pope Zachary in his favor, dethroned the last of the Merovingian kings, and caused himself to be crowned in the presence of the assembled nation, the first monarch of the Carlovingian dynasty. It was upon this occasion that the popes first exercised the authority of enthroning and dethroning kings.
"The word pope comes from the Greek word papa, and signifies father. In the early times of Christianity this appellation was given to all Christian priests; but during many centuries past it has been appropriated to the bishop of Rome, whom the Roman Catholics look upon as the common
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father of all Christians. During a long period after the introduction of Christianity into Rome, the bishops of Rome were merely fathers of the church, and possessed no temporal power. It was customary, however, to consult the pope in temporal matters; and the powerful Pepin found no difficulty in obtaining a papal decision in favor of dethroning the imbecile Childeric, and inducing the pope to come to Paris to officiate at his coronation. Soon after in 755, Pepin invested the pope with the exarchate of Ravenna; and it is at this point -- the union of temporal and spiritual jurisdiction -- that the proper history of the papacy begins. Charlemagne and succeeding princes added other provinces to the papal government; but a long struggle for supremacy followed between the popes and the German emperors; and under the pontificate or Gregory VII., towards the close of the eleventh century, the claims of the Roman pontiffs to supremacy over all the sovereigns of the earth were boldly asserted as the base of the political system of the papacy." -- WILSON'S Outlines of History, page 256.
In the year 755 the pope became a temporal 'the little horn.' For countenancing the dethronement of Childeric III., king of France, and crowning Pepin, Pepin gave to the Roman see the exarchate of Ravenna, Pentopolis, and twenty- one cities and castles. Charlemagne, his son and successor, aimed at the Empire of the West. He accomplished his purpose, went to Rome and was crowned; and in return for services, ceded to the papal see several cities and provinces, and gave it a subordinate jurisdiction over Rome and the annexed territory, enabling it to become the seat of wealth and magnificence.... The Man of Sin came in, as Paul said he would, 'After the workings of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish.' He arrogated to himself godlike titles and attributes, King
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of Kings, Universal Father, Master of the World; set himself above all laws, human and divine; by taxes and massacres he oppressed and wore out the saints; he changed 'times and laws' appointing innumerable fasts and feasts, new modes of worship, and new articles of faith, and supporting himself by the most infamous frauds and barefaced pretensions to miracles. The most powerful monarchs were powerless before him. Emperors led his horse and held his stirrup. Kings were stripped by him of their honor and power, and whole realms were deprived of every religious privilege.
"For refusing to surrender to him the right of investure, the right ever claimed by the princes of Europe, of conferring the most important places in the churches and monasteries upon whom they pleased, by the ceremony of presenting the ring and crosier, Hildebrand, Gregory VII., a pope haughty and arrogant in the extreme, drove Henry, Emperor of Germany, from his throne, and compelled him, in the winter of 1077, to cross the Alps, and stand three days in the open air at the entrance of the pontiff's palace, with his feet bare, his head uncovered, and no other garment but a coarse woollen cloth thrown around his naked body, and implore forgiveness and a restoration to his dominions.
"For sanctioning, as was supposed, the violent death of Thomas a Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, a man who had acquired, by his pretended sanctity, a most amazing power, Henry II., king of England, was compelled by Pope Alexander to walk barefoot over three miles of flinty road, with only a coarse cloth over his shoulders, to the shrine of the murdered saint, where eighty monks, four bishops, abbots, and other clergy, who were present, whipped his bare back with a knotted cord, compelled him to drink water mingled with Becket's blood, and give forty pounds a year for tapers to burn perpetually before the martyr's tomb.
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"For opposing him in the appointment of an archbishop of Canterbury, Pope Innocent III., in the commencement of the thirteenth century, excommunicated John, king of England; forbidding all persons to eat, drink, or converse with him, or do him service; absolving all his subjects from his allegiance; ordering the other monarchs of Europe to kill him, and laid the whole kingdom under an interdict, so that every religious privilege was taken away; every church was shut; no bell was heard ; no taper lighted; no divine service performed ; no sacrament administered; no priest was present, and no funeral solemnity was allowed in the burial of the dead; and no place of interment was permitted but the highways." -- MARSH'S Ecclesiastical History, page 232.
TRANSUBSTANTIATION."In the year 831, a monk named Paschasius Radbert advanced the strange sentiment that the bread and wine used in the Lord's supper were, by consecration, converted into the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and was actually the same as was born of the Virgin Mary, as suffered on the cross, and was raised from the dead.... In 1215 it was declared by Innocent III. to be a doctrine whose belief is necessary to salvation. Thus was the doctrine of Transubstantiation introduced.... From this proceeded the thin wafer, which the Catholics use in the sacrament, that no part of the precious body of Christ may be lost, and the prohibition of the wine to the laity; for if the bread is the real body of Christ, it contains his blood, and the wine is superfluous, and should not be wasted; only it might be used by the priests, who need a double portion." -- Ibid., page 236.
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SUPERSTITION, FRAUD, AND FLAGRANT VICES PREVAIL UNDER THE DOMINION OF THE PAPACY."Wherever we turn our eyes among the various ranks and orders of the clergy, we perceive in this century (the twelfth) the most flagrant marks of licentiousness, fraud, ignorance, luxury, and other vices, whose pernicious effects were deeply felt, both in church and state." -- MOSHEIM, VOL. III, Part II., Chap. II., page 41.
"When we consider the multitude of causes which united their influences in obscuring the lustre of genuine Christianity, and corrupting it by a profane mixture of the inventions of superstitious and designing men with its pure and sublime doctrines, it will appear surprising that the religion of Jesus was not totally extinguished. All orders contributed, though in different ways, to corrupt the native purity of true religion. The Roman pontiffs led the way; they would not suffer any doctrines that had the smallest tendency to diminish their despotic authority, but obliged the public teachers to interpret the precepts of Christianity in such a manner as to render them subservient to the support of papal dominion and tyranny. This order was so much the more terrible, in that such as refused to comply with it... were answered with the formidable arguments of fire and sword, and received death in the most cruel forms." -- Ibid., Vol. II., Chap. III., Part I., page 81.
Under the reign of the universal ignorance of the times, "all of the various ranks and orders of the clergy had each their peculiar method of fleecing the people. The bishops, when they wanted money for their private pleasures or for the exigencies of the church, granted to their flock the power of purchasing remission of the penalties imposed upon transgressors, by a sum of money which was to be applied to
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certain religious purposes; or, in other words, they published indulgences, which became an inexhaustible source of opulence to the episcopal orders. The abbots and monks, who were not qualified to grant indulgences, had recourse to other methods of enriching their convents. They carried about the country the carcasses and relics of the saints in solemn procession, and permitted the multitude to behold, touch, and embrace these sacred and lucrative remains at certain fixed prices. The monastic orders gained often as much by this rover-show as the bishops did by their indulgences." -- Ibid., Vol. III., page 84.
"The history of the popes (in the beginning of the thirteenth century) presents a lively and horrible picture of the complicated crimes that dishonored the ministers of the church... The popes more especially inculcated that pernicious maxim, 'that the bishop of Rome is the supreme lord of the universe, and that neither princes nor bishops, civil governors nor ecclesiastical rulers, have any lawful power in church or state but what they derive from him."' -- Ibid., Vol. III, Part II., Chap. II., page 165.
"It would be endless to enumerate the additions that were made in this century to the external part of divine worship, in order to increase its pomp and render it more striking." -- Ibid., Vol. III., page 260.
"To give a full account of all the operations, corruptions, superstitions, frauds, and enormities of the monks, their bitter animosities and contentions, would require volumes. Their history sickens the heart. To see men, under pretence of great devotedness to God, leading the most loathsome, filthy life; sometimes casting off all clothing, and going on all-fours like beasts; secreting themselves in dens and holes, or wandering about in the extremes of wretchedness, with their hair and beard of an enormous length, and their bodies covered with vermin; eating of choice, the most nauseous
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food; wearing heavy chains; fastening grates upon their breasts and backs; girding themselves with bandages of bristles and sharp-pointed wires; flogging themselves with thorn sticks; mutilating their bodies, etc." -- MARSH, page 219.
"The papacy attained its zenith in the thirteenth century. At that period the Romish system was fully developed. Innocent III., as the vicar of Christ, claimed for himself divine prerogatives. It was contended by the interpreters of canon law that the sentence of the pope, as the vicegerent of heaven, superseded all reasons and precluded every kind of appeal. Sacerdotal pretension rose to its highest pitch. Alexander Hales and Thomas Aquinas began to teach boldly that the priest could 'make the body of Christ' and 'act in the person of Christ.' The theory of transubstantiation, invented by the schoolmen, received formal sanction for the first time at the council of Lateran, in the year 1215. The celibacy of the priesthood now became an inviolable law. Separated as a distinct caste from ordinary society, the clerical body acted everywhere as the legionaries of the papal court. The network of ecclesiastical power was spread over all the nations of Christendom, bringing within its meshes people of every class and condition. The supremacy and independence of popedom, secured by the genius and indomitable energy of Hildebrand (Gregory VII.), and maintained by the craft and diligence of his successors, Boniface VIII. (1294-1303) resolved to make perpetual by the force of an unalterable decree. Circumstances seemed to favor his ambitious design. The powers of Europe at the time were wasting their resources in mutual strife. The sovereign pontiff seized with eagerness the occasion to accomplish his long-cherished purposes of aggrandizement.
"In the course of a long and desperate contest with Philip the Fair, for temporal as well as spiritual supremacy in the
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kingdom of France, he issued, in November, 1302, the famous bull, entitled UNOM SANCTUM, in which he set forth the demands of the holy see in their most stringent form. 'The church,' he therein declares, 'is one body, and has one head. Under its command are two swords: the one to be used by the supreme pontiff himself; the other by kings, and knights, by his license and at his will. But the lesser sword must be subject to the greater, and the temporal to the spiritual authority. We declare that every human being must be subject to the see of Rome. We assert, we define, and pronounce this to be an article of faith....' For the distinct appeal to 'every man's conscience,' made by the apostles, was substituted the pagan principle of unreasoning coercion. Instead of the 'kingdom' which is 'not of this world' we find dominant hierarchy asserting its supremacy over every court in Europe, and exacting its claims by fire and sword. The law of Christ was set aside for a yoke of papal decrees and injunctions. The very idea of the church as a company of sincere Christian believers appears almost to have passed out of remembrance.... All traces of primitive purity were lost in the excesses of vice and in the perpetration of crimes that made the papal court a sink of abomination.... The supreme pontiff himself was not unfrequently the nominee of some ruthless demagogue, rude soldiers, ambitious prince, or daring woman, who expected to share the worldly advantages of his elevation. As the papal court rose in temporal greatness, it sunk in moral corruption.
"A century before the accession of Boniface VIII., when things were continually growing Saint Bernard called attention to the enormities existing in the Romish Church. Writing to Innocent II., he says: 'There is but one voice among our faithful bishops, which declares that justice is vanishing from the church, and the power of the keys is gone; that episcopal authority is dwindling away; that a bishop
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can no longer redress wrong, nor chasten iniquity, however great, in his own diocese; and the blame of all this they lay on you and on the Roman Court. The ambitious, the adulterous, the incestuous, and all such monsters of humanity, flock to Rome, in order to either to obtain or keep ecclesiastical honors in the hands of the pope.'" -- JOHN WADDINGTON, D. D., on Congregational History, pages 1-4.
"During the whole course of this (the thirteenth) century the Roman pontiff carried on the most barbarous and inhuman persecution against those whom they branded with the denomination of heretics; i, e., against all those who called their pretended authority and jurisdiction in question, or taught doctrines different from those which were adopted and propagated by the Church of Rome.
"From this period (about 1235) we are to date the commencement of the dreadful tribunal of the Inquisition, which in this and the following ages subdued such a prodigious multitude of heretics, part of whom were converted to the church by terror, and the rest committed to the flames without mercy." Before this court were summoned "not only heretics, and persons suspected of heresy, but likewise all who were accused of magic sorcery, Judaism, witchcraft, and other crimes of that kind." -- MOSHEIM, VOI. III., page 270.
About the beginning of the fourteenth century, during the quarrel between Boniface VIII. and Philip, king of France, the pope issued a bull, in which he "asserted that Jesus Christ had granted a twofold power to his church, or in other words, the spiritual and temporal sword; that he had subjected the whole human race to the authority of the Roman pontiff, and that whoever dared to disbelieve it were to be deemed heretics, and stood excluded from all possibility of salvation." -- Ibid., Vol. III. , page 313.
Of the fifteenth century, it is said that "the state of religion was become so corrupt among the Latins, that it was
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utterly destitute of anything that could attract the esteem of the truly virtuous and judicious part of mankind. This is a fact which even they whose prejudices render them unwilling to acknowledge it, will never presume to deny. Among the Greeks and Orientals, religion had scarcely a better aspect.... The worship of the Deity consisted in a round of frivolous and insipid ceremonies. The discourses of those who instructed the people in public were, not only destitute of sense, judgment, and spirit, but even of piety and devotion, and were in reality nothing more than a motley mixture of the grossest fictions and the most extravagant inventions." -- Ibid., Vol. III., page 445.
THE INQUISITION."But a still more terrible scourge, by which the saints were worn out and the dominion of the pope was maintained, was the Inquisition. This was established in the thirteenth century, and has continued a tremendous engine of power to this day. It was occasioned by the increase of heretics, as they were called, i. e., of men who dared to think for themselves, call in question the power of the pope, and view him as the antichrist predicted by John. These were numerous in Gaul, and Innocent III. sent some legates, A. D. 1204, to extirpate them, root and branch. These bloodhounds, having Dominic at their head, were called inquisitors; and so serviceable were they found to the papal cause, that the pontiff established inquisitors in every city. A tremendous court was erected by them, first at Thoulouse, and afterwards in the various cities, embracing three inquisitors or judges, a fiscal proctor, two secretaries, a magistrate, a messenger, a reviewer, a jailer, an agent of confiscated possessions, several assessors, counsellors, executioners, physicians, surgeons, door-keepers, familiars, and visitors,
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all of whom were sworn to secrecy. By this court, men were tried not only for heresy, or opposition to the Court of Rome, but for magic, sorcery, Judaism, and witchcraft, and either imprisoned for life or put to the most lingering and tormenting death." -- MARSH, pages 233, 234.
"Fell superstition was increased by every art and device, until reason was lost, and the world raved in an awful mania. With the utmost hardihood, and a success which is altogether unaccountable, the pontiff and monks continually imposed upon the multitude, by presenting to them pretended relics of ancient saints; a skull, a finger, a jaw, a bone, or a tooth. They even held up to the admiring crowd the clothes in which Christ was wrapped in his infancy; pieces of the manger in which he was laid, of the cross on which he was hung, of the spear which pierced his side, of the bread which he broke at the last supper, yea, portions of the Virgin Mary's milk, and of the Saviour's blood." -- Ibid., page 236.
"For three centuries an incessant persecution raged against them. All the horrors of the Inquisition were employed for their subjection. Armies were raised and sent to terrify them into submission or utterly extirpate them. By the axe, by fire, the sword, and other shocking barbarities they were hurried into eternity. In France alone, above a million were slain for their adherence to the truth. In Germany and Flanders, too, they were persecuted with peculiar severity. The monks were urged by the popes to treat them worse than they treated the Saracens. In the castle of Menerbe, on the frontiers of Spain, one hundred and forty persons of both sexes were burnt alive. Persecutions often drove the Waldenses to the top of the Alps in the dead of winter, where they perished. One hundred and eighty infants were, at one time, found dead there in their cradles. Four hundred little children were suffocated in a cave in the
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valley of Soyse, where they had been placed for safety." -- Ibid., page 246.
The Dominican and Franciscan orders commenced in the year 1207. Dominic, "Saint Dominic," the Roman Catholics call him, was the first "inquisitor-general." In one day, by his order, "fourscore persons were beheaded, and four hundred burnt alive in his sight."
The twelfth general council, and the fourth of Lateran, was held at Rome, in 1215, Pope Innocent III. presiding. This council issued a decree against all "heretics." The edict begins: "WE EXCOMMUNICATE AND ANATHEMATIZE EVERY HERESY EXTOLLING ITSELF AGAINST THIS HOLY, ORTHODOX, CATHOLIC FAITH WHICH WE BEFORE EXPOUNDED, condemning all heretics, by what names soever called. And being condemned, let them be left to the secular power, or to their bailiffs, to be punished by due animadversion. And let the secular powers be warned and induced, and if need be condemned by ecclesiastical censure, what offices soever they are in, that as they desire to be reputed and taken for believers, so they publicly TAKE AN OATH FOR THE DEFENCE OF THE FAITH, THAT THEY WILL STUDY IN GOOD EARNEST TO EXTERMINATE, TO THEIR UTMOST POWER, FROM THE LANDS SUBJECT TO THEIR JURISDICTION, ALL HERETICS DENOTED BY THE CHURCH," etc. -- History of Romanism, page 32.
"In July, 1209, the crusading army arrived under the walls of Beziers, in three bodies." The last living creature wan massacred; not one left to breathe. The city was then set on fire and consumed; not a house being left. Sixty thousand perished as "heretics."
It is said that "of all the inventions of popish cruelty, the holy Inquisition is the masterpiece." Every instrument of torture possible to conceive of was used as a means of punishment and destruction of all those denominated "heretics.' The officers of the Inquisition were called "familiars.' At
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"the dead of night," perhaps, "a knock is heard at the door." Some one answers, "Who is there?" The holy Inquisition." A boy or girl, or father or mother, or child is demanded, and hastened away to death. "The commonest mode of torture to force the victims to confess or to accuse themselves were, dislocation, by means of pulley, rope, and weights; roasting the soles of the feet, and suffocation by water, with the torment of tightened ropes. These tortures were inflicted in a sad and gloomy apartment called the 'Hall of Torture,' situated far under-ground, in order that the shrieks of anguish generally forced from the miserable sufferers might not interrupt the death-like silence that reigned through the rest of the building."
"The next scene in this melancholy tragedy is the auto da fé. This horrid and tremendous spectacle is always represented on the Sabbath day." This was applied to the great burning of heretics. They were marched from their gloomy cells in "procession to the place of burning." "If the prisoner, on being asked, says he will die in the Catholic faith, he has the privilege of being strangled first, and then burnt; but if in the Protestant or any other faith different from the Catholic, he must be roasted alive." "When all is ready, fire is applied to the immense pile, and the suffering martyrs, who have been securely fastened to their stakes, are roasted alive; the living flesh of the lower extremities being often burnt and crisped by the action of the flames, driven hither and thither by the wind, before the vital parts
"It was not uncommon for the popish kings and queens of Spain to witness these wholesale burnings of heretics from a magnificent stage and canopy erected for the purpose, and was represented by the Jesuit priests as an act highly meritorious in the king to supply a fagot for the pile upon which the heretics were to be consumed.... King Charles II.,
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in an auto da fé, supplied a fagot, the sticks of which were gilded, adorned by flowers, and tied up with ribbons, and was honored by being the first fagot placed upon the pile of burning." In 1560 the following account was written by a Catholic to his friend from the town of Montalto concerning one of these horrible slaughters: "Most illustrious Sir, -- Having written you from time to time what has been done here in the affair of heresy, I have now to inform you of the dreadful justice which began to be executed on these Lutherans early this morning, being the 11th of June. And, to tell you the truth, I can compare it to nothing but the slaughter of so many sheep. They were all shut up in one house as in a sheepfold. The executioner went, and brining out one of them, covered his face with a napkin, or benda, as we call it, led him to a field near the house, and, causing him to kneel down, cut his throat with a knife. Then, taking off the bloody napkin, he went and brought out another, whom he put to death after the same manner. In this way the whole number, amounting to eighty-eight men, wore butchered. I leave you to figure to yourself the lamentable spectacle, for I can scarcely refrain from tears while I write; nor was there any person who, after witnessing the execution of one, could stand to look on a second.... I still shudder while I think of the executioner with his bloody knife in his teeth, the dripping napkin in his hand, and his arms besmeared with gore, going to the house and taking out one victim after another, just as the butcher does the sheep which he means to kill." -- History of Romanism, pages 567, 568, 569, 574, 576, and 582.
"Of all the institutions ever known to the world, or ever invented by human ingenuity, it (the Inquisition) was the most cruel, oppressive, and blood-thirsty. Its thousands of victims, whose bones were crushed with its accursed instruments of torture, and whose groans made its priestly officials
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laugh with joy akin to that of the fiends of hell, still cry out of their tombs against it." -- Romanism and the Republic, page 107.
"And this Inquisition, somewhat modified, was made use of in the city of Rome until 1870. Here religious toleration was unknown. No Protestants whatever were allowed to hold any service within the walls of Rome, so long as the pope had power. Punishment, imprisonment, and death were inflicted by the pope, and under his express sanction and authority." -- Ibid., page 110.
INDULGENCES.According to the doctrine of the Romish Church, all the good works of the saints, over and above those necessary toward their own justification, are deposited, together with the infinite merits of Jesus Christ, in one inexhaustible treasury. The keys of this were committed to St. Peter, and to his successors, the popes, who may open it at pleasure; and by transferring a portion of this superabundant merit to any particular person for a sum of money, may convey to him either the pardon of his own sins, or a release for any one in whom he is interested from the pains of purgatory. Such indulgences were first invented in the eleventh century, by Urban II., as a recompense for those who went in person upon the glorious enterprise of conquering the Holy Land. They were afterwards granted to those who hired a soldier for that purpose; and in process of time were bestowed on such as gave money for accomplishing any pious work enjoined by the pope.... Pope Leo X., in order to carry on the magnificent structure of St. Peter's, at Rome, published indulgences, and a plenary remission to all such as should contribute money toward it. Finding the project take, he granted to Albert, elector of Mentz and archbishop of Magdeburg,
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the benefit of the indulgences of Saxony and the neighboring parts, and farmed out those of other countries to the highest bidders; who, to make the best of their bargain, procured the ablest preachers to cry up the value of the ware. The form of these indulgences was as follows: 'May our Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon thee, and absolve thee by the merits of his most holy passion. And I, by his authority, that of his blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, and of the most holy pope, granted and committed to me in these parts, do absolve thee: first, from all ecclesiastical censures, in whatever manner they have been incurred; then from all thy sins, transgressions, and excesses, how enormous soever they may be, even from such as are reserved for the cognizance of the holy see; and so far as the keys of the holy church extend, I remit to you all punishment which you deserve in purgatory on their account; and I restore you to the holy sacraments of the church, to the unity of the faithful, and to that innocence and purity which you possessed at baptism; so that when you die, the gates of punishment shall be shut, and the gates of the paradise of delight shall be opened; and if you shall not die at present, this grace shall remain in full force when you are at the point of death. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.' According to a book called the Tax of the Sacred Roman Chancery,' in which are contained the exact sums to be levied for the pardon of each particular sin, we find some of the facto to be thus: --
"For procuring abortion............. . .7 6
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For defiling a virgin................ . . 9 0
And so on." -- BUCK's Theological Dictionary, page 191.
John Tetzel was one of the most zealous and successful pedlers of these indulgences. It was said of him, "It would have been hard to find in all the cloisters of Germany a man more adapted to the traffic with which he was charged." "In 1507, he gained in two days at Freyburg two thousand florins." In addressing audiences, in order to move them to purchase his pardons, he delivered the following: --
"Indulgences," said he, "are the most precious and sublime of God's gifts. This cross (pointing to the red cross) has as much efficacy as the cross of Jesus Christ. Draw near and I will give you letters duly sealed, by which even the sins you shall hereafter desire to commit shall be all forgiven you. I would not exchange my privileges for those of St. Peter in heaven, for I have saved more souls with my indulgences than he with his sermons. There is no sin so great that the indulgence cannot remit it, and even if any one should (which is doubtless impossible) ravish the Holy Virgin Mother of God, let him pay -- let him only pay largely, and it shall be forgiven him. Even repentance is not indispensable. But more than all this: indulgences save not the living alone, they also save the dead. Ye priests, ye nobles, ye tradesmen, ye wives, ye maidens, and ye young men, hearken to your departed parents and friends, who cry to you from the bottomless abyss, 'We are enduring horrible torment! a small alms would deliver us; you can give it, and you will not.'... The very moment that the money chinks against the bottom of the chest, the soul escapes from purgatory
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and flies free to heaven." -- History of the Reformation, by D'AUBIGNE, page 68.
It was Tetzel's boldness and effrontery at selling indulgences that aroused the latent spirit and indignation of the famous Martin Luther at the beginning of the sixteenth century, and moved his great soul in opposition to this traffic.
Luther was born in 1483, was ordained a priest in 1507. In 1517, John Tetzel appeared in his neighborhood, selling indulgences. "To this office that bold Dominican inquisitor had been delegated by Albert, archbishop of Mentz, to whom the indulgences had been sent by Leo X.
"Had Tetzel been of a mild and timid spirit, the Reformation might have been delayed another century; but he was a man of uncommon boldness and impudence, just calculated to rouse the indignation of Lather. He was indeed a veteran in the traffic. Ten years before he had collected two thousand florins in the space of two days; and he boasted that by his indulgences he had saved more souls from hell than ever St. Peter converted by preaching. Said he, 'The moment the money tinkles in the chest, your father's soul mounts out of purgatory.'" -- MARSH'S Ecclesiastical History, page 260.
The ground of proscription made by Roman Catholics against Swinton's "History" being used in Boston schools reads as follows: --
"When Leo X. came to the papal chair, he found the treasury of the church exhausted by the ambitious projects of his predecessors. He therefore had recourse to every means which ingenuity could devise for recruiting his exhausted finances, and among these he adopted an extensive sale of indulgences, which in former ages had been a source of large profits to the church." (Here is a star, referring to a foot-note.)
"The Dominican friars, having obtained a monopoly of
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the sale in Germany, employed, as their agent, Tetzel, one of their own order, who carried on the traffic in a manner that was very offensive, and especially to the Augustinian friars."
The following is the foot-note: --
"These indulgences were, in the early ages of the church, remissions of the penances imposed upon persons whose sins had brought scandal upon the community. But in process of time they were represented as actual pardons of guilt, and the purchaser of indulgences was said to be delivered from all his sins."
Commenting on this, Edwin D. Mead, of Boston, a most conservative and fair-minded man, says: "If any fact in history stands avouched, it is that the most mechanical and venal interpretation of the doctrine of indulgence had become prevalent in the church in 1517, and that this was the immediate occasion of the Lutheran Reformation. The Roman Catholic Church for two centuries before that time had a bad record. It is a desire that that bad record shall be covered up, that it shall be kept as much as possible out of sight and out of remembrance, -- this, and not any honest fear that teachers in our Boston schools will be telling their boys that Archbishop Williams or Leo XIII. issues licenses to commit sin, -- which is the motive of the present Catholic opposition to Mr. Swinton's History." -- The Roman Catholic, Church and the School Question, page 26.
Again : --
"In 1522, when Germany was all ablaze with Lutherism, at the diet of Nuremberg, summoned to deal with Luther, this honest Dutch Pope Adrian declared roundly, through his legate, that 'these disorders had sprung up from the sins of men, more specifically from the sins of priests and prelates. Even in the holy chain,' said he, 'many horrible crimes have been committed. The contagious disease, spreading
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from the head to the members, from the pope to the lesser prelates, has spread far and wide, so that scarcely alive any is to be found who does right and is free from infection.
"Pope Leo X. explained the doctrine of indulgences thus:
'The Roman Church, whom other churches are bound to follow as their mother, hath taught that the Roman pontiff -- the vicar of Jesus Christ upon earth, possessing the power of the keys, by which power all hindrances are removed out of the way of the faithful, that is to say, the guilt of actual sin, by the sacrament of penance, and the temporal punishment due for those sins, according to divine justice by ecclesiastical indulgence, -- that the Roman pontiff may, for reasonable causes, by his apostolic authority, grant indulgences out of the superabundant merits of Christ and the saints to the faithful who are united to Christ by charity, as well for the living as for the dead; and that in thus dispensing the treasure of the merits of Jesus Christ and the saints, he either confers indulgences by absolution, or, transfers it by the method of suffrage (that is, favor); wherefore, all persons, whether living or dead, who really obtain any indulgence of this kind, are delivered from so much temporal punishment due, according to divine justice, for their actual sins, as equivalent to the value of indulgences bestowed and received.'" -- Romanism and the Republic, page 196.
As stated by Mr. Mead, there is evidently a disposition upon the part of the Roman Catholics to keep in the background or out of sight the obnoxious features of their faith as it is known in their history, and parade something else. But the men who confronted Romanism at the beginning of the Reformation evidently knew what they were contending against. Said Wycliffe: "There is no greater heresy for a man than to believe that he is absolved from sin if he give money, or because a priest layeth his hand upon his head and saith, I 'absolve thee'; for thou must be sorrowful in
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thy heart, else God does not absolve thee.... They chatter on the subject of grace as if it were a thing to be bought and sold like an ass or an ox; by so doing they learn to make a merchandise of selling pardons, the devil having availed himself of an error in the schools to introduce after this manner heresies in morals." These words of Wycliffe would have no meaning if this "selling of pardons" were not rife all about him.
"Said Luther: 'They say that indulgences, applied to the soul that suffers in purgatory, are imparted to it, and accounted for in the remission of the sins for which it should still suffer.' 'If you have anything to spare,' he says again 'to give it, in the Lord's name, for the building of St. Peter's at Rome, but do not purchase pardons.' 'I complain bitterly,' he wrote to the archbishop, 'of the fatal errors in which these men are involving the common people, men of weak understanding, whom, foolish as they are, these men persuade that they will be sure of salvation if they only buy their letters of plenary indulgence. They believe that souls will fly out of purgatory the moment that the money paid for their redemption is thrown into the preacher's bag, and that such virtue belongs to these indulgences that there is no sin which the indulgences will not absolutely and at once efface.' -- The Roman Catholic Church and the School Question, by EDWIN D. MEAD, pages 16, 18, 21.
In 1487, Pope Innocent issued a bull against the Waldenses and other heretics, and authorized Albert de Capitaneis, archdeacon of the church of Cremona, to act in concert with Inquisitor-General Blasius, "to crush them like venomous asps, and to contribute all their care to so holy and so necessary an extermination.... We give you power to have the crusade preached up by fit men; to grant that such persons as shall enter on the crusade and fight against these same heretics, and shall contribute to it, may gain
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plenary indulgence and remission of all their sins once in life, and also at their death; to command, in virtue of their holy obedience, and under penalty of excommunication, all preachers of God's word to animate and incite the same believers to exterminate the pestilence, without sparing, by force of arms. We further give you power to absolve those who enter on the crusade, fight, or contribute to it, from all sentences, censures, and ecclesiastical penalties, general or particular, by which they may be bound... to concede to each, permission to lawfully seize on the property, real or personal, of heretics, etc." -- History of Romanism, page 425.
"In the downward progress of pontifical impurity, we have at length reached the lowest step, the utmost limits which have been assigned to papal and to human depravity 'The ecclesiastical records of fifteen centuries,' says Waddington, 'through which our long journey is now nearly ended, contain no name so loathsome, no crimes so foul as his. (Roderic Borgia, Pope Alexander VI.)... In early life, during the pontificate of Pius II., Roderic Borgia, already a cardinal, had been stigmatized by a public censure for his unmuffled debaucheries. Afterwards he publicly cohabited with a Roman matron named Vanozia, by whom he had five acknowledged children. Neither in his manners nor his language did he affect any regard for morality or decency; and one of the earliest acts of his pontificate was to celebrate, with scandalous magnificence, in his own palace, the marriage of his daughter Lucretia. On one occasion, this prodigy of vice gave a splendid entertainment, within the walls of the Vatican, to no less than fifty prostitutes at once, and in the presence of his daughter Lucretia, at which entertainment deeds of darkness were done over which decency must throw a veil; and yet this monster of vice was, according to papists, the legitimate successor of the
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apostles, and the vicar of God upon earth, and was addressed by the title of HIS HOLINESS! Again I ask, is not that apostate church, of which for eleven years this Pope Alexander VI. was the crowned and anointed head, and a necessary link in the chain of pretended apostolic succession, -- is she not fitly described by the pen of inspiration, MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH'?" -- Ibid., page 427.
THE FAMOUS JUBILEE."About the conclusion of this (the thirteenth( century, Boniface the VIII. added to the public rites and ceremonies of the church the famous jubilee, which is still celebrated at Rome at a stated period, with the utmost profusion and pomp and magnificence." This service consisted in making a pilgrimage to Rome and visiting the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul. The pope "enacted it as a solemn law of the church, that those who every hundredth or jubilee year confessed their sins, and visited, with sentiments of contrition and repentance, the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul at Rome, should obtain thereby the entire remission of their various offences. Finding that this increased the revenues of the Roman Church, they rendered its return more frequent, and fixed its celebration to every five and twentieth year." -- MOSHEIM, Vol. II., Chap. IV., Part II., page 264.
About 1260 arose the Flagellants, or worshippers, a fanatical multitude of both sexes and all ranks and ages, who, encouraged by the mendicant orders, ran through the cities and villages, with whips in their hands, lashing their naked bodies, to appease the Deity, and, strange as it may appear to us, were greatly revered." -- MARSH, page 218.
Says Gladstone: "Rome does not keep good faith with
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history as it is handed down in her own annals." (Vaticanism, page 129.) -- Romanism and the Republic, page 204.
"If the liberties of the American people are ever destroyed, it will be by the hands of the Roman clergy." -- The MARQUIS DE LA FAYETTE, Ibid., page 36.
THE ROSARY."The rosary of the Virgin was probably invented in the tenth century. This is a string of beads, consisting of one hundred and fifty, which makes so many Aves, or hail Marys, every ten beads being divided by one something larger, which signifies a pater, or Lord's Prayer. Before repeating the rosary, it is necessary for the person to take it and cross himself, and then to repeat the creed, after which he repeats a prayer to the Virgin for every small bead, and a prayer to God for every large one." -- History of Romanism, page 189.
"In 855, it is said, a woman, disguised as a man, had the art to gain an election to the papal chair, and governed the church for two years. She is known by the title of Pope Joan.... John XII. first introduced the practice in 956, followed by all his successors, of changing their name when chosen to the papacy." -- MARSH, pages 241, 242.
THE ARROGANT CLAIMS OF THE PAPAL CHURCH, HER INTOLERANT AND HAUGHTY SPIRIT AND PRETENSIONS, AND TERRIBLE VICIOUSNESS TOWARDS ALL WHO WILL NOT RECOGNIZE HER AUTHORITY; HER CRAFT AND DECEPTIONS."The many-tongued Catholic masses, imbued with Romanist doctrines, and invested by that polity as by the shirt of Nessus, with the pope at their, constitute living Romanism, aggressive, imperious and relentless as ever.
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This vast power, besides assuming and exercising the most blasphemous religious prerogatives for more than a thousand years, has dispensed crowns and dethroned kings, absolved peoples from allegiance to their rightful sovereigns, or sanctioned their bondage under tyrants, according to its own pleasure and caprice; nor has it ever formally or impliedly abandoned any of its enormous pretensions. There is not a people in the Old World whose peace it has not disturbed, whose rulers it has not embroiled, the administration of whose government it has not embarrassed, whose rights it has not usurped, and whose soil it has not drenched in blood." (LEROY M. VERNON.) -- Romanism and the Republic, page 3.
"The Canon Law, the undisputed fundamental code of Romanism, reads as follows: --
"'I. All human power is from evil, and must therefore be standing under the pope.
"'II. The temporal powers must act unconditionally, in accordance with the spiritual.
"'III. The church is empowered to grant, or take away, any temporal possession.
"'IV. The pope has the right to give countries and nations which are non-Catholic to Catholic regents, who can reduce them to slavery.
"'V. The pope can make slaves of those Christian subjects whose prince or ruling power is interdicted by the pope.
"'VI. The laws of the church, concerning the liberty of the church and the papal power, are based upon divine inspiration.
"'VII. The church has the right to practise the unconditional censure of books.
"'VIII. The pope has the right to annul state laws, treaties, constitutions, etc.; to absolve from obedience thereto, as soon as they seem detrimental to the rights of the church, or those of the clergy.
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"'IX. The pope possesses the right of admonishing, and, if needs be, of punishing the temporal rulers, emperors, and kings, as well as drawing before the spiritual forum any case in which a mortal sin occurs.
"'X. Without, the consent of the pope, no tax or rate of any kind can be levied upon a clergyman, or upon any church whatsoever.
"'XI. The pope has the right to absolve from oaths and obedience to the persons and the laws of the princes whom he excommunicates.
"'XII. The pope can annul all legal relations of those in ban especially their marriages.
"'XIII. The pope can release from every obligation, oath, vow, either before or after being made.
"'XIV. The execution of papal commands for the persecution of heretics causes the remission of sins.
"'XV. He who kills one that is excommunicated is no murderer in a legal sense."' (DR. G. F. VON SCHULTE, Professor of Canonical Law at Prague). -- Ibid., page 6.
"The following paragraphs from the Syllabus of Pius IX., issued Dec. 8, 1864, and subsequently by the decree of infallibility confirmed as truths eternal, and equal in authority to the Decalogue, are samples of Roman Catholic toleration, viz.: 'The state has not the right to leave every man free to profess and embrace whatever religion he shall deem true.
"'It has not the right to enact that the ecclesiastical power shall require the permission of the civil power in order to the exercise of its authority.
"'It has not the right to treat as an excess of power, or as usurping the rights of princes, anything that the Roman pontiffs or ecumenical councils have done.
"'It has not the right to adopt the conclusions of a national church council, unless confirmed by the pope.
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"'It has not the right of establishing a national church separate from the pope.
"'It has not the right to the entire direction of public schools.
"'It has not the right to assist subjects who wish to abandon monasteries or convents.'
"Then in the same Syllabus the rights and powers of the church are affirmed thus, viz.: --
" 'She has the right to require the state not to leave every man free to profess his own religion.
"'She has the right to exercise her power, without the permission or consent of the state.
"'She has the right to prevent the foundation of any national church, not subject to the authority of the Roman
"'She has the right to deprive the civil authority of the entire government of public schools.
"'She has the right of perpetuating the union of church and state.
"'She has the right to require that the Catholic shall be the only religion of the state, to the exclusion of all others.
"'She has the right to prevent the state from granting the public exercise of their own worship to persons immigrating into it.
"'She has the power of requiring the state not to permit free expression of opinion."' -- lbid., pages 6, 7.
"The pope demands for himself the right to determine the province of his own rights, and has so defined it in formal documents as to warrant any and every invasion of the civil sphere.... Rome requires a convert who joins her to forfeit his moral and mental freedom, and place his loyalty and civil duty at the mercy of another." -- GLADSTONE, Our Country, page 51.
"This pope, this foreigner, this Italian, is more powerful
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in this country than any other person, not excepting even the king. And now please to consider what this foreigner has announced as the programme by which he rules in Prussia as elsewhere. He begins by arrogating to himself the right to define how far his authority extends; and this pope, who would use fire and sword against us if he had the power to do so, who would confiscate our property and not spare our lives, expects us to allow him full, uncontrolled sway in our midst." -- PRINCE BISMARK, Ibid., pages 51, 52.
"The beginning of the sixteenth century saw the Roman Catholic Church predominant over all religious, civil, and social life throughout Europe. The holy Roman Empire, with its Emperor, was in subjection to the pope of Rome." -- Romanism and the Republic, page 41.
"All, both pastors and faithful, are bound to submit, not only in matters belonging to faith and morals, but also in those pertaining to the discipline and government of the church throughout the world. This is the teaching of the Catholic faith, from which none can deviate, without detriment to faith and salvation. We further teach and declare that the pope is the supreme judge of the faithful, and that in all cases pertaining to ecclesiastical jurisdiction, recourse may be had to his judgment; and that none may rebate the judgment of the apostolic see, than whose there is no greater authority, and that it is not lawful for any one to sit in judgment on its judgment." -- Ibid., page 66. Vatican Decrees, page 52.
Says the Catholic World, for August, 1871: "We have no right to ask reasons of the church (the pope), any more than of Almighty God, as a preliminary to our submission. We are to take with unquestionable docility whatever instructions the church (pope) gives us." -- Ibid., page 67.
"No temporal prince, whether emperor, or king, or president, or any legislative body, can have any lawful jurisdiction
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over the pope. What right has the pope to be independent of every civil ruler? He has it in virtue of his dignity as the vicar of Christ. Christ himself is King of kings, but the pope governs the church in the name of Christ, and as his representative. His divine office, therefore, makes him superior to every political, temporal, and human government." (Tract No. 46 of the Catholic publication Society.) -- Ibid., page 68.
"Pius IX., who in 1880 declared absolutely null and void all the acts of the government of Peidmont, which he held prejudicial to the rights of religion, in the same year, because Spain had passed a law which permitted the toleration of non-Roman worship, and the secularization of ecclesiastical property, he declared, by his own apostolic authority, those laws to be abrogated, totally null, and of no effect." (GLADSTONE, Vaticanism, page 176.) -- Ibid., page 70.
"Here, then, is the indictment which we frame against this most arrogant and tyrannical of rulers. A pontiff claiming infallibility, who has condemned free speech, free writing, a free press, toleration of non-conformity, liberty of conscience, the study of civil and philosophical matters in independence of ecclesiastical authority, marriage, unless contracted in the Romish Church, the definition by the state of the civil rights of the church, -- who has demanded therefore the title to define its own civil rights, together with a divine right to civil immunities and a right to use physical force, and who has also proudly asserted that the popes of the Middle Ages, with their councils, did not invade the rights of princes, etc." (GLADSTONE, Vaticanism, page 56.) -- Ibid., page 71.
"Nationalities must be subordinate to religion, and we must learn that we are Catholics first and citizens next. God is above man, and the church is above the state." (BISHOP GILMORE, in his Lenten letter of March, 1873.) -- Our Country, by REV. J. STRONG, D. D., page 52.
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"In a sermon preached when he was archbishop, Cardinal Manning put the following sentences in the mouth of the pope: "I acknowledge no civil power; I am the subject of no prince; and I claim more than this: I claim to be the supreme judge and director of the conscience of men; of the peasant that tills the fields, and of the prince that sits upon the throne; of the household that lives in the shade of privacy, and the legislator that makes laws for the kingdoms; I am the sole, last, supreme judge of what is right and wrong.... Moreover, I declare, affirm, define, and pronounce it to be necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff.'
"Cardinal Bellarmie says: 'If the pope should err by enjoining vices or forbidding virtues, the church would be obliged to believe vices to be good and virtues bad, unless it would sin against conscience.'" -- Ibid., page 53.
WHAT THEY ARE AIMING AT."Father Hecker says that 'ere long there is to be a state religion in this country (United States), and that state religion is to be Roman Catholic. The man to-day is living who will see a majority of the people of the American Continent Roman Catholics. (Boston Pilot.)'" -- Ibid., page 55.
The writer, having marshalled an array of evidence and citations reflecting upon the Roman Catholic hierarchy, showing its spirit, assumptions, and purpose, closes with the following indictment against that church: "I indict the pope of Rome as the representative of the papal policy, the representative whom they put forward to stand for the whole church in its antagonisms to religious and civil freedom, against which he has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.
"I impeach him in the name of liberty of conscience, whose rights he has denied; I impeach him in the name of freedom
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of worship, whose temples he would close; I impeach him in the name of a free press and free speech, whose voice he would smother in the smoke of fire and fagot; I impeach him in the name of civil liberty, over whose just laws he has proclaimed the sovereignty of Romish councils; I impeach him in the name of the marriage bond of the majority of the happy households of the Christian world, which he has stigmatized as 'filthy concubinage,' because not contracted in the Romish Church, I impeach him in the name of Protestantism, which he calls 'heresy' and against which he invokes the persecution of the civil government and the tortures of the Inquisition. In the name of progress, which he has tried in vain to stay; of modern civilization, with which he cannot be reconciled; in the name of free and enlightened governments of the world, against whose most beneficent laws he has hurled his anathemas; in the name of the holy Bible, whose free circulation he has pronounced a pest; in the name of free America whose overthrow he has plotted; in the name of Almighty God, whose prerogatives he has blasphemously usurped; in the name of all of these, I impeach the pope and the hierarchy which dominate the Roman Catholic Church, and summon them to the bar of oppressed humanity and of divine justice." -- Romanism and the Republic, page 86.
Further: "In an encyclical, the pope says: 'The Romish Church has a right to exercise its authority without any limits set to it by the civil power; the pope and the priests ought to have dominion over temporal affairs; the Romish Church and her ecclesiastics have a right to immunity from civil law; in case of conflict between ecclesiastical and civil powers, the ecclesiastical powers ought to prevail.'" -- STRONG'S Our Country, page 50.
"To what extent may the Roman Catholic Church coerce? How does the pope, how do the cardinals and archbishops
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of to-day understand this term, as they use it? We know what they meant by coercion in the past. We know in the relation of the Huguenots, the Waldenses, Albigenses, and the Lollards, what coercion has meant with the Romish Church. We know what the Inquisition meant by coercion, -- death by torture, by fire, by sword and axe, by starvation, by burying alive; and these have been the sanctioned methods of the Romish Church, never repudiated." - - Romanism and the Republic, page 106.
Said Pope Plus IX.: I We have been truly shocked at this most crafty device (Bible societies) by which the very foundations of religion are undermined. We have deliberated upon the means proper to adopt by our pontifical authority, in order to remedy and abolish this pestilence, as far as possible, this defilement of the faith, so imminently dangerous to souls." -- Ibid., page 112.
AN AWFUL DENUNCIATION AND CURSING BY THE POPE.The following exhibits the heart and soul of the Romish hierarchy, and the vicious spirit it harbors towards those not of her communion. This terrible cursing is pronounced upon the bead of Victor Emmanuel, king of united Italy. This is the utterance of "Our Lord God, the Pope," "The Divine Majesty," "Prince of God," "Priest of the World": --
"By authority of the Almighty God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and of the Holy Canons, and of the undefiled Virgin Mary, mother and nurse of our Saviour; and of the celestial virtues, angels, archangels, thrones, dominions, powers, cherubim and seraphim; and of all the holy patriarchs and prophets; and of the apostles and evangelists; and of the holy innocents, who, in the sight of the Holy Lamb, are found worthy to sing the new song; and of the holy martyrs and holy confessors, and of the holy virgins,
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and of the saints, together with all the holy and elect of God: we excommunicate and anathematize him, and from the threshold of the holy church of God Almighty we sequester him, that he may be tormented in eternal excruciating sufferings, together with Dathan and Abiram, and those who say to the Lord God, 'Depart from us; we desire none of thy ways.' And as fire is quenched by water, so let the light of him be put out forever more. May the Son who suffered for us, curse him. May the Father who created man, curse him. May the Holy Ghost which was given to us in our baptism, curse him. May the Holy Cross which Christ, for our salvation, triumphing over his enemies, ascended, curse him. May the Holy and eternal Virgin Mary, mother of God, curse him. May St. Michael, the advocate of holy souls, curse him. May all the angels and archangels, principalities and powers, and all the heavenly armies, curse him. May St. John the precursor, and St. Peter, and St. Paul, and St. John the Baptist, and St. Andrew, and all other Christ's apostles, together curse him; and may the rest of his disciples and four Evangelists, who by their preaching converted the universal world, and may the holy and wonderful company of martyrs and confessors, who by their holy work are found pleading to God Almighty, curse him. May the choir of holy virgins, who for the honor of Christ have despised the things of this world, damn him. May all the saints who, from the beginning of the world and everlasting ages, are found to be beloved of God, damn him. May the heavens and the earth, and all things remaining therein, damn him.
"May he be damned wherever he may be; whether in the house or in the field, whether in the highway or in the by- way, whether in the wood or water, or whether in the church. May he be cursed in living and dying, in eating and drinking, in fasting and thirsting, in slumbering and sleeping, in
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watching or walking, in standing or sitting, in lying down or walking mengendo concando, and in all blood-letting. May he be cursed in all the faculties of his body. May he be cursed inwardly and outwardly. May he be cursed in his hair, May he be cursed in his brain. May he be cursed in the crown of his hair and in his temples. In his forehead and in his ears. In his eyebrows and in his cheeks. In his jawbones and in his nostrils. In his foreteeth and in his grinders. In his lips and in his throat. In his shoulders and in his wrists. In his arms, his hands, and in his fingers. May he be damned in his mouth, in his breast, in his heart, and in all the viscera of his body. May he be damned in his veins and in his groin; in his thighs, in his lips, and in his knees; in his legs, feet, and toenails.
"May he be cursed in all the joints and articulations of his body. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot may there be no soundness in him. May the Son of the living God, with all the glory of his majesty, curse him; and may heaven, with all the powers that move therein, rise up against him, curse him and damn him! Amen. So let it be! Amen." -- Ibid., pages 116, 117, and 118.
"The distinguished statesman of Spain, Castelar, speaking of the arrogance of the Roman Catholic Church in 1869, said to the Spanish Cortes: "There is not a single progressive principle which has not been cursed by the Catholic Church. This is true of England and Germany, as well as of Catholic countries. The church cursed the French Revolution, the Belgium constitution, and the Italian independence. Nevertheless all these principles have unrolled themselves in spite of it. Not a constitution has been born, not a single progress made, not a solitary reform effected, which has not been under the terrible anathemas of the church." -- Ibid., page 122.
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ROMAN CATHOLICISM IS OPPRESSIVE, TYRANNICAL, AND ENSLAVES PEOPLE. -- HOLDS THAT "IGNORANCE IS THE MOTHER OF DEVOTION," AND IS A NECESSITY.Concerning the intent and purpose of the Roman Catholic Church, the following from the pen of Brownson, one of their oracles, speaks for itself: "The people need governing, and must be governed. They must have a master. The religion which is to answer our purpose must be above the people, and able to command them. The first lesson of a child is to obey; the first and last lesson to the people, individually and collectively, is obey. There is no obedience where there is no authority to enjoin it. The Roman Catholic religion, then, is necessary to sustain popular liberty, because popular liberty can be sustained only by a religion free from popular control, above the people, speaking from above and able to command them, and, such a religion is the Roman Catholic. In this sense we wish, this country to come under the power of Rome. As the visible head of the church, the spiritual authority which Almighty God has instituted to teach and govern the nation, we assert his supremacy, and tell our countrymen that we would have them submit to him. They may flare up as much as they please, and write as many alarming and abusive editorials as they choose, or can find time and space to do. They will not move us, or relieve themselves from the obligation Almighty God has placed them under of obeying the authority of the Catholic Church, pope and all." -- Ibid., page 129.
ROMAN CATHOLIC VIEWS OF AN OATH."The Fourth General Lateran Council, with the approval of Pope Alexander III., decreed that an oath in opposition to the welfare of the church and the enactments of the holy fathers is not to be called an oath, but rather
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perjury. Peter Deus, the great commentator of the laws and morality and theology of the church, lays it down as the law of the church, that the right of the pope, as the ultimate superior and sovereign, is reserved in every oath, which, of course, includes the oath of allegiance. He also instructs the faithful that the pope has the power of withdrawing or prohibiting what is included in an oath; and that, when he does so, it is no longer included." -- Ibid., page 134.
"Monsignor Capel, a very distinguished Roman Catholic, while stopping in the city of New York, in reply to the question, in an interview by Mr. H. A. Crous, 'Whom must we obey, if the state should command the citizen to do one thing, and the church should command him to do another?' Monsignor Capel replied, 'Then he must obey the church, of course."' -- Ibid., page 163.
"A culprit or a witness, questioned by a judge, but in an illegal manner, may swear that he knows nothing of the crime about which he is questioned, although he knows it well, meaning mentally, that he knows nothing, in such a manner as to answer.... When a crime is well concealed, the witness, and even the criminal, may, and even must, swear that the crime has never been committed. The guilty party may yet do likewise when a half proof cannot be brought against him.... Signori asks whether a woman, accused of the crime of adultery, which she has really committed, may deny it under oath. He answers, 'Yes, provided she has been to confess, and receive absolution; for then,' he says, 'the sin has been pardoned, and has really ceased to exist.... As for an oath, made for a good and legitimate object, it seems there should be no power capable of annulling it. However, when it is for the good of the public, a matter which comes under the immediate jurisdiction of the pope, who has the supreme power over
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the church, the pope has full power to release from that oath.' (SIGNORI, in Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, Chap. XIII.) It has undoubtedly become the settled law of the Roman Church that the pope may dispense with any promissory oaths, by withdrawing the promise or prohibiting its performance.... They are not to be called oaths, but rather perjury, which are in apposition to the welfare of the church and the enactment of the Holy Fathers." -- Deus, Papacy and Civil Power, note to page 560.
PAPAL SUPREMACY MEANS THE MOST ABSOLUTE DICTATION."In Italy, as late as 1865, not a Bible could be sold; not a voice could be heard preaching Christ on any part of Italian soil. The punishment for such an offence was imprisonment or death. The few friends of freedom, sometimes in caves, sometimes in woods, were accustomed, in fear and trembling, to meet and pray. The dungeons of the Inquisition were full. The stories of their horrors are too dreadful to be told here. The testimonies of De Sanctis and Gavozzi and others, which cannot be impeached, open before us damp, dark dungeons, where men and women were starved to death; the horrible vats where they were put alive into quick-lime to perish for their faith; the secret trap- doors through which they were dropped, where their cries could not be heard, and their protests were unknown." -- Romanism and the Republic, page 141.
IT IS THE INTENT OF ROMANISM TO DESTROY THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, EVEN OF AMERICA."Says the papal encyclical: 'The Romish Church has the right to interfere in the discipline of the public schools, and the arrangement of studies of public schools, and in the choice of teachers of these schools. Public schools, open to all children for the education of the young, should be under
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the control of the Romish Church, and should not be subject to the civil power, nor made to conform to the opinions of the age.' (Encyclical XLV. and XLVII.)" -- Ibid., page l56.
Says the Rev. Dr. Toebbe, bishop of Covington: "The public schools are infidel and godless, and must therefore be avoided."
"'Catholics would not be satisfied with the public schools, even if the Protestant Bible and every vestige of religious teaching were banished from them. They will not be taxed either for educating the children of Protestants or having their own children educated in schools under Protestant control.' (Boston Advertiser.)" -- Ibid., pages 159, 161.
"The Catholic World, of July, 1870, gives this interesting information: 'The supremacy asserted for the church in matters of education implies the additional and cognate functions of the censorship of ideas, and the right to examine and approve, or disapprove, all books, publications, writings, and utterances intended for public instruction, enlightenment, or entertainment, and the supervision of places of amusement."' -- Ibid., page 162.
"'We determine and decree that hard by every church, where it does not already exist, a parochial school is to be erected within two years of the promulgation of this council (January 6, 1886), and to be kept up in the future, unless the bishop sees fit to grant a further delay on account of more than ordinary grave difficulties to be overcome in its establishment.' (Baltimore Council.)
"'Let the public school system go to where it came from -- the devil.' (Freemans Journal, Nov. 20, 1869.)" -- Ibid., pages 168, 173.
THE POPES DENOUNCE LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE."When in this country we speak of liberty of conscience, we mean that every man shall be permitted to worship God
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as his own personal convictions of duty shall dictate. But the papal hierarchy have no such meaning, and intend nothing of the sort. With them, liberty of conscience merely consists in the right to embrace, profess, and practise the Catholic religion in a Protestant country, and not the right to embrace, profess, and practise the Protestant religion in a Roman Catholic country. Protestantism cannot be tolerated or compromised without sin, and must be exterminated." (The Papacy and the Civil Power page 35.) -- Ibid., page 186.
THE CHARACTER OF THE POPES.Can Romanism appeal to history for sanction of papal infallibility? Shall I have time to tell you of the monsters of iniquity some of these popes were? But the Roman Catholic hierarchs of the middle and succeeding ages exhibited a melancholy change. Their lives displayed all the variations of impiety, malevolence, inhumanity, ambition, debauchery, gluttony, sensuality, deism, and atheism. Gregory the Great seems to have led the way in the career of villany. This well-known pontiff has been characterized as worse than his predecessors, and better than his successors, or, in other terms, as the last good and first bad pope. The flood-gates of moral dissolution appeared, in the tenth century, to have been set wide open, and inundations of impurity poured on the Christian world through the channel of the Roman Catholic hierarchs.
"Awful and melancholy indeed is the picture of the popedom at this era, drawn as it has been by its warmest friends, Platina, Petavius, Suitprand, Genebrard, Baronius, Hermann, Barclays,, Grandee, Vagina, Lab, and Du Pi." (EDGAR'S Variations of Popery, pages 108, 109.) -- Ibid., page 209.
"On two separate occasions there were three popes. Now,
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which of these three was pope, when all three claimed to be? They were all cursing, -- if that is any mark of a pope -- every man of them anathematizing and denouncing the others. At that time, known as the great schism, occurring from and after 1378, there was a period of seventy years in which there was a pope at Avignon, over in France, and a pope in Rome, and they surely did not hold each other in good estimation. There were seventy years in which the air was blue with their mutual anathemas, and the apostolic succession was wholly unsettled. Now, you will remember that these popes were all infallible. I affirm to you that, by the authority of Roman Catholic historians, many of these popes were guilty of the most infamous crimes, and that the councils of the Roman Catholic Church itself have characterized many of the popes in language so dreadful that it is hardly fit to be read before any audience....
"The sacred Synod of Constance, in the twelfth session, convicted His Holiness of schism, heresy, incorrigibleness, simony, impiety, immodesty, unchastity, fornication, adultery, incest, rape, piracy, lying, robbery, murder, perjury, and infidelity. This was John XXIII., pope of Rome; and that is what the council of Constance said of him, the very same council that burned John Huss and Jerome of Prague." -- Ibid., page 207.
Others of the popes were charged with similar crimes, and convicted. The popes would have similar imputations against the councils. But the Roman Catholics have a sedative that fortifies against all of this degeneracy and violence, and in their opinion the keys of St. Peter are transmitted unsullied through all this fearful line of iniquity. Says Peter Fredet, D. D., a Catholic writer: "It is true, a few among them gave great scandal to the Christian world in their private character and conduct; but it ought to be remembered, at the same time, that, through a special protection
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of Divine Providence, the irregularity of their lives did not interfere with their public duty, from, which they never departed. The beneficial influence of sacred jurisdiction does not depend on the private virtue of the persons invested with it, but on their divine mission and appointment to feed the Christian flock. Nor did Christ promise personal sanctity to its chief pastors, but gave to them authority to teach and govern the faithful." -- Ibid., pages 212, 213.
Here we have it. The man may be a great sinner, but the pope is pure and holy. This is Roman Catholic theology.
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC IDEA OF EDUCATION."The Catholic World for April, 1871, gives the Roman Catholic idea of education as follows: --
"'Education is the American hobby; regarded, as uneducated or poorly educated people usually regard it, as a sort of panacea for all the ills that flesh is heir to. We ourselves, as Catholics, are, as decidedly as any other class of American citizens, in favor of universal education, as thorough and extensive as possible -- if the quality suits us. We do not indeed prize as highly as some of our countrymen appear to do the ability to read, write, and cipher. Some men are born to be leaders, and the rest are born to be led.... The best ordered and administered state is that in which the few are well educated and lead, and the many are trained to obedience, are willing to be directed, content to follow, and do not aspire to be leaders. In extending education, and endeavoring to train all to be leaders, we have only extended presumption, pretension, conceit, indocility, and brought incapacity to the surface. We believe that the peasantry in old Catholic countries, two centuries ago, were better educated, although for the most part unable to read and write, than are the great body of the American people to-day.'... That is Roman Catholic
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education. Do you say this is only my statement of it? No; it is their own. And do you want it emphasized? Look at Italy, and France, and Spain, and Portugal, and Austria, and Mexico, and South America, if you desire illustrations. What is their idea of education? The few to be taught and lead, the many to do what tyrants have made their subjects do through all the years of this suffering world's history, -- to grind in their prison-houses for the enrichment of despots." -- Ibid., page 234.
There is a vast difference between this idea of education and that system that makes it possible for the poor boy, the farmer, tailor, tanner, the shoemaker, the carpenter, indeed, all classes of work-men, to secure an education and rise to the highest stations in life, by industry and skill, that is adopted by the American people. That is, to teach every man all that be is capable of receiving.
Roman Catholics urge that the schools should be under the direction of the priests. Monks and nuns are the preferred teachers.
Says Mr. Lansing: "I noticed in one of our papers in this city yesterday or the day before, a list of the professors in the Roman Catholic College of the Holy Cross in this city (Worcester, Mass.) for the ensuing year. Every one of those gentlemen had after his name the letters S. J. What does it mean? Society of Jesus -- Jesuits."
Here is the oath that all Jesuits take: "I do renounce and disown any allegiance as due to any heretical king, prince or state named Protestant, or obedience to any of their inferior magistrates or officers. I do further declare, that the doctrine of the Church of England, the Calvinists, Huguenots, and others of the, of Protestants, to be damnable; and they themselves are damned, and to be damned, that will not forsake the same. I do further declare that I will help, assist, and advise all or any of His Holiness's agents in
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any place wherever I shall be, in England, Scotland, or in any other territory or kingdom I shall come to; and do my utmost to extirpate the heretical Protestants' doctrine, and to destroy all their pretended powers, legal or otherwise. I do further promise and declare that, notwithstanding I am dispensed with to assume any religion heretical, for the propagating of the Mother Church's interests, to keep secret and private all her agents' councils from time to time, as they intrust me, and not to divulge, directly or indirectly, by word, writing, or circumstance whatsoever, but to execute all that shall be proposed," etc.
"These are the preferred teachers of the Roman Catholic Church. Those who have denounced everything, political, religious, and educational, except that which is associated with the interests of Rome. Here is what is found in a textbook, entitled 'Familiar Explanation of Christian Doctrine, adapted for the family and more advanced students in Catholic schools and colleges,' published in 1875, by Kreuzer Brothers, Baltimore, and sanctioned by Archbishop Bayley. Lesson XII. is called 'No salvation outside of the the Roman Catholic Church.' The questions and answers run thus (this is what they want to use instead of Swinton's History): 'Q. Since the Roman Catholic Church alone is the true church of Jesus Christ, can any one who is outside of the church be saved? A. He cannot. -- Q. Did Jesus Christ himself assure us most solemnly, and in plain words, that no one can be saved out of the Roman Catholic Church? A. He did, when he said to his apostles, "Go and teach all nations," etc. -- Q. What do the fathers of the church say about the salvation of those who die out of the Roman Catholic Church? A. They all, without, any exception, pronounce them infallibly lost forever. -- Q. Are there any other reasons to show that heretics, or Protestants, who die out of the Roman Catholic Church, are not saved? A. There are
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several. They cannot be saved because (1) they have no divine faith; (2) they make a liar of Jesus Christ, of the Holy Ghost, and of the apostles; (3) they have no faith in Christ; (4) they fell away from the true church of Christ; (5) they cannot perform any good works whereby they can obtain heaven; (6) they do not receive the body and blood of Christ; (7) they die in their sins; (8) they ridicule and blaspheme the mother of God and his saints; (9) they slander the spouse of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church.' Again, on page 97: 'Q. Now do you think that God, the Father, will admit into heaven those who make liars of his Son, Jesus Christ, of the Holy Ghost, and the apostles? A. No; he will let them have their portion with Lucifer in hell, who first rebelled against Christ, and who is the father of liars. -- Q. Have Protestants any faith in Christ? A. They never had. -- Q. Why not? A. Because there never lived such a Christ as they imagine and believe in. -- Q. In what kind of a Christ do they believe in? A. In such a one of whom they can make a liar, etc. -- Q. Will such a faith in such a Christ save Protestants? A. No sensible man will assert such an absurdity. -- Q. What will Christ say to them on the day of judgment? A. "I know you not, because you never knew me."' Again, page 104: 'Q. Are Protestants willing to confess their sins to a Catholic bishop, or priest, who alone has power from Christ to forgive sins? A. No; for they generally have an utter aversion to confession, and therefore their sins will not be forgiven throughout all eternity. -- Q. What follows from this? A. That they will die in their sins, and are damned."' - - Ibid., pages 240, 241.
This is, the teaching of Archbishop Bayley.
"'When I was a little boy, in Canada, at school,' says a converted Catholic in this city, 'we were encouraged in dislike of our Protestant fellow-pupils, so that we thought it
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right to throw missiles at them, and abuse them, and often they went bleeding from the encounter, having committed no offence against us, only they were Protestants."' -- Ibid., page 242.
Protestants might learn a very profitable lesson from the above, and cultivate the virtues of toleration, civility, and Christian graces toward each other and the Catholics.
"William Hogan, who was for many years a priest in the Roman Catholic Church, says, on page 172 of his book, which he wrote after he became a distinguished lawyer in the Southern United States: 'I pronounce all Roman Catholic priests, bishops, popes, monks, friars, and nuns to be the most deliberate and wilful set of liars that ever infested this or any other country, or disgraced the name of religion.... I have asserted, and continue to assert, that there is not a Roman Catholic church, chapel, or house of worship in any Catholic country where indulgences are not sold. I will go even further, and say, that there is not a Roman Catholic priest, or inquisitor, who has denied the fact that he does not sell indulgences himself. And yet these priests and these bishops -- these men of sin, falsehood, impiety, barbarity, and immorality -- talk of morals, and preach morals, while in their lives and their practice they laugh at such ideas as morality.
"'I would ask all or any of them if they have ever heard mass in any Catholic church in Dublin, or any other city in Ireland, without hearing published from the altar a notice, in the following words: "Take notice that there will be an indulgence on -- day, in -- church. Confessions will be heard on -- day. Prepare, those who wish to partake of the indulgence." I have published hundreds of such notices myself, and any American who may visit Ireland, or any other Catholic country, and has the curiosity, may enter the Roman Catholic country and hear these notices read, and
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when he returns to the United States he will hear the Roman Catholic priest say that there are no indulgences sold by the Romish Church." (HOGAN'S Popery, page l72.) -- Romanism and the Republic, pages 265, 266.
MURDER."'A man who has been excommunicated by the pope may be killed anywhere, as Escobar and Deaux teach; because the pope has an indirect jurisdiction over the whole world, even in temporal things, as all the Catholics maintain, and as Suarez proves against the king of England.... Pope Gregory VII. decided it was no murder to kill excommunicated persons.' This is taken from the London Times, July 26, 1872, written by Lord Acton. Gregory says: 'This rule was incorporated in the canon law.... It appears in every reprint of the Corpus Juris. It has been for seven hundred years and continues to be part of the ecclesiastical law. Far from being a dead letter, it obtained a new application in the days of the Inquisition; and one of the popes has declared that the murder of a Protestant is so good a deed that it atones, and more than atones, for the murder of a Catholic.' They claim the right to murder all rulers whom they consider apostates; and has it ever been brought to your attention (I speak of it as a curiosity only) that every person who had anything to do with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln was a Roman Catholic? that John Wilkes Booth was a Roman Catholic; Payne and Asterott; also, Dr. Judd, who dressed his leg; Garrett, on whose premises he was killed; also, that Harold was a Roman Catholic? Mrs. Surratt and her son were Roman Catholics; in their house was the headquarters for Roman Catholics and Jesuit priests. All of this was brought out before the military tribunal which condemned some of them to death." -- Ibid., pages 270, 271, 272.
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IMAGE WORSHIP."The Eighth General Council commands the adoration of images. The fatuous superstition of that age is perhaps more fitly illustrated by the third canon of the Eighth General Council, which was held in Constantinople, in 870 A. D. 'We decree that the holy image of our Lord Jesus Christ, the liberator and Saviour of all men, shall be adored equally with the Book of the Holy Gospels.... For, as by uttering the syllables which are found written in that book, we all attain our eternal salvation, so also, by the operation of the imagination on the colors of the image we all, learned and unlearned, derive an equal advantage. Every one, therefore, who does not adore an image of our Saviour shall not behold himself when he comes in his glory, to be glorified with and to glorify all his saints; but such an one shall be debarred from all communion with him in his glory. The same rule applies to the image of Mary, his pure mother and the mother of God; so it does, also, to the images of the holy angels, and also to the images of the most praise worthy apostles, and prophets, and martyrs, and holy men, and to the images of all the saints; we must honor and adore all those images also. And if one should omit to adore them all, let him be anathema from the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."' -- MONTAGU, page 224
"Thomas Aquinas (St. Thomas) declares that the same service or worship has to be paid to both the person and to the image of the person; the same to the image of Christ as to Christ himself; the same to Mary and an image of Mary; the same to a saint and to the image of the saint. As Christ must be worshipped with supreme devotion, therefore an image of him must always be adored with supreme devotion.... We say that a cross is to be worshipped with the worship due to God; and for this reason we supplicate
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a cross, and we pray to a cross, as if Christ himself, hanging on the cross, were before us.
"Many and many a time, in foreign lands, have I seen the poor people drop down in the presence of a cross by the roadside, or in a chapel, and embrace it as though they held the feet of Christ himself.... In the church of the Aracoeli at Rome, at the Capitoline Hill, there was formerly a bronze image of a she-wolf that, was worshipped by the old Roman pagans; they have taken away the bronze image of the she-wolf, and have put in its stead one of the most hideous-looking wooden dolls that one ever beheld. That Bambino (the word means baby), as an object of worship, I have looked at while hundreds were thronging in and prostrating themselves before it. It is most carefully guarded by the priests of that church, as containing miraculous power.
"Among the images that I must mention, in order to give you a just idea of their prominence (in the Roman Catholic Church), let me remark on that in St. Peter's, the image of Peter himself, under that grandest dome in the world, in a church the splendor of which exceeds anything your eves ever rested on, -- unless you have seen that itself, -- on a high pedestal, higher than my breast, stands this bronze statue, larger than life, cost from the bronze that was formerly in an old Roman statue, now made to represent the Apostle Peter. This, also, is clothed with the pope's robes once in a year; on its head is placed the triple crown, and on its finger the ring of the pope, 'and every day when that church is open (I think it is open every day in the year), the thronging multitudes crowd about the image and bow themselves down before it as if it were God. The bronze statue of Peter is worshipped devoutly by the peasants and lower population, who kneel along on the marble floor before it; then reverently approach to kiss the worn toe that records
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the millions of kisses it has received. I saw a noble-looking priest, robed in white, his head as white as his dress, reverently approach this statue, carefully wipe the worn toe, kiss it, and press his forehead against it; kiss it a second time with tokens of awe and reverence, then retire as from the presence of a royal ruler." -- Ibid., pages 299, 300, 301, 303.
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY."On the eighth day of December, 1854, Pope Plus IX. sat under the dome of St. Peter's, with a triple crown, blazing with jewels, on his head, and with the splendid apparel of the pope upon his shoulders. Around him knelt five hundred prelates and dignitaries of the church; before him were ten thousand of the faithful, and in the great square outside fully forty thousand more. As they solemnly waited in this presence, a cardinal arose, and advancing toward the pope, said slowly, 'Father, tell us if we shall believe and teach that the Virgin Mary was immaculate in her conception'; and the pope solemnly answered, 'We do not know. Let us inquire of the Holy Spirit.' And all joined to sing 'Come, Holy Spirit.' Then the cardinal again arose, and advancing as before, asked the same question; and the pope answered, 'We do not know now. Let us ask the Holy Spirit.' And once more the assembled thousands sang, 'Come, Holy Spirit.' When, for the third time, in all the pomp and magnificence of ceremony, the cardinal advanced, the pope answered to the question, 'Shall we believe and teach that the Virgin Mary was immaculate in her conception?' 'Yes, yes. The Virgin Mary was immaculate in her conception. So believe and teach. There is no salvation to those who deny this teaching' It was then proclaimed a dogma of the church." -- Ibid., page 321.
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THE VIRGIN MARY WORSHIPPED AS BEING DIVINE."In order to become the mother of God, the blessed Virgin Mary had to be raised to an equality with the Trinity, so to speak, by being infinite in perfections and graces, an equality which no creature ever obtained.... There is no grace comes from heaven to us, unless the Virgin Mary dispenses it to us. For this office she, and she alone, obtained of God from all eternity." (ST. BERNARDINUS) -- Ibid., page 326.
"In the city of Lisbon, Portugal, there is a church dedicated to Mary as a goddess, in the following words: 'To the Virgin, goddess of Soretto, the Italian race devoted to her divinity, have dedicated this temple."' -- Ibid., page 334.
"Pope Sixtus IV., who erected a triumphal arch on the bridge of St. Angelo, on which he called himself God, granted to those who prayed to the Virgin Mary an indulgence of one hundred thousand years."
"The rosary of Mary," says Dr. Barnum, in his book, "is the most popular of all the forms of Roman Catholic devotion. That rosary has on it fifteen beads, and every one of these has associated with it a special thought of prayer. These prayers are offered variously, with certain changes of form and manner, to the Holy Virgin Mary.... 'It is the will of God that all graces should come to us by the hand of Mary.' (SIGNORI, page 5.) 'To reverence the Queen of Angels is to gain eternal life.' (Page 8.) 1 All graces are dispensed by Mary; and all who are saved, are saved only by means of this Divine Mother."' (Page l4.) -- Ibid., pages 337, 838.
AURICULAR CONFESSION.Auricular means confession in the ear, and, of course, to a priest. The penitent is compelled to confess every
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known thing, whether male or female. It leads to captivity and crime. A beautiful woman recites: 'When I went to the first (confessional) I was a spotless, stainless woman. He asked me those questions that poisoned and degraded my soul, and blackened my life. The sin that followed was only the natural consequence. I left him in the bitterness of my spirit, and went, after a year of sin, to another confessor, an old man. The same thing followed again,' etc. It is a source of humiliation and degradation, in which one voluntarily places himself in bondage to others. Absolution follows confession. When the penitent has confessed, the priest uses the following language: 'The passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merits of the blessed Mary, always virgin, and of all the saints, and whatever good you have done, and whatever evil you have suffered, be unto you for the remission of sins, the increase of grace, and the reward of eternal life. Amen."'
PRIESTS TELL WHAT THEY HEAR IN THE CONFESSION."The following are the words of one who was himself a popish priest for some time. Referring to another priest, whom he occasionally met, he says: 'All our conversation ran upon the stories he heard in confession; but he is not the only person who is free in what he has heard, for it is the ordinary discourse of the priests, when they meet, to inform one another of what they have heard in confession. This I can assert, because I was often present at such conferences, where the conversation was so indecent that even an honest Pagan would have blushed.'
"De Sanctino says, after speaking of the character of the confessors: 'While the penitent arraigns his faults with all the fatuity of a simpleton, what is the confessor doing? Laughing at the simplicity of the penitent, and afterwards,
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in the priestly orgies that follow a morning of great confessions, in the hilarity that flows from wine, amidst coarse explosions of laughter, they describe to each other the stupid folly of their penitents; and each priest vies with his brother in rendering his own penitents more ridiculous than the rest. To such a degree is the individual debased and degraded by confession."' -- Ibid., pages 395, 397, 403, 414.
In the Catholic "Sunday-School Manual," in use in Boston, a text-book for Catholic children, the following is found, which gives a correct idea of the early training of Roman Catholic children: --
CONFESSION.I confess to Almighty God, to the blessed Mary, ever virgin, to blessed Michael the archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul, and to all the saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous great fault. Therefore I beseech the blessed Mary, ever virgin, blessed Michael the archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul, and all the saints to pray to the Lord, our God, for me. May the Almighty God have mercy on me, forgive me my sins, and bring me to everlasting life. Amen. May the Almighty and merciful Lord give me pardon, absolution, and remission of all my sins. Amen." Sunday-School Manual, page 7.
"Q. What is confession? A. Confession is the accusation of all our sins to a priest, in order to obtain absolution of them. -- Q. How must we declare our sins? A. We must declare their number, their different species, and their considerable circumstances. -- Q. Must we declare them all? A. Yes, we must declare all; for if we were to conceal wilfully
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any mortal sin, we should not obtain the remission of any, and should, besides, commit a sacrilege....Q. In what sentiments should we place ourselves upon our knees before the priest, when we are going to confession? A. In the sentiments of a criminal who is about to offer honorable amends to God, viewing Jesus Christ in the person of the priest. -- Q. How ought we to begin our confession? A. Having made the sign of the cross, we should say, 'Bless me, father, for I have sinned'; then recite the I confess to Almighty God,' etc. -- Q. What should we do next? A. We should inform the priest when we confessed last, whether we then received absolution, and whether we complied with the penance enjoined.... Q. What ought we to do whilst the priest is giving absolution A. We ought to renew our act of contrition with all the fervor we are capable of. Q. 'What is absolution? A. It is the remission of our sins, which the priest imparts in virtue of the power he has received from Christ. -- Q. Who are the priests that can exercise this power? A. Those only who are approved of by the bishop." -- Ibid., page 47.
OF INDULGENCE."Q. What is an indulgence? A. An indulgence is the remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, either in this life or the life to come. -- Q. By what power does the church grant indulgences? A. She grants them by the power she has received from Jesus Christ. -- Q. Which is the greatest indulgence? A. It is the indulgence of the jubilee. -- Q. Can any one apply indulgences to the souls in purgatory? A. Yes; they help them so much the more efficaciously, as these souls, being confirmed in grace, cannot offer any obstacle to them." -- Ibid., page 50.
"Q. Whither did the soul of our Saviour go after death? A. His soul went down into that part of hell called Limbo. --
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Q. What do you mean by Limbo? A. I mean a place of rest, where the souls of the saints were. -- Q. And are the souls in purgatory helped by our prayers? A. Yes; they are. -- Q. What do you mean by purgatory? A. A middle state of souls, suffering for a time on account of their sins. -- Q. In what cases do souls go to purgatory? A. When they die in less sins, which we call venial; or when they have not satisfied the justice of God for former transgressions." -- Ibid., pages 18, 21, 22.
This abridged history and reference concerning the Roman Catholic Church, its rise, development, spirit, tenets, tradition, superstition, intolerance, tyranny, oppression, and arrogant assumption cannot fail to confirm unto the reader that that church answers fully to the predictions made by the apostles as constituting the "Man of Sin," the "Mother of Harlots," etc. It is the institution as such that we have to deal with. The early Protestant sects retained much of the spirit and notions of this mother.
After the establishment of the Church of England, -- called the "Established Church," -- all who did not conform to it were denominated dissenters, non-conformists, or sectarians. These were required by an act of Parliament to give proof of their conformity by subscribing to these words: "I, A B, do humbly confess; and acknowledge that I have grievously offended God, in contemning her Majesty's lawful government and authority by absenting myself from church, and in using unlawful conventicles and assemblies and pretence and color of exercise of religion, and I am heartily sorry for the same; and I do acknowledge and testify in my conscience that no person hath, or ought to have, any power or authority over her Majesty; and I do promise that I will, from time to time, repair to the church and hear divine service, and do my utmost endeavor to defend and maintain the same." In case of disobedience, the offender was to "abjure the realm," or
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be treated as a felon and "be hanged by the neck till he was dead." -- COBBETT'S Legacy to Parsons, page 62.
No wonder these dissenters, Independents, Baptists, Quakers, Puritans, fled to the New World to find a resting place, and enjoy that freedom of person and conscience that nature and revelation bequeath to man. An American, born in this free land, where none dare question his right of liberty and conscience, can scarcely understand how such a condition of things could exist as the intolerance and persecuting spirit manifested by Roman Catholics towards Protestants, and Protestants towards each other. Chief among the things that ought to swell every American heart with gratitude to God is the blessing of freedom and liberty of person and conscience expressed by the grand old flag of the country, wherever it waves, to each and every citizen, whatever may be his religious proclivities. God bless our land, our flag, and our nation, that undimmed, unsullied, and unbroken they may be handed down to generations unborn as the richest legacy ever bequeathed to posterity, wrought out by the hand of God and the diligence of our fathers, and bestowed upon us. He is no proper Christian who is not a friend to such a country.
All conservative, thoughtful, and fair-minded men incline to lament over much that occurs in the pedigree of even Protestant churches, for the intolerance and unchristian demeanor manifest one towards another, rather than praise it. "We all of us, ladies and gentlemen" (Says Mr. Mead), "have a rather mixed and impure religious pedigree; we have all, at times, I fear, been miserable sinners. Church of England people cannot be very proud of Henry VIII., of sundry proceedings on the part of Archbishop Whitgift, of the general moral condition of the church at the time of the Wesleyan revival, of the system of church 'livings,' of the fact that a lot of their bishops to-day derive large revenues
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from the rents of grog-shops, of the perversions and extravagances of doctrines which have obtained and obtain to- day in large sections of the church. The New England Congregationalist is not proud of the dealings with the Quakers and Baptists and witches on the part of his ancestors, though his ancestors were no worse in this than other people at the time. The Boston Unitarian is not very proud, I take it, of the attitude of his father toward Emerson and Theodore Parker. But the Roman Catholic is haunted to a much greater extent than other people by the hobgoblin of consistency; his whole theory of his miraculously inspired and guided and shielded church compels an excessive anxiety to show a good record. But, ladies and gentlemen, the record is very streaked and speckled." -- The Roman Catholic Church and the School Question, pages 26, 27.
The following is in relation to a dispensation being extended by Martin Luther and others to the Landgrave of Hesse, in granting him the privilege to marry a second wife while the first wife was still living. It is addressed. "To the, most serene prince and lord, Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, Count of Catzenburbogen, of Diets, of Ziegenhain and Nidda, our gracious lord, we wish above all things the grace of God through Jesus Christ.
"I. We have been informed by Bucer, and in the instructions which your Highness gave him have read the troubled mind and uneasiness of conscience your Highness is under at this present; and although it seemed to us very difficult so speedily to answer the doubts proposed, nevertheless, we could not permit the said Bucer, who was urgent for his return to your Highness, to go away without an answer in writing.... "
"III. Your Highness is not ignorant how great need our poor, miserable, little, and abandoned church stands in, of virtuous princes and rulers to protect her; and we doubt
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not but God will always supply her with some such, although from time to time he threatens to deprive her of them, and proves her by sundry temptations.
IV. These things seem to us of greatest importance; your highness, sufficiently of yourself, comprehends the difference there is betwixt settling an universal law and using (for urgent reasons and with God's permission) a dispensation in a particular case; for it is otherwise evident that no dispensation can take place against the first of all laws, the divine law.
"V. We cannot at present advise to introduce publicly, and establish as a law in the New Testament that of the Old, which permitted to have more wives than one. Your Highness is sensible, should any such thing be printed, that it would be taken for a precept, whence infinite troubles and scandals would arise. We beg your Highness to consider the dangers a man would be exposed unto, who should be convicted of having brought into Germany such a law, which would divide families and involve them in endless strifes and disturbances.
"VI. As to the objection that may be made, that what is just in God's sight ought absolutely to be permitted, it must be answered in this manner: If that which is just before God, besides commanded and necessary, the objection is true; if it be neither necessary nor commanded, other circumstances, before it be permitted, must be attended to; and to come to the question in hand; God hath instituted marriage to be a society of two persons and no more, supposing Nature were not corrupted; and this is the sense of the text of Genesis, 'There shall be two in one flesh,' and this was observed at the beginning."
"IX. In certain cases, however, there is room for dispensation. For example, if a married man, detained captive in a distant country, should there take a second wife.... we
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see not how we could condemn, in these cases, such a man,... provided it was not with a design of introducing a new law, but with an eye only to his own particular necessities.
"X. Since, then, the introduction of a new law, and the using a dispensation with respect to the same law, are two very different things, we entreat your Highness to take what follows into consideration.
"In the first place, above all things, care must be taken that plurality of wives be not introduced into the world by way of law, nor every man to follow as he thinks fit. In the second place, may it please your Highness to reflect on the dismal scandal which would not fail to happen if occasion be given to the enemies of the Gospel to exclaim that we are like the Anabaptists, who have several wives at once, and the Turks, who take as many wives as they are able to maintain."
"XVI. We also beg your Highness not to entertain a notion that the use of women out of marriage is but a light and trifling fault, as the world is used to imagine; since God hath often chastised impurity with the most severe punishments.
"XVII. We have related these passages, to the end that your Highness may consider seriously that God looks not on the vice of impurity as a laughing matter, as is supposed by those audacious libertines who entertain heathenish notions on this object. We are pleased to find that your Highness is troubled with remorse of conscience for these disorders..."
" XVIII....And if your Highness, after marrying a second wife, were not to forsake those licentious disorders, the remedy proposed would be to no purpose.... Remember that God has given you a numerous issue of such beautiful children of both sexes by the princess, your wife, that you have reason to be satisfied therewith. How many others, in marriage, are obliged to the exercise and practice of patience
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from the motive only of avoiding scandal. We are far from urging on your Highness to introduce so difficult a novelty into your family...."
"XX. As to what your Highness says, that it is not possible for you to abstain from this impure life, we wish you were in a better state before God....
"XXI. But after all, if your Highness is fully resolved to marry a second wife, we judge it ought to be done secretly,... that is, that none but the person you shall wed and a few trusty persons know of the matter, and they, too, obliged to secrecy under the seal of confession. Hence no contradiction nor scandal of moment is to be apprehended; for it is no extraordinary thing for princes to keep concubines; and though the vulgar should be scandalized thereat, the more intelligent would doubt of the truth, and prudent persons would approve of this moderate kind of life, preferable to adultery and other brutal actions. There is no need of being much concerned for what men will say, provided all goes right with conscience. So far we do approve it, and in those circumstances only by us specified; for the gospel hath neither recalled nor forbid what was permitted in the law of Moses with respect to marriage....
"XXII. Your Highness hath therefore, in this writing, not, only the approbation of us all, in case of necessity, concerning what you desire, but also the reflections we have made thereupon...."
"XXIV.... May God preserve your Highness. We are most ready to serve your Highness. Given at Wittenberg, the Wednesday after the feast of St. Nicholas, 1539."
MARTIN LUTHER. PHILIP MELANCTHON.
MARTIN BUCER. ANTONY CORVIN.
ADAM. JOHN SENINGUE.
JUSTUS WINTFERTE. DENIS MELANTHER."
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This writing was in Melancthon's handwriting, as attested by George Nuspicker, notary.
Then follows "The Marriage Contract of Philip, Landgrave of Hesse, with Margaret de Staal. In the name of God, Amen.
"Be it known to all those, as well in general as in particular, who shall see, hear, or read this public instrument, that in the year 1540, on Wednesday.... his Highness declares that his will is to wed the said Lady Margaret de Staal, although the princess, his wife, is still living, and that this action may not be imputed to inconstancy or curiosity, to avoid Beandal and maintain the honor of said lady, and the reputation of her kindred, his Highness makes oath here before God, and upon his soul and conscience, that he takes her to wife through no levity nor curiosity, nor from any contempt of laws or superiors; but that he is obliged to it by such important, such inevitable, necessities of body and conscience, that it is impossible for him to save either body or soul without adding another wife to his first.... The same cause and the same necessity have obliged the most serene princess, Christia, Duchess of Saxony, his Highness's first lawful wife, out of her great prudence and sincere devotion for which she is so much to be commended, freely to consent and admit of a partner, to the end that the soul and body of her most dear spouse may run no further risk, and the glory of God increased, as the deed written with the princess's own hand sufficiently testifies...." Signed, "Balthasor Rand, of Fuld, notary public imperial." -- History of the Variations of the Protestant Churches, pages 205-218.
Those who desire many wives can get but little consolation from the above transaction, as a precedent. Neither does it give warrant to the sentiment, now current somewhat, that Luther favored the theory of having many wives. The document, taken as a whole, is rather against it. A vile prince,
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the friend of Luther, compelled the granting to him, at the loss of his patronage, a dispensation to take another wife while his first was alive. This is the truth in the case. We have given extensive extracts from this long document on purpose to correct what appears to us a popular error. Honor to whom honor is due, should be the sentiment of every honest man.
BAPTISM.Baptized is from the Greek word baptistheis. It is not a translation, but is transferred, with an English termination. Baptize is from the Greek word baptizo, anglicized or Englishized, and means, when used in connection with the ordinance of baptism, immersion. Says Richard Fuller: "Never was there a word the meaning of which was more clear and precise." Again: "The question before us, then, is this: What does baptizo mean? I answer, it means immerse. It no more means to pour, or sprinkle, than it means to fly."
EVIDENCE FROM GREEK WRITERS.Heraclides Ponticus (Allegor., page 495): "When a piece of iron is taken red-hot from the fire, and is dipped (original, baptized) in water, the heat, being quenched by the peculiar nature of the water, ceases."
The Greek Scholiast, on Aratus, Vol. V., page 951 "The crow often dips (baptizes) herself from the head to the top of the shoulders in the river."
Alcibiades, in Jacob's Anthol, Vol. XI., page 49, note: "And I, plunging (baptizing) you in the waves of the sea, will destroy you in the briny surges."
Anacreon, in his ode on Love in the Heart: "Finding Cupid among the flowers, I caught him and plunged (baptized) him into wine, and drank him up."
"Baptizo always denotes a total immersion. If only a part of a thing be immersed, still it is an entire immersion of
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that part, and the context limits its extent. Thus, Polybius, Vol. III., page 72: 'The foot-soldiers passed through (the waters) scarcely immersed (baptized) to the paps."'
VIEWS OF EMINENT AUTHORS ON THIS SUBJECT.Luther: 'Baptism is a Greek word, and may be translated immersion, as when we immerse something in water, that it may be wholly covered. And although it is almost wholly abolished (for they do not wholly dip the children, but only pour a little water on them), they ought, nevertheless, to be wholly immersed, and then immediately drawn out; for that the etymology of the word seems to demand.'"
"Beza: 'Christ commanded us to be baptized; by which word, it is certain, immersion is signified. Baptizesthai, in this place, is more than niptein; because that seems to respect the whole body, this only the hands. Nor does baptizein signify to wash, except by consequence; for it properly signifies to immerse for the sake of dyeing. To be baptized in water signifies no other than to be immersed in water, which is the external ceremony of baptism. Baptizo differs from the verb dunai, which signifies to plunge in the deep and to drown."'
"Vitringa: 'The act of baptizing is the immersion of believers in water. This expresses the force of the word. Thus also it was performed by Christ and the apostles."'
"Hospinianus: 'Christ commanded us to be baptized; by which word it is certain immersion is signified."'
"Salmasius: 'Baptism is immersion, and was administered in former times, according to the force and meaning of that word.'"
"Brenner: 'The word (baptism) corresponds in signification with the German word taufen, to sink into the deep.'"
"Bretschneider: 'An entire immersion belongs to the
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nature of baptism.' 'This is the meaning of the word.' 'In the words baptizo and baptisma is contained the idea of a complete immersion under water; at least, so is baptisma in the New Testament."'
Rheinard, Ethics, Vol. V. page 79: 'In sprinkling, the symbolical meaning of the ordinance is wholly lost."'
Scholtz, on Matt. iii. 6: 'Baptism consists in the immersion of the whole body in water."'
"Neander, in his Letter to Judd: 'As to your question on the original rite of baptism, there can be no doubt whatever that, in the primitive times, it was performed by immersion, to signify a complete immersion into the new principle of the divine life, which was to be imparted by the Messiah."' -- RICHARD FULLER'S Spiritual Baptism, pages 21, 23-27.
Again: "In commanding his disciples to be baptized, Jesus knew what act he enjoined, and he could have been at no loss for a word clearly to express his meaning. Did he intend sprinkling? the word was rantizo. Did he require pouring? the word was keo. If wash, nipo; if bathe, lono; if immerse or dye (the word having this latter meaning,, because dyeing is by immersing), bapto. If Jesus meant immerse, and nothing else, the word was baptize. This is the word he has used, and which the Holy Spirit always employs when the rite of baptism is mentioned." -- Ibid., page 36.
"Josephus, who was contemporary with the apostles, says: 'Our vessel being sunk (baptized) in the midst of the Adriatic, we swam all night, until the break of day, when we discovered a vessel of Cyrene, and myself with certain others, to the number of eighty, were taken on board.' (Ant. of the Jews, 9, 10, 2.) -- Ibid., page 39.
In The Jewish War, II. 20, he says: 'After Cestius was overthrown, many of the most eminent of the Jews swam away from the city as from a ship that is being sunk (baptized).' The same, III. 7, 5: I 'should esteem that pilot
366 PRESIDENCY AND PRIESTHOOD.
to be an arrant coward, who, out of fear of storm, should sink (baptize) his vessel of his own accord.' The same, III. 10, 9, describing an engagement between the Jews and Romans, he says: 'If the Jews ventured to come near the Romans, they were sunk (baptized), together with the ships themselves."' -- Ibid., page 40.
"Olshausen, Vol. II., page 101, says: 'John baptized at Enon, because there was deep water there, convenient for immersion."' -- Ibid., page 77.
"Bloomfield: 'There is here (Rom. iv.) plainly a reference to the ancient mode of baptism by immersion; and I agree with Koppe and Rosenmüller, that there is reason to regret it should have been abandoned in most Christian churches, especially as it has so evident a reference to the mystic sense of baptism.'" -- Ibid , page 89.
"Epictetus (about A. D. 68), Dessert., Vol. III, page 69, says: 'As you would not wish to sail in a large and finely ornamented vessel and be sunk (baptized), so neither would you choose to live in a large and richly furnished house and be in a storm.'" -- Ibid., page 41.
"Rosenmüller (on the passage): 'Immersion in the water of baptism, and coming forth out of it, was a symbol of a person's renouncing his former life, and, on the contrary, beginning a new one. On account of this emblematical meaning of baptism, the rite of immersion ought to have been retained in the Christian church."' -- Ibid., page 89.
Prof. Stuart says 'Thirteen hundred years was baptism generally and ordinarily performed by the immersion of a man under water; and only in extraordinary cases was sprinkling or effusion permitted. These latter methods of baptism were called in question, and even prohibited."' Ibid., page 109.
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BAPTISM BY IMMERSION IN WATER FROM AN HISTORICAL STAND-POINT.Vitringa: --
"The act of baptizing is the immersion of believers in water. This expresses the force of the word. Thus also it was performed by Christ and his apostles." -- Aphor. Theol. Sanct. Aphoris, 884.
"Baptism resembles a legal instrument properly attested, by which He assures us that all our sins are cancelled, effaced, and obliterated, so that they will never appear in His sight, or come into His remembrance, or be imputed unto us. For He commands all who believe to be baptized for the remission of their sins. Therefore those who have imagined that baptism is nothing more than a mark or sign by which we profess our religion before men, as soldiers wear the insignia of their sovereign as a mark of their profession, have not considered the principal thing in baptism; which is, that we ought to receive it with this promise, 'He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."' -- Inst. 1, 4, 115, page 327.
John Wesley, in his comment on the New Testament, says: --
"Baptism administered to real penitents is both a means and a seal of pardon. Nor did God ordinarily in the primitive church bestow this (pardon) on any, unless through this means." -- Page 35.
"It is without controversy that baptism in the primitive church was administered by immersion into water, and not by sprinkling. The essential act of baptizing, in the second century, consisted, not in sprinkling, but in immersion in water, in the name of each person in the Trinity. Concerning
368 PRESIDENCY AND PRIESTHOOD.
immersion, the words and phrases that are used sufficiently testify; and that it was performed in a river, a pool, or a fountain. To the essential rite of baptism, in the third century, pertained immersion, and not aspersion, except in cases of necessity, and it was accounted a half- perfect baptism. Immersion, in the fourth century, was one of those acts that were considered as essential to baptism; nevertheless, aspersion was used in the last moments of life, on such as were called clinics, and also, where there was not sufficient quantity of water." -- History Eccles. Secul., I. § 138. etc.
Bingham, in his Antiquities, says: --
"Baptism was administered by immersion; and no mention is made of any other mode till the middle of the third century."
Mosheim says: --
"The sacrament of baptism was administered in this century without the public assemblies in places appointed and prepared for that purpose, and was performed by an immersion of the whole body in the baptismal font." -- First Century, IV. 8.
Tertullian writes, in the second century: --
"We, after the example of Jesus Christ, are born in water.... The act of baptism itself is carnal, in that we are plunged in water; but the effect is spiritual, in that we are freed from sins." -- On Baptism, Chaps. I and VII.
Calvin, in his Institutes, says: --
"The word baptizo (baptize) signifies to immerse, and the rite of immersion was performed by the ancient church."
John Wesley, on Rom. vi. 4, says "that Paul in his text refers to immersion, which was the mode of baptism practised in the primitive church."
Salmasius, a French theological teacher in Germany, says in his work, page 669: --
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"Baptism is immersion, and was administered in former times according to the force and meaning of the word." -- Sixteenth Century.
Prof. Charles Anthon, of New York, said in a letter to Dr. E. Parmeley, March 27, 1843: --
"The primary meaning of the word (baptizo) is to dip or immerse.... Sprinkling, etc., are entirely out of the question."
Smith, in his Dictionary of the Bible, says: --
"Baptism properly and literally means immersion."
INFANT BAPTISM."M. De la Roque: 'The primitive church did not baptize infants; and the learned Grotius proves it, in his annotations on the Gospel.,'" -- Scriptural Baptism page 224.
"In the Roman Catholic Manual of Controversy we have the following question and answer: --
"'Q. But why should not the Scripture alone be the rule of our faith, without having recourse to apostolical traditions?
"'A. Because infant baptism and several other necessary articles are either not at all contained in Scripture, or at least, are not plain in Scripture, without the help of tradition.'" -- Ibid., pages 223, 224.
"Starck, History of Baptism, page 11: There is not a single example to be found in the New Testament where infants were baptized. In household baptism, there was always reference to the gospels having been received. The New Testament presents just as good grounds for infant communion. Therefore, learned men (such as Salmasius, Arnold, Louis de Vives, Suicer, and W. Strabo) have regarded both infant baptism and infant communion as an innovation introduced since the apostolic times. The connection of infant baptism with circumcision deserves no consideration,
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since there were physical reasons for circumcising in infancy.'" -- Ibid., page 208.
In regard to infant baptism, Luther says: --
"It cannot be proved by the sacred Scriptures that infant baptism was instituted by Christ, or begun by the first Christians after the apostles." *
"It appears that in the primitive times none were baptized but adults." †
"The baptism of infants, in the first two centuries after Christ, was altogether unknown; but in the third and fourth was allowed by some few. In the fifth, and following ages, it was generally received. The custom of baptizing infants did not begin before the third age after Christ was born. In the former ages no trace of it appears, and it was introduced without the command of Christ." ‡
"It cannot possibly be proved that infant baptism was practised in the apostolic age. Its late introduction, the opposition it met with in the second century, rather speak against an apostolic origin." §
LAYING ON OF HANDS FOR THE RECEIVING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Tertullian, A. D. 200 (De Bapt., Chap. VI.): --
"After baptism, the hand is imposed by blessing, and calling and inviting of the Holy Spirit, who willingly descends from the Father on the bodies that are cleansed and blessed."
Further upon this, in Chap. VIII., he says: --
* In A. R.'s Vanity of Infant Baptism, Part II. page 8.
† Cyclopædia, art. Baptism.
‡ Institut. Relig. Christ.
§ Apost. Age, Vol. I., page 140.
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It is the fleshly or outward act of baptism that we are dipped in water; the spiritual effects that we are freed from our sins. Then follows laying on of hands, the dispenser inviting the Spirit of God by prayer; and, being cleansed by baptismal water, we are disposed for the Holy Spirit under the hands of the angel of the church."
Speaking concerning the order and state of the church at this early time, after the death of the apostles, he says (De Script., Chap. XXXVI.): --
"She believeth in God, she signs with water (that is, baptizeth), she clothes with the spirit (viz., by the imposition of hands), she feeds with the Eucharist (administers the emblems of the Lord's body), and exhorts to martyrdom (to faithfulness, and the keeping of the law of God even unto death), and against this order or institution she receives no man."
Eusebius, not the pope of that name, but Eusebius Pamphilus, who lived about three hundred years after Christ, in his work (Book VII., Chap. Il.), certifies that: --
The ancient manner of receiving members into the church was with prayer and the laying on of hands."
Again he says (Book VI., Chap. XXVI.): --
"That one Novatius being sick was baptized, if it may be called a baptism which he received, for he obtained not after his recovery that which he should have done by the canon of the church, to wit, confirmation by the hands of the bishop, which having not obtained, how can he be supposed to have received the Holy Spirit?"
This was about the year 260.
With these I might also cite Mosheim's "Church History," Vol. I., page 91; and Gahan's "Church History," page 93.
Cyprian, in A. D. 250, and against whom none will bring an accusation, in his seventy-third letter, when referring
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to the fact of the apostles going to Samaria to confirm those that Philip had baptized, says: --
"Which custom is also descended to us, that they who are baptized might be brought by the rules of the church, and by prayer of imposition of hands to obtain the Holy Ghost."
Again in Epistle 72: --
"It is of no purpose to lay hands on them to receive the Holy Spirit, unless they receive the baptism of the church."
Augustine, of the fourth century, writes: --
"Still we do what the apostles did, when they laid their hands on the Samaritans and called down the Holy Ghost upon them."
Mosheim says, in his history: --
After baptism they by prayer and the laying on of hands were solemnly recommended to the mercy of God and dedicated to his service." -- First Century, Part II., Chap. IV., verse 13.
Cyprian, who lived in the third century, says: --
"Those who have been dipped abroad outside the church and have been stained among heretics and schismatics, when they come to us and to the church ought to be baptized, for the reason that it is a small matter (that is, of no value) to lay hands on them that they may receive the Holy Ghost, unless they receive also the baptism of the church." -- Epistle 71.
Mosheim says: --
"For many of the first Christians were no sooner baptized according to Christ's appointment, and dedicated to the service of God by solemn prayer and the imposition of hands, than they spoke in languages they had never known or learned before; foretold future events, healed the sick by pronouncing the name of Jesus, restored the dead to life, and performed many things above the reach of human power." -- First Century, Part I., Chap. IV., verse 9.
PRESIDENCY AND PRIESTHOOD.
The manuscript could not be procured, in order to effect a comparison; hence those who fabricated these stories regarding it escaped condemnation at the public bar. But justice does not always slumber. In God's economy he did not permit that old manuscript to be destroyed; but in due time, in a mysterious manner, he has caused it to be brought to light, to the dismay and rebuke of those who have taken pleasure in inciting and circulating falsehoods concerning the origin of the "Book of Mormon." The history of its disclosure and publication cannot fail to be read with interest by all fair-minded and truth-loving persons. In a correspondence between President J. H. Fairchild, L. L. Rice, and President Joseph Smith, the revealment and identification of the
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lost manuscript are clearly and credibly presented, as follows: --
"The theory of the origin of the 'Book of Mormon' in the traditional manuscript of Solomon Spaulding will probably have to be relinquished. That manuscript is doubtless now in the possession of Mr. L. L. Rice, of Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, formerly an anti-slavery editor in Ohio, and for many years State printer at Columbus. During a recent visit to Honolulu, I suggested to Mr. Rice that he might have valuable anti-slavery documents in his possession, which he would be willing to contribute to the rich collection already in the Oberlin College Library. In pursuance of this suggestion, Mr. Rice began looking over his old pamphlets and papers, and at length came upon an old, worn, and faded manuscript of about one hundred and seventy-five pages, small quarto, purporting to be a history of the migrations and conflicts of the ancient Indian tribes, which occupied the territory now belonging to the States of New York, Ohio, and Kentucky. On the last page of this manuscript is a certificate and signature, giving the names of several persons known to the signer, who have assured him that to their personal knowledge the manuscript was the writing of Solomon Spaulding. Mr. Rice has no recollection how or when this manuscript came into his possession. It was enveloped in a coarse piece of wrapping-paper, and indorsed in Mr. Rice's handwriting, 'A Manuscript Story.'
"There seems no reason to doubt that this is the long-lost story. Mr. Rice, myself, and others compared it with the 'Book of Mormon,' and could detect no resemblance between the two, in general or in detail. There seems to be no name or incident common to the two. The solemn style of the 'Book of Mormon,' in imitation of the English Scriptures, does not appear in the manuscript. The only resemblance is
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in the fact that both profess to set forth the history of lost tribes. Some other explanation of the origin of the 'Book of Mormon' must be found, if any explanation is required."
(Signed) JAMES H. FAIRCHILD.
In reply to a letter written by Joseph Smith to L. L. Rice, he received from that gentleman the following letters: --
HONOLULU, SANDWICH ISLANDS,
March 28, 1885.
Mr. JOSEPH SMITH:
The Spaulding manuscript in my possession came into my hands in this wise. In 1839-40 my partner and myself bought of E. D. Howe the Painesville Telegraph, published at Painesville, Ohio. The transfer of the printing department, types, press, etc., was accompanied with a large collection of books, manuscripts, etc., this manuscript of Spaulding among the rest. So, you see, it has been in my possession over forty years. But I never examined it, or knew the character of it, until some six or eight months since. The wrapper was marked, "Manuscript Story Conneaut Creek." The wonder is, that in some of my movements I did not destroy or burn it with a large amount of rubbish that had accumulated from time to time.
It happened that President Fairchild was here on a visit, at the time I discovered the contents of it, and it was examined by him and others with much curiosity. Since President Fairchild published the fact of its existence in my possession, I have had applications for it from half a dozen sources, each applicant seeming to think he or she was entitled to it. Mr. Howe says... he obtained it from some source, and it was inadvertently transferred with the other effects of his printing office. A. B. Deming, of Painesville,... wants me to send it to him. Mrs. Dickinson, of Boston claiming to be
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a relative of Spaulding, and who is getting up a book to show that he was the real author of the "Book of Mormon," wants it. She thinks, at least, it should be sent to Spaulding's daughter, a Mrs. somebody, but she does not inform me where she lives. Deming says that Howe borrowed it when he was getting up his book, and did not return it, as he should have done, etc.
This manuscript does not purport to be "a story of the Indians formerly occupying this continent"; but is a history of the wars between the Indians of Ohio and Kentucky, and their progress in civilization, etc. It is certain that this manuscript is not the origin of the "Book of Mormon," whatever some other manuscript may have been. The only similarity between them is, in the manner in which each purports to have been found, -- one in a cave on Conneaut Creek, the other in a hill in Ontario County, New York. There is no identity of names, of persons or places, and there is no similarity of style between them. As I told Mr. Deming, I should as soon think the book of Revelation was written by the author of "Don Quixote," as that the writer of this manuscript was the author of the "Book of Mormon." . . .
I propose to hold it in my own hands for a while, to see if it cannot be put to some good use. Deming and Howe inform me that its existence is exciting great interest in that region. I am under a tacit but not a positive pledge to President Fairchild, to deposit it eventually in the library of Oberlin College. I shall be free from that pledge when I see an opportunity to put it to a better use.
Yours, etc., L. L. RICE.
P. S. -- Upon reflection, since writing the foregoing, I am of the opinion that no one who reads this manuscript will give credit to the story that Solomon Spaulding was in any
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wise the author of the "Book of Mormon." ...Finally, I am more than half convinced that this is his only writing of the sort, and that any pretence that Spaulding was in any sense the author of the other, is a sheer fabrication. It was easy for anybody who may have seen this, or heard anything of its contents, to get up the story that they were identical.
L. L. R.
HONOLULU, SANDWICH ISLANDS,
May 14, 1885.
Mr. JOSEPH SMITH:
Dear Sir, -- ...Two things are true concerning this manuscript in my possession: first, it is a genuine writing of Solomon Spaulding; and second, it is not the original of the "Book of Mormon."
My opinion is, from all I have seen and learned, that this is the only writing of Spaulding.
You may be at rest as to my putting the manuscript into the possession of any one who will mutilate it, or use it for a bad purpose. I shall have it deposited in the library of Oberlin College, in Ohio, to be at the disposal for reading of any one who may wish to peruse it, but not to be removed from that depository. My friend, President Fairchild, may be relied on as security for the safe keeping of it. It will be sent there in July, by a friend who is going there to "take to himself a wife." Meantime, I have made a literal copy of the entire document, -- errors of orthography, grammar, erasures, and all, -- which I shall keep in my possession, so that any attempt to mutilate it will be of easy detection and exposure. Oberlin is a central place, in the vicinity of Conneaut, where the manuscript was written...
Rev. Dr. Hyde, president of the institution, in this place, for training native missionaries for Micronesia (a very prominent and successful institution), has written an elaborate
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account of this manuscript and sent it for publication in the Congregationalist, of Boston. I presume it will be published, and you will be interested in reading it.
Very respectfully yours
L. L. RICE.
In a postscript, Mr. Rice says he found the following indorsement on the manuscript: --
"The writings of Solomon Spaulding proved by Aaron Wright, Oliver Smith, John N. Miller, and others. The testimonies of the above gentlemen are now in my possession.
(Signed) D. P. HURLBUT."
(COPY OF MR. RICE'S LETTER.)HONOLULU, S. I., June 12, 1885.
PRESIDENT J. H. FAIRCHILD:
Herewith I send to you the Solomon Spaulding manuscript, to be deposited in the library of Oberlin College, for reference by any one who may be desirous of seeing or examining it. It has been in my possession forty-six years, -- from 1839 to 1885, -- and for forty-four years of that time no one examined it, and I was not aware of the character of its contents. I send it to you in the same wrapper and tied with the same string that must have enclosed it for near half a century, certainly during the forty-six years since it came into my possession....
Truly yours, etc.,
L. L. RICE.
P. S. -- The words Solomon Spaulding's Writings," in ink on the wrapper, were written by me, after I became aware of the contents. The words "Manuscript Story -- Conneaut Creek," in faint pencilling, were as now when it came into my possession.
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OBERLIN COLLEGE, OBERLIN, O.,
July 23, 1885.
I have this day delivered to Mr. E. L. Kelley a copy of the manuscript of Solomon Spaulding, sent from Honolulu by Mr. L. L. Rice, to the library of Oberlin College, for safe keeping, and now in my care. The copy was prepared at Mr. Kelley's request, under my supervision, and is, as I believe, an exact transcript of the original manuscript, including erasures, misspellings, etc.
JAMES H. FAIRCHILD,
President of Oberlin College.
KIRTLAND, O., July 24, 1885.
PRESIDENT W. W. BLAIR, Lamoni, Iowa:
Herewith I transmit to you the copy of the Spaulding manuscript, prepared by President Fairchild, as attested by him, together with his certificate and photograph sheets.
E. L. KELLEY.
This is an effectual disposition of the old Spaulding fraud.
William H. Kelley: RLDS Author