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Title: A New Witness for God (Volume 1 of 3)
Author: Roberts, B. H. (Brigham Henry)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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* * * *





* * * *

"Some millions must be wrong, that's pretty clear. * * * * 'Tis time
that some new prophet should appear."

* * * *



Three quarters of a century have passed away since Joseph Smith
first declared that he had received a revelation from God. From that
revelation and others that followed there has sprung into existence
what men call a new religion--"Mormonism;" and a new church, the
institution commonly known as the "Mormon Church," the proper name of

Though it may seem a small matter, the reader should know that
"Mormonism" is not a new religion. Those who accept it do not so regard
it; it makes no such pretentions. The institution commonly called the
"Mormon Church," is not a new church; it makes no such pretensions, as
will be seen by its very name--the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints. This of itself discloses what "The Mormon Church" claims to
be--the Church of Jesus Christ; and to distinguish it from the Church
of Jesus Christ that existed in former days, the phrase "of Latter-day
Saints" is added. "Mormonism," I repeat, is not a new religion; it is
the Old Religion, the Everlasting Gospel, restored again to the earth
through the revelations received by Joseph Smith.

At a glance the reader will observe that these claims in behalf of
"Mormonism" pre-suppose the destruction of the primitive Christian
Church, a complete apostasy from the Christian religion; and hence,
from the standpoint of a believer, "Mormonism" is the Gospel of Jesus
Christ restored; and the institution which grows out of it--the
church--is the Church of Jesus Christ re-established among men.

During the three quarters of a century that have elapsed since the
first revelation was announced by Joseph Smith, the world has been
flooded with all manner of rumors concerning the origin of "Mormonism,"
its doctrines, its organization, its purposes, its history. Books
enough to make a respectable library, as to size, have been written on
these subjects, but the books, in the main, are the works of avowed
enemies, or of sensational writers who chose "Mormonism" for a subject
because in it they supposed they had a theme that would be agreeable to
their own vicious tastes and perverted talents, and give satisfactory
returns in money for their labor. This latter class of writers have
not only written without regard to truth, but without shame. They are
ghouls who have preyed upon the misfortunes of an unpopular people
solely for the money or notoriety they could make out of the enterprise.

That I may not be thought to overstate the unreliability of anti-Mormon
literature, I make an excerpt from a book written by Mr. Phil
Robinson, called _Sinners and Saints_. [1] Mr. Robinson came to Utah
in 1882 as a special correspondent of _The New York World,_ and stayed
in Utah some five or six months, making "Mormonism" and the Latter-day
Saints a special study. On the untrustworthiness of the literature in
question, he says:

"Whence have the public derived their opinions about Mormonism? From
anti-Mormons only. I have ransacked the literature of the subject,
and yet I really could not tell anyone where to go for an impartial
book about Mormonism later in date than Burton's 'City of the Saints,'
published in 1862. * * * But put Burton on one side, and I think I
can defy any one to name another book about the Mormons worthy of
honest respect. From that truly _awful_ book, 'The History of the
Saints,' published by one Bennett (even an anti-Mormon has styled him
'the greatest rascal that ever came to the West,') in 1842, down to
Stenhouse's in 1873, there is not to my knowledge a single Gentile work
before the public that is not utterly unreliable from its distortion of
facts. Yet it is from these books--for there are no others--that the
American public has acquired nearly all its ideas about the people of

It may be asked why have not the Saints themselves written books
refuting the misrepresentations of their detractors, and giving correct
information about themselves and their religion. To that inquiry there
are several answers. One is that they _have_ made the attempt. Perhaps
not on a sufficiently extensive scale. They may not have appreciated
fully the importance of doing so; but chiefly the reason they have
not published more books in their own defense, and have not been more
solicitous about refuting slanders published against them, is because
of the utter impossibility of getting a hearing. The people to whom
they appealed were hopelessly prejudiced against them. Their case was
prejudged and they themselves condemned before a hearing could be had.
These were the disadvantages under which they labored; and how serious
such disadvantages are, only those know who have felt the cruel tyranny
of prejudice.

Now, however, there seems to be a change in the tide of their
affairs. Prejudice has somewhat subsided. There is in various
quarters indications of a willingness to hear what accredited
representatives of the "Mormon" faith may have to say in its behalf.
It is this circumstance that has induced the author to present for the
consideration of his fellow-men this work, which is written, however,
not with a view of defending the character of the Latter-day Saints,
but to set forth the message that "Mormonism" has to proclaim to the
world, and point out the evidences of divine inspiration in him through
whom that message was delivered.

The author has chosen for his work the title, "A NEW WITNESS FOR GOD,"
because that is the relation Joseph Smith, the great modern prophet,
sustains to this generation; and it is the author's purpose to prove,
first, that the world stands in need of such a witness; and, second,
that Joseph Smith is that witness.

The subject is treated under four THESES.


_The world needs a New Witness for God._


_The Church of Christ was destroyed; there has been an apostasy from
the Christian religion so complete and universal as to make necessary a
New Dispensation of the Gospel;_


_The Scriptures declare that the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the last
days--in the hour of God's judgment--will be restored to the earth by a
re-opening of the heavens, and giving a New Dispensation thereof to the
children of men._


_Joseph Smith is the New Witness for God; a prophet divinely authorized
to preach the Gospel and re-establish the Church of Jesus Christ on

How well the writer has succeeded in sustaining these propositions, the
reader will judge for himself; he only asks that his treatment of the
subjects be considered with candor.

To guard against error or inaccuracy in doctrine the writer applied to
the First Presidency of the Church for a committee of brethren well
known for their soundness in the faith, and broad knowledge of the
doctrines of the Church, to hear read the manuscript of this book.
Whereupon Elder Franklin D. Richards, one of the Twelve Apostles of the
New Dispensation, and Church Historian; Elder George Reynolds, one of
the author's fellow-Presidents in the First Council of the Seventies;
and Elder John Jaques, Assistant Church Historian, were appointed as
such committee; and to these brethren, for their patient labor in
reading the manuscript, and for their suggestions and corrections, the
writer is under lasting obligations.



1. p. 245.


* * * *




The Necessity of a New Witness

* * * *




The Effect of Pagan Persecution on the Christian Church


The Effect of Peace, Wealth and Luxury on Christianity


Changes in the Form and Spirit of Church Government--Corruption of the


Change in Public Worship--In the Ordinances of the Gospel


The Testimony of Prophecy to the Apostasy


Catholic Arguments--Protestant Admissions

* * * *




The Necessity of a New Revelation--The Arguments of Modern Christians
Against it Considered


Prophetic History of the Church--The Restoration of the Gospel by an

* * * *




The New Witness Introduced


A New Dispensation of the Gospel


Objections to the New Witness Considered


The Character of the New Witness


Fitness in the Development of the New Dispensation


The Evidence of Scriptural and Perfect Doctrine


Manner of the Prophet's Teaching


The testimony of Toil and Suffering--Exertion and Danger--A Christian
Argument Applied


The Testimony of Miracles--The Evidence of Fulfilled Promises

[By an error Chapter XIX. was numbered XX., hence the apparent


The Evidence of Prophecy


The Evidence of Prophecy--Continued


The Evidence of Prophecy--Continued


The Evidence of Prophecy--Concluded


The Church Founded by Joseph Smith, a Monument to his Inspiration


Testimony of the Inspiration and Divine Calling of Joseph Smith Derived
from the Comprehensiveness of the Work he Introduced


Testimony of the Inspiration and Divine Calling of Joseph Smith Derived
from the Comprehensiveness of the Work he Introduced--Continued


Evidence of Inspiration Derived from the Wisdom in the Plan Proposed
for the Betterment of the Temporal Condition of Mankind


Evidence of Divine Inspiration in Joseph Smith Derived from the
Prophet's Teaching in Regard to the Extent of the Universe, Man's
Place in it, and his Doctrine Respecting the Gods


Evidence of Divine Inspiration in Joseph Smith Derived from the
Prophet's Teaching in Regard to the Extent of the Universe, Man's
Place in it, and his Doctrines Respecting the Gods--Continued


Evidence of Divine Inspiration in Joseph Smith Derived from the
Prophet's Teaching in Regard to the Extent of the Universe, Man's Place
in it, and his Doctrine Respecting the Gods--Concluded


The Testimony of the Martyrdom--Conclusion


The World Needs a New Witness for God.



THE very title of this book may give offense. "A New Witness for God!"
will exclaim both ministry and laity of Christendom; "are not the Old
Witnesses sufficient? Has not their testimony withstood the assaults of
unbelievers, atheists and agnostics alike for nineteen centuries? What
need have we for a New Witness? Every weapon that hostile criticism
could suggest, has been brought to bear against the tower of our
faith based on the testimony of the Old Witnesses; and it stands more
victorious now than ever, four square to all the winds that blow. [1]
The testimony of the Old Witnesses has outlived the ridicule of
Voltaire, the solemn sneers of Gibbon, the satire of Bolingbroke, the
ribaldry of Paine; just as it will outlive the insidious assaults of
the German mythical school, and the rationalistic school of critics,
which are now much in vogue. Such the confident boast of orthodox

"Meanwhile, every diocesan conference rings with the wail over 'infidel
opinions.' It grows notoriously more and more difficult to get educated
men to take any interest in the services or doctrines of the church;
* * * literature and the periodical press are becoming either more
indifferent, or more hostile to the accepted Christianity year by year;
the upper strata of the working class, upon whom the future of that
class depends, either stand coldly aloof from all the Christian sects,
or throw themselves into secularism. Passionate appeals are made to all
sections of Christians, to close their ranks, not against each other,
but against the 'skepticism rampant' among the cultivated class and the
religious indifference of the democracy." [2]

In the face of these facts, notwithstanding the confident boasts of
orthodox Christians about the invulnerableness of the testimony of the
Old Witnesses, it will be well for us to look a little more closely
into the achievements of Christianity, Catholic as well as Protestant,
and see if they are as satisfactory when measured by actual results, as
they are claimed to be in the fervid rhetoric of the orthodox special

What is distinctly and commonly recognized as the Christian religion,
was founded some nineteen centuries ago [3], by the personal ministry
of Jesus Christ, and those whom he chose as Apostles. For about three
centuries it had a hard struggle for existence. The persecutions waged
against it, first by the Jews, from whose religious faith it may be
said to have sprung; and second, from the pagans, then in possession
of all secular power, well-nigh overcame it. The "beast" made war upon
the saints and "prevailed against them." Then Constantine, the friend
of Christianity, succeeded to the imperial throne of Rome, and external
persecution ceased. Christian ministers were invited to the court of
the emperor and loaded with wealth and honors. Magnificent churches
were erected, and the hitherto despised religion became the favorite
_protege_ of the imperial government. From a precarious and wretched
existence, the Christian church was suddenly raised to a position of
magnificence and power. Nor was it long in playing the part of the
camel which, being permitted by the kind indulgence of its master to
put its head within the tent during a violent storm, next protruded
its shoulders, then its whole body, and turning about kicked out its
master. [4] So did the Christian ecclesiastical power with the civil
power. That is to say, that which was at first granted to the church
as a privilege was soon demanded as a right; and what was at first
received by grace, was at the last taken by force. On the ruins of
pagan Rome, rose papal Rome, and while the latter power did not abolish
secular government, it did make it subservient to ecclesiasticism. From
the chair of St. Peter, the Roman pontiffs ruled the world absolutely.
Kings and emperors obeyed them, and all stood in awe before the throne
of the triple-crowned successor of St. Peter.

Finally, through the mutual jealousy and ambition of the bishops of
Rome and Constantinople, a controversy arose which, in the ninth
century, resulted in a great and lasting division of Christendom into
two great ecclesiastical bodies; viz., the Greek Catholic or Eastern
Church, and the Roman Catholic or Western Church. In the Western Church
the secular or civil power continued to be regarded as subordinate to
ecclesiastical authority, a sort of convenient instrument to execute
the decrees of the church. Hence Roman Catholic Christianity drew to
itself all that prestige in the propagation of its doctrines which
comes from the authority and support of the state; and though the power
of the state was held to be subordinate to that of the church, no
one who has read our Christian annals can help being struck with the
importance of the civil power as a factor in the propagation of Roman
Catholic Christianity. The barbarous peoples who came in contact with
the Christian nations, were often compelled to accept the so-called
Christian religion as one of the terms of capitulation; and the fear
of the sword often eked out the arguments of the priests, and was
generally much more effective.

I think it proper that the above statement should be emphasized by the
following proofs:

"In the year 772, A. D., Charlemagne, king of the Franks, undertook
to tame, and to withdraw from idolatry, the extensive nation of the
Saxons, who occupied a large portion of Germany, and were almost
perpetually at war with the Franks, respecting their boundaries and
other things; for he hoped that if their minds could become imbued
with the Christian doctrines, they would gradually lay aside their
ferocity, and learn to yield submission to the empire of the Franks.
The first attack upon their heathenism produced little effect, being
made not with the force of arms, but by some bishops and monks whom
the victor had left for that purpose among the vanquished nation. But
much better success attended the subsequent wars which Charlemagne
undertook, in the years 775, 776, and 780, A D., against that heroic
people, so fond of liberty, and so impatient, especially of sacerdotal
domination. For in these assaults, not only rewards, but also the sword
and punishments were so successfully applied upon those adhering to
the superstition of their ancestors, that they reluctantly ceased from
resistance, and allowed the doctors whom Charles employed to administer
to them Christian baptism. Widekind and Albion, indeed, who were two
of the most valiant Saxon chiefs, renewed their former insurrections;
and attempted to prostrate again by violence and war, that Christianity
which had been set up by violence. But the martial courage, and the
liberality of Charles at length brought them, in the year 785, solemnly
to declare that they were Christians, and would continue to be so. *
* * The Huns inhabiting Pannonia, were treated the same way as the
Saxons; for Charles so exhausted and humbled them by successive wars,
as to compel them to prefer becoming Christians to being slaves." [5]

In Denmark, during the tenth century, "the Christian cause had to
struggle with great difficulties and adversities, under King Gorman,
although the queen was a professed Christian. But Harald, surnamed
Blatand, the son of Gorman, having been vanquished by Otto the Great,
about the middle of the century, made a profession of Christianity in
the year 949, and was baptized. * * * Perhaps Harald, who had his birth
and education from a Christian mother, Tyra, was not greatly averse
from the Christian religion; and yet it is clear that in the present
transaction he yielded rather to the demands of his conqueror, than to
his own inclinations. For Otto, being satisfied that the Danes would
never cease to harass their neighbors with wars and rapine, if they
retained the martial religion of their fathers, made it a condition of the
peace with Harald that he and his people should become Christians." [6]

"Waldemar I., King of Denmark, obtained very great fame by the many
wars he undertook against the pagan nations, the Slavs, the Wends,
the Vandals, and others. He fought not only for the interests of his
subjects, but likewise for the extension of Christianity; and wherever
he was successful, he demolished the temples and images of the gods,
the altars and groves, and commanded the Christian worship to be set
up. * * * The Fins who infested Sweden with frequent inroads, were
attacked by Eric IX., King of Sweden, called St. Eric, after his death,
and by him subdued after many bloody battles. * * * The vanquished
nation was commanded to follow the religion of the conqueror, which
most of them did with reluctance and disgust."

"Towards the close of the century [the tenth], * * * some merchants of
Bremen or of Lubec trading to Livonia, took along with them Mainhard, a
regular canon of St. Augustine in the monastery of Segberg in Halsatia,
to bring that warlike and uncivilized nation to the Christian faith.
But as few listened to him, Mainhard consulted the Roman pontiff,
who created him the first bishop of the Livonians, and desired that
war should be waged against the opposers. This war, which was first
waged with the Esthonians, was extended farther and prosecuted more
rigorously by Berthold, the second bishop of the Livonians, after the
death of Mainhard; for this, Berthold, formerly Abbot of Lucca, marched
with a strong army from Saxony, and recommended Christianity not by
arguments but by slaughter and battle. Following his example, the third
bishop, Albert, previously a canon of Bremen, entering Livonia in the
year 1198, well supported by a fresh army raised in Saxony, and fixing
his camp at Riga, he instituted, by authority of Innocent III., the
Roman pontiff, the military order of knight's sword-bearers, who should
compel the Livonians by force of arms to submit to baptism. New forces
were marched from time to time from Germany, by whose valor and that of
the sword-bearers the wretched people were subdued and exhausted, so
that they at last substituted the images of Christ and the saints in
place of their idols." [7]

A volume of evidence similar in import to the foregoing could be
compiled, showing that from the accession of Constantine the Great down
to the sixteenth century, the Roman Catholic Church did not hesitate to
employ the civil power to enforce conversion and punish recalcitrants.

If the Eastern Church has been less successful in extending the borders
of Christianity by means of conquests waged by the civil power, it was
because the division of the world it occupied afforded less opportunity
than Western Europe, where a great struggle was on between the race of
men made weak by the effete civilization of Rome and the more vigorous
barbarians. But while the Eastern Church made less direct use of the
sword to extend its dominions, it nevertheless had the state for an ally
which sustained it at need.

When in the sixteenth century the great revolt against the authority
of the pope and the religion of the Roman Catholic Church gave birth
to the Protestant churches, they, too, in the main, formed alliances
with the states in which they were founded. Nay, in the very struggle
for their existence, the states of Germany, of Holland, Scandinavia
and of England, drew the sword in their behalf and by their support
made it possible for the seceding religionists to establish churches
despite all efforts of the Roman pontiffs to prevent them; and after
the revolution was an accomplished fact, the states above enumerated
continued to give support to the churches founded within their borders.
If the church and the state in some instances were regarded as separate
and distinct societies, they acted at the same time as close neighbors,
and nearly interested in each other's welfare. If they lived separate,
they were not estranged; and each at need gave the other support.

I have thought it necessary to call the attention of the reader to
the conditions in which Christianity has existed since the days of
Constantine under all three great divisions of Christendom--the
Roman Catholic, the Greek Catholic, and Protestant--in order that
he might be reminded of the fact that circumstances of the most
propitious character have existed for the propagation of the so-called
Christian religion. Christendom has had at its command the wealth
and intelligence of Europe; it has been able to follow the commerce
of European states into every country of the world; and not only its
commerce, but its conquests as well; and wherever the love of adventure
or the desire for conquest has led Christian soldiers, Christian
priests have either accompanied or followed them, that the gospel, in
the hands of the Christian minister, might be a balm for the wounds
inflicted by the sword in the hands of the Christian soldier; so that
if Christian armies were a bane to the savages, the Christian priests
might be an antidote!

Yet with all the advantages which came to Christianity through the
support of the state; with the intelligence and wealth of Europe behind
it; with the privilege of following in the wake of its commerce and
conquests; what has Christendom done in the way of converting the world
to its religion? But a little over one-fourth of the inhabitants of the
earth are even nominally Christian! There are in the world, according
to statistics published on the subject:

  Roman Catholics ...........................206,588,206

  Protestants (all sects) ................... 89,825,348

  Greek and Russian Churches ................ 75,691,382

  Oriental Churches ......................... 6,770,000

  Making the total of all Christians........ 378,874,936.

  The other religions stand as follows:

  Brahminical Hindoos .......................120,000,000

  Followers of Buddha, Shinto and
  Confucius .................................482,600,000

  Mohammedans ...............................169,054,789

  Jews ....................................... 7,612,784

  Parsees (fire-worshipers in Persia) ........ 1,000,000

  Pagans not otherwise enumerated ...........277,000,000

  Making a total of .......................1,007,267,573 [8]

Surely when the superior advantages for the propagation of the
Christian religion are taken into account, one could reasonably expect
better results than this, after a period of nineteen centuries, sixteen
of which may be said to have been of a character favorable to the
extension of the borders of the church.

But let us take a nearer view of the status of Christendom. As seen in
the foregoing, but a little more than one-fourth of the population of
the earth is even nominally Christian. No one will contend that all
those nominally Christians are really Christians. Church membership
may be one thing, conversion to the Christian religion quite another.
If those who are Christians in name only, and church members from
custom or for worldly advantage were separated from those who are
Christians upon principle, upon conversion and real faith, the number
of Christians in the world would be materially reduced. For it cannot
be denied that when any religion becomes popular there are multitudes
of insincere men who will outwardly accept it, and give it lip-service
in return for the advantages that accrue to them socially, financially
or politically.

Moreover, Christendom is not united in one great body or church; but
on the contrary it is divided into numerous contending factions whose
differences are so far fundamental that there appears no prospect of
reconciliation among them. The Catholics refuse to recognize any power
of salvation in Protestantism. To the Catholic the Protestant is an
heretic, a renegade child; and on the other hand, to the Protestant,
the Catholic is an idolator, and the pope the very anti-Christ,
prophesied of in scripture.

Nor are the Roman and Greek Catholics much nearer at one with each
other than the Roman Catholics and Protestants. Away back in the
ninth century, as a result of the controversy between the Eastern and
Western Churches, Pope Nicholas, in a council held at Rome, solemnly
excommunicated Photius, the patriarch of Jerusalem, and had his
ordination declared null and void. The Greek emperor resented this
conduct of the pope, and under his sanction Photius, in his turn,
convened what he called an acumenical council, in which he pronounced
sentence of excommunication and deposition against the pope, and got it
subscribed by twenty-one bishops and others amounting in number to one

Although this breach was patched up after the death of the Emperor
Michael, difficulties broke out again between the East and the West
from time to time, until finally in the eleventh century, when Michael
Cerularius, patriarch of Constantinople, opposed the Western Church
with respect to their making use of unleavened bread in the sacrament,
their observation of the Sabbath, and fasting on Saturdays, charging
therein that they lived in communion with the Jews. Pope Leo IX.
replied, and in his apology for the Western Churches, declaimed warmly
against the false doctrine of the Greeks, and ended by placing on
the altar of Santa Sophia, by his legates, a deed of excommunication
against the Patriarch, Michael Cerularius. This was the final rupture.
From that time the mutual hatred of the Greeks and the Latins became
insuperable, insomuch that they have continued ever since separated
from each other's communion. [9]

Though both the Greek and the Protestant Churches are separated
from the Roman Catholic Church, yet there is no union or fellowship
between them; on the contrary, they hold doctrines so opposite that
union between them is out of the question. At least so remote is the
prospect, that all attempts at union have been ineffectual.

Turn now to Protestant Christendom. Surely we shall find a union of
organization and agreement of sentiment here! But no; division, on
the contrary, is multiplied. Protestant Christendom is divided into
numerous sects between some of which the gulf of separation is almost
as broad and deep as that which separates Protestants from Catholics.
Such is the distracted condition of Protestant Christendom that sects
are daily multiplying, and confusion is constantly increasing. Nor can
one refrain from saying with Cardinal Gibbons, that "This multiplying
of creeds is a crying scandal, and a great stumbling-block in the way
of the conversion of the heathen nations." [10] And I will add, equally
a stumbling-block to the conversion of the unbelievers living among

This last class of persons named, the unbelievers living among
Christians, we must now consider; and note the effect of their assaults
upon Christianity. They are, for the most part, without organization;
without unity of purpose, except in so far as they are united in their
disbelief of revealed religion. Their position being essentially a
negative one, the incentive to organization is not active. It requires
unity of purpose and organization of effort to build; those who content
themselves with pointing out the defects, real or imagined, of the
work of the builders, or saying the structure does not answer well
the purposes for which it was erected, feel no such necessity for
organization as the builders do.

In consequence of having no organization, infidels keep no account of
their numerical strength; they publish no statistics, and therefore we
have no way of estimating how numerous they are. But no one with large
acquaintance in Christian countries, and who is in touch with the trend
of modern religious thought, can doubt that the number of unbelievers
is considerable, and their influence upon the Christian religion more
damaging than Christian enthusiasts are willing to admit.

What a motley crowd this great body of unbelievers is! First is the
downright atheist who says plainly, "There is no God. Nothing but blind
force is operating in the universe; there is no Providence whose will
can interrupt the destined course of nature." Providence they set down
as a dream. "The universe and all its varied phenomena are generated
by natural forces out of cosmic atoms, and into atoms to be again
resolved," is their creed.

Following the atheist is the deist, who, while not one whit behind the
atheist in rejecting revealed religion, is of the opinion that mind
is somewhere operating in the universe, but refuses to recognize that
intelligence as associated with a personality. Still that Intelligence,
whatever or wherever it be, is God; but with them is always "It," never

Then comes the agnostic. He prefers to suspend his judgment on
the question of Deity; and with a modesty, not always free from
affectation, says, "I don't know. The evidence in the case is not
quite clear; in fact it is sometimes quite conflicting." He questions;
is debating; but you find his sympathies, at bottom, on the side of

Next to the agnostic comes the rationalist, who, while he leaves God
more or less of an open question, has his mind made up in respect to
Jesus Christ. He recognizes him as a good man, though mistaken on many
questions; but though he strips Jesus of all divinity, he nevertheless
recognizes him as the friend of God and of man; and sees embodied in
him, moreover, "the symbol of those religious forces in man which are
primitive, essential and universal." [11]

Such are the varied classes which assail the Christian religion. Their
methods of assault, though having much in common, are as varied as
the kinds of unbelievers. The atheist mockingly asks if there be a
God why he does not make himself manifest to all the world; why he
keeps himself shrouded in mystery? Why not reveal himself to all as
well as to a chosen few? Pushing aside the testimony of those who say
they have stood in his presence, he boldly asserts there is no God,
because no one has ever seen him; he has not made himself known to men,
and in conclusion he points to the natural and uninterrupted order of
things in the universe as proof that all things are governed by blind
forces instead of intelligence, whether a personality or apart from

The deists say nearly all that the atheists say; but admitting an
intelligence back of all phenomena in the universe, they pretend to
read his will in the book of nature, [12] and contrast its perfections
with the imperfections of all written books of revelation. To them
the Bible--the Christian volume of revelation--is imperfect and
contradictory; it teaches a morality and seems to tolerate practices
unworthy of a Being of infinite goodness.

The agnostics join with the deists in their objections. They see all
the contradictions, imperfections and alleged immorality that deists
see in the Christian volume of revelation; and with them question the
authenticity and credibility of the scriptures. If they differ from
the deists in anything, it is simply in arriving at a less positive
conclusion. But the worst is to come.

There has arisen within our century, mainly in Germany, a class of
theological writers, who indeed profess a reverence both for the name
and person of Jesus Christ, and a real regard, moreover, for the
scriptures as "embodiments of what is purest and holiest in religious
feeling;" and yet they degrade Christ to a mere name, and strip the
scriptures of all their force as the word of God, by denying the
historical character of the Biblical narrative. Starting with the
postulate that the miraculous is impossible and never happens, or at
least has never been proven, [13] they relegate the scriptures--the New
Testament as well as the Old--to the realms of poetry, legend or myth,
because they are filled with accounts of the miraculous. [14]

This movement of theological thought had its origin in a new science,
the science of historical criticism, which had its birth in our own
nineteenth century. The new science consisted simply in applying to the
mass of materials on which much of ancient history had been hitherto
based--myths, legends and oral traditions--the rules [15] embodying
the judgment of sound discretion upon the value of different sorts
of evidence. The effect of the application of this principle to the
materials out of which our ancient histories were constructed, was to
banish to the realms of pure myth or doubtful legend much which our
fathers accepted as historical fact. The relations of ancient authors
are no longer received with as ready a belief as formerly; nor are
all ancient authors any longer put upon the same footing and regarded
as equally credible, or all parts of their work supposed to rest upon
the same basis. [16] Many old, fond theories have been shattered;
in some respects the whole face of antiquity has been changed, [17]
and instead of now looking upon the ancients as demi-gods, and the
condition in which they lived as being something supernatural, we
are made to feel that they were men of like passions with ourselves,
possessed of the same weaknesses, actuated by the same motives of self
interest, ambition, jealousy, love, hatred; and that the conditions
surrounding them were no more supernatural than those which surround
us. The science of historical criticism by the application of its main
principle has stripped ancient times of their prodigies, and has either
brought those demi-gods of legend to earth and made them appear very
human, or has banished them entirely from real existence.

So long as the leading principle of this new science was applied to
profane history alone; and the revolution it inaugurated confined
to smashing the myths of ancient Greece, Rome, Babylon, Egypt and
India, no complaints were heard. Indeed, the work was very generally
applauded. But when the same principle began to be applied to what, by
Christians at least, was considered sacred history, then an exception
was pleaded.

This difficulty was met by orthodox believers much in the same way that
an earlier question, one about miracles, was met by Conyers Middleton.
It will be remembered that the Catholic Church has always claimed for
herself the power of working miracles from the earliest days until the
present; and cites, in confirmation of her claims, testimony that seems
at once respectable and sufficient. The Protestants, with the Anglican
Church at their head, in the discussions to which reference is here
made, conceded that the possession of the gift of working miracles was
_prima facie_ evidence of divine authority and soundness of faith. [18]
So much being conceded, Protestants were puzzled when to fix the date
that miracles ceased. They were certain that no miracles had happened
in their times, but were equally positive that they had occurred in
the early Christian centuries. But the recent testimony presented by
their Catholic opponents was just as worthy of belief as the testimony
of the early Christian Fathers; in some respects it was better,
because it was within reach for examination. What was to be done? If
this recent testimony of the Catholic Church concerning miracles was
to be rejected, could the earlier testimony of the Christian Fathers
stand? The discussion had reached this point when Middleton published
his "Free Inquiry," in which he held that the miracles claimed by
the Catholic Church, both in former and recent times must stand or
fall together. For if the testimony of the early Christian Fathers
and contemporary witnesses could confirm the former, the testimony of
the recent witnesses, being just as respectable as the former, and
hence as worthy of belief, would confirm the latter. Middleton met
the difficulty by rejecting all testimony to miracles after the close
of the apostolic age. When it was suggested that the New Testament
miracles might be treated in a like summary manner, he took the
position that the New Testament account of miracles was inspired, and
therefore beyond the reach of criticism.

So likewise I say, orthodox Christians were disposed to meet
the application of this principle of Historical Criticism under
consideration. They protested against the application of it to sacred
history. They insisted that the marvelous occurrences related in the
Bible, and which read so much like myth or legend, were recorded
by inspired writers, hence above criticism. The exception pleaded,
however, was not granted. There were bold spirits both within the
church as well as outside of it, who did not hesitate, at least so
far as the Old Testament was concerned, to apply the new methods of
criticism to sacred history.

The conclusions of those who started with the hypothesis that what we
call the miraculous is impossible, would not be difficult to forecast.
From the outset, with them, the Old Testament was doomed. In the
wonderful incidents related as the experience of the patriarchs, of
Moses, Aaron, Joshua and the kings and prophets of Israel, this school
of critics could discern a striking parallel to the legends of Rome, of
Greece and Egypt; and as readily rejected the one as the other. They
rejected also the cosmogony of Genesis, insisting that it was not the
history of the creation but poetry, and as such must be regarded, but
not as fact.

Suspicion once cast upon the historical value of sacred writings, the
critics grew bolder and declared that portions of the sacred narrative
presented the appearance of being simply myths; and from this by
degrees it soon became the fashion to attach a legendary character
to the whole of the Old Testament. It was decided by the same class
of critics that the whole narrative, in the main, rests upon oral
tradition and that that tradition was not written until long after
the supposed events occurred. Moreover, when the old traditions were
written, the work was done by poets bent rather on glorifying their
country than upon recording facts; and it is claimed that at times they
did not hesitate to allow imagination to amplify the oral traditions
or at need to invent new occurrences, to fill up blanks in their
annals. The authorship of the sacred books was held to be a matter of
great uncertainty, as well as the date at which they were written; but
certainly they were not written until long after the dates usually
assigned for their production. This style of criticism not only got rid
of the cosmogony of Genesis, but discredited as histories the whole
collection of books comprising the Old Testament. The Fall of man, that
fact which gives meaning to the atonement of Christ, and without which
the scheme of Christian salvation is but an idle fable--was regarded as
merely a myth. So, too, were the revelations of God to the patriarchs;
his communion with Enoch; his warning to Noah, together with the story
of the flood; the building of Babel's tower; the visions of Abraham;
the calling of Moses; the splendid display of God's power in the
deliverance of Israel from bondage; the law written upon the tables of
stone by the finger of God, the ark of the covenant and the visible
presence of God with Israel; the visitation of angels to the prophets;
their communion with God and the messages of reproof, of warning or
of comfort they brought to the people--all, all were myths, distorted
legends, uncertain traditions told by ecstatic poets, falsely esteemed
prophets! Such was the wreck which this new science of criticism made
of the Old Testament.

There was scarcely a halt between the wrecking of the Old Testament
by this new school of critics and their assault upon the New. Their
success gave them confidence, and they attacked the Christian documents
with more vigor than they had the Old Testament. By research which did
not need to be very extensive in order to conduct them to the facts,
they discovered that the age which witnessed the rise of the Christian
religion was one in which there existed a strong preconception in favor
of miracles; that is, the miraculous was universally believed, and it
was held by our new school of critics that this pre-conception in favor
of miracles influenced the writers of the New Testament to insert them
in their narratives.

Ever present in their New Testament criticism as in that of the
Old, was the cardinal principle that miracles never take place--the
miraculous is the impossible; [19] hence whenever our anti-miracle
critics found accounts of miracles interwoven in the biographies of
Jesus, or in the epistles of the apostles, they inexorably relegated
them to the sphere of myth or legend. [20]

Unhappily for orthodox believers who cling to the gospel narratives
as reliable statements of fact, they themselves found it necessary to
discard as apocryphal many of the books and writings which sprang into
existence in the early Christian centuries; books which pretended to
relate incidents in the life of Messiah, especially those which treated
of his childhood and youth. The marvelous account of his moulding
oxen, asses, birds and other figures out of clay, which at his command
would walk or fly away; his power to turn his playmates into kids; his
striking dead with a curse the boys who offended him; his stretching
a short board to its requisite length; his silencing those who try to
teach him [21]--all this, and much more, Christians had to discard as
pure fable. But they stopped short with the pruning process at the
books of the New Testament as we now have them.

Our new school of critics, however, infatuated with the chief principle
of their new science, went right on with the pruning, and made as sad
work of the New Testament as they had with the Old. They rejected the
miraculous in the New Testament writings as well as the account of
miracles which the Christians themselves rejected in the apocryphal
writings. By this step they got rid of the story of the miraculous
conception and birth of Christ; of the journey of the vision-led
magi; of the dream-led Joseph; of the testimony of the Holy Ghost,
and of the Father at Christ's baptism; of converting water into wine;
of Christ walking upon the water; of the miraculously fed multitude;
of the healing of the sick by a word or with a touch; casting out
devils; the raising of the dead; the earthquake; the rending of the
vail of the temple; and the miraculous three hours' darkness at the
crucifixion; Christ's resurrection from the dead; his appearance
after the resurrection; his final ascension into heaven; and the
declaration of the two angels that he would come again to the earth as
he had left it: in the clouds of heaven and in great glory. The new
criticism got rid of all this--all that makes Christ God, or one of
the persons of the Godhead, or that ascribes to him powers above those
that may be possessed by a man. Christ's divinity is destroyed by this
method of criticism, and one instinctively asks what there is left,
and is told--"The manifestations of the God concealed in the depths
of the human conscience." [22] "God-man, eternally incarnate, not an
individual but an idea!" [23]

To this then it comes at last, a Christianity without a Christ--that
is, without a divine Christ; and a Christ not divine--not God manifest
in the flesh, is no Christ. We had trusted that Jesus of Nazareth
had been he who would have redeemed not only all Israel, but all the
nations of the earth. We and our fathers had believed that he had
brought life and immortality to light through the gospel; but alas! it
turns out according to our new school of critics, that his "revelations
of blissful scenes of existence beyond death and the grave, are but
one of the many impostures which time after time have been palmed off
on credulous mankind!" Christ but a man, "the moralist and teacher of
Capernaum and Gennesaret"--nothing more! On a level with Socrates,
or Hillel, or Philo! What a void this new school of criticism makes!
A Christianity without the assurance of the resurrection! without
the hope of the glorious return of the Messiah, to reward every man
according to his works!

The new school of critics does not question so severely as other
critics have done the authenticity of the Christian documents, or the
date of their origin. Indeed, one of their chief apostles concedes the
authenticity of the gospels and their antiquity. [24] But after having
admitted the authenticity and antiquity of the Christian documents,
they then proceed to mutilate the story they relate--the gospel they
teach--as to render it practically valueless to mankind. This is
accomplished by regarding the Christian documents as legends, [25]
from which if we would arrive at historical truth must be excluded
all that is miraculous, [26] and hence all that makes Christ God. And
while to the imagination of the idealist much that is of value and
that is beautiful may remain in the attenuated Christianity which
the new criticism would leave us, yet for the great body of humanity
such a Christianity would be worthless. For however beautiful the
moral precepts of the merely human Jesus may be, they will have no
perceptible influence on the lives of the multitude unless back of
them stands divine authority, accompanied by a conviction of the fact
of man's immortality and his accountability to God for his conduct.
Shorn of these parts, what remains may be beautiful; but it would
be as the beauty of a man from whom the spark of life had fled--the
beauty of the dead. Of course the orthodox Christian denies that this
style of attack on the Christian religion has had any success. To him
it is an "attack" which has "failed." "In spite of all the efforts of
an audacious criticism," says one, "as ignorant as bold--the truth of
the sacred narrative stands firm, the stronger for the shocks that it
has resisted; the boundless store of truth and life which for eighteen
centuries has been the ailment of humanity is not (as Rationalism
boasts) dissipated. God is not divested of his grace, or man of his
dignity--nor is the tie between heaven and earth broken. The foundation
of God--the everlasting gospel--still standeth secure--and every effort
that is made to overthrow, does but more firmly establish it." [27]

Let us examine this matter more nearly, and with less partiality
than Rawlinson has done. If for the new school of critics to succeed
means that the orthodox view respecting Jesus of Nazareth, and the
religion he founded must be entirely overthrown by being driven out of
existence, then the new criticism is an "attack" which has "failed,"
for orthodox Christianity, that is, the Christianity which recognizes
Christ as divine--as God, and the New Testament as divinely inspired
and stating the substantial facts of Messiah's life--is still with us.

There are a number of reasons why the orthodox view of Christ has not
been entirely overthrown by the new criticism. First, the great body
of Christians which constitute the Catholic Church have been preserved
in the orthodox faith of Christ by the protecting aegis afforded by
the authority of that Church. Recognizing the church as superior to
the written word, alike its custodian and interpreter, and accepting
the meaning which the church attaches to the Bible as infallible,
Catholics, I say, have been preserved from the faith-shattering effects
of the New Criticism. Second, the criticism has been conducted, in the
main, and especially in the early stages of it, in the German language,
and hence has been largely confined to the German nation. Third, the
discussion wherever it has taken place has been carried on over the
heads of the laity; it has not been within their reach, hence to a
large extent it has been without effect upon them--an "attack that has
failed." But in each case, let it be remembered, its non-effect is
the result of not coming in contact with it. In one case it has been
kept away from the people by the authority of the church; in the other
through the inability of the laity, outside of Germany, to understand
the language in which the attack was written; and thirdly, through
the inability of the masses to bring the necessary scholarship to the

But, on the other hand, if to attract to itself a large following,
both among clergymen and laity, and especially among scholars; if to
modify prevailing orthodox opinion concerning the historical character
of the Old Testament, and force concessions respecting the character
at least of some parts of the Christian documents; if to permeate
all Christendom--the Catholic Church perhaps excepted--with doubt
concerning the divinity of Christ, and to threaten in the future the
faith of millions of Christians--if to do this is to succeed, then
the new criticism is succeeding, for that is what it is doing. Forty
years ago it was the complaint of German orthodox writers that this
German neology, as the new criticism is sometimes called, had left "No
objective ground or standpoint," on which the believing theological
science can build with any feeling of security. [28] "Nor," says the
same authority, "is the evil in question confined to Germany. The
works regarded as most effective in destroying the historical faith
of Christians abroad, have received an English dress, and are, it is
to be feared, read by persons very ill-prepared by historical studies
to withstand their specious reasonings, alike in our country and in
America. The tone, moreover, of German historical writings generally is
tinged with the prevailing unbelief; and the faith of the historical
student is likely to be undermined, almost without his having his
suspicions aroused, by covert assumptions of the mythical character of
the sacred narrative, in works professing to deal chiefly, or entirely
with profane subjects." [29]

It is more than thirty years since these admissions were made; since
then the German works complained of have been more generally translated
and widely read than before. Besides, since then, Renan has given
his "_Origins of Christianity_" [30] to the world, and by his great
learning, but more especially by the power and irresistible charm of
his treatment of the subject, has popularized the conceptions of the
Rationalists, until now the virus of their infidelity may be said to be
poisoning all Protestant Christendom.

What must ever be an occasion for chagrin, not to say humiliation,
to orthodox Christendom, is, its inability to meet in any effectual
way the assaults of this new criticism. In Germany they complain
against Strauss for having written his "_Life of Jesus_" in the German
language. If he must write such a book, so full of unbelief in the
orthodox conception of Jesus, he ought at least to have had the grace
to have written it in Latin! [31]

For his rationalism Renan is driven out of the Church of Rome; but
this only gives notoriety to his views, creates a desire to read his
books and spreads abroad his unbelief. When the Presbyterian Church
takes to task one of its most brilliant scholars [32] for accepting
the results of the new criticism, he is sustained by the powerful
Presbyterian Synod of New York and acquitted; and when an appeal
is taken to the general assembly of the church and he is finally
condemned, he is able to retort that while he was condemned by the
general assembly, it was by numbers and not by intelligence that he
was overcome; it was the less intelligent Presbyteries of the rural
district that gave the necessary strength to his opponents. The better
informed members--members from the cities and centers of education
and enlightenment--were with him. [33] The defense commonly made for
orthodox Christianity is an appeal to its antiquity and its past
victories. Its defenders point with pride to the failure of the proud
boast of Voltaire, who was foolish enough to say: "In twenty years
Christianity will be no more. My single hand shall destroy the edifice
it took twelve apostles to rear." "Some years after his death," say
the orthodox, "his very printing press was employed in printing New
Testaments, and thus spreading abroad the gospel." Gibbon with solemn
sneer devoted his gorgeous history [34] to sarcasm upon Christ and his
followers. "His estate," say the orthodox, "is now in the hands of one
who devotes large sums to the propagation of the very truth Gibbon
labored to sap." [35]

All this may be very well, but even in their day these men of the
eighteenth century had a large following, and did much damage to
orthodox belief. In fact, it is not inconsistent to claim that, in an
indirect way, they were the forerunners of our new school of criticism;
for many Christian scholars not satisfied with the answers made to the
infidel writers of the eighteenth century have accepted the results of
this new criticism as a solution of the difficulties urged against
christianity by the infidels of the eighteenth century.

It is time now to pause and summarize what has been thus far discussed:

First, the divided state of Christendom of itself argues something
wrong; for nearly every page of holy scripture urges the unity of
Christ's Church. "Is Christ divided?" [36] is the ringing question that
the apostle of the Gentiles asks the schismatically inclined church
at Corinth. "I beseech you, brethren," says he, "by the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there
be no division among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in
the same mind and the same judgment." [37] He then proceeds to tell
them that they are utterly at fault in one saying that he was of Paul;
another that he was of Apollos, and another that he was of Cephas. [38]
What he would say of divided, not to say warring Christendom of today,
one may not conjecture, further than to say that if the incipient
divisions in Corinth provoked his condemnation, the open rupture and
conflicting creeds of the Christianity of the nineteenth century would
merit still harsher reproof.

Second, the failure of Christianity to evangelize the world in nineteen
centuries, sixteen of which, to all human judgment, appear to have
been especially favorable to that evangelization, since at the back
of Christianity stood the powerful nations of Europe whose commerce
and conquests opened the gates of nearly all nations to Christian
missionaries--argues some weakness in a religion bottomed on divine
revelation and sustained through all these centuries (so Christians
claim) by divine power. To be compelled to admit after all these
centuries favorable to the establishment of Christianity that now only
a little more than one-fourth of the population of our earth is even
nominally Christian is to confess that the results do not do credit
to a religion making the claims and possessing the advantages of

Third, the existence of a broad and constantly widening stream of
unbelief, not only in Christian lands and apart from Christian
communion, but within the very churches claiming to be churches of
Christ, together with the inability of the orthodox to meet and silence
the infidel revilers of the Christian religion--tells its own tale of
weakness; and bears testimony of the insufficiency of the Christian
evidences to bring conviction to the doubting minds of many sincere and
moral people.

All these considerations proclaim in trumpet-tones

    "'Tis time that some new prophet should appear."

Mankind stand in need of a new witness for God--a witness who may speak
not as the scribes or the pharisees, but in the clear, ringing tones of
one clothed with authority from God. The world is weary of the endless
wrangling of the scholastics. They settle nothing. Their speculations
merely shroud all in profounder mystery, and beget more uncertainty.
They darken counsel by words without knowledge. Therefore, to heal
the schisms in Christendom; to bring order out of the existing chaos;
to stay the stream of unbelief within the churches; to convert the
Jews; to evangelize the world; to bring to pass that universal reign
of truth, of peace, of liberty, of righteousness that all the prophets
have predicted--the world needs a new witness for God.


1. Such is the language, slightly paraphrased, which Mrs. Humphrey Ward
puts in the mouth of the orthodox Ronalds in her dialogue entitled _The
New Reformation_ (See Agnosticism and Christianity--Humbolt Library
Series, page 151); and it accurately states the claims of the orthodox

2. "Agnosticism and Christianity," p. 151. The passage is paraphrased.

3. I thus carefully qualify the statement for the reason that I believe
the Christian religion--that is, the Gospel, has a much earlier
existence than the birth of Christ. Messiah is spoken of in Scripture
as "the lamb slain from the foundation of the world," from which
expression in connection with many other evidences--too numerous to
mention here (see the Author's work "The Gospel," ch. xxxii.)--I get
the idea that the plan of man's redemption through the atonement of
Jesus Christ is at least as old as the foundation of the world. It was
revealed to Adam, and the Patriarchs, to Abraham, to Moses, and to some
of the prophets; and finally through the earthly ministry of the Son of
God himself; but it is an error to suppose that it came into existence
first through the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth on earth.

4. Æsop's Fables.

5. Mosheim's Ecclesiastical Institutes, book iii., cent. viii., part
i., chap. i. (Murdock's translation always quoted.)

6. Mosheim, book iii., cent. x., part i., chap. i.

7. Mosheim, book iii., cent. xii., part i., chap. i.

8. "What the World Believes," Gay Bros & Co., New York. Dr. Hurst's
"Outline History of the Church" (1875) gives the following population
to the creeds:

Christianity ........................ 407 Millions.

Judaism ............................... 7   "

Buddhism ............................ 340   "

Mohammedism ......................... 200   "

Brahmanism .......................... 175   "

Confucianism ......................... 80   "

All other forms of religious belief . 174   "

While this is a little different grouping of the religions than that in
the text, the computation is approximately the same. "Of the Christian
populations of the world, 131,007,449 are assigned to Protestantism,
200,339,390 to Roman Catholicism, and 76,390,040 to the oriental
churches. In the New World, comprising North and South America, the
Roman Catholics are in the majority, having about sixty millions" (Behm
& Wagner). The above is also quoted with favor by Dr. Joseph Faa Di
Bruno in his work "Catholic Belief," p. 397.

9. Burder's History of all Religions (1860), p. 140; also Buck's Theol.
Dic., Art. Greek Church.

10. Faith of our Fathers, p. 109.

11. Christianity and Agnosticism, p. 161.

12. "The true deist has but one Deity; and his religion consists
in contemplating the power, wisdom and benignity of the Deity in
his works, and in endeavoring to imitate him in everything moral,
scientifical and mechanical. * * * * The Almighty Lecturer (Deity), by
displaying the principles of science in the structure of the universe,
has invited man to study and to imitation. It is as if he had said to
the inhabitants of this globe we call ours, 'I have made an earth for
man to dwell upon, and I have rendered the starry heavens visible, to
teach him science and the arts. He can now provide for his own comfort,
and learn from my munificence to all, to be kind to each other.' * *
* * * In Deism our reason and our belief become happily united. The
wonderful structure of the universe, and everything we behold in the
system of the creation, prove to us far better than books can do, the
existence of a God and at the same time proclaim his attributes. It is
by exercise of our reason that we are enabled to contemplate God in his
works and imitate him in his ways. When we see his care and goodness
extended over all his creatures, it teaches us our duty towards each
other while it calls forth our gratitude to him."--_Thomas Paine._

13. "It is not in the name of this or that philosophy, but in the name
of constant experience that we banish miracle from history. We do
not say 'miracle is impossible'; we say: 'there has been hitherto no
miracle proved.' * * * * Till we have new light, we shall maintain,
therefore, this principle of historical criticism, that a supernatural
relation cannot be accepted as such, that it always implies credulity
or imposture." Renan, Life of Jesus, E. T. pp. 44, 45.

14. "Let the gospels be in part legendary, that is evident since they
are full of miracles and the supernatural." "Renan, Life of Jesus, p.
19." Renan is one of the chief writers of the rationalistic school.

"No just perception of the true nature of history is possible without a
just perception of the inviolability of the chain of finite causes, and
of the impossibility of miracles." Strauss, Leben Jesu, Vol. I., p. 64.
E. T.

15. "Canons," is the scientific term.

16. "Inquiry into the Credibility of Early Roman History." (Sir G. C.
Lewis) Vol. I., p. 2, of the Introduction.

17. The whole world of profane history has been revolutionized: * * *
* The views of the ancient world formerly entertained have been in ten
thousand points either modified or revised--a new antiquity has been
raised up out of the old--while much that was unreal in the picture
of past times which men had formed to themselves has disappeared,
consigned to that "Limbo large and broad" into which "all things
transitory and vain" are finally received, a fresh revelation has in
many cases taken the place of the old view, which has dissolved before
the wand of the critic; and a firm and strong fabric has arisen out
of the shattered _debris_ of the fallen systems.--George Rawlinson's
"Historical Evidences" (London Edition) pp. 28, 29.

18. A footnote scarcely affords the space necessary in which to discuss
the value of miracles as evidence to the truth of a religion or the
divine authority of the miracle worker; but a few observations at this
particular point will be, in the estimation of the author, _apropos._
It is a mistake on the part of the Protestants or any one else to
concede that the power to work miracles is absolute evidence of the
truth of a religion, or of the divine calling of the miracle worker.
Too much importance has been given to miracles as evidence of divine
authority. Looking upon what are commonly called miracles, not as
events or effects contrary to the laws of nature, but interventions on
the part of God (through the operation of natural, though perhaps to
man unknown laws) for the benefit of his children, and recognizing God
as the Father of all mankind, it would be an extremely narrow conception
of the love and mercy of the Deity to suppose that he would confine
these interventions to any one class of his children. Surely it is
egotism run mad for a people to suppose that they have succeeded so
far in becoming the special favorites of heaven that all God's special
providences will be confined to them. No, no; he who maketh his sun
to rise on the evil as well as the good, and sendeth rain on the
just and unjust alike, is capable of better things than men ascribe
to him in this matter of miracles. But it does not follow that those
who enjoy these special manifestations have correct religious creeds
or possess the fullness of truth. Equally erroneous is it to suppose
that the powers of evil cannot work what are called miracles; that is,
put into operation forces as yet unknown to man which produce effects
uncommon to his experience. Can it be that our Christian writers have
forgotten that "to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness
tell us truths--win us with honest trifles, to betray us in deepest
consequences?" Have they forgotten that the miracles of Moses were well
nigh matched by those of the magicians of Egypt? That Simon Magus,
notwithstanding he had no lot nor part in the things of God, yet had
wrought miracles. Have they forgotten that in the description given us
in Holy Writ (II. Thess. ii.) of the rise of Anti-Christ, that Satan
shall have power to work "signs and lying wonders," and that God will
permit the strong delusions that those might be condemned who believe
not the truth but have pleasure in unrighteousness? Have they forgotten
that the word of prophecy hath said that even unclean spirits,
"devils," shall have the power of "working miracles," even calling down
fire from heaven, to deceive the inhabitants of the earth? (Rev. xvi)?
If miracles are to be taken as an absolute test of divine authority,
will not the unclean spirits, these miracle-working devils, prove the
divinity of their mission? Again, it said that "John" (the baptist),
than whom there is no greater prophet, "did no miracle" (John x. 41).
It appears, therefore, that not all that are sent of God work miracles;
and we see that devils have in the past and will in the future possess
that power; hence miracles are not as important a class of testimony as
they have usually been esteemed; and writers are utterly at fault who
regard them as an absolute test of true religion or divine authority.

19. I find it necessary to say another word on miracles. There is a
general misapprehension, I think, of what a miracle really is. The
commonly accepted definition of the term is, "an event or effect
contrary to the established constitution and course of things, or a
deviation from the known laws of nature." Renan defines a miracle
to be, "not simply the inexplicable, it is a formal derogation from
recognized laws in the name of a particular desire." What is especially
faulty in these definitions is this: Miracles are held to be outside or
contrary to the laws of nature. Let us examine this. Two hundred years
ago the only motive powers known to ocean navigators were wind and the
ocean currents. Suppose at that time those old mariners had seen one
of our modern ocean steamers running against both ocean currents and
the wind; and, withal, making better speed in spite of both wind and
tide than the old time sailing vessel could even when running before
the wind and the ocean currents in her favor. What would have been
the effect of such a sight on the mind of the old-time sailor? "It is
a miracle!" he would have exclaimed; that is, it would have been an
"effect contrary to the established constitution and course of things,"
"a derogation from recognized laws." But is such an effect to us who
know something of the force of steam contrary to the laws of nature?
No; it is simply the employment of forces in nature of which the
old-time mariner was ignorant; and while it would have been a miracle
to him, to us it is merely the application of a newly discovered
force of nature, and it is now so common that we cease to look upon
it with wonder. So with the things that we now in our ignorance call
miracles--such as the healing of the sick, restoring the blind to
sight, making the lame to walk, through the exercise of faith, and the
resurrection of the dead--instead of these things being in "derogation
from recognized laws," we shall yet learn that they are done simply by
the application of laws of which we are as yet in ignorance. With man's
limited knowledge of the laws of nature, how presumptuous it is in him
to say that the healing of the sick or even the resurrection of the
dead are in "derogation of the laws of nature," or that deviation from
those few laws of nature with which he is acquainted will never happen,
or is impossible! Better reasoners are they who, like George Rawlinson,
say, "Miraculous interpositions on fitting occasions may be as much a
regular, fixed, and established rule of his (God's) government as the
working ordinarily by what are called natural laws." In other words,
what we in our ignorance call miracles, are to God merely the results
of the application of higher laws or forces of nature not yet learned
by man. Miracles are to be viewed as a part of the divine economy.

20. It will be observed that throughout a difference between myth and
legend is recognized. Strauss thus distinguishes between them: "Mythus
is the creation of a fact out of an idea; legend the seeing of an idea
in a fact, or arising out of it." "The myth is therefore pure and
absolute imagination," says Rawlinson; "the legend has a basis of fact,
but amplifies, abridges, or modifies that basis at its pleasure." And
thus De Wette: "The myth is an idea in a vestment of facts; the legend
contains facts pervaded and transformed by ideas."

21. All this and a hundred other things equally silly and untrue which
mar rather than dignify the character of Jesus Christ are related
in the "First Gospel of the Infancy," translated by Mr. Henry Sike,
professor of Oriental Languages at Cambridge. "The Infancy" was
accepted by the Gnostics, a Christian sect of the second century.

22. "Life of Jesus" (Renan), p. 50, E. T.

23. "Life of Jesus" (Strauss), vol. III., p. 434, E. T.

24. "Upon the whole, I accept the four canonical gospels as authentic.
All, in my judgment, date back to the first century, and they are
substantially by the authors to whom they are attributed." "Renan's
Life of Jesus," Introduction, p. 34, E. T.

25. "Let the Gospels be in part legendary, that is evident since they
are full of miracles and the supernatural. . . . . The historic value
which I attribute to the Gospels is now, I think, quite understood.
They are neither biographies, after the manner of Suetonius, nor
fictitious legends, like those of Philostratus; they are legendary
biographies." Renan, "Life of Jesus," Introduction, p. 17 38.

26. "Till we have new light, we shall maintain, therefore, this
principle of historical criticism, that a supernatural relation cannot
be accepted as such, that it always implies credulity or imposture,
that the duty of the historian is to interpret it, and to seek what
portion of truth and what portion error it may contain. Such are the
rules which have been followed in this life" (of Christ). Renan, "Life
of Jesus," p. 45, E. T.

27. "Historical Evidences" (Rawlinson), p. 228.

28. "Historical Evidences," (Rawlinson), Preface.

29. "Historical Evidences" (Rawlinson), see Preface. See also Keil's
preface to his "Comment on Joshua."

30. "Origins of Christianity" in three volumes; "The Life of Jesus,"
"The Apostles," "Saint Paul."

31. See Preface to Strauss' "Life of Jesus."

32. Dr. C. A. Briggs.

33. The triumphant language of Dr. Briggs in the _North American
Review_ is: "The majority of votes in favor of the suspension was very
great. But if the votes are weighed as well as counted the disparity
will not be regarded as serious. The basis of representation in the
general assembly gives the small presbyteries in the country districts
and on the frontiers a vastly greater power than they are entitled
to by their numbers or influence, while the strong presbyteries in
our large cities and in the great communities are put at a serious
disadvantage. The general assemblies, as they are now constituted,
represent the least intelligent portion of the church, and not
unfrequently a majority in the Assembly really represents a minority of
the ministers and people in the denomination. A majority of a general
assembly is not taken seriously by intelligent Presbyterians."

34. "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."

35. The remarks in relation to both Gibbon and Voltaire are to be found
in the _Christian Visitor_ for 1889.

36. 1 Cor. i. 13.

37. _Ibid_ verse 10.

38. 1 Cor. i. 12.


The Church of Christ Was Destroyed: There Has Been an Apostasy from the
Christian Religion, So Complete and Universal, as to Make Necessary a
New Dispensation of the Gospel.



A variety of causes have operated to produce the result stated in
my second Thesis, among which I shall first consider those terrible
persecutions with which the saints were afflicted in the first
centuries of our era.

Let it not be a matter of surprise that I class those persecutions
as among the means through which the church was destroyed. The force
of heathen rage was aimed at the leaders and strong men of the body
religious; and being long-continued and relentlessly cruel, those
most steadfast in their adherence to the church invariably became its
victims. These being stricken down, it left none but weaklings to
contend for the faith, and made possible those subsequent innovations
in the religion of Jesus which a pagan public sentiment demanded, and
which so completely changed both the spirit and form of the Christian
religion as to subvert it utterly.

Let me further ask that no one be surprised that violence is permitted
to operate in such a case. The idea that the right is always victorious
in this world; that truth is always triumphant and innocence always
divinely protected, are old, fond fables with which well-meaning men
have amused credulous multitudes; but the stern facts of history
and actual experience in life correct the pleasing delusion. Do not
misunderstand me. I believe in the ultimate victory of the right,
the ultimate triumph of truth, the final immunity of innocence from
violence. These--innocence, truth and the right--will be at the last
more than conquerors; they will be successful in the war, but that does
not prevent them from losing some battles. It should be remembered
always that God has given to man his agency; and that fact implies that
one man is as free to act wickedly as another is to do righteousness.
Cain was as free to murder his brother as that brother was to worship
God; and so the pagans and Jews were as free to persecute and murder
the Christians as the Christians were to live virtuously and worship
Christ as God. The agency of man would not be worth the name if it did
not grant liberty to the wicked to fill the cup of their iniquity,
as well as liberty to the virtuous to round out the measure of their
righteousness. Such perfect liberty or agency God has given man; and it
is only so variously modified as not to thwart his general purposes.
Hence it comes that even when stealthy Murder in sight of his helpless
victim meditates the crime, no voice to prevent the act "speaks through
the blanket of the dark" crying, "Hold! hold!" Of course it follows
that running parallel with this fact of man's liberty is the solemn
truth of his full responsibility for the use he makes of it.

In the light of these reflections, then, I say that after Christ, as
before his day, the kingdom of heaven suffered violence and the violent
took it by force. [1] How far that violence, as manifested in the
persecutions of the first three Christian centuries, was effectual as
a factor in causing the destruction of the church is now to engage our

At the outset, however, there is a difficulty I cannot pass without
comment--the disagreement of eminent writers on the extent and severity
of the persecutions endured by the Christians up to the accession of
Constantine to the imperial throne of Rome. On the one hand infidel
writers, such as Gibbon and Dodwell, have sought to minimize the
suffering of the Christians under the persecutions, and on the other,
Christian writers, such as Milner, Paley and Fox, have sought to
magnify it. The motive on the part of both infidels and Christians is
obvious. The more violent and extensive the persecutions, the more
the martyrs, the more glorious the triumph for the church. While on
the other hand, if the persecutions can be proven to be limited, the
suffering made to appear trifling and the martyrs few in number, the
church is robbed of so much of her glory. Doubtless both parties have
gone to extremes in the contention. Unfortunately for the Christian
side of the controversy, there is much reason for believing that the
account of Christian suffering within the period named has been much
exaggerated. Their chief authority--Eusebius--has thrown more or
less suspicion upon the trustworthiness of all that he has written,
by declaring in the opening chapter of his Ecclesiastical History
and elsewhere that "Whatsoever, therefore, _we deem likely to be
advantageous to the proposed subject_, we shall endeavor to reduce
to a compact body by historical narration. For this purpose we have
collected the materials that have been scattered by our predecessors,
and culled, as from some intellectual meadows, the appropriate extracts
from ancient authors." [2]

On these passages Gibbon remarks: "The gravest of the ecclesiastical
historians, Eusebius himself, indirectly confesses that he has related
whatever might redound to the glory, and that he has suppressed all
that could tend to the disgrace of religion. Such an acknowledgment
will naturally excite a suspicion that a writer who has so openly
violated one of the fundamental laws of history, has not paid a very
strict regard to the observance of the other." [3] Draper also refers
to the same when, commenting upon the inaccuracies of early Christian
writers, he says: "In historical compositions there was a want of
fair dealing and truthfulness almost incredible to us; thus, Eusebius
naively avows that in his history he shall omit whatever might tend to
the discredit of the church, and magnify whatever might conduce to her
glory." [4]

But while it must be conceded that there is much reason for believing
that the Christian fathers exaggerated both the extent and severity
of those early persecutions, it remains clear that both the extent
and severity of them were greater and more baneful to the church than
infidel writers allow; and the truth of it may be proven independent
of the testimonies of the Christian fathers. The proofs I refer to
are the edicts themselves, considered in the light of the well-known
cruelty of the Roman people, intensified by the malice of religious
zeal aroused to suppress an obnoxious society whose doctrines were held
to be destructive of the ancient religion of Rome, and a menace to the
existence of the state itself.

Passing by the persecutions inflicted upon the Christians by the
Jews, an account of which is to be found in the New Testament, I call
attention to the first great pagan persecution under the cruel edict of
the Emperor Nero. For our information in respect to this persecution we
are indebted not to any Christian writer, but to the judicious Tacitus,
whom even "the most sceptical criticism is obliged to respect." [5]
Nero having set on fire the city of Rome, in order that he might
witness a great conflagration, and wishing to divert suspicion from
himself, first accused and then tried to compel the Christians to
confess the great crime--and now Tacitus:

"With this view he inflicted the most exquisite tortures on those men
who, under the vulgar appellation of Christians, were already branded
with deserved infamy. They derived their name and origin from Christ,
who, in the reign of Tiberius had suffered death by the sentence of
the procurator Pontius Pilate. For awhile this dire superstition was
checked; but it again burst forth; and not only spread itself over
Judea, the first seat of this mischievous sect, but was even introduced
into Rome, the common asylum which receives and protects whatever is
impure, whatever is atrocious. The confessions of those that were
seized discovered a great multitude of their accomplices, and they were
all convicted, not so much for the crime of setting fire to the city,
as for their hatred of human kind. They died in torments, and their
torments were embittered by insults and derision. Some were nailed on
crosses; others sewn up in the skins of wild beasts, and exposed to the
fury of dogs; others, again, smeared over with combustible materials,
were used as torches to illuminate the darkness of the night. The
gardens of Nero were destined for the melancholy spectacle, which was
accompanied with a horse-race, and honored with the presence of the
emperor, who mingled with the populace in the dress and attitude of
a charioteer. The guilt of the Christians deserved indeed the most
exemplary punishments, but the public abhorrence was changed into
commiseration, from the opinion that those unhappy wretches were
sacrificed, not so much to the public welfare as to the cruelty of a
jealous tyrant." [6]

Eminent scholars are divided in opinion as to whether this persecution
under Nero extended to the provinces or was confined to the city
of Rome. Gibbon assumes that it was both brief and confined to the
city. According to Milman "M. Guizot, on the authority of Suplicious
Severus and of Orosius inclines to the opinion of those who extend the
persecution to the provinces. Mosheim rather leans to that side on this
much disputed question. Neander takes the view of Gibbon, which is, in
general, that of the most learned writers." [7]

This controversy need not detain us a moment. It matters not to my
purpose whether the edicts of Nero extended to the provinces or were
limited in their operations to the Christians within the capital.
The testimony of Tacitus is sufficient to prove, first, that the
persecution was general within the city; second its terrible cruelty;
and third, the great abhorrence in which the Christians were held by
the Romans.

I submit to the consideration of the reader that a people so greatly
detested as the Christians, were not likely to meet with gentle
treatment from the Romans; and when, as subsequently it came to
pass, the people clamored for the sacrifice of the saints whom they
abhorred as the enemies of mankind, instead of looking upon them with
commiseration as the citizens of Rome did in their persecution under
Nero--when the Roman people, I say, clamored for the sacrifice of
the Christians and the emperors were cruel enough, and unjust enough
to issue edicts for their destruction, the persecutions of those
times were neither so limited nor so free from severity as Gibbon and
others would have us believe. Even in this persecution under Nero, if
no edicts were sent into the provinces commanding the execution of
Christians, it is not unreasonable to believe that the despisers of
the followers of Christ, finding warrant for their conduct by what was
taking place at Rome, under the supervision of the emperor himself,
would not hesitate to inflict hardships upon the saints without the
formality of his proclamation.

It was this unofficial persecution which, without doubt, arose in the
provinces as an indirect result of the persecution in the capital,
that has led a number of prominent writers to believe that Nero's
persecution extended throughout the empire. However that may be, a
"great multitude" suffered in the city of Rome, and were subject to
such tortures and cruel modes of death--described, mark you, by the
unfriendly Tacitus--that little is left to be added even by the fervid
imaginations of the Christian fathers. It is reasonable to believe
that the subsequent persecutions were not freer from cruelty than this
one under Nero; and therefore, though some allowance must be made
for exaggeration in the writings of the Christian fathers, it may be
safely concluded that those persecutions which preceded the reign of
Constantine were both widespread and horribly cruel.

What is usually denominated the third persecution of the Christian
Church occurred in the reign of Trajan, 98--117 A. D. Here, as in the
persecution under Nero, we may determine something of the severity and
manner of it from a Roman writer. Trajan intrusted the government of
Bithynia and Pontius to his personal friend, the younger Pliny. The new
governor, in his administration of the affairs of his provinces, found
himself perplexed as to what course he should pursue in regard to the
Christians brought before him for trial. He accordingly wrote to his
master for instruction; and I deem his letter of such importance as
showing the severity to which Christians were subject, the character of
the Christians, and the number of unfaithful members who had evidently
entered the church by that time, that I give it _in extenso_:

"Health.--It is my usual custom, sir, to refer all things, of which I
harbor any doubts, to you. For who can better direct my judgment in
its hesitation, or instruct my understanding in its ignorance? I never
had the fortune 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 either of inquiry or of 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 most unequivocal retraction;
whether the name itself, abstracted from any flagitiousness of conduct,
or the crimes connected with the name, be the object of punishment. In
the meantime, this has been my method, with respect to those who were
brought before me as Christians: If they pleaded guilty, I interrogated
them twice afresh, with a menace of capital punishment. In case of
obstinate perseverance, I ordered 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 who were infected with the same madness whom, on account of their
privilege of citizenship, I reserve to be sent to Rome, to be referred
to your tribunal. In the course of this business, information pouring
in, as is usual when they are encouraged, more cases occurred. An
anonymous libel was exhibited, with a catalogue of names of persons,
who yet declared they were not Christians then or ever had been; and
they repeated after me an invocation of the gods and of your image,
which for this purpose I had ordered to be brought with the images of
the deities. They performed sacred rites with wine and frankincense,
and execrated Christ, none of which things I am told a real Christian
can ever be compelled to do. On this account I dismissed them. Others
named by an informer, first affirmed and then denied the charge of
Christianity, declaring that they had been Christians, but had ceased
to be so, some three years ago, others still longer, some even twenty
years ago. All of them worshiped your image, and the statues of the
gods, and also execrated Christ. And this was the account which they
gave of the nature of their religion they once professed, whether it
deserves the name of crime or error, namely, that they were accustomed
on a stated day to meet before daylight, and repeat among themselves
a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by an oath with
an obligation of not committing any wickedness; but on the contrary,
of abstaining from thefts, robberies, and adulteries; also, of not
violating their promise, or denying a pledge; after which it was their
custom to separate, and to meet again at a promiscuous, harmless
meal, from which last practice they however desisted, after the
publication of my edict, in which, agreeably to your order, 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 the 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 and
the country. Not that I think it impossible to check and correct it.
The success of my efforts hitherto forbids such desponding thoughts;
for the temples, once almost desolate, begin to be frequented, and the
sacred solemnities which had long been intermitted, are now attended
afresh, and the sacrificed victims are now sold everywhere, which once
could scarcely find a purchaser. Whence, I conclude, that many might
be reclaimed, were the hope of impunity, on repentance, absolutely
confirmed." [8]

To this Trajan sent the following answer: "You have done perfectly
right, my dear Pliny, in the inquiry which you have made concerning
Christians. For truly no one general rule can be laid down which
will apply itself to all cases. These people must not be sought
after. If they are brought before you and convicted, let them be
capitally punished, yet with this restriction, that if anyone 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. But anonymous libels in no case ought
to be attended to; for the precedent would be of the worst sort, and
perfectly incongruous to the maxims of my government." [9]

Gibbon makes much of the perplexity of Pliny as to how to proceed
against the Christians. For since the life of that Roman had been
employed in the acquisition of learning and the business of the world;
since from the age of nineteen he had pleaded with distinction in
the tribunals of Rome; therefore, from the ignorance of this Roman
governor, the great historian of the Decline and Fall concludes
that there were no general laws or decrees of the senate in force
against the Christians previous to Pliny accepting the governorship
of Bithynia. [10] There is nothing, however, in the circumstance of
Pliny's ignorance to justify such a conclusion.

It is not difficult to conceive how laws and decrees against the
Christians could exist and yet a man employed as Pliny was have no
technical knowledge of the _modus operandi_ of procedure against them.
His very letter, quoted above, seems to recognize the existence of such
laws before he went into Bithynia; for he pleads as an excuse for his
ignorance of how to proceed in the business neither the non-existence,
nor the newness of the laws, but merely the fact that he had never been
present at the examination of Christians brought to trial previous to
accepting the governorship of his provinces.

In like spirit Gibbon points to the mildness of both the emperor and
the governor as being against the idea that this persecution was very
severe. Giving full credit for that mildness, what was the status of
the Christians as to liability to persecution in Bithynia and Pontus
after Pliny received the instruction of his master? (1) They were
not to be sought after, that is, hunted down for the mere sake of
destroying them; (2) anonymous complaints or libels were not to be
entertained against them; (3) if brought before the judge and they
would renounce their religion by supplicating the gods of Rome, they
were to receive pardon. So far the tender mercies of Trajan extended.
They could still be accused by any one bold enough to affix his name
to the charge; and if the accused Christians refused to deny the
faith, they were punished by sentence of death. When it is considered
how bitter was the malice of their enemies, and how wide-spread the
detestation of Christianity, it will be conceded that even in Bithynia
and Pontus, notwithstanding the mildness of the emperor and the
humanity of the governor, there was still left plenty of opportunity
to vex the church and make persecution contribute to its destruction.
I say even in Bithynia and Pontus this was the case; how much more
was it so in those provinces where less humane magistrates than Pliny
administered the laws, and who proceeded without asking for instruction
from the emperor! In such provinces the saints were liable to be
accused anonymously, put to the torture, not with a view to force from
them a confession, but a denial of the charge, failing in which they
were executed without mercy.

The limits of this inquiry forbids anything like an exhaustive
examination of the several persecutions endured by the Christians. I
shall therefore content myself with a brief reference to those most
disastrous to the church.

Passing by, then, the persecutions under Aurelius and Verus, in which
the sufferings of the Christians in Gaul were most severe--especially
in the cities of Lyons and Vienne, [11] where churches were well nigh
destroyed by its violence; and also passing by the persecutions which
arose under the edicts of Severus, which were issued more especially to
prevent the propagation of Christianity than to punish those already
converts to it, I come to that general and terrible persecution under
Decius Trajan, in the middle of the third century. The incentive which
prompted the action of Decius against the Christians is variously
ascribed to hatred of his predecessor, Philip, whom he had murdered,
and who was friendly to the church; to his zeal for paganism; and
lastly to his fear, feigned or real, that the Christians would usurp
the empire. Perhaps all these motives combined impelled him to make war
upon the church. According to the representations of one Dionysius,
quoted by Eusebius, the persecution, at least in Africa, began before
the edicts of Decius were issued. "The persecution with us," says the
writer referred to, "did not begin with the imperial edict but precede
it by a whole year. And a certain prophet and poet, inauspicious to the
city [Alexandria], whoever he was, excited the mass of the heathens
against us, stirring them up to their native superstition. Stimulated
by him, and taking full liberty to exercise any kind of wickedness,
they considered this the only piety, and the worship of their demons,
_viz,_ to slay us. * * But as the sedition and civil war overtook the
wretches, their cruelty was diverted from us to one another. We then
drew a little breath, while their rage against us was a little abated.
But, presently, that change from a milder reign was announced to us,
and much terror was now threatening us. The decree [of Decius] had
arrived, very much like that which was foretold by our Lord, exhibiting
the most dreadful aspects so that, if it were possible, the very
elect would stumble. All indeed were greatly alarmed, and many of the
more eminent immediately gave way to them; others, who were in public
offices, were led forth by their very acts; others were brought by
their acquaintances and when called by name, they approached the impure
and unholy sacrifices. But pale and trembling, as if they were not to
sacrifice but themselves to be the victims and the sacrifices to the
idols. They were jeered by many of the surrounding multitude, and were
obviously equally afraid to die and to offer the sacrifice. But some
advanced with greater readiness to the altar and boldly asserted that
they had never before been Christians, concerning whom the declaration
of our Lord is most true, that they will scarcely be saved. Of the
rest, some followed the one or the other of the preceding; some fled,
others were taken, and of these some held out as far as the prison and
bonds, and some after a few days' imprisonment abjured Christianity
before they entered the tribunal. And some, also, after enduring
the torture for a time, at last renounced. Others, however, firm
and blessed pillars of the Lord, confirmed by the Lord himself, and
receiving in themselves strength and power, suited and proportioned to
their faith, became admirable witnesses of his kingdom." [12]

Eusebius at great length recounts the suffering of individuals both
in the east and west divisions of the empire, but it is not necessary
to follow him through all those details. It will be sufficient to say
that this persecution was more terrible than any which preceded it.
It extended over the whole empire, and had for its avowed object the
enforced apostasy of the Christians. [13]

How unrelenting the efforts must have been to encompass either the
destruction or the apostasy of the Christians will appear when it is
known that the governors of the provinces were "commanded, on pain
of forfeiting their own lives, either to exterminate all Christians
utterly, or bring them back by pain and tortures to the religion
of their fathers." "During two years," continues Mosheim, "a great
multitude of Christians in all the Roman provinces were cut off by
various species of punishment and suffering. This persecution was more
cruel and terrific than any that preceded it; and immense numbers
dismayed, not so much by the fear of death, as by the dread of the
long-continued tortures by which the magistrates endeavored to overcome
the constancy of the Christians, professed to renounce Christ; and
procured for themselves safety, either by sacrificing, i. e., offering
incense before the idols, or by certificates purchased with money." [14]

Gibbon, who never admits the severity of the persecutions under the
emperors, except when compelled by undeniable facts, says, of this
one under Decius: "The fall of Philip (the predecessor of Decius)
introduced with a change of masters, a new system of government so
oppressive to the Christians that their former condition, ever since
the time of Domitian, was represented as a state of perfect freedom
and security, if compared with the rigorous treatment which they
experienced under the short reign of Decius. * * * The bishops of the
most considerable cities were removed by exile or death; the vigilance
of the magistrates prevented the clergy of Rome during sixteen months
from proceeding to the new election; and it was the opinion of the
Christians that the emperor would more patiently endure a competition
for the purple than a bishop for the capital." [15]

Milner, quoting Cyprian, says concerning the effect of this
persecution: "Vast numbers lapsed into idolatry immediately. Even
before men were accused as Christian many ran to the forum and
sacrificed to the gods as they were ordered; and the crowds of
apostates were so great that the magistrates wished to delay numbers
of them till the next day, but they were importuned by the wretched
suppliants to be allowed to prove themselves heathens that very night."

The reign of Decius was brief, lasting only two years, and toward the
close of it, as if surfeited with slaughter, the violent persecution
against the saints relaxed somewhat of its severity; but his
successors, Gallus and his son Volusian, renewed it. A pestilential
disease broke out about this time and spread through a number of the
provinces, and this the pagan priests persuaded the populace was a
curse sent upon the people on account of the toleration shown to the
Christians. This was sufficient to re-kindle the flames of hatred and
for two years more the Church of Christ suffered violence as it had
done under Decius.

There remains but one more persecution to notice, that which is
commonly known as the Diocletian. It could be called more properly the
Galerian persecution; for Galerius, son-in-law to the emperor, and one
with two others--Constantius Chlorus and Maximian--who shared with
him the responsibility of governing the empire, [17] had most to do
with it. It is said that Galerius was urged to secure the edicts of
Diocletian against the Christians by his mother, Romlia, a very haughty
woman, who had taken offense because the saints had excluded her from
their sacrament meetings. Be that as it may, it is generally conceded
that this severest of all persecutions against the Church of Christ was
inaugurated and carried on through the hatred and influence of Galerius.

According to Eusebius [18] the persecution began in the nineteenth
year of the reign of Diocletian--303 A. D. The emperor in issuing his
first edict could not be brought to the infamy of aiming at the lives
of the saints; it appears he could only be brought to that by degrees.
His first edict ordered the destruction of the Christian churches, and
the surrender of the holy scriptures and the degradation of Christians
from office. Shortly after this the royal palace at Nicomedia was twice
set on fire, and from it Galerius fled, giving out that he feared
Christian malice had attempted his life. The Christians being charged
with the crime the incident was made the excuse for issuing a second
edict, "in consequence of which whole families of the pious were slain
at the imperial command, some with the sword, some also with fire. But
the populace, binding another number upon planks, threw them into the
depths of the sea." [19]

A rebellion which occurred in Syria about this time was also charged
to Christian intrigue, and a third edict was issued commanding that
the heads of the church everywhere should be thrust into prison. "The
spectacle of affairs after these events exceeds all description.
Innumerable multitudes were imprisoned in every place, and the
dungeons formerly destined for murderers and the vilest criminals
were then filled with bishops, and presbyters, and deacons, readers
and exorcists, so that there was no room left for those condemned for
crimes." [20] It was ordered after a time that the prisoners should be
granted their liberty on condition that they offer sacrifice at the
shrine of the heathen gods. To effect that purpose the judges were
commanded to employ the most excruciating tortures.

Diocletian thought to destroy the Christian "superstition" by
overcoming the constancy of the leaders; but meeting with more
resistance than he anticipated, he at last issued a fourth edict,
directing the magistrates to compel all Christians, irrespective of
age, sex, or official position, to offer sacrifice to the gods; and
to employ tortures to compel that apostasy. The magistrates yielded
strict obedience to the edict of the emperor, and the Christian church
was reduced to the last extremity. [21] The scenes of suffering from
tortures and bloodsheds throughout the empire, except in Gaul, where
Constantine reigned, defy description. "Thousands, both men, and women
and children," says Eusebius, speaking of those who suffered in Egypt,
"despising the present life for the sake of our Savior's doctrine,
submitted to death in various shapes. Some, after being tortured with
scrappings [22] and the rack, and the most dreadful scourgings, and
other innumerable agonies which one might shudder to hear, were finally
committed to the flames; and some plunged and drowned in the sea,
others voluntarily offering their own heads to their executioners,
others dying in the midst of their torments, some wasted away by
famine, and others again fixed to the cross. Some, indeed, were
executed as malefactors usually were; others, more cruelly, were nailed
with the head downwards, and kept alive until they were destroyed by
starving on the cross itself." [23]

After describing similar but still more cruel tortures endured by the
Christians of Thebais, Eusebius continues: "And all these things were
doing not only for a few days or some time but for a series of whole
years. At one time ten or more, at another more than twenty, at another
time not less than thirty, and even sixty, and again at another time,
a hundred men with their wives and little children were slain in one
day, whilst they were condemned to various and varied punishments. We
ourselves have observed when on the spot, many crowded together in
one day suffering decapitation, some the torments of the flames; so
that the murderous weapon was completely blunted, and having lost its
edge, broke to pieces; and the executioners themselves wearied with the
slaughter, were obliged to relieve one another." [24]

Gibbon, whose very reluctance to concede the severity of these
persecutions induces me to quote him as often as admissions are forced
from his unwilling lips, says of this persecution: "The magistrates
were commanded to employ every method of severity which might reclaim
them from their odious superstition, and obliged them to return to the
established worship of the gods. This rigorous order was extended, by a
subsequent edict, to the whole body of Christians, who were exposed to
a violent and general persecution. Instead of those salutary restraints
which had required the direct and solemn testimony of an accuser,
it became the duty as well as the interest of the imperial officer
to discover, to pursue, and to torment the most obnoxious among the
faithful. Heavy penalties were denounced against all who should presume
to save a prescribed sectary from the just indignation of the gods and
the emperors." [25]

This persecution lasted for ten years; and at the end of that time the
church presented a melancholy spectacle. Everywhere, even in Gaul, the
Christian houses of worship were laid in ruins. Streams of Christian
blood had flowed in every province of the empire, excepting in Gaul,
where Constantine governed; and there, it will be remembered, a
previous persecution under Aurelius and Verus had well-nigh destroyed
the churches. Public worship was suspended. The saints were either
driven to apostasy by tortures, had fled from the provinces to the
barbarians, or kept themselves concealed. Meantime the magistrates
incited as much by avarice as by hatred of Christianity, confiscated
not only the church property, but also the private possessions of the
ministers. In other cases the church leaders were either slain, or
mutilated and sent to the mines or banished from the country. "Many
through dread of undergoing torture had made way with their own lives,
and many apostatized from the faith; and what remained of the Christian
community, consisted of weak, poor and timorous persons." [26]

After adopting these measures for the destruction of the church,
severities of another character were put in operation. "It was thought
necessary to subject to the most intolerable hardships the condition
of those perverse individuals who should still reject the religion
of nature, of Rome, and of their ancestors. Persons of liberal birth
were declared incapable of holding any honors or employments; slaves
were forever deprived of the hopes of freedom, and the whole body of
the people were put out of the protection of the law. The judges were
authorized to hear and determine every action that was brought against
a Christian. But the Christians were not permitted to complain of any
injury which they themselves had suffered; and thus those unfortunate
sectaries were exposed to the severity, while they were excluded from
the benefits of public justice. This new species of martyrdom, so
painful and lingering, so obscure and ignominious was, perhaps, the
most proper to weary the constancy of the faithful; nor can it be
doubted that the passions and interest of mankind were disposed on this
occasion to second the designs of the emperors." [27] That the Romans
considered the destruction of the Christian church completed by the
Diocletian persecution is witnessed by the inscriptions upon monuments
and medals. Two pillars in Spain, erected to commemorate the reign of
Diocletian bore the following; on the first--


On the second,


And on the medal of Diocletian this: "THE NAME OF CHRISTIAN BEING

When it is remembered that these persecutions, to which I have briefly
referred, ran through more than three centuries; that the emperors
whose edicts inaugurated them possessed unlimited power to execute
their decrees; that the age in which they occurred was cruel beyond
modern comprehension; that Roman, that is to say, pagan hatred of
Christians was venomously bitter, because they were made to believe
that the existence of the ancient religion of Rome and latterly the
existence of the empire itself depended upon the destruction of
Christianity--when all this is remembered, it is not to be wondered
at that the saints were worn out, or so nearly so that only "weak and
timorous" men were left to ineffectually resist the paganization of
Christianity--the destruction of the Church of Christ.


1. Matt. xi. 12.

2. "Euseb. Eccl. Hist.," Book VIII., ch. ii. and ch. xii.

3. "Decline and Fall," Vol. I., p. 486, Ed. of 1880.

4. "Intellectual Development of Europe," Vol. I., p. 360.

5. Of the burning of Rome, the punishment of the Christians and this
celebrated passage in the writings of the famous Roman annalist,
Gibbon, from whom I quote the phrase above, says: "The most sceptical
criticism is obliged to respect the truth of this extraordinary fact
and the integrity of this celebrated passage of Tacitus. The former
[the burning of Rome and the punishment of the Christians] is confirmed
by the diligent and accurate Suetonius, who mentions the punishment
which Nero inflicted on the Christians, a sect of men who had embraced
a new and criminal superstition. The latter may be proved by the
consent of the most ancient manuscripts, by the imimitable character of
the style of Tacitus, by his reputation, which guarded his text from
the interpolation of pious fraud." "Decline and Fall," Vol. i., p. 448.

6. "Tacitus Annl.," lib, XV., ch. 44.

7. See Milman's Note in "Decline and Fall," Vol. I., p. 450.

8. I have taken Milner's translation of the Epistle. See "Ch. Hist.,"
Vol I., p. 145.

9. "Milner's Ch. Hist.," Vol. I., p. 148.

10. "Decline and Fall," Vol. I., p. 453.

11. An account of these persecutions at great length will be found in
the letters of the survivors sent to the churches of Asia and Phrygia.
"Eusebius," Book V., ch. i.

12. That is, they were executed. Eusebius, Bk. vi., Ch. xli.

13. See Murdock's note in Mosheim's Eccl. Hist., Bk. i, Cent. iii, Ch.

14. Mosheim, (Murdock) Bk. i, Cent. iii, Ch. ii.

15. "Decline and Fall," Vol i., Ch. xvi.

16. Milner's Church Hist., Vol. i, Cent. iii, Ch. viii.

17. The situation was this: A year after his elevation to the imperial
throne, Diocletian, believing the government of the vast empire of
Rome a task too great for a single mind, chose Maximianus Herculius,
commonly called Maximian, to be his colleague and to share with him
the title of Augustus. After a few years each of the emperors chose a
colleague in order to still further divide the labor of administration.
These were Constantius Chlorus and Galerius Maximianus, usually called
by his first name. Constantius and Galerius occupied an inferior
position to that of Diocletian and Maximian, and were honored only with
the title of "Caesar."

18. Eusebius Eccl. Hist., Bk. viii, Ch. ii.

19. Eusebius Eccl. Hist., Bk. viii, Ch. vi.

20. Eusebius Eccl. Hist., Bk. viii, Ch. vi.

21. Mosheim's Eccl. Hist., Cent, iv, Part i, Ch. i.

22. This torture was raking the flesh from the body by means of an
iron-toothed instrument.

23. Eusebius Eccl. Hist., Bk. viii, Ch. viii.

24. Eusebius Eccl. Hist., Bk. viii, Ch. ix.

25. "Decline and Fall," Vol. i, p. 481. Gibbon claims, however, that
"notwithstanding the severity of this law, the virtuous courage of many
of the pagans in concealing their friends or relatives, affords an
honorable proof, that the rage of superstition had not extinguished in
their minds the sentiments of nature and humanity."--_Ibid_.

26. Schlegel, quoted by Murdock, see note Mosheim's Eccl. Hist., Cent.
iv, Bk. ii. Ch. i.

27. "Decline and Fall," Vol. i, ch. xvi, p. 477. Gibbon undertakes
to modify what he has here written by saying that the policy of a
well-ordered government must sometimes have interposed in behalf of the
oppressed Christians. "This wants proof," says Milman in a footnote
on the remark, "the edict of Diocletian was executed in all its rigor
during the rest of the reign;" and gives reference to Eusebius Eccl.
Hist., Bk. viii, ch. xiii.

28. See Milner's Church History, Vol. ii, cent. iv, ch. ii, I also give
the following in evidence of the severity of the persecution of the
Christians in the early centuries of our era; and since it is taken
from the funeral oration pronounced by Libanius over the body of his
friend, the Emperor Julian, commonly called the apostate--because in
manhood he renounced that Christianity which had been forced on him in
childhood, and attempted to restore the ancient religion of Rome--it
is of the same character of evidence as that already found in the
statements of Tacitus and Pliny--it is the testimony of one unfriendly
to Christianity, who could have no motive for exaggerating the
sufferings of the Christians. Referring to the mildness of the methods
of persecution adopted by Julian against the Christians, Labanius says:
"They who adhered to corrupt religion [he means the Christians] were
in great terrors [on his accession to the throne] and expected that
their eyes would be plucked out, that their heads would be cut off, and
that rivers of their blood would flow from the multitude of slaughters.
They apprehended their new master would invent new kinds of torment,
in comparison of which mutilation, sword, fire, drowning, being buried
alive, would appear slight pains. _For the preceding emperors had
employed against them all these kinds of punishments_."



Disastrous as the persecutions of the early Christian centuries were,
still more mischievous to the church were those periods of tranquility
which intervened between the outbursts of rage that prompted them.
Peace may have her victories, no less renowned than those of war; and
so, too, she has her calamities, and they are not less destructive than
those of war. War may destroy nations, but ease and luxury mankind
corrupt--the body and the mind. Especially is peace dangerous to the
church. Prosperity relaxes the reins of discipline; people feel less
and less the need of a sustaining providence; but in adversity the
spirit of man feels after God, and he is correspondingly more devoted
to the service of religion.

We shall find the early Christians no exception to the operation of
this influence of repose. Whenever it was accorded them, either through
the mercy or the indifference of the emperors, internal dissensions,
the intrigues of aspiring prelates and the rise of heresies
characterized those periods. Even Milner, who wrote his great work to
counteract the influence of the too candid Mosheim; who takes to task
other ecclesiastical writers for making too much of the wickedness
that has existed in the church; who declares in the introduction of
his Church History that genuine piety is the only thing he intends to
celebrate, and announces it to be his purpose to write the history
of those men only, irrespective of the external church to which they
belonged, who have been real not nominally Christians [1]--even Milner,
I say, admits and deplores the mischief wrought by these periods of
peace which came to the church between the storms of persecution which
plagued it; and refers in several places to the marked and steady
declension of the Christian spirit in those centuries with which at
present I am dealing. He admits that a gloomy cloud hung over the
conclusion of the first century; and argues that the first impressions
made by the effusion of the spirit are generally the strongest; that
human depravity, overborn for a time, arises afresh, particularly in
the next generation--hence the disorders of schism and heresy that
arose in the church, the tendency of which was to destroy the work of
God. [2]

The same writer upon the authority of Origen says that the long peace
granted the church in the third century produced a great degree of
luke-warmness and religious indecorum. "Let the reader," says he, "only
notice the indifference which he [Origen] here describes, and the
conduct of the Christians both in the first and second century, and he
will be affected with the greatness of the declension." Then follows
the picture drawn by Origen: "Several come to church only on solemn
festivals; and then not so much for instruction as diversion. Some go
out again as soon as they have heard the lecture, without conferring
or asking the pastors questions. Others stay not till the lecture is
ended; and others hear not so much as a single word; but entertain
themselves in a corner of the church."

Coming to the middle of the third century, just previous to that severe
persecution inaugurated by the Emperor Decius, and speaking of Cyprian,
bishop of Carthage: Milman exclaims: "A star of the first magnitude!
when we consider the times in which he lived. Let us recreate ourselves
with the contemplation of it. _We are fatigued with hunting for
Christian goodness; and we have discovered but little and that little
with much difficulty_. We shall find Cyprian to be a character who
partook indeed of the declension which we have noticed and lamented;
but who was still far superior, I apprehend, in real simplicity and
piety to the Christians of the East." [3] This same Cyprian, in whom
Milner delights, speaking of the effects of the long peace which
preceded the Decian persecution, says: "Each had been bent on improving
his own patrimony; and had forgotten what believers had done under the
apostles, and what they ought always to do. They were brooding over the
arts of amassing wealth; the pastors and the deacons each forgot their
duty; works of mercy were neglected, and discipline was at the lowest
ebb; luxury and effeminacy prevailed; meritricious arts in dress were
cultivated; fraud and deception practiced among brethren. Christians
would unite themselves in matrimony with unbelievers; could swear
not only without reverence but even without veracity. With haughty
asperity they despised their ecclesiastical superiors; they railed
against one another with outrageous acrimony, and conducted quarrels
with determined malice. Even many bishops, who ought to be guides and
patterns to the rest, neglected the peculiar duties of their stations,
gave themselves up to secular pursuits. They deserted their places of
residence and their flocks; they traveled through distant provinces in
quest of pleasure and gain; gave no assistance to the needy brethren;
but were insatiable in their thirst of money. They possessed estates
by fraud and multiplied usury. What have we not deserved to suffer
for such conduct? Even the divine word hath foretold us what we might
expect: 'If his children forsake my law and walk not in my judgments, I
will visit their offenses with the rod and their sins with scourges.'
These things had been denounced and foretold, but in vain. Our sins
had brought our affairs to that pass, that because we had despised
the Lord's directions, we were obliged to undergo a correction of our
multiplied evils and a trial of our faith by severe remedies." [4]

The last forty years of the third century were years of peace to the
church. That period began with the ascension of Gallienius, a man of
taste, indolence, philosophy and toleration, to the throne; and his
example was followed by the emperors to the end of the century. A new
scene this, Christianity tolerated by a pagan government for forty
years! "This new scene did not prove favorable to the growth of grace
and holiness," writes Milner. "In no period since the apostles was
there ever so great a general decay as in this; not even in particular
instances can we discover during this interval, much of lively
Christianity." [5]

Though conscious of having already quoted copiously upon the point
under consideration, I cannot withhold the testimony of Eusebius who
was a witness of the effects of that peace granted the church previous
to the last great pagan persecution, the Diocletian. After describing
the multitudes which flocked into the church before the declension
in the spirit of true Christianity so greatly prevailed, he remarks:
"Nor was any malignant demon able to infatuate, no human machinations
prevent them so long as the providential hand of God superintended and
guarded his people as the worthy subjects of his care. But when by
reason of excessive liberty, we sunk into negligence and sloth, one
envying and reviling another in different ways, and we were almost, as
it were, upon the point of taking up arms against each other with words
as with darts and spears, prelates inveighing against prelates, and
people rising up against people, and hypocrisy and dissimulation had
arisen to the greatest height of malignity, then the divine judgment,
which usually proceeds with a lenient hand, whilst the multitudes were
yet crowding into the church, with gentle and mild visitation began
to afflict the episcopacy; the persecution having begun with those
brethren in the army. But as if destitute of all sensibility, we were
not prompt in measures to appease and propitiate the Deity; some indeed
like atheists, regarding our situation as unheeded and unobserved
by a Providence, we added one wickedness and misery to another. But
some that appeared to be our pastors deserting the law of piety, were
inflamed against each other with mutual strifes, only accumulating
quarrels and threats, rivalship, hostility and hatred to each other,
only anxious to assert the government as a kind of sovereignty for
themselves." [6]

Let it be remembered that this is quoted from a writer contemporary
with the events, and who says in the very chapter following the one
from which the foregoing is taken that it was not for him to record the
dissensions and follies which the shepherds of the people exercised
against each other before the persecution. He also adds: "We shall
not make mention of those that were shaken by the persecution, nor of
those that suffered shipwreck in their salvation, and of their own
accord were sunk in the depths of the watery gulf." [7] Then in his
Book of Martyrs, referring to events that occurred between the edicts
ordering the persecution, he says: "But the events that occurred in
the intermediate times, besides those already related, I have thought
proper to pass by; I mean more particularly the circumstances of the
different heads of the churches, who from being shepherds of the
reasonable flocks of Christ, that did not govern in a lawful and
becoming manner, were condemned, by divine justice, as unworthy of
such a charge, to be the keepers of the unreasonable camel, an animal
deformed in the structure of his body; and condemned further to be the
keepers of the imperial horses. * * * Moreover, the ambitious aspirings
of many to office, and the injudicious and unlawful ordinations that
took place, the divisions among the confessors themselves, the great
schisms and difficulties industriously fomented by the factions among
the new members, against the relics of the church, devising one
innovation after another, and unmercifully thrusting them into the
midst of all these calamities, heaping up affliction upon affliction.
All this, I say, I have resolved to pass by, judging it foreign to my
purpose, wishing, as I said in the beginning, to shun and avoid giving
an account of them." [8]

Hence, however bad the condition of the church is represented to be
by ecclesiastical writers, we must know that it was still worse than
that; however numerous the schisms; however unholy the ambition of
aspiring prelates; however frequent and serious the innovations upon
the primitive ordinances of the gospel; however great the confusion
and apostasy in the church is represented to be; we must know that it
is still worse than that, since the church historians contemporaneous
with the events refused to record these things in their fullness lest
it should prove disastrous to the church; just as some of our modern
scholars professing to write church history express their determination
to close their eyes to the corruption and abuses which form the greater
part of the melancholy story of ecclesiastical history, for fear
that relating these things would make it appear that real religion
scarcely had any existence. [9] But it is all in vain. "It is idle,
it is disingenuous," remarks the editor [10] of Gibbon's great work,
"to deny or to dissemble the early depravations of Christianity, its
gradual but rapid departure from its primitive simplicity and purity,
still more from its spirit of universal love." If the intermittent
peace accorded to the church in the first three troubled centuries of
its existence was productive of the evils admitted by the writers who
have felt that the cause of religion demanded that these evils as much
as possible should be covered up, naturally enough one exclaims, what
then must have been the result of that repose which came to the church
after the elevation of Constantine to the imperial throne! When from
a proscribed religion Christianity was exalted to the dignity of the
state religion of the empire; and her prelates and clergy, recalled
from exile and suffering, poverty and disgrace, were loaded with the
wealth and the honors that the lords of the Roman world could bestow!
Let imagination do her best or worst in picturing the rapid decline of
whatever remained of true Christianity, conjecture can scarcely outrun
the facts. If when the office of bishop was attended with danger and
scant revenues it aroused the inordinate ambition of men to possess it,
how infinitely more must it have become the object of envy, strife and
ambition when by the patronage of Constantine it became not only free
from danger but endowed with revenues that a prince might envy, and
accorded an influence in the palace scarcely second to that granted to
the governors of the provinces!

If before the Decian persecution the rivarly between the bishops of
Rome and Carthage prompted a bitter controversy which threatened the
unity of the church, how much more likely were such conflicts to arise
between the bishops of Rome and Constantinople--rival bishops of rival
cities, Rome proud of her past, Constantinople vain of her present
glory; the former jealous of the place she had filled in the world's
history; the latter ambitious of future influence! If heresies were
fomented and schisms created when to be a Christian invited espionage
and perhaps death, what an increase there must have been in these and
other disintegrating influences when it became a reproach rather than
a praise _not_ to be a Christian, and the door of the church stood
wide open to the evil-minded, who sought membership, not to enjoy the
consolation of religion but for worldly advantage!


1. Church History, Vol. i, Introduction. In justification of his
course, in a foot note he argues that "A history of the perversions and
abuses of religion is not properly a history of the church; as absurd
were it to suppose a history of the highwaymen that have infested their
country to be a history of England." He appears oblivious to the fact
that he throws himself open to the retort: A history of the blessedness
and charity of the purely good men alone is not properly a history of
the church; as absurd were it to suppose a history alone of the honest
men of England that have blessed their race to be a history of that
country. Milner's work is more properly a history of piety than of the
church. In every age and country he seeks out the good men who have
nearest conformed their lives to Christian precepts and celebrates them
in his pages. Therefore, whatever admissions we find this author making
as to the corruptions and abuses which found their way into the church:
we shall be justified in considering as of special weight since they
are admitted by him only on compulsion, and when there is no chance of
either denying or excusing them. I have already called attention to the
same disposition in Eusebius, p. 37; and hence his testimony may also
be regarded as of special value in relation to the decline of the true
Christian spirit.

2. Ch. Hist., Vol. i, ch. xv.

3. Milner's Ch. Hist., Vol. i, cent. iii, ch. vi.

4. Milner's Ch. Hist., Vol. i, cent. iii, ch. viii.

5. Milner's Ch. Hist., Vol. i, cent. iii, ch. xvii.

6. Eusebius' Eccl. Hist., Bk. viii, ch. i.

7. Eusebius' Eccl. Hist., Bk. viii, ch. ii.

8. Book of Martyrs, ch. xii.

9. See Milner's Introduction to his Church Hist., Vol. i.

10. This is the Rev. H. H. Milman who edited and annotated Gibbon's
"Decline and Fall." The above quotation will be found in the editor's



It is now my purpose to notice those alterations actually made in
the form and spirit of the Christian church government. Necessarily
my reference to these matters must be brief; sufficient only to
demonstrate the fact for which I am contending in these chapters.

I am forced to admit that the description of the church organization in
the New Testament is not all one could wish it to be. Only the faintest
outline may be traced in those documents which all Christians accept as
authority, and as they are fragmentary the description of the church
contained in them is necessarily imperfect.

From what is written it appears that the quorum of the Twelve Apostles
exercised a universal jurisdiction over the church, and a sort of
primacy seems to be accorded to three of their number, Peter, James and
John. Before the crucifixion Jesus also called into existence quorums
of seventies to whom he gave similar powers to those bestowed upon the
Twelve; [1] but for some reason, doubtless the imperfection of the
Christian records, we can learn nothing more of them than is set down
in the tenth chapter of Luke.

After the departure of the resurrected Messiah from his disciples
at Bethany, the apostles, as fast as men were brought to faith and
repentance through their preaching, organized in the various cities
where they labored branches of the church, over which they appointed
elders or bishops to preside; [2] and these evidently were assisted in
their duties by deacons. [3] In an enumeration of the church officers
given by Paul, we have other officers named besides apostles, prophets,
seventies; _viz.,_ evangelists, pastors and teachers. [4]

It is difficult from the New Testament to determine the exact nature
and full extent of the duties of these respective officers in the
church, or their gradation. But that there was a prescribed duty
to each officer, a limit to the authority of each, and a gradation
among them, which made a harmonious whole--a complete ecclesiastical
government, with all the parts properly adjusted and assigned their
respective duties, there can be no question. For Paul likens the church
of Christ to the body of a man, which, though it hath many members,
yet is it one body; and all the members are necessary; one cannot say
to the other, "I have no need of thee." So all these officers in the
church, the apostle argues, are necessary; and as the head in the
natural body cannot say to the foot, "I have no need of thee," neither
in the church can the apostle say to the deacon, "I have no need of
thee;" much less can the deacon say to the apostle, "I have no need of
thee." [5] "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers?" he
asks. The implied answer is, No; but, as he elsewhere says, the whole
body--i. e., the church--"is fitly joined together, and compacted by
that which every joint supplieth." [6]

This organization as given by the Master had for its purpose the
perfecting of the saints; the work of the ministry; edifying the body
of Christ; and to prevent the saints being carried about by every wind
of doctrine, by the sleight and cunning of men. [7] The apostle who
thus specifies the purposes of the church organization also intimates
that it was to be perpetuated until the saints all come to the "unity
of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God--unto a perfect
man, unto the measure of the fullness of the stature of Christ." [8]
Furthermore, it is obvious that since the church organization was
given for the purposes above enumerated, so long as there are saints
to be perfected, or a necessity for work in the ministry; so long as
the church needs edifying or the saints guarding from heresy, and the
deceitfulness of false teachers--just so long will this organization of
the church with apostles and prophets, seventies and elders, bishops
and pastors, teachers and deacons be needed; and since the kinds of
work enumerated in the foregoing will always be necessary, we arrive
at the conclusion that the church organization as established by
the apostles was designed to be perpetual. [9] But that it was not
perpetuated is clearly demonstrated by writers of the second century,
who, with the single exception of Clement of Alexandria, who calls
Clement of Rome an "Apostle," recognize no other officers in the
church than bishops, presbyters (elders) and deacons. It is difficult
to account for the sudden loss of so many orders of officers in the
church, unless, indeed, the apostasy for which I contend had made very
great progress as early as the opening of the second century, which, I
believe, was the case.

It appears from a statement of Clement of Rome [10] that persons
selected by the apostles to be bishops, and after the death of the
apostles those selected by other men of repute in the church, were
submitted to the people for their approval, and this was the custom
until the fourth century. It was also the custom of the bishops to
employ the elders as a sort of council; and to call upon the people for
their assent in the important matters of church government. In course
of time, however, early in the fourth century, this respect for the
principle of common consent was lost. The people were first altogether
excluded from a voice in ecclesiastical affairs; and the next step was
to deprive the elders of their former authority. [11] Thus power was
centralized in the hands of the bishops, which enabled them to control
everything at their discretion, and paved the way for those abuses of
power which bear evidence of the awful apostasy of the church.

So far as can be learned from the Christian annals, the churches that
grew up under the preaching of the apostles recognized in that quorum
a general presidency over all the churches established; and in fact
seemed to regard each separate church as but a member of the one great
household of faith. But after the death of the apostles, these several
branches seem to be considered separate and independent organizations,
united in faith and charity, it is true, but in nothing more. There
is no evidence that there was such a thing as subordination among the
churches, or rank among the bishops. As might be expected, however,
there was a peculiar respect paid to the churches founded by the
apostles. Those churches were appealed to in controversies on points
of doctrine, as most likely to know what the apostles taught, but the
appeal had no other significance. This equality of rank among the
bishops, together with the simple form of church government, described
above, was soon changed. The bishops who lived in cities, either by
their own labors or those of the elders associated with them, raised up
new churches in the adjacent villages and hamlets. The bishops of these
rural districts being nominated and ordained by the bishops presiding
in the cities, very naturally felt themselves under the protection and
dependent upon the city bishops. This idea continued to grow until
these bishops of "the suburbs and the fields" were looked upon as a
distinct order of officers, possessing a dignity and authority above
the elders, and yet subordinate to the bishops of the cities who,
wherever they presided over bishops in outlying districts, soon came to
be designated as archbishops.

Gradually, and perhaps almost imperceptibly, the church in the west
in its government followed the civil divisions of the Roman empire.
The bishop of the metropolis of a civil province, in time came to be
regarded as having a general supervision of all the churches in that
province, and soon it became the custom to style them metropolitans.

The bishops of the great cities of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria,
and Antioch, after the ascension of Constantine, were made to
correspond to the four praetorian prefects created by Constantine in
the civil government; and before the end of the fourth century received
the title of patriarchs. [12] It is also said by Mosheim, though denied
by other writers, that next to the patriarchs were bishops whose
jurisdiction extended over several provinces and corresponded to the
civil exarchs; next came the metropolitan bishops whose jurisdiction,
as already stated, was limited to a single province, and corresponded
to the governor of the provinces. The arch-bishops presided over a
district including several bishoprics within a province; and lastly
came the bishops of churches.

Concurrent with these changes arose the custom, first derived from the
Greeks, of holding provincial councils. The bishops living in a single
province met in council to confer upon mattes of common interest to
their churches. At first the attending bishops looked upon themselves
as merely the representatives of their respective churches, without
further jurisdiction than to discuss and come to agreement on matters
of common concern. But gradually they usurped the power to order by
decree where at first they were wont to advise or entreat. Nor was it
long ere the decrees of these provincial councils were forced upon the
respective churches as laws to be implicitly obeyed.

There was some resistance to this from the lower clergy, but it was
quickly overcome by the activity and ambition of the bishops, who were
only too glad to escape the restraints imposed upon their movements by
the doctrine of common consent. It is said also that as many changes
occurred among the lower order of the clergy as among the bishops.
The elders and deacons aping the conduct of their file leaders became
too proud to attend to the humble duties of their offices, and hence
a number of other officers were added to the church--subdeacons,
acolythi, ostiarii, lectors, exorcists and copiatae [13]--while the
elders and deacons spent much of their time in indolence and pleasure.

If the ambition of rival bishops distracted the church in the second
and third centuries, much more did ambitious prelates--patriarchs
and metropolitans--of the fourth and fifth centuries disturb its
tranquility. They contended about the limits of their respective
jurisdiction with all the bitterness of temporal kings seeking an
enlargement of their dominions. They made conquests and reprisals
upon each other in much the same spirit, and at times were not above
resorting to violence to attain their ends. It soon happened that
the patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem sank below their
fellow patriarchs of Rome and Constantinople in wealth and dignity. The
prelates of these latter cities fiercely contended for the title of
universal bishop; and in that contest the bishop of Constantinople was
not always unsuccessful.

Over the protest of Leo the Great, in the fifth century, the council of
Chalcedon decreed that the bishop of "New Rome" ought to enjoy the same
honors and prerogatives with the pontiff of ancient Rome, on account of
the equal rank and dignity of the two cities. In the following century,
encouraged by past successes the bishop of "New Rome,"--John, surnamed
the Faster, because of the austerity of his life, assembled a council
of eastern bishops on his own account, to decide on charges brought
against the patriarch of Antioch. It was on this occasion that he made
such an assumption of the title of acumenical or universal bishop, that
Gregory the Great supposed him to be aiming at a supremacy over all the
Christian churches. In spite of the opposition of Gregory, the Faster,
sustained by the emperor, continued to wear the title, though, it is
said, not in the sense that Gregory supposed. The contest continued
from this time forward with little interruption until that fatal
schism came between the east and the west with which the reader has
already been made acquainted. [14] The patriarchs of New Rome retained
their hold upon the east; but the decay, moral and spiritual, which
blighted those churches steadily went on, until at the last, Mohammedan
civilization displaced Christian civilization. The crescent rose
triumphantly above the cross, and the east sank into a settled gloom
out of which it has not yet been able to rise.

In the west it was otherwise. There all was activity. The Roman
pontiffs not only sent their missionaries to the barbarians to preach
the supremacy of the popes, but the barbarians came to Rome. They came
with arms in their hands and as conquerors, it is true, and in the
closing years of the fifth century obtained an easy victory over the
western division of the empire. But if imperial Rome was vanquished,
there arose above its ruins papal Rome, in majesty no less splendid
than that possessed by imperial Rome in her palmiest days; and in the
course of time the victorious barbarians bowed in as humble submission
to the wand of the popes, as their ancestors had to the eagle-mounted
standard of the emperors. Moreover, the barbarous nations that fell
under the influence of the Roman missionaries were accustomed to hold
their priests in a superstitious reverence. In portions of Western
Europe the Druid priests had reigned over both people and magistrates,
controlling absolutely the jurisdiction of the latter; and, in the
case of the supreme priest, according to some authorities, [15] the
reverence of the barbarians amounted to worship. This reverence,
on their conversion to Christianity, was readily transferred to
the supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church; and made possible that
spiritual and temporal despotism before which monarchs trembled and the
world stood in abject fear.

Having traced the rise of the Church of Rome to this point, it yet
remains to say that the corruption of her clergy and members kept pace
with the developing splendor of the hierarchy. The pride, ambition and
wickedness which bishops and other ministers of the church practiced
in the second and third centuries have already been pointed out, and
at the same time it was suggested that in these matters there was not
likely to be any improvement after ease and luxury--ever the panderers
to immorality--had increased the appetite for sensual pleasures and
supplied the means of gratification.

Early in the history of the church the morality of the times not only
excused but justified lying and deceit whenever it was supposed that
the interests of religion could be promoted by it; and hence the
existence of that mass of childish fable and falsehood respecting
the infancy and youth of Messiah, and the wonder-working power of
the relics of the saints and martyrs which has brought the Christian
religion into contempt. Not even the greatest and most pious teachers
of the first five or six centuries are free from this leprosy; [16] and
if such characters as Ambrose, Hilary, Augustine, Gregory Nazianzen,
and Jerome are not free from it, how much more may we expect to find it
a vice with men of less reputation!

The attempt to live in a state of celibacy gave rise to many scandals
in the church. Ambitious of a peculiar sanctity, the clergy began
to abstain from marriage, but not from the pleasures supposed to be
peculiar to the married state. It became the custom for the priests
to live with "sub-introduced women," who "passed as sisters of the
priests, the correctness of whose taste was often exemplified by the
remarkable beauty of their sinful partners." [17] It is only fair to
say that a law of Honorius condemned this practice, but it is to be
feared that the only effect of the law upon those undertaking to live
in the unnatural condition which celibacy imposes was merely to drive
the practice from the public gaze.

Of all the writers who have given us a description of the moral
condition of the church in the period of which I write, I think
Salvian, who wrote about the middle of the fifth century, is the most
vivid, and hence I quote in part his arraignment:

"The very church which should be the body to appease the anger of God,
alas! what reigns there but disorders calculated to incense the Most
High? It is more common to meet with Christians who are guilty of the
greatest abominations than with those who are wholly exempt from crime.
So that today it is a sort of sanctity among us to be less vicious
than the generality of Christians. We insult the majesty of the Most
High at the foot of his altars. Men, the most steeped in crime, enter
the holy places without respect for them. True, all men ought to pay
their vows to God, but why should they seek his temples to propitiate
him, only to go forth to provoke him? Why enter the church to deplore
their former sins, and upon going forth--what do I say?--in those very
courts they commit fresh sins, their mouths and their hearts contradict
one another. Their prayers are criminal meditations rather than vows
of expiation. Scarcely is service ended before each returns to his old
practices. Some go to their wine, others to their impurities, still
others to robbing and brigandage, so that we cannot doubt that these
things had been occupying them while they were in the church. Nor is it
the lowest of the people who are thus guilty. There is no rank whatever
in the church which does not commit all sorts of crimes.

"It may be urged that we are better at heart than the barbarians who
oppose us. Suppose this to be granted; we ought to be better than they.
But as a matter of fact, they are more virtuous than we. The mass of
Christians are below the barbarians in probity. True, all kinds of
sins are found among them; but what one is not found among us? The
several nations have their peculiar sin; the Saxons are cruel, the
Franks perfidious; the Gepidae inhuman; the Huns lewd. But we, having
the law of God to restrain us, are given over to all these offenses.
Then, to confine ourselves to the single sin of swearing, can many
be found among the faithful who have not the name of Jesus Christ
constantly upon their lips in support of their perjuries? This practice
coming down from the higher to the lower classes, has so prevailed
that Christians might be deemed pagans. This, although the law of God
expressly forbids to take his name in vain. We read this law; but we
do not practice it; as a consequence the pagans taunt us that we boast
ourselves the sole possessors of God's laws and of the rules of truth
and of what that law enjoins. 'Christians, indeed, to the shame of
Jesus Christ,' say they." [18]

In book VI. on _The Providence of God,_ Salvian continues his
arraignment: "We rush from the churches to the theatres, even in the
midst of our perils. In Carthage the theatres were thronged while the
enemy were before the walls, and the cries of those perishing outside
under the sword mingled with the shouts of the spectators in the
circus. Nor are we better here in Gaul. Treves has been taken four
times, and has only increased in wickedness under her misfortunes. The
same state of things exists in Cologne--deplorable wickedness among
young and old, low and high. The smaller cities have been blind and
insensible to the dangers threatening, until they have overwhelmed
them. It seems to be the destiny of the Roman empire to perish rather
than reform; they must cease to be, in order to cease to be vicious.
A part of the inhabitants of Treves, having escaped from the ruins,
petitions the emperor for--what? A theatre, spectacles, public shows!
A city which thrice overthrown could not correct itself, well deserved
to suffer a fourth destruction. * * * Would that my voice might be
heard by all Romans! I would cry: Let us all blush that today the only
cities where impurity does not reign are those which have submitted to
the barbarians. Think not, then, that they conquer and we yield by the
simple force of nature. Rather let us admit that we succumb through
dissoluteness of our morals, of which our calamities are the just

The moral condition of the church did not improve in the sixth nor the
seventh century. It kept getting worse and worse until in the tenth
century those writers most interested in upholding the purity of the
church declare that this was an iron age, barren of all goodness; a
leaden age, abounding in all wickedness; and a dark age, remarkable for
the scarcity of writers and men of learning. Christ is represented as
in a very deep sleep, the ship as covered with waves, and there were no
disciples who by their cries might wake him, being themselves asleep.
[19] "Infidel Malice," says Milner, "has with pleasure recorded the
vices and crimes of the popes of this century. Nor is it my intention
to attempt to palliate the account of their wickedness. It was as deep
and atrocious as language can paint; nor can a reasonable man desire
more authentic evidence of history than that which the records both of
civil and ecclesiastical history afford concerning the corruption of
the whole church." [20]

As already remarked, it is the contention of the Roman Catholic Church
that from Peter to Leo XIII. there has been an uninterrupted line
of bishops in the see of Rome who have held divine authority; who
succeeded both to the divine authority and mission of St. Peter; with
power to bind and loose on earth and in heaven; who were, in fact, the
vicars of Christ on earth, presidents of the church universal.

It now becomes my duty to refute that claim and give further proof
of the complete apostasy of the church by presenting the history of
the popes for three hundred years, from the middle of the eighth to
the middle of the eleventh century. I quote the sketch from Draper's
Intellectual Development of Europe:

"On the death of Pope Paul I., who had attained the pontificate
A. D. 757, the Duke of Nepi compelled some bishops to consecrate
Constantine, one of his brothers, as pope; but more legitimate electors
subsequently, A. D. 768, choosing Stephen IV., the usurper and his
adherents were severely punished; the eyes of Constantine were put
out; the tongue of Bishop Theodorus was amputated, and he was left
in a dungeon to expire in the agonies of thirst. The nephews of Pope
Adrian seized his successor, Pope Leo III., A. D. 795, in the street,
and forcing him into a neighboring church, attempted to put out his
eyes and cut out his tongue; at a later period this pontiff trying to
suppress a conspiracy to depose him, Rome became a scene of rebellion,
murder and conflagration. His successor, Stephen V., A. D. 816, was
ignominiously driven from the city; his successor, Paschal I., was
accused of blinding and murdering two ecclesiastics in the Lateran
Palace; it was necessary that imperial commissioners should investigate
the matter, but the pope died, after having exculpated himself by
oath before thirty bishops. John VIII., A. D. 872, unable to resist
the Mohammedans, was compelled to pay them tribute; the Bishop of
Naples, maintaining a secret alliance with them, received his share
of the plunder they collected. Him John excommunicated, nor would he
give him absolution unless he would betray the chief Mohammedans and
assassinate others himself. There was an ecclesiastical conspiracy
to murder the pope; some of the treasures of the church were seized;
and the gate of St. Pancrazia was opened with false keys, to admit
the Saracens into the city. Formosus, who had been engaged in these
transactions, and excommunicated as a conspirator for the murder of
John, was subsequently elected pope, A. D. 891; he was succeeded by
Boniface VI., A. D. 896, who had been deposed from the diaconate, and
again from the priesthood, for his immoral and lewd life. By Stephen
VII., who followed, the dead body of Formosus was taken from the grave,
clothed in papal habiliaments, propped up in a chair, tried before a
council, and the preposterous and indecent scene completed by cutting
off three of the fingers of the corpse and casting it into the Tiber;
but Stephen himself was destined to exemplify how low the papacy had
fallen; he was thrown into prison and strangled. In the course of five
years from A. D. 896 to A. D. 900, five popes were consecrated. Leo
V., who succeeded in A. D. 904, was in less than two months thrown
into prison by Christopher, one of his chaplains, who usurped his
place, and who, in his turn, was shortly expelled from Rome by Sergius
III., who, by the aid of a military force, seized the pontificate, A.
D. 905. This man, according to the testimony of the times, lived in
a criminal intercourse with the celebrated prostitute Theodora, who,
with her daughters Marozia and Theodora, also prostitutes, exercised an
extraordinary control over him. The love of Theodora was also shared
by John X.: she gave him the first arch-bishopric of Ravenna, and then
translated him to Rome, A. D. 915, as pope. John was not unsuited to
the times; he organized a confederacy which perhaps prevented Rome
from being captured by the Saracens, and the world was astonished and
edified by the appearance of this warlike pontiff at the head of his
troops. By the love of Theodora, as was said, he maintained himself
in the papacy for fourteen years; by the intrigues and hatred of
her daughter, Marozia, he was overthrown. She surprised him in the
Lateran palace; killed his brother Peter before his face; threw him
into prison, where he soon died, smothered, as was asserted, with a
pillow. After a short interval Marozia made her own son pope as John
XI., A. D. 931. Many affirmed that Pope Sergius was his father, but
she herself inclined to attribute him to her husband Alberic, whose
brother Guido she subsequently married. Another of her sons, Alberic,
so called from his supposed father, jealous of his brother John, cast
him and his mother Marozia into prison. After a time Alberic's son was
elected pope, A. D. 956; he assumed the title of John XII., the amorous
Marozia thus having given a son and a grandson to the papacy. John was
only nineteen years old when he thus became head of Christendom. His
reign was characterized by the most shocking immoralities, so that
the Emperor Otho I. was compelled by the German clergy to interfere.
A synod was summoned for his trial in the Church of St. Peter, before
which it appeared that John had received bribes for the consecration
of bishops, that he had ordained one who was but ten years old, and
had performed that ceremony over another in a stable; he was charged
with incest with one of his father's concubines, and with so many
adulteries that the Lateran Palace had become a brothel; he put out
the eyes of one ecclesiastic and castrated another, both dying in
consequence of their injuries; he was given to drunkenness, gambling,
and the invocation of Jupiter and Venus. When cited to appear before
the council, he sent word that 'he had gone out hunting;' and to the
fathers who remonstrated with him, he threateningly remarked 'that
Judas, as well as the other disciples, received from his master the
power of binding and loosing, but that as soon as he proved traitor
to the common cause, the only power he retained was that of binding
his own neck.' Hereupon he was deposed, and Leo VIII. elected in his
stead, A. D. 963; but subsequently getting the upper hand, he seized
his antagonists, cut off the hand of one, the nose, finger, tongue of
others. His life was eventually brought to an end by the vengeance of a
man whose wife he had seduced.

"After such details it is almost needless to allude to the annals of
succeeding popes; to relate that John XIII. was strangled in prison;
that Boniface VII. imprisoned Benedict VII., and killed him by
starvation; that John XIV. was secretly put to death in the dungeons
of the castle of St. Angelo; that the corpse of Boniface was dragged
by the populace through the streets. The sentiment of reverence for
the sovereign pontiff, nay, even of respect, had become extinct in
Rome; throughout Europe the clergy were so shocked at the state of
things that, in their indignation, they began to look with approbation
on the intention of the Emperor Otho to take from the Italians their
privilege of appointing the successor of St. Peter, and confine it to
his own family. But his kinsman, Gregory V., whom he placed on the
pontifical throne, was very soon compelled by the Romans to fly; his
excommunications and religious thunders were turned into derision by
them; they were too well acquainted with the true nature of these
terrors; they were living behind the scenes. A terrible punishment
awaited the Anti-pope John XVI. Otho returned into Italy, seized
him, put out his eyes, cut off his nose and tongue, and sent him
through the streets mounted on an ass, with his face to the tail, and
a wine-bladder on his head. It seemed impossible that things could
become worse; yet Rome had still to see Benedict IX., A. D. 1033, a
boy of less than twelve years, raised to the apostolic throne. Of this
pontiff, one of his successors, Victor III., declared that his life was
so shameful, so foul, so execrable, that he shuddered to describe it.
He ruled like a captain of a banditti rather than a prelate. The people
at last, unable to bear his adulteries, homicides and abominations any
longer, rose against him. In despair of maintaining his position, he
put up the papacy to auction. It was bought by a presbyter named John,
who became Gregory V., A. D. 1045."

"More than a thousand years had elapsed since the birth of our Savior,
and such was the condition of Rome. Well may the historian shut the
annals of those times in disgust; well may the heart of the Christian
sink within him at such a catalogue of hideous crime; well may he ask,
Were these the viceregents of God upon earth--those who had truly
reached that goal beyond which the last effort of human wickedness
cannot pass?" [21]

Is it not difficult to reconcile one's mind to the thought that
these men who ruled the Catholic Church for three centuries were the
viceregents of God on earth? Or that through them a divine authority
and a divine mission has been transmitted to later and happier times?
To do so one would be under the necessity of maintaining that no amount
of immorality, however infamous, can possibly disqualify men from
acting as God's representatives. And such a position would be contrary
to all the evidence of scripture, as well as revolting to sound reason.


1. Compare Luke x with Matt. x.

2. Acts xiv: 23. Acts xx: 17, 28.

3. Phillip i: 1. I Tim. iii. This also is the view of Clement of Rome
who, in writing to the Corinthians in the third century, says of the
apostles: "So preaching everywhere in country and town, they appointed
their first fruits when they had proved them by the spirit, to be
bishops and deacons unto them that should believe. And this they did do
in no new fashion; for indeed it had been written concerning bishops
and deacons from very ancient times; for thus saith the scriptures in a
certain place: 'I will appoint their bishops in righteousness and their
deacons in faith.'"

4. Eph. iv.

5. I Cor. xii.

6. Eph. iv.

7. Eph. iv.

8. "Ibid."

9. In this connection it may be observed that the vacancy in the
quorum of the Twelve, occasioned by the apostasy of Judas, was filled
(Acts i: 24-26). Paul, too, though not in the original Twelve was an
Apostle, and so subscribes himself in nearly all his letters. Clement
of Alexandria, an elder and writer of the second century, calls Clement
of Rome, the "Apostle Clement." Though whether this is meant in a
rather loose sense or because he had been ordained such by one of the
apostles--for he was an associate of both Peter and Paul--does not
appear. (Philip iv: 3.)

10. See epistle of Clement to the Corinthians.

11. Mosheim's Eccl. Hist., Cent. iv, Bk. ii, Part ii, ch. ii. See also
his remarks on the government of the church in Cent. iii and ii.

12. The bishops of Jerusalem, in the 5th century, also contended for
and at last secured the title of Patriarch. (Mosheim's E. Inst., Cent.
v, Part ii, ch. ii.)

13. Mosheim's Eccl. Inst., Cent. iii, Part ii, ch. ii.

14. See pp. 21, 22.

15. Schlegel among them.

16. Mosheim's Eccl. Inst., Cent. iv, Part ii, ch. ii.

17. Intellectual Development of Europe, Vol. i, p. 359. Draper remarks
also that "the children arising from these associations do not appear
to have occasioned any extraordinary scandal."--_Ibid_.

18. The above quotation is taken from the third and fourth books on
"The Providence of God," by Salvian.

19. Such are the representations of Caesar Baronius, a Catholic
historian of the 16th century. He was a candidate for the papacy in
1605, and hence his devotion to the Catholic church cannot be doubted.

20. Milner's Ch. Hist., vol. III, Cent. x, ch. i.

21. Intellectual Development of Europe, Vol. i, pp. 378-382.



It yet remains to note some of those changes in the public worship of
the church, and in the ordinances of the gospel, which contributed to
the great apostasy.

The simplicity of the Christian religion was made a reproach to the
Church of Christ by the pagan priests. "The Christians have no temples,
therefore they have no gods," was an argument sufficiently convincing
to the heathens. It was but natural, perhaps, to seek to cast off this
reproach; but the effort to do so led to the introduction of many
ceremonies quite at variance with the gospel. The early Christian
Saints were accustomed to meet on the first day of the week for public
worship; the meetings, during the first century at least, being held,
for the most part, in private houses. The ceremonies were of the
simplest character. They consisted of reading the scriptures, the
exhortation of the president of the assembly--"neither eloquent nor
long, but full of warmth and love," [1]--the testimony of such as felt
moved upon by the Holy Ghost to bear testimony, exhort or prophesy; the
singing of hymns; the administration of the sacrament and prayers.

But all this was soon changed. The bishops and other public teachers in
the third century, framed their discourses and exhortations according
to the rules of Grecian eloquence; "and were better adapted," says a
learned writer, [2] "to call forth the admiration of the rude multitude
who love display, than to amend the heart. And that no folly and no
senseless custom might be omitted in their public assemblies, the
people were allowed to applaud their orators, as had been practiced
in the forums and theatres; nay, they were instructed both to applaud
and to clap the preachers." This was a wide departure from that spirit
of meekness and humility enjoined by Messiah upon his ministers. And
when to these customs was added the splendid vestments of the clergy,
the magnificence of the temples, with all the pageantry of altars,
surrounded with burning tapers, clouds of incense, beautiful images,
the chanting of choirs, processions and other mummeries without
number--one sees but little left of that simple worship instituted by
the Messiah and his apostles.

About the third century incense began to be used. The Christians of
the first and second centuries abhorred the use of incense in public
worship as being a part of the worship of idols. [3] It first became a
custom to use it at funerals against offensive smells; then in public
worship to disguise the bad air of crowded assemblies; then at the
consecration of bishops and magistrates, and by these steps its use at
last degenerated into a superstitious rite.

In the fourth century matters became still worse. The public
supplications by which the pagans were accustomed to appease their
gods, were borrowed from them, and were celebrated in many places
with great pomp. To the temples, to water consecrated in due form,
and the images of holy men, the same efficacy was ascribed and the
same privileges assigned as had been attributed to the pagan temples,
statues and lustrations before the advent of Christ. [4]

In the third century also arose the worship of martyrs. It is true
that worship or adoration was relative, and a distinction was made
between the worship of martyrs and the worship paid to God; but by
degrees the worship of martyrs was made to conform with that which the
pagans had in former times paid to their gods. [5] This was done out of
indiscreet eagerness to allure the pagans to embrace Christianity. [6]
"When Gregory [surnamed Thaumaturgus on account of the numerous miracle
she is said to have wrought--born in Pontus, in the second decade of
the third century] perceived that the ignorant and simple multitude
persisted in their idolatry, on account of the sensuous pleasures and
delights it afforded--he allowed them in celebrating the memory of
the holy martyrs, to indulge themselves and give a loose to pleasure
(i. e., as the thing itself, and both what precedes and what follows,
place beyond all controversy, he allowed them at the sepulchres of
the martyrs on their feast days, to dance, to use sports, to indulge
in conviviality, and do all things that the worshipers of idols were
accustomed to do in their temples, on their festival days), hoping
that in process of time they would spontaneously come over to a more
becoming and correct manner of life." [7]

While pagan rites and ceremonies were increasing in the church, the
gifts and graces characteristic of apostolic times, seemed to have
gradually departed from it. Protestant writers insist that the age
of miracles closed with the fourth or fifth century, and that after
that the extra-ordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost must not be expected.
Catholic writers, on the other hand, insist that miracles have always
continued in the church; yet those spiritual manifestations which they
describe after the fourth and fifth centuries savor of invention on the
part of the priests and childish credulity on the part of the people;
or else what is claimed to be miraculous falls far short of the power
and dignity of those spiritual manifestations which the primitive
church was wont to witness. The virtues and prodigies ascribed to
the bones and other relics of the martyrs and saints are purile in
comparison with the healings, by the anointing with oil and the
laying on of hands, speaking in tongues, interpretations, prophecies,
revelations, casting out devils in the name of Jesus Christ; to say
nothing of the gifts of faith, wisdom, knowledge, discernment of
spirits, etc., common in the church in the days of the apostles. [8]
There is nothing in the scriptures or in reason that would lead one to
believe that the miraculous gifts were to be discontinued. Still this
plea is made by modern Christians--explaining the absence of these
spiritual powers among them--that the extraordinary gifts of the Holy
Ghost were only intended to accompany the proclamation of the gospel
during the first few centuries until the church was able to make its
way without them, and then they were to be done away. It is sufficient
to remark upon this that it is assumption and stands without warrant
either of scripture or right reason, and proves that men had so far
changed the religion of Jesus Christ that it became a form of godliness
without the power thereof. [9]

It appears to have been the custom of the apostles in the case of
members of the church grievously transgressing the moral law of the
gospel, to require repentance and confession before the church;
and in the event of a stubborn adherence to sin the offender was
excommunicated, that is, he was excluded from the communion of the
church and the fellowship of the saints. For the crimes of murder,
idolatry and adultery some of the churches excommunicated those guilty
of them forever; in other churches they were received back, but only
after long and painful probation.

The manner in which excommunication was performed in apostolic times
is not clear, but there is every reason to believe the process was
very simple. In the course of time, however, this simple form of
excommunication was changed, by being burdened with many rites and
ceremonies borrowed from pagan sources. [10] It was not enough that the
fellowship of the saints be withdrawn from the offender and he left
to the mercy of God, or the buffetings of Satan, according as he was
worthy of the one or the other; but the church must load him down with
anathemas too terrible to contemplate. The power of excommunication,
too, eventually, passed from the body of the church into the hands
of the bishops, and finally into those of the pope. At first
excommunication meant the loss of the fellowship of the saints and such
other punishment as God Himself might see proper to inflict; the church
leaving the Lord to be the minister of His own vengeance. But gradually
it came to mean in some instances banishment from home and country, the
confiscation of property, the loss not only of church fellowship, but
loss of civil rights and the rights of Christian burial. In the case of
a monarch, excommunication absolved his subjects from their allegiance;
and in the case of a subject, it robbed him of the protection of his
sovereign. No anathema was so terrible but it was pronounced against
the excommunicated, until the sweet mercies of God were overshadowed by
the black pall of man's inhumanity.

The outward ordinances of the gospel consisted of baptism, the laying
on of hands for the imparting of the Holy Ghost, and the Lord's supper.
The laying on of hands was also employed in ordaining men to the
priesthood and in administering to the sick. In the latter case it was
accompanied by anointing with oil.

Baptism was administered by immersing the candidate in water. The only
pre-requisites were faith in Jesus Christ and repentance.

As soon as the candidate professed these he was admitted into the
church by baptism. [11] In a short time, however, the simplicity of
this ordinance was corrupted and burdened with useless ceremonies.
In the second century the newly baptized converts, since by baptism
they had been born again, were taught to exhibit in their conduct
the innocence of little infants. Milk and honey, the common food of
infants, were administered to them, after their baptism, to remind them
of their infancy in the church. Moreover, since by baptism they were
released from being servants of the devil, and became God's free men,
certain forms borrowed from the Roman ceremony of manumission of slaves
was employed in baptism. As by baptism also they were supposed to be
made God's soldiers, like newly enlisted soldiers in the Roman army,
they were sworn to obey their commander. [12] A century later (the
third) further ceremonies were added. It was supposed that some evil
spirit was resident in all vicious persons and impelled them to sin.
Therefore, before entering the sacred fount for baptism, an exorcist
by a solemn, menacing formula declared them free from the bondage of
Satan, and hailed them servants of Christ. [13] After baptism the new
converts returned home "decorated with a crown and a white robe; the
first being indicative of their victory over the world and their lusts,
the latter of their acquired innocence." [14] We have already noted
the fact that baptism was administered in the days of the apostles as
soon as profession of faith and repentance was made, but in the second
and third centuries baptism was only administered twice a year, and
then only to such candidates as had gone through a long preparation and
trial. [15] The times chosen for the administration of the ordinance
were on the vigils of Easter and Whitsuntide, [16] and in the fourth
century it had become the custom to accompany the ceremony with lighted
wax candles, to put salt--an emblem of purity and wisdom--in the mouth
of the baptized, and everywhere a double anointing was administered to
the candidates, the one before the other after baptism. [17]

It must have been early in the third century that the form of baptism
began to be changed. Up to this time it had been performed only by
immersion of the whole body. But in the first half of the third
century, Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, during a controversy respecting
the re-baptism of those who in times of persecution had denied the
faith, decided that those whose weak state of health did not permit
them to be immersed, were sufficiently baptized by being sprinkled.
[18] The first case of this kind of baptism is related by Eusebius. The
person to whom it was so administered was Novatus, a desperate heretic,
who created a schism in the church and became the founder of a sect.
He was among the number of so-called Christians who put off baptism
as long as he dared; in order to enjoy a life of sin and then through
baptism, just before death, obtain forgiveness--a custom very prevalent
in those times. Novatus being attacked with an obstinate disease, and
supposed to be at the point of death, was baptized by having water
sprinkled upon him as he lay in bed; "if indeed," says Eusebius, "it be
proper to say one like him did receive baptism." [19]

This innovation continued to spread until now the general rule among
Christians is to baptize by sprinkling or pouring. For this change
there is no warrant of revelation. It destroys the symbol there is
in baptism as taught by Messiah and his apostles--that of a burial
and resurrection--of a death and birth--a death unto sin, a birth
unto righteousness. It is one of those innovations which changed an
ordinance of the everlasting covenant. [20]

About the same time that the form of administering baptism was changed
it began to be misapplied, that is, it was administered to infants.
Just when this custom came into vogue may not be determined, but
clearly it has no warrant for its existence either in the doctrine or
practice of the apostles or any New Testament writer. No truth is more
plainly taught by the apostles than that baptism is for the remission
of sins, and must be preceded by faith and repentance; and as infants
are incapable of sin, and of exercising faith, or of repenting,
evidently they are not fit subjects for baptism.

Still it became the custom in the latter part of the second century or
early in the third to baptize infants. In the year 253 A. D., a council
of sixty bishops, in Africa--at which Cyprian, bishop of Carthage,
presided--considered the question whether infants should be baptized
within two or three days after birth, or whether baptism should be
deferred until the eighth day, as was the custom of the Jews in respect
to circumcision. The council decided that they should be baptized at
once, within a day or two after birth. [21] It will be observed that
the question was not as to whether infants should be baptized or not,
but when they should be baptized, within a day or two after birth or
not until they were eight days old.

The matter was treated in the council as if infant baptism was a custom
of long standing. This proves, not that infant baptism is a correct
doctrine, or that it was derived from the teachings of the apostles--as
some aver [22]--but that in a century or so after the introduction of
the gospel, men began to pervert it by changing and misapplying its
ordinances. The false doctrine of infant baptism is now practiced by
nearly all so-called Christian churches, Catholic and Protestant.

Much as the simple rite of baptism was burdened with useless
ceremonies, changed in its form and misapplied, it was not more
distorted than was the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. The nature of
the sacrament--usually called Eucharist--and the purposes for which
it was instituted are so plain that he who runs may read. From Paul's
description of the ordinance, it is clear' that the broken bread was
intended to be an emblem of the Messiah's broken body; the wine an
emblem of his blood, shed for sinful man; and his disciples were to
eat the one and drink the other in remembrance of him until he should
return; and by this ceremony show forth the Lord's death. [23] It was
designed as a memorial of Messiah's great atonement for mankind, a
token and witness unto the Father that the Son was always remembered.
It was to be a sign that those partaking of it were willing to take
upon them the name of Christ, to remember him always and keep his
commandments. In consideration of these things being observed, the
saints were always to have the Spirit of the Lord to be with them.

In this spirit and without great ceremony the sacrament was
administered for some time. But in the third century there were longer
prayers and more ceremony connected with the administration of the
sacrament than in the century preceding. Disputations arose as to the
proper time of administering it. Some considered the morning, others
the afternoon, and some the evening the most suitable time. All were
not agreed either as to how often the ordinance should be celebrated.
Gold and silver vessels were used, and neither those doing penance, nor
those unbaptized, though believers, were permitted to be present at
the celebration of the ordinance; "which practice, it is well known,
was derived from the pagan mysteries." [24] Very much of mystery began
to be associated with it even at an early date. The bread and the
wine through the prayer of consecration were considered to undergo a
mystic change, by which they were converted into and became the very
body and the very blood of Jesus Christ; so that they were no longer
regarded as emblems of Messiah's body and blood, but the body and blood
itself. [25] This is the doctrine of transubstantiation. This dogma
established, it was but a short step to the "elevation of the host;"
that is, the elevation of the bread and wine before it was distributed,
so that it might be viewed and worshiped by the people. This was called
the adoration of the symbols. It was idolatry--the worship of the bread
and wine falsely taught to be the Lord Jesus. [26]

Hence came the Mass, or the idea of a sacrifice being connected with
the celebration of the Eucharist. It was held that as Jesus was truly
present in the bread and wine he could be offered up as an oblation to
his Eternal Father. The death of the victim was not supposed to occur
in reality, but mystically, in such a way, however, as to constitute a
true sacrifice, commemorative of that of the cross and not different
from it in essence. The same Victim was present, and offered up by
Christ through his minister the priest. The sacrifice at the cross was
offered with real suffering, true shedding of blood, and real death of
the Victim; in the mass it was taught there was a mystical suffering, a
mystical shedding of blood and a mystical death of the same Victim.

Into such absurdities was the simple sacrament of the Lord's Supper
distorted! When attended with all the pomp and ceremony of splendid
altars, lighted tapers, processions, elevations and chantings; offered
up by the priests and bishops clad in splendid vestments and in the
midst of clouds of incense, accompanied by mystic movements and
genuflections of bishops and priests, the church could congratulate
itself on having removed the reproach at the first fastened upon the
Christians for not having altars and a sacrifice. The mass took away
the reproach; and the new converts to Christianity were accustomed to
see the same rites and ceremonies employed in this mystical sacrifice
of the Son of God as they had seen employed in offering up sacrifices
to the pagan deities.

In time the idea became prevalent that the body and blood of Messiah
were equally and entirely present under each "species"--that is,
equally and entirely present in the bread and in the wine; and was
equally and entirely given to the faithful which ever they received.
This idea, of course, rendered it unnecessary to partake of both bread
and wine--hence the practice of communion in one kind. That is, the
sacrament was administered by giving bread alone to the communicant.
To remark that this was changing the ordinance of the sacrament as
instituted by Messiah--suppressing half of it in fact--can scarcely be
necessary, since it is so well known that he administered both bread
and wine when instituting the sacred ordinance. [27]

Thus, through changing the ordinances of the gospel; by misapplying
them in some cases, and adding pagan rites to them in others; by
dragging into the service of the church the ceremonies employed in
heathen temples in the worship of pagan gods; by departing from the
moral law of the gospel, until the pages of Christian church history
are well nigh as dark in immorality, as cruel and bloody as those
that recount the wickedness of pagan Rome; [28] by changing the form
and departing from the spirit of government in the church as fixed
by Jesus, coupled with the corrupting influence of luxury which came
with repose and wealth, together with the destruction visited upon
the noblest and best of the servants and saints of God by the pagan
persecutions which continued through three centuries--all this, I
say, brought to pass the apostasy for which I am contending in these
pages--the destruction of the Church of Christ on earth.


1. Justin Martyr, First Apology to the Emperor Antoninus Pius.

2. Mosheim.

3. Tertullian's Apology, ch. xiii.

4. Mosheim's Eccl. Hist., vol. I, bk. ii, ch. 4.

5. Historie de Manicheism, tom ii, p. 642.

6. Eccl. Hist. (Mosheim), vol. I, bk. ii, part ii.

7. Nyssen's Life of Gregory Thaumaturgus.

8. I Cor. xii: 8--10.

9. "It does not appear that these extraordinary gifts of the Holy
Spirit (speaking of I Cor. xii) were common in the church for more than
two or three centuries. We seldom hear of them after that fatal period
when the Emperor Constantine called himself a Christian; and from a
vain imagination of promoting the Christian cause thereby heaped riches
and power and honor upon Christians in general, but in particular
upon the Christian clergy. From this time they [the spiritual gifts]
almost totally ceased; very few instances of the kind were found. The
cause of this was not (as has been supposed) because there was no more
occasion for them, because all the world was become Christians. This
is a miserable mistake, not a twentieth part of it was then nominally
Christians. The real cause of it was the love of many, almost all
Christians, so-called, was waxed cold. The Christians had no more of
the spirit of Christ than the other heathens. The Son of Man, when he
came to examine his church, could hardly find faith upon earth. This
was the real cause why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were
no longer to be found in the Christian Church--because the Christians
were turned heathens again and only had a dead form left."--_John
Wesley_ (Wesley's Works, vol. vii, Sermon 89, pages 26, 27).

10. "That it was proper for the Christian bishops to increase
restraints upon the licentiousness of transgressors will be readily
granted by all who consider the circumstances of those times. But
whether it was for the advantage of Christianity to borrow rules
for this salutary ordinance from the enemies of truth, and thus to
consecrate, as it were, a part of pagan superstition, many persons very
justly call in question."--Eccl. History (Mosheim), book i, cent, ii,
part ii, ch. iii.

11. Acts ii: 41. Acts viii: 12, 35--40.

12. Mosheim, vol. i, book i, part ii, ch. iv.

13. That exorcism was not annexed to baptism till some time in the
third century, and after the admission of the Platonic philosophy
into the church, may almost be demonstrated. The ceremonies used at
baptism in the second century are described by Justin Martyr in his
second apology, and by Tertullian in his book _de Corono Militis._ But
neither makes mention of exorcism. This is a cogent argument to prove
that it was admitted by Christians after the times of these fathers,
and of course in the third century. Egypt perhaps first received
it,--Murdock's Mosheim, vol. i, p. 190. (Note.)

14. Mosheim, vol. i, book i, part ii, ch. iv.

15. According to Schlegel, the so-called apostolic constitution (b.
viii. ch. xxxii) enjoined a three years' course of preparation; yet
with allowance of some exceptions.

16. That is, in the evening preceding the day on which Messiah is
supposed to have arisen from the dead, and the evening preceding the
seventh Sunday after Easter, the anniversary of Pentecost, when the
Holy Ghost was poured out upon the Apostles in a remarkable manner.
(Acts ii.)

17. Mosheim, vol. i, book ii, part ii, ch. iv.

18. Cyprian's Epistles, letter 76.

19. Eusebius Eccl. Hist., b. vi, ch. 43.

20. In writing to the saints of Rome, Paul says: "Know ye not, that so
many of us as were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death?
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as
Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so
we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted
together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness
of his resurrection" (Rom. vi: 3--5.) In writing to the saints of
Colosse, the same apostle reminds them that they had been "Buried with
him [Christ] in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through
the faith of the operation of God who hath raised him from the dead"
(Col. ii: 12). In these passages the terms "buried" and "planted"
are in plain allusion to the manner in which the saints had received
the ordinance of baptism, which could not have been by sprinkling or
pouring, as there is no burial or planting in the likeness of Christ's
death, or being raised in the likeness of his resurrection in that; but
in immersion there is.--"The Gospel" (Roberts), page 185.

21. Milner's Church Hist., vol. i, pp. 429, 430.

22. Such is the opinion of Milner--Church Hist., vol. i, p. 430.

23. "The Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread;
and when he had given thanks, he brake it and said, Take, eat: this is
my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After
the same manner he took the cup, when he had supped, saying: This cup
is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it,
in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this
cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come." (I Cor. xi: 23--26.)

24. Mosheim's Eccl. Hist., bk. i, cent. iii, part ii, ch. iv.

25. Protestants combating the Catholic idea of the real presence of the
flesh and blood in the Eucharist--transubstantiation--have endeavored
to prove that this doctrine was not of earlier origin than the eighth
century. In this, however, the evidence is against them. Ignatius,
bishop of Antioch, writing early in the second century, says of certain
supposed heretics: "They do not admit of Eucharist and oblations,
because they do not believe the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Savior
Jesus Christ, who suffered for our sins." (Epistle of Ignatius to
the Smyrneans.) So Justin Martyr, also writing in the first half of
the second century: "We do not receive them (the bread and wine) as
ordinary food or ordinary drink; but as by the word of God Jesus Christ
our Savior was made flesh, and took upon him both flesh and blood for
our salvation, so also the food which was blessed by the prayer of the
word which proceeded from him, and from which our flesh and blood,
by transmutation, receive nourishment, is, we are taught, both the
flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh." (Justin's Apology to
Emperor Antoninus.) After Justin's time the testimony of the fathers is
abundant. There can be no doubt as to the antiquity of the idea of the
real presence of the body and blood of Jesus in the Eucharist; but that
proves--as we said of infant baptism--not that the doctrine is true,
but that soon after the apostles had passed away, the simplicity of the
gospel was corrupted or else entirely departed from.

26. As evidence of the superstition which was connected with the
Eucharist, note the following. "If any one through negligence, shall
destroy the Eucharist, _i. e.,_ the sacrifice; let him do penance one
year. * * * * If he lets it fall on the ground, carelessly, he must
sing fifty Psalms. Whoever neglects to take care of the sacrifice, so
that worms get into it, or it lose its color, or taste, must do penance
thirty or twenty days; and the sacrifice must be burned in the fire.
Whoever turns up the cup at the close of the solemnity of the mass must
do penance forty days. If a drop from the cup should fall on the altar,
the minister must suck up the drop and do penance three days; and the
linen cloth which the drop touched must be washed three times, over
the cup, and the water in which it is washed be cast into the fire."
Decisions of Pope Gregory III.--Harduin's Concilia.

27. Luke xxii. Matt. xxvi.

28. The wickedness of the Christian world in the dark ages and during
the progress of the "Reformation" was such that the author of the
"Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," in closing his famous sixteenth
chapter which deals with the persecution of the Christians during
the first three centuries of our era, can say, and his arraignment
cannot be successfully contradicted: "We conclude this chapter by a
melancholy truth which obtrudes itself on the reluctant mind; that
even admitting without hesitation or inquiry, all that history has
recorded, or devotion has feigned, on the subject of martyrdom, it
must still be acknowledged, that the Christians, in course of their
intestine dissensions, have inflicted far greater severities on each
other, than they had experienced from the zeal of infidels. During the
ages of ignorance which followed the subversion of the Roman Empire
in the west, the bishops of the imperial city extended their dominion
over the laity as well as the clergy of the Latin church. The fabric of
superstition which they had erected, and which might long have defied
the feeble efforts of reason, was at length assaulted by a crowd of
daring fanatics, who from the twelfth to the sixteenth century assumed
the popular character of reformers. The church of Rome defended by
violence the empire which she had acquired by fraud; a system of peace
and benevolence was soon disgraced by proscriptions, war, massacres
and the institution of the holy office (the Inquisition). And as the
reformers were animated by the love of civil as well as of religious
freedom, the Catholic princes connected their own interest with that of
the clergy, and enforced by fire and the sword the terrors of spiritual
censurers. In the Netherlands alone more than one hundred thousand of
the subjects of Charles V. are said to have suffered by the hand of the
executioner; and this extraordinary number is attested by Grotius (See
Grotius Annal. de Rebus Belgiers). * * * If we are obliged to submit
our belief to the authority of Grotius, it must be allowed, that the
number of Protestants who were executed in a single province and a
single reign, far exceed that of the primitive martyrs in the space of
three centuries, and of the Roman Empire." "Decline and Fall," vol. i,
ch. xvi.



"What is prophecy but history reversed?" Nothing. Prophecy is a record
of things before they transpire. History is a record of them after
they have occurred; and of the two prophecy is more to be trusted for
its accuracy than history: for the reason that it has for its source
the unerring inspiration of Almighty God; while history--except in the
case of inspired historians--is colored by the favor or prejudice of
the writer, depends for its exactness upon the point of view from which
he looks upon the events; and is likely to be marred in a thousand
ways by the influences surrounding him--party considerations, national
interest or prejudice; supposed influence upon present conditions and
future prospects--all these things may interfere with history; but
prophecy is free from such influences. Historians are self-constituted,
or appointed by men; but prophets are chosen of God. Selected by divine
wisdom, and illuminated by that spirit which shows things that are to
come, [1] prophets have revealed to them so much of the future as God
would have men to know, and the inspired writers record it for the
enlightenment or warning of mankind, without the coloring or distortion
so liable to mar the work of the historian. Thus Moses recorded what
the history of Israel would be on condition of their obedience to God;
and what it would be if they were disobedient. Israel was disobedient,
and historians have exhausted their art in attempts to tell of their
disobedience and suffering; but neither in vividness nor accuracy do
the the histories compare with the prophecy. [2] So with the prophecy
of Daniel in respect to the rise and succession of the great political
powers that should dominate the earth, and the final triumph of the
Kingdom of God. [3] So with well nigh all of the prophecies.

With these observations upon the trustworthiness of prophecy it is
my purpose to show that prophecy no less than the facts of history,
sustains the conclusion arrived at in the foregoing chapters on the
apostasy from the Christian religion, and the destruction of the
Christian Church.

Paul warned the church at Ephesus that after his departing grievous
wolves would enter in among them, not sparing the flock; and "also of
your own selves," said he, "shall men arise, speaking perverse things
to draw away disciples after them." [4] "Preach the word," said the
same apostle in writing to Timothy, "be instant in season, out of
season, reprove, rebuke, with all long suffering and doctrine. For the
time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after
their own lusts shall they heap teachers to themselves having itching
ears; and they shall turn their ears from the truth and be turned to
fables." [5] The prophet Peter also warned the church of the rise of
false teachers, who privily would bring in damnable heresies; deny the
Lord who bought them; bring upon themselves swift destruction, speak
evil of the way of truth and through covetousness, with feigned words
would make merchandise of the saints. [6]

Referring again to Paul's prophecies we have him foretelling the rise
of anti-Christ before the glorious coming of the Messiah to judgment.
He plainly foresaw the "falling away"--the long night of spiritual
darkness and apostasy that would brood over the world before the coming
of the Son of God, in the glory of his Father, to reward the righteous,
to condemn the wicked. He said of this apostasy: "We beseech you,
brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering
together unto him; that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled,
neither by spirit nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the
day of Christ is at hand. [7] Let no man deceive you by any means, for
that day shall not come except there be a falling away first and that
man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth
himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he
as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
Remember ye not that when I was yet with you I told you these things?
And now ye knew what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth
will let, until he be taken out of the way, and then shall that wicked
be revealed whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth,
and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming; even him whose
coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and
lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them
that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they
might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion,
that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who
believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." [8]

The reader with the facts of history before him, cannot see more
clearly the "falling away," the rise of that corrupt ecclesiastical
power which opposed and exalted itself above all that was called God;
lorded it over God's heritage; shrouded itself in mystery; placed its
foot on the neck of kings; forbade marriage; transgressed the laws;
changed the ordinances, and broke the everlasting covenant--I say the
reader with the facts of history before him can not see these things
more clearly than Paul foresaw and predicted them in this remarkable

But not to the prophets of the New Testament alone was the great
apostasy revealed. Isaiah as well as Paul and with equal clearness
foresaw and predicted it. In a prophecy, which beyond all question
relates to conditions that can only exist in the last days, he writes:
"Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and
turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.
And it shall be as with the people, so with the priest; as with the
servant, so with the master; as with the maid, so with her mistress;
as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the
borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to
him. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled; for the
Lord has spoken this word. The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the
world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do
languish. The earth is also defiled under the inhabitants thereof."
Why? _"Because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances,
broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath a curse devoured
the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the
inhabitants of the earth are burned and few men are left."_ [9]

Of this prophecy it is to be observed that the defilement of the earth,
and the wretched condition of the inhabitants thereof described in
the opening sentences, and in the remaining verses of the chapter,
not quoted, are the result of transgressing the law, changing the
ordinances and breaking the "everlasting covenant." The prophet cannot
have reference to transgressing the law, and changing the ordinances
of the Mosaic covenant, for the Mosaic Law was not an everlasting
covenant, [10] but merely a temporary law "added to the Gospel because
of transgression." It was a law of carnal commandments to act as a
school master to bring the people to Christ; and when Christ came was
laid aside, having fulfilled its purpose. [11] It was not, therefore,
an everlasting covenant, and hence was not the thing the prophet Isaiah
had in mind in his great prophecy. On the other hand, Paul refers to
the blood of Christ as "the blood of the everlasting covenant," [12]
hence it is the covenant sealed by that blood to which Isaiah must have
had reference--the Gospel; and the transgression of its laws, the
changing of its ordinances, the breaking of that covenant was to result
in making desolate the earth and the inhabitants thereof.

As additional evidence that it was not the transgression of the Mosaic
Law, nor transgression against any former dispensation of the Gospel,
that the prophecy refers to, the reader's attention is called to the
fact that the disasters of the great apostasy find their culmination
in the burning of the inhabitants of the earth, from which but few
men shall be left. That is a calamity that has not yet overtaken
men. It is a judgment that will fall upon them in the future. Yet a
few shall escape. As the prophet in another place in this remarkable
chapter says--referring to the general desolation of the earth and its
inhabitants--"When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the
people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the
gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done. They shall lift up their
voices, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry
aloud from the sea." [13] From which it is to be understood that there
will be a few even in those disastrous times, whose righteousness will
call down the favor of God. And though the earth shall reel to and fro
like a drunkard, and the transgressions thereof shall be heavy upon
it; though the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on
high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth; though as prisoners
they shall be gathered into the pit, and will not be visited for many
days; though the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, yet
shall the Lord of Hosts reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and
before his ancients gloriously. [14]

My direct argument for the apostasy is completed. The facts of history
have testified to the destruction of the church, to the apostasy from
the Christian religion; and prophecy with a voice no less certain has
testified to the same things.


1. St. John xvi: 13.

2. Deut. xxviii.

3. Daniel ii.

4. Acts xx: 27-30.

5. II Tim. iv: 1-4.

6. II Peter ii: 1-3.

7. That is, he would not have them believe that the day of Messiah's
glorious coming was at hand.

8. II Thess. 1-12.

9. Isaiah xxiv.

10. Gal. iii.

11. Heb. xiii: 20.

12. Isa. xxiv: 13, 14.

13. Isaiah xxiv: 20-23.

14. Isaiah xxiv: 20-23.



But what of the Catholic argument that there has been an unbroken
line of authority from Peter to Leo XIII.; and running parallel with
that line of authority a continuation of all that is essential to the
Gospel, both in doctrine and ordinances? My reply is: "Of what avail is
argument in the face of facts which contradict it? The facts of both
history and prophecy are against the contention that there has been
such a line of divine authority, accompanied by a continuation of all
the essentials of the Gospel; and therefore, the argument is worthless.
But that we may see how weak the argument is in itself, let us examine

"Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name
of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost * * * And lo I
am with you to the end of the world." [1] On this Catholic writers
remark: "Now the event has proved * * * that the apostles themselves
were only to live the ordinary term of man's life; therefore the
commission of preaching and ministering together with the promise of
the divine assistance, _regards the successors of the apostles, no less
than the apostles themselves._ This proves that there must have been
an uninterrupted series of such successors of the apostles, in every
age since their time; that is to say, successors to their doctrines,
to their jurisdiction, to their orders, and to their mission." [2]
Cardinal Gibbons, commenting on the same passage says: "This sentence
contains three important declarations: 1st, the presence of Christ
with His Church, 'behold, I am with you;' 2nd, His constant presence
without an interval of one day's absence, 'I am with you all days;'
3rd, His perpetual presence to the end of the world, and consequently
the perpetual duration of the church, 'even to the consummation of the
world.' Hence it follows that the true church must have existed from
the beginning; it must have had not one day's interval of suspended
animation, or separation from Christ, and must live to the end of
time." [3]

Of the conclusion here arrived at, it is only necessary to say that it
is founded upon an assumption. Look again at the passage upon which the
argument is based, in connection with its context. "Then the eleven
disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had
appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshiped him; but some
doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying: All power is given
unto me in heaven and in earth, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations;
* * * and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
[4] It will be seen that the promise was to the eleven apostles, not
to the church. To say that this promise "regards the successors of
the apostles no less than the apostles themselves," is an assumption
unwarranted by the text; and it is upon that assumption that the Rev.
John Milner and other Catholic writers, base their conclusions that the
word of Jesus is pledged to an uninterrupted continuation of His church
in the earth.

The argument of Cardinal Gibbons is still worse than that of Dr.
Milner. He says the promise of Jesus to the apostles contains three
important declarations, the first of which is: "The presence of Christ
with His _church._" This is worse than assumption. The learned Cardinal
has written "church," where he should have written "apostles;" and
therefore the conclusion he reached, namely, the perpetual duration
of the church, is based upon a misstatement; and as the premises upon
which the argument is based are untrue, the conclusion is false.

The argument by Catholics is thought to be invulnerable, because the
promise of Jesus to be with the apostles to the end of the world is
impossible of fulfillment, unless it "regarded the successors of the
apostles no less than the apostles themselves." But to be with their
successors is not being with the apostles. Hence the device arranged
by Catholics for the fulfillment of this promise of the Lord, misses
its purpose altogether. Moreover, there is no need of such device to
explain how the promise of Jesus could be fulfilled. "In my Father's
house," said he, addressing these same men, "are many mansions: if it
were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you,
* * * _that where I am there ye may be also;_" [5] And there they are
with Jesus in the place he prepared for them, and they will continue to
be with him even unto the end of the world.

No less erroneous is the Catholic argument for the uninterrupted
continuation of the church of Christ on earth, based on the passage
in the sixteenth chapter of Matthew, when Jesus in the course of a
conversation with Peter says to him: "Thou art Peter, and upon this
rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail
against it." "By this promise," says a foot-note on this passage in the
Douay Bible--the version accepted by the Catholic Church,--"we are
fully assured that neither idolatry, heresy, nor any pernicious error
whatever, shall at any time prevail over the church of Christ." "Our
blessed Lord clearly intimates here," says Cardinal Gibbons, "that the
church is destined to be assailed always but to be overcome never."
[6] The argument of Catholics is, that if the great apostasy took
place which, as we have seen, is clearly predicted in the scriptures,
and, as I believe, confirmed by the facts already presented to the
reader in this volume, then the express promise of Jesus Christ that
the gates of hell should not prevail against His church has failed.
"If the prediction of our Savior about the preservation of His church
from error be false, then Jesus Christ is not God, since God cannot
lie. He is not even a prophet, since he predicted falsehood. Nay, he is
an imposter, and all Christianity is a miserable failure, and a huge
deception, since it rests on a false prophet." [7]

This argument and its conclusion is based upon too narrow a conception
of the Church of Christ. That church exists not only on earth, but in
heaven; not only in time, but in eternity. It has not been prevailed
against, because men on earth have departed from it; corrupted its
doctrines, changed its ordinances, transgressed its laws. The Church of
Christ in heaven, consisting of "an innumerable company of angels--the
general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in
heaven--" [8] the church there has been far beyond the reach of the
powers of hell; and ultimately here on earth it shall be triumphant. To
repeat an illustration I before used: Truth may lose a single battle,
it may lose two or three, and yet be victorious in the war. So with
the Church of Christ: many of those enrolled as its members may be
stricken down by cruel persecution; those remaining may capitulate with
the enemy, and by compromises betray the cause of Christ, and put him
to an open shame. Repose and luxury, the reward of the above perfidy,
may bring in such floods of wickedness that virtue can scarce be found
among men, and no abiding place found on earth for the church of the
Redeemer. That church, however, still exists in heaven, in all the
glory of the general assembly of the firstborn; and from time to time
dispensation after dispensation of the gospel will be sent from thence
to the children of men, until a people shall be found who will remain
true to all its doctrines, accept its ordinances, obey its precepts,
preserve its institutions, and the Church of Christ everywhere become
triumphant as well on earth as in heaven. The promise of the Lord Jesus
will not fail--the gates of hell will not finally prevail against his

The reader's faith in the above view will doubtless be strengthened if
I remind him that the apostasy contended for in the foregoing pages,
is not the first time in the experience of men that the gospel has
been taken from among them. It is written by Paul that, "the scripture
foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith preached
before the gospel unto Abraham." [9] A little further on the apostle
asks: "Wherefore then serveth the law?" Referring to the law of Moses.
That is to say, if the gospel was preached unto Abraham, wherefore
serveth the law of Moses? His answer is, "It was added because of
transgression till the seed should come, to whom the promise was made
* * * Wherefore the law was our school master to bring us unto Christ
that we might be justified by faith." [10] Having in the third chapter
of his epistles to the Hebrews referred to the dealings of God with
the children of Israel in the wilderness, and having in the opening
verse of the fourth chapter warned the saints against similar sins
to those committed by Israel, Paul says: "For unto us was the gospel
preached as well as unto them [ancient Israel], but the word preached
did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it."
The only conclusion to be drawn from these passages is this: In very
ancient times the Gospel was introduced among men; but because of their
disinclination or inability to keep its laws and live in harmony with
its precepts--"because of transgression," it was taken from among them.
God, however, not willing to leave His children utterly without light,
gave unto them a less exalted law--the law of carnal commandments. A
law better suited to their condition, wherein were forms and ceremonies
foreshadowing things to come, designed to act as a school master to
bring the people to Christ.

Taking away the gospel from the earth, then, is not a new thing; not
a thing peculiar to the first centuries of the Christian era. It had
been done before when transgression led the people to depart from its
ordinances and disregard its precepts. So, too, after the introduction
of the gospel by the personal ministry of the Son of God, when men
transgressed its laws, and corrupted its teachings and ordinances by
their vain and foolish fancies, or by their efforts to modify it to
make it acceptable to a pagan nation, because of transgression, it
was taken from among them. Not abruptly. Not in such a sense as that
the Christians some night in the third century all laid down to sleep
good, faithful saints and awoke next morning stripped of the Gospel
and turned pagans. No; but as the elders and bishops who held divine
authority were destroyed by persecution, or passed away by natural
death, the people with each succeeding generation growing worse and
worse, and less and less worthy of the gospel--false teachers without
authority from God usurped power, corrupted the gospel and the church
until the false displaced the true, and anti-Christ sat in the temple
of God.

Nothing remained but fragments of the gospel; here a doctrine and there
a principle, like single stones fallen and rolled away from the ruined
wall; but no one able to tell where they belonged in the structure, and
so many of the stones missing that to reconstruct the wall with what
remains is out of the question.

The fragmentary accounts of the gospel, as recorded by some of the
apostles, and their associates, is all that was left to the world.
All! But this was much. It has stood to the people since the days of
the great apostasy as the law of carnal commandments did to Israel
after the transgression which occasioned the gospel to be taken from
them. Those fragments of the truth, however disconnected, have been
as the light of the moon and the stars to the night traveler; not
the sunlight, indeed, which makes so clear the way, but light which,
however dim, is still better than absolute darkness; and will, I trust,
yet lead many of our Father's children into the sunlight of Christ's
restored gospel.

It will not be necessary to examine at length the Protestant argument,
viz.: The gospel had been corrupted, and buried under the rubbish of
idolatry for ages it is true, but the "Reformers" of the sixteenth
century cleared away the rubbish and brought to light again the
gospel, and restored the Church of Christ in all its simplicity of
organization, and efficacy of power. Of this one need only say that the
gospel having been taken from the earth, and divine authority lost, the
only way for their restoration is through the re-opening of the heavens
and the committing of a new dispensation thereof to men. As this answers
the argument, it is only necessary to prove that Protestants admit the

Luther said of himself, "At first I stood alone." Calvin in his epistle
says: "The first Protestants were obliged to break off from the whole
world." [11] The editor of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire, the Rev. H. H. Milman, a Protestant divine, writes in his
preface to that book: "It is idle, it is disingenuous to deny or to
dissemble the early depravations of Christianity, its gradual and rapid
departure from its primitive simplicity, still more from its spirit of
universal love."

The reader is already acquainted with the declaration of Wesley that
the Christians had turned heathens again and only had a dead form of
faith left. [12]

In Smith's Dictionary of the Bible--the work is endorsed by sixty-three
learned divines and Bible scholars--the following occurs: "We must not
expect to see the Church of Christ existing in its perfection on the
earth. It is not to be found thus perfect, either in the collected
fragments of Christendom, or still less in any one of those fragments."

Roger Williams refused to continue as pastor over the oldest Baptist
Church in America on the ground that there was no regularly constituted
church on earth, nor any person authorized to administer any church
ordinance; "nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the great
head of the church for whose coming I am seeking." [14] Alexander
Campbell, founder of the sect of the "Disciples," says: "The meaning
of this institution (the kingdom of heaven) has been buried under the
rubbish of human tradition for hundreds of years. It was lost in the
dark ages and has never, until recently been disinterred." [15]

And lastly, that greatest of all Protestant sects, the Church of
England in its homily on the Perils of Idolatry, says: "Laity and
clergy, learned and unlearned, all ages and sects and degrees have been
drowned in abominable idolatry, most detested by God and damnable to
man, for eight hundred years and more." [16]


1. Matt, xxviii: 19, 20.

2. End of Religious Controversy (Rev. John Milner), p. 281.

3. Faith of our Fathers, p. 72.

4. Matt. xxviii: 16-20.

5. John xiv: 2.

6. Faith of Our Fathers, p. 72.

7. Faith of our Fathers, p. 87.

8. Heb. xii: 22, 23.

9. This should be remembered by the student of the Bible. The law of
Moses, with its formalisms and numerous rites, does not reflect the
fullness of divine wisdom. It was not the best and highest code of
laws and morals which God could give, but the best the people could be
induced to accept.

10. Quoted by Rev. John Milner in End of Religious Controversy.

11. See p. 101.

12. Smith's Dict. of Bible, p. 163.

13. Picturesque America, p. 502.

14. Picturesque America, p. 502.

15. Christianity Restored, p. 184.

16. Perils of Idolatry, p. 3.


The Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Last Days--In the Hour of God's
Judgment--Is to Be Restored to Earth by Re-opening the Heavens, and
Giving a New Dispensation Thereof to the Children of Men.



I shall take it for granted that those who have followed me to this
point are convinced that the world has need of a new witness for
God; that the Church of Christ was destroyed; that there has been an
apostasy from the Christian religion so complete and universal as to
make necessary a new dispensation of the gospel.

I have already remarked, in noticing the Protestant claim that the
Church of Christ was re-established by the Reformers of the sixteenth
century, that the gospel having once been taken from among men, and
divine authority lost, the only way that either one or the other could
ever be restored would be by the Lord giving a new revelation, and
re-commissioning men with divine authority, both to teach the gospel
and administer in its ordinances. This is a proposition so obvious to
reason that I can scarcely persuade myself that it requires either
argument or proofs to sustain it.

If there are those, however, who think that the plan of salvation
might be clearly defined from the fragmentary documents which comprise
the New Testament, without the aid of more revelation, I ask them to
consider the Protestant effort to accomplish that task. The Protestants
accepted the Bible as an all-sufficient guide in matters of faith and
morals and church discipline. But when they undertook to formulate
from it a creed that should embody the whole plan of salvation, and
prescribe a government for their church, it was found that well nigh
each Doctor understood the Bible differently. One saw in it the
authorization of the Episcopal form of church government; another the
Presbyterian form; and another the Congregational. One saw in the Bible
authority for believing there was a trinity of persons in the God-head;
another that there was but one. One saw authority for believing that
God had predestined an elect few to be saved; another that salvation
was equally within reach of all. And so on through all the vexed
questions that have distracted Protestant Christendom and divided it
into a hundred contending sects.

It must be remembered that to this effort to construct from the New
Testament scriptures a creed which would embody all the principles
and ordinances essential to salvation, and re-construct the Church
of Christ, all the zeal and learning that we can hope to see brought
to such a task was possessed by Protestant "Reformers," and they
failed miserably; for the confusion grows greater by the constant
multiplication of sects, led by men making the vain attempt to
re-construct the Church of Christ and define the gospel by their own
wisdom from fragmentary Christian documents.

But if the theory of salvation could be clearly defined from the
scriptures, by the wisdom of man; if all the doctrines to be believed
and all the ordinances to be obeyed could be formulated, where,
without further revelation, is the divinely authorized ministry to
teach the gospel or administer its ordinances? However distinctly the
gospel as a theory might be defined from the New Testament, the dead
letter authorizes no one to perform its ceremonies, or even teach its
doctrines. The New Testament writers have recorded in a number of
places how Jesus called his apostles and commissioned them to go into
all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, saying in one
place, that. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he
that believeth not shall be damned;" [1] and in another place, "Go ye,
therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe
all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo I am with you alway
even unto the end of the world" [2] But to say this authorizes anyone
else but those to whom the commission was directly given is to advocate
the stealing of other men's commission, and presumptuously attempting
to act in the name of God without divine appointment.

A case of this kind is related in the Acts of the Apostles, the result
of which should be a warning to those who would advocate such a course
now. Among the Jews who witnessed the power of God displayed through
the administrations of Paul--the Holy Ghost imparted by laying on
hands, the sick healed and unclean spirits cast out--were seven sons of
one Sceva, a chief priest among the Jews, who took it upon themselves
to call over one possessed of an evil spirit the name of the Lord Jesus
saying, "We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth * * * And the evil
sprit answered and said: Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are ye?
And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped upon them, and overcame
them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house
naked and wounded." [3]

Another case in point is the incident of Uzziah stretching forth his
hand to steady the ark of God without authority--"And God smote him
there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God." [4]

King Uzziah's presumption in this kind also points a warning. Made
king when but sixteen years of age, he was wonderfully blessed of the
Lord, and his fame went abroad until he was feared or honored by all
the surrounding nations. In the height of his glory he presumptuously
entered the temple of God and essayed to exercise the functions of the
priest's office--to burn incense before the Lord. Azariah, the chief
priest, withstood the king's usurpation, saying, "It appertaineth not
unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord, but to the priests,
the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the
sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine
honor from the Lord God." The king was not inclined to yield to the
admonition, and while he was yet angry with the priests the leprosy
arose in his forehead, and he lived a leper the remainder of his life,
separated from his people and from the house of the Lord. [5]

If the usurpation of authority to act in the name of the Lord in
casting out an evil spirit, in steadying the ark of God and burning
incense called forth such pronounced evidences of the divine
displeasure, would usurpation in administering the more sacred
ordinances of the gospel meet with divine approbation? If men by
usurping authority could not drive out an evil spirit from one
possessed through calling over him the name of Jesus, just as they had
seen Paul do, would there likely be any more efficacy attend their
administrations if they baptized in the name of the holy Trinity for
the remission of sins, or laid on hands to impart the Holy Ghost? The
reasonable answer is obvious.

"Every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things
pertaining to God; * * * and no man taketh this honor unto himself,
but he that is called of God as was Aaron." [6] Aaron was called by
revelation, and ordained by one already holding divine authority. [7]
It amounts to nothing to say that this particular passage relates to
high priests of the Mosaic law. The principle is announced in it that
those who officiate for men in things pertaining to God must be called
of God by revelation through a divinely established authority; and
that holds good in the gospel as well as in the Mosaic law; aye, and
more abundantly is it true; for as the gospel is more excellent than
the carnal law, so is it to be expected that more care will be taken
to have it administered by a divinely authorized ministry. "You have
not chosen me," said Jesus to the Twelve, "but I have chosen you, and
ordained you, that ye may bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should
remain." [8] This sounds the keynote relative to an authorized ministry
for the gospel. Men are not to take it upon themselves to administer
in things pertaining to God. They must be called as Aaron was, as the
Twelve were, as Jesus himself was; for even "Christ glorified not
himself to be made a high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art
my Son, this day have I begotten thee. * * * Thou art a priest forever
after the order of Melchisedek." [9]

But I must not be drawn into an argument on a point that is obviously
true, namely, that the gospel of Christ having been taken from among
men and divine authority lost, the only way of regaining them is by a
re-opening of the heavens and a re-commitment of them to man from God.
This of course would constitute a new dispensation, a new revelation;
and as all Christendom, both Catholics and Protestants, hold that
the volume of scripture is completed and forever closed--that divine
inspiration, prophecy and revelation, together with the visitation of
angels has ceased forever, I think it necessary to inquire into those
reasons that are assigned for such a belief, or rather unbelief.

It is a necessity to inquire into this question; for disbelief in new
revelation bars the way to a consideration of the claims of the New
Witness I am introducing. The case stands thus: The Christians in
the early centuries of our era having turned heathens again, thereby
losing the gospel and divine authority, it seems reasonably clear that
the only way these precious things can be regained is through a new
dispensation of the gospel, by means of a new revelation, which shall
restore all that was lost. But since all Christians have been persuaded
that the volume of the scripture is completed; that God will give no
more revelation; and that the Bible sustains that view of the case, it
becomes necessary to investigate the reasons given for this doctrine.

I apprehend that this Christian belief respecting the discontinuance
of revelation came into existence as the an excuse offered for the
absence of revelation. Ministers of apostate churches found themselves
without communication with God, either through the visitation of
angels or direct revelation. Finding themselves without these powers
so abundantly possessed by the servants of God in the early age of the
church, they attempted a defense of their own powerless state by saying
these things were no longer needed. They were extraordinary powers only
to be employed at the commencement of the work of God, in order to
establish it in the earth, and afterwards to be put aside as childish

In support of the theory that the volume of revelation is closed
forever, the following passage in the Book of Revelation is usually
quoted: "I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the
prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God
shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if
any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy,
God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the
holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." [10]
As this passage occurs in the last book of the New Testament--and also
the last book of the Bible--in the last chapter, and the last but
two of the closing verses of the chapter, it has been argued that it
is a formal closing up of God's revelation to man. No more is to be
added--nothing is to be taken from it, it is completed and sealed up,
and therefore no more revelation is to be given after that.

Upon this it should be observed, _first,_ that it was not by the
arrangement of the inspired writer himself that the Book of Revelation
was made the last book of the Bible; nor is that book the last
inspired book of the New Testament collection that was written. It
is the prevailing opinion of the early Christian writers that the
Book of Revelation was written while the apostle John was an exile on
the isle of Patmos, and that he did not write his book called "The
Gospel according to St. John," until after his return from Patmos.
[11] "The weight of evidence now tends to prove," says Canon Farrar,
speaking of the Book of Revelation, "that it is _not_ the last book
in chronological order; that it was written nearer the beginning than
the end of St. John's period of apostolic activity amid the churches
of Asia; that the last accents of revelation which fall upon our ears
are not those of a treatise which, though it ends in such music,
contains so many terrible visions of blood and fire; but rather those
of the gospel which tells us that the 'Word was made flesh,' and of the
epistle which first formulated the most blessed truth which was ever
uttered to human hearts--the truth that 'God is love.'" [12] And again:
"Some may think it an exaggeration to say that this closing of the Holy
Book with the Apocalypse has not been without grave consequences for
the history of Christendom; but certainly it would have been better
both for the church and for the world if we had followed the divine
order, and if those books had been placed last in the canon which were
last in order of time. Had this been done, our Bible would have closed
as the Book of God to all intents and purposes did close, with the
epistle and solemn warning of the last apostle, 'Little children, keep
yourselves from idols.'" [13]

If the words in the last chapter in the Book of Revelation mean that no
more scripture or revelation was to be written after the prohibitory
words under consideration, then John himself became a violator of
the word of God which he himself had written; for according to the
testimony here adduced his gospel and first epistle were written after
he Book of Revelation. Such an alternative as makes the divinely
inspired writer a violator of his own supposed inhibition of further
revelation is so absurd, so unlike the conduct of an inspired apostle,
that it is sufficient in itself to overthrow the theory that the
passage in the last chapter of the Apocalypse intended to close the
volume of revelation.

_Second:_ Since the Apocalypse had no connection with the other
books of the New Testament for many years after it was written, its
prohibitory clause under the most liberal construction could only
have reference to itself--it forbade men adding anything more to
that particular book of prophecy, the Apocalypse, not to a volume of
scripture with which, at the time, it had no connection.

_Third:_ A careful reading of the passage discloses that it is only
_man_ who is prohibited from adding anything more to that book of
prophecy, not God. While man may have added to him the plagues which
are written in the book if he presumptuously adds to the words of
the prophecy and passes them off for the word of God, yet God would
still be left free to give revelation _ad infinitum._ I must needs
think that this is the proper view to take of the prohibition, since
in Deuteronomy I find it recorded: "You shall not add to the word
which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it." [14] To
give to this passage the same interpretation that is placed by modern
Christians on the passage under consideration from the Apocalypse
(and it is just as reasonable to place such an interpretation on the
passage in Deuteronomy as to place it on the one in Revelation) would
result in rejecting all scripture that was given after the prohibitory
clause in the writings of Moses--which would be the greater part of the
Old Testament and all of the New. The same is true of the prohibitory
passage in Proverbs: "Every word of the Lord is perfect. * * * Add
thou not unto his words lest he reprove thee and thou be found a
liar." [15] There can be no doubt that these passages mean only this:
Man must not add his own words to the revelation of God and pass them
off as God's word. To say that they mean that no more revelation is
to be given after they were uttered is to condemn all the scripture
written subsequent to that time. What those passages mean the passage
in Revelation means. Man must not add to the words of Deity; but God is
left as free to give more revelation as he was before this prohibition
to man was placed on record. The passage in question does not in the
remotest manner refer to the close of the volume of revelation.

When the last act of indignity which the wicked ingenuity of his
persecutors could suggest was perpetrated on the Son of God, Jesus
bowed his thorn-crowned head and exclaimed "It is finished." By some
who contend against new revelation it is held that this means that
no more revelation is to be expected--revelation is finished! Such a
construction would exclude the inspired revelations, visions, dreams
and revelations given to the apostles after the crucifixion of Jesus
and abundantly testified of in the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles
and the Apocalypse. It is so clearly evident that the exclamation, "It
is finished," [16] had reference to the suffering of the Son of God,
that it is not necessary to enter further into a refutation of the
claim that it means the revelation of God to man was finished.

Again it is contended that Paul predicted that prophecies should
cease: "Whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be
tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge it shall vanish
away." [17] Unfortunately, however, for those who see in this passage
a prophecy of the discontinuance of revelation, Paul tells us _when_
prophecy or revelation (for prophecy must needs always be founded on
revelation) will cease; that it is not in this mortal life, but "when
that which is perfect is come." "For we know in part and prophesy in
part; but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part
shall be done away. * * * For now we see through a glass darkly, but
then [when that which is perfect is come] face to face. Now I know
in part, but then [when that which is perfect is come] shall I know
even as I am known." [18] That this refers not to this life, where the
best and purest only see in part and know in part, but is to be looked
for in that future and perfect existence where men shall see as they
are seen and know as they are known, is too obvious to need comment.
That prophecy, and the revelation on which it is based, was designed
to continue with the saints in this mortal existence is evident from
the fact that in the opening verse of the succeeding chapter [19] the
apostle admonishes the saints to "follow after charity and desire
spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy."

The whole genius of the gospel contemplates continuous revelation in
the church; and so far is the Bible from justifying the belief that the
time will come when it will cease, that on the contrary it teaches that
revelation will increase more and more, especially becoming abundant in
the last days.

Revelation is the very "rock" or principle upon which the Church of
Christ is founded. "Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?" was the
abrupt question which Jesus once put to his disciples. The answers
given were varied. "But whom say ye that I am?" Then Peter answered:
"Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God." "Blessed art thou
Simon Barjona," was the Lord's reply, "for flesh and blood hath not
revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say unto
thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my church;
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." [20] That is as if
the Master had said: "Blessed art thou Simon, for flesh and blood hath
not revealed unto you that I am Christ, the Son of the living God, but
my Father which is in heaven; and I say unto thee, Peter, upon this
principle of revelation will I build my church, and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it."

This I hold to be the plain meaning of the passage, and not the
interpretation given it by the Catholic Church, which is as follows:
First let me remind the reader that when Peter was introduced by
his brother Andrew to the Lord Jesus, the latter said to Him: "Thou
art Simon, the son Jona; thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by
interpretation a stone." [21] Therefore when on the occasion above
referred to Jesus said: "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona; for flesh and
blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
And I say unto thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build
my church," Catholics say that "the words of Christ to Peter, spoken
in the vulgar language of the Jews * * * were the same as if he had
said in English: "Thou art a rock, and upon this rock will I build my
church," so that by plain course of the words, Peter is here declared
to be the rock upon which the church was to be built, Christ himself
being both the principal foundation and founder of the same." [22] But
this interpretation strikes wide of the real truth. To say the least
it is a far-fetched assumption to hold that Jesus when He addressed
Peter on this occasion had any reference to the name He had given
him on a former occasion, which, by interpretation, meant a stone.
If the Master meant to announce his intention to build his church on
Peter, one cannot refrain from asking why he did not explicitly say
so? The passage would then doubtless have read: "I say unto thee,
Peter, that thou art a stone, and upon _thee_ I will build my church."
Unfortunately for the Catholic contention such is not the reading,
and it is only by juggling with the words that such a meaning can be
read into the passage. The subject under consideration was not Peter,
but the principle upon which he had learned that Jesus was the Son of
God--revelation, and on that principle, and not on Peter, the Lord
promised to build his church.

But I said the whole genius of the gospel contemplates the continuation
of revelation--a statement incumbent upon me to prove. We have seen
that the Lord promised to build his church upon revelation. It is
the very life and light of it. The means by which it preserves its
correspondence with heaven, and learns the will of God under the
constantly varying conditions through which it is called to pass.

The means by which revelation may be communicated to the church or to
man are varied. Revelation may be given by direct communication with
God, as in the case when the Lord walked with Enoch, [23] or talked
face to face with Moses, as a man speaks to his friend. [24] Or it
may be by the ministrations of angels, of which we have numerous
instances, both in the Old and New Testaments; but more generally the
communication of God's will to man is through the medium of the Holy

No one can doubt that prophecy is based upon revelation. No man can
truthfully predict the future save God reveals it to him. "Prophecy
came not in old time by the will of man," writes Peter, "but holy men
of God spake as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost." [25] Again, in
further proof that the Holy Ghost is the means of revelation and the
source of prophecy--"When the Spirit of Truth is come, he will guide
you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever
he shall hear that he shall speak; and he will show you things to
come." [26] This Jesus said of the Holy Ghost. If anything were lacking
to prove that the Holy Ghost is a medium of revelation, the very spirit
of prophecy, it would be found in the following: "When the Comforter
is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of
Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me." [27]
To this Paul agrees: "No man speaking by the Spirit of God, calleth
Jesus accursed, and no man can say that Jesus is the Christ but by the
Holy Ghost." [28] It is the Holy Ghost, then, that testifies that Jesus
is the Christ. Now mark what follows: An angel appeared to John, the
Apostle, on Patmos, "and," says John, "I fell at his feet to worship
him, and he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant,
and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: Worship God: for
the testimony of Jesus _is the spirit of prophecy._" [29] This is the
sum of my argument: The Holy Ghost testifies that Jesus is the Christ,
and that "testimony of Jesus" is the spirit of prophecy; and since
prophecy must of necessity be based on revelation, the "testimony of
Jesus"--the Holy Ghost must also be the spirit of revelation.

When Peter on the day of Pentecost preached the famous sermon by which
three thousand souls were converted, he made an unqualified promise
of the Holy Ghost unto all who would obey the gospel. Replying to the
cry of the multitude, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" he 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." [30]
This simply means that the Holy Ghost is promised to all who will
obey the gospel. It was promised to those that were listening to the
apostle, to their children, to all that were afar off, not only as to
distance, but as to time; to those a hundred years off, five hundred,
or five thousand years off; "even to as many as the Lord our God shall
call"--that is, called to obedience to the gospel. It is a promise
that reaches our own generation as well as the first generation of the
Christian era.

We, then, are promised the Holy Ghost, the spirit of prophecy and of
revelation; and indeed we are instructed by the Master himself that
except we are born of the Spirit, that is, receive the Holy Ghost, we
cannot enter into the kingdom of God. [31] So clearly is receiving the
Holy Ghost a part of the plan of salvation, that, so far as I know,
there is not a Christian sect or church, but teaches the necessity
and right and duty of the Christian to possess it. But oh, strange
inconsistency of apostate Christendom! While teaching that men must
be baptized with the Holy Ghost, and must possess it, and walk in the
light thereof, they deny to it the chiefest of its powers--revelation
and prophecy! Modern Christian teachers have dared, without the
warrant of divine authority, to divide the manifestations of the Holy
Ghost into "ordinary" and "extraordinary" powers; and then have had
the further presumption to tell us that the "ordinary" powers of the
Spirit, such as love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, meekness, and temperance, are to remain with men; but the
"extraordinary" powers, such as revelation, prophecy, healing the sick,
discernment of spirits, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues,
etc., these are to be discontinued! Unhesitatingly I pronounce such
unwarranted assumption blasphemous!

Instead of trying to excuse the absence among them of the mighty powers
of the Holy Ghost as manifested anciently in revelation and prophecy,
by falsely saying it was the design of Almighty God that the Holy
Ghost should discontinue the exercise of these "extraordinary" powers,
the proper thing for Christendom to do would be to humble itself in
the dust, and confess that it has strayed from God's ordinances,
transgressed his laws, changed his ordinances, broken the covenant of
the gospel, blasphemously denied the powers of the Holy Ghost, because
in their apostate state they received not the manifestations thereof.
How absurd to contend that part of the powers of the Holy Ghost are to
be exercised and not the others! What a denying and splitting up of the
powers of God are here! One class of his powers to be exercised in one
age, but to lie dormant in another, and man presuming to tell which are
necessary to be active and which dormant!

So far from leading us to believe in the discontinuance of the
"extraordinary powers" of the Holy Ghost in the last days, the
teachings of scripture on the contrary lead us to expect an increase
of them. Peter in the sermon already referred to above, says, quoting
the prophet Joel: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith
God, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your
daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions and your
old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens
I will pour out of my spirit and they shall prophesy; and I will show
wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood and fire
and vapor of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon
into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: and it
shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord
shall be saved." [32]

I know that the general understanding among Christians is that this
prophecy was fulfilled upon the occasion of the Holy Ghost being poured
out upon the apostles on the day of Pentecost; because, in replying to
the accusation of the multitude that the apostles who were speaking in
tongues were drunk, Peter said: "These are not drunken as ye suppose,
seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is _that_ which
was spoken by the Prophet Joel." Then follows the quotation already
given. But that Peter meant by this that the prophecy of Joel was
completely fulfilled is out of all harmony with the facts of the case.
First, Joel's prophecy relates to "the last days"--not to the days
in which Peter was living and speaking; second, according to Joel's
prophecy, the Spirit of God was to be poured out upon "all flesh;"
on the occasion of its outpouring on the day of Pentecost, it was
confined to twelve men; third, both the "sons and daughters" of the
people are to prophesy, according to Joel's prediction; young men are
to see visions; old men to dream dreams; and on his servants and his
handmaidens the Lord promises to pour out of his Spirit "and they shall

This describes so general an outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord upon
his people that the conditions existing on the day of Pentecost by no
manner of means fulfill the prophecy. What then could mean the saying
of Peter--"This is _that_ which was spoken by the prophet Joel?" It
means this: The Spirit that you here see manifestations of is that
Spirit spoken of by Joel that will eventually be poured out upon "all
flesh;" doubtless in that happy time spoken of by other prophets when
"The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down
with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
and a little child shall lead them. * * * They shall not hurt nor
destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the
knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." [33] Then and not
till then will Joel's great prophecy have its complete fulfillment.

Moreover, connected with this outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord
upon all flesh in the last days, is the fact that God will also "show
wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood and fire
and vapor of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon
into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come;" but,
"whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved." These
judgments that are to be poured out upon the earth, together with the
mercy that shall be shown to those who turn to the Lord, are so nearly
identical with those which are described as preceding or connected with
the glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus in the last days, [34] that
they must be the same; and these judgments, as also the outpouring
of the Holy Spirit of God upon all flesh, look to the last days, and
not to the days when Peter preached to the people, for their complete

If we contemplate the Church of Christ as having existed, without a
moment's interruption from the time it was founded by the Savior and
his apostles until now, instead of losing or having any spiritual power
discontinued the Christians ought to have increased in the enjoyment
of them more and more. And instead of saying that the "extraordinary
powers" of the Holy Ghost have been discontinued, they ought to be
able to say the circle of those possessed of and able to employ all
the spiritual gifts of the gospel to their own and the salvation of
others, has been marvelously enlarged. The spirit of prophecy and
revelation, which, as we have seen, is the Holy Ghost, is absolutely
necessary in the church to call its officers. How else shall the church
have a divinely authorized ministry? How else shall men be called of
God as was Aaron? The church today has as much need of inspired men
able to say, separate unto the Lord such and such men for the work
whereunto God has called them, as it was for the church in Antioch, in
the early days of Christianity, to have prophets and teachers who, as
they ministered before the Lord and fasted, heard the Holy Ghost say,
"Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called
them." [35]

The spirit of prophecy and revelation is necessary in the church
to direct the officers thereof in the performance of their duties.
It is useless to contend that the directions given by the spirit
of revelation to the ancient servants of the Lord will answer for
God's ministry now. As well might it be argued that the miller today
could grind with the water which passed his mill-wheel yesterday.
The conditions under which the Church of Christ exists in various
ages are constantly changing; and the officers of the church always
require divine direction, which can only be supplied by revelation.
The revelations given to the patriarchs from Adam to Abraham and
Melchisedek were not esteemed sufficient to direct Moses in the
management of the dispensation committed to him. Nor were the numerous
revelations given to Moses sufficient to guide his successor, Joshua,
in leading Israel; but a means for obtaining the word of the Lord
was provided for him through the use of the Urim and Thummim, in the
hands of the high priest. So also the revelations given to Moses, to
Joshua and his successors, the judges and prophets of Israel, were
not considered sufficient to direct the labors of the apostles and
seventies and elders in the dispensation of the gospel introduced by
the Lord Jesus. Nor were the revelations given to the first apostle
sufficient to direct the labors of Paul and his associates in the
constantly changing circumstances in the midst of which they found
themselves. After having gone throughout Phrygia and the whole region
of Galatia, Paul, had he followed his own inclinations, would have gone
into Asia to preach; but he was forbidden of the Holy Ghost [36]--that
is, by revelation. Afterwards he would have gone into Bithynia, but the
Spirit suffered him not [37]--that is, gave a revelation forbidding
him to go into that land. Afterwards, through an inspired vision, he
was called into Macedonia, [38] and began that wonderful missionary
career which resulted in spreading a knowledge of the gospel throughout
Macedonia, Greece and the western division of the Roman empire. In like
manner, in all succeeding generations, and no less in our own than in
any that has preceded it, the ministry of the Church of Christ stands
absolutely in need of the spirit of prophecy and revelation to direct
its labors, if those labors are to be efficient and acceptable to God.

The spirit of prophecy and revelation is necessary in the church not
only to call its ministers and direct their labors but also to teach,
correct, reprove, comfort and warn the members thereof. How else shall
they be preserved from error in doctrine, and from the strife and
division consequent upon it? Man's ways are not as God's ways; and it
seems almost inherent in human nature to wander from the ways of the
Lord, to seek out many and strange inventions. Human wisdom is not
sufficient for this work of correcting errors and reproving saints;
for "the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God;" [39]
hence the necessity of the ministry of the church having the spirit of
prophecy and revelation.

And then, for another reason should the ministry of the church teach,
"not with the enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of
the spirit and of power;" that the faith of the saints stand not in
"the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." [40]

Nor is it enough for the ministry to be inspired of God, the lay
members of the church no less than the ministry have a right to it--to
the people as well as to the priests is the Holy Ghost promised;
and the people have need of it as well as the ministry; for "the
natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: they
are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, for they are
spiritually discerned." [41] Hence the importance of those who listen
being inspired by the same spirit as those who teach. "It is written,"
says Paul, that "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it
entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for
them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit;
for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. * * *
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which
is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us
of God." [42] If thus the saints in primitive Christian times enjoyed
the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, why should not the saints
in all succeeding ages also enjoy it, since it is promised to them as
well as unto the first Christians, and God is no respecter of persons?
[43] Why should not Christians in all ages have the spirit of prophecy
to enlighten and comfort their souls and warn them of events to come?
But the argument is interminable, and I only desired to pursue it far
enough to prove that the whole genius of the gospel contemplates the
continuance of revelation.

How long I have delayed the direct consideration of my Thesis! The
foregoing remarks, however, were necessary since the belief that the
volume of scripture was completed and forever closed; that the voice
of prophecy is no more to be heard; that the visitation of angels is
not to be expected; that revelation has forever ceased--all stood as
so many obstacles to be removed before we could consider the direct
testimony supporting the proposition that the gospel in the last days
is to be restored to the earth by re-opening the heavens and giving
a new dispensation thereof to the children of men. But now all things
are ready. I have shown that since men corrupted and lost the gospel,
together with divine authority to administer its ordinances, the only
way to regain possession of it is by receiving a new dispensation
thereof through a revelation from God; that the sectarian teaching
that the volume of scripture is completed and closed is based upon
assumption merely; that the same sectarian teaching that revelation
and prophecy had ceased forever is equally false; on the contrary we
have seen that the very spirit and genius of the gospel contemplates
the continuation of revelation both to the church and to individuals;
therefore it can be neither unscriptural nor unreasonable to expect a
new revelation that will restore the gospel.


1. Mark xvi.

2. Matt. xxviii.

3. Acts xix.

4. See II. Samuel vi, in connection with Numb. iv, 5-15.

5. II. Chron. xxvi.

6. Heb. v: 1-4.

7. "And take unto thee Aaron, thy brother, and his sons with him, from
among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the
priest's office." _Word of the Lord to Moses,_ Ex. xxviii: 1.

8. John xv: 16.

9. Heb. v: 5, 6.

10. Rev. xxii: 18, 19.

11. Vide Biblical Literature (Kitto), Art. Book of Revelation.

12. Early Days of Christianity, ch. xxvii.

13. This would make the 1st Epistle of John the closing book of the

14. Deut, iv: 2.

15. Proverbs xxx: 6.

16. St. John xix: 30.

17. Corinth xiii: 8.

18. _Ibid,_ verse 9-12.

19. It should be remembered that the division of the Epistle, and for
that matter the whole of the New Testament, into chapters and verses
was not made by the writers of it, but is quite a modern work. The
verse with which the fourteenth chapter opens is a direct and close
continuation of the subject with which the thirteenth chapter closes,
and ought not to have been separated from it into another chapter. It
is an instance of how clumsily the work of dividing the New Testament
into chapters and verses was done.

20. Matt. xvi.

21. St. John i: 42.

22. Footnote in the Douay Bible on Matt. xvi: 17, 18.

23. Genesis v:24; Heb. xi: 5.

24. Exodus xxxiii: 11.

25. II Peter i: 20, 21.

26. John xvi: 13.

27. John xv: 26--Jesus to the apostles.

28. I Cor. xii.

29. Rev. xix: 10.

30. Acts ii: 38, 39.

31. John iii: 5.

32. Acts ii.

33. Isaiah xi.

34. See Matt. xxiv.

35. Acts xiii.

36. Acts xvi:6.

37. Acts xvi:7.

38. Acts xvi:9, 10.

39. I Cor. ii: 11.

40. I Cor. ii: 4, 5.

41. I Cor. ii: 14.

42. I Cor. ii: 9, 10, 12.

43. Rom. ii: 11.



And now as to the direct testimony for the restoration of the gospel by
means of a new revelation. It is to be found in one of the revelations
to St. John upon the Isle of Patmos. While there, either as an exile,
or a prisoner in the mines during the persecution under the Emperor
Domitian--and in either case suffering for the word of God and the
testimony of Jesus Christ--the apostle received many visions pertaining
to the past, the present and the future of the Church of Christ.
Especially are the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of His
revelation instructive. There is a unity of design in them that cannot
be mistaken. They contain a history of the church from the time it
was presided over by the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb, unto the time
when the judgments of God fall upon Babylon to her utter destruction.
Without entering into minute detail let me point this out.

In the first two verses of the twelfth chapter, under the figure of a
woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and about her
head a crown of twelve stars, and ready to be delivered of a child,
John describes the church presided over by the apostles, and ready to
bring forth the complete organization of the priesthood--the male child
that is to rule the nations.

In the third and fourth verses, under the figure of a great red dragon,
whose tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and who stood
before the woman to devour her child as soon as it was born,--we have a
description of Lucifer standing ready to destroy the priesthood so soon
as it should be brought forth.

In verses five and six, under the figure of the woman bringing forth
the male child, the child being caught up into heaven, and the flight
of the woman into the wilderness, where God has a place prepared for
her, where she is nourished for a thousand two hundred and three score
days--we have a description of the coming forth of the priesthood as an
organization, its being taken up into heaven out of reach of Lucifer,
and also the flight of the church beyond his power into the wilderness,
where it is nourished for a certain time.

In the verses from seven to twelve, inclusive, we have a deflection
from the main line of history to explain who and what the great red
dragon is. We are told of the war in heaven, where Michael and his
angels fought; and the dragon and his angels fought, but prevailed
not; and how at last the dragon, that old serpent called the Devil and
Satan, was cast out of heaven into the earth and his angels with him.
We are told of the joy there was in heaven when the accuser of the
brethren was cast out; and how there had come salvation and strength
and the kingdom of God and the power of his Christ. But those who thus
rejoiced in heaven cry woe unto the inhabitants of the earth, because
the devil had come down unto them having great wrath.

The thirteenth verse brings us back from the deflection to the line of
history again; and from there to the close of the chapter under the
figure of the woman flying into the wilderness, the dragon casting
out of his mouth floods of water to carry her away if possible, and
the return of the dragon full of wrath to make war on the seed of the
woman,--"which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of
Jesus"--we have repeated the story of the flight of the church from the
earth, the slander of Lucifer still seeking to destroy the church, now
beyond the direct influence of his power, and his return to make was
upon the few saints that remained after the church as an organization
had been taken from among men.

In the first and second verses of the thirteenth chapter, under the
figure of a monstrous, hydra-headed beast rising out of the sea,
and the dragon giving unto him his power and his seat and great
authority--we have a description of the rise and nature of pagan Rome,
and Lucifer giving unto it his power and inspiring it with his spirit
of hatred towards the saints.

In the third and fourth verses, under the figure of one of the heads of
the beast being wounded and afterwards healed, all the world wondering
after the beast, the dragon who gave him his power being worshiped, and
the beast being worshiped--we have the transition from the pagan to the
papal power of Rome described, and the worship of Lucifer in return for
giving his power to the beast.

Then follows in verses from the fifth to the tenth, inclusive, the
proclamation of this devil-inspired power to blaspheme against God,
against his tabernacle and the saints in heaven; _"to make war upon
the saints and to overcome them;"_ his dominion over all kindreds and
tongues and nations; the prophecy that all who dwell upon the earth
shall worship him whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of
life from the foundation of the world; and also the prophecy of the
captivity of this power which has led into captivity, and the killing
of him by the sword who killed with the sword.

From the tenth verse to the close of the chapter we have the rise of
other powers described which shall under new forms inaugurate the old
worship, exercise the old tyranny, practice the old deceptions, and
confirm them by the performance of miracles.

The first seven verses of the fourteenth chapter describe the
blessedness of a special company of the servants of God who have been
redeemed from the earth, an hundred and forty and four thousand of
them, being the first fruits unto God and the Lamb, in whose mouth was
found no guile, and who are without fault.

The sixth and seventh verses describe an angel flying "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."

The eighth verse proclaims the fall of Babylon which has made all
nations drunk with the wine of the wrath of her fornication. The
rest of the chapter forbids the worship of the beast or his image,
pronouncing the wrath of God against those who do so; and deals
with the successive judgments which shall overtake the earth to
cleanse it of its wickedness. Thus in prophecy was the history of the
church written, its establishment; the war made upon its priesthood
by Lucifer; the taking away of the priesthood and the church from
within the circle of his power; Lucifer's league first with pagan and
afterwards with papal Rome; the establishment of devil and man worship;
the blaspheming of God, his tabernacle and the saints in heaven; the
rise of other powers who under new forms establish old blasphemies
and devil-worship; the restoration of the gospel in the hour of God's
judgment; and the final fall of Babylon and the cleansing of the earth
preparatory to the reign of peace and righteousness inaugurated by the
restoration of the gospel. There it is, a mighty compendium of history
written by the spirit of prophecy!

It is, however, with that part of it which relates to the restoration
of the gospel that here I have most to do. This the passage: "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." [1]

However obscure some parts of the Books of Revelation may be
considered, this prophecy is perfectly clear. Looked at from any
standpoint, it means simply this: In the hour of God's judgment an
angel will come from heaven bringing with him the everlasting gospel,
which is thence to be preached unto all nations and peoples of the
earth. The fact that the gospel is to be restored in the hour of God's
judgment by the ministry of an angel, and thence is to be preached to
every nation and kindred and tongue and people is proof positive that
every nation and kindred and tongue and people in the hour of God's
judgment would be without the gospel, hence the necessity of restoring
it in the manner described. For if the Lord had a church on the earth,
possessing divine authority, there would be no necessity to bring in
a new dispensation of the gospel as described in the prophecy under

In this passage several of the facts for which I have contended meet:
First, that there has been a universal apostasy from the gospel, so
complete in its departure from the doctrines and rites of the Christian
religion, so universal, as to destroy the church of Christ; second, the
necessity of restoring the gospel by a re-opening of the heavens; and
third, the fact of the restoration of the gospel by the ministration of
an angel who commits a new dispensation of it to man, to be preached
throughout the world.


1. Rev. xiv: 6, 7.


Joseph Smith is the New Witness for God; a Prophet Divinely Authorized
to Teach the Gospel, and Re-establish the Church of Jesus Christ on



At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the western part of
the State of New York was a new country, by which I mean--one
recently settled, and comparatively a wilderness. At the close of
the Revolutionary War, which secured to the former British Colonies
independence, the people of the new-born nation found their country
and themselves impoverished. Manufactures owing to the narrow and
selfish policy of England toward her colonies (that policy had been
to discourage the colonies from manufacturing, least they should
compete with the manufactures of England) could scarcely be said to
have an existence. Commerce, owing to the fact that the new nation
had not yet established a commercial standing in the world, afforded
little opportunity for American activity. Moreover, the American
people themselves, of that generation, because of the conditions which
had surrounded them in the New World, were neither skilled artisans
capable of competing with the British workmen in manufacturing, nor
had they the cunning that comes by training, which qualified them
for immediate success. What they did possess was sturdy physical
frames--constitutions unimpaired either by the excesses practiced among
barbarians, or by the vices which abound in older civilizations. They
possessed strong hands, superb courage and simple tastes, and with
these they entered into that almost boundless empire of wilderness to
the west of them, to make homes for themselves and their children.

Looking from the standpoint of our modern life, which knows so much
of ease and comfort, the lot of these pioneers was a hard one. The
soil which their rude shares upturned to the sun was indeed virgin
and fertile, but before it could be cultivated it had to be cleared
of its heavy growth of timber and underbrush, and with the means
then employed, to clear a farm was well-nigh a life's labor. Each
pioneer with the help of a few neighbors--which help he paid for by
helping them in return--built his own house, his barn, his sheds,
and fenced his "clearing." Each family within itself was practically
self-supporting. The hum of the spinning-wheel, the rattle of the
shuttle and the thumping of the loom was heard in every home, as wool
and flax were converted into fabrics to clothe the family; and every
pioneer cultivated such a variety of products that his farm and his
labor supplied his wants and those of his household. Happily for their
contentment, the conditions in which they lived rendered their wants
but few.

In settling the wilderness the pioneers were not disposed to crowd each
other. They settled far apart. It often happened that a man's nearest
neighbor would be two or three miles away, so that the country for a
long time was but sparsely settled. Towns were few and far between,
and were only slowly built up. No such mushroom-growth of towns was
known as that which characterized the settlement of the great prairie
states in subsequent years. A few families settling on a stream
furnishing water power for a grist-mill, or at some point on lake or
stream frequented by the Indians for the purpose of trading their furs,
formed the nucleus of these towns, and soon school-houses and churches
increased their attractions.

It was a simple, honest life these pioneers led. A life full of toil;
for it was a stubborn fight they had with the wilderness to subdue it.
And yet their very hardships tended towards virtue. A busy life in
honorable pursuits can never be a vicious one; and the constant toil of
these men in wood and field so kept hands and head employed that there
was left no time nor opportunity to pursue evil. Their amusements were
few and simple, consisting in the main of the occasional gatherings of
neighbors for social enjoyments--the love of youth and maiden seeking
its legitimate expression in that companionship which alone satisfies
the hunger of the heart, I doubt not, was the incentive which brought
about these gatherings--at least their frequency; and the old, well
pleased to see their own youth reflected in that of their sons and
daughters, looked on with unconcealed delight.

Not only was this life in the wilderness favorable to morality, it
contributed equally well to the cultivation of the religious sentiment
in man. Man is by nature a religious animal, and where natural
conditions prevail instead of artificial ones, true to his nature,
man inclines toward a religious state of mind. There is something in
the awful stillness of the wood that says to man--"God is in this
solitude!" The murmur of the brook splashing over its pebbly bed, and
the mournful sighing of the winds through the tree tops, whisper to
his spirit the fundamental truth of all religion--"God lives!" The
stars looking down through the trees or mirrored in stream or lake
bear witness to the same great truth; while the orderly course of
the seasons, bringing with such undeviating regularity seed time and
harvest, the period of summer's growth and winter's rest, accompanied
by the fact of the sun shining for the wicked as for the good, and the
rain falling upon the just and the unjust alike, gives ample evidence
of God's interest in the world he has created and of his beneficence
and mercy towards all men.

When conditions were so favorable for the development of natural
religion, it is not surprising that profound interest was manifested
also in revealed religion. Especially when we remember that these
pioneers of the wilderness were but from one to three generations
removed from ancestors who had left the Old World for the express
purpose of worshiping God according to their understanding of that same
revealed religion. That skepticism of the eighteenth century which in
some quarters had such a baneful influence upon religious belief was
scarcely felt in these settlements remote from the old centers of the
New World civilization. These men of the wilderness believed the Bible
and looked upon it with the reverence worthy of men descended from
Protestant fathers who had in their system of theology made it take the
place of pope and church, and established it as their sole authority
and infallible guide in the matters of faith and morals. While many of
them refused to identify themselves with any of the various sects about
them, or subscribe to their creeds, they were profound believers in
the word of God, and often confessed this short creed which they duly
impressed upon their descendants: "I believe in God, in the Bible, and
in a state of future rewards and punishments."

There was no lack of zealous churchmen among the pioneers, sectaries
who taught special forms of faith and contended for the necessity of
particular dogmas and formulas with all that ardor and narrowness of
view that usually characterizes the sectarian mind. Their contentions
for the correctness of their respective creeds were not always free
from bitterness but for all that the Protestant sects recognized each
other as parts of a great universal church, and occasionally would so
far put away the differences of creed which separated them as to unite
for the purpose of holding union protracted meetings for the conversion
of unbelievers.

During the continuance of these meetings the minister avoided
preaching any doctrine except such as could be accepted by all the
sects--evangelical doctrine. Professedly their sole effort was to lead
the unconverted to believe in and accept Christ, let them join what
sect they pleased. Usually matters went on very agreeably until the
converts made by these united efforts began to express their preference
for one or the other of the different religious sects. Then would break
out those fierce sectarian struggles for advantage which have ever been
so disgraceful to Protestant Christendom. The good feeling temporarily
exhibited during the union meetings nearly all disappeared, and by the
fact of its vanishing impressed an observer with the idea that all
along it was more pretended than real. Sectarian zeal was unbounded
in its efforts to secure as many of the new converts as possible to
its own particular denomination. There was a cry of lo here and of lo
there, not unfrequently accompanied with remarks of detraction about
the opposing sects. The priests, each jealous for his own church,
contended fiercely with one another, so that they who ought to have
been the most exemplary in that conduct which makes for peace on
earth and good will towards men, were often the most to be blamed for
stirring up contention.

Such a wave of religious fervor brought about in the manner above set
forth, and attended with results described, passed over the western
part of the State of New York in the winter and spring of 1820. The
movement at that time was of unusual interest, first on account of
its extent, and second on account of the intensity of the religious
excitement produced. It can well be imagined that with these two
conditions existing, the bitterness among the sects taking part in the
movement would be correspondingly great when it came to dividing up the
spoils. By which I mean when the converts made by a unity of effort
began to file off some to one sect and some to another. Such was the
case. Presbyterians opposed Methodists, and Methodists Baptists; and
Baptists opposed both the other sects. All was strife, contention,
confusion, beneath which Christian charity and good will to man--these
weightier matters of the law--were buried so far out of sight that it
might be questioned if they ever existed.

Standing somewhat apart from, but watching with intense interest this
religious excitement, and wondering greatly at the confusion and strife
attendant upon it was a lad fourteen years old. [1] He was born of
parents numbered among the pioneers of the wilderness, and up to that
time had lived with them surrounded by the conditions already described
in the first part of this chapter as so favorable to morality and
the development of religious sentiment. By this religious agitation
the mind of the lad was stirred to serious reflection accompanied
with great uneasiness on account of the sectarian strife so incessant
and so bitter. He saw several members of his father's family connect
themselves with the Presbyterian sect, but he himself was more partial
to the Methodist Church; and at times he felt some desire to be united
with them. The tumult arising from the religious contention, however,
was such as to bewilder him, and he felt himself incompetent to decide
who was right and who was wrong. "What is to be done?" he would often
ask himself. "Who of all these parties are right? Or are they all wrong
together? If any one of them be right, which is it and how shall I know
it?" [2]

Young as he was, his native intelligence taught him that something
was radically wrong with all this contention over religion. It was
clear even to his boyish mind that God could not be the author of
all this confusion. God's church would not be split up into factions
in this fashion; if he taught one society to worship one way, and
administer one set of ordinances, he would not teach another principles
diametrically opposed. [3]

Influenced by these reflections he refrained from joining any of the
sects and in the meantime studied the scriptures as best he could for
himself. While thus engaged he came to that passage in James which
says: "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." That
passage was like the voice of God to his spirit. "Never," he was wont
to say in later life--"never did any passage of scripture come with
more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It
seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart." [4]
He reflected upon it again and again, and as he did so the impression
grew stronger that the advice of the ancient apostle offered a solution
to his perplexities. It never occurred to him to think that the passage
meant other than it said, or to question the universal application of
the advice it gives. He knew nothing of the sophistry of the schools of
theology which too often made the word of God of none effect by their
learned exegesis. Through the innocent eyes of a mere boy, he looked
the proposition of James squarely in the front, and, thanks to the
teachings of parents who revered the word of God, he believed what the
man of God said, and he believed further that he expressed that which
the Lord inspired him to say; so that it came to him with the full
force of a revelation. Under such circumstances what was more natural
than for him to reason thus: If any person needs wisdom from God, I
do, for how to act I do not know, and unless I can get more wisdom
than I now have, I shall never know. [5] But one conclusion could be
arrived at through such a course of reflection: he must either remain
in darkness and confusion or do as James directed--ask of God. And
since he gives wisdom to them that lack wisdom, and will give liberally
and not upbraid, he thought he might venture. And so at last he did.
He selected a place in a grove near his father's house, and there one
beautiful morning in the spring of 1820, [6] after looking timidly
about to ascertain that he was alone, the boy knelt in his first
attempt at vocal prayer, to ask God for wisdom.

No sooner had he begun calling upon the Lord than there sprang upon
him a being from the unseen world, who so entirely overcame him, and
bound his utterance, that he could not speak. Thick darkness gathered
about him, and it seemed to the struggling boy that he was doomed to
sudden destruction. He still exerted all his power to call upon the
Lord to deliver him from the power of the enemy who had seized him.
But still his unseen though none the less real enemy continued to
prevail. Despair filled his heart. He was about to abandon himself to
destruction when at the moment of his greatest alarm he saw a pillar
of light exactly over his head, above the brightness of the sun, which
descended gradually until it fell upon him. No sooner did this light
appear than he was free from the enemy which had held him bound. As the
light rested upon him he saw within it two personages whose brightness
and glory defy all description. They stood above him in the air, and
one of them pointing to the other said: "JOSEPH, THIS IS MY BELOVED

The object of the lad in going to that place to engage in secret
prayer was to learn of God which of all the sects was right, that
he might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did he recover
his self-possession than he asked the personage to whom he was thus
introduced, which of all the sects was right--which he should join. He
was answered that he must join none of them; for they were all wrong
Their creeds were an abomination in God's sight; the professors of
them were all corrupt--"They draw near me with their lips," said the
personage, talking to him, "but their hearts are far from me; they
teach for doctrine the commandments of men; having a form of Godliness
but denying the power thereof." Again he was told that he must join
none of them.

Many other things were said to him on that occasion which the Prophet
has not recorded, except to say that he was promised that the fullness
of the gospel would at some future time be made known to him. [7]

With this the vision closed, and the boy on coming to himself was lying
upon his back looking up into heaven. He arose to his feet and looked
upon the place of his fierce struggle with his unseen though powerful
enemy--the place also of his splendid vision!

What a change had come to the lad in one brief hour! He was no longer
struggling with doubts or troubled with perplexities as to which of
the sects was right. He had gone to that place of prayer plagued with
uncertainty, now no one among the children of men so well assured as
he of the course to pursue. He had proved the correctness of James'
doctrine--men may ask God for wisdom, receive liberally and not
be upbraided. He knew that the religious creeds of the world were
untrue; that they taught for doctrine the commandments of men; that
religionists observed a form of godliness, but in their hearts denied
the power of God; that they drew near to the Lord with their lips,
but their hearts were far from him. He knew that God, the Father,
lived, for he had both seen him and heard his voice; he knew that
Jesus lived and was the Son of God, for he had been introduced to him
by the Father, conversed with him in heavenly vision and had received
instruction and a promise that the fullness of the gospel should yet be
made known to him. Up to that time his life had been uneventful, and
of a character to make him of no particular consequence in the world;
now he stood as God's WITNESS among the children of men. Henceforth he
must bear witness to the great truths he had learned. His testimony
will arouse the wrath of men, and with unrelenting fury they will
pursue him. Slander, outright falsehood and misrepresentation will play
havoc with his reputation. Everywhere his name will be held up as evil.
Derision will laugh at his testimony, Ridicule mock it. On every hand
he will be met with the cry of "False prophet! false prophet!" Chains
and the dungeon's gloom await him; mobs with murderous hate will assail
him again and again; and at the last, while under the protection of the
law, and the honor of a great commonwealth pledged for his safety, he
will be murdered in cold blood for the word of God and the testimony of

How little that fair-haired boy, standing there in the unpruned forest,
with the sunlight stealing through the trees about him, realized
the burden placed upon his shoulders that morning by reason of the
visitation he received in answer to his prayer!

Here is not the place for argument, that is to come later; but let
us consider the wide-sweeping effect of this boy's vision upon the
accepted theology of Christendom.

First, it was a flat contradiction to the assumption that revelation
had ceased, that God had no further communication to make to man.

Second, it reveals the errors into which men had fallen concerning the
personages of the Godhead. It makes it manifest that God is not an
incorporeal being without body, or parts; on the contrary he appeared
to the Prophet in the form of a man, as he did to the ancient prophets.
Thus after centuries of controversy the simple truth of the scriptures
which teach that man was created in the likeness of God--hence God must
be the same in form as man--was re-affirmed.

Third, it corrected the error of the theologians respecting the oneness
of the persons of the Father and the Son. Instead of being one in
person as the theologians taught, they are distinct in their persons,
as much so as any father and son on earth; and the oneness of the
Godhead referred to in the scriptures, must have reference to unity of
purpose and of will; the mind of the one being the mind of the other,
and so as to the will and other attributes.

The announcement of these truths, coupled with that other truth
proclaimed by the Son of God, viz.: that none of the sects and churches
of Christendom were acknowledged as the church or kingdom of God,
furnish the elements for a religious revolution that will affect the
very foundations of modern Christian theology. In a moment all the
rubbish concerning religion which had accumulated through all the
centuries since the gospel and authority to administer its ordinances
had been taken from the earth, was grandly swept aside--the living
rocks of truth were made bare upon which the Church of Christ was to be
founded--a New Dispensation of the gospel was about to be committed to
the earth--God had raised up a witness for himself among the children
of men.


1. Joseph Smith the prophet was born in Sharon, Windsor County, state
of Vermont, 23rd of December, 1805.

2. Pearl of Great Price, p. 86. (1888 edition always quoted).

3. See Joseph's reasoning upon this subject, published in his account
of the rise of the church, written for Mr. John Wentworth, proprietor
of the _Chicago Democrat_ (1842), This article is also found in a
pamphlet published by Geo A. Smith, entitled _Answers to Questions,_ p.

4. Hist. of Joseph Smith, Supplement to Millennial Star, Vol xiv.

5. His reasoning set down here is paraphrased from his own account of
what he thought. See Hist. of Joseph Smith, Millennial Star, Vol. xiv.

6. The exact date of this occurrence is not known.

7. _Answers to Questions,_ p. 37.



The true test of moral courage is to stand alone against the world and
maintain what one believes or knows to be the truth. It is easy enough
to join in the chorus that cries "Amen" to orthodox doctrines, or even
to lead in advocating opinions that the multitude by very force of
tradition accept with applause. Even unpopular opinions are maintained
and that stoutly by men whose moral courage falls very far short of
the sublime, if only they are supported by a following. Just as men of
indifferent physical courage will sometimes show a spirit of desperate
daring, and rush into the jaws of death, borne up against the danger
by the sheer consciousness of moving upon it with a large number of
their fellows. Examples are furnished by armies in battle. Not a few
of those who charge the enemy with apparent reckless bravery are borne
along by the strength which comes from the support of numbers. The
charge upon the enemy, therefore, even in the face of a galling fire,
is not the truest test of the courage of the soldier. A better evidence
of courage is given by the solitary sentinel upon his beat; when alone
under the quiet stars he walks the path of danger, uncertain where it
may be lurking or from what quarter it may come; when the shouts of
his comrades are hushed in slumber; when the soul-stirring drum and
ear-piercing fife are silent; when the excitement which comes from
action, and the tumult of glorious battle no longer sustains him--then
if his spirit fails him not, and he calmly and alone faces the danger
and does his duty, he gives his commander a better evidence of his
courage than he will ever give in the mad recklessness of the charge.

As dogs best hunt in packs, so men best fight in armies; and so, too,
do men best stand by their convictions when strengthened by that
moral support which comes from the approval of their fellows. But, as
I remarked, the truest test of moral courage is to stand alone and
maintain what one either knows or believes to be the truth against the
sneers and ridicule of the world.

When the one who stands alone against millions is young, and the
influences brought to bear against him are the most powerful that can
be employed; if he break not down, but steadily holds to the assertion
or principle which gives offense, his courage and integrity must
stand as presumptive evidence that he either has the truth or what he
believes to be the truth, for out and out falsehood has no such heroes.
The truth alone, or what is honestly taken for it, can support men in
such an issue as this. And more especially is this the case if the one
undergoing the trial, in addition to tender years, is also unschooled
in the vices of the world, is of quick sympathies and easily persuaded.

Such was Joseph Smith when he received that vision of the Father and
the Son described in a preceding chapter. He had but just completed his
fourteenth year. The conditions amid which he spent his childhood--not
yet ended--were such as to keep him innocent; and his deep filial
love and strong affection for brothers and sisters gave evidence
of the existence in him of those quick sympathies which in later
life developed into that deep universal love for his fellow-men so
characteristic of him; while the disposition to yield to the persuasion
of his friends was so prominent in him as well nigh to amount to
weakness. [1] Thus in him were all those qualities of character, and
about him were all those conditions, which make his stand for the
truth of his story of such great force as presumptive evidence of its
correctness; for notwithstanding his youth, his inclination to yield
to the persuasions of friends, his deep sympathetic soul, which was
pained at the abuse heaped upon his parents as well as upon himself for
asserting that he had seen a vision--notwithstanding all this, he never
could be induced either by persuasion, by threats, by scoffs, by scorn
or ridicule, or religious influence, or abuse heaped upon himself and
family, to retract his declaration that he had seen a heavenly vision
in which he beheld both God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ.

He made no secret of the vision. Only a few days after receiving it,
being in company with a prominent Methodist minister, he gave him an
account of the revelation which he had received from God, when to the
boy's astonishment the minister railed most viciously against it. "He
treated my communication not only lightly," says the Prophet, writing
of those early experiences later in life, "but with contempt, saying
it was all of the devil, that there was no such thing 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. I soon found,
however, that by telling the story I had excited a great deal of
prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause
of great persecution, which continued to increase, and though I was an
obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my
circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the
world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite
the public mind against me, and create a hot persecution, and this was
common among all the sects, all united to persecute me.

"It has often caused me serious reflection, both then and since, how
very strange it was that an obscure boy, a little over fourteen year
of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a
scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character
of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of
the most popular sects of the day, so as to create in them a spirit
of the hottest persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it
was, and was often a cause of great sorrow to myself. However, it was,
nevertheless, a fact that I had had a vision. I have thought since that
I felt much like Paul when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and
related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light and heard
a voice, but still there were but a few who believed him; and some said
he was dishonest; others said he was mad, and he was ridiculed and
reviled; but all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had
seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven
could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto
death, yet he knew and would know to his latest breath that he had both
seen a light, and heard a voice speaking to him, and all the world
could not make him think or believe otherwise.

"So it was with me; I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of
that light I saw two personages, and they did in reality speak unto
me, or one of them did; and though I was hated and persecuted for
saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were
persecuting me, reviling me and speaking all manner of evil against me
falsely, for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute for
telling the truth? I had actually seen a vision, and who am I that I
can withstand God? Or why does the world think to make me deny what I
have actually seen? For I had seen a vision. I knew it, and I knew that
God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dare I do it; at least I
knew that by so doing I would offend God and come under condemnation."

This statement the boy maintained alone (save such support as came from
the belief of his own family, none of the immediate members of which,
so far as I have learned, ever doubting his story), against the world
for three years; without even the encouragement of a further spiritual
manifestation. It would be improper, as I believe, to say that God did
this to prove him. The Almighty, who is also All Knowing, knew before
the test was made that he would endure it. God knew his spirit and
its nobility and strength as he knew Messiah's or Abraham's; He knew
it as he knew the spirit of Jeremiah and ordained him, too, to be a
prophet to the nations before he was born. [3] But if God needed no new
evidence of the strength of character possessed by his New Witness; if
he needed no proof of his integrity, his devotion to the truth--the
world did; and during that period of three years of sore trial, when
alone he maintained the truth against scoffing priests, the gibes of
his companions, and the sneers, ridicule and unbelief of the world,
he gave to the generation in which he lived and to all generations
succeeding, such evidence of his integrity to the truth, or what at
least he believed to be true, as ought and will secure the respectful
attention of sincere men to the testimony he bears for God.

The constancy of the lad, under all the circumstances, laid deep the
foundation for faith in the man, and in the work which, under God,
he founded. There were so many interests--the peace of himself and
family; his own and his family's good name and standing in society;
the applause of religionists who would have hailed with delight his
renunciation of the vision as a delusion of the devil--all these things
cried out, "Renounce it!" But the fact that to all such demands the
lad shouted back, "'Tis God's truth, I saw the vision!"--will go far
towards making men believe that he did; for had he been base enough to
invent such a story, when he found that it made against his interest
and brought nothing but reproaches, without doubt, he would have denied
it; for men seldom persist in conscious falsehood which works only to
their disadvantage. And in this instance the renunciation would have
been so easy by calling it a delusion wrought by the adversary of men's
souls, by which he had been deceived. But neither ease of denial nor
the seeming advantages to accrue from it moved him; against it all he
was supported by the consciousness of having told the truth. Unless
indeed we can believe him so insane as to have been a candidate for
disgrace and ambitious of the contempt of his fellows.

At the end of three years' silence, viz., on the 21st of September,
1823, he was blessed with another vision. During the three years he was
left to stand alone he lays no claim to perfect sanctity, but freely
confesses to have fallen frequently into "foolish errors, and displayed
the weakness of youth, and the corruption of human nature." In
consequence of these things he often felt condemned; and on the above
mentioned 21st of September, he betook himself to prayer to Almighy
God, sought a remission of his sins, and asked for a manifestation of
his standing before the Lord.

While thus calling upon God in prayer, the room in which he knelt was
filled with light, and an angel stood in his presence, who announced
himself a messenger sent from God to inform him that the Lord had a
work for him to do; and that his name should be had for good and evil
among all nations; or that it should be both good and evil spoken of
among all people. [4]

Moroni, for such was the angel's name, was one of the ancient prophets
who had lived in America; he was now raised from the dead, [5] and
had come to make known the existence of the record of the ancient
inhabitants of the western hemisphere. Besides giving an account of
the ancient peoples who inhabited America and the source from whence
they sprang, this record also contained the fullness of the gospel as
delivered by the Savior to them. Hidden with the record were two stones
in silver bows, and the bows fastened to a breast-plate, constituting
the Urim and Thummim. The ability to use the Urim and Thummim was what
constituted seers in ancient times, and they had been deposited with
this record for the purpose of translating it.

After these explanations, Moroni began quoting and explaining a number
of the prophecies of the Old Testament. Following are the passages in
the order in which he quoted them: Part of the 3rd chapter of Malachi,
4th chapter of Malachi; 11th chapter of Isaiah--saying it was about to
be fulfilled; 3rd chapter of Acts, 22nd and 23rd verses, saying that
the prophet therein named was Jesus Christ, but the time when those who
would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people had
not yet come, but would soon come; 2nd chapter of Joel, from 28th verse
to the last: this was not fulfilled, but soon would be.

Some of the passages he quoted differently from the way they read in
our English version. Malachi 3rd chapter, 1st verse, for example, he
quoted as follows: "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,
and it shall leave them neither root nor branch."

The 5th and 6th verses he quoted 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. And he shall plant 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."

This heavenly messenger appeared to him three times during that night
and each time related the same things to him, the interviews occupying
nearly the whole night.

The next day while working beside his father in a field Joseph was
taken ill. His father observing it advised him to go to the house. This
the boy started to do, but in climbing over the fence, which separated
the field from the house, his strength utterly failed him, and he sank
to the ground unconscious. He was aroused by some one calling his name,
and when he regained consciousness the messenger of the night before
stood near him. Again the things of the night before were repeated; and
he received a commandment to go and tell his father the vision. This
he did and his father encouraged him to do as he had been commanded.
He accordingly went as directed in his vision to the place where the
record of the ancient Americans was concealed--to a hill called by them

Removing the grass and soil which was about the edges of the stone box
that contained the ancient record, with a lever he raised the lid and
there saw the gold plates and the Urim and Thummim. He was about to
take them from the box, when the angel Moroni again stood before him,
and forbade his taking them out, as the time for them to be given to
him for translation had not yet come, nor would it come until four
years from that date. He was commanded to come at the end of each year
to that place, and the angel would meet him to give the necessary

This Joseph did for four successive years, and each time met the same
heavenly messenger and received instruction. On the occasion of the
fourth meeting, viz., on the 22nd of September, 1827, the record was
given into his hands to translate. This work of translation, through
the grace of God, he accomplished, and in 1830 the Book of Mormon was
published to the world.

Before it was published, the plates of gold on which it had been
engraven by the ancient inhabitants of the land, were shown by the
angel Moroni to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris,
together with the Urim and Thummim through which the translation was
effected; and their testimony to this fact was printed over their
signatures on the fly-leaf of the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith himself
exhibited the plates to eight other persons, viz: Christian, Jacob,
Peter and John Whitmer; Hiram Page, Joseph Smith, Sen., Hyrum Smith
and Samuel H. Smith. The testimony of these eight witnesses to the
effect that they had seen, and handled the plates from which the Book
of Mormon had been translated, and examined the characters engraven
thereon, was also printed in the first and all subsequent authorized
editions of the book. [6]

It must be understood that during the progress of the young Prophet's
work, persecution was continuous; and slander with her thousand
tongues was inventing falsehood to destroy the work of God. But while
opposition was strong, the Lord from time to time raised up friends to
assist him in his labors and share his responsibilities. Among such
persons was one Oliver Cowdery, a young school teacher, who while
following his profession in the town of Manchester, was boarding in
the family of Joseph Smith's parents, from whom he learned of the
revelations of God to Joseph, and of his having the record of the
ancient inhabitants of America.

The youthful Prophet at this time was living at Harmony, Susquehanna
County, Pennsylvania. He had married a Miss Emma Hale and settled there
on a piece of land purchased of his father-in-law. Oliver Cowdery went
to Harmony to investigate the claims of Joseph Smith, both in respect
to his receiving revelations from God and having the Book of Mormon. He
became satisfied upon both points and remained with him to act as his
scribe in the work of translation.

In May, 1829, the work of translation drawing near to completion, they
came upon a passage in the Book of Mormon respecting baptism, upon
which they held different views. They retired to the woods on the
15th of May to present the matter before the Lord for further light,
and while engaged in calling upon God in prayer, a personage appeared
to them surrounded by a glorious light, who, as he laid his hands
upon their heads, said: "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 sins; 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."

The Messenger who thus conferred the Aaronic priesthood upon them was
named John, the same that is called the Baptist in the New Testament.
He had been raised from the dead, and was now sent as a messenger from
God to confer the keys of the Aaronic priesthood upon Joseph Smith and
Oliver Cowdery. He told them that he acted under the direction of the
apostles Peter, James and John, and that some time in the near future
the Melchisedek or higher priesthood would be conferred upon them. He
then commanded them to each baptize the other, Joseph to first baptize
Oliver, and then Oliver to baptize Joseph. Thus the work of baptizing
men for the remission of sins began in the new dispensation.

Some time in the following month, June, 1829, the promise made by John
to Joseph and Oliver that the Melchisedek Priesthood would be conferred
upon them was fulfilled. In the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna
County, Penn., and Colesville, Broom County, New York, on the banks
of the Susquehanna River, Peter, James and John conferred upon Joseph
Smith and Oliver Cowdery the apostleship, the keys of the Melchisedek
Priesthood, which gave them the right to build up the church of Christ
in all the world, and organize it in all its departments.

It is proper here to say a few words upon the subject of priesthood.
Priesthood is power which God confers upon man, by which he becomes
an agent for God, authorized to act in his name. It may be to warn a
city or nation of approaching calamity because of corruption; it may
be to teach faith in God, or cry repentance to the wicked; it may be
to baptize in water for the remission of sins, or lay on hands, as the
ancient apostles did, for the baptism of the Holy Ghost; or it may
be to lay on hands for the healing of the sick, or all these things
combined. Men who hold the priesthood possess divine authority thus to
act for God; and by possessing part of God's power they are in reality
part of God, that is, in the sense of being part of the great governing
power that extends throughout the universe. This is the authority of
men that hold the priesthood, and when those who possess it walk in
obedience to the commandments of God, men who honor the priesthood in
them, honor God; and those who reject it reject God, even the power of

It was doubtless these considerations which led Jesus to say, when
sending out his apostles to preach the gospel: "He that receiveth you,
receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.
* * * And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words when
ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom
and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city." [7]

Considered in the light of these sayings of Jesus, the priesthood is
a solemn thing. To hold power delegated to one by Almighty God--to
have authority to speak and act in his name, and have it of the same
binding force as if the Deity himself spoke or acted, is both an honor
and a responsibility which few men comprehend. It is an awe-inspiring
thing. Yet such authority God does confer upon men. It was bestowed
upon the Patriarchs before the flood, upon Melchisedek, Abraham, Moses,
and the prophets. It was given to the apostles through Jesus; he said
to Peter, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven;
and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
[8] These mighty keys of authority were conferred, as related in the
foregoing, upon Joseph Smith, and by that authority he organized the
Church and regulated its affairs up to the time of his death.

The Church of Jesus Christ, in the new dispensation under the direction
of revelation from God, was organized on the 6th day of April, 1830.
That organization was very simple; it was effected with six members.
Joseph Smith was acknowledged as the first Elder of the Church, and
Oliver Cowdery as the second Elder; but before the meeting which
organized the Church adjourned, the Church was commanded to keep
a record in which the Prophet Joseph was to be called "a seer, a
translator, a prophet, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, an Elder
of the church." [9] The more complete organization of the church with
Apostles, Seventies, High Priests, Elders, Bishops, Priests, Teachers
and Deacons was a later development, and will receive attention in a
subsequent chapter.

In the month of February, 1832, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon [10]
were wrapt in vision, in which they beheld the Son of God and conversed
with him--let them bear their own testimony: "We, Joseph Smith, Jun.,
and Sidney Rigdon, being in the spirit on the sixteenth of February, in
the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, by the
power of the spirit, our eyes were opened, and our understandings were
enlightened so as to see and understand the things of God--even those
things which were from the beginning, before the world was, which were
ordained of the Father through his Only Begotten Son who was in the
bosom of the Father even from the beginning. Of whom we bear record,
and the record which we bear is the fullness of the gospel of Jesus
Christ, who is the Son, whom we saw and with whom we conversed in the
heavenly vision; for while we were doing the work of translation which
the Lord had appointed to us, we came to the tenth verse of the fifth
chapter of John, which was given to us as follows--speaking of the
resurrection of the dead, concerning those who shall hear the voice
of the Son of Man, and shall come forth: 'They who have done good
in the resurrection of the just and they who have done evil in the
resurrection of the unjust.' [11] Now this caused us to marvel, for
it was given unto us of the Spirit; and while we meditated upon these
things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were
opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about; and we beheld the
glory of the Son on the right hand of the Father, and received of his
fullness; and saw the holy angels, and they who are sanctified before
his throne, worshiping God and the Lamb, who worship him forever and
ever. And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him,
this is the testimony last of all which we give of him, that he lives;
for we saw him, even on the right hand of God, and we heard the voice
bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father--that by him
and through him and of him the worlds are and were created, and the
inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God." [12]

Four years after the vision of Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, viz.,
April 6th, 1836, other visions of Jesus Christ and several mighty
angels were given to the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery. The visions
occurred during the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. The first was
of Jesus Christ, who declared his acceptance of the temple. The angels
came to deliver certain keys of authority to Joseph Smith. Following is
the Prophet's account of the several manifestations:

"The vail was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding
were opened. We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the
pulpit, before us, and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold
in color like amber. His eyes were as a flame of fire, the hair of
his head was white like pure snow, his countenance shone above the
brightness of the sun, and his voice was as the sound of the rushing
of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying 'I am the first and
the last, I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain, I am your advocate
with the Father. Behold, your sins are forgiven you, you are clean
before me, therefore lift up your heads and rejoice. Let the hearts
of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice
who have, with their might, built this house to my name; for behold,
I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here, and I will
manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house. Yea, I will appear
unto my servants and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people
will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house, yea,
the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice
in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the
endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house; and
the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands, and this is the
beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of
my people, even so, Amen.

"After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us,
and Moses appeared before us and committed unto us the keys of the
gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading
of the ten tribes from the land of the north.

"After this Elias appeared and committed the dispensation of the gospel
of Abraham, saying, that in us, and our seed, all generations after us
should be blessed.

"After this vision closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon
us, for Elijah, the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting
death, stood before us, and said: 'Behold the time is fully come, which
was spoken by the mouth of Malachi, testifying that he [Elijah] should
be sent before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come, to turn the
hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers,
lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse. Therefore the keys of
this dispensation are committed into your hands, and by this ye may
know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the
doors." [13]

There were numerous other revelations given to Joseph Smith and to
others through him; for he was God's mouthpiece to men in this new
dispensation, both before and after the church was organized. Some of
these revelations were received through the Urim and Thummim which
the angel Moroni gave into his possession in connection with the gold
plates of the Book of Mormon. [14] Other revelations were received
through inspiration from God acting directly upon the Prophet. Of the
manner in which these last named revelations were received, a prominent
writer and officer in the church who was present on several such
occasions, says. "Each sentence was uttered slowly and very distinctly,
and with a pause between each sufficiently long for it to be recorded
by an ordinary writer in long hand. This was the manner in which all
his written revelations were dictated and written. There was never
any hesitation, reviewing or reading back to keep the thread of the
subject; neither did any of these communications undergo revisions,
interlinings, or corrections. As he dictated them, so they stood, so
far as I have witnessed; and I was present to witness the dictation of
several communications of several pages." [15]

With the revelations thus received, as well as those received through
the Urim and Thummim, we shall have more or less to do in this work;
but the visions and ministrations of angels related in this and the
preceding chapter constitute the basis upon which the work of God in
this new dispensation is founded. From the information and authority
received through them comes the organization of the Church of Christ
and the proclamation of the Gospel in all the world.

The manifestations are of a character which preclude all possibility of
the parties who received them being mistaken. If the great work of God
in these last days, were founded alone upon the internal inspiration or
illumination of the Prophet Joseph, the probability of his belonging
to that very large number of well-meaning but mistaken men who have
thought themselves inspired of God would be very much increased; for
nothing is more common perhaps than self-deception in such matters.
"Mormonism," however, came into existence not alone from internal
inspiration, or divine inward illumination of Joseph Smith; but from
what we may term external revelations as well; revelations which appeal
to the senses of the mind as well as to the inner consciousness. Review
them I pray you:

God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ are beheld in the full light
of day--nay, in an effulgence of light, brighter than the sunlight
at noon-day. And a direct conversation is held with them upon a
matter-of-fact subject for some length of time.

One of the resurrected prophets of ancient America appears three times
in one night, and twice the following day; he conversed upon a variety
of subjects, but the main purpose of his visitation was to reveal the
existence of the record of an ancient people. At the end of each year,
for four successive years, this same heavenly messenger repeats his
visits, and at the last gives into the possession of Joseph Smith a
volume of gold plates, the engravings on which the Prophet translated
into the English language.

An angel exhibits these same plates to other men, and permits them to
examine the engravings thereon.

Eight other men see and handle the plates and examine the characters
engraven on them.

Another angel, also a resurrected prophet, appears in broad day light
and lays his hands upon the heads of two men, viz: Joseph Smith and
Oliver Cowdery, and ordains them to the Aaronic Priesthood.

Three of the ancient apostles appear and ordain the same men to the
Melchisedek or higher Priesthood.

Jesus is seen by two men, viz., Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, at the
right hand of God the Father, and a protracted conversation ensues.

Jesus is again seen in the Temple at Kirtland, by Joseph Smith and
Oliver Cowdery and again his voice is heard.

On the same occasion Moses, Elias, and Elijah, the prophet, appeared
and conferred certain keys of authority upon two men--Joseph Smith and
Oliver Cowdery.

Now all this appeals to the outward senses. It is matter of fact. It
is tangible. It all occurred and is a solemn verity, or it is all
wicked fabrication. A fabrication it is possible for it to be, but it
can never be resolved into a mere mistake--a self-deception. The men
who affirm all of it to have taken place may have been villains, bent
on deluding mankind; for wicked men still lie in wait to deceive; but
they can never be classed as well-meaning but _mistaken_ men. Either
what Joseph Smith and his associates affirm is true, or they are base
and conscious imposters. The manifestations of which they proclaim
themselves witnesses are so palpable to the senses--to sight, and
touch and hearing; they occur at such times and places, and under
such circumstances, and are so frequently repeated, that there can be
no possibility of mistake. In the consideration of their testimony,
therefore, there is no middle ground between the extremes of absolute
truthfulness or absolute falsehood, and I ask the readers of this book
to take up the investigation upon which we are about to enter in this


1. After the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated were
delivered to the prophet Joseph, the Lord had occasion to reprove him
several times for his disposition to yield to the persuasion of men.
When he received the record of the Nephites the Lord put him under
a covenant to show them to no one except to those to whom the Lord
should command him to show them (Doc. & Cov., Sec. v. 3). When he
had translated enough to make 116 pages of old foolscap manuscript,
Martin Harris continually importuned him to be allowed to show that
much of the work to his friends. This the Lord forbid, but Harris
continuing his importunings, and Joseph in turn petitioning the Lord
at Harris' request, permission was at last granted, and the MS. was
stolen. Joseph, for thus yielding to the persuasion of Martin Harris
after the word of the Lord was known, lost for a season his gift to
translate, and the plates were taken from him. When they were returned,
and permission given to continue the work of translation, the Lord
thus reproved him for his disposition to yield to persuasion: "Behold,
you have been intrusted with these things, but how strict were your
commandments; and remember, also, the promises which were made to
you, if you did not transgress them; and behold, how oft you have
transgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in
the persuasions of men!" (Doc. & Cov., Sec. iii). And again the Lord
said to him: "And now, I command you, my servant Joseph, to repent and
walk more uprightly before me, and yield to the persuasions of men
no more; and that you be firm in keeping the commandments wherewith
I have commanded you, and if you do this, behold I grant unto you
eternal life, even if you should be slain." (Doc. & Cov., Sec. v).
But this characteristic was only manifested early in his career.
Or if it appeared later in life, it was only in relation to things
indifferent--that is, in things that did not involve a sacrifice of

2. Extracts from the History of Joseph Smith, "Pearl of Great Price,"
(1888 edition), pp. 89, 90, 91.

3. "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou
camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and ordained thee a
prophet unto the nations"--The Lord to Jeremiah, Jeremiah ch. i:5.

4. Pearl of Great Price, p. 94 (ed. of 1888).

5. It certainly ought not to be difficult for Christians to believe
in the existence of resurrected men; for in Matthew's Gospel we read:
"And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept
arose, and came out of the graves after his (Christ's) resurrection,
and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many" (Matt. xxvii:
52, 53). If the ancient saints on the eastern hemisphere who were
worthy arose from the dead after the resurrection of Jesus, it is not
improbable, but rather reasonable, that the worthy saints who had lived
upon the western hemisphere also should be raised from the dead.

6. This is a very brief and imperfect account of the coming forth of
the Book of Mormon. A fuller account will be given in a volume which
will treat upon the Book of Mormon as a 'Witness for God, now in course
of preparation by the author, and I shall then write in greater detail
of its coming forth. I could not do so in this volume on account of
the space it would require, and besides, such an account more properly
belongs to the part of my work that will treat exclusively of that book.

7. Matt. x.

8. Matt. xvi.

9. Doc. & Cov., Sec. xxi.

10. Sidney Rigdon, born in Pennsylvania, 19th of February, 1793, had
been prominently connected with what is known as the "Campbellite" or
Reformed Baptist movement in the United States; but was converted to a
belief in the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith, by Elder
Parley P. Pratt, who first presented him with the Book of Mormon. At
the time indicated in the text he was a prominent Elder in the Church
and closely associated with Joseph Smith.

11. In the English version of the New Testament the passage reads: "And
shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of
life; and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation."
St. John v: 29.

12. Doc. and Cov. Sec. lxxvi.

13. Doc. and Cov., Sec. cx.

14. The revelations known to have been received through the Urim and
Thummim are the following: Doc. and Cov. Sec. iii, _Ibid,_ Sec. vi,
Sec. vii, Sec. xi, Sec, xiv, Sec. xv, Sec. xvi, Sec. xviii. There were
doubtless others received through that sacred instrument, but these are
specially mentioned as being so received.

15. Autb. of Parley P. Pratt, p. 65, 66.



Since, as we have seen, a new dispensation of the gospel in the last
days is to be given to man; and as neither the "Reformers" of the
sixteenth century, nor any person since their day and before Joseph
Smith has even made any pretension that God by a new revelation and the
ministry of angels restored the gospel; and as that is the manner in
which God has promised to restore the gospel, may not Joseph Smith be
the prophet of the New Dispensation, the instrument in the hands of God
to bring to pass his purpose in the great work of the last days? Some
man must be chosen, why not he?

These questions lead me to the consideration of those objections urged
against Joseph Smith as reasons for believing that he was not a prophet
of God. First of all, I shall consider the one made against him on
account of his humble birth and lowly station in life.

It would be well-nigh an endless, as also a useless task to repeat
what has been said of Joseph Smith on this score. Not content with the
facts in the case, malice has employed misrepresentation to degrade his
family in the estimation of the world; and sneer and ridicule have done
what they could to cast discredit upon his pretensions, by pointing to
the rock from whence he was hewn, and the supposed pit from whence he
was digged. His friends and followers are prepared to admit the whole
truth in respect to his humble origin and lowly station in life. The
character of his parents, the circumstances under which he himself was
reared are detailed in chapter X of this book.

It will be remembered that his forefathers were among the earlier
settlers of New England; that his father was a farmer, industrious,
honorable, though in humble circumstance; and under the necessity of
laboring with his hands in wood or field to support his large family.
It has already been said that the youthful Prophet Joseph shared these

But of what value is the objection of lowly birth and humble station?
Is it to be argued that if the Lord had a communication to make to
mankind, such as Joseph Smith claims to have received, he would have
chosen some of the great ones of the earth, one of high birth, of
vast fortune, of profound learning, of deep knowledge and famous for
eloquence? Such an one man might choose, but how often has God done
otherwise! Let the roll in part be called: Moses and Aaron, the sons
of an Israelitish slave; Joshua, the same; David, a shepherd; the
prophet Amos, a shepherd and dresser of sycamore trees; the apostles
of Jesus Christ, men of the lowliest birth and humblest occupations;
Peter and Andrew his brother, were fishermen; John and James, the sons
of Zebedee, also fishermen; Matthew, a despised tax-collector; Paul, a
tent-maker; and while of the occupations of the rest of the apostles
nothing is known definitely, we have every reason to believe that they
were men of the humblest extraction and meanest occupation.

These are some of those whom God called to do his work. He has not
always confined his choice to men of this class; sometimes he has
chosen men of royal descent and from what are called the higher walks
of life. Because Deity has chosen his servants so frequently from those
of humble extraction and occupation, it is not for me to flout the
rich and learned and great. That were an arrogance as offensive to the
spirit of right reason and to heaven, as that which I condemn in those
who affect to despise the Prophet Joseph because of his humble birth
and circumstances. By citing the fact that God in other ages has chosen
men of lowly birth and mean occupation, I only desire to show that
there is no value in the objection urged against Joseph Smith on the
ground of his humble station in life.

Let Joseph Smith's birth be as humble as it will, it cannot be more
lowly than that of Jesus Christ. The fortunes of the mother of the
prophet were not more fallen than those of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
A log house in Sharon, Vermont, was not a more humble birth-place than
a stable in Bethlehem. The rude cradle of Joseph Smith, made by his
father's hands, though rough hewn, was at least equal to the ruder
manger of the stable at Bethlehem; and the occupation of husband-man,
which the father of Joseph followed, and in which the Prophet in
boyhood assisted him, is not more humble as an occupation than that
of a carpenter which the supposed father of Jesus followed, and in
which Jesus doubtless assisted him, before entering upon his public
ministry. Indeed, I may say that neither Joseph Smith nor any other
prophet has been permitted to start from a more lowly station in life
than the Son of God; for it is fitting that he who is to ascend above
all things--all heights, principalities and powers, should also descend
below all things, that he might in all things touch all points of human
experience so that whatever the experience of man might be, however
lowly his station, however distressing his misfortunes; however poor,
forsaken, desolate; however ridiculed, despised, hated, persecuted;
however tempted--looking down from his exalted throne at the right hand
of God, with his soul swelling with compassion, Jesus might say--"The
Son of Man hath descended below them all." [1]

The objections urged against Joseph Smith on the ground of his lowly
birth and humble occupation are without value. Writing to the saints at
Corinth, the apostle to the Gentiles says: "For ye see your calling,
brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty,
not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of
the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things
of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things
of the world, and things, which are despised, hath God chosen, yea,
and things which are not, to bring to naught the things which are."
[2] The reason God assigns for pursuing such a course in the selection
of his servants is said to be, "That no flesh should glory in his
presence. * * * That according as it is written, he that glorieth, let
him glory in the Lord." [3] If the wisdom of this method of procedure
does not appeal to the intelligence of man, let him accept it as an
evidence that God's ways are not as man's ways, nor his thoughts as
man's thoughts. Of this, too, we may be assured--that as the heavens
are higher than the earth, so are God's ways higher than man's ways;
and his thoughts than man's thoughts. [4] Moreover, as I have remarked
elsewhere, [5] it has become proverbial that all great movements, all
reformations, all revolutions must produce their own leaders; and
this is true of the great work of the last days--the establishment of
the Church of Christ on earth--as it is of any other great movement.
Leaders in established usages and institutions, political, social or
religious, are seldom or never converted to innovations. They usually
consider it to their interest to oppose change, especially those
changes which from their very nature, cast any shadow of doubt upon the
correctness of existing customs or institutions with which they are
connected. Hence it happened that the Jewish Rabbis, the priests, the
scribes, the members of the great Sanhedrim did not accept the doctrine
of Messiah and become the chief apostles, seventies and elders of the
new church. On the contrary, this class were the stubbornest opponents
of the doctrines taught by the Son of God, and his most implacable
enemies. It was the common people who heard him gladly, and from their
number he chose the apostles, who, through the God-given powers of the
priesthood conferred upon them, shook the old systems of morals and
religion from their foundations.

From the very nature of things it must be necessary that men whose
minds are unwarped by prevailing customs and traditions, should be
selected to establish a new order of religion, of government or
society. How could the Jewish priests and rabbis, bound by long custom
to a slavish adherence to the outward forms and ceremonies of the
Mosaic ritual, the spirit of which had long been made of no effect by
the rubbish of false traditions, open their minds to receive the larger
and nobler doctrines of the gospel of Christ unmixed with the pomp and
circumstance which men of that age considered essential to religion?
Can men educated to an attachment for despotic government, and whose
interests are bound up with its maintenance, be expected to look with
favor on democratic principles, or become the champions of a republic?

Finally, were the religious leaders of the early part of the nineteenth
century educated to the idea that revelation had ceased; that the voice
of prophecy was forever silenced; that the ministration of angels was
ended; that the miraculous powers of the Holy Ghost were done away;
that the ancient organization of the church was no longer needed--were
such men, filled with pride which the learning of the world too
often infuses into the hearts of those who possess it--were such men
qualified to stand at the head of, and become leading actors in the
dispensation of the fullness of times? A dispensation opened by a new
revelation, by numerous visitations of angels, and to end eventually in
the full establishment of the Church of Christ, the restoration of the
house of Israel and the complete redemption of the earth and all its

Such a work was too large, too high and too deep for minds filled with
false sectarian ideas. Hence God chose for his servant to stand at the
head of this great and last dispensation, a man whose mind was unwarped
by false education; but one of large capacity; possessing breadth and
freedom of thought, of sanguine, fearless temperament: a child of
nature, with a conscience unseared by worldly guile and a stranger to
motives other than those dictated by an honest purpose; and withal,
full of implicit confidence in God--a confidence born of a living faith
in the fact of Deity's existence, and a consciousness of the rectitude
of his own intentions and life.

As ill-founded as the objection based upon his humble parentage and
station in life is that objection which arises out of the fact that
he was evil spoken of by the world. Let not the reader here confound
reputation with character. They are quite distinct, I assure you.
The latter is what one is; the former may be a fool's estimate of
one; or, even worse, it may be and often is a thing created by liars
and knaves--formed by misrepresentations and set on its feet by
malice. When favorable it is often obtained without merit, and as
often lost without deserving. But with character it is not so. That
stands independent of the estimate of fools or the misrepresentation
of knaves. It is formed in great part by ourselves; in part by our
surroundings; in part by God. It is what we are irrespective of what
the world may think or say of us.

I have said so much that the reader may be reminded that a man's
character may be good, while his reputation may be villainous; or _vice
versa._ There is nothing, therefore, that is so unsafe a criterion
by which to estimate a man as by what the world says of him--by his

Especially is this true of the servants of God. Commissioned as they
usually are to reprove the world of sin and unrighteousness, and to
call mankind to repentance, they have appeared as rude disturbers of
the peace and ease of mankind--iconoclasts bent on breaking the images
on which men set their hearts. The world does not love them, and what
it hates it maligns--and thence, with the world, springs the reputation
of the servants of God. The balances in which they are weighed are
false, hence the announcement of their value from that source is untrue.

Judged by his reputation with the world when he lived among men, the
Lord Jesus himself would be condemned as a blaspheming malefactor; a
violator of ancient customs; a traitor to Caesar's government; one so
base as to be in league with Lucifer by whose power he cast out devils;
by magic healed the sick and blind and halt; who for his many crimes
was crucified between two thieves; and whose body his disciples--being
of like spirit with their master--stole, and then sent out the lying
report that Jesus was risen from the dead. Such was the world's account
of Christ, in his day, and in the days of his apostles--such the
reputation of the Son of God! If judged by it would he not be rejected
as an imposter? How unjust would such a judgment be! To those who
reject Joseph Smith as a servant and witness for God, because he was,
and is evil spoken of by the world, I put this question: "May not the
judgment you pass upon him--which you base upon what the world, and
generally what his enemies, say of him, be equally unjust and untrue?"

"If the world hate you," said Jesus to his apostles, "ye know it hated
me before it hated you. If ye were of the world the world would love
his own: but because ye are not of the world but I have chosen you out
of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I
said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have
persecuted me they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying
they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you
for my name's sake because they know not him that sent me." [6]

In the light of these sayings of the Lord Jesus, of what value is the
objection urged against Joseph Smith as a Prophet and witness for God
based upon the fact that he was evil spoken of by the world? Why, since
he was a servant of the Most High, sent to reprove the world of its
unrighteousness, may we not reasonably expect that the world would
speak against him? Would there not be something manifestly wrong if it
did not do it? "Blessed are ye," said Jesus, "when men shall hate you,
and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach
you, and cast out your name as evil for the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice
ye in that day, and leap for joy; for behold, your reward is great in
heaven: _for in like manner did their fathers unto the prophets._" [7]

It is nothing strange, then, that the great Prophet of the new
dispensation should be spoken evil against. 'Tis an old tale, this
slandering of God's servants by the world, so old that one wonders that
men have not become so accustomed to it that they can assign to it its
true importance, or rather its want of importance. But it seems to be
the doom of every age in this matter to follow in the footsteps of that
which preceded it--to build the tombs of the prophets and garnish the
sepulchres of the righteous, and say, "If we had been in the days of
our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of
the prophets." [8] And yet with strange inconsistency, these builders
of tombs, these garnishers of sepulchres, while they profess to honor
the prophets of past ages, persecute to the death the prophets of their
own days! Stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, they do
always resist the Holy Ghost: as their fathers did, so do they--which
of the prophets have they not persecuted?

"Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you! _for so did their
fathers of the false prophets_!" [9] Stranger grows the inconsistency
of human conduct. The true rejected; the false enshrined! and so
common has become the practice that one great thinker [10] touching
the theme said: "There is always something great in that man against
whom the world exclaims, at whom every one throws a stone, and on whose
character all attempt to fix a thousand crimes without being able to
prove one."

Here I may pause again to ask: What is the value of the objection made
to Joseph Smith as a Prophet and witness for God, based upon the fact
that he was evil spoken of by the world? That has been the heritage of
the servants of God so long that the memory of man runneth not to the
contrary. Had Joseph Smith failed to have received this treatment at
the hands of the world, he would have failed of one of the marks of
a true Prophet. Had he been received with open arms by the world, he
could with some effect have been denounced as a false prophet; for in
such manner they have been received:--"Woe unto you when all men shall
speak well of you, for so did their fathers of the false prophets!"
The fact here stated by the Son of God is a complete answer to the
objections based on the calumny of the world against the prophets of
God in all subsequent times; and no less an answer to the objections
urged against Joseph Smith than to other prophets.


1. These were the words of the Lord to Joseph Smith when confined a
prisoner for the truth's sake in Liberty Jail, Clay County, State of
Missouri: "If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art
in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers;
if thou art in perils by land or by sea; if thou art accused with
all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee * *
* * and if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of
murderers, and the sentence of death be passed upon thee; if thou be
cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if
fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and
all the elements combine to hedge up thy way; and above all, if the
very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou
my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be
for thy good. _The Son of Man hath descended below them all._" (Doc.
and Cov. Sec. cxxii.) So also Paul: "Where in all things it behoved
him (Jesus) to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a
merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make
reconciliation for the sins of the people. For that he himself hath
suffered, being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted."
(Heb. ii: 17, 18.)

2. I Cor. i: 26, 27.

3. I Cor. i: 29, 31.

4. Isaiah lv: 8, 9.

5. Life of John Taylor, chapter 1.

6. St. John xv: 18-21.

7. Luke vi: 22, 23.

8. Matt. xxiii. 29,

9. Luke vi: 26.

10. Zimmerman.



It will be argued that the ancient and true prophets were _falsely_
accused, and proceeded against, not because they were law-breakers and
immoral persons, but because of the message they bore; while it is
charged that Joseph Smith was a very vile person, lawless and immoral,
and so odious at the last that the people rose _en masse_ and crushed
him! Thus has reasoned every persecutor in every age from Cain to the
last under whose hands a martyr fell. Can it in reason be expected
that human nature will fall so low that we shall find men who will
be so recklessly wicked as to avow their intention to kill men for
righteousness sake? Why even devils seek out some semblance of virtue
in which to enshroud their evil deeds. There never yet was man so vile,
if he retained his reason, but sought out some excuse to sanctify his
crime. It was not because Jesus of Nazareth was pure and upright in his
own heart; gracious in speech; dignified and gentle in action; merciful
to the wayward; considerate to the unfortunate; loving and kind to the
poor--God-like in spirit, in thought, in conduct--a reprover of the
wicked, a reformer of evil ways--it was not for these qualities that
he was hailed before the high priest, thence to the Sanhedrim, there
condemned and thence dragged to Pilate's judgment seat to have the
sentence confirmed; and thence whipped through the streets of Jerusalem
to Golgotha and there crucified! Not for his virtues was this done.
Could any one suppose that the Sanhedrim of Israel, the dignified
senate of the Jews, could condemn anyone to death for righteousness?
No, certainly not! It was because Jesus was to them a wicked imposter;
who, being in the form of man, and so far as they could discern, very
like the rest of his fellow-men--made himself a God [1]--was guilty of
blasphemy. It was written in their law that he that blasphemed should
be put to death, and all the people should say Amen. [2] Jesus was
found guilty of blasphemy by the Sanhedrim, and accordingly condemned
to death. The sentence was confirmed by the Roman judge and executed.
The procedure was strictly according to the forms of the law, and to
the Jews of that generation Jesus of Nazareth was not condemned and
executed for that he was a prophet, and the Son of God; but because he
was a pestilential fellow, a mover of sedition, a blaspheming imposter.
And so it has been in all ages of the world. All the martyrs that ever
fell were, to those who struck the blow, lawless, dangerous characters,
of whom it were a blessing to rid the world; and so it promises to be
to the last hour of recorded time.

In view of the fact that so much which is evil has been said of Joseph
Smith I think it proper here to give some account of his character. Of
necessity what is said must be brief.

It would be impossible as also unprofitable to reproduce all or any
considerable part of what has been said of him by his enemies, since
it would be only a repetition of slanders and untruths which have
spent their force and accomplished nothing. It will be sufficient
to say that on the unfriendly side it is claimed that--in the
language of one who just now is recognized as one of earth's leading
philosophers--Professor Huxley--"There is a complete consensus of
testimony that the founder of Mormonism, one Joseph Smith, was a
low-minded, ignorant scamp, and that he stole the scriptures, which he
propounded; not being clever enough to forge even such contemptible
stuff as they contain. Nevertheless, he must have been a man of some
force of character, for a considerable number of disciples soon
gathered about him." [3]

I have selected this passage from a mass of such matter at command,
first, because of the prominence of the one who utters it; second,
because in it is focused the spirit of coarseness and vulgarity
characteristic of all that has been said by those who have rejected
the claims of Joseph Smith as a witness and Prophet of God; and third,
because it may be looked upon as the "Complete consensus of the
testimony" of his enemies and presents all they have to say against
him in a single sentence, slightly modified by one other sentence,
recognizing the prophet's force of character.

I am happy also in having another utterance, representative of another
class of men who have viewed the character of the Prophet from the
standpoint of the _savant_--the dispassionate philosopher looking at
passing events without prejudice, and speculating upon what shall grow
out of them--such was Josiah Quincy, author of the book "Figures of the
Past." He visited Joseph Smith at Nauvoo a little before the tragedy at
Carthage, and after the Prophet's death wrote:

"It is by no means improbable that some future text-book, for the use
of generations yet unborn, will contain a question something like this:
What historical American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most
powerful influence upon the destinies of his countrymen? And it is by
no means impossible that the answer to that interrogatory may be thus
written: _Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet._ And the reply, absurd as
it doubtless seems to most men now, may be an obvious commonplace to
their descendants. History deals in surprises and paradoxes quite as
startling as this. The man who establishes a religion in this age of
free debate, who was and is today accepted by hundreds of thousands as
a direct emissary from the Most High--such a rare human being is not to
be disposed of by pelting his memory with unsavory epithets. * * * The
most vital questions Americans are asking each other today have to do
with this man and what he has left us. * * * Burning questions, they
are, which must give a prominent place in the history of the country
to that sturdy self-asserter whom I visited at Nauvoo. Joseph Smith,
claiming to be an inspired teacher, faced adversity, such as few men
have been called to meet, enjoyed a brief season of prosperity, such
as few men have ever attained, and, finally, forty-three days after I
saw him, went cheerfully to a martyr's death. When he surrendered his
person to Governor Ford, in order to prevent the shedding of blood, the
Prophet had a presentiment of what was before him. 'I am going like a
lamb to the slaughter,' he is reported to have said, 'but I am as calm
as a summer's morning. I have a conscience void of offense and shall
die innocent.'" [4]

Of course testimony which sustains the virtue and uprightness of
Joseph Smith is abundant, but I shall content myself by a very limited
reference to it; depending not so much upon the testimony of men as
upon the work he has accomplished for the vindication of his character.
But I think it proper that the world should know in what esteem he was
held by his friends and followers.

First, I introduce the description and estimation of the character of
the Prophet by Parley P. Pratt, who was intimately associated with
him, who shared his toils, labors, persecutions and imprisonment; and
who spent his life in preaching the gospel taught him by the youthful
Prophet. Elder Pratt says: "President Joseph Smith was in person tall
and well built, strong and active; of a light complexion, light hair,
blue eyes, very little beard, and of an expression peculiar to himself,
on which the eye naturally rested with interest, and was never weary
of beholding. His countenance was ever mild, affable, beaming with
intelligence and benevolence, mingled with a look of interest and an
unconscious smile or cheerfulness, and entirely free from all restraint
or affectation of gravity; and there was something connected with the
serene and penetrating glance of his eye, as if he could penetrate the
deepest abyss of the human heart, gaze into eternity, penetrate the
heavens and comprehend all worlds.

"He possessed a noble boldness and independence of character; his
manner was easy and familiar; his rebuke terrible as the lion; his
benevolence unbounded as the ocean; his intelligence universal, and
his language abounding in original eloquence peculiar to himself--not
polished--not studied--not smoothed and softened by education and
refined by art, but flowing forth in its own native simplicity, and
profusely abounding in variety of subject and manner. He interested
and edified, while, at the same time, he amused and entertained his
audience; and none listened to him that were ever weary with his
discourse. I have even known him to retain a congregation of willing
and anxious listeners for many hours together, in the midst of cold
or sunshine, rain or wind, while they were laughing at one moment and
weeping the next. Even his most bitter enemies were generally overcome,
if he could once get their ears. I have known him when chained and
surrounded with armed murderers and assassins who were heaping upon him
every possible insult and abuse, rise up in the majesty of a son of God
and rebuke them, in the name of Jesus Christ, till they quailed before
him, dropped their weapons, and, on their knees, begged his pardon and
ceased their abuse.

"In short, in him the characters of a Daniel and a Cyrus were
wonderfully blended. The gifts, wisdom and devotion of a Daniel were
united with the boldness, courage, temperance, perseverance and
generosity of a Cyrus. And had he been spared a martyr's fate till
mature manhood and age, he was certainly endowed with powers and
abilities to have revolutionized the world in many respects, and to
have transmitted to posterity a name associated with more brilliant and
glorious acts than has yet fallen to the lot of mortal. As it is his
works will live to endless ages, and unnumbered millions yet unborn
will mention his name with honor, as a noble instrument in the hands of
God, who, during his short and youthful career, laid the foundation of
that kingdom spoken of by Daniel, the prophet, which should break in
pieces all other kingdoms and stand forever." [5]

Brigham Young, the successor of Joseph Smith in the Presidency of the
Church, said of him:

"From the first day I knew Brother Joseph to the time of his death, a
better man never lived upon the face of the earth. * * * Joseph Smith
was not killed because he was deserving of it, nor because he was a
wicked man; but because he was a virtuous man. I know that to be so, as
well as I know that the sun now shines. * * * I know for myself that
Joseph Smith was the subject of forty-eight lawsuits, and the most of
them I witnessed with my own eyes. But not one action could ever be
made to bear against him. No law or constitutional right did he ever
violate. He was innocent and virtuous; he kept the laws of his country
and lived above them; out of forty-eight lawsuits, not one charge could
be substantiated against him. He was pure, just and holy as to the
keeping of the law." [6]

John Taylor, who succeeded Brigham Young as President of the Church,
and who in Carthage jail may be said to have shared the martyrdom with
the Prophet Joseph--for he was savagely wounded when the Prophet was
slain--says of him: "I was acquainted with Joseph Smith for years.
I have traveled with him; I have been with him in private and in
public; I have associated with him in councils of all kinds; I have
listened hundreds of times to his public teachings, and his advice
to his friends and associates of a more private nature. I have been
at his house and seen his deportment in his family. I have seen him
arraigned before the courts of his country, and seen him honorably
acquitted, and delivered from the pernicious breath of slander, and
the machinations and falsehoods of wicked and corrupt men. I was
with him living, and with him when he died; when he was murdered
in Carthage jail by a ruthless mob with their faces painted, and
headed by a Methodist minister named Williams--I was there, and was
myself wounded in my body. I have seen him under all these various
circumstances, and I testify before God, angels and men that he was a
good, honorable, virtuous man--that his doctrines were good, scriptural
and wholesome--that his precepts were such as became a man of God--that
his private and public character was unimpeachable--and that he lived
and died as a man of God." [7]

If of these testimonies it shall be said they are borne by men who
were Joseph Smith's friends and followers--interested parties, bent
on perpetuating the frauds he inaugurated, I would reply by asking:
Whose testimony do Christians accept as representing the true character
of Jesus Christ? Certainly _not_ the testimony of the Sadducees
and Pharisees; but the testimony of Matthew, of Mark, of Luke and
John--"his friends and followers," the infidel exclaims--"_interested
parties,_ bent on perpetuating the frauds he inaugurated!" Will the
Christian world because of that preposterous claim that Christ's
friends and followers are not proper witnesses of his life and
character, give up the evidence supplied in the testimonies of his
friends to the uprightness and purity of his life, and the divinity
of himself and his mission? Ah, no! They will ask rather, "Who so
competent to bear testimony of his life and the divinity of his
character as those who intimately knew him, who lived with him, who
shared his joys and his sorrows; who were in sympathy with his life's
mission and could enter into its spirit?" I only ask that the same
reasoning be applied to the testimony given by the friends of Joseph

One thing connected with the character of Joseph Smith, and one
that distinguishes him from false prophets and mere enthusiasts is
the unaffectedness of his conduct. It was the prevailing idea of
his day and even now that the calling of a prophet is inseparably
connected with a life of austerity--with inordinate fastings and
midnight prayers; with the vows of monastic life, with gloom and
self-mortifications; with hair shirts, long robes, and sandals; with
long hair, beard unkempt and bodies filthy--as if prophets had no time
to keep clean--with solemn, awful brows and measured tread--lives
wherein there is nothing natural--no sunshine, nor smiles nor
rose-lipped laughter--as if communing with God was such awful business
that it chills the heart and drives all happiness out of the life of
man! Joseph Smith was nothing of all this. There was no affectation
about him. He complied with the customs of his time and nation in
respect to his apparel--scrupulously neat and clean therein; face
smooth shaven, and hair cut according to the prevailing fashion. While
temperate in his habits and content with the humble fare which adverse
circumstances during the most of his life forced upon him, he was not
averse to good food and pleasant surroundings--he was not the prophet
of sackcloth and ashes. While dignified in deportment and having a due
comprehension of the magnitude of his calling and the work committed to
his hands, there was nothing strained or unnatural in his demeanor--no
striving after effect; and often he unbent, played ball, wrestled, or
romped with children--with whom he was a general favorite--with all
the joyousness and freedom of a boy. And what may be regarded as one
of the true tests of his greatness is, that while here and there his
happiness and freedom shocked some over-pious persons who looked on
from without, and expected austerity and gloom in one claiming to be a
prophet, he never lost caste with his friends for his unconventional
conduct. He was the Prophet of a joyous countenance; of unconventional
but upright deportment; the apostle of cleanliness and becoming
apparel. He believed that serving God should make men happier and that
the good things of the earth were made for the comfort and to increase
the happiness of the righteous.

To take such a stand as this in the face of the traditional ideal of
a prophet, stamps him as an original character, and separates him by
long distances from the mere enthusiasts and the false prophets whose
extreme pretensions to sanctity, whose studied gloom, whose affectation
of impassioned devotion and assumption of the garb and supposed severe
demeanor of ancient prophets--all too plainly proclaim their hypocrisy
and declare them players of parts they have assigned themselves.


1. John x: 22-37, also ch. v: 17, 18.

2. Levit. xxiv: 15, 16.

3. Agnosticism and Christianity (Humbolt Library ed.) p. 28.

4. _Figures of the Past,_ pp. 376, 377, 378.

5. Autobiography of P. P. Pratt, pp. 47, 48.

6. Journal of Discourses.

7. Life of John Taylor, pp. 213, 214.



Having considered the objections urged against Joseph Smith and
ascertained their value, I am now prepared to proceed with the
testimony and argument which sustains my fourth thesis; viz.:--Joseph
Smith is a New Witness for God, a Prophet divinely authorized to teach
the gospel and establish the Church of Christ on earth.

I have already argued at some length that the only way the gospel
could be restored to the earth when once taken from it was by a new
revelation. It was upon the principle of revelation that Jesus promised
to build his church; it was through the ministration of an angel that
the Apostle John foresaw that the gospel would be restored in the hour
of God's judgment; and it was at this particular point that Joseph
Smith started, thus differing from all other religious teachers who
have arisen in modern times.

He appealed to God for wisdom, as we have seen; and that appeal brought
a revelation from God the Father, who introduced his Son Jesus Christ.
The lad was informed that God accepted none of the religious societies
as his church or kingdom, but was promised that the Church of Christ
would be restored to the earth and that he should be an instrument in
the hands of the Lord in bringing the event to pass. Subsequently, the
angel Moroni visited him, revealing the existence of the Book of Mormon
and finally giving it into his hands to translate into the English
language. This book itself contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus
Christ as taught to the ancient inhabitants of the western hemisphere;
but in addition to this the angel Moroni met with Joseph Smith at the
hill Cumorah on the 22nd of September for four successive years, and
from him, at each of the annual meetings, he "received instruction and
intelligence * * * respecting what the Lord was going to do, and how
and in what manner his kingdom was to be conducted in the last days."
[1] Thus Joseph Smith started right. He started upon the only principle
that the church could again be re-established; he received the gospel
through the ministration of an angel--in just the manner a recognized
prophet of God had foretold it would be restored.

All this, however, I may be told, was but a bold stroke of genius on
the part of a bold imposter. That might answer for an explanation if it
were not for the fact that it all happened in connection with a youth
not yet parted from the innocence of childhood. Then, again, why is it,
if this happiness on the part of Joseph Smith in starting right is to
be attributed to the master stroke of genius--why is it that some one
of the many imposters who have arisen among Christians, and founded
sects, have not hit upon the plan of announcing a new revelation from
God and the restoration of the gospel through the ministration of
an angel? Surely among the many imposters and "reformers" who have
arisen since the days of Jesus there have been some who were not
lacking that which men recognize as genius! Why was it left for a
mere lad in the wilds of Western New York to display more "genius"
than all the imposters since the days of Christ? The fact that one so
unsophisticated in the ways of the world had the boldness to announce a
new revelation to the world, and proclaim a restoration of the gospel
through the ministration of an angel, carries on the face of it much
evidence of its truth.

Not only, however, did our Prophet start right but he continued right.
He not only received the gospel through the ministration of an angel;
but he received his authority to preach it, administer its ordinances
and build up the Church of Christ from those who last held the keys
of that authority on earth. From John who when on earth was called
the Baptist, now raised from the dead and become an angel of God,
he received the Aaronic Priesthood, which gave him power to preach
repentance and baptize for the remission of sins; from Peter, James
and John, the three chief apostles of the dispensation ushered in by
the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus, he received the keys of the
Melchisedek Priesthood--the Holy Apostleship, which gave him power to
establish the church of Christ to the uttermost and regulate all its
affairs; from Moses he received the keys of the gathering of Israel
from the four quarters of the earth and the leading of the ten tribes
from the land of the north; [2] from Elijah the keys of the priesthood
to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of
the children to the fathers, according to the prediction of Malachi. [3]

Thus he was called and ordained of God through divinely appointed
agents as was Aaron, and therefore fulfilled the law which provides
that those who minister for men in things pertaining to God, must be
called of God as Aaron was, by prophecy and revelation.

In this development of the work of God, one sees a fitness of
things. Look for a moment at the work God has proposed to himself
to accomplish: The time has come for the restoration of the gospel;
for the reestablishment of his church; for the ushering in of the
dispensation of the fullness of times in which he has promised to
gather together in one all things in Christ, "both which are in heaven,
and which are on earth." [4] A reign of peace, a reign of righteousness
is about to be inaugurated--the Millennium which the scriptures
promised--long looked for by earth's troubled children--despaired
of--given up--is about to be realized! The remnant of Israel is to
be gathered to Zion; Jerusalem is to be established, no more to be
thrown down; the nations are to beat their swords into plow-shares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks and nation shall not lift up sword
against nation, nor shall they learn war any more--the earth is to
rest from its wickedness. To bring this to pass, the co-operation of
man is necessary--his obedience, his righteousness. To secure that
obedience, that co-operation, faith is needed; and as faith is based
on evidence, God proceeds to create the evidence by bringing a witness
into existence who can not only testify of God's existence, but also
of his purposes. He then enlarges the evidence by bringing forth the
Book of Mormon, the voice of entire nations of people speaking out of
the dust of ages, testifying that the Lord is God, that Jesus is the
Christ, that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation; and by thus
increasing the evidence the foundation for faith was enlarged; and
by establishing faith in the hearts of men the seed of obedience was
planted. For faith is the incentive to action, the cause of obedience,
and the foundation of all righteousness.

When the work reached that stage of development that men could be
taught repentance, and receive baptism for the remission of sins,
who so qualified or who with more propriety could be sent to deliver
the keys of the priesthood that is especially appointed to cry
repentance and administer baptism than _the_ teacher of repentance
and _the_ Baptist? Or, when the time came for the restoration of the
apostleship, who could restore it save those who last held the keys
of it on earth--Peter, James and John? Who so fit to restore the
keys of the gathering of Israel and leading the ten tribes back from
the north as Moses, the great prophet of Israel? Who so fitting to
restore the keys of the priesthood which should turn the hearts of
the fathers and children towards each other as Elijah, of whom it was
prophesied that he would do that work? [5] Thus throughout there was
a fitness in the development of the great work of God in the last
days--an appropriateness to be observed in the personages employed to
restore the keys of authority which opened up the several departments
of the great dispensation. And it is to be observed, too, that this
fitness of things as here pointed out was not the result of working
to a well-matured plan in the mind of Joseph Smith; he was too young
and too inexperienced to preconceive it all and then set himself at
work to unfold it in such beautiful order. It was of course working
to a well-matured plan, but the plan existed in the mind of God; and
it was given to Joseph Smith piece-meal--incident following incident
without an apparent suspicion in his mind that each incident was a step
in the progress of the mighty march of events matured in the mind of
God--each key of authority, or part of the gospel but a fragment of a
mighty and consistent whole that God was unfolding. The consistency and
appropriateness of the development Joseph Smith never spoke of; it was
left for others to note these things after the work was well advanced
in the course of its development. The Prophet received the messengers
God sent to him, and under their instruction proceeded with the
unfoldment of the purposes of the Lord, and left it to others to admire
the work and note the evidences of God's directing hand in the order of
the events and the appropriateness of the parties entrusted with the
introduction of the various departments of it.

I am not claiming for this appropriateness in the development of the
work of the Lord, as thus far seen, absolute proof that Joseph Smith
was divinely inspired and commissioned of God, it is only one item of
the cumulative evidence, and the inference but part of the cumulative
argument it is my purpose to present; but certainly as part of such
evidence and argument it is not insignificant. To see the strength
of it, one needs to think what the pretensions of Joseph Smith would
amount to, if this fitness of things did not exist. Having affirmed
that the gospel had been taken from the earth and the church of Christ
destroyed, suppose he had claimed to have obtained the former and
founded the latter upon any other basis than through a revelation
from God; how easy it would have been to show both from reason and
from scripture, that the only way the gospel and the church could be
re-established, would be by a new dispensation from God through a new
revelation! Had he claimed to have received the gospel through any
other means than by the ministration of an angel, how easy it would be
to confound him and his followers, by showing that a recognized prophet
of God had predicted its restoration in the hour of God's judgment
through an angel! Had he claimed to have received divine authority in
any other manner than through a revelation, and the ordination of one
already known to hold authority from God, how easy it would have been
to refute his claim by quoting the law of God to the effect that no
man taketh the honor of administering in things pertaining to God upon
himself, except he that is called of God as was Aaron! [6] But when in
all these things it is seen that the pretensions of Joseph Smith were
parallel with both reason and the prophecies and laws of scripture, and
that there is a propriety in all the heavenly messengers doing just
what Joseph Smith claims they did do--because of their known relation
to the work of God in former dispensations--it all forms a strong
presumptive evidence, at least that his claims are genuine--that he was
called of God.


1. Pearl of Great Price, pp. 99, 100.

2. Doc. and Cov. Sec. cx.

3. Doc. and Cov. Sec. cx.

4. Eph. i: 10.

5. Malachi iv: 5, 6.

6. Heb. v: 4-10.



Continuing to follow the line of presumptive evidence I call attention
to the fact that the doctrines taught by Joseph Smith are scriptural
and perfect in every particular. I do not mean this to apply to
all that he is alleged to have taught and that is to be found in
imperfectly reported discourses or handed down by the still more
uncertain vehicle of word of mouth tradition; but those doctrines which
he taught _ex cathedra_ by which I mean those doctrines that he taught
in his official capacity as a Prophet and witness for God, as the
President of the Church of Christ. [1]

I do not wish to be understood as saying that Joseph Smith did not
teach doctrines which perhaps are not to be found in the Bible; for
since the Bible itself is fragmentary, containing at most but part of
that which God has revealed to man, it does not contain all the truth;
nor does it contain a fullness of the truth concerning some of those
matters of which it treats; and hence in the revelations which the Lord
has given to Joseph Smith, there are many truths in respect to which
the Bible is silent; and in other instances the modern revelations
contain the truths spoken of in the Bible in greater fullness. But
since the Prophet recognized the Bible as the word of God; and
imperfect only so far as imperfection may result from its being
fragmentary and marred through faulty translations, his revelations and
teachings must be in harmony with the truths of the Bible. The Bible
thus becomes, in some measure, at least, a standard by which to test
the truths of Joseph Smith's claims and work. Speaking broadly, his
doctrines must be in harmony with the Bible, and while much that he
teaches may go beyond that which was written in the Jewish scriptures,
yet between his doctrines and those of the Bible, so far as the latter
treats of the same themes, there must be substantial agreement.

The doctrines which our Prophet teaches as the revelations of God, must
be perfect in every particular; for since he claims to have received
them from the Lord Almighty at first hand, by revelation, there is
left no room to plead the error of historians or of translators, and
certainly the Lord would not reveal erroneous or untrue doctrine.

The force of the argument in favor of the genuineness of the claims
of Mr. Smith derived from the fact that his doctrines are scriptural
and perfect in every particular, as in the case of the argument based
upon the fitness there was in the order of the development of the great
work, is best seen from the negative side, that is, by contemplating
what the result would be if his doctrines were absolutely contrary to
the Bible, and imperfect in some particulars. If such a thing could be
demonstrated, it would prove fatal to the validity of his pretensions;
and therefore, if on the one hand the finding of unscriptural and
imperfect doctrine would be so disastrous to his pretensions, on the
other, if it can be shown that his doctrines are in harmony with the
Bible and perfect in every particular--such a fact should be accepted
as a strong presumptive evidence that he was a true witness and prophet
sent of God.

With these considerations in mind, let us examine his doctrines. I wish
to say, however, that some of the doctrines briefly noticed here will
receive, because of their importance, special attention in subsequent
chapters devoted to their attention.

First, then, Joseph Smith taught the existence of God, the Father,
the Creator of heaven and earth; that Jesus Christ is the Son of God,
in whose name the Father is to be worshiped; that the Holy Ghost is a
witness for the Father and the Son, and that these three constitute the
Godhead or Grand Presidency of heaven and earth.

Second, he taught that God the Father so loved the world that he gave
his only begotten Son for the redemption of mankind; that Jesus Christ
suffered temptations but gave no heed to them; that he was crucified,
died, and rose again the third day; that he ascended into heaven to
sit down on the right hand of the Father, to reign with almighty power
according to the will of God. This is all so perfectly in harmony with
the well known teachings of the Bible that I do not deem it necessary
to give references to particular texts in proof of it.

Third, he taught that men will be punished for their own sins and
not for Adam's transgression; that through the atonement of Christ
all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances
of the gospel. [2] Since the agency of man was not involved in the
transgression of Adam, it is just that they should be delivered from
the consequences of that transgression unconditionally, hence Joseph
Smith teaches that through and by the atonement wrought out in the
suffering and death of Jesus Christ, and without obedience to any
conditions whatsoever, all men will be saved from the consequences
of Adam's transgression, that is, they will be redeemed through the
resurrection of the dead from that death which came upon our race
through Adam's disobedience. This teaching is in harmony with the
scripture which says: "Now is Christ risen from the dead and become the
first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man
came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam _all die,_ even
so in Christ shall _all be made alive_." [3]

But not alone from the consequences of Adam's transgression does the
gospel save men, but also from the consequences of their own sins, on
condition of their obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.
The beauty and justice of this doctrine is apparent when we regard it
in relation to the doctrine we have just considered: All men are to be
saved from the consequences of Adam's transgression without compliance
with any conditions whatsoever, because their agency was not involved
in the transgression; but to be saved from the consequences of their
own sins--their personal violations of God's laws, certain conditions
are to be complied with because their agency was exercised in the act
of transgression, and justice has a claim upon them and may command
their obedience to conditions.

Joseph Smith taught that those laws and ordinances to be obeyed are,
"first, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, repentance; third,
baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, laying on of
hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost." [4]

Fourth, he taught that a man must be called of God, by prophecy and by
the laying on of hands, by those who are in authority to preach the
gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

Fifth, he taught that the church of Christ should be organized in
the same manner--i. e., with the same officers that existed in the
primitive church, viz.: Apostles, prophets, seventies, bishops, elders,
pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc.

Sixth, he taught that all the spiritual gifts of the gospel could be
possessed and exercised today as well as in former times--the gift of
tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healings, interpretation of
tongues, etc. [5]

Seventh, he taught that the Bible was the word of God as far as it is
translated correctly and also taught that the Book of Mormon was the
word of God. [6] Indeed the Prophet taught men to believe all that
God has revealed, all that he at present reveals, and also said that
the Lord would reveal many great and important things in the future
pertaining to the kingdom of God. [7]

Eighth, he taught that there would be a literal gathering of Israel,
and a restoration of the ten tribes; that a city called Zion would
be built upon the continent of North America; that Christ will reign
personally upon the earth, and that the earth will be renewed and
receive its paradisic glory. [8]

Ninth, Joseph Smith claimed for himself and his followers the right
to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own
consciences, but conceded the same privilege to all other men, let
them worship how, where or what they may. [9] "We believe," said he,
"in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing
good to all men. Indeed we may say that we follow the admonition of
Paul: 'We believe all things, we hope all things;' we have endured many
things and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything
virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after
these things." [10]

This is, of course, but an epitome of the teachings of the Prophet,
and as before stated a number of these doctrines will be considered in
chapters by themselves; but even in this epitome there may be discerned
the outlines of a great work, the harmonious parts of a great and
perfect whole; a system which contemplates the completion of the work
of redemption for the whole race of men and of the earth itself--a
conception of the mighty purposes of God which far out-runs anything
which the mind of Joseph Smith unaided by the inspiration of God was
capable of perceiving.


1. I have been careful thus to limit the teachings of the prophet which
I call "scriptural and perfect in every particular" to those doctrines
that he taught officially as the word of the Lord; for the reason
that there are some things accredited to him by individuals that I
feel sure they must have misunderstood at the time, or unconsciously
changed through imperfect recollection of what the prophet said. Even
some of his published sermons do him an injustice; for the reason
that they are not accurately reported nor from the nature of the
circumstances could they be. They were not reported by stenographers,
but by men writing down what they could in long hand during the course
of delivery, and published with such additions and corrections as could
be made afterwards from memory. These published sermons therefore are
little better than synopses of what the prophet said, and necessarily

2. In this statement I have grouped together the second and third
articles of faith as prepared by Joseph Smith for Mr. John Wentworth
for publication in the _Chicago Democrat,_ in 1842. See also Book of
Alma; in Book of Mormon, chapter xi: 4-44. III Nephi (Book of Mormon)
ch. xxvii: 12, 13.

3. I Cor. xv: 20-22 and Rom. v: 12-19.

4. See fourth Article of Faith. Those desirous of inquiring into
the agreement of these doctrines with the scripture may examine the
following text: Heb. xi: 6; Rom. i: 16, 17; Rom. x: 14, 15; James iii;
Mark xvi: 15, 16; Acts ii: 38, 39; John iii: 5; Acts viii; Acts xix:
1-6; Heb. vi: 1-6. Also author's "Gospel."

5. Seventh Article of Faith. See also Mark xvi: 15-20; I Cor. xii;
James v: 1315; I Thess. v: 19, 20; John xiv: 12; Acts ii: 17.

6. The eighth Article of Faith. Volume II of this work is to be devoted
to the consideration of the Book of Mormon as a witness for God, and
the evidences of its divine authenticity will there receive full

7. Let the reader examine the following passages in evidence of the
truth of future revelation from God. Acts ii: 17, 18. See also Mal. iv;
Mal. iii; Isa. xi; Ezek. xx: 33-38; Matt. xxiv: 31; Zach. xiv.

8. See tenth Article of Faith. A subsequent chapter is devoted to the
gathering of Israel and the other statements of the above paragraph.

9. Eleventh Article of Faith.

10. Thirteenth Article of Faith.



Next to what Joseph Smith taught may be considered his manner of
teaching; in which, as I think, may be seen evidences of divine
inspiration as well as in the correctness of his doctrines. Before
inquiring into his manner of teaching, however, it is necessary to
explain that I shall feel at liberty to refer to any of the revelations
he has published as illustrating this method. It must ever be borne in
mind that it is claimed for Joseph Smith in these pages that he was
a man inspired of God; and as at this point we are about to consider
his manner of teaching as an evidence of his inspiration, it will be
readily seen that the revelations he announced and any peculiar style
they possess may properly be referred to in evidence.

One other remark should be made, namely: That Joseph Smith was not a
learned man in the sense that the world regards learning. How limited
his scholastic attainments were has already been stated; and though his
industry in pursuit of knowledge later in life did much to make up the
deficiency occasioned by lack of opportunity in early life, yet, when
that is allowed, it must still be said that he was not a learned man
in the sense in which that phrase is understood by the world. He knew
but little of history, less of languages, and still less of science or
the world's philosophy. Nor can this be any reproach to him when the
conditions in the midst of which he was reared and lived are taken into
account; nor, for that matter, do I believe that the lack of education
as that term is understood by the world, was any serious bar to his
success in the work to which God called him. If indeed he lacked the
polish and finish which a liberal and polite education are supposed to
impart, he also escaped the bias and warping which a training in the
schools and colleges gives to the mind.

It has already been stated how Joseph Smith received his revelations;
and from the fact that much of his teaching is in the form of
revelations, it may naturally be expected that it will come in the
tone and spirit of authority, and will not be like the teaching of
men who make no such pretensions as the Prophet did,--but satisfy
themselves with deductions drawn from the revelations given in former
dispensations, teaching as the Scribes and Pharisees of old. Joseph
Smith announced himself a teacher sent of God; and necessarily must
place the truth of what he taught upon that authority. It is that
which is the peculiar characteristic of his teaching. It is a style
that would be altogether out of place for the philosopher or moralist;
but one that the position of our Prophet made imperative; and had he
failed to teach in that style, his manner would have been out of all
harmony with his pretensions and would have been a means of detecting
an imposter. As an illustration of the style here pointed out, I quote
the following:

"It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance."

"Whatever principles of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it
will rise with us in the resurrection, and if a person gains more
knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and
obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world
to come."

"There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but
it is more fine and pure and can only be discerned by purer eyes. We
cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified, we shall see that it
is all matter."

"The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son
also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a
personage of spirit. Were it not so the Holy Ghost could not dwell in

"There are in the Church, two Priesthoods, namely, the Melchisedek, and
Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood. Why the first is called
the Melchisedek Priesthood is because Melchisedek was such a great
high priest. Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood after
the order of the Son of God. But out of respect or reverence to the
name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his
name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that Priesthood after
Melchisedek, or the Melchisedek Priesthood."

"Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of
God hath no need to break the laws of the land. Wherefore be subject
to the powers that be, until he reigns whose right it is to reign, and
subdues all enemies under his feet."

"Thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain,
and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands."

"Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread
nor wear the garments of the laborer."

This perhaps is enough for the purpose of illustration; and will
exhibit the spirit of all his teaching. In this manner he sets the
officers of the church in order, asserts the powers they severally
possess, and defines their relations to the church and to each other.
In like manner he states the laws of the church, and gives instruction
as to the manner in which the ordinances are to be administered. For
example, of baptism--about which there has been so much controversy in
Christendom--he says:

"Baptism is to be administered in the following manner: The person who
is called of God, and has authority from Jesus Christ to baptize, shall
go down into the water with the person who has presented him or herself
for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name--Having been
commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father;
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

And so on throughout in the ordinances to be performed, instruction is
given in this spirit. Not a statement deduced from ancient scripture,
sustained by labored logic, but stated in bold, round terms by virtue
of the authority he possessed. It is to be observed, too, that in all
such cases the simplicity and appropriateness of the language employed
bear witness to its inspiration. The tendency of man is to verbosity
in administering in sacred things; to introduce form and pomp and
ceremony; while simplicity and directness mark all the works of God
in revelation as in nature. Looked at with a view to the discovery
of these excellencies in them, to what advantage do the formulas
for ordinances given by Joseph Smith appear! Take this ceremony for
baptism--not a superfluous word in it--direct--covering all the ground
necessary, and yet how simple withal!

So it is with the formula given for administering the sacrament of the
Lords supper, which is as follows: "O God, the Eternal Father, we ask
thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this
bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in
remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God the
Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy
Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he has
given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen."

The formula for administering the wine or water is only slightly
different from this. Of the above prayer I may say "that for a
succession of solemn thoughts, for fixing the attention upon a few
great points, for suitableness, * * * for sufficiency, for conciseness
without obscurity for the weight and real importance of its petitions"
[1]--this prayer so far as I am aware is without an equal excepting,
perhaps, the Lord's prayer.

The same qualities, directness and simplicity, are to be observed
in the ordination of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to the Aaronic
Priesthood, by John the Baptist. This is the more surprising when the
circumstances connected with that event are taken into account. The
Aaronic Priesthood had not been upon the earth for many centuries; it
is to be restored by the great forerunner of Messiah, whose business
it is to prepare the way before him; he descends out of heaven in a
pillar of light, and appears to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and
lays his hands upon them--I am bold to affirm it as my steadfast
belief that any mere enthusiast or impostor would have taken advantage
of these really dramatic circumstances to have indulged in something
theatrical in the ceremony of ordination that was to follow. Some
reference to the long absence of the Priesthood from the earth; some
glowing words relative to its importance; the awful solemnity of
conferring part of God's power on men; the honor these men received in
having it bestowed upon them--the temptation to the mere enthusiast or
impostor to have indulged in some extravagant expression would have
been simply irresistible. But hear what the angel said: "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 the
gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission
of sins; 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." That was all, except that the messenger explained that
he acted under the direction of Peter, James and John, that a higher
Priesthood would later be conferred upon them, and commanded them each
to baptize the other.

The simplicity, directness and appropriateness of this ordination in
the presence of such temptation to introduce pomp and ceremony, stamp
it with the seal of truth. It is just such an ordination as we would
expect--upon due reflection--an angel to make, full, covering all
necessary ground, but simple and direct.

Thus it is seen that the manner of Joseph Smith's teaching is in
harmony with his pretensions; and while not a conclusive it is at least
presumptive evidence of the truth of his pretentions.


1. The quoted part of the statement is what Archdeacon Paley says of
the Lord's prayer.



Archdeacon Paley in his work, "The evidences of Christianity," says:
"There is satisfactory evidence that many, pretending to be original
witnesses of the Christian miracles, passed their lives in labors,
dangers, and sufferings, voluntarily undertaken and undergone in
attestation of the accounts which they delivered, and solely in
consequence of their belief of the truth of those accounts."

The learned archdeacon deducts from this fact a strong argument in
support of the truth of Christianity. In order to display his confidence
in the strength of his argument, he says: "If the Reformers in the time
of Wicliffe, or of Luther; or those of England, in the time of Henry
the Eighth, or of Queen Mary; or the founders of our religious sects
since, such as were Mr. Whitefield and Mr. Wesley in our times--had
undergone the life of toil and exertion, of danger and suffering, which
we know that many of them did undergo, for a miraculous story; that is
to say, if they had founded their public ministry upon the allegation
of miracles wrought within their knowledge, and upon narratives which
could not be resolved into delusion or mistake; and if it had appeared
that their conduct really had its origin in these accounts, _I should
have believed them_." [1]

Mr. Paley's argument is this: The early Christians came to the world
with a miraculous story; their public ministry was founded upon the
allegation of miracles wrought within their own knowledge, and upon
narratives which could not be resolved into delusion or mistake; their
conduct really had its origin in these miraculous accounts; and in
support of their declarations they endured lives of toil, poverty,
persecution, danger and suffering; and for these reasons Mr. Paley
concludes that the religion they advocated "must be true." "These men,"
he says "could not be deceivers. By only _not_ bearing testimony they
might have avoided all these sufferings and have lived quietly. Would
men in such circumstances pretend to have seen what they never saw;
assert facts which they had no knowledge of; go about lying, to teach
virtue; and though not only convinced of Christ's being an impostor,
but having seen the success of his imposture in his crucifixion, yet
persist in carrying it on; and so persist as to bring upon themselves,
for nothing, and with a full knowledge of the consequences, enmity and
hatred, danger and death?" [2]

The world, at least that part of it called Christian, accept as
conclusive the argument of the archdeacon; and even unbelievers in
the Christian story recognize the force of his reasoning. It is my
intention to apply his argument to the new dispensation of the gospel
introduced by Joseph Smith; for if the argument tends to prove the
divinity of the mission of the ancient apostles of the church, it ought
also to prove the divinity of the mission of the apostles of the new
dispensation, provided, of course, that the same conditions exist in
the latter as in the former case. Those conditions exist in the new
dispensation, as in the old, men come to the world with a miraculous
story--a story that relates the personal appearing of God the Father,
and his Son Jesus Christ; bringing to light the record of an ancient
people and translating it by miraculous means into the English
language; and the visitation of angels to restore divine authority. The
public ministry of Joseph Smith and his associates was founded upon the
allegation of these miracles wrought within their own knowledge, and
which are of a character, as I have already said, that they can not be
resolved into delusion or mistake; their conduct really had its origin
in these miraculous accounts; and in support of their declarations they
endured lives of toil, poverty, persecution, danger and suffering. The
reader has the proof of all these statements in the preceding pages of
this work, except in regard to the last, and it is now my purpose to
furnish him proof of that.

It has already been stated how the story of the appearance of the
Father and the Son to Joseph Smith brought upon his youthful head the
wrath of the ministers of the locality where he lived; how his own name
and that of his parents were loaded with opprobrium for no other reason
than because he asserted he had seen a vision.

Persecution and annoyance increased when it was noised abroad that he
had the plates from which he translated the Book of Mormon.

Soon after the church was organized there were a number of vexatious
law suits growing out of charges against him for setting the country in
an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon.

In March, 1832, the prophet's house was broken into in the night. He
was dragged from his bed into an adjacent field, where the mob beat
him in the most inhuman and brutal manner. His body was bruised and
lacerated from head to foot. He was be-smeared all over with tar and
covered with feathers. At the same time Sidney Rigdon, who was now
connected with him in the ministry, was similarly treated. During the
night the friends of the prophet removed the tar and cleansed his body,
and the next day (Sunday), scarred and bruised as he was, he preached
to the people and baptized three persons.

By the year 1833 a large number of Saints had settled in Jackson
County, in the western part of Missouri, that place being pointed out
by revelation as the location of a great city to be called Zion. In
November of the year above named the inhabitants of Jackson County rose
against the church in that land and drove some twelve hundred men,
women and children from their homes into the wilderness, where they
lay exposed to the inclemency of the season, which in that latitude is
very severe. In the course of the troubles a number of the Saints were
killed, and others died from exposure. Two hundred and three houses
and one grist mill were burned down. A printing press was destroyed, a
store owned by members of the church looted, and much other property
destroyed. These troubles arose from the fact of the Saints accepting
the testimony of Joseph Smith concerning the miraculous events by which
the new dispensation of the gospel was introduced. [3]

When Joseph Smith learned of the expulsion of his followers from
Missouri he immediately organized a company and gathered together
clothing and provisions to go to their relief; and, if possible,
restore them to the lands from which they had been driven. This company
in Mormon history is known as Zion's camp. During that journey from
Ohio to Western Missouri many dangers were braved, many hardships
encountered, much toil and sickness experienced. As the only assurance
of assistance which could be obtained from the governor of Missouri was
of a nature to invite more bloodshed, [4] the company called Zion's
Camp disbanded.

The exiled Saints subsequently settled some fifty or sixty miles
north of Jackson County, and organized Caldwell County, where they
were joined by large numbers of their co-religionists from the East.
Joseph Smith also settled with them. The religious intolerance of
their neighbors, however, gave them no peace, and in the fall and
winter of 1838 the whole state of Missouri arose against the church
and expelled some twelve thousand peaceful and law-abiding United
States citizens from their homes solely on account of their religious
views. Joseph Smith, under circumstances of great cruelty, was torn
from his family and friends, and with a number of his prominent
brethren was thrust into prison where they remained for six months
awaiting trial, while their families and the church in the midst of
great suffering--hunger, cold and nakedness--the greater part of their
property destroyed--were driven from the State. Recognizing their
inability to prove aught against the prophet and his fellow-prisoners,
after six months' incarceration, while moving them from one part of the
State to another, their guards, evidently through an understanding with
the judges--connived at their escape. After enduring many hardships
the prophet rejoined his family and the church in Illinois, where the
Saints were then settling.

During his residence in Illinois the prophet's life was one continual
course of toil, excitement, sickness, and danger. Old foes and false
friends were well-nigh constantly seeking to entrap him. New schemes
were constantly hatching to destroy him. During his career some fifty
times he was dragged before the tribunals of his country and as many
times were the judges compelled to dismiss him. While living in
Illinois an effort was made to kidnap him and take him to Missouri
among his old enemies. In the midst of these persecutions he was
constantly preaching, translating, or completing the organization of
the church--setting in order the various quorums of the Priesthood
and instructing them in their duties. He endured poverty and hardship
throughout the greater part of his career and scarcely knew what it was
to enjoy peace--save that God-given peace that comes from within; and
which, however great the tempest from without may be, gives serenity
and joy unspeakable to the servants and prophets of God.

At last, after a life of continual warfare with error; after enduring
untold toil and persecution, illegal prosecutions and mob violence,
hardships and suffering--wicked men conspired against him, and while in
the charge of the officers of the State of Illinois, with the honor of
the great state pledged through the governor for his protection, he was
murdered in cold blood for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus,
in the thirty-ninth year of his age.

Counting from the time that he received his first vision, when a lad
of fourteen years, he stood a witness for God a little less than a
quarter of a century; but in that short time he suffered more and
accomplished more than has fallen to the lot of any other man to suffer
and accomplish since the Son of God expired on the summit of Golgotha.

Not only did Joseph Smith thus endure a life of toil, poverty,
persecution, danger and suffering in support of the miraculous accounts
in which his public ministry had its origin; but many of his followers
(some of them also witnesses of the miraculous events which brought
into existence the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) spent
their lives in the same way. The first Elders of the church shared
Joseph Smith's toils, mobbings, imprisonment, poverty, danger and
exile; and some, while engaged in the ministry, even in later years
have suffered death by violence [5] for testifying to the truth of
the miraculous story in which the church had its origin. The servants
of God have traveled in nearly all the nations of Europe; through the
states of North America; and among the peoples of the Pacific Islands.
They have usually gone without purse or scrip, and always without
remuneration. They have sacrificed their business and professional
interests, together with the associations of home and family that
they might preach the gospel newly restored to the earth, through the
ministration of angels to Joseph Smith. In telling the miraculous story
in which the new dispensation had its birth, they have "found leopards
and lions in the path," and "have made abundant acquaintance with the
hungry wolf, that with privy paw devoured apace and nothing said;" but
the have kept right on in the work God called them to perform; and have
endured toils and privations which even those of the ancient apostles
do not surpass. Amid the ridicule of the learned, the indifference
of the rich and the great, and the violence of the rabble they have
faithfully borne witness to the truth of the miraculous restoration
of the gospel in these last days, until the whole world is acquainted
with the story; and in their ministry they have given as much evidence
of the divinity of the message they proclaim to the world as ever the
apostles and elders of the ancient Christian church did by their lives
of self-denial, of toil, exertion, danger and suffering.

These labors they continued after the death of their prophet leader;
and I may say of them what Mr. Paley says of the first Christian
ministers--only slightly paraphrasing his words: These men could
not be deceivers. By only _not_ bearing testimony they might have
avoided all these sufferings and have lived quietly. Would men in such
circumstances pretend to have seen what they never saw; assert facts
which they had no knowledge of; go about lying, to teach virtue; and
though not only convinced of Joseph Smith's being an impostor but
having seen the success of his imposture in his martyrdom, yet persist
in carrying it on; and so persist, as to bring upon their own heads,
for nothing, and with a full knowledge of the consequences, enmity and
hatred, danger and death?

The conditions demanded in Mr. Paley's argument all exist in the
experience of the ministry of the new dispensation of the gospel,
and if the same weight be given the argument in the case of this
dispensation as is accorded to it when employed to prove the truth
of the Christian story as told by the ancient apostles and elders,
the divinity of the mission of Joseph Smith is proven beyond all

Mr. Paley, continuing his argument under the head I have been
discussing, says that his belief in the miraculous story told by
men who had on account of it endured lives of toil and exertion, of
danger and suffering, would be very much increased "If the subject of
the mission were of importance to the conduct and happiness of human
life; if it testified of anything which it behoved mankind to know
from such authority; if the nature of what was delivered, required
the sort of proof which it alleged; if the occasion was adequate to
the interposition, the end worthy of the means. In the last case my
faith would be much confirmed, if the effects of the transaction
remained; more especially, if a change had been wrought, at the time
in the opinion and conduct of such members, as to lay the foundation
of an institution, and of a system of doctrines, which had since
overspread the greatest part of the civilized world." [6] In the new
dispensation of the gospel all these additional circumstances which
Mr. Paley finds in the old dispensation of Christianity, exist; so
that there is nothing wanting to justify the complete appropriation of
this time-honored Christian argument to the divinity of Joseph Smith's
mission. Let me point this out:

First: _The subject of the mission must be of importance to the conduct
and happiness of human life._ This is true of the message with which
Joseph Smith came to the world, since it cries repentance to all men,
warns them of the approaching judgments of God, and calls upon them to
worship God who created heaven and earth. If such a message is not a
subject of importance "to the conduct and happiness of human life" what
message could be? This message was surely of such importance since the
acceptance or rejection of it would affect the condition of men in time
and in eternity.

Second, _it must testify of that which it behoves mankind to know
from such authority._ This the message brought to the world by Joseph
Smith does, for it proclaims first, that the gospel together with the
authority to administer its ordinances had been taken from among men;
and second, that this same gospel and authority had been restored by
a new revelation, the only way it could be re-established when once
taken from the earth. I take it that it behooves mankind to know of
such a great transaction as this from "such authority"--that is, divine

Third, _the nature of what is delivered must require the sort of proof
which is alleged._ This the new dispensation does; for claiming to be
a revelation from God it requires just the same kind of testimony that
the old Christian dispensation did--the testimony of suffering and
toil on the part of those who receive it, and especially upon the part
of those who enter its ministry. It may be remarked in passing that
the new dispensation is just as worthy of such testimony as the old
Christian dispensation.

Fourth, _the occasion must be adequate to the divine interposition--the
end worthy of the means._ This is true of the new dispensation since
restoring the gospel to the earth after its absence for many centuries,
is not only an occasion worthy of the interposition but the only
way in which the plan of salvation could be restored. To make such
a restoration to the human race was surely an end worthy of such
means--that is, worthy of a revelation.

Fifth, _the effects of the original transaction must remain._ This
is true of the new dispensation as the religious faith at the first
promulgated by Joseph Smith and his associates is still in the earth,
and the circle of its influence is constantly widening.

Sixth, _a change must be wrought at the time of the transaction in the
opinion and conduct of such members as to lay the foundation of an
institution, and of a system of doctrines which have since overspread
the greatest part of the civilized world._ This condition also the
new dispensation fulfills. That is, a change was wrought at the time,
and by the means of the introduction of the new dispensation in the
opinions and conduct of a sufficient number to lay the foundation of
an institution, and of a system of doctrines which has since spread
throughout the greater part of the civilized world. I do not mean to
say by the last part of the statement that the new dispensation has
been accepted as true throughout the greater part of the civilized
world; but I do mean to say that a knowledge of it has since overspread
civilized nations; and that it has drawn to itself as great a number
of disciples as Christianity did in the first sixty-three years of
its existence. The change wrought in the opinions of those who have
accepted the testimony of Joseph Smith was quite as radical as that
which came to those who accepted the gospel in the first century of
Christianity. From believing that the volume of scripture was completed
and closed, and that the Bible contained all that had been revealed to
man, they turned to the belief that it contained but a few fragments of
the revelations of God and accepted a new volume of scripture received
and preserved by the people of the Western Hemisphere. From believing
that the ministrations of angels had forever ceased, they turned to
the belief that a number of angels had ministered to Joseph Smith,
and that in the future the visitation of angels to men would be still
more frequent. From believing that the spiritual graces and gifts of
the gospel were no more to be expected, they turned to the belief
that these blessings so abundantly enjoyed in the primitive Christian
church could also be possessed by them. They consequently sought
for and according to a volume of testimony that cannot be rejected,
they enjoyed the spiritual gifts of healing the sick, speaking in
tongues, interpretation of tongues, discernment of spirits, prophecy,
revelation, etc.; and sought a closer walk with God, and read and
practiced the moral law of the gospel more strictly.

Thus, as in the testimony of toil and suffering on the part of those
who came with the new faith--or the old faith renewed--there is nothing
wanting in these supplemental conditions which, in Archdeacon Paley's
opinion, adds to the weight of the testimony of toil and suffering.
Every condition in his argument for the truth of the old dispensation
of Christianity is met in the circumstance in the midst of which the
new dispensation of Christianity came into existence; and I claim for
the latter all the force that has been demanded for this argument when
applied to the former. The argument is the Archdeacon's, not mine;
but finding the conditions existing in the new dispensation that Mr.
Paley claims existed when the old was brought forth, I merely apply the
argument to the new; and throw the weight of Mr. Paley's reputation for
logic and force of statement into the support of the divinity of Joseph
Smith's mission.


1. Paley's View of the Evidences of Christianity, Proposition II.,
chap. i.

2. Paley's Evidences, Proposition I., ch. x.

3. Wight's Affidavit, _Times and Seasons_ for 1843, p. 26. The writer
for want of space cannot introduce the testimony to support these
several statements, nor indeed is it necessary; for the injustice and
cruelty of the conduct of the people of Missouri and Illinois against
the Latter-day Saints are universally conceded; as is also the fact
that these cruelties grew out of the prejudice existing against the
religion professed by the Saints. Those desiring information on the
subject may consult the writer's History of The Missouri Persecutions
and the Rise and Fall of Nauvoo.

4. The governor recognized the right of the people to be returned to
their lands, and agreed to call out the militia to accomplish that
object; but held that he had no authority to keep a force in Jackson
County to protect them from the mob. As to go back to their lands
under such circumstances would only be inviting another expulsion--the
saints not being sufficiently strong to hold their possessions against
the invasions of the mob--the attempt to re-instate the exiles was

5. As late as August, 1884, two Elders while in the act of beginning
religious service, on Sunday, in the state of Tennessee, were murdered
by a mob; two young men, members of the Church, were also killed, and
an aged woman, a member of the Church, savagely wounded.

6. Paley's Evidences, Proposition II., ch. i.



It has been already remarked that Christian writers have attached
too much importance to miracles as evidences of the divine authority
of those who worked them; for the reason that in some instances the
prophets of God have worked no miracles; in other instances impostors
have worked miracles, and it is predicted for the future that the
spirits of devils will have power to work miracles to deceive men.
I have also pointed out the fact that miracles are not, properly
speaking, events which take place in violation of the laws of nature,
but that they take place through the operation of higher laws of nature
not yet understood by man; hence the occurrences which are called
miracles are only so in appearance, and we may confidently expect the
day to come when they will cease to appear as miraculous.

I say that Christian writers have attached too much importance to
the testimony based on what are called miracles; and yet I would not
be understood as ignoring the importance which may attach to them as
collateral evidence. When the miracles follow the claimants to divine
authority in fulfillment of their promises, the testimony becomes very
important indeed; for the reason that if certain miraculous gifts or
powers are promised by the claimants of divine authority and then they
do _not_ follow--then, granting of course that their disciples comply
with the conditions upon which the promises are based, the failure in
the fulfillment of their promises would prove them impostors. More
especially would miracles under these circumstances be strong proof of
divine authority if the promises were of a nature beyond the power of
man to fulfill, or of Lucifer to imitate. For example: Peter on the day
of Pentecost, in the boldest manner conceivable, told the people on
condition of their repentance and baptism that they should receive the
Holy Ghost.

That, I take it, was a promise that could not be fulfilled by the
agency of man; and still more revolting to reason would it be to
suppose that the spirit of devils could influence the fulfillment of
such a promise. It would be insulting to the dignity of God--blasphemy
of the first degree--to say that agencies of Lucifer could confer
the Holy Ghost. However great the powers which God in his wisdom has
permitted Lucifer to retain, to confer the Holy Ghost, or in any manner
to operate through or by it, is not one of them. If this promise made
by Peter, then, is fulfilled, the people to whom he made it would have
most positive proof that he held divine authority. Or, on the other
hand, if this or any other promise of heavenly gifts or powers, though
of a subordinate nature to the great promise of the Holy Ghost, should
fail of fullfilment--provided always that the conditions were complied
with--it would be all that was necessary to prove that the one making
it was an impostor.

It is in the light of these reflections that I propose to submit the
evidence of miracles to the divinity of Joseph Smith's mission. That
is, making their chief weight as evidence consist in the fact that
they are possessed and enjoyed by his followers in fulfillment of his
promises to them.

John the Baptist, when he conferred the Aaronic Priesthood upon Joseph
Smith and Oliver Cowdery, told them that this Priesthood did not hold
the power of laying on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost; but that
such power would be given to them later. Subsequently they received the
higher or Melchisedek Priesthood under the hands of Peter, James and
John, which gave them the authority promised by the Baptist--the power
to lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

In September, 1832, on the occasion of a number of Elders coming into
Kirtland from their missions in the Eastern States, six of them met
together, and Joseph Smith received a revelation directing their future
labors, in the course of which the following commandment and promise
were given to them: "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._" [1]

I thought proper to call attention to the fact that Joseph Smith
claimed to have received power through ordination by heavenly
messengers to confer the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands; and
then that afterwards in this revelation a promise of the reception of
the Holy Ghost is made to all those who will believe the testimony of
the servants of God in the new dispensation and be baptized for the
remission of their sins. Accordingly Joseph Smith and the Elders of the
Church have made this promise to all the inhabitants of the earth, and
upon as many as have complied with the conditions prescribed, they have
laid their hands and said--"Receive ye the Holy Ghost." If this promise
that they shall receive the Holy Ghost fails, then the men making the
promise stand convicted as impostors. If it is fulfilled, since, as
already remarked, neither man nor the agencies of Lucifer can fulfill
such a promise--God only--then it stands as very positive evidence
that Joseph Smith through whom the promise is made was divinely
authorized, and that he conferred divine authority upon others. If
he was authorized to impart the Holy Ghost by an ordinance of the
gospel, it follows also that he was divinely authorized to preach a new
dispensation of the gospel, and re-establish the Church of Christ on
earth. The only question that remains to be considered is, do those who
comply with the conditions receive the fulfillment of the promise?

For over sixty years the gospel has been preached among nearly all the
nations of the earth, during which time hundreds of thousands have
received the message, and they have testified that to them the word
of promise made to the ear has not been broken to the hope--but they
have realized its fulfillment. Not always, and indeed not frequently,
in the earth-quake, or the whirlwind, have they seen the evidence of
having received the Holy Ghost; but in the whisperings of the still,
small voice of the Comforter, which fills the soul with assurance;
which enlarges while it quickens the intellect; makes broader while
it sanctifies the affections; shows things to come, or testifies that
Jesus is the Christ; through adversity or affliction is a voice in the
ear saying, when those who have it would turn to the right hand or to
the left, this is the way, walk ye in it; or which, though it brings
together men and women from all nations and tribes of the earth, with
all their diverse customs and peculiarities, yet makes them one people;
blends all their desires in the accomplishment of a common purpose,
and enables them to dwell together in perfect peace and unity. Such is
the manner of its operations--and in such operations the saints have
evidence of its existence among them; and the whole Church of Christ
is ready and does testify to the world that the Holy Ghost is given in
fulfillment of the promise made through Joseph Smith.

Following the promise of the Holy Ghost, in the revelation quoted,
is this array of promises: "And these signs shall follow them that
believe. In my name they shall do many wonderful works; in my name [2]
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 a 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_." [3]

The last part of the passage I have written in Italics that it might
be the clearer understood that this promise of the miraculous gifts
enumerated was not made that servants of God in the new dispensation
might have evidence of what are commonly looked upon as miracles to
point to in attestation of their divine authority; but are blessings
given to the saints for their profit and salvation. For the very
reasons that they were not given as evidence of divine authority,
but as a promise of blessing to the saints, they will become all
the stronger proof of divine authority in the ministry of the new
dispensation, provided it can be proven that they follow those who
believe. And I want to say, also, that because of the commandment
that the servants of God shall not boast of these powers before the
world is the very reason that so little has been said of them as proof
of the divine mission of our New Witness; and even now I make their
chief weight as evidence consist in the fact that their enjoyment is
the fulfillment of a promise made by the God of heaven through Joseph
Smith, which if it had not been fulfilled would prove him beyond all
question an impostor. But I affirm that these promises are fulfilled in
the experience of those who believe in, and accept the new dispensation
and offer the following testimony in evidence:--

In the month of April, 1830, Joseph Smith was visiting at the house
of a Mr. Joseph Knight, at Colesville, Broome County, New York. This
gentleman had rendered the prophet some timely assistance while
translating the Book of Mormon, and he was anxious that Mr. Knight and
his family should receive the truth. While in Mr. Knight's neighborhood
the prophet held a number of meetings. Among those who attended
regularly was Newel Knight, son of Joseph Knight. He and the prophet
had many serious conversations on the subject of man's salvation. In
the meetings held the people prayed much, and in one of the aforesaid
conversations with the prophet, Newel Knight promised that he would
pray publicly. When the time came, however, his heart failed him, and
he refused, saying that he would wait until he got into the woods by
himself. The next morning when he attempted to pray in the woods, he
was over-whelmed with a sense of having neglected his duty the evening
before, in not praying in the presence of others. He began to feel
uneasy and continued to grow worse both in body and mind, until upon
reaching home his appearance was such as to alarm his wife. He sent
for the prophet, who, when he came found Newel in a sad condition and
suffering greatly. His visage and limbs were distorted and twisted in
every shape imaginable. At last he was caught up off the floor and
tossed about most fearfully. The neighbors hearing of his condition
came running in. After he had suffered for a time the prophet succeeded
in getting him by the hand, when Newel immediately spoke to him, saying
he knew he was possessed of the devil, and that the prophet had power
to cast him out. "If you know I can, it shall be, done," replied the
prophet; and then almost unconsciously he rebuked Satan and commanded
him to depart from the man. Immediately Newel's contortions stopped,
and he spoke out and said he saw the devil leave him and vanish from

"This was the first miracle which was done in this church, or by any
member of it," writes the prophet; "and it was done not by man, nor by
the power of man, but it was done by God and by the power of Godliness;
therefore let the honor and praise, the dominion and the glory, be
ascribed to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen."

The following account of a miraculous healing is to be found in Hayden'
History of the Disciples (Campbellites); and is the statement of
witnesses hostile to the prophet and the work in which he was engaged:

"Ezra Booth, of Mantua, a Methodist preacher of much more than ordinary
culture, and with strong natural abilities, in company with his
wife, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, and some other citizens of this place,
visited Smith at his house in Kirtland, in 1831. Mrs. Johnson had been
afflicted for some time with a lame arm, and was not at the time of
the visit able to lift her hand to her head. The party visited Smith,
partly out of curiosity, and partly to see for themselves what there
might be in the new doctrine. During the interview the conversation
turned upon the subject of supernatural gifts; such as were conferred
in the days of the apostles. Some one said: 'Here is Mrs. Johnson
with a lame arm; has God given any power to men on the earth to cure
her?' A few moments later, when the conversation had turned in another
direction, Smith rose, and walking across the room, taking Mrs. Johnson
by the hand, said in the most solemn and impressive manner: '_Woman, in
the name of Jesus Christ, I command thee to be whole;_ and immediately
left the room. The company were awestricken at the infinite presumption
of the man, and the calm assurance with which he spoke. The sudden
mental and moral shock--I know not how better to explain the well
attested fact--electrified the rheumatic arm--Mrs. Johnson at once
lifted it with ease, and on her return home the next day she was able
to do her washing without difficulty or pain.'" [4]

When the saints first settled at Commerce, afterwards called Nauvoo, it
was a very unhealthy locality. Malaria was prevalent and other people
who had tried to make a settlement there had failed. The exposure to
which the saints had been subjected in their expulsion from Missouri,
made them easy victims to the malaria. By the middle of July, 1839,
the greater part of them were stricken down of the fever, and in the
most helpless condition. From the 21st of July to the 23rd, inclusive,
there were remarkable manifestations of the power of God in the church
through the administrations of the Prophet Joseph to the sick. His own
account of the matter in his journal is extremely brief, it stands thus:

"Sunday, 21st. There was no meeting on account of much rain and much
sickness; however, many of the sick were this day raised by the power
of God, through the instrumentality of the Elders of Israel ministering
unto them in the name of Jesus Christ."

"Monday and Tuesday, 22nd, 23rd. The sick were administered unto with
great success, but many remain sick, and new cases are occurring
daily." [5]

Another hand, however, has recorded the manifestation of God's power
on that memorable 22nd of July, 1839, that of Wilford Woodruff, now
President of the church, and I quote his account of it.

"In consequence of the persecutions of the saints in Missouri, and
the exposures to which they were subjected, many of them were taken
sick soon after their arrival at Commerce, afterwards called Nauvoo;
and as there were but a small number of dwellings for them to occupy,
Joseph had filled his house and tent with them, and through constantly
attending to their wants, he soon fell sick himself. After being
confined to his house several days, and while meditating upon his
situation, he had a great desire to attend to the duties of his office.
On the morning of the 22nd of July, 1839, he arose from his bed and
commenced to administer to the sick in his own house and door-yard, and
he commanded them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to arise and be
made whole; and the sick were healed upon every side of him.

"Many lay sick along the bank of the river; Joseph walked along up to
the lower stone house, occupied by Sidney Rigdon, and he healed all the
sick that lay in his path. Among the number was Henry G. Sherwood, who
was nigh unto death. Joseph stood in the door of his tent and commanded
him in the name of Jesus Christ to arise and come out of his tent, and
he obeyed him and was healed. Brother Benjamin Brown and his family
also lay sick, the former appearing to be in a dying condition. Joseph
healed them in the name of the Lord. After healing all that lay sick
upon the bank of the river as far as the stone house, he called upon
Elder Kimball and some others to accompany him across the river to
visit the sick at Montrose. Many of the saints were living at the old
military barracks. Among the number were several of the Twelve. On his
arrival, the first house he visited was that occupied by Elder Brigham
Young, the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, who lay sick. Joseph
healed him, then he arose and accompanied the prophet on his visit to
others who were in the same condition. They visited Elder W. Woodruff,
also Elders Orson Pratt and John Taylor, all of whom were living in
Montrose. They also accompanied him.

"The next place they visited was the home of Elijah Fordham, who was
supposed to be about breathing his last. When the company entered the
room, the prophet of God walked up to the dying man and took hold of
his right hand and spoke to him; but Brother Fordham was unable to
speak, his eyes were set in his head like glass, and he seemed entirely
unconscious of all around him. Joseph held his hand and looked into
his eyes in silence for a length of time. A change in the countenance
of Brother Fordham was soon perceptible to all present. His sight
returned, and upon Joseph asking him if he knew him, he, in a low
whisper, answered 'Yes'. Joseph asked him if he had faith to be healed.
He answered, 'I fear it is too late; if you had come sooner I think
I could have been heald.' The prophet said, 'Do you believe in Jesus
Christ?' He answered in a feeble voice, 'I do.' Joseph then stood
erect, still holding his hand in silence several moments; then he spoke
in a very loud voice, saying, 'Brother Fordham, I command you in the
name of Jesus Christ, to arise from this bed and be made whole.' His
voice was like the voice of God, and not of man. It seemed as though
the house shook to its very foundations. Brother Fordham arose from his
bed, and was immediately made whole. His feet were bound in poultices
which he kicked off; then putting on his clothes he ate a bowl of bread
and milk and followed the prophet into the street.

"The company next visited Brother Joseph Bates Noble, who lay very
sick. He also was healed by the prophet. By this time the wicked became
alarmed and followed the company into Brother Noble's house. After
Brother Noble was healed, all kneeled down to pray. Brother Fordham was
mouth, and while praying, he fell to the floor. The prophet arose, and
on looking around he saw quite a number of unbelievers in the house,
whom he ordered out. When the room was cleared of the wicked, Brother
Fordham came to and finished his prayer.

"After healing the sick in Montrose, all the company followed Joseph to
the bank of the river, where he was going to take the boat to return
home. While waiting for the boat a man from the West, who had seen that
the sick and dying were healed, asked Joseph if he would not go to his
house and heal two of his children, who were very sick. They were twins
and were three months old. Joseph told the man he could not go, but he
would send some one to heal them. He told Elder Woodruff to go with the
man and heal his children. At the same time he took from his pocket a
silk bandanna handkerchief, and gave to Brother Woodruff, telling him
to wipe the faces of the children with it, and they should be healed;
and remarked at the same time: 'As long as you keep that handkerchief
it shall remain a league between you and me.' Elder Woodruff did as
he was commanded, and the children were healed, and he keeps the
handkerchief to this day.

"There were many sick whom Joseph could not visit, so he counseled the
Twelve to go and visit and heal them, and many were healed under their
hands. On the day following that upon which the above-described events
took place, Joseph sent Elders George A. and Don Carlos Smith up the
river to heal the sick. They went up as far as Ebenezer Robinson's
one or two miles--and did as they were commanded, and the sick were
healed." [6]

The manifestation of God's power was by no means confined to the
personal ministry of Joseph Smith, nor to the land of America. God
honored the ministrations of those who received authority through his
prophet, and poured out his blessings on those who received the message
in distant lands, as will be seen by the testimony I now introduce.

The following is an Editorial in _The Merlin,_ a non-Mormon paper,
published in Merthyr Tydvil, Wales, under the caption of an
"_Extraordinary Occurrence_."

"During the night of Friday week (Sept. 22nd, 1848) between the hours
of eleven and twelve, a very extraordinary occurrence took place in
Newport. A young man named Reuben Brinkworth was, in 1840 (?) at
Bermuda, on board the _Terror,_ Commodore Franklin, in the Arctic
expedition, when, in the midst of a storm of thunder and lightning,
he was suddenly deprived of both hearing and speech, and in that
deplorable condition returned to Stroud, in England, of which place
he was a native. He has since been residing with Mr. Naish, basket
maker, Market Street, Newport, who, with several other persons, is
attached to the community of people known as 'Mormons.' Persons of
this denomination have been able to communicate their doctrines to
Brinkworth, by means of writing, signs, and the finger alphabet. His
sad condition they allege, excited their sympathy for his spiritual as
well as temporal welfare; and their doctrines made very considerable
impression upon him--perhaps, more especially, because their creed was
that God did perform miracles in these days as he did in the days of
old, and a miracle might be wrought in his favor. On Friday night week,
the young man was seized with a kind of fit, in which he continued some
time; and on his recovery he was called upon, by sight, [7] to believe
in the Savior, that the healing power of God might be exercised in his
behalf. He was moreover earnestly entreated to be baptized; but this
was very strongly opposed by a person in the room. The deaf and dumb
man, however, signified his acquiescence. He was taken to the canal and
baptized in the name of our Savior; and immediately on coming up out of
the water, he cried out, "Thank the Lord, I can speak and hear again
as well as any of you!" He now speaks fluently and hears distinctly;
which miraculous circumstance is attributed to the power of Providence
by the friends of the young man; who called at our office with him, and
gave us the details. We have heard from another source that this happy
change in the young man's condition is supposed to have been produced
by the action upon him of the electric fluid during the thunder storm
of the Friday night. We shall not take upon ourselves to decide this

Subsequently Mr. Reuben Brinkworth himself made a statement of the
miraculous event, and it was published in the _Millennial Star,_ from
which I quote it.

"On the 2nd of July, 1839, I entered on board the _Terror,_ Commodore
Sir J. Franklin being then about to set out on a voyage of discovery
for a northwest passage to India. Upon returning to England we landed
at Bermuda on the 16th of July, 1843, and in the afternoon of the same
day a terrible thunder storm occurred, in which I was suddenly deprived
of my hearing and speech. At the same time five of my comrades, viz.,
John Ennis, William Collins, John Rogers, Richard King, and William
Simms were summoned into eternity. I remained insensible fifteen
days--perfectly unconscious of all that was passing around me; but upon
the return of reason, came the dreadful conviction that I was deprived
of two of my faculties. I well remember the period, and shall ever
continue to do so--language cannot describe the awful sensations that
pervaded my mind when I became fully sensible of the reality of my

"I will here remark, that the subject of religion had never troubled my
mind; nor did the calamity I was called to suffer awaken any feeling
akin to it; nevertheless I felt a certain feeling of gratitude that
I had not met with the same fate as my more unfortunate companions;
yet I must, to my shame, confess that it was not directed to the
Great Disposer of all events, who could have taken my life as those
of my companions, had he willed it. But it was not his design. I was
spared, and am now a living witness of his loving kindness to the most
abandoned sinners, if they will turn and seek his face.

"At that time I was about nineteen years old. After remaining at
Bermuda about three weeks, we again set sail for England, and reached
Chatham on the 14th of December. I remained there only fourteen days,
after which I went to London, and, by the kind assistance of some
gentlemen, entered the deaf and dumb school in Old Kent Road, where I
remained for ten weeks, but not liking the confinement, and being from
home, I became dissatisfied and unhappy, and resolved to leave it, and
accordingly did so. I then went to George Lock's, Oxford Arms, Silver
Street, Reading, with whom I lived eighteen months, supporting myself
the whole of that period upon the wages I earned on board the _Terror._
I afterwards went to Rugby not to remain there, but on the way to my
mother at Stroud, Gloucestershire.

"I will here relate a circumstance of cruelty of which I was made the
sufferer; being thirsty, I stepped into a public house to get something
to drink; there were gentlemen in the parlor, who, seeing that I was
dumb, motioned me to them, and put many questions in writing, which I
answered in the same manner. While I was thus being questioned, one
of the men went out and brought in a policeman, who hauled me away to
the lock-up in which place I was kept all that night, the next day,
and following night, and on the morning of the second day I was taken
before a magistrate who ordered me to be taken to a doctor, where I
underwent an operation, namely having my tongue cut in two places;
he became satisfied that I was both deaf and dumb, and then I was
discharged. From the treatment I had received I was determined to go to
another of the magistrates of that town, to whom I related by writing
what had happened. He said very little to me, more than that he would
write to London respecting it, and I have since heard from a gentleman,
that the magistrate who examined me, has been removed from his office.
I then continued my journey to Stroud, which I reached without any
other inconvenience, and remained there two days. I then went to
Newport, Monmouthshire, and occupied my time in teaching the deaf and
dumb alphabet for about three years, at the end of which I became
acquainted with the Latter-day Saints. At that time I was lodging
at a public house, kept by James Durbin, sign of the "Golden Lion,"
Pentonville. One of the customers of this house became acquainted with
me and prevailed upon me to go and live with him and his brother, who
was a member of the Latter-day Saints' Church. There I first became
acquainted with the doctrines taught by this people, by reading and by
means of the finger alphabet. I continued to investigate them for about
three months, when I felt convinced of the truth of those doctrines
which have since become so beneficial to my temporal and eternal
welfare. On the 22nd of September I had been, by means of the deaf and
dumb alphabet, conversing freely with some of the Saints, and had fully
determined to be baptized that evening; therefore I expressed my desire
to receive the ordinance of baptism, and was taken to the canal early
on the morning of the 23rd, and baptized in the name of the Father, Son
and Holy Ghost; and upon my head emerging from the water, I heard the
voices of persons upon the towing path, and this was the first sound
I had heard since my deprivation upon the island of Bermuda, in 1843.
With my hearing came also my speech, and the first words that I uttered
were, 'Thank the Lord, I can speak and hear again as well as any of
you.' I scarcely need state my own surprise at the moment, but such it
was, and it appears marvelous in my own eyes, not that God is possessed
of such power, but that he should manifest it in my behalf. I have much
cause to praise him and glorify his holy name, for in obedience to his
divine commands, I not only received the remission of my sins, which I
esteem above all earthly blessings, but also the removal of my deafness
and dumbness; and now I can hear as distinctly and speak as fluently as
I ever did, although I have been deprived of both these faculties for
upwards of five years, not being able to hear the loudest noise, nor to
use my tongue in speech.

"There is a mistake in the _Merlin_ of the date of my landing at
Bermuda, it should have been 1843, instead of 1840. The same error
appeared also in the _Millennial Star,_ No. 22, Vol. X, which was
caused by extracting the account from that paper.

"The following individuals are witnesses to my baptism:



"JOHN WALDEN. Members of the Church.



"JACOB NAISH. Non-Members." [8]

I quote the following cases from one of the publications of the
church--the _Millennial Star_--from which alone could be selected
enough of such incidents to fill a large volume. These letters were
addressed to Elder Orson Pratt, one of the Twelve Apostles of the New
Dispensation, who in 1848-50 was Editor of the _Star_ and President of
the European Mission:



May 23, 1849.

I feel it my bounden duty to make the following narrative known to
the authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ, to show that the
manifestation of the power of God attends this church, in the last
days, as it did the church of the early Apostles, viz:--My daughter
Sophia Matilda, aged eight years, was in the month of May, 1848,
afflicted in her eyes; she soon lost the sight of her left eye, and
on applying to medical aid, instead of the sight being restored she
immediately lost the other, the surgeon stating that the pupils were
closed, and feared she could never be restored to her sight. I was
advised to try an eminent surgeon in Shrewsbury, in the county of
Salop, where in June, 1848, I sent her and her mother, as she was
now quite blind, and the poor little creature's sufferings were
indescribable, though the Lord enabled her to be patient in her
afflictions; she remained in Shrewsbury a fortnight but found no
benefit, and as the last resource to human aid, I was advised to
send her to an eminent oculist in Liverpool (Dr. Neile) under whose
treatment she was relieved, and a gradual improvement took place, to
our great joy, until the Autumn of the same year. I corresponded with
Dr. Neile, who desired me to continue the treatment he had prescribed,
but it was all to no purpose, for she relapsed into the same state as
before, and was in total darkness the whole of the winter, suffering
acutely, and by February of the present year, 1849, she had wasted to
a mere skeleton, when my brother-in-law paid me a visit previous to
his embarkation to California, and told me that if I would have faith
in the Lord Jesus Christ, and call for the Elders of the church, he
believed she would be healed. I also soon was enabled to believe and
obeyed the command of St. James. The church put up their prayers for
us, and I found, thanks to the Giver of all good, some improvement ere
the ordinance was performed. On the following Sabbath, Elder Dudley and
Richards, from Pool Quay, came to my house, performed the ordinance
upon my child, the pain soon left her, and she was soon by the power of
God and the prayers of the faithful restored to sight and health and,
thanks be to Almighty God, she is still in the enjoyment of these great
blessings; trusting you will rejoice in the Lord with me for his great
mercies manifested to me, I remain, etc. etc.,


* * * *

Some years ago, the author speaking in Farmington, the county seat of
Davis County, Utah, had occasion to refer to this instance of healing,
and at the conclusion of his remarks a gentleman of the name of James
Loynd arose and said he was well acquainted with the circumstance, as
the person healed was a relative of his, and said the incident above
related was true in every particular. Happening to remember this when
making his selection of cases of healing that have occurred in the
church, I wrote this gentleman and here give my letter to him and his

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH. Dec. 31, 1894.

_James Loynd, Esq.,_ Farmington, Utah.

DEAR BROTHER:--A number of years ago, when delivering a public
discourse in your village, I had occasion to refer to some of the
testimonies to remarkable cases of healing in the church that were
collected and published in the _Millennial Star_ by Elder Orson Pratt.
My recollection is that after I had read one of the many cases
published by Elder Pratt, you arose in the body of the house and
testified that the person healed--I think restored to sight--was a
relative of yours, perhaps your wife.

If the circumstance still lives in your memory I wish you would confirm
my statement of the case, as I am about to go to press with a book
where your confirmation of my recollection will be of service to me.

I trust you will pardon me for thus intruding upon you, but believing
you have an interest in the great cause of truth I make bold to trouble

Very truly, your brother,


* * * *

FARMINGTON, UTAH., Dec. 16th, 1894.

_Elder B. H. Roberts,_ Salt Lake City.

DEAR BROTHER:--I very distinctly remember the circumstance of you
speaking some years ago in Farmington, and my confirming one of
the cases of healing read by you on that occasion. It was the case
of Sophia Matilda Pugh, who is now my wife, Sophia M. Loynd. The
circumstance of her receiving her sight, is accurately stated by
her father in a letter to the _Star_ (Vol XI). It is now forty-six
years ago since the miracle was performed. Sophia M. Loynd, who was
then healed in so remarkable a manner, is still alive and joins me
in signing this letter to you. She is fifty-four years old, in good
health, and a living witness to the miraculous power that is in the
church of Christ. She says that this case of healing is what brought
her parents into the church. They immigrated to Utah, where they died
in the faith. I have written this in the presence of my wife, have read
the same to her and she now joins me in saying that you may make such
use of it as you choose.

Very truly yours,

(signed) JAMES LOYND,


* * * *


BRISTOL, November 25, 1849.

DEAR PRESIDENT PRATT:--As you were so kind as to publish the letter
I sent, dated July 9, 1849, containing an account of the miraculous
power of God, displayed in the healing of Elizabeth Ann Bounsell,
which made quite a stir amongst the pious Christians of this city, I
now venture to write to you again, and say that the above circumstance
caused many to call at the house to see if it were true. And upon
seeing, many rejoiced, others mocked, saying, "She would have got well
if the Elders had not laid their hands upon her." Among the latter,
was one _would-be_ great man, by the name of Charles Smith (who has
written a flimsy attack against the Saints,) who said it was not enough
to satisfy him. So the mother took another of her daughters, and put
her upon his knee, and said, "Sir, is that child blind?" After he had
examined the eyes he said "She is." "Well," said the mother, "she was
born blind: and now she is four years old; and I am going to take her
to the Elders of our church for them to anoint her eyes with oil and
lay their hands upon her; and you can call again when you have time and
see her with her eyes opened; for I know the Lord will heal her and she
will see." "Well," said he, "if she ever does see it will be a great
proof." Accordingly the mother brought the child to the Elders and
Elder John Hackwell anointed her eyes, and laid hands upon her, only
once, and the Lord heard his prayer, so that the child can now see with
both of her eyes, as well as any other person. For which we all feel
thankful to our Heavenly Father, and are willing to bear testimony of
it to all the world.

Yours in the kingdom of God,


P. S.--We, the father and mother of the child, do here sign our names
to the above, as being true.



No. 12, Broad Street, Bristol.

* * * *


RUMFORD, May 1st, 1849.

DEAR BROTHER GIBSON:--At your request, I now sit down to give you
a short account of the goodness and power of God, made manifest
in my behalf. About two years ago, while working at my trade of
coach-builder, while assisting in removing a railway carriage, I
dislocated my thigh, and was conveyed home, and my parents not being
in the church, and no Elders in the town, (viz. Sterling) medical
skill was called in, but from the swelling it could not be set. I was
again examined by a Doctor Jeffrey, and one Taylor of Glasgow, who
said that a kind of jeal had gathered in the hip joint, and before it
could be set this must be removed by cupping; so I was cupped with
twenty-four lances but it did no good and I lingered in great pain for
three weeks when it was proposed that I should again be cupped; but I
was determined that it should not be; and hearing from you that Elder
Samuel W. Richards, from America was coming to Sterling, I told my
friends that when he came they would see the power of God, and I should
be healed. Accordingly, when he came, he anointed me in the name of the
Lord, and the bone went into its place, and I got up in the morning and
went to my work, to the astonishment of doctors and friends. I am now
a traveling Elder, and have a great deal of walking, but experience no
inconvenience from it. I can get a dozen witnesses to attest to the
truth of this cure both in and out of the church.

I remain your brother,


* * * *


September 14, 1850.

DEAR PRESIDENT PRATT:--I enclose a testimony of a miraculous case of
healing which has taken place a few days ago in Abercanaid; I saw the
brother in his affliction and the accompanying testimony he bore at
my house more than two miles distant from his. I send it to you with
permission to do with it as you think proper.


* * * *


MERTHYR TYDFIL. September 10, 1850.

On Friday, August 23rd, 1850, at about eleven o'clock while I was
working among the coal, a stone fell upon me, about 200 pounds weight.
I was carried home, and the doctor who was present said he could do
nothing for me, and told those around me to wrap me up in a sheet that
I might die. There was a lump on my back as big as a child's head.
The doctor afterwards told one of my relatives, about six o'clock in
the evening, that I could not recover. Elder Phillips called to see
me, attended to the ordinance of the church for the sick, and while
commanding the bones in the name of Jesus, they came together, making a
noise like the crushing of an old basket; my strength returned, and now
I am able to go some miles to bear my testimony to this great miracle.
The doctor who called to see me was astonished, and said in the hearing
of witnesses that my backbone was broken; but that it now was whole,
and that I was now recovering as well as any man he ever saw. Many of
our greatest enemies confessed that I was healed by the power of God,
and while coming here today, many who heard of my accident were struck
with the greatest amazement. But I thank my Heavenly Father for his
kindness towards me, hoping I shall live to serve him more faithfully
henceforth than ever.







* * * *



SALFORD, May 19, 1849.

Last winter, a young woman addressed me in the Carpenter's Hall, the
daughter of a fustian cutter, named Lee, residing in Cook Street,
Salford, and said her parents were desirous that I should go and see
her brother, who was very bad with a leprosy. I went in company with
one or two of my brethren. I think I never saw anything so bad as the
boy was (the small pox excepted); the whole lower part of his face and
under his chin, as well as the back of his hands and wrists, were one
entire mass of scabs; indeed, you could not have inserted a needle
point, they were so thick. He was eight and a half years of age, and
had been afflicted since he was six months old; they had him at the
Manchester Infirmary and the Salford Dispensary, and are at this time
paying the surgeon's bill who attended him as a private patient. The
surgeon told his parents he could do nothing for him, as the disease
was too virulent for medicine to reach it. His parents told me they did
not know what it was to get a regular night's rest with him, and it
frequently took three hours to wash him. The first night we went they
were not disturbed during the night, and in three weeks he was entirely
free, and his flesh was renewed like that of a young child.


* * * *

To all whom it may concern. This is to certify, that I was seized
with a disease like the leprosy, in the year 1837, and tried all that
I could to get a cure, but I could not, and all the doctors that I
applied to could do me no good; and it continued with me over all my
body till the month of September, 1843, when I went and was baptized
into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by William
McFarland, Elder of the church, on the first of September, 1843, and on
that same night the leprosy left me.






* * * *

The instances of what are usually called miraculous cases of healing in
the church are by no means confined to the past, they take place today
and are of frequent occurrence. By permission of Elder Heber J. Grant,
one of the Twelve Apostles, I give herewith a letter of his written
to his cousin, Mrs. Julia MacDonald, living in St. George, Utah, that
relates a case of quite recent date.

TOOELE CITY, April 28th, 1894.

MY DEAR COUSIN JULIA:--I am half inclined to the opinion that you
will be thinking that I have entirely forgotten the promise which I
made you, some time ago, to write about the case of healing, that
came under my observation in connection with my brother Hyrum. I have
not forgotten the promise, but I have been pretty busy with my usual
duties, and the conference matters which needed attention before and
since April 6th.

* * I will, to the best of my ability, now redeem my promise about
giving an account of the young lady healed by the Lord. Some years
ago, as nearly as I can now recall it is about seven or eight years,
my brother Hyrum was living in Salt Lake City, he had charge of the
business of Grant Brothers' Livery Co. The employees of the Z. C. M.
I. shoe factory arranged with our company to carry them to Calder's
Farm to spend the day. Just before dark it looked quite like a storm,
or commenced storming, I do not now recall which. My brother, who
had driven one of the large drags down to Calder's, called the party
together, and told them he felt that it was the proper thing to start
for the city before it was dark, for fear of an accident on State Road.
The people declined to start for the city, and Hyrum then and there
warned them that he was not to be responsible for any accident that
might happen.

Coming from Calder's in the rain and dark, the drag driven by my
brother was turned over, and one young lady had some bones broken, and
in addition being so badly exposed, she took cold and the result was
pneumonia. She got very low and the doctors had a consultation and
decided it was an impossibility for her to recover. Hyrum felt very
bad indeed when he learned her condition and that the doctors had said
that the young lady could not live more than two days, and that they
did not think she would live more than twenty-four hours. He came to
see me and said that he had had a testimony that in case he and I would
go and administer to the young lady she would get well. I was pleased
to go with him, but when I got to the house where she lived I looked
at her and felt that she was dying, and told my brother that I did
not think there was any use of blessing her, but he turned and said,
"Did I not tell you that I had had a testimony that if we would bless
her that she would get well?" I felt ashamed of my refusal to bless
the girl, and we then administered to her, and, while I had my hands
on her head, I got a testimony that she would recover. I met Brother
Wm. H. Rowe, [manager of the shoe factory] soon after I left the young
lady's home, and he was feeling very badly, and told me that she was
going to die. I then assured him that he need have no fears, as I had
been blessed of the Lord with a testimony that she would recover, and I
then explained to him what my brother had told me, and of our visit to
the home of the sick sister. The next morning the doctor in attendance
upon her called at the livery stables and told my brother that there
was a wonderful change in the girl's condition, and that he could not
possibly account for the improvement, and that he now had hopes of her
recovery. My brother informed the doctor that he had no difficulty in
accounting for the change, and he then told him of our visit. He, the
doctor, did not have any faith that our visit had anything to do with
the improvement in the sister's condition, notwithstanding the fact
that he had admitted that he could not account for her improvement.

The girl recovered, and the last I heard of her she was still working
in the Z. C. M. I. Shoe Factory. I have a faint recollection that I
was told that she was married, but of this I would not be sure. I have
never seen her since I called with Hyrum at her house, and I do not
know whether or not her family ever knew that she was given up to die
by the doctors. I think the sister's name was Maria DeGray, but in
case you wish to use her name I will make sure that this is correct.
With love and best wishes to each and all of the folks, not forgetting
yourself, I remain,

Your affectionate cousin,


The following account of a case of healing is taken from the _Juvenile
Instructor,_ one of the leading periodicals of the church, the pages of
which are replete with such accounts of healing by the power of God as
is here presented:


As near as I can remember, it was in the month of June, 1879, that I
was engaged in building a rock cellar for Vernee Halliday, in Provo
City. About noon, after finishing the walls as high as I could from
the inside, before drawing my lines off to go outside, I looked along
the wall to see if every rock was in keeping with the line, when I
saw a small corner of a rock a little out of place. With my hammer I
tapped it very lightly to bring it to its proper position, keeping my
eye along the line to see when it came to its place. While doing this
I felt as if something had touched my eye, but nothing to cause me any
uneasiness. At the time I did not think more of the affair.

I worked all the afternoon and the next forenoon, but felt my eye
beginning to get very hot, and water came therefrom. In the afternoon
my eye became worse, and was inflamed to such an extent that I could
not see; my head also became so affected that about four o'clock I
was obliged to cease work and go home. Arriving there my wife, seeing
my eye in such an inflamed condition, got me into a dark room, and
from that time till very early the next morning she used about two
packets of tea in making strong lotions to bathe my eye to keep down
the inflammation. At four o'clock in the morning I got a handkerchief
on my eye, and went away to arouse Dr. W. R. Pike. When I arrived at
his house he was attending a man from Payson. This done, he asked me
what he could do for me. I told him of the inflammation of my eye and
the pain in my head, and said I wanted him to examine it and see what
was the matter with it, or to tell the cause of my suffering. After
examining my eye he said there was one-third of the lens of my eye
entirely destroyed. The center of the lens was gone and only a little
on each edge remained. He said it had been struck with something
rough like a rock, and that I would never see again with that eye. He
described the transparency of the eye, and assured me that it could not
by nature be restored. He said it was likely to take away the use of
my other eye at any time, and that a white opaque substance would grow
over my eye so that I could never see any more.

After leaving his office, I met on the street a Mr. Harrison, who had
formerly lived in Salt Lake City. He told me of Dr. Pratt, who had
just returned to Salt Lake from the East, where she had been studying
the eye, and had done a great deal of good. I therefore went the same
day to see her, but had then to be led by my wife. When we arrived in
Salt Lake it was too late for her to do anything with my eye that day,
and she told us to come back the following morning at ten o'clock. We
did so, and after hearing my story she examined my injured member by
the aid of many glasses, and told me the same as Dr. W. R. Pike had
done. She allowed my wife to look through the glass at my eye, and she
described its appearance as that of a wound from which a dog had bitten
a piece. Dr. Pratt then took me by my front hair, and pushing my head
back, was about to take my eye out. I inquired what she was about to
do, and she answered me that she was going to take it out and put in a
glass one.

My wife seized her arm, and I scrambled out of the chair saying, "No
you don't, or you will shoot me first."

I then asked if she could give me a lotion to check the pain. She
took a small vial and put one drop of its contents in my eye, which
immediately took away all pain. She then gave me a prescription, which
I had filled, and then went home.

Just as both doctors had said, the opaque matter gradually grew on
my eye for three or four weeks, at the end of which time I could not
distinguish my own wife standing so that her dress touched my clothes,
unless she spoke. Up to this time I had not been able to work, and I
was getting dissatisfied.

About that time the quarterly conference took place in Provo. On the
Sunday morning I found my way to conference, still with the napkin
on my eye. There were present of the general authorities, Presidents
George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith and Apostle John Henry Smith.
During the morning meeting I made up my mind to have them administer to
me for my sight, and at the close of the services I went to the vestry
where they were attending to this ordinance for many who were there
before me. When I entered Brothers Joseph F. and John Henry Smith came
and shook hands with me, enquiring what was the matter, and what I
wanted them to do. They introduced me to Brother George Q. Cannon, whom
I had never before known. I knew the Brothers Smith in the old country.
I was told to take a seat, and when they had attended to the rest they
would administer to me, and that I would get my sight. After they got
through with the others they came to me. I cannot now call to mind who
anointed, or who confirmed it, but this I do know that from that very
hour the white, opaque matter that had gradually grown over my eye as
gradually began to disappear, until my eyesight was completely restored
and has remained to this date as perfect as it ever has been. To this
fact myself and family, and others yet living in Provo can testify.

While suffering with this affliction I reasoned that as God made the
eye He also knew how to repair and restore a damaged one, and I testify
to all to whom this may come that He did restore sight to the blind one.


Let me assure the reader that these cases of healing the sick, opening
the eyes of the blind, unstopping the ears of the deaf, etc., are
but as a handful of earth to a mountain. It would require volumes
to contain the testimonies of the Saints to the fulfillment of the
promises of the Lord made through the great modern prophet; but what
is set down in this chapter will doubtless be sufficient to prove the
fulfillment of his promises. The church has taken little or no pains to
publish accounts of "miracles." But the fact that more than sixty years
after these promises of the gifts of healing, etc., were made to the
church, the chief reliance of the Saints in times of sickness is upon
the anointing with oil and the laying on of hands by the Elders--and
this throughout all the branches of the church--it must be evident even
to the most skeptical that the promises of Jesus Christ through Joseph
Smith have been realized, or else long ago the faith of the firmest
would have failed them.


1. Doc. and Cov. Sec. lxxxiv: 62-64.

2. i.e. in the name of Jesus Christ.

3. Doc. and Cov. Sec. lxxxiv: 65-73.

4. Hayden's History of the Disciples, pp. 250-I.

5. Hist. Joseph Smith, Mill. Star, vol. xvii, p. 355.

6. The same event is spoken of at some length in Parley P. Pratt's
Autobiography, p. 325.

7. Mill. Star vol xi: p. 301-2

8. Mill. Star vol. xi: p. 188-9.

9. Mill. Star, vol. xi, p. 337.

10. Mill. Star, vol. xi, p. 202-3.

11. Mill. Star. vol. xi, p. 187.

12. Mill. Star, vol. xii, p. 312.

13. _Juvenile Instructor,_ vol. 29, p. 434.



Of all the means by which the claims of a prophet may be tested,
it seems to me that an inquiry respecting the fulfillment of his
prophecies is at once the most direct and positive. Has he prophesied;
and have his prophecies been fulfilled? If they have, who can doubt the
prophet's inspiration, or the revelations of God to him? This was the
means which the Lord suggested to ancient Israel for the testing of
the genuineness of a prophet's claims: "And if thou shalt say in thy
heart," said the Lord to Israel, "How shall we know the word which the
Lord hath not spoken? _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, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously:
thou shalt not be afraid of him._" [1] And conversely, if the thing
which the prophet speaks in the name of the Lord comes to pass, then
the prophet has spoken the thing commanded him by the Lord--he has not
spoken presumptuously and the people are under obligation to respect
his message, since he has furnished them the highest possible evidence
of his divine inspiration.

I know of no more simple, yet common-sense and effective test than
this. Of course it must be understood in applying it that many
predictions which prophets utter may not come to pass immediately.
Some of them perhaps not in the lifetime of the prophet, or even in
the generation in which he lived; for some prophets have been given
the power to look into the future, and predict things which the wheels
of time will not bring due until the very last generation of men; but
if when the time for the fulfillment of the prophecies uttered comes
due they are not fulfilled, the world may know that the Lord did not
speak through that prophet, but he has spoken presumptuously, without
revelation from God, and the people need have no regard for him or his
pretended messages.

Of the value of the fulfillment of prophecy as evidence of divine
inspiration it is scarcely necessary to speak. It has ever been
recognized, and that properly, as a species of miracle; and therefore
has been accorded all the value attached to miracles. The Lord himself
has recognized the value of the evidence of prophecy; for when he would
have Israel distinguish between himself and the gods of the heathens,
he issued this challenge to them: "Produce your cause, saith the Lord,
bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them
bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the
former things, and what they be, that we may consider them, and know
the latter end of them; _or declare us things for to come. Show the
things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods._"

From this it appears that the power to foretell future events is
regarded peculiarly as one belonging to God alone, or that spirit which
emanates from him; and those who possess that power, and can point to
the fulfillment of their prophecies in attestation of their inspiration
and divine authority may be looked upon as possessing evidence of
special and peculiar force in their favor.

Before applying the test here purposed to the prophetic claims of
Joseph Smith, I would remark that at least two things in relation to
prophecy must be established: first, that the prediction ante-dates
the events; and, second, that the events must be of a nature that no
merely human foresight or judgment, unaided by divine inspiration or
revelation, could have foretold them. Furthermore, I may add, that
one's belief in the divine inspiration of a prophet would be materially
increased, if his prophecies are of a nature to make them of importance
either to the individuals or nations to whom they may be addressed.
For I take it as a common-sense idea that God does not give revelation
to men or inspire them in relation to trivial or unimportant things;
but deals with those matters that are worthy of God's attention and
communication. Hence in my opinion, many of those who have made
pretensions to the prophetic gift stand condemned, because the things
they bring forth are of a nature too trivial to be worthy the notice or
intelligence of men, much less worthy the attention of God.

The first prophecy to be considered is one not made by Joseph Smith,
but one made of him by the angel Moroni, on the occasion of Joseph's
first visit to the Hill Cumorah, when he beheld for the first time the
plates from which he afterwards translated the Book of Mormon. But as
Joseph Smith is the one who acquainted the world with this prediction I
am about to quote, in a certain way it is his prophecy, and will answer
all the purposes of a test such as I am making in this chapter. On the
occasion of this interview with Moroni, before referred to, that the
young prophet might not be deceived by the powers of darkness, he was
given a vision of Satan and his hosts and their methods of deception.
After the vision closed the angel said:

"Behold, notwithstanding you have seen this great display of power,
by which you may be able to detect the Evil One, yet I give unto you
another sign, and when it comes to pass then know that the Lord is God,
and _that he will fulfill his purposes, and that the knowledge that
this record [3] contains will go to every nation, and kindred, and
tongue and people under the whole heaven._ This is the sign: When these
things begin to be known, that is, when it is known that the Lord has
shown unto you these things, _the workers of iniquity will seek your
overthrow: they will circulate falsehood to destroy your reputation,
and also will seek 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 [4] forth;_ for in due time
he will again give you a commandment to come and take them. When they
[5] 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 their hands. Then will persecution rage more and more:_ for the
iniquities of men shall be revealed, _and those who are not built upon
the rock will seek to overthrow this work; but it will increase the
more opposed, and spread farther and farther,_ increasing in knowledge
till they [6] shall be sanctified and receive an inheritance where the
glory of God shall rest upon them. * * * _Your name [7] 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; with
one it shall be had in honor, with the other in reproach; yet with
these it shall be a terror because of the great and marvelous work
which shall follow the coming forth of this fullness of my gospel._"

It was in September, 1823, that these prophetic words were uttered by
Moroni--four years before the plates of the Book of Mormon were given
to Joseph Smith to translate; [8] six years before the Priesthood
was given; [9] seven years before the church was organized; [10]
and fourteen years before the knowledge contained in the Book of
Mormon was sent to a foreign nation. [11] This prophecy, however, was
first published to the world in 1834, in the _Saints' Messenger and
Advocate,_ and is taken from a letter of Oliver Cowdery's to W. W.
Phelps, giving items of church history. Subsequently, in 1840, these
letters were copied from the _Messenger and Advocate_ into the _Times
and Seasons,_ from which I quote [12] the above predictions.

The severe skeptic will insist that the prophecy can only be considered
with reference to its fulfillment from the time it was published to the
world in the _Messenger and Advocate,_ in 1834; this at first glance
would seem to cut down much of the prophetic part of the passages I am
considering. It would cut out the prediction that notwithstanding the
opposition that would be arrayed against the young prophet he would
have power to bring forth the Book of Mormon; that the Lord would give
the holy Priesthood to some; that they would begin to proclaim the
gospel and baptize by water; and give the Holy Ghost by the laying on
of hands. This much would be cut out by the skeptic because it could be
alleged that all this it is claimed occurred before 1834, the time when
the prophecy was first published. Let these items, then, be eliminated;
and still the greater part of the prophecy remains to be fulfilled
after 1834.

The items left are, first, that a knowledge of what the Book of Mormon
contains will go to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people
under the whole heaven; second those not built upon the rock of truth
will oppose the work of God, but it will increase the more it is
opposed and spread farther and farther; third Joseph Smith shall be
known among the nations because of the work the Lord would perform by
his hands--by the righteous he would be held in honor, by the wicked
in reproach. All this was fulfilled after 1834, though some of it was
in process of fulfillment before and at that time--such as the work
thriving in spite of opposition and the name of Joseph being received
either in honor or reproach among the people. I now enter into a more
particular consideration of the fulfillment of this prophecy.

First, _The knowledge of what the Book of Mormon contains will go to
every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people under the whole
heavens._ In 1834 the Book of Mormon had been published only in the
English language, and but little was known of it even in the United
States and Canada. Yet here is a prediction that it shall be known
in all the world. Since then it has been published in the following
languages: French, German, Danish, Italian, Dutch, Welsh, Swedish,
Spanish, Hawaiian and Maori. It has also been translated but not yet
published in Hindostanee and Modern Hebrew. Proclamation of the new
dispensation, and hence also of the Book of Mormon, has been made by
the elders of the church of Christ in the following nations: Great
Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway,
Iceland, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Hindostan, Malta, South Africa,
Mexico, and to many of the Indian tribes of America; all the states of
the American Union, British America, Sandwich Islands, Samoa, Friendly
Islands, New Zealand, West Indies, Turkey and Palestine. While this
enumeration does not include the principal ones. That a knowledge of
what the Book of Mormon contains will yet go to the remaining nations
where the gospel has not yet been proclaimed, and into whose language
the Book of Mormon has not yet been translated, cannot be doubted; for
this item of the prophecy has been so nearly completed that the end is
in sight; and if the church while in its infancy and childhood has done
so much, it will not fail in its strong manhood to fulfill what remains.

The proclamation of the knowledge which the Book of Mormon contains to
all nations and peoples and tongues of the earth, is not an event which
could have been foretold by human foresight, or shrewdness, in 1823,
or even in 1834. The reception given up to that time to the Book of
Mormon was anything but flattering. Only a very few people had received
it. All the learned ridiculed it; the Christians mocked and rejected
it because it was a new revelation. It will be remembered that it
was the universal belief of Christians that the volume of revelation
was completed and forever closed; and hence anything that claimed to
be a new revelation was summarily rejected. In the face of all these
circumstances it required more than mere human foresight on the part
of a few obscure and persecuted followers of Joseph Smith to see that
the time would come when proclamation of the knowledge contained in
the Book of Mormon would be made in all the nations and tongues of the

Second, _The work of the Lord will meet opposition, but it will
increase the more it is opposed and spread farther and farther._ The
reader already knows that from its inception the work of the Lord in
the new dispensation met with the most violent opposition. Only the
year before Oliver Cowdery published this prophecy under consideration,
twelve hundred of the Saints were driven from their lands and homes in
Jackson County, Missouri, more than two hundred of their houses burned
and much other property destroyed. But I am to prove that opposition
met the church after 1834, and that in spite of that opposition the
work increased, and a knowledge of it became more widely diffused. Be
it so. Five years after the expulsion from Jackson County, Missouri,
opposition so increased that the inhabitants of the state of Missouri,
with the officers of the state at their head, arose against the Saints;
directly or indirectly caused the death of some four hundred, and
drove between twelve and fifteen thousand from their homes into exile,
confiscated their lands, drove off their cattle and wantonly destroyed
other property.

Eight years after their expulsion from the state of Missouri, the
Saints to the number of twenty thousand were driven by mob violence
from the state of Illinois, into the wilderness. They fled beyond the
confines of civilization--going a thousand miles beyond the frontiers
of the United States, and settled in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains;
where, despite the waves of persecution which have broken upon the
church, it still lives, its membership more numerous than ever, the
faith of the Saints more strongly established; and where from its lofty
station it overlooks the world and sends its accredited representatives
to all the peoples of the earth, to fulfill the decree of Jehovah that
the gospel of the kingdom, in the last days, shall be preached in all
the world for a witness and then shall the end come. [13]

It was rather a remarkable prediction that the more the work of the
Lord in the last days was opposed the more it would prosper. It was
still more remarkable that it should be predicted that opposition would
rise against it at all, since the great work had its birth in a land
where the constitution of the government guaranteed religious liberty.
The marvelous fulfillment of the prediction under these circumstances
is evidence that there was behind it more than human foresight.

Third, _The name of Joseph Smith is to be known among the nations.
The work which the Lord would perform by his hands would cause the
righteous to rejoice and the wicked to rage: by the former his name
would be held in honor, by the latter in reproach._ The probability
of Joseph Smith ever being known outside of the nation where he was
born was very limited, even in 1834, much less when the prophecy was
uttered by the angel in 1823. It was a strange thing to say that his
name among the nations would be held either in honor or reproach. But
the fulfillment of the prediction will be so generally conceded that
to point out the fact is not necessary. It will be enough to say that
everywhere the new dispensation of the gospel has been proclaimed,
there the people have been made acquainted with the name of Joseph
Smith, and there he is known for good or evil--he is held in honor or
reproach--the righteous have rejoiced, the wicked have raged, and in
many instances have resorted to violence in resisting the message of

The fulfillment of the three items just considered in the prediction
of Moroni proves the genuineness of the prophecy; and therefore I have
a right to claim for it the date on which it was first delivered, the
year 1823. And when considered from that date--when the existence of
the Book of Mormon was as yet unknown except by Joseph Smith; when
Joseph Smith was an obscure boy still in his teens and unknown outside
of his own family and immediate neighborhood; before the Priesthood had
been received, or the remission of sins obtained through baptism, or
the Holy Ghost imparted by the laying on of hands; before the work of
God prospered in spite of opposition--when considered from that date
which places the prediction before all these events, how much more the
prophetic character of the prediction stands out in bold relief! And
who can question its divine inspiration?


1. Deut. xviii: 21, 22.

2. Isaiah xli: 21-23.

3. Referring to the record of the Nephites, the records lying before
them in the stone box from which Joseph had just removed the covering.

4. Meaning the record of the Nephites--the Book of Mormon.

5. The plates comprising the Book of Mormon.

6. Meaning the people who receive the gospel.

7. Meaning the prophet Joseph.

8. The plates of the Book of Mormon were given to the prophet to
translate in 1827.

9. It was in May, 1829, that the Priesthood was first given.

10. The Church was organized April 30th, 1830.

11. The first foreign mission in the New Dispensation was opened in
England, 1837.

12. _Times and Seasons,_ Vol. II, No. 13.

13. Matt. xxiv: 14.



Before the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, a
number of persons who had faith in the statement of Joseph Smith that
he had in his possession the gold plates from which he was translating
the Book of Mormon, and who believed him to be a prophet, came to
inquire through him the will of the Lord concerning themselves in
relation to the new dispensation about to be ushered in. Among those
who thus came were the prophet's father, Joseph Smith, Sen., some time
in February, 1829; Oliver Cowdery, April, 1829; Joseph Knight, Sen.,
May, 1829; and David Whitmer, June, 1829. The prophet inquired for the
will of the Lord concerning these men as they requested, and received
for them the word of the Lord through the Urim and Thummim. In each of
these revelations is contained, with a little variation, the following
prophecy: "_A great and marvelous work is about to come forth among the
children of men_ * * * Behold the field is white already to harvest,
therefore, whoso desireth to reap, let him thrust in his sickle with
his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for
his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God; yea, whosoever
will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God." [1]

This prophecy that a great and marvelous work was about to come forth
among the children of men, I say, was uttered before the translation
of the Book of Mormon was completed or the church organized. How well
it has been fulfilled let the history of the Church of Jesus Christ in
the new dispensation, its present condition and the wonder with which
the world regards it, answer. Of all the religions that have arisen
since the days of Jesus Christ and the apostles, it is looked upon as
the most marvelous; its growth, all things considered, has been most
wonderful; it has a history the most thrilling; a present interest the
most widespread; and a future that challenges more speculation than any
other religious organization. The prophecy was a true one--a great and
a marvelous work has come forth among the children of men.

On the 24th of February, 1834, Joseph Smith received a revelation,
making known to the church how to proceed concerning the brethren who
had been driven from their homes in Jackson County, Missouri, the
November previous. In that revelation occurs the following prophetic
passage: "Verily I say unto you, that I have decreed a decree which my
people shall realize, inasmuch as they hearken from this very hour,
unto the counsel which I, the Lord their God, shall give unto them.
Behold they shall, for I have decreed it, begin to prevail against mine
enemies from this very hour, and by hearkening to observe all the words
which I, the Lord their God, shall speak unto them, they shall never
cease to prevail until the kingdoms of the world are subdued under my
feet, and the earth is given unto the Saints, to possess it forever
and ever. But inasmuch as they keep not my commandments, and hearken
not to observe all my words, the kingdoms of the world shall prevail
against them, for they were set to be a light unto the world, and to
be saviors of men; and inasmuch as they are not the saviors of men,
they are as salt that has lost its savor, and is thenceforth good for
nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men. But verily
I say unto you, I have decreed that your brethren which have been
scattered shall return to the land of their inheritances, and build the
waste places of Zion; for after much tribulation, as I have said in a
former commandment, cometh the blessing. Behold this is the blessing
which I have promised after your tribulations, and the tribulations of
your brethren; your redemption and the redemption of your brethren,
even their restoration to the land of Zion, to be established no more
to be thrown down; nevertheless if they pollute their inheritances they
shall be thrown down, for I will not spare them if they pollute their
inheritances." [2]

Condensed the prophecy stands thus: (1) The Saints from the 24th of
February, 1834, are to begin to prevail over God's enemies; and are
to continue to prevail until the kingdoms of this world are subdued
under his feet--_provided_ they hearken to his counsel: the kingdoms
of this world will prevail against the saints if they hearken not to
the counsels of God: (2) After much tribulation the Saints shall return
and build up the waste places of Zion--they are to be restored to the
land of Zion; and Zion is to be established, never more to be thrown
down--_provided_ the Saints pollute not their inheritances.

The first part of the prophecy has had a remarkable fulfillment. Though
there have been individuals in the church of Christ who have failed to
walk in the holy counsels of God, and have reaped an abundant harvest
of sorrow and shame, and many have made complete shipwreck of faith,
still the church as a whole has kept reasonably well the counsel of
God. The Saints may not have attained to that ideal obedience to the
will of God which all recognize as desirable; but human weakness and
all the circumstances by which they have been surrounded considered, I
repeat that the church has reasonably well walked in accordance with
the counsels of the Lord; and as a result has prevailed, so far, over
all the powers that have been arrayed for its destruction. In proof of
this let the present condition of the church be contrasted with what it
was in February, 1834.

At the time the prophecy of 1834 was uttered, a great part of the
church was scattered along the Missouri bottoms, in Clay County,
Missouri. The Saints had just been driven from their houses and lands
in Jackson County, and were living in log huts and dug-outs, [3] and
subsisting, for the time being, upon the charity of the people of
Clay County. The rest of the church was scattered in branches through
several states of the American Union and Canada. They were without
wealth, or influence; derided, scorned, distrusted, hated. Indeed,
it is difficult to even imagine a situation more hopeless than that
occupied by the church of Christ when this prophecy was uttered.

It would be difficult to determine with any exactness the membership
of the church in 1834, or the number of branches; but certainly the
membership did not exceed six or eight thousand. Now [4] the membership
of the church in Utah and the surrounding states and territories is
more than two hundred and fifty thousand, besides those scattered
throughout the United States, Europe and the Pacific Islands. There
are about five hundred organized wards, grouped into thirty-six stakes
of Zion, [5] each with its high council, its high priests' quorum, its
several elders' quorums, etc. In addition to this there are in all
the wards female relief societies, improvement associations for both
sexes, the primary societies for younger children. There are 504 Sunday
schools, with a total membership of 100,000. In 1834 the church had no
temple; but now it has four magnificent temples wherein are performed
the ordinances of the gospel both for the living and for the dead.

Though but few individuals in the church can be considered wealthy,
yet the Saints are a prosperous, contented, happy people. A greater
percentage of them own the homes they live in and the lands they
cultivate than is the case with any other community in the world; and
they are freer than any other people on earth from those difficulties
which perplex mankind. Peace is in their habitations, God is honored
at the family altars as well as in the public sanctuaries; faith and
confidence in God abound, and on every hand are evidences that the Lord
has owned them and blessed them as his people. It is true that the
church has had its tribulations. Immunity from them was not promised.
The expulsion from the state of Missouri; the exodus from Illinois;
the subsequent journey into the wilderness; the desperate struggle for
existence in the early days of Utah; the judicial crusade waged against
the church during the last decade; these events and all the bloodshed,
wholesale imprisonment, and the suffering and sorrow incident to them
rise up to proclaim that mob violence and other forces of this world
have been employed to destroy the work of God, but they have not
prevailed. The church of Christ still exists; its members are more
numerous and stronger in faith than ever before; the Saints are more
perfectly organized, happier circumstanced, more experienced; they are
more confident of God's sustaining power, more convinced of their high
destiny and the complete fulfillment of this noble prophecy, namely,
that if they continue to hearken to the counsels of the Lord, they will
continue to prevail until the kingdoms of this world are subdued under
his feet, and the earth given to the Saints to possess it forever and

Of the second division of the prophecy little need be said, except that
the first part of it, _viz:_ that which relates to the tribulation
which is to befall the Saints previous to the redemption of Zion has
been, in part at least, fulfilled; and like the partial fulfillment of
the first division of the prophecy, gives good earnest of the complete
accomplishment of all that it predicts.

In the fall of 1838, the city of Far West, inhabited by the Saints,
fell into the hands of the mob forces of Missouri, and Joseph Smith
and a number of his brethren, _viz.,_ his brother Hyrum Smith,
Sidney Rigdon, Parley P. Pratt, Lyman Wight, George W. Robinson and
Amasa Lyman were betrayed into their hands. These men were torn from
their families in the most brutal manner. They were tried off hand
by a court-martial of the mob officers, and condemned to be shot
on the public square of Far West in the presence of their families
and the Saints; but one of the officers of the mob-militia--General
Doniphan--refused to sanction the murder and declared he would not
allow his men to witness it. The other officers were afraid to assume
the responsibility of executing the court-martial decision, and the
prisoners escaped the fate designed for them. Charges of the most
serious nature, including murder, arson, and robbery were then trumped
up against them, intending to encompass their execution under civil
procedure. Amidst the proud boasts of their captors, who brutally told
their heart-broken families and the Saints that they had seen the last
of their prophet, a start was made with the prisoners for Independence,
Jackson County. The prospects of the betrayed men were most desperate.
They were in the hands of a reckless mob whose hatred of them was
intense. There was little respect at the time for law in the state. In
the language of General Clark (Commander-in-Chief of the mob-militia of
the state, then assembled at Far West) addressed to the Saints, their
fate seemed fixed, their die cast, their doom sealed. [6]

The start for Independence was made on the 2nd of November; the
following morning, after spending a most wretched night, encamped on
the banks of Crooked River, Joseph Smith spoke to his fellow-prisoners
in low but cheerful and confident tones, and uttered this prophecy:
_"Be of good cheer, brethren, the word of the Lord came to me last
night that our lives should be given us, and that whatever we may
suffer during this captivity, not one of our lives should be taken."_
"Of this prophecy," says Elder Parley P. Pratt, "I testify in the
name of the Lord, and though spoken in secret, its public fulfillment
and the miraculous escape of each of us is too notorious to need my
testimony." [7]

After enduring five weary months of captivity, which had been spent
in a loathsome prison, and when the heart of the prophet was breaking
within him because of the affliction of his people, betrayed by false
brethren and oppressed by those in power, the word of the Lord came
to him saying: "The ends of the earth shall enquire after thy name,
and fools shall have thee in derision, and hell shall mock against
thee, while the pure in heart and the wise, and the noble and the
virtuous shall seek counsel, and authority and blessings constantly
under thy hands. _And thy people shall never be turned against thee
by the testimony of traitors._ And although their influence shall
cast thee into trouble, and into bars and walls, thou shalt be had in
honor, and but for a small moment and thy voice shall be more terrible
in the midst of thine enemies than the fierce lion, because of thy
righteousness; and thy God shall stand by thee forever and ever." [8]

This prophecy is contained in a letter written by the prophet and his
fellow-prisoners from Liberty jail, and addressed to the Saints then
settling in Quincy, Illinois, to "those scattered abroad" and "to
Bishop Edward Partridge in particular." It was written in March, 1839.
The fulfillment of the prophecies contained in the above extract are
notorious. While fools hold the name of the prophet in derision the
wise and the virtuous from the ends of the earth have inquired and are
inquiring after Joseph Smith, and the work he established; and though
there were many who turned against him and became strong enemies, for
they were strong men, his people were never turned against him by the
testimony of traitors. While living his people were true to him, and
since his death they have revered his memory.

On the 8th of July, 1838, a revelation was given concerning the
quorum of the Twelve Apostles. A number of vacancies existed in this
quorum occasioned through apostasy of several of its members; these
vacancies the prophet was commanded to fill; "And next spring," said
the revelation, "let them [the apostles] depart to go over the great
waters, and there promulgate my gospel, the fullness thereof, and bear
record of my name. Let them take leave of my Saints in the city of Far
West, on the 26th day of April next, on the building spot of my house,
[9] saith the Lord." [10]

Before the date appointed in the revelation for the Twelve to take
leave of the Saints at Far West for a foreign mission, _viz.,_ the
26th of April, 1839, that city had fallen into the hands of the mob,
the church leaders were cast into prison, the apostles were scattered
and the great body of the church driven from the state. In the midst
of these circumstances it was a matter of open boasting with the mob
that there was at least one of "old Joe Smith's" revelations that would
fail. [11] They said that there would be no meeting of the Twelve
with the Saints on the 26th of April, 1839. But a consultation of the
apostles who escaped from Missouri was held early in the spring of
1839, at Quincy, and they resolved return to Far West and fulfill the
Lord's commandment, which, as the reader will perceive, partook of
the nature of a prophecy. The undertaking was successful. Five of the
apostles were at the temple site before day light of the day appointed,
together with a number of high priests, elders and priests.

At this meeting they excommunicated a number of persons from the
church, ordained Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith apostles, and
others were ordained to the office of seventy. The apostles each prayed
in turn, and a beautiful hymn called "Adam-Ondi-Ahman" was sung. At
the conclusion of the hymn, Elder Alpheus Cutler, the master workman
of the Lord's House, laid the south-east corner stone in its position,
and stated that in consequence of the peculiar situation of the Saints
it was deemed prudent to discontinue further labor on the house until
the Lord should open the way for its completion. The apostles then took
leave of some seventeen Saints who were present and started on their
way to fulfill their missions beyond the Atlantic. Thus the commandment
and prophecy which the mobs of Missouri so confidently boasted should
fail, were fulfilled.

In a revelation given in March, 1831, after telling some of the
judgments and commotions which shall precede the glorious coming of
the Lord Jesus, occurs this prophecy: "But before the great day of
the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the
Lamanites [the American Indians] shall blossom as the rose. Zion shall
flourish upon the hills and rejoice upon the mountains, and shall be
assembled together unto the place which I have appointed." [12]

In order to have a complete understanding of this prophecy it is
necessary to explain that the word "Zion" refers not only to a land
called Zion, and a city called Zion, but also to a people, as will be
clearly seen in the above, where "Zion" is not only to rejoice upon
the mountains, but is also to "be assembled together," which really
could only be consistently said of a people. In another revelation the
Lord says: "Let Zion rejoice, for this is Zion, _the pure in heart;_
therefore, let Zion rejoice, while all the wicked shall mourn." [13]
With this explanation of the word "Zion" let us now consider the

First, then, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, Jacob, that
is Israel, or descendants of Israel, shall flourish in the wilderness.

Second, the American Indians shall blossom as the rose, that is, they
will be in a blessed and happy condition.

Third, Zion, the pure in heart, the Saints of God, shall flourish upon
the hills, rejoice upon the mountains and shall be assembled together
unto the place which the Lord has appointed.

The parts of the prophecy which are in progress of fulfillment are
the first and third items. Israel is flourishing in the wilderness,
and Zion, or the Saints of God, who are also, for the most part,
descendants of Israel gathered from among the Gentile nations are
rejoicing upon the mountains; and though the Lamanites are not yet
blossoming as the rose, neither has "the great day of the Lord" come;
and before that day does come, this second item of the prophecy,
referring to the Lamanites, will be fulfilled. Let it be borne in mind
that the prophecy was uttered in March, 1831, long ere the Saints had
so much as dreamed of settling in the Rocky Mountains.

At this juncture I may be permitted to introduce another prophecy of
Joseph Smith's relating to this same subject, and then consider the
fulfillment of both at once.

Under date of August 6th, 1842, the prophet records the following in
his history: "Passed over to Montrose, Iowa, in company with General
Adams, Colonel Brewer and others, and witnessed the installation of
the officers of the Rising Sun Lodge of the Ancient York Masons, at
Montrose, by General James Adams, deputy grand master of illinois.
While the deputy grand master was engaged in giving the requisite
instructions to the master elect, I had a conversation with a number
of brethren, in the shade of the building, on the subject of our
persecutions in Missouri, and the constant annoyance which has followed
us since we were driven from that state. _I prophesied that the Saints
would continue to suffer much affliction and would be driven to the
Rocky Mountains, many would apostatize, others would be put to death
by our persecutors, or lose their lives in consequence of exposure
or disease; and some of you will live to go and assist in making
settlements and build cities and see the Saints become a mighty people
in the midst of the Rocky Mountains. [14]_"

At that date, August 6th, 1842, the Rocky Mountains seemed like a
country afar off to the people of Illinois. The Missouri River was the
extreme frontiers of the United States. All beyond that was well nigh
an unexplored wilderness filled with savages. The church was fairly
settled at Nauvoo, the state authorities were apparently very friendly,
the future of the Saints in Illinois seemed propitious. Yet in the
midst of all these favorable circumstances the prophet predicted much
affliction for some of the Saints, death from persecution for others,
apostasy for many, and for the great body of the church an exodus to
the Rocky Mountains, where some of those present who were listening
to the prediction, should live to assist in making settlements and
building cities in the Rocky Mountains where they would see the Saints
become a mighty people.

There can be no question as to the reality of these two predictions,
the one of March, 1831, and the other of August, 1842, or of their
being of a character to test the divine inspiration of him who uttered
them. That they were proclaimed some years before the events predicted
in them began to be fulfilled, or even there was any thought or
prospect of such events taking place, is well known; that the latter
prophecy has been fulfilled to the uttermost, the whole history of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from August, 1842,
until now witnesses. The Saints suffered many afflictions in Illinois.
Their homes, fields, stacks of grain, stock and other property
were destroyed; their prophets and a number of others were killed
outright by mob violence; many more perished from exposure and disease
occasioned by being driven from their homes at an inclement season of
the year. In those trying times, following the martyrdom of the prophet
and the expulsion from Nauvoo, many turned away from the faith, and
it is too generally known to need comment, that the great body of the
church made its way to the Rocky Mountains, where cities, towns and
villages have been founded, the wilderness subdued, and the Saints are
fast becoming a mighty people.


1. Doc. and Cov., Sec. xi: 1-4. See also Sec. iv, Sec. vi, Sec. xii,
and Sec. xiv, where the same prophecy is repeated.

2. Doc. and Cov., Sec. ciii, 5-14.

3. Holes dug in the ground and covered over with brush and earth.

4. 1895.

5. A stake of Zion is a division of the church comprised of several
ecclesiastical wards; and is presided over by a presidency consisting
of three high priests.

6. The language of General Clark was: "As for your leaders, do not once
think--do not imagine for a moment--do not let it enter your mind that
they will be delivered, or that you will see their faces again; for
their fate is fixed--their die is cast--their doom is sealed."--Autob.
P. P. Pratt, p. 266.

7. Pratt's Autob., p. 210.

8. Mill. Star, Vol. xvii, p. 85; also, Doc. and Cov., Sec. cxxii.

9. A temple site had been selected at Far West and an excavation made
for the foundation. It is this "spot" that the revelation refers. The
excavation for the temple at Far West still remains, or did in 1884,
when the writer visited it.

10. Doc. and Cov., Sec. cxviii.

11. One of the leaders of the mob forces by the name of Bogart,
referring to this revelation, said to Elder Theodore Turley: "As a
rational man, you must give up the claim that Joseph Smith is a prophet
and an inspired man; the Twelve are scattered all over creation; let
them come here if they dare; if they do they will be murdered. As that
revelation cannot be fulfilled, you must now give up your faith. This
is like all the rest of Joseph Smith's damned prophecies!" (Cannon's
Life of the Prophet, p. 285.)

12. Doc. and Cov. Sec. xlix: 24, 25.

13. Doc. and Cov. Sec. xcvii: 21.

14. _Mill. Star,_ Vol. xix, p. 630.



In the journal of William Clayton, under date of May 18th, 1843, is the
following entry, relating a conversation that took place between Joseph
Smith and Stephen A. Douglas, at the house of Sheriff Backenstos,
at Carthage, Illinois: "Dined with Judge Stephen A. Douglas, who is
presiding at court. After dinner Judge Douglas requested President
Joseph to give him a history of the Missouri persecution, which he did
in a very minute manner for about three hours. He also gave a relation
of his journey to Washington City, and his application in behalf of
the Saints to Mr. Van Buren, the President of the United States,
for redress; and Mr. Van Buren's pusillanimous reply--'Gentlemen,
your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you;' and the cold,
unfeeling manner in which he was treated by most of the senators and
representatives in relation to the subject, Clay saying, 'You had
better go to Oregon,' and Calhoun shaking his head solemnly, saying,
'It's a nice question--a critical question; but it will not do to
agitate it.'

"The Judge listened with the greatest attention, and then spoke warmly
in deprecation of Governor Boggs and the authorities in Missouri,
who had taken part in the extermination, and said that any people
that would do as the mobs of Missouri had done ought to be brought to
judgment; they ought to be punished.

"President Smith, in concluding his remarks, said that if the
Government, which receives into its coffers the money of citizens for
its public lands, while its officials are rolling in luxury at the
expense of its public treasury, cannot protect such citizens in their
lives and property, it is an old granny anyhow; and I prophesy in
the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress
the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the State of Missouri and
punish the crimes committed by her officers, that in a few years the
Government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not
be so much as a potsherd left, for their wickedness in permitting the
murder of men, women, and children, and the wholesale plunder and
extermination of thousands of her citizens to go unpunished, thereby
perpetrating a foul and corroding blot upon the fair fame of this great
republic, the very thought of which would have caused the high-minded
and patriotic framers of the Constitution of the United States to hide
their faces with shame. _Judge, you will aspire to the Presidency of
the United States; and if you ever turn your hand against me or the
Latter-day Saints, you will feel the weight of the hand of the Almighty
upon you; and you will live to see and know that I have testified
the truth to you; for the conversation of this day will stick to you
through life._ He appeared very friendly, and acknowledged the truth
and propriety of President Smith's remarks."

This prophecy was first published in Utah, in the _Deseret News_ of
September 24th, 1856; it was afterwards published in England, in the
_Millennial Star,_ February, 1859. [1] In both instances it is found
in the History of Joseph Smith, then being published in sections in
those periodicals. Stephen A. Douglas did aspire to the Presidency of
the United States, and was nominated for that office by the Democratic
Convention, held in Charleston, on the 23rd of June, 1860. When in the
convention he was declared the regular nominee of the Democratic Party,
"The whole body rose to its feet, hats were waved in the air, and many
tossed aloft; shouts, screams, and yells, and every boisterous mode of
expressing approbation and unanimity, were resorted to." [2]

When Mr. Douglas aspired to the Presidency, no man in the history of
American politics had more reason to hope for success. The political
party of which he was the recognized leader, in the preceding
Presidential election had polled 174 electoral votes as against 122
cast by the other two parties which opposed it; and a popular vote of
1,838,169 as against 1,215,798 votes for the two parties opposing.
It is a matter of history, however, that the Democratic party in the
election of 1860 was badly divided; and factions of it put candidates
into the field with the following result: Mr. Abraham Lincoln,
candidate of the Republican party, was triumphantly elected. He
received 180 electoral votes; Mr. Breckinridge received 72 electoral
votes; Mr. Bell 39; and Mr. Douglas 12. "By a plurality count of the
popular vote, Mr. Lincoln carried 18 states; Mr. Breckinridge 11; Mr.
Bell 3; _and Mr. Douglas but I!_" [3] Twenty days less than one year
after his nomination by the Charleston convention, while yet in the
prime of manhood--forty-eight years of age--Mr. Douglas died, at his
home in Chicago, a disappointed, not to say heartbroken, man.

Let us now search out the cause of his failure. Fourteen years after
the interview containing the prophecy with which this chapter opens,
and about one year after the prophecy had been published in the
_Deseret News,_ Mr. Douglas was called upon to deliver a speech in
Springfield, the capital of Illinois. His speech was delivered on
the 12th of June, 1857, and published in the _Missouri Republican_
of June 18th, 1857. It was a time of much excitement throughout the
country concerning the Mormon Church in Utah. Falsehoods upon the
posting winds seemed to have filled the air with the most outrageous
calumny. Crimes the most repulsive--murders, robberies, rebellion,
and high treason--were falsely charged against its leaders. It was
well known that Mr. Douglas had been on terms of intimate friendship
with the Prophet Joseph Smith; and was well acquainted with the other
church leaders. He was therefore looked upon as one competent to speak
upon the "Mormon Question," and was invited to do so in the speech to
which reference is here made. Mr. Douglas responded to the request.
He grouped the charges against the Mormons which were then passing
current, in the following manner:

"First, that nine-tenths of the inhabitants are aliens by birth who
have refused to become naturalized, or to take the oath of allegiance,
or do any other act recognizing the Government of the United States as
the paramount authority in that territory [Utah];

"Second, that the inhabitants, whether native or alien born, known
as Mormons (and they constitute the whole people of the territory)
are bound by horrible oaths, and terrible penalties, to recognize and
maintain the authority of Brigham Young, and the government of which
he is head, as paramount to that of the United States, in civil as
well as in religious affairs; and they will in due time, and under the
direction of their leaders, use all the means in their power to subvert
the government of the United States, and resist its authority.

"Third, that the Mormon government, with Brigham Young at its head,
is now forming alliances with Indian tribes in Utah and adjoining
territories--stimulating the Indians to acts of hostility--and
organizing bands of his own followers under the name of Danites or
destroying angels, to prosecute a system of robbery and murders upon
American citizens who support the authority of the United States, and
denounce the infamous and disgusting practices and institution of the
Mormon government."

Mr. Douglas based his remarks upon these rumors against the Saints, in
the course of which he said: "Let us have these facts in an official
shape before the President and Congress, and the country will soon
learn that, in the performance of the high and solemn duty devolving
upon the executive and Congress, there will be no vacillating or
hesitating policy. It will be as prompt as the peal that follows the
flash--as stern and unyielding as death. Should such a state of things
actually exist as we are led to infer from the reports--and such
information comes in an official shape--_the knife must be applied to
this pestiferous, disgusting cancer which is gnawing into the very
vitals of the body politic. It must be cut out by the roots, and seared
over by the red hot iron of stern and unflinching law._ * * * Should
all efforts fail to bring them [the Mormons] to a sense of their duty,
there is but one remedy left. _Repeal the organic law of the territory,
on the ground that they are alien enemies and outlaws, unfit to be
citizens of a territory, much less ever to become citizens of one of
the free and independent states of this confederacy._ To protect them
further in their treasonable, disgusting and bestial practices would
be a disgrace to the country--a disgrace to humanity--a disgrace to
civilization, and a disgrace to the spirit of the age. Blot it out of
the organized territories of the United States. What then? It will be
regulated by the law of 1790, which has exclusive and sole jurisdiction
over all the territory not incorporated under any organic or special
law. By the provisions of this law, all crimes and misdemeanors,
committed on its soil, can be tried before the legal authorities of
any state or territory to which the offenders shall be first brought
to trial, and punished. Under that law persons have been arrested in
Kansas, Nebraska and other territories, prior to their organization as
territories, and hanged for their crimes. The law of 1790 has sole and
exclusive jurisdiction where no other law of a local character exists,
and by repealing the organic law of Utah, you give to the general
government of the United States the whole and sole jurisdiction over
the territory."

The speech of Mr. Douglas was of great interest and importance to the
people of Utah at that juncture. Mr. Douglas had it in his power to
do them great good. Because of his personal acquaintance with Joseph
Smith and the great body of the Mormon people then in Utah, as well as
their leaders (for he had known both leaders and people in Illinois,
and those whom he had known in Illinois constituted the great bulk of
the people in Utah, when he delivered that Springfield speech), he knew
that the reports carried to the East by vicious and corrupt men were
not true. He knew that these reports in the main were but a rehash of
the old exploded charges made against Joseph Smith and his followers
in Missouri; and he knew them to be false by many evidences furnished
him by Joseph Smith in the interview of the 18th of May, 1843, and by
the Mormon people at sundry times during his association with them at
Nauvoo. He had an opportunity to befriend the innocent; to refute the
calumny cast upon a virtuous community; to speak a word in behalf of
the oppressed; but the demagogue triumphed over the statesman, the
politician, over the humanitarian; and to avoid the popular censure
which he feared befriending the Mormon people would bring to him, he
turned his hand against them with the result that he did not destroy
them but sealed his own doom--in fulfillment of the words of the
prophet, he felt the weight of the hand of the Almighty upon him.

It was impossible for any merely human sagacity to foresee the events
predicted in this prophecy. Stephen A. Douglas was a bright but
comparatively an unknown man at the time of the interview, in May,
1843. There is and can be no question about the prophecy preceding the
event. It was published as before stated in the _Deseret News_ of the
24th of September, 1856, about one year before the Douglas speech at
Springfield, in June, 1857; and about four years before Douglas was
nominated for the Presidency by the Charleston Democratic Convention.

Moreover, a lengthy review of Mr. Douglas' speech was published in the
editorial columns of the _Deseret News_ in the issue of that paper for
September 2nd, 1857, of which the following is the closing paragraph
addressed directly to Mr. Douglas: "In your last paragraph [of the
Springfield speech] you say, 'I have thus presented to you plainly and
fairly my views of the Utah question;' with at least equal plainness
and with far more fairness have your views now been commented upon.
And inasmuch as you were well acquainted with Joseph Smith, and this
people, also with the character of our maligners, and did know their
allegations were false, but must bark with the dogs who were snapping
at our heels, to let them know that you were a dog with them; and
also that you may have a testimony of the truth of the assertion that
you did know Joseph and his people and the character of their enemies
(and neither class have changed, only as the Saints have grown better
and their enemies worse); and also that you may thoroughly understand
that you have voluntarily, knowingly, and of choice sealed your
damnation, and by your own chosen course have closed your chance for
the Presidential chair, through disobeying the counsel of Joseph which
you formerly sought and prospered by following, and that you in common
with us, may testify to all the world that Joseph was a true prophet,
the following extract from the History of Joseph Smith is again printed
for your benefit, and is kindly recommended to your careful perusal and
most candid consideration." Then follows the interview between Joseph
Smith and Mr. Douglas as recorded in the Journal of William Clayton, as
published in the _News_ a year before Mr. Douglas' Springfield speech,
and as now quoted at the beginning of this chapter.

This was boldly accepting the challenge of Mr. Douglas. He raised his
hand against the followers of Joseph Smith despite the warning of the
prophet, and they, in the chief organ of the church, reproduced the
prophecy and told him that he had sealed his damnation and closed his
chance for the Presidential chair through disobeying the counsel of the
prophet. The presidential election of 1860 and the death of Mr. Douglas
in the prime of life the year following tells the rest. [4]

It would be mere conjecture, of course, to say what the result would
have been had Stephen A. Douglas been true to the Saints--the people of
his friend Joseph Smith. But certainly had he been elected in 1860 the
Southern States would have had no such excuse for their great movement
of secession as they at least pretended to have in the election of
Abraham Lincoln. And had Mr. Douglas in the event of his election
followed the counsel given to the government and people of the United
States by Joseph Smith in respect to the question of slavery, that evil
might have been abolished without the effusion of blood, and no place
found in the history of the United States for that horrible conflict
known as the American civil war.

The prophet's counsel here referred to in respect to slavery, was as
follows: "Petition, also, ye goodly inhabitants of the slave states,
your legislators to abolish slavery by the year 1850, or now, and save
the abolitionists from reproach and ruin, and infamy and shame. Pray
congress to pay every man a reasonable price for his slaves out of the
surplus revenue arising from the sale of the public lands, and from the
deduction of pay from the members of congress. Break off the shackles
from the poor black man, and hire him to labor like other human beings;
for an hour of virtuous liberty is worth a whole eternity of bondage."

The document from which this counsel is quoted was published in
February, 1844. Eleven years later, namely, in 1855, Mr. Ralph Waldo
Emerson declared that the question of slavery should be met in
accordance "with the interests of the South, and with the settled
conscience of the North." "It is not really a great task," said this
eminent writer, "a great feat for this country to accomplish, to buy
that property of the planter as the British nation bought the West
Indian slaves." He also predicted that "the United States will be
brought to give every inch of their public lands for a purpose like
this." This plan suggested by Mr. Emerson in 1855, brought to him no
end of praise as a sage philosopher and wise humanitarian. But what of
Joseph Smith, whose suggestion preceded that of Mr. Emerson by eleven
years? Let another--Josiah Quincy--answer:

"We who can look back upon the terrible cost of the fratricidal war
which put an end to slavery, now say that such a solution of the
difficulty would have been worthy a Christian statesman. But if the
retired scholar [referring to Emerson] was in advance of his time when
he advocated this disposition of the public property in 1855, what
shall I say of the political and religious leader [referring to Joseph
Smith] who had committed himself in print, as well as in conversation,
to the same course in 1844? If the atmosphere of men's opinions was
stirred by such a proposition when war clouds were discernable in the
sky, was it not a statesman-like word eleven years earlier when the
heavens looked tranquil and beneficent?" [6]

By indulging in these reflections based upon the supposition of the
success of Stephen A. Douglas in the election of 1860, I have wandered
from the line of direct argument. I have nothing further to do with
the career of Mr. Douglas than to point out in it the remarkable
fulfillment of a prophecy which demonstrates the divine inspiration of
the man who uttered it.


1. _Mill. Star,_ Vol. xxi, No. 9.

2. See Cooper's American Politics, Bk. I, p. 86.

3. See tables in "American Politics," Bk. vii, pp. 22, 26; also,
History U. S. (by Alexander H. Stephens), p. 559.

4. Shortly after the result of the election of 1860 was known in Utah,
Elder Orson Hyde, one of the Twelve Apostles, then residing in Sanpete
County, Utah, wrote to the _Deseret News_ the following letter:

"Ephraim, Utah Ter., Nov. 27, 1860.

"Will the Judge now acknowledge that Joseph Smith was a true prophet?
If he will not, does he recollect a certain conversation had with Mr.
Smith at the house of Sheriff Backenstos, in Carthage, Illinois, in the
year 1843, in which Mr. Smith said to him: 'You will yet aspire to the
Presidency of the United States. But if you ever raise your hand or
your voice against the Latter-day Saints, you shall never be President
of the United States.'

"Does Judge Douglas recollect that in a public speech delivered by him
in the year 1857, at Springfield, Illinois, of comparing the Mormon
community, then constituting the inhabitants of Utah Territory, to a
'loathsome ulcer on the body politic,' and of recommending the knife to
be applied to cut it out?

"Among other things, the Judge will doubtless recollect that I was
present and heard the conversation between him and Joseph Smith at Mr.
Backenstos' residence in Carthage, before alluded to.

"Now, Judge, what do you think about Joseph Smith and Mormonism?


5. Joseph Smith's "Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of
the United States," _Mill. Star,_ Vol. XXII, p. 743.

6. "Figures of the Past--Joseph Smith at Nauvoo," p. 398.



On the 25th of December, 1832, the following revelation and prophecy in
relation to the great American civil war, and war among all nations,
was given through Joseph Smith:

"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 war shall 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 will 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 lightning 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 of 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."

As stated this revelation and prophecy was given in December, 1832; the
elders carried manuscript copies of it with them in their missionary
journeys, and frequently read it to their congregations in various
parts of the United States. In Vol. XIII of the _Millennial Star,_
published in 1851, pp. 216 and 217, is an advertisement of a new church
publication to be called the _Pearl of Great Price._ In the announced
contents is named this revelation of December, 1832, with a statement,
that it had "never before appeared in print." Subsequently, but in the
same year, the _Pearl of Great Price_ with this prophecy in it, was
published by Franklin D. Richards, in Liverpool, England. There are
copies of the first edition still extant. [1]

I am careful to make these statements that the reader may have ample
assurance that the revelation and prophecy preceded the event of the
great Civil War. The revelation containing the prophecy was given on
the 25th of December, 1832. The first shot fired in the great American
Civil War was fired early on the morning of April 12th, 1861. Hence the
prediction preceded the commencement of its fulfillment by twenty-eight
years, three months and seventeen days. Ten years before the war began,
the prophecy was published in England and circulated both in that
country and in the United States. There can be no question, therefore,
as to the prophecy preceding the event.

Let us inquire if the events predicted were of a nature that they could
not be foreseen and hence foretold by human judgment, unaided by divine
inspiration. The prophecy predicts,

First, that the war would begin with the rebellion of South Carolina.

Second, that it would terminate in the death and misery of many souls.

Third, that the Southern States would be divided against the Northern

Fourth, that the Southern States would call upon other nations for
assistance, even upon the nation of Great Britain.

Fifth, that Great Britain would call upon other nations for assistance,
and thus war would eventually be poured out upon all nations.

I submit that this is an enumeration of events twenty-eight years in
the future altogether too definite for human wisdom, unassisted by
divine inspiration, to give. Profane history has nothing like it. To
find a parallel to it, recourse must be had to the history of the
Jewish prophets. It is true there was considerable agitation about the
time of the prophecy on the question known in American politics as
"States' rights." In 1830 had occurred the great Senate debate on that
subject between Robert Y. Hayne, of South Carolina, and Daniel Webster,
of Massachusetts. On that occasion the champion from South Carolina
advocated the doctrine known as "nullification." The discussion had its
origin in an effort to repeal the protective tariff laws of 1828, which
South Carolina, with several other States, regarded as unconstitutional
because the laws were based upon the principle of federal protection
to local interests in the several States, to the injury of the general
interests of the country. But South Carolina also held, which the other
states did not, "that it was within the reserved rights of the states
to have the question of constitutionality on this subject rightfully
determined by the judiciary of the states severally, each for itself,
instead of exclusively by the federal judiciary." [2]

The question again approached the acute stage in 1832, when the
sovereign convention of the people of South Carolina was called which
adopted what was known as the "Nullification Ordinance." The leading
features of this were (1) a declaration that the tariff act of 1832,
being based upon the principle of protection to manufacturers, and not
with the view to raising revenue, was unconstitutional and therefore
null and void; (2) a provision for testing the constitutionality of
this act before the courts of the state; (3) that in case the measures
thus adopted for the purpose stated should be forcibly resisted by the
federal authorities, then the State of South Carolina was declared
to be no longer a member of the Federal Union. The last measure was
to take effect on the 12th of February, 1833, if before that time
the principle of levying duties upon imports, not with a view to
revenue, but for the protection of domestic manufactures, should not be
abandoned by the congress of the states. [3]

But notwithstanding these hostile demonstrations on the part of South
Carolina, there was really no very great danger to the Union at that
time. Andrew Jackson, a man of great determination of character, and
patriotically devoted to the Union, was president; and his political
principles ran parallel with his devotion. He issued a proclamation
in which he urged South Carolina not to persist in the enforcement
of her ordinance as it would necessarily bring the federal and state
authorities in conflict, and if the citizens of South Carolina took
up arms against the United States they would be guilty of treason.
"The ordinance," said he, "is founded not on the indefeasible right of
resisting acts which are plainly unconstitutional, and too oppressive
to be endured; but on the strange position that any one state may not
only declare an act of congress void but prohibit its execution, and
that they may do this consistently with the constitution; that the true
construction of that instrument permits a state to retain its place in
the Union, and yet be bound by no other of its laws than those it may
choose to consider constitutional." [4]

It was in December, 1832, the same month in which the revelation
and prophecy under consideration was given, that this issue between
South Carolina and the Federal government about reached its climax.
It is important to observe that these questions of nullification and
a state's right to secede from the Union were sharply agitated in
December, 1832, because it gives direct testimony of the original date
of the prophecy. That is, it is clear from the facts of history that
the question in 1832 was before the nation; and very naturally the
prophet inquired of the Lord concerning it, with the result that he
receive the revelation now under consideration.

That the prophet did make inquiry of the Lord concerning this subject
is evident from a direct statement of his to that effect. Preaching at
Ramus, Illinois, on the 2nd of April, 1843, the prophet in the course
of his remarks said: "I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God, that
the commencement of the difficulties which will cause much bloodshed
previous to the coming of the Son of Man will be in South Carolina. It
may probably arise through the slave question. This a voice declared to
me, while I was praying earnestly on the subject, December 25th, 1832."

No American statesman in 1832 believed that the doctrines of secession
then talked of would result in a great civil war. None of them had
the foresight to see that a great rebellion would occur, beginning
in South Carolina; that it would terminate in the death and misery
of many souls; that the Southern States would be divided against the
Northern States; that the Southern States would call on Great Britain,
and that war would eventually be poured out upon all nations. No one,
I say, foresaw that this would be the result save only that inspired
youth--then but twenty-seven years of age--Joseph Smith, and he saw
it only by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. To be required to
believe that the prophecy was merely the fortunate conjecture of a more
than ordinarily astute mind, requires a greater amount of credulity
than to concede the inspiration of the prophet; and then the question
would still remain, why is it that sagacious minds in other generations
have not paralleled this astuteness of Joseph Smith's? Why did not some
of the brilliant minds in the Senate or House of Representatives in
1832 make such a prediction? There was no dearth of brilliant minds in
either Senate or House at that time, yet none seemed equal to the task.

But was the prophecy fulfilled? Did the great Civil War begin with the
rebellion of South Carolina? Let history answer.

_I. South Carolina took the initiative in the great rebellion._ Deeming
her interests threatened, and the institution of slavery doomed if
Abraham Lincoln was elected; on November 5th, 1860, her legislature met
to choose presidential electors, and Governor William H. Gist in his
message to that legislature recommended that in the event of Abraham
Lincoln's election to the presidency, a convention of the people of the
state be immediately called to consider and determine for themselves
the mode and measure of redress. He expressed the opinion that the only
alternative left in the event of Lincoln's election was "the secession
of South Carolina from the Federal Union." [6]

On the 10th of November, 1860, the United States Senators from South
Carolina, James N. Hammond and James Chestnut, Jr., resigned their
seats, being the first of the senators to take that step. [7]

On the 17th of November, 1860, an ordinance of secession was
unanimously adopted by the Legislature of South Carolina, the first act
of the kind by any of the states. [8]

On the 24th of November, 1860, South Carolina's Representatives in
Congress withdrew; they were the first representatives to do so. [9]

Members to a state convention for the purpose of considering the method
and measure of redress in the event to Abraham Lincoln's election, were
elected on the 3rd of December, 1860; the convention was assembled in
Charleston. [10]

On the 20th of December, 1860, the convention passed the ordinance of
secession and Governor Pickins--just elected--announced on the same
date the repeal, by the good people of South Carolina, the ordinance
of May 23rd, 1788, by which South Carolina had ratified the Federal
Constitution, and declared "the dissolution of the union between the
state of South Carolina and the other states under the name of the
United States." The governor's proclamation also announced to the
world "that the state of South Carolina is, as she has a right to be,
a separate, sovereign, free and independent state and, as such, has
a right to levy war, conclude peace, negotiate treaties, leagues, or
covenants, and to do all acts whatsoever that rightly pertain to a free
and independent state. Done in the eighty-fifth year of the sovereignty
and independence of South Carolina." [11]

Following is the complete Ordinance passed by the Convention, as it
appeared in the _Charleston Mercury Extra_ for that date, the original
of which the following is a copy is in the Libby Prison Museum, of


"An ordinance to dissolve the union between the States of South
Carolina and other States united with her under the compact entitled
'The Constitution of the United States of America.'

"We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in convention
assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and
ordained, 'That the ordinance adopted by us on the 23rd of May, A. D.
1788, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was
ratified, and also all acts and parts of acts of the General Assembly
of this State ratifying amendments of the said Constitution are hereby
repealed, and the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other
States, under the name of 'The United States of America' is hereby

The act of rebellion on the part of South Carolina was completed. She
was the first state to take the several steps here enumerated leading
up to that culmination. She was followed in the act of rebellion by ten
other Southern States, as follows--I take the date on which the state
conventions passed their secession ordinances to be the date on which
the rebellion of the respective states was completed:

_Mississippi,_ January 9th, 1861; _Florida,_ January 10th; _Alabama,_
January 11th; _Georgia,_ January 19th; _Louisiana,_ January 26th;
_Texas,_ February 1st; _Virginia,_ April 17th; _Arkansas,_ May 6th;
_North Carolina,_ May 20th; _Tennessee,_ June 8th, all of the same
year, 1861. [12]

Having proven that the Great Rebellion began with the rebellion of
South Carolina, I wish now to show that the war itself actually began

The states which seceded from the union in the last months of Mr.
Buchanan's administration, quietly took possession of all the forts
within their respective limits, except Fort Sumter, in Charleston
Harbor, and Fort Pickens, at Pensacola, Florida; and transferred them
to the Confederate States. After the Southern States united into a
confederacy, that government "appointed a commission consisting of Mr.
John Forsyth, of Alabama, Mr. Martin J. Crawford, of Georgia, and Mr.
A. B. Roman, of Louisiana, to open negotiations for the settlement of
all matters of joint property, forts, arsenals, arms, or property of
any other kind within the limits of the Confederate States, and all
joint liabilities with their former associates, upon the principles of
right, justice, equity and good faith." [13] Separate states previous
to this action of the confederate states had sent commissioners to
accomplish the same purpose; but of course these gave place to the
commission from the general government of the confederacy.

During an attempt of this commission to obtain official recognition
from the administration at Washington, active preparations for war were
going on at the New York navy yard. Early in April a squadron of seven
ships, carrying two thousand four hundred men, and two hundred and
eighty-five guns put to sea from New York and Norfolk navy yards, under
sealed orders. The design of the enterprise was to re-provision and
re-enforce Fort Sumpter, which at the time was held by Major Anderson,
with a small garrison of men very ill provisioned for a siege.

On the 8th of April Washington authorities, ignoring the commission in
Washington from the Confederate States, sent word to Governor Pickens
of South Carolina of a change in the attitude of the general government
in regard to unofficial assurances given respecting the withdrawal
of Federal forces from Fort Sumter, and declaring the intention of
the government to re-provision and re-enforce the garrison there,
"peaceably if permitted; otherwise, by force." [14]

At the time General Gustave T. Beauregard was at Charleston, with six
thousand Confederate volunteer troops, for the purpose of defending
the city. Governor Pickens informed him of the notice he had received
from the authorities at Washington; and General Beauregard immediately
telegraphed the information to the Confederate authorities at
Montgomery. The reply received by General Beauregard was that, "if he
had no doubt of the authenticity of the notice of the intention of
the Washington government to supply Fort Sumter by force, to demand
at once its evacuation; and if this should be refused, to proceed to
reduce it." [15]

On April the 11th the demand for its evacuation was made. Major
Anderson refused to comply with the demand, and at 4:30, on the morning
of the 12th of April, 1861, General Beauregard opened fire on the fort,
to which the guns of the fort promptly replied. The bombardment lasted
thirty-two hours; and then Major Anderson capitulated, though the fleet
from the north was within view during the bombardment. "This was the
beginning of a war between the states of the Federal Union, which has
been truly characterized as 'one of the most tremendous conflicts on
record.' The din of its clangor reached the remotest part of the earth
and the people of all nations looked on, for four years and upwards,
in wonder and amazement, as its gigantic proportions loomed forth, and
its hideous engines of destruction of human life and everything of
human structure were terribly displayed in its sanguinary progress and
grievous duration." [16] It began where the Prophet Joseph twenty-eight
years before said it would commence--with the rebellion of South

II. _This war, beginning with the rebellion of South Carolina, did
terminate in the death and misery of many souls._ Though it is
notorious that it did so, let us consider the history of it somewhat in
detail. Mr. Alexander H Stephens, in concluding the chapter he devotes
to the Civil War, in his history of the United States, says: "The
Federal records show that they had, from first to last, 2,600,000 men
in the service; while the Confederates all told, and in like manner,
had but little over 600,000. * * * Of Federal prisoners during the
war, the Confederates took in round numbers 270,000; while the whole
number of Confederates captured and held in prisons by the Federals
was in like round numbers 220,000. * * * Of the 270,000 Federal
prisoners taken, 22,576 died in Confederate hands; and of the 220,000
Confederates taken by Federals, 26,436 died in their hands. * * *
The entire loss on both sides, including those who were permanently
disabled, as well as those killed in battle, and who died from wounds
received and diseases contracted in the service, amounted, upon a
reasonable estimate, to the stupendous aggregate of 1,000,000 of men."

In 1887, the _Cincinnatti Commercial Gazette_ published the following
interesting compilation of statistics in relation to the number that
fell in the Civil War on the side of the Federal armies:

"Official returns show that about 2,653,000 soldiers enlisted during
the war in response to the successive calls of President Lincoln, and
of that number 186,097 were colored troops. Reports show that the
Northern and Southern armies met in over two thousand skirmishes and
battles. In 148 of these conflicts the loss on the Federal side was
over 500 men, and in at least ten battles over 10,000 men were reported
lost on each side. The appended table shows that the combined losses of
the Federal and Confederate forces in killed, wounded, and missing in
the following engagements were: Shiloh, 24,000; Antietam, 18,000; Stone
River, 22,000; Chickamauga, 33,000; McClellan's Peninsula campaign,
50,000; Grant's Peninsula campaign, 140,000; and Sherman's campaign,

"Official statistics show that of the 2,653,000 men enlisted, there
were killed in battle 44,238; died of wounds, 49,205; died of disease,
186,216; died of unknown causes, 24,184; total 303,843. This includes
only those whose death while in the army had been actually proved. To
this number should be added first 26,000 men who are known to have
died while in the hands of the enemy as prisoners of war, and many
others in the same manner whose deaths are unrecorded; second, a fair
percentage of the 205,794 men who are put down on the official reports
as deserters and missing in action, for those who participated in the
war know that men frequently disappear who, it was certain, had not
deserted, yet could not be otherwise officially accounted for; third,
thousands who are buried in private cemeteries all over the north, who
died while at home on furlough.

"The dead are buried in 73 national cemeteries, of which only twelve
are in the Northern States. Amongst the principal ones in the North
are Cypress Hill, with its 3,786 dead; Finns Point, N. J., which
contains the remains of 2,644 unknown dead; Gettysburg, Pa., with 1,967
known and 1,608 unknown dead; Mound City, Ill., with 2,505 known and
2,721 unknown graves; Philadelphia, with 1,909 dead; and Woodlawn,
Elmira, N. Y., with its 3,900 dead. In the South, near the scenes of
the terrible conflicts, are located the largest depositories of the
slain: Arlington, Va., 16,264, of which 4,319 are unknown; Beaufort,
S. C., 9,241, of which 4,493 are unknown; Chalmettee, La., 12,511, of
which 5,674 are unknown; Chattanooga, Tenn., 12,972, of which 4,963
are unknown; Fredricksurg, Va., 15,257, of which 12,770 are unknown;
Jefferson Barracks, Mo., 11,290, of which 2,900 are unknown; Little
Rock, Ark., 5,602, of which 2,337 are unknown; City Point, Va., 5,122,
of which 1,374 are unknown; Marietta, Ga., 10,151, of which 2,963 are
unknown; Memphis, Tenn., 13,997, of which 8,817 are unknown; Nashville,
Tenn., 16,526, of which 4,700 are unknown; Poplar Grove, Va., 6,190,
of which 4,001 are unknown; Richmond, Va., 6,542, of which 5,700
are unknown; Salisbury, N. C., 12,126 of which 12,032 are unknown;
Stone River, Tenn., 5,602 of which 288 are unknown; Vicksburg, Miss.,
16,600 of which 12,704 are unknown; Antietam, Va. 4,671 of which 1,818
are unknown; Winchester, Va., 4,559 of which 2,365 are unknown. In
all, the remains of 300,000 men who fought for the stars and stripes
find guarded graves in our national cemeteries. Two cemeteries are
mainly devoted to the men who perished in the prisons of the same
name--Andersonville, Ga., which contains 13,714 graves, and Salisbury,
with its 12,126 dead, among which 12,032 are unknown."

If to the 303,843 given above as the total number of union troops whose
death while in the army was actually proved, be added, as the _Gazette_
suggests, first, 26,000 [18] men who are known to have died while in
the hands of the enemy as prisoners of war; second, many others whose
death was not recorded; third, a fair percentage of the 205,794 put
down on the official reports as deserters and missing in action; and
then add to this all who were killed in the Confederate army, all
Confederates who died in prisons through wounds and diseases contracted
in the service, it will be seen that the estimate of Mr. Stephens,
namely, that one million of men perished in the Great Rebellion, would
not be considered exaggerated. Indeed the same estimate is made by
nearly all writers upon the subject. Thus Lossing: "The whole number
of men called into service during the war (on the Union side) was
2,628,523. Of these about 1,490,000 were in actual service. Of this
number, nearly 60,000 were killed on the field, and about 35,000 were
mortally wounded. Disease in camps and hospitals slew 184,000. It is
estimated that 300,000 Union soldiers perished during the war. Fully
that number of the Confederate soldiers perished, and the aggregate
number of men including both armies, who were crippled or permanently
disabled by disease was estimated at 400,000. The actual loss to the
country, of able-bodied men, in consequence of the rebellion was fully
1,000,000." [19]

"Both sides, during the struggle, relied for means to support it upon
the issue of paper money, and upon loans secured by bonds. An enormous
public debt was thus created by each, and the aggregate of money thus
expended on both sides, including the loss and sacrifice of property,
could not have been less than 8,000,000,000 of dollars--a sum fully
equal to three-fourths of the assessed valuation of the taxable
property of all the states together when it commenced." [20]

To the terrible loss of life and property let there be added the
consideration of the suffering of the wounded and the sick who
languished in loathsome prisons; the sorrow of widows and orphans who
looked in vain for the return of husbands and fathers, who marched in
the fullness of manly strength to the war; the anguish of parents,
whose dim eyes looked in vain for sons thrown into unknown graves; and
the gentler yet equally tender sorrow of sisters which in the fierce
war lost the companions of their childhood. Let all this, I say, be
taken into account, and the fact that Joseph Smith was a prophet of
the living God will be found written in characters of blood to this
generation, and witnessed by the heartache and tears of millions!

III. _The Southern States were divided against the Northern States._
The fact is too well known to need affirming. There were eleven states
in all whose legislatures passed secession ordinances. These were South
Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas,
Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas and North Carolina--all Southern States.
In the first Confederate Congress members representing districts in
Missouri and Kentucky were also admitted, though those states did not
secede from the Union. [21]

IV. _The Southern States did call upon other nations, and upon the
nation of Great Britain in particular, for assistance._ As early
as May, 1861, the Confederacy sent commissioners abroad to seek
recognition and aid from foreign powers. William L. Yancy, of Alabama;
P. A. Rost, of Louisiana; A. Dudley Mann, of Virginia; and T. Butler
King, of Georgia. Mr. Yancy was appointed to operate in England, Mr.
Rost in France, and Mr. Mann in Holland and Belgium. Mr. King had a
roving commission. [22] Subsequently, in October, 1861, the Confederacy
appointed James M. Mason and John Slidell, ambassadors to England and
France respectively, to solicit the assistance of the British and
French governments in the Southern cause. The ambassadors took passage
from Charleston to Cuba in a blockade runner. At the latter place they
engaged passage to England on the British steam packet _Trent._ On the
8th of November, 1861, the _Trent_ was overtaken by the Federal warship
_San Jacinto,_ Captain Wilkes commanding; and Messrs. Mason and Slidell
were taken prisoners and carried to Boston Harbor where they were
placed in Fort Warren. England promptly resented this violation of the
rights of a neutral nation upon the high seas, and the United States
as promptly disavowed the action of Captain Wilkes, made an humble
apology, and as soon as might be restored Messrs. Mason and Slidell to
a British deck, the _Rinaldo,_ in which vessel the ambassadors were
taken to England where they prosecuted their mission.

Though Messrs. Mason and Slidell did not succeed in securing the
open assistance of Great Britain, yet it is well known that British
sympathy was with the Confederate cause; and so far did this sympathy
lead England to violate the law of nations that, against the protests
of the United States Minister at the court of St. James, she allowed
the war vessels _Alabama_ and _Florida_ built by Messrs. Laird &
Co., shipbuilders, Liverpool, England, to put to sea. These vessels
did immense damage to Northern States shipping. The _Alabama_ alone
captured sixty-five merchant vessels belonging to the United States;
and destroyed some ten million dollars' worth of property. Finally the
United States warship _Kearsarge_ sunk her off the coast of France,
near Cherbourg. This _Alabama_ trouble led to ill feeling between
England and the United States which was not finally settled until the
27th of June, 1872, when the Geneva Board of Arbitration decided that
England should pay to the United States the sum of fifteen million five
hundred thousand dollars, an amount really in excess of the demands of
merchants and others claiming the loss of property through depredations
of the _Alabama_. [23]

The evidence is surely sufficient that the Southern States did call
upon the nation of Great Britain for assistance (and that is as far
as the prophecy goes on this point), and England did give at least
indirect aid and comfort to the Confederate cause, to the extent that
she was found violating the law of nations so far that she paid a fine
of $15,500,000 for her trespass.

Thus in all these important items the remarkable prophecy has been
fulfilled. It now remains to call attention to the events it predicts
which are still in the future. These are:

First, Great Britain is to call upon other nations for aid, and she
with her allies thus formed, is to call on other nations in order to
defend themselves against other nations, until war is poured out upon
all nations.

Second, A great race war in America--slaves are to rise up against
their masters who shall be marshalled and disciplined for war. [24]

Third, The aboriginal inhabitants of America--the Indians--will become
exceeding angry, and marshalling themselves, will vex the Gentiles with
a sore vexation.

Fourth, With sword and by bloodshed and finally with famine and plague,
and earthquake; with the thunder of heaven and the fierce and vivid
lightning--the inhabitants of the earth will mourn, and be made to feel
the wrath and indignation and chastening hand of Almighty God, until
the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations.

These several items yet to be fulfilled strengthen belief in the
reality of the prophecy, for the reason that if the prophecy had
originated in fraud, had it been written after the events it pretended
to predict had taken place, the pseudo-prophet and his associates would
not have dared in any respect to have ventured into the domain of the
future. They would have clung exclusively to the past. But standing as
we do now midway between what has been fulfilled of the prophecy and
what is yet to come, we are made to feel the reality of the prophecy;
and so much of it as the wheels of time have brought due having been
fulfilled, gives ample assurance that the remainder will come to pass
to the very letter.

If it shall be asked of what use is this prophecy about war,
earthquakes, bloodshed, famine and general distress of mankind--what
makes it worthy of inspiration--knowledge worthy of God to reveal and
a prophet to proclaim--let it be answered that its value consists in
this, that it is a warning to mankind, it cries repentance to the
wicked, and gives all who will avail themselves of it an opportunity to
make God their friend, escape the calamities predicted, and have the
privilege of uniting with God's Saints who, in the closing sentence in
the prophecy, are admonished to stand in holy places unmoved until the
day of the Lord comes; and they are assured it will come quickly.

The evidence of prophecy is, in part, before the reader, all I design
to introduce in this book; [25] and now I ask him to review it;
considering first the importance attached to the peculiar power of
prophecy as evidence of divine inspiration--how it is within itself a
sort of miracle, as men understand miracles, and has ever been regarded
as an evidence of the possession of a power peculiar to God and those
whom he commissions. Second, remember how definitely proven is the fact
that these prophecies preceded the events they fore ell. Third, that
they so minutely describe the future events they predict that by no
means can they be resolved into a fortunate conjecture of an uninspired
mind. Fourth, that they treat of things that from their nature are of
importance to man to know and therefore are worthy of inspiration.
Fifth, that their remarkable fulfillment has been by agencies outside
of the prophet himself.

Side by side with all these facts consider how fatal to Joseph Smith's
claims as a divinely commissioned prophet of God would have been the
failure of his prophecies! After all this is carefully considered,
without prejudice and with a candid desire to know the truth, let each
for himself answer these questions: Does not the fulfillment of the
prophecies of Joseph Smith furnish a volume of testimony sufficient
both as to quality and quantity to convince a reasonable mind that he
was a divinely inspired prophet? If he was not a divinely inspired
prophet, on what hypothesis shall we account for this remarkable list
of predictions here set forth and their marvelous fulfillment?


1. The writer saw a copy in the Church Liverpool Office Library, in
1887, while acting as assistant editor of the _Millennial Star._ See
_Millennial Star,_ Vol. xlix: p. 396.

2. Stephens' History of the United States, p. 448.

3. Stephens' History of the United States, p. 451.

4. See Cooper's American Politics, Book I, p. 33.

5. _Millennial Star,_ Vol. xx, p. 728.

6. Cooper's American Politics, Book I, p. 88.

7. Cooper's American Politics, Book I, p. 88.

8. _Ibid_.

9. Cooper's American Politics, p. 88.

10. Lossing's History of the United States, p. 546.

11. Cooper's American Politics, Book I, p. 88.

12. Lossing's History of the United States, p. 547, note 2.

13. Stephens' History of the United States, p. 604.

14. See War between the States, Vol. II, pp. 346-7, _et seq._; also
Appendix N. Stephens' Hist. United States. There the correspondence on
the subject is given _in extenso_.

15. Stephens' History of the United States, p. 609.

16. Stephens' History of the United States, p. 610.

17. Stephens' History of the United States, p. 837-8. The figures
of Mr. Stephens are sustained by the report of the Surgeon-General,
U.S.A.; and also by Mr. Stanton's report for 1866. Mr. S. was Secretary
of War.

18. It will be observed that there is a slight disagreement between Mr.
Stephens and the _Gazette_ Compilation in this item; the former putting
the number of prisoners who died in Confederate hands at 22,576, the
latter at 26,000.

19. Lossing's History of the United States, p. 723-4, note 3.

20. Stephens' History of the United States, p. 838.

21. Cooper's American Politics, Book I, p. 99.

22. Lossing's History of the United States, p. 559 and note I.

23. Cooper's American Politics, Bk. I, p. 197.

24. Many believe this part of the prophecy was fulfilled during the
war of the Southern Rebellion, when many colored men formerly slaves
were enlisted in the Union service. We have already seen that of the
2,653,000 soldiers enlisted in the Union army 186,397 were colored.

25. In a second volume in which the Book of Mormon will be the
subject--the witness for God--the author will consider many prophecies
contained in the Book of Mormon which will not only tend to prove the
truth of that book but will also establish the inspiration and divine
mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith.



The church founded by Joseph Smith is of itself a monument to the
inspiration of the prophet. It embraces a scheme of ecclesiastical
government so comprehensive, so effective in its administration, and
at the same time so protects the members of the body religious from
priestcraft, by which I mean here the oppression of ecclesiastical
rulers, that none who become acquainted with its organization and the
spirit of its administration can doubt that a deeper wisdom presided
at its creation than that possessed by Joseph Smith uninspired of God.
It must be borne in mind that the prophet during the development of
the church organization was but a mere youth; unschooled in history,
untaught, save by God, in the science of government; and I say that
a man who had lived in the midst of such environments as those which
surrounded Joseph Smith would be utterly incapable--if you deny to
him divine inspiration--of bringing into existence such a system of
government as that which obtains in the church he founded.

It will be said by some that he founded this church government on the
pattern of that described in the New Testament, and thus attempt to
dispose of his achievement. But the outlines of church government that
may be traced in the New Testament are so faint that they can scarcely
be defined, and have led the most learned of our Christian scholars
to diverse conclusions. One sees in the New Testament authority for
the Episcopal form of government; and a gradation in the orders of
the ministry. Another sees in the New Testament authority for the
conclusion that there is a perfect equality in the Christian ministry,
no gradation of officers, but a government through synods, assemblies
and councils of these officers of equal rank. And still a third finds
in the same book authority for the idea that each congregation within
itself constitutes an independent Christian church, subordinate to
no other organization, self-governing, and only bound to other like
societies by sympathy which springs from faith in a common doctrine and
common aims. Such is the confusion into which the learned are thrown
by considering alone the data that exists in the New Testament for a
church government.

Although I have once before briefly sketched the organization of
the church from such data as exists in the New Testament, I find it
necessary again to go over the ground that we may see how meagre the
materials are; and how utterly impossible it would be for Joseph Smith
to frame such an organization as he established from such materials.

Jesus called twelve men whom he named apostles and conferred upon
them divine authority, by which they were to preach the gospel,
administer its ordinances and proclaim the kingdom of heaven at hand.
He also called into existence quorums of seventies to aid them in this
ministry, and conferred upon them like powers. These are the only
church officers called into existence, so far as we are informed in
the New Testament, previous to the crucifixion of Jesus. But after
his resurrection from the dead, he was with his disciples forty days
"speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." [1] It was
during that interesting period of his association with his disciples
that he doubtless gave those instructions by which their actions were
governed in organizing churches after the gospel began to spread abroad.

Wherever people were found who accepted the gospel an organization was
effected. In some instances elders [2] were appointed to preside over
these organizations, and in other cases bishops were appointed, and
were assisted in their labor by deacons. [3]

In his description of the organization of the church, which the apostle
never pretended was complete, Paul in one instance enumerates among the
offices first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers. [4] In
another instance he enumerates apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors
and teachers. [5] The same writer holds that the whole organization
constitutes but one body though consisting of many parts, that there is
a relation of all the parts to the whole, and a sympathy which binds
all together. [6] He enumerates the object of this organization to
be, the perfecting of the saints, the work of the ministry, edifying
the body of Christ, and to preserve the saints from being deceived by
cunning men who lie in wait to deceive. [7]

There is also a hint at some kind of judicial authority in the church.
Jesus himself said: "If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go
and tell him his fault between him and thee alone: if he shall hear
thee thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, take
with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses
every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them,
tell it unto the church, but if he neglect to hear the church, let him
be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican." [8] "Dare any of you,"
Paul asks the Corinthian saints, "having a matter against another, go
to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?" "Do ye not know,"
he continues, "that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world
shall be judged by you are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? *
* * I speak to your shame. Is it so that there is not a wise man among
you? No, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But
brother goeth to law with brother and that before the unbelievers." [9]
I say this gives evidence of the existence in the church of some kind
of ecclesiastical judiciary, but of the nature of it, the extent of its
authority and mode of procedure we know nothing.

This is all that is written in the New Testament about church
organization. The description is fragmentary and consequently
imperfect; and the materials altogether too meagre and insufficient as
will presently appear for the formation of such an elaborate system of
church government as that brought into existence by Joseph Smith.

The church officers and church organization founded by Joseph Smith
grew out of the Priesthood, which, as already stated, is the power
of God delegated to man, by which man becomes an agent for God with
authority to act in his name and for him. While there is of necessity
a unity in this power, that is, all one power, yet in the exercise of
its functions divisions are recognized. First a division into what
is called respectively the Melchisedek and Aaronic Priesthood, the
former of which is the greater and devoted more especially to spiritual
things, while the latter has most to do with temporal concerns.

Within each of these divisions there are degrees of power or authority.
Speaking of the Melchisedek Priesthood, one degree of it makes men
elders, another high priests, another seventies, another patriarchs,
another apostles. Speaking of the Aaronic Priesthood, one degree of
it makes men deacons, another teachers, another priests, another
bishops--the bishopric is the presidency of and embraces the fullness
of this lesser Priesthood.

These respective degrees of Priesthood are limited to the performance
of special duties or functions. While the deacon and teacher may teach
and expound scripture, persuade and exhort men to come unto Christ,
and the former may visit the homes of the members of the church, watch
over them and see that there is no iniquity in the church, yet neither
may baptize the people for the remission of sins nor administer the
sacrament. While the priest may teach and expound doctrine, baptize
and administer the sacrament and assist the elder in the performance
of his duties, when necessity requires, yet he cannot lay on hands for
imparting the Holy Ghost. So in the Melchisedek Priesthood. Each degree
or order of it has its specific duties assigned to it, but the greater
always includes the lesser and may on occasion officiate in all the
offices below its own.

I now proceed to consider the organization of the church. First and
highest of all officers stands the First Presidency, consisting of
three Presiding High Priests. Their jurisdiction and authority are
universal. Their jurisdiction extends over all the affairs of the
church as well in temporal as in spiritual things; as well in the
organized stakes of Zion as in the missions and branches of the church
abroad. In that presidency are legislative, judicial and executive
powers. That is to say, the President of the church is the mouthpiece
of God to the church, and he alone receives the law from the Lord by
revelation and announces the same to the people; virtually, then, this
is the law-making power. From all high councils--the judicial courts
of the church--except where the Twelve Apostles sit as a high council
abroad--there lies an appeal to the First Presidency, which finally
determines the matter and also defines the law of the church, hence
here is judicial power. The proof that in the Presidency is executive
power is seen in the fact of their universal presidency, and authority
over all the affairs of the church.

The quorum of the Twelve Apostles are equal in power and authority to
the First Presidency. The First Quorum of Seventies [10] are equal in
authority to the quorum of the Twelve; and, of course, indirectly equal
in authority to the First Presidency. But this is evidently in the main
but an emergency provision, and though the power is there and may be
used when occasion requires, yet for the most part it lies dormant.
That is to say, the powers above described as belonging to the First
Presidency, may only be exercised in full by the quorum of the Twelve
Apostles in the event of the First Presidency becoming disorganized by
death or from other causes; and by the Seventy, only in the event of
the destruction or absence of the First Presidency and the Twelve. But
these powers of the Presidency without diminution would be exercised by
the quorum of the Twelve and the Seventy, should occasion arise for it;
and the arrangement renders the church well nigh indestructible at its
head. But, as already remarked, those are but emergency provisions, and
it is my desire to set before the reader the beauty and harmony of the
church organization when its councils are all in place.

The great powers enumerated, then, center in the First Presidency.
On the right of the First Presidency may be said to be the Twelve
Apostles, clothed with the authority to officiate in the name of the
Lord, under the direction of the First Presidency to build up the
church and regulate all the affairs of the same in all the world. Next
to them stand the Seventies as their assistants in the great work
assigned to them. To these two orders of the Priesthood more especially
is assigned and upon them rests the responsibility of the foreign
ministry of the church. They are witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ
in all the nations of the earth, and their special duty is that of
preaching the gospel and regulating the affairs of the church abroad.

On the left of the First Presidency may be said to stand the high
priests, to which order of Priesthood belongs the right of local
Presidency in the church. From their ranks patriarchs, presidents of
stakes, high councilors, and bishops and their counselors are chosen.

Next to the high priests stand the elders, who are to assist them in
the performance of their duties. These quorums of Priesthood constitute
the standing ministry of the stakes of Zion, upon whom more especially
devolve local presidency, and the duty of preaching the gospel within
the stakes of Zion.

The presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood centers in the Presiding
Bishopric of the church, which presides over all traveling and local
bishops. The former are bishops appointed to preside over large
districts of country and who travel from place to place therein,
setting in order the temporal affairs of the church; the latter are
bishops appointed to preside over regularly organized wards and whose
jurisdiction is confined within such wards respectively.

To aid the bishops in the duties of their several bishoprics are the
quorums of priests, teachers and deacons

The duty of the priests is to visit the homes of the Saints, to teach
the people, to expound the scriptures, baptize believers and administer
the sacrament. Forty-eight priests form a quorum of which the bishopric
is the presidency.

The duty of teachers is to be the standing ministers in the respective
wards where they reside, to ferret out iniquity in the church, and see
that the members perform their duties. Twenty-four of them constitute a
quorum, which is presided over by a president and two counselors chosen
from the members.

The duty of the deacons is to assist the teacher, and they may also
expound, teach, warn and invite all to come unto Christ. Twelve of them
form a quorum, and from their number a president and two counselors
are chosen to preside.

Before proceeding to a description of the judiciary system of the
church it may be well to briefly explain the territorial division of
it. A stake of Zion is a division of the church territorially that
embraces several villages or towns or ecclesiastical wards. A stake
is presided over by a presidency comprised of a president and two
counselors, all of whom must be high priests. In each stake is a
high council, composed of twelve high priests. The presidency of the
stake is also president of the high council, which constitutes the
highest judicial tribunal in the stake. The stakes are divided into
ecclesiastical wards, presided over by a bishopric, assisted in its
labors by the quorums of the lesser Priesthood as already explained.

The judicial powers of the church are vested in the ordinary bishop's
court, the standing high councils of the stakes of Zion, temporary
high councils of high priests abroad, the Traveling Presiding high
council, which is also the quorum of Twelve Apostles, and a special
court consisting of the presiding bishop of the chuch and twelve high
priests--of which more is to be said presently--and finally in the
Presidency of the church.

Church discipline requires that in case of difficulty between members,
every effort shall be made by the parties aggrieved with each other to
become reconciled. Failing in this they are required to call in others
to bring about a reconciliation, but if through that means a settlement
of the case is impossible the matter goes to the bishop's court on
the complaint of the party aggrieved, and there the case is heard on
testimony and a decision rendered. The bishop's court is the first
or lowest court of the church, and the bishop is known as the common
judge. In the event of the parties or either of them being dissatisfied
with the decision of the bishop, an appeal lies to the high council of
the stake, where a re-hearing is given to the case. The organization
of the high council is worthy of consideration. It is composed of
twelve high priests, presided over by the Presidency of the Stake. [12]
The high council cannot act unless seven of its members are present;
but seven have the power to call upon other high priests to act
temporarily in the place of absent councilors. Whenever a high council
is organized, the twelve members draw lots for their places. Those
who draw the even numbers--two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve--are to
stand in behalf of the accused; those drawing the odd numbers in behalf
of the accuser. In every case the accused has a right to half the
council, to prevent injury or injustice. The councilors who represent
the accused and accuser respectively, do not become partisans bent on
winning their case irrespective of its righteousness or justice; on the
contrary every man is to speak according to equity and truth; and aside
from that is merely to see that each party to the issue involved has
justice accorded him and that he be not subjected to insult or injury.

Whenever the council convenes to act on any case, the twelve councilors
are to consider whether it is very difficult or not. If it be not a
difficult case, then only two of the councilors, one for the accused
and accuser respectively, are appointed to speak. But if the case is
accounted difficult, then four are appointed to speak; if still more
difficult, six; but in no case are more than six to speak. In all cases
the accuser and accused are to have the privilege of speaking for
themselves, after the evidence is all in, and the councilors appointed
to speak have all spoken. The evidence all in, the speakers for the
accused and the accuser having spoken, as also the accused and the
accuser, the president gives a decision according to the understanding
that he has of the case and calls upon the twelve councilors to sustain
it by vote. But should the councilors who have not spoken, or any one
of them, discover an error in the decision of the president, they
have the right to manifest it and the case has a re-hearing. If after
a careful re-hearing, additional light is thrown upon the case, the
decision is altered accordingly. But if no additional light is given
the first decision stands unaltered. Such are the general outlines of
the organization of a high council and the manner of procedure before

There are three kinds of high councils in the church. They are similar
in organization, and the manner of procedure is practically the same
before them all; but they differ in authority and jurisdiction.

I. _The Traveling High Council._ This council consists of the Twelve
Apostles of Jesus Christ. They are a traveling, presiding high council;
and, laboring under the direction of the First Presidency of the
Church, they have the right to build up the church and regulate all
the affairs of the same in all the world. Whenever they sit as a high
council, there is no appeal from their decisions--that is, they can
only be called in question by the general authorities of the church in
the event of transgression.

II. _The Standing High Councils at the Stakes of Zion._ The church is
divided into branches or wards with appropriate officers; and these
branches, wards, and settlements of the Saints are grouped into stakes
of Zion. In each stake there is a standing high council, limited in
its jurisdiction to the affairs of that particular stake where it is

III. _Temporary High Councils._ The high priests abroad, that is,
outside of the organized stakes of Zion, whenever the parties to a
difficulty, or either of them demand it, and the high priests abroad
deem the case of sufficient importance to justify such action, are
authorized to organize a temporary high council to try the case. The
council is to be organized after the pattern and proceed in the same
manner as those at the stakes of Zion. If the decision of any high
council--except that of the Traveling, Presiding High Council--is
unsatisfactory, an appeal lies to the First Presidency, who take such
steps in the case as wisdom and the Spirit of the Lord indicate. But
whatever their decision is it is final.

The special court referred to a moment ago--consisting of the Presiding
Bishop of the church and twelve high priests especially called for
each occasion--I must not neglect to mention, for the reason that it
exhibits the fact that no one in the church is so exalted but he is
amenable to the laws and courts of the church, as well as the humblest
member. This special court is called into existence for the purpose
of trying the President of the High Priesthood, who is also the
President of the church, if he should be found in transgression. It may
investigate his conduct, subject him to the most rigid examination,
and if the evidence showed him to be in transgression the court could
condemn him and its action would be final, from its decisions he would
have no appeal. [13]

Thus none, not even the highest, is beyond the operation of the laws
and councils of the church. However great and exalted any single
officer of the church may be, the _church_ and its system of government
is still greater and more exalted than he; for though the President
of the church is God's mouthpiece--God's viceregent on earth--yet he
may be tried and his conduct inquired into by this court to which I
have called attention. Therefore if the time should ever come that
the church should be so unfortunate as to be presided over by a man
who transgressed the laws of God and became unrighteous (and that
such a thing _could_ be, and that the President of the church is not
regarded as infallible is quite evident from the fact that provisions
are made for his trial and condemnation); a means of deposing him
without destroying the church, without revolution, or even disorder, is
provided in the church system of government. [14]

Of course the only punishment which is within the power of the
church to inflict if the decisions of its councils or courts are not
respected, is to disfellowship or excommunicate such offenders. In the
former case the transgressor is merely suspended from the privileges of
church communion; this punishment may be inflicted by the bishop, until
satisfaction is made. In the latter case--excommunication--the person
absolutely loses his membership in the church, together with all the
priesthood he holds; and if he ever regains a standing it must be by
baptism and confirmation as at first. To those who hold lightly their
standing in the church, suspension of fellowship, or excommunication
has no especial terror; but to the man of faith, whose full hopes of
eternal life with all its advantages stand or fall with his standing
in the church of Christ, no greater punishment can threaten him. The
punishment of excommunication is a serious one in the estimation of
the faithful, and since man in his imperfect state is influenced to
righteousness by his fear of punishment, as well as by his hope of
reward, the punishment of excommunication has a wholesome effect in
preserving the discipline of the church.

Such, in brief, is a description of the judiciary system of the
church, and also of the church itself. And as one contemplates its
completeness and its efficiency; the arrangements made for carrying on
the work of God within the organized stakes of Zion and throughout the
world--both at home and abroad--the wonder of it all grows upon him.
And furthermore, a contemplation of the church judiciary system, the
elaborate and yet inexpensive [15] arrangements made for dealing out
even-handed justice to all, and making all, even the highest, amenable
to its courts and its laws--gives intense meaning to the emphatic
question of Paul--"Dare any of you having a matter against another, go
to law before the unjust and not before the saints?" and also bears
strong testimony to the deep wisdom that created it--a wisdom greater
than that possessed by a youth reared in the rural districts of the
state of New York!

"The formation of a free government on an extensive scale", remarks
Lord Beaconsfield, "while it is assuredly one of the most interesting
problems of humanity, is certainly the greatest achievement of human
wit. Perhaps I should rather term it a superhuman achievement; for
it requires such refined prudence, such comprehensive knowledge, and
such perspicacious sagacity, united with such illimitable powers of
combination, that it is nearly in vain to hope for qualities so rare to
be congregated in a solitary mind." It is true that his lordship makes
these remarks respecting a secular government, but I see no reason why
such reflections do not apply as well to an ecclesiastical government,
especially to that brought into existence by the life's labor of Joseph
Smith; for it is both free and founded on an extensive scale, and
presents all the difficulties that would be met in the creation of a
secular government.

It still remains to describe the spirit of the church government. As
in the New Testament we are able to trace the outlines of the church
organization (the lines in places are dim, it is true, and in some
places we miss them altogether, but however dim or broken we feel that
they are nevertheless there), which Joseph Smith gives in full, every
detail so complete; so, too, in the teachings of Jesus and some of
the apostles, as recorded in the New Testament, we may feel the true
spirit of Christ's church government. No clearer manifestation of what
that spirit is can be found than is brought out in the incident where
the mother of Zebedee's children brought her two sons to the Master,
saying: "Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right
hand, and the other on thy left, in thy kingdom." To this Jesus replied
that it was not his prerogative to say who should sit on his right hand
and who on his left, but "it shall be given to them for whom it is
prepared of my Father."

The other apostles were indignant at this manifestation of ambition
on the part of the sons of Zebedee and their mother. Whereupon "Jesus
called them unto him and said: Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles
exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority
upon them. _But it shall not be so among you:_ but whosoever will be
great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief
among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of Man came not to
be ministered unto but to minister and to give his life a ransom for
many." [16]

In line with this spirit Peter, about thirty years later, said: "Feed
the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not
by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre but of a ready mind;
neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the
flock. And when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a
crown of glory that fadeth not away." [17]

Any church government that shall be established in the earth must of
necessity reflect this spirit, or it will contradict the idea of its
divine origin. How well the spirit of government in the church founded
by Joseph Smith meets this requirement will be seen in the remarks I am
about to make.

First of all let me say that this church organization I have described,
while ordained of God, cannot subsist without the consent of the
people. When the young prophet Joseph contemplated the great work of
organizing the church of Christ, he received a commandment from the
Lord to the effect that he must call his brethren together who had
received the gospel, and obtain their sanction to such a proceeding.

Accordingly at the time appointed, April 6th, 1830, when these brethren
assembled, the question of organizing the church was submitted to
them and they voted unanimously in favor of it. By a unanimous vote
they also sustained Joseph Smith as the first and Oliver Cowdery as
the second Elder in the church, and they proceeded to ordain each
other accordingly. Thus in the very inception of the organization of
the church, the Lord taught his servant that the organization he was
about to bring forth recognized the right of the people to a voice in
its affairs. The principle of common consent was to be a prominent
factor in its government, as well as the voice of God. It is as true
of ecclesiastical as it is of civil governments, that they derive
their just powers from the consent of the governed. And hence it is a
law of the church that "no person is to be ordained to any office in
this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same,
without the vote of that church." [19] And it is further provided that
"all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much
prayer and faith." [20]

Not only was the consent of the people recognized as an important
factor in establishing the church government, but it is also provided
that it shall be often consulted by a frequent election of officers
on the plan of popular acceptance. Twice annually at the general
conferences of the church the general officers are presented to the
people for acceptance. Four times a year at the quarterly conferences
held in all the stakes of Zion both the general and stake officers of
the church are presented to the people for their vote of confidence and
support. Once every year ward conferences are held where a similar vote
is taken in support of both local and general officers of the ward.

This voting is not a formality. There is virtue in it. No man can hold
a position in the church longer than he can command the support of the
members thereof; for when the people refuse to sustain a man by their
votes, no power in the church can force him upon the people against
their will.

Frequent elections are held to be the bulwarks of liberty in civil
government; I see no reason why they should not be equally so in
ecclesiastical government; and as in the one case they make the tyranny
of secular rulers impossible, so in the other they disarm priests of
the power to lord it over God's heritage, the church. If the frequent
election of a parliament in Great Britain, and the frequent election
of executive and legislative officers in the United States are held
to be on the one hand a safeguard against the tyranny and injustice
of those elected to manage the affairs of civil government for the
people; and on the other hand they are esteemed equally as a safeguard
against revolution, because full and frequent opportunity is afforded
for correcting all abuses of power and effecting whatever reformation
may be necessary in the laws--if, I say, these frequent elections in
the government of the United States and Great Britain accomplish all
this, how much more carefully are the liberties of the people guarded;
how much more readily may a tendency to oppression be rebuked, and
reformation without disorder be accomplished by the still greater
frequency of elections in the church? Especially since those elections
are not only more frequent than in the states named, but are also
conducted without expense.

It is the law of the church that the decisions of the quorums of the
priesthood are to be "made in all righteousness, in holiness, and
lowliness of heart, meekness and long suffering, and in faith, and
virtue, and knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly
kindness and charity; because the promise is if these things abound in
them they shall not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord." [21]
There is nothing in this which justifies the exercise of arbitrary
power or any improper authority over men.

In March, 1839, while the prophet was imprisoned in Liberty jail he
wrote to the church for its instruction and comfort, and in the course
of his letter in speaking of the priesthood and the exercise of its
powers he remarks: "There are many called but few are chosen. And
why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon
the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they
do not learn this one lesson--That the rights of the priesthood are
inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers
of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles
of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon us," he continues,
"it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify
our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control, or dominion, or
compulsion, upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of
unrighteousness, behold the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of
the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, amen to the priesthood,
or the authority of that man. Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto
himself, to kick against the pricks; to persecute the saints, and to
fight against God. We have learned by sad experience, that it is the
nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little
authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise
unrighteous dominion. Hence many are called, but few are chosen.

"No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the
priesthood, only by persuasion, by long suffering, by gentleness, and
meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which
shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile,
reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost,
and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom
thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; that he may
know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the bands of death." [22]

As the letter from which the foregoing is quoted was inspired by the
Spirit of the Lord, and is published in the Doctrine and Covenants, at
least in part, [23] the ideas set forth in relation to the spirit of
church government by the priesthood, stand as the word and law of God
to the church. How well this spirit of government corresponds to that
reflected in the teachings of Messiah and the first apostles already
noticed, the reader will easily perceive. All I wish to do here is to
observe that the instructions of the prophet upon this subject are not
at all the teachings of a man ambitious of power and authority over
his followers; nor that of a man bent on establishing the unrighteous
dominion of priestcraft. Knowledge, persuasion, patience, meekness,
long suffering, brotherly kindness, love unfeigned, are not the
sources from whence those ambitious of place and power are content
to draw their authority. The effort to lord it over their fellows by
direct exercise of authority which arises from the advantage of an
exalted position or the possession of great vigor of mind, firmness,
resolution, daring, activity or other transcendent abilities always
characterize your imposter. Teaching correct principles, and then
allowing people to govern themselves is not at all the method of
government adopted by self-appointed leaders or imposters. They are
ever impatient of restraints and always over-anxious to arrive at an
exalted station. Hence it comes that the spirit of government which
obtains in the Church of Jesus Christ founded by Joseph Smith, since it
finds its sources of power and authority in the imparting of knowledge,
in persuasion, and love unfeigned, bears testimony not only that the
prophet was not actuated by vulgar ambition, but is also a strong
testimony in favor of the divine origin of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints, and of course a testimony also to the divine
authority of him who was, under God, the founder of it.

Next to the evidence of divine authority furnished by the spirit of
church government is the manner in which that government was brought
into existence. "Governments," remarks Herbert Spencer, "are not
made, they grow." A remark which is as true of ecclesiastical as of
civil government: and although the growth of the church government
founded by Joseph Smith was rapid, it was, nevertheless, a growth, a
development; it was not made. What I mean is there was no plan more or
less elaborate formed by the prophet, a mental creation of officers
with duties assigned, powers defined and authority limited, and then an
organization effected in accordance with such a plan. On the contrary
the organization at the beginning was extremely simple. Before the
church was organized both the Melchisedek and Aaronic Priesthood had
been conferred on Joseph Smith, but the only officers known to the
church at its organization, April 6th, 1830, were elders, priests,
teachers, and deacons. It was not until the 4th of February, 1831,
that a bishop was appointed, and then of course by revelation. Then
in November following it was made known that other bishops were to be
appointed. The first high council in the church was not organized until
February 17th, 1834. The quorum of the Twelve Apostles and quorums of
Seventy were not organized until the winter of 1835. Thus throughout,
an officer was appointed today and his duties defined; another officer
was appointed tomorrow or next year and an explanation given of his
duties and perhaps a limit fixed to his authority. Thus line was given
upon line, precept upon precept; the prophet and those co-operating
with him being apparently unconscious that they were gradually
developing a _system_ of government, each part of which was beautifully
adjusted to every other part and to the whole. This gives evidence
that if there was no general plan for this organization in the mind
of Joseph Smith, there was a plan in the mind of God who through the
instrumentality of this man was founding his church.

Joseph Smith, under God's direction, was building better than he knew.
He as well as others associated with him were called upon to lay the
foundation of a great work--how great they knew not. One may stand so
close to a mountain that he perceives neither the vastness of the pile
not the grandeur of its outlines. Not until one recedes from it some
distance does the magnificence of its snow-capped peaks, the solemnity
of its rugged cliffs, and deep ravines stir the sensibilities of the
soul. So with this work established through the labors of Joseph
Smith and his associates. They stood too close to it to comprehend
its greatness; too absorbed in its parts to contemplate much less
fully understand the meaning and harmony of the whole. It was not
until the work was well advanced towards its completion, and men had
receded some distance from it in time that they began to be aware
that out of the parts given to them at sundry times and under various
circumstances there was gradually being developed so sublime a system
of ecclesiastical government, the like of which was not to be found in
all the world.

And now let me say, in concluding this chapter, that if the lack of
education and inexperience of Joseph Smith in relation to government
and its administration be taken into account; if the scant materials in
the New Testament for such a system of church government as the young
prophet founded be considered; if the wonderful organization itself,
so complete in its officers and institutions, and yet so simple in
its administration, be examined with attention; if the spirit which
pervades this government, and characterizes its administrations be
not lost sight of; if on the one hand its effectiveness shall be
noticed and on the other the provisions made for the security of the
liberties of the people; if the manner in which it was brought into
existence--piece by piece--be observed--if all this, I say, shall
be considered without prejudice the reader cannot be far from the
conclusion that the church itself bears indisputable testimony to the
divinity of its own origin.


1. Acts i: 3.

2. Acts xiv: 23; Acts xx: 17, 28.

3. Phil i: I; Titus i: 5-7.

4. I Cor. xii: 28-30.

5. Eph. iv: 16.

6. I Cor. xii.

7. Eph. iv.

8. Matt. xviii.

9. I Cor. vi: 1-7.

10. This means the first quorum of seventy--comprised of seventy
men--and the first seven presidents of the first quorum.

11. The office of bishop of right belongs to the first born of the seed
of Aaron and properly descends from father to son of the chosen seed.
A bishop of this lineage can act without counselors--except in a case
where a president of the High Priesthood is tried; in that event he
must be assisted by twelve counselors of the High Priesthood--but when
no literal descendant of Aaron can be found, then a high priest is to
be chosen for a bishop and two other high priests to act as counselors.

12. In the absence of his counselors the president of the stake has
power to preside over the council without an assistant; and in case
that he himself is absent, his counselors have power to preside in his
stead, both or either of them. In the absence of all the presidency
then the senior member of the council may preside.

13. Doc. & Cov., Sec. cvii: 76, 82-84.

14. This special court was once organized; before it Sidney Rigdon, one
of the Presidency of the Church, was tried and condemned in 1844.

15. Bishops, when acting as judges, high councilors, presidents and all
witnesses before these church tribunals act without compensation, hence
these courts are without expense to the litigants.

16. Matt. xx: 20-28.

17. I Peter v: 2-5.

18. _Mill. Star,_ Vol. xiv. (Supplement), pp. 20, 26.

19. Doc. and Cov. Sec. xx: 65.

20. Doc. and Cov. Sec. xxvi.

21. Doc. and Cov., Sec. cvii.

22. Doc. and Cov., Sec. cxxi.

23. Doc. and Cov., Sec. cxxi and cxxii.



Next to the evidence of divine inspiration to be seen in the
organization of the church and the spirit of its government, are
those which may be seen in what I shall call the comprehensiveness of
the great work founded by Joseph Smith. I mean by this that the New
Dispensation contemplates the fulfillment of all things predicted by
the prophets; the gathering of Israel, the redemption of Jerusalem, the
founding of a city called Zion or New Jerusalem, the ushering in of a
reign of peace and righteousness on earth, with Christ as king; the
completion of the work of God relative to the salvation of the human
race and such a final redemption of the earth as shall convert it into
a celestial sphere, the happy abode of such of its inhabitants as have
obeyed and are sanctified by celestial laws.

These items have already been alluded to in a former chapter; [1] but
it is now my purpose to consider some of them more in detail, and to
that consideration this chapter and the one following are devoted.

That Israel--by which I mean all the twelve tribes which sprang from
the twelve sons of Jacob, together with their descendants scattered
among all the nations of the Gentiles--that Israel will be gathered
together and re-established upon the lands covenanted by the Lord to
their forefathers is abundantly evident from the prophecies of the

"Hear the word of the Lord, O, ye nations," exclaims Jeremiah, "and
declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel
will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock. For the
Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that
was stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height
of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat
and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the
herd; and their soul shall be as a watered garden, and they shall not
sorrow any more at all." [2]

Again the prophet says: "Therefore, behold the days come saith the
Lord, that it shall no more be said, the Lord liveth that brought up
the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but the Lord liveth
that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and
from all lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again
into their land that I gave unto their fathers." [3]

Speaking of that day when the enmity of man and beast shall have
departed; when they shall not hurt nor destroy in all God's holy
mountain; when there shall be a reign of righteousness in which the
poor and meek of the earth shall be accorded equity--"It shall come to
pass in that day," says the prophet Isaiah, "that the Lord shall set
his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people,
which shall be left from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathos and
from Cush, and from Elam and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from
the islands of the sea. 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. The envy also
of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut
off. Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. *
* * And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which
shall be left from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he
came up out of the land of Egypt." [4]

This is one of the prophecies that the angel Moroni repeated to Joseph
Smith on the occasion of his first visit, and assured him that it was
about to be fulfilled. [5]

Again Jeremiah: "Turn, O back-sliding children, saith the Lord; for
I am married unto you; and I will take you one of a city, and two of
a family, and I will bring you to Zion: and I will give you pastors
according to my own heart, and they shall feed you with knowledge and
understanding. And it shall come to pass when ye be multiplied and
increased in the land in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say
no more the ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to
mind. * * * At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the
Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the
Lord, to Jerusalem. * * * In those days the house of Judah shall walk
with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land
of the north, to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto
your fathers." [6]

It is needless to multiply passages; if any credit is to be ascribed
to prophecy at all it is clear that Israel, the chosen people of God,
though now smitten and scattered, are to be gathered together again
and reestablished in the land given to their fathers. The lost tribes
are to be brought from the land of the north, Judah is to return to
Jerusalem, and the envy of Ephraim and Judah is to depart, and the
mighty power of God which was manifested in the deliverance of Israel
from Egyptian bondage is to be so far surpassed by a display of his
power in the latter-day deliverance, that the former shall not be
called to mind.

Not only are the tribes of Israel to be re-assembled upon the lands
of their inheritances, but the descendants of the children of Israel
scattered through all the nations among which they have been "sifted,"
are also to be gathered. The Jews since the destruction of their
city and nation by the Romans have been scattered among all nations,
but they have succeeded in a remarkable manner in preserving their
identity as a distinct people. Still it is not to be doubted that
there are instances where Jews have married and inter-married with
the Gentiles among whom they lived, until they lost their identity,
and thus the blood of Israel, unrecognized, is in the veins of many
supposed to be Gentiles. The tribes of Israel sent into Babylon,
Assyria and the surrounding countries at the fall of the kingdom of
Israel, in the sixth century B. C., in like manner intermingled their
blood with the people of those nations. Moreover there are good reasons
to believe that in that exodus of the ten tribes from Assyria to the
north--(spoken of, it is true, only by the apocryphal writer Esdras;
but as what he says agrees so well with the idea that Israel is to
return from the "north," according to the prophets, I am inclined to
accept it as true [7])--many became discouraged and stopped by the
way. Others unable to prosecute the journey abandoned the expedition,
and those that halted, uniting and intermarrying with the original
inhabitants of the land, doubtless constituted those prolific races
that over-ran the western division of the Roman empire. In this manner
the blood of Israel has been sprinkled among all the nations of the
earth, until the word of the Lord which says: "I will sift the house of
Israel among all nations," [8] has been literally fulfilled.

These scattered remnants, I say, are to be gathered, hence the prophet
Jeremiah says, "I will take you one of a city and two of a family
and bring you to Zion;" [9] and Isaiah says, "It shall come to pass
that in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall
be established in the top of the mountains, * * * _and all nations
shall flow unto it._" [10] John the Apostle in those visions received
on Patmos foretells a time when a voice shall be heard speaking from
heaven, calling upon God's people to come out of Babylon, "that ye
be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues;
for her sins have reached unto heaven and God hath remembered her
iniquities." [11] This not only predicts the gathering together of
God's people, but makes clear one of the reasons for which they
are brought from among the nations. It is that they may escape the
judgments of God that have been decreed to fall upon the wicked.

The New Dispensation introduced by Joseph Smith includes the
fulfillment of these prophecies concerning the return of Israel to
their lands. As already stated, [12] Moses, the great prophet of
ancient Israel, appeared in the Kirtland Temple and there committed
to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery "the keys of the gathering of
Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten
tribes from the land of the north." Indeed the revelations received
by Joseph Smith are replete with references to this subject. In one
of considerable note occurs the following passage: "The Lord, even
the Savior, shall stand in the midst of his people, and shall reign
over all flesh. And they who are in the north countries shall come in
remembrance before the Lord, and their prophets shall hear his voice,
and shall no longer stay themselves, and they shall smite the rocks,
and the ice shall flow down at their presence. And an highway shall be
cast up in the midst of the great deep. Their enemies shall become a
prey unto them, and in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools
of living water; and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty
land. And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children
of Ephraim, my servants. And the boundaries of the everlasting hills
shall tremble at their presence. And there they shall fall down and be
crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the
Lord, even the children of Ephraim; and they shall be filled with songs
of everlasting joy. Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God
upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of
Ephraim and his fellows. And they also of the tribes of Judah, after
their pain, shall be sanctified in holiness before the Lord to dwell in
his presence day and night, for ever and for ever." [13]

Since this matter of the gathering of Israel and their restoration
to the lands of their forefathers is so prominent a subject in the
prophecies of Jewish scriptures, it would have proven fatal to all
claims of a divine commission by Joseph Smith had he failed to have
included this important item of prophecy among the things to be
accomplished in the new dispensation. And since to have missed it
would have proven him an imposter, the fact that it is incorporated as
an important part of the great work of the last days, is, at least,
a presumptive evidence in favor of the genuineness of the prophet's
claims. It is all the stronger from the fact that this gathering of
Isarel and their restoration to their lands and the favor of God
seems to have been lost sight of by the world. The announcement of it
partakes almost of the nature of a discovery in prophecy: and it shows
how universal is the sympathy of the New Dispensation, when it is seen
that it carries to the smitten remnants of Israel a message so burdened
with hope.

It is also necessary to the completeness of the New Dispensation that
it shall include in its list of events the personal and glorious
appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the worthy
saints and a reign of righteousness for a thousand years. These matters
are no less the subject of prophecy than the gathering of Israel: and
to omit them from the New Dispensation would be as fatal to Joseph
Smith's claim of possessing divine authority as to omit the gathering
of Israel. I propose to quote a few of the prophecies relating to the
personal coming of Messiah, that the reader may be reminded how direct
and emphatic they were.

In the first chapter of the acts of the Apostles an account is given
of the departure of Jesus from his disciples into heaven. "And while
they beheld he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their
sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up,
behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye
men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus
which is taken from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye
have seen him go into heaven." [14] It is generally conceded that the
two men in white apparel were angels of God. This prophecy is also in
strict harmony with what Jesus himself said: "For the Son of Man shall
come in the glory of his Father, with his angels; and then he shall
reward every man according to his works." [15]

Paul is very explicit on the subject. Writing to the Thessalonian
Saints, he says: "I would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning
them which are asleep (the dead), that ye sorrow not, even as others
which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again,
even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For
this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive
and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which
are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a
shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and
the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord
in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." [16]

Writing a second time to the same people, evidently to encourage
them in the midst of their tribulation, he said: "And to you who are
troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven
with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that
know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ;
who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence
of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be
glorified, in his saints and to be admired in all them that believe
(because our testimony among you was not believed) in that day." [17]

Closely allied with these prophecies is the prediction of the writer
of the Apocalypse which tells of the binding of Satan for a thousand
years and the resurrection of "the souls of them that were beheaded
for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God * * * And they lived
and reigned with Christ a thousand years * * * This is the first
resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first
resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall
be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand
years. [18]"

The orthodox sects of Christendom have either so spiritualized these
prophecies as to explain away their plain meaning, or have put off to
so distant a day the Lord's glorious coming that real and active faith
in that great event can scarcely be said to exist.

There is another matter connected with the second appearing of
Jesus Christ that should be considered. It will be observed that
his coming is attended with judgment upon the ungodly and rewards
for the righteous. It would accord with our conceptions of justice,
necessarily imperfect as they may be, and certainly it would accord
with our ideas of the mercy of God, if mankind were warned by special
messengers of these threatened judgments. Such a proceeding would be
in harmony not only with our conceptions of justice but also with the
course the Lord has pursued in former ages. For example, when God
decreed that he would destroy the Antediluvians by a flood, he first
sent Noah, a preacher of righteousness, among them to warn them of the
approaching calamity. When destruction was hanging over the cities
of the plain--Sodom and Gomorrah--the Lord sent his angels to first
gather out righteous Lot and his family. When destruction was decreed
against Nineveh, the prophet Jonah was sent to cry repentance to the
people, and in this instance the warning was heeded and the calamity
was turned aside. Whenever bondage, famine, disease or judgment of any
character, was about to overtake ancient Isarel for their wickedness,
prophets were sent to warn them, that they might repent and escape the
sore affliction; and now that mighty judgments are pronounced against
the ungodly at the coming of the Son of God, we may reasonably expect
that God will be true to his custom in the past, and send messengers to
warn the nations of the near approach of those calamities. Indeed the
Scriptures plainly say as much. Jesus replying to the question, "What
shall be the sign of thy coming" among other things said: "This gospel
of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness and
then shall the end come." [19] I have already discussed at length the
declaration of John that an angel would be sent in the hour of God's
judgment with the everlasting gospel to be preached to all nations.

"Behold I will send my messenger," says the Lord through Malachi, "and
he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall
suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom
ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who
may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth?
For he is like a refiner's fire and as fuller's soap: and he shall sit
as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of
Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the
Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and
Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in
former years." [20]

I have quoted this last passage at length for the reason that those who
advocate that no more revelation is to be given, and that class, as
we have seen, includes all Christendom, represent that the messenger
here referred to is no other than John the Baptist, and that this
prophecy was fulfilled when that personage went throughout Judea
crying repentance, proclaiming the coming of the Messiah, and the near
approach of the kingdom of heaven. It is with no desire to lessen the
importance of John's mission on that occasion that I respectfully
dissent from the conclusions of the learned Christian scholars on that
subject. And by way of justification for that dissent I submit the
following reflections.

I. Following the work of this messenger of which the prophet Malachi
speaks, the Lord is to come suddenly to his temple. Did that come to
pass when John the Baptist some nineteen centuries ago prepared the
way for the coming of the Son of God, by crying repentance? I think it
questionable if the Lord so much as recognized the temple at Jerusalem
in those days, corrupted as it was by a fallen priesthood, as his
house. When connected with the reflections to follow, I am sure the
reader will conclude that this prophecy must relate to some other
temple than that old and corrupted one at Jerusalem, and to some other
appearing than any which occurred at that temple during the former
career of Jesus on earth.

II. "But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when
he appeareth?" From this it seems that it will be difficult to abide
the day of his coming, and to stand when he appeareth in fulfillment of
this prophecy of Malachi's. Was it so when Jesus came in the meridian
of time to make his great atonement for man? Let the life of Jesus
answer. Passing by the days of his childhood and youth, we may see him
emerge from the obscurity of his uneventful life at Nazareth in the
full bloom of perfected manhood. He applies to John for baptism, that
he might fulfill all righteousness; and as from the watery grave he is
brought forth, lo! a voice from heaven proclaims him the Son of God.
From that time he becomes a teacher of men. On the peaceful hills, and
in the quiet hamlets of Galilee, or along the pleasant shores of the
lake of that name, men heard his gracious words, and admired while
they marveled at the wisdom of one untaught in schools and unlearned
in man's petty wisdom. The synagogues of the Jews also resounded
with his doctrines, and the tones of his voice so mild among the
pastoral people of Galilee, swelled into mighty notes of denunciation,
when he approached the centers of population where wickedness more
abounded. His arraignment of the priests, his denunciation of the
national hypocrisy, his condemnation of the false traditions which
were making of no effect the law of God--all this delivered in the
tone of undoubted authority, brought upon him the wrath of a corrupt
priesthood, which conspired to kill him.

The priests were successful. They were careful to arouse the people
against him; and often the Son of God sought safety from their violence
by flight. At the last he was betrayed into their hands; dragged
unceremoniously before the high priest at midnight; thence to the
Sanhedrim, where he was tried and condemned, and afterwards mocked,
beaten and spit upon; next morning he is brought before Pilate for
the confirmation of the sentence of death; and though the Roman judge
could see nothing in his conduct which would warrant the sentence, the
cries of the rabble prevailed over his better judgment, and Jesus was
condemned to crucifixion. Through the streets of Jerusalem bending
beneath the weight of his own cross, and scourged with cords by the
soldiery, to the infinite delight of the rabble which shouted at
his heels, Jesus moved towards the place of his execution. Arriving
there he is stripped of his clothing, his limbs are stretched to the
cross, and through the quivering flesh the nails are driven. The cross
is erected, and on either side, is placed a criminal condemned to
execution. Before him now pass the mocking rabble with which the chief
priests mingle. Tauntingly they pass by and do him mock reverence,
saying, "Hail King of the Jews--hail!" "He saved others," they shout,
"let him save himself. Let him come down from the cross and we will
believe on him." "He trusted in God--let him deliver him now, if he
will have him--" and amid such taunts as these the Son of God expired.

Tell me, was it difficult to abide that day of his coming? Or difficult
to stand in that day of his appearing? Clearly it was not. But when
the Son of God shall come in the glory of his Father, to reward every
man according to his works; when he shall come with "ten thousands of
his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are
ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly
committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have
spoken against him;" [21] when he shall descend from heaven with a
shout, with the voice of the archangel, then there will be pertinence
in the questions, "Who may abide the day of his coming?" "Who shall
stand when he appeareth?"

III. The argument may be pushed further still. When the Lord comes
suddenly to his temple, in fulfillment of Malachi's prophecy, he is to
"sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons
of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto
the Lord an offering in righteousness." Did Jesus do so when he was on
earth nineteen centuries ago? No; the sons of Levi were not purified,
neither then nor at any time since have they offered an acceptable
offering unto the Lord.

IV. "Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto
the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years." Did such a
result as this follow the appearance and mission of Jesus in Palestine,
when he came to be offered as a sacrifice for sinful man? On the
contrary, Judah was rejected; his temple was destroyed, so that not
one stone was left upon another that was not cast down; Jerusalem was
made desolate, and for many centuries has been trodden under foot of
the Gentiles, while her children, as outcasts, have wandered among the
nations, a hiss, a byword; and a reproach.

In the light of all these circumstances, it is perfectly clear (1) that
the terms of Malachi's prophecy concerning the Lord coming suddenly
to his temple, were not fulfilled in his first appearing, and hence
the prophecy must refer to some subsequent appearing, which is to be
followed with a blessing upon the house of Israel, the purifying of the
sons of Levi, and the re-establishment of Jerusalem; (2) that preceding
that glorious coming a messenger will be sent to prepare the way.

The prophecy of Malachi, without doubt, refers to some glorious
appearing of the Lord Jesus, such as that prophesied by the New
Testament writers, when they predict that he shall come in the glory
of his Father to judgment, before which event, however, a great
preparatory work is to be performed: the gospel restored to earth
and preached to all nations as a witness, Israel gathered, the Jews
restored to Palestine, a temple builded to which the Lord may come,
and a people prepared to receive him. This preparatory work the reader
will recognize in the work founded by Joseph Smith. And if John the
Baptist was a special messenger to prepare the way for the coming of
Christ, and he is to prepare the way for his second coming as well as
for his first, the reader will remember that it was this personage who
appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, and conferred upon them
the Aaronic Priesthood. That Priesthood, according to the teachings of
Joseph Smith, holds "the keys of the ministering of angels, _and the
preparatory gospel._" Moreover, when John the Baptist conferred that
Priesthood upon the two men named, he told them that it would "never
be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again
an offering unto the Lord in righteousness," [22] a promise so similar
to that made in the prophecy of Malachi that it surely argues some
connection between this angel's message and the fulfillment of that

In further evidence that the work founded by Joseph Smith, is one to
prepare the way for the glorious appearing of Messiah let the following
instructions and admonitions given early in the history of the Church of
Christ in this dispensation to the elders of the church be considered:

"Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh
every man who hath been warned, to warn his neighbor. Therefore, they
are left without excuse, and their sins are upon their own heads. * *
* Therefore, tarry ye, and labor diligently, that you may be perfected
in your ministry to go forth among the Gentiles for the last time, as
many as the mouth of the Lord shall name, to bind up the law and seal
up the testimony and to prepare the saints for the hour of judgment
which is to come; that their souls may escape the wrath of God, the
desolation of abomination which awaits the wicked, both in this world
and in the world to come. * * * Abide ye in the liberty wherewith ye
are made free; entangle not yourselves in sin, but let your hands be
clean, until the Lord come; for not many days hence and the earth shall
tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man, and the sun shall hide
his face, and shall refuse to give light, and the moon shall be bathed
in blood, and the stars shall become exceeding angry, and shall cast
themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig tree.

"And after your testimony cometh wrath and indignation upon the people;
for after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that
shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the
ground, and shall not be able to stand. And also cometh the testimony
of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice
of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea, heaving themselves
beyond their bounds. And all things shall be in commotion; and surely,
men's hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people;
and angels shall fly through the midst of heaven, crying with a loud
voice, sounding the trump of God, saying, Prepare ye, prepare ye, O
inhabitants of the earth; for the judgment of our God is come: behold,
and lo! the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him." [23]

"Hearken, and lo, a voice as of one from on high, * * * Prepare ye
the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. The keys of the kingdom
of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the
gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut
out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled
the whole earth; yea, a voice crying--Prepare ye the way of the Lord,
prepare ye the supper of the Lamb, make ready for the Bridegroom; pray
unto the Lord, call upon his holy name, make known his wonderful works
among the people; call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth
upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be
prepared for the days to come, in the which the Son of Man shall come
down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the
kingdom of God which is set up on the earth." [24]


1. See chapter xvii.

2. Jeremiah xxxi: 10-12. See also verses 7, 8, 9.

3. Jeremiah xvi: 14, 15.

4. Isaiah xi,

5. Pearl of Great Price, p. 50.

6. Jeremiah iii: 15-19.

7. II Esdras xiii.

8. Amos ix: 8, 9.

9. Jeremiah iii: 14, 15.

10. Isaiah ii.

11. Rev. xvii: 4, 5.

12. Chapter xii.

13. Doc. and Cov. Sec. cxxxiii.

14. Acts i: 9-11.

15. Matt. xvi: 27.

16. I Thess. iv: 13-17.

17. II Thess. 1: 7-10.

18. Rev. xx: 1-7.

19. Matt. xxiv: 14.

20. Mal. iii: 1-4.

21. Jude 14-15.

22. Doc. and Cov. Sec. xiii.

23. Doc. and Cov. lxxxviii: 78, 92.

24. Doc. and Cov. lxv.



At once intimately connected with the coming of the Lord Jesus, and
fatal to all claims of a divine commission on the part of Joseph Smith
had he omitted it from the New Dispensation, is the mission of Elijah.
This, too, is the subject of one of Malachi's prophecies. "Behold,"
that prophet represents the Lord as saying, "I will send you Elijah
the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the
Lord: and he will turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and
the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the
earth with a curse." [1] According to the testimony of Joseph Smith and
Oliver Cowdery, on the 3rd of April, 1836, Elijah appeared to them in
the Kirtland Temple and fulfilled this prophecy. "Therefore," said he,
on that occasion, "the keys of this dispensation are committed into
your hands, and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of
the Lord is near, even at the doors." [2]

The nature of Elijah's mission, the manner in which the hearts of
the fathers would be turned to the children, and the hearts of the
children to the fathers, has been and is a mystery to Christendom;
and only by a revelation from God could it be made plain. The mission
of Elijah related to the salvation of the dead; and the introduction
of that doctrine was the beginning of a revolution in the theology
of Christendom. Up to that time--1836--I may say it was universally
believed by Christians that the souls of men who died without
conversion to the Christian religion were everlastingly lost. As I
have said elsewhere, [3] it was believed that the application of
the gospel of Jesus Christ was limited to this life; and those who
failed, through whatever cause, to obtain the benefits of the means
of salvation it affords, are forever barred from such benefits. "If
the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place
where the tree falleth, there it shall be;" [4] and they argued from
this that in whatever state a man died so he remained. If he died in
a state of justification his salvation was assured; but if not, then
justification, and consequently salvation, were forever beyond his hope.

This sectarian doctrine which does so much violence to the justice of
God--since it closes the door of salvation against so many millions of
God's children through no other circumstance than that they never so
much as heard of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and therefore could not
either believe or obey it--arose, first, through a misconception of the
doctrine of eternal punishment with which the wicked are threatened in
the scriptures; and, second, through a very narrow conception of the
sure mercies of God.

Christians believed that to receive eternal punishment was to be
punished eternally. This popular error was corrected in a revelation
to Martin Harris through Joseph Smith, even before the church was
organized. [5] In that revelation it is explained that God is
"Endless," that is one of his names; as also is "Eternal," one of
his names. "Wherefore eternal punishment is God's punishment." In
other words the punishment that will overtake the wicked is Eternal's
punishment; Endless' punishment. But Christians mistaking the name
of the punishment for the sign of its duration, taught that men
were punished eternally for the sins committed in this life. God's
punishment is eternal; that is, it always exists; it is eternal as
God is, but the transgressor receives only so much of it, endures it
only so long as may be necessary to satisfy the reasonable claims
of justice, tempered with mercy. Then, when the insulted law is
vindicated, the offender is released from the punishment. But as "the
bars survive the captive they enthrall," as the prison remains after
the transgressor has served his time in it; so in God's government, the
punishment eternally remains after transgressors have satisfied the
claims of justice, and are relieved from its pains and penalties. It
remains to vindicate the law of God whenever it shall be broken.

But men read, "He that believeth not" (the gospel) "shall be damned,"
[6] and they have been taught to believe that they are damned to all
eternity--that they are consigned forever to the flames of hell. The
so-called early fathers of the church, Justin Martyr, Clement of
Alexandria, Tertullian and Cyprian, all taught that the fire of hell
is a real, material flame; and that the wicked were punished in it
eternally. Augustine in the fifth century stated the same doctrine with
great emphasis and argued against those who sought to modify it. [7]
Thomas Aquinas of the mediaeval school of theologians, rising head and
shoulders above divines of his day, teaches in his _Summa Theologia,_
that the fire of hell is of the same nature as ordinary fire, though
with different properties; that the place of punishment though not
definitely known is probably under the earth. He also taught that
there was no redemption for those once damned, their punishment is to
be eternal. Coming to more modern times, we read in the Westminster
Confession of Faith--adopted in the seventeenth century by the Puritan
party in England--the following on the subject: "The wicked who know
not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into
eternal torment and be punished with everlasting destruction from
the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power." [8] Question
twenty-nine of the larger catechism and the answer to it are as
follows: "What are the punishments of sin in the world to come?"

"_Ans._ The punishments of sin in the world to come are everlasting
separation from the comfortable presence of God, and most grievous
torment in soul and body, without intermission, in hell fire forever."
The Westminster confession and the larger catechism are still the
standards of the Presbyterian churches. Indeed the above expresses the
orthodox Christian faith, from the second and third centuries until the
present time.

One would think that right conceptions of the attributes of justice and
mercy as they exist in God's character would lead men to the rejection
of the horrible dogma of eternal punishment as taught by orthodox
Christianity. But if that be not sufficient then the scriptures
themselves refute it, as will appear in the following paragraphs:

From a remark made in the writings of the Apostle Peter, [9] we
learn that after Messiah was put to death in the flesh "He went and
preached to the spirits in prison, which sometime" [aforetime] "were
disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of

During the three days, then, that Messiah's body lay in the tomb at
Jerusalem, his spirit was in the world of spirits preaching to those
who had rejected the testimony of righteous Noah. The Christian
traditions no less than the scriptures teach that Jesus went down
into hell and preached to those there held in ward. "In the second
and third centuries, every branch and division of Christians, so far
as their records enable us to judge, believed that Christ preached
to the departed; and this belief dates back to our earliest reliable
sources of information in the former of these two centuries." [10]
"As Christ died for us, and was buried, so also is it to be believed
that he went down into hell." [11] A writer in Kitto's Cyclopaedia of
Biblical Literature referring to the passage in Peter on preaching to
the spirits in prison, says: "These 'spirits in prison' are supposed to
be the holy dead. * * * The most intelligent meaning suggested by the
context is, however, that Christ by his spirit preached to those who
in the time of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, were disobedient,
and whose spirits are now in prison, abiding the general judgment. The
prison is doubtless hades, but what hades is must be determined by
other passages of scripture; and whether it is the grave or hell, it is
still a prison for those who await the judgment day."

Not only is the mere fact of Messiah's going to prison stated in the
scripture, but the purpose of his going there is learned from the same
source. "For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are
dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live
according to God in the spirit." [12] This manifestly means that these
spirits who had once rejected the counsels of God against themselves,
had the gospel again preached to them and had the privilege of living
according to its precepts in the spirit life, and of being judged
according to men in the flesh, or as men in the flesh are judged; that
is, according to the degree of their faithfulness to the precepts of
the gospel.

Naturally the question arises why was the gospel preached to the
spirits in prison who had once been disobedient if there were no means
by which it could be applied to them for their salvation. We can
scarcely suppose that Messiah would preach the gospel to them if it
could do them no good. He did not go there to mock their sufferings
or to add something to the torture of their damnation by explaining
the beauties of that salvation now forever beyond their reach. Such
a supposition would at once be revolting to reason, insulting to the
justice of God, and utterly repugnant to the dictates of mercy. The
very fact, therefore, that the gospel was preached to the departed is
sufficient to assure us of the existence of some method by which its
powers of salvation may be applied to all unto whom it is preached,
including those who are dead. Following that question comes another:
If the gospel is preached again to those who have once rejected it,
how much sooner will it be presented to those who have never heard it,
who have lived in those generations when the gospel and the authority
to administer its ordinances were not in the earth? Seeing that those
who once rejected the offer of salvation had it presented to them
again--after paying the penalty of their first disobedience--it would
seem that those who lived when it was not upon the earth, or who when
it was upon the earth perished in ignorance of it, will much sooner
come to salvation.

Of the things we have written, this is the sum: (1) The gospel was
preached by Messiah to the spirits in prison who had rejected the
teachings of Noah; therefore there must be some means through which its
precepts and ordinances may be applied to them. (2) If the gospel can
be made available to those who once rejected the proffered mercies of
God, its privileges will much sooner and doubtless more abundantly be
granted to those who died in ignorance of it. Let us next consider how
the ordinances of the gospel wherein the power of godliness is made
manifest, and without which it is not made manifest, may be applied to
the dead.

The manner in which the ordinances of the gospel may be
administered to those who have died without receiving them is
hinted at by Paul. Writing to the Corinthians on the subject of the
resurrection--correcting those who said there was no resurrection--he
asks: "What shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead
rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?" [13] In this
the apostle manifestly referred to a practice which existed among the
Christian saints of the living being baptized or the dead, and argues
from the existence of that practice that the dead must rise, or why
the necessity of being baptized for the dead? Though this is the only
passage in the New Testament, or in the whole Bible that refers to the
subject, yet of itself it is sufficient to establish the fact that such
a principle was known among the ancient saints.

While not maintaining the view that there is such a thing as a
living man being baptized for one who is dead, a writer in _Biblical
Literature (Kitto's),_ expresses these views: "From the wording of
the sentence (why are they then baptized for the dead?) the most
simple impression certainly is, that Paul speaks of a baptism which a
living man receives in the place of a dead one. This interpretation
is particularly adopted by those expounders with whom grammatical
construction is of paramount importance and the first thing to be
considered." This view is also upheld by Ambrose among the early
Christian writers; and by Erasmus, Scaliger, Grotius, Calistus among
the moderns; and still more recently by Agusti Meyer, Billroth and
Ruckert. De Wette considers this the only possible meaning of the
words. Epiphanius, a writer of the fourth century, in speaking of the
Marcionites, a sect of Christians to whom he was opposed, says: "In
this country--I mean Asia--and even Galatia, their school flourished
eminently; and a traditional fact concerning them has reached us, that
when any of them had died without baptism, they used to baptize others
in their name, lest in the resurrection they should suffer punishment
as unbaptized." [14]

This proves beyond controversy the fact that vicarious baptism for the
dead was practiced among some of the sects of the early Christians.

Another fact proves it still more emphatically than this statement by
Epiphanius. The Council of Carthage, held A. D., 397, in its sixth
canon, forbids the administration of baptism and holy communion for the
dead; why should this canon be formed against these practices if they
had no existence among the Christians of those days?

From the revelations of God to the church in this dispensation, the
following may be learned: Elijah in fulfillment of ancient prophecy,
appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, and delivered to them
those keys or powers of the Priesthood which give to the living the
right to do a work for the salvation of the dead. As a consequence, the
hearts of the children are turned to the fathers; and of course, since
the fathers in the spirit world through the preaching of the gospel
learn that it is within the power of their children to do a work for
them, their hearts are turned to the children, and thus the result to
follow Elijah's predicted mission is fulfilled.

The work that the living may do for the dead is attending to outward
ordinances--baptisms, confirmations, ordinations, washings, anointings
and sealings--all being appointed by revelation from the Lord, and all
sealed and ratified by the power of the Priesthood of God, which binds
on earth and in heaven. It is required that all baptisms and other
ordinances of the gospel performed for the dead, be attended to in
temples dedicated for such holy purposes. These ordinances performed
on earth by the living, and accepted in the spirit world by those for
whom they are administered, will make them a potent means of salvation
to the dead, and of exaltation to the living, since they become in very
deed "saviors upon Mount Zion."

This work that can be done for the dead enlarges one's views of the
gospel of Jesus Christ. One begins to see indeed that it is the
"everlasting gospel;" for it runs parallel with man's existence both in
this life and in that which is to come. It vindicates the character of
God, for by it we may see that justice and judgment, truth and mercy
are in all his ways.

The servants of God and the saints generally have been earnest in
seeking to erect temples in which to attend to these ordinances of
the gospel for the dead. [15] At first thought I was tempted to say
that this work for the dead was by far the greatest part of the work
contemplated in the New Dispensation; for as the leaves upon the trees
in a single summer are insignificant in comparison to the leaves that
have flourished upon the trees in all the summers since creation's
dawn, so the number of men now living is insignificant in comparison
to the unnumbered millions that have passed away; but I chanced to
remember that this work extends to the future as well as to the past;
that it will effect the generations to come, as well as those that have
gone, and so I checked the thought that the work in relation to past
generations was greatest. It is enough to say for this phase of the
work that relates to salvation for the dead, that it recognizes the
great truth, which Paul also teaches, in part, that the fathers who
have died without us cannot be made perfect; [16] nor can we without
them be made perfect. Hence in the great dispensation of the fullness
of times those principles are made active, and those sentiments excited
which shall turn the hearts of the present generation backward to
the fathers, and turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, a
circumstance that shall eventuate in the complete salvation and linking
together not only of all the generations of men, but also all the
families and kindred of the earth.

Closely associated with the matter treated in the foregoing paragraphs,
is the subject of the different degrees of glory. Nothing is more
clearly stated in holy writ than that men will be judged and rewarded
according to their works. [17] And as their works vary in degree of
righteousness, so will their rewards vary, and so will they have
bestowed upon them different degrees of glory according as their
works shall merit, and their intelligence be capable of receiving and
enjoying. Messiah said to his disciples: "In my Father's house are many
mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a
place for you; * * * that where I am there ye may be also." [18] Still
it is commonly held among Christian sects, that he who attains heaven
partakes immediately of the highest glories; while he who misses heaven
goes direct to hell and partakes of all its miseries forever.
Yet nothing is clearer than the fact that there are different heavens
spoken of in scripture and different degrees of glory. When Solomon
dedicated the temple he had builded, he exclaimed in his prayer:
"Behold the heaven and heaven of heavens, cannot contain thee; how much
less this house which I have builded!" [19] Paul in writing to the
Corinthians says: "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, * *
* such an one caught up to the _third_ heaven; and I knew such a man,
* * * how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable
words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." [20]

Reasoning on the resurrection, the last writer quoted says: "There are
also celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial, but the glory of the
celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is
one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon and another glory
of the stars: for as one star differeth from another star in glory, so
also is the resurrection of the dead." In all this, however, the great
subject is but vaguely hinted at, for a full understanding of it we are
indebted to a revelation given to Joseph Smith, February 16th, 1832.
From that revelation we summarize the following: [21]

They who receive the testimony of Jesus, who believe on his name, and
are baptized after the manner of his burial; who keep the commandments
of God and are washed and cleansed from all sin; who receive the
Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands; who overcame by faith, and are
sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise--these become the church of the
First Born. They are they into whose hands the Father hath given
all things--they are priests and kings, who have received of God's
fullness, and of his glory; they are priests of the Most High, after
the order of Melchisedek, which is after the order of the Son of
God--therefore they are Gods, even Sons of God. All things are theirs.
Whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are
theirs, and they are Christ's, and Christ is God's. They shall overcome
all things; they shall dwell in the presence of God and Christ forever
and forever; they are they whom Christ will bring with him when he
shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his
people; they have part in the resurrection of the just; their names are
written in heaven, where God and Christ dwell; they are just men made
perfect through Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant; these are they
whose bodies are celestial, whose glory the sun in heaven is spoken of
as typical--they inherit the celestial glory, they see as they are seen
and know as they are known.

The terrestrial glory differs from the celestial glory as the light
of the moon differs from the light of the sun. These are they who
died without law, and also they who are the spirits of men in prison,
whom the Son visited and preached the gospel unto, that they might be
judged according to men in the flesh; who received not the testimony of
Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it. These are they who are
honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.
These are they who receive of God's glory but not of his fullness. They
will enjoy the presence of the Son, but not the presence of the Father;
these are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus, therefore
they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of God.

The telestial glory differs from the terrestrial as the light of the
stars differs from the light of the moon. The inhabitants of the
telestial glory are those who neither receive the gospel of Christ in
the flesh nor the testimony of Jesus in the spirit world. These are
they who are thrust down to hell, and will not be redeemed from the
devil until the last resurrection, when Christ shall have finished his
work. These are they who are of Paul and of Apollos and of Cephas;
some of Christ and some of John; some of Moses and some of Elias; but
received not the gospel nor the testimony of Jesus. These are they who
will not be gathered with the Saints, to be caught up unto the church
of the First Born and received into the cloud. These are liars, and
sorcerers and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whoso loves and makes a
lie. They suffer the wrath of God on earth and the vengeance of eternal
fire; but they will be judged every man according to his deeds and
receive according to his works, his own dominion, in the mansions which
are prepared; and they shall be servants of the Most High, [22] but
where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end. They
of the telestial glory enjoy neither the presence of the Father nor the
Son, but receive the ministration of angels and of the Holy Ghost, for
even they of the telestial glory are accounted heirs of salvation.

The Prophet Joseph and Sidney Rigdon in their vision saw that the
inhabitants of the telestial glory were as innumerable as the stars in
the firmament of heaven, or as the sand upon the sea shore--and they
heard the voice of God saying--"These all shall bow the knee and every
tongue shall confess to him who sits upon the throne forever and ever;
for they shall be judged according to their works, and every man shall
receive according to his own works, his own dominions in the mansions
which are prepared, and they shall be servants of the Most High, but
where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end."

These are the great divisions of glory in the world to come, but there
are subdivisions or degrees. Of the telestial glory it is written:
"And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars
is one, for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so
differs one from another in glory in the telestial world." [23] From
this it is evident that there are different degrees of glory within
the celestial and the telestial glories; and though we have no direct
authority for the statement, it seems but reasonable to conclude
that there are different degrees of glory in the terrestrial world
also. It appears but rational that it should be so, since the degrees
of worthiness in men are almost infinite in their variety; and as
every man is to be judged according to his works, it will require a
corresponding infinity of degrees in glory to mete out to every man
that reward of which he is worthy, and that also which his intelligence
will enable him to enjoy.

The question of advancement within the great divisions of glory
celestial, terrestrial, and telestial; as also the question of
advancement from one sphere of glory to another remains to be
considered. In the revelation from which we have summarized what has
been written here, in respect to the different degrees of glory, it is
said that those of the terrestrial glory will be ministered unto by
those of the celestial; and those of the telestial will be ministered
unto by those of the terrestrial--that is, those of the higher glory
minister to those of a lesser glory. I can conceive of no reason for
all this administration of the higher to the lower, unless it be for
the purpose of advancing our Father's children along the lines of
eternal progression. Whether or not in the great future, full of so
many possibilities now hidden from us, they of the lesser glories after
education and advancement within those spheres may at last emerge
from them and make their way to the higher degrees of glory until at
last they attain to the highest, is not revealed in the revelations
of God, and any statement made on the subject must partake more or
less of the nature of conjecture. But if it be granted that such a
thing is possible, they who at the first entered into the celestial
glory--having before them the privilege also of eternal progress--have
been moving onward, so that the relative distance between them and
those who have fought their way up from the lesser glories may be as
great when the latter have come into the degrees of celestial glory
in which the righteous at first stood, as it was at the commencement.
Thus: Those whose faith and works are such only as to enable them to
inherit a telestial glory, may arrive at last where those whose works
in this life were such as to enable them to entrance into the celestial
kingdom--they may arrive where these _were,_ but never where they _are_.

There is a class of souls with whom the justice of God must deal, which
will not and cannot be classified in the celestial, terrestrial or
telestial glories. They are the sons of perdition. But though they will
not be assigned a place in either of these grand divisions of glory,
the revelation from which we have drawn our information respecting
man's future state describes the condition of these sons of perdition
so far as it is made known unto the children of men. It also informs us
as to the nature of the crime which calls for such grievous punishment.

The sons of perdition are they of whom God hath said that it had been
better for them never to have been born; for they are vessels of wrath
doomed to suffer the wrath of God with the devil and his angels in
eternity. Concerning whom he hath said there is no forgiveness in this
world nor in the world to come. These are they who shall go away into
everlasting punishment, with the devil and his angels and the only
ones on whom the second death shall have any power; the only ones who
will not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord after the sufferings
of his wrath. He saves all the works of his hands except the sons of
perdition; but they go away to reign with the devil and his angels in
eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched,
which is their torment. The end thereof, the place thereof no man
knoweth. It has not been revealed nor will it be revealed unto man,
except to them who are made partakers thereof. It has been partially
shown to some in vision, and may be shown again in the same partial
manner to others; but the end, the width, the heighth, the depth and
the misery thereof they understand not, nor will it be revealed to any
but those who receive the terrible condemnation. [24]

Such the punishment, now, as to the crime that merits it. It is the
crime of high treason to God which pulls down on men this fearful doom.
It falls upon men who know the power of God and who have been made
partakers of it, and then permit themselves to be so far overcome of
the devil that they deny the truth that has been revealed to them and
defy the power of God. They deny the Holy Ghost after having received
it. They deny the Only Begotten Son of the Father after the Father has
revealed him, and thus crucify him unto themselves anew, and put him to
an open shame. They commit the same act of high treason that Lucifer
in the rebellion of heaven did, and hence are condemned to the same
punishment. Thank God, the number who commit that fearful crime is few!
Only those who attain to a very great knowledge of the things of heaven
are capable of committing it; and the number among such is few indeed
who become so recklessly wicked as to rebel against and defy the power
of God. But when such characters do fall, they fall like Lucifer, never
to rise again; they get beyond the power of repentance or the hope of
forgiveness. [25]

Carried away by the beauty, consistency and grandeur of these
doctrines, how far I have wandered from the line of direct argument!
And yet not so; for these very doctrines breathing as they do a spirit
so purely charitable, laden with joy for the living and hope for even
the unconverted dead, manifesting such a spirit of universal love, so
every way broad, noble and Godlike, they are within themselves the
strongest arguments that they are not merely human conceptions. As
"the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his
handiwork," so these doctrines proclaim that the mind which fashioned
them was inspired of God. In other words they were not conceptions of
the human mind, but are the outgrowth of revelation direct from God;
and bespeak a divine authority for him who in this generation first
taught them to the world.

But how comprehensive is this New Dispensation! The Dispensation of
the Fullness of Times, truly; in which God is gathering "together in
one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are in
earth!" A dispensation in which all former dispensations find their
complement, and without which they would be meaningless. Nothing is
omitted essential to its completeness. In it all the prophecies of the
scripture either have been fulfilled, are in process of fulfillment,
or are in contemplation, that is, the way is being prepared for their

In viewing a work so vast in its designs, so complete in what it
is accomplishing and what it contemplates, one stands over-awed at
the boldness of the conceptions involved in it; and as its real
greatness begins to be comprehended by the understanding, the folly
of accrediting such a work to Joseph Smith uninspired of God becomes
apparent. There is no proportion between such a work and the uninspired
intelligence of Joseph Smith, or any other man. It is too universal in
its sympathies, too broad in its contemplated achievements, too great,
in every way too splendid to be referred to a merely human origin.
And I assert again that as the grandeur of the universe forces upon
the mind the conviction that behind all its phenomena, there must be
an intelligence operating infinitely greater than that possessed by
man, so the comprehensiveness of the New Dispensation proclaims an
intelligence superior to that possessed by man for the origin of it;
and which can only be attributed to the inspiration of God in him who
was the instrument by which it was brought into existence.


1. Mal. iv: 5, 6.

2. Doc. and Cov. Sec. cx.

3. The following passages are largely adapted from the writer's work
"Outlines of Ecclesiastical History."

4. Eccl. xi.

5. The revelation was given in March, 1830; Doc. and Cov. Sec. xix.

6. Mark xvi: 16.

7. See "Augustine's City of God." Part II.; book xx and xxi.

8. Ch. xxxiii.

9. I. Peter iii. 18-21.

10. Christ's Mission to the Under World (Huidekoper), 4th edition, p.
49. Huidekoper's volume, 185 pages, is a most valuable collection of
Christian tradition and teaching on this subject.

11. Church of England--Book of Common Prayer, p 311.

12. p. 798.

13. I. Peter iv: 6.

14. I. Cor. xv: 29.

15. Heresies xxviii: 7.

16. A temple was erected in Kirtland, Ohio, and dedicated in 1836,
though at the time little was known of the character of the work to
be performed in such kind of structures. A temple site was dedicated
at Independence, Missouri; another at Far West in the same state. One
was erected at Nauvoo and there the ordinance work for the dead was
begun. Since settling in the Rocky Mountains the church has erected
four splendid temples, in which up to December, 1893, there have been
683,377 baptisms for the dead; of ordinations to the priesthood, for
the dead, 20,232; of endowments, 310,511; of sealings (including wives
to husbands and children to parents--three temples reported), 69,749.

17. Heb. xi: 39, 40.

18. Rom. ii: 6-12. I, Cor. iii: 8. II. Cor. v: 10. Rev. ii. 23. Rev.
xx: 12.

19. St. John xiv: 1-3.

20. An exception must be made in the case of the Roman Catholic Church.
Catholics do not believe that all Christians at death go immediately
into heaven, but on the contrary "believe that a Christian who dies
after the guilt and everlasting punishment of mortal sins have been
forgiven him, but who, either from want of opportunity or through his
negligence has not discharged the debt of temporal punishment due to
his sin, will have to discharge that debt to the justice of God in
purgatory." "Purgatory is a state of suffering after this life, in
which those souls are for a time detained, which depart this life
after their deadly sins have been remitted as to the stain and guilt,
and as to the everlasting pain that was due to them; but which souls
have on account of those sins still some temporal punishment to pay;
as also those souls which leave this world guilty only of venial
(that is pardonable) sins. In purgatory these souls are purified and
rendered fit to enter into heaven, where nothing defiled enters." The
quotations in the above are from "Catholic Belief," by Bruno, D. D.,
of the Catholic church. As all works of the Catholic church accessible
to me have nothing on the different degrees of glory, I conclude that
Catholic teaching is that they who attain unto heaven are all equal in

21. I. Kings viii: 27.

22. II. Cor. xii: 1-4.

23. The circumstances under which the revelation was given are these:
The Prophet Joseph and Sidney Rigdon were engaged in revising the
Jewish scriptures. When they came to St. John, ch. v: 29--speaking of
the resurrection of the dead, concerning those that should hear the
voice of the Son of Man and come forth, instead of reading as in the
text of our common English Bibles--"And shall come forth; they that
have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done
evil, unto the resurrection of damnation," the following was given to
them by the Spirit: "And shall come forth, they who have done good
in the resurrection of the just, and they who have done evil in the
resurrection of the unjust." This reading of the passage caused them to
marvel, as it was given to them by inspiration; and while they pondered
on this thing the Spirit of God enveloped them and they saw the Lord
Jesus Christ and those different glories which men will inherit, an
account of which is given in the text. The vision is recorded in Doc.
and Cov. Sec. lxxvi.

24. "Servants of God, but not Gods, nor the Sons of God," remarks
Apostle Orson Pratt in his footnote on the passage from which this is
condensed. Doc. and Cov. Sec. lxxvi: 112.

25. Doc. and Cov. Sec. lxxvi.



The New Dispensation of the gospel of Jesus Christ does not regard
alone the spiritual welfare of man; it contemplates also his temporal
salvation. That is, it looks to the amelioration of those conditions
which today render the lot of by far the greater portion of the human
race so hard to endure.

Nothing can be more patent to the understanding than the fact that
the basis of all our commercial or other industrial enterprises, is
selfishness. The selfish desire for wealth that ease and luxury may
follow and be enjoyed, or power wielded that shall administer to family
pride or vain ambition, seems to have taken complete possession of the
thoughts of civilized man, and well nigh fills up the sphere of his
activity. Almost unconsciously selfishness has been intensified in
our modern life. The inventions of our time have greatly multiplied
human conveniences and luxuries. Ease that springs from affluence
has been brought within the reach of a greater number of people than
at any other time in the world's history; yet those who have entered
within the charmed circle of the enjoyment of ease and luxury are
not satisfied. Something is lacking to the completeness of their
contentment. They see for one thing the instability of their wealth,
and note what small affairs may wrest it from them. So that the fear of
losing what is possessed is well nigh as tormenting as the inability to
gain riches. The wish to permanently secure that which is possessed,
and in like security have it descend to their posterity occasions as
much anxiety and effort on the part of the rich, as the determination
to come to the possession of wealth occasions the less fortunate--the
envious poor.

Instead of this wider distribution of comforts and luxuries among
mankind contributing to the sum of human contentment, it has increased
its restlessness; for luxury being more commonly paraded in the face of
the masses has maddened all with a desire to possess it, and, failing
in that, life is felt to be scarce worth the living. But possession is
possible only to the few; the great mass of humanity is excluded from
its attainment.

This success of the few and the failure of the many divides civilized
communities into two classes--the proud and the envious. It also
results in the division of communities into capitalists and laborers;
the former living in affluence on the proceeds of their wealth, the
latter, for the most part, eking out an existence on the insufficient
means secured through their labor. Capital, it must be said, feels
power and forgets right; labor in its despair grows desperate and
violates the law. Capital, to secure and perpetuate its interests,
combines into huge corporations which control production and the
markets, waters its stock, bribes legislatures, congresses and
parliaments; oppresses labor in its wages, robs the people; and having
thrived by its chicanery and fraud, laughs at all attempts to wrest
from it the spoils in which it revels.

Labor, to protect itself against the ever-increasing greed and power of
capital, forms societies and leagues and asks not only what is easily
recognized as its rights, but often demands that which capital cannot
give. Each confident in its ability to coerce the other, lockouts and
strikes follow, with the result that not infrequently the conflict ends
in civil strife, lawlessness and bloodshed.

Meantime wealth accumulates in the hands of the few; and if every year
does not see the condition of the masses growing worse and worse, it is
a fact at least that there is no just proportion between the increasing
gains of the capitalists and the wages of the laborers. As a result,
the bitterness between employer and the employed increases every year;
and the sphere of our industrial activities, instead of presenting a
scene of harmony and good-will, where the interests of both capital and
labor are recognized as existing in common, and the welfare of both
dependent on each, it represents more nearly the scene of two hostile
camps where distrust and jealousy have arrayed the respective parties
for deadly conflict.

Philosophers and philanthropists who have seen and deplored the evils
of our modern system of economics have not been wanting; but only a
few have ventured to propose remedies. Of these some have suggested
cooperative methods in trade, in manufactures, in commerce and other
labor, with an equal distribution of profits, as not only securing the
conservation of energy, but also a more equitable basis of economics
than our present individual and competitive methods. Many attempts
have been made to carry out these principles in practice, and for a
time, in several instances, partial success has been attained. In the
end, however, human greed, weakness, or individual necessity, real
or imagined, together with inability to make the system universal--a
condition necessary to the system's success, according to the claims of
its advocates--have proven too much for these attempts at co-operation,
and the several enterprises have either drifted into the hands of a
corporation or become the concerns of individuals, or else have been
absolutely abandoned.

Others seeing the failure of voluntary attempts to secure the benefits
of the co-operative system, have advocated the enlargement of the
powers of the State to the extent of consigning to it the management of
all industry; so far taking control of the individual as to compel him
to work, according to his capacity and remunerate him according to his

Others have gone even further than this, and proposed not only to make
the individual a creature of the State, in relation to the matter of
labor and wages, but to control him in all the relations of life,
even invading the domestic relations to the extent of abolishing the
marriage institution and all domestic government founded on paternal
authority. These last two suggestions, with various amplifications, are
classed as socialism and communism respectively. The former has many
advocates in nearly all civilized countries, especially in Germany and
France, where they wield a political influence of considerable potency.
The latter, communism, since the abortive efforts of Robert Owen in
England, of St. Simon and Fourier in France, and M. Cabet--the disciple
of Fourier--at Nauvoo, Illinois, United States, may be considered as
relegated to the graveyard of impracticable theories which from time to
time have engaged the attention of philosophical minds with a bent for
speculation in human affairs.

But bad as our modern system of economics may be, with all its manifest
absurdities in the waste of energy, the unfairness in the distribution
of the products of industry, still mankind has, so far, preferred to
endure its known evils and incongruities rather than to trust their
fortunes to the proposed systems of the socialists and communists.

The New Dispensation of the Gospel, however, contemplating as it does
the ushering in of that era of peace on earth and goodwill among men
of which angels have sung and prophets written, must perforce and
does, as I remarked at the opening of this chapter, take account of
the social and industrial conditions prevailing, and offers a solution
for the difficulties presented which, while within the possibility
of performance, is effectual as a remedy for the evils under which
humanity groans. Failure to do this would have been a grave defect
in a work making the pretensions of that founded by Joseph Smith.
Moreover, since what it has to offer as a solution of existing
industrial inequalities and evils is either based on or is itself
direct revelation from God, the Divine wisdom must appear in the plan
proposed for the betterment of humanity's condition. All this mankind
has a right to expect of a divine plan for such a purpose, and all this
I claim for the plan revealed through Joseph Smith.

That plan does not begin with the community or the nation, and through
the community or state seek to reach the individual. While not ignoring
the value of institutions or the necessity for favorable conditions, it
does not put its whole trust in arbitrary institutions or regulations
for the successful accomplishment of its purposes. It comes first to
the individual with a cry of repentance, with an appeal to turn unto
righteousness. It teaches him that by repentance, accompanied with true
and holy faith in God, he may attain through baptism to a remission
of sins, to a consciousness of renewed innocence, lost through
transgression, and to the possession of the Holy Ghost. This last adds
to his own strength, in some degree, the strength of the Almighty God.
Through its influence he is guided into all truth, taught a knowledge
of the things of heaven, receives a testimony that Jesus is the Christ;
by it he is reproved for his errors; commended for resisting evil;
prompted in uncertainty; by courting its influence and listening to
its counsels he is purified in heart, is purged of his lusts and his
selfishness, loves his neighbor as himself, and is ready to seek
another's rather than his own good.

It is with an element such as this--cleansed and purified by such a
process, and thus made fit for the Master's use--that the plan revealed
through Joseph Smith proposes to deal. It is an evidence that other
schemes for the amelioration of the distresses of mankind originated
in the petty wisdom of man that they did not take into account the
necessary preparation of the elements for their model communities.
And let me observe, in passing, that that preparation can only be
made through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the spirit of it outlined
above. It is vain for men to seek to build up communities in which
selfishness shall be abolished, and love and goodwill abound, until
they have developed in the separate units that are to compose it
the same qualities that are to be characteristic of the community;
for communities can be no better than the individuals that compose
them. As well might men hope to mix to the same consistency pieces
of iron and pieces of clay, make a rope of dry sand, or do anything
else impossible, as to undertake to organize a society in which want
shall be abolished, unselfishness abound, and all the virtues prevail,
with men unrighteous, proud, envious, jealous, lustful, suspicious,
treacherous and possessed of no higher gauge of right and truth than
human intelligence. Here, then, begins to be seen the wisdom of the
plan for the temporal salvation of mankind revealed through Joseph
Smith: it begins with the individual--with the preparation of the

Next to the preparation of the elements, the plan recognizes the
Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. It also recognizes
the fact that the earth is the Lord's; that it is his by right of
proprietorship. He created it and sustains it by his power, and man's
right to the portions of it he seizes so greedily can only be that of
a steward. Following these principles to their legitimate conclusion,
the plan contemplates the complete consecration unto the Lord all the
possessions of those who accept it. The person who desires to make the
consecration brings his possessions to the bishop of the Church, and
delivers them to him, with a deed and covenant that cannot be broken.
[1] The consecration is complete.

The person so consecrating his possessions, whether they be great or
small, if it be a full consecration, has claim upon the bishop for
a stewardship out of the consecrated properties of the Church. That
stewardship may be a farm, a factory, a publishing house, mercantile
establishment, a home with the privilege of following a trade or
profession, according to individual tastes, abilities or capacities.
The stewardships are secured to those unto whom they are granted by a
deed and covenant that cannot be broken, hence the stewards are secured
in their stewardships.

The income from a stewardship over and above that needed for the
maintenance of the steward and his family, is consecrated to the Lord's
storehouse, where all the surplus means from the community is, in like
manner, collected. Said surplus to be used, first, in supplying the
deficiency where stewardships fail to yield sufficient income for the
necessities of those who possess them; second, to form or purchase new
stewardships for such as have not received any; third, to supply those
with means who may need it for the improvement or enlargement of their
respective stewardships; fourth, the purchase of lands for the public
benefit, to establish new enterprises, develop resources, build houses
of worship, temples, send abroad the Gospel, or for anything else that
looks to the general welfare and the founding of the Kingdom of Heaven
on earth.

The several stewards have claim upon the general fund created by the
consecration of the surplus of each, for the means necessary to the
improvement or enlargement of the business entrusted to him as his
stewardship; and so long as he is in full fellowship with the Church,
and is a wise and faithful steward, his application to the treasurer of
the general fund is to be respected by being granted; the treasurer,
of course, being accountable to the Church for his management of the
general fund, and subject to removal in the event of incompetency or

Each steward is independent in the management of his stewardship, and
is the master of his own time. He must pay for that which he buys; he
can insist on payment for that which he sells. He has no claim upon
the stewardship of his neighbor; his neighbor has no claim upon his
stewardship; but both have claim, as also have their children--when the
latter come of age and start in life for themselves--upon the collected
surplus in the Lord's storehouse, to aid them in the event of their
needing assistance.

The various branches or ecclesiastical wards of the Church, where
the above plan of managing the temporal affairs of life is carried
out, are each to be independent in the management of their respective
storehouses, subject of course to the general supervision of the
presiding bishop of the Church and of the First Presidency.

Such is a brief and, I fear, because of my effort to be brief, a
rather imperfect outline of the plan for the management of the
temporal affairs of life in the Church of Christ. It is a system
which contemplates the humiliation of the rich and the exaltation of
the poor, by the operation of consecration and stewardship, above
described. By the act of consecration both the rich man and the poor
one make a formal acknowledgement that the earth and the fullness
thereof is the Lord's; and by receiving back a stewardship, each
receives that which his wants demand, or that his capacity will warrant
placing under his management; and which may be added upon as he gives
increased evidence of faithfulness and ability to wisely control the
stewardship for his own and the general good.

The plan recognizes the truth that there is enough and to spare in the
earth to provide plentifully for all the wants of the human race; for
all its necessities and all reasonable luxuries, if the wealth created
by the race's industry be justly distributed. In it, too, is recognized
the truth that transcendent abilities for the manipulation of the
elements or the management of affairs by which wealth is created are
not possessed that they might minister alone to personal advantage, or
pride, or ambition; nor are they to be employed alone for the benefit
of the possessor's family. This plan revealed to Joseph Smith teaches
a nobler and higher use of abilities than this; a broader field of
sympathy than that which merely comprehends a family. A great mind
in any department of abilities, and no less in financial or temporal
affairs than in law, or government, or literature, belongs to the race,
and is God's best gift to it; for through it God, in part, shines. The
employment of talents and genius for the common interest is to be the
outgrowth of universal sympathy and a willingness to co-operate with
God to bring to pass the eternal life, and, both in time and eternity,
the eternal happiness of man. Hence it is written that the inhabitant
of Zion shall labor for Zion and if he labor for money he shall perish
with his money.

The plan also recognizes the dignity of all labor; and provides that
the idler shall be had in remembrance before the Lord. [2] Idleness is
an offense against the doctrine of the gospel and has received God's
severe condemnation; for he has declared that the "idler shall not eat
the bread, nor wear the garments of the laborer," [3] nor have place in
the church, except he repents. [4]

It will be observed that the plan revealed through Joseph Smith,
while differing from the present selfish and competitive system,
is neither state socialism nor communism. It neither makes man the
creature of the state, nor invades the sanctity of his fireside. It
preserves a healthy individualism in that it allows each man control
of his own stewardship, and makes him the disposer of his own time.
It provides for the general welfare in that it centralizes all the
surplus means of the community and places it at the disposal of the
wisest men who apportion it out to the improvement of enterprises
or stewardships under the management of men of demonstrated ability
and approved integrity; or who employ it in the development of new
enterprises, or distribute it in new stewardships to those who as yet
may not have received them. This system therefore guards against want
and destitution on the one hand; while on the other it collects the
surplus means to be used in those new enterprises, the success of which
shall remove the community further and ever further from poverty and
wretchedness which is now at once the world's anxiety and shame.

By this plan the anxiety of the fathers to secure estates or a fortune
for their posterity is relieved, since their children will have claim
upon the surplus property of the community for a stewardship when they
are prepared to start in life. And since the prosperity and success
of their children depends upon the success and prosperity of the
community, the fathers shall in that find an incentive to honorable
exertion. The children find no fortune to squander, no opportunity
to grow up in idleness, or contract those vices which unfit them for
life's serious affairs. But trained from youth to be industrious, and
starting with a stewardship that by industry and economy shall minister
to their necessities, and enable them to contribute something to the
general good, they have an opportunity by wise management of their
stewardship, the improvement and enlargement of it, to demonstrate
their abilities, rise in public esteem and have more and still more
entrusted to their control, until they reach a position where they can
do all the good they are capable of doing, or that is in their hearts
to accomplish.

The two prime objections to co-operative methods, state socialism
and communism are, first, that by taking the proceeds of individual
industry, talent or transcendent financial abilities and applying them
to the common good rather than to individual aggrandizement, one of
the chief incentives to earnest endeavor is stricken down; and second,
by creating an assurance in the minds of individuals that their wants
will be provided for out of a common fund and that necessity cannot
overtake them, the other chief incentive to industry is swept aside.
In other words it is held that ambition and the fear of coming to want
are the chief incentives to human activity. Remove these incentives to
action, it is contended, and you have, of course, a listless, idle and
hence non-progressive community, that all too soon from want of motive
principle would come to poverty, ignorance and at last to dissolution.

These are held to be the vices of the schemes of socialists and
communists, so far as the industrial phase of their plans is concerned,
and I anticipate that the same objections will be urged to the plan for
the temporal salvation of mankind revealed through Joseph Smith.

Volumes have been written upon the unworthiness of a desire for
personal aggrandizement, and man's necessities being regarded as the
chief incentives to human activity; and it is not my purpose to add
anything to the mass of matter that exists on that subject. Indeed,
taking average humanity as it is, rather than what idealists would
have it or believe it to be, and I am rather of the opinion that the
objection urged against socialism and communism in regard to the
industrial phase of these schemes is a good one; and that however
unworthy the gratification of personal ambition and the fear of want
may be as incentives to industry, they are, nevertheless, the prime
incentives to action; and if removed, there is grave reason to fear
that what the objectors to community of effort and of interests
predict, would come to pass. My point is that this objection can be
of no force against a system in which individualism is not stricken
down. A man's success in the management of his stewardship in the plan
revealed through Joseph Smith, depends upon his individual effort;
and though the system requires the consecration, from time to time,
of the surplus arising from the management of the stewardships, it
is also provided that the stewards shall have claim upon the general
fund for whatever means they may require to improve or enlarge
their stewardships. But the chances of obtaining means to make such
improvement or enlargement depends upon the capabilities the individual
has developed, in the management of that already committed to his
care; hence his advancement, his growth and standing in the community,
together with the comfort, convenience and beauty of his surroundings
depend primarily upon his individual exertion.

Furthermore, it must be remembered that the system revealed through
Joseph Smith teaches as a religious duty the consecration and
employment of individual abilities for the common good; and it also
teaches that industry and economy are religious duties.

It is by preparing the units of which society is composed through
the acceptance and practice of the gospel; by preserving all that is
desirable in individualism and at the same time abundantly providing
for the common good; by recognizing the religious sentiment and
righteousness as elements necessary to its success; by teaching that
it is the duty of those possessed of transcendent abilities to employ
them for the common good; by inculcating that humility that shall
make those possessed of humbler abilities willing to labor in less
exalted spheres, and, above all, by depending upon the enlightening
and directing influence of the Holy Ghost, as well in each member
of the community as in the appointed leaders, that the plan for the
amelioration of the present distressed condition of society, revealed
through Joseph Smith, hopes in the end to achieve success.

If I am told that the success of this plan depends upon too many
contingencies; that the attainment of all of them is impracticable;
that humanity can never be brought to that excellence of individual and
community righteousness that the plan requires; my answer would be that
the condition of the world, then, is hopeless; for this is the only
plan which can bring to pass the amelioration of the hard conditions
under which mankind is sinking. But I do not at all despair of the
success of it. If it cannot immediately be made universal, its success
will be made manifest in the church of Christ; and as the peace,
prosperity and happiness of those that accept it indicate the wisdom
that constructed it, more and more will seek its benefits, until all
the children of men shall bask in its blessings.


1. Doc and Cov. sec. xlii: 30-32.

2. Doc. and Cov. Sec. lxviii: 30.

3. Doc. and Cov. Sec. xlii: 42.

4. Doc. and Cov. Sec. lxxv: 29.



If the church Joseph Smith organized is a monument to his divine
inspiration; if the comprehensiveness of the work he introduced
gives evidence that more than human wisdom was necessary to conceive
it; if his proposed reconstruction of society as to its industrial
aspects proclaims for him a divine wisdom--a still greater evidence of
inspiration is to be seen in the prophet's teaching on the extent of
the universe, man's place in it, and his doctrine respecting the Gods.

To make this appear it will be necessary to state briefly the opinions
entertained on these subjects by those accepting orthodox Christianity
before the introduction of the New Dispensation. Indeed, I may go as
far back as the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in this statement, in
order that the reader may see what the real orthodox faith on all these
subjects was before modern discoveries forced upon it some modification
of its views.

In the centuries named the geocentric theory respecting the universe
prevailed. That is, it was believed that the earth was in shape flat,
and the immovable centre of the universe; that about it circled sun,
moon and stars in regular order. Indeed it was supposed that the
specific and only purpose for which the sun was formed was to give
light and heat to the earth; and the moon and stars were formed to
give light by night in the absence of the sun. Above the earth was
bent the vast dome of the blue sky, its edges apparently resting on
the circumfluous waters. Above the blue sky was heaven, the abode of
God and the blest; and under the earth was the dark region of hell,
into which was thrust the wicked--the damned. It was believed that God,
about six thousand years ago, created by a word, out of nothing, all
this universe--earth, sun, moon, stars, and all things in the earth.
That man and all living creatures were moulded from the dust, and
then had breathed into them the spirit of life, and so became living
creatures. This was the view "authoritatively asserted by the church,"
[1] in the centuries I have designated.

There were, however, in those centuries a few bold spirits who held
views at variance with those accepted by the orthodox. These believed
in the heliocentric theory--the theory which regards the sun as the
centre of our planetary system, and that the earth is comparatively
a small and subordinate body revolving around it. This view was
maintained by Nicholas Cusa, afterwards Cardinal Cusa, at the Council
of Basil, in 1431. About a century later--1543--the great Copernicus
issued the first formal announcement, in modern times, of the
heliocentric theory. What storms of opposition the great philosopher
anticipated may readily be perceived in the preface to his work. That
preface was addressed to Pope Paul III., and in it, after referring
to the imperfections of the prevailing theory, he states that he had
sought among ancient writers for a better, and so had learned the
heliocentric doctrine. [2] "I, too, began to meditate on the motion
of the earth, and though it appeared an absurd opinion, yet, since I
knew that in previous times others had been allowed the privilege of
feigning what circles they chose in order to explain the phenomena,
I conceived that I might take the liberty of trying whether, on the
supposition of the earth's motion, it was possible to find better
explanations than the ancient ones of the revolutions of the celestial
orbs. * * * Though I know that the thoughts of a philosopher do not
depend on the judgment of the many, his study being to seek truth in
all things as far as is permitted by God to human reason, yet when
I considered how absurd my doctrine would appear, I long hesitated
whether I should publish my book, or whether it were not better to
follow the example of the Pythagoreans and others, who delivered their
doctrines only by tradition and to friends. * * * If there be vain
babblers who, knowing nothing of mathematics, yet assume the right of
judging on account of some place of scripture perversely wrested to
their purpose, and who blame and attack my undertaking--I heed them
not, and look upon their judgment as rash and contemptible."

In addition to recognizing the sun as the real centre of planetary
motions, Copernicus taught also that the earth was a planet which
turned upon its axis, and revolved around the sun. [3]

The person who most zealously accepted the Copernican system was
Giordano Bruno, born in Italy, 1550. In his book, "The Plurality of
Worlds," he taught that space is infinite; that every star is a sun
having opaque planets revolving around it; and that these planets
are inhabited. Bruno was a man of aggressive disposition and pushed
his doctrines on public attention irrespective of consequences to
himself. Because of his peculiar views he was compelled to flee from
Italy. He first went to Switzerland, thence to England, where he
delivered lectures at Oxford on Cosmology. Here his views were met
with intolerance and he fled to France. Meeting with persecution in
France, he next fled to Germany, and from thence ventured to return
to Italy. He was arrested at Venice and imprisoned for six years. At
the expiration of his long imprisonment he was demanded by the Holy
Inquisition to be tried for having written heretical books. Accordingly
he was given up to the authorities of Rome; and after an imprisonment
of two years was tried, found guilty, excommunicated and delivered over
to the secular authorities to be punished. "As mercifully as possible,
and without the shedding of his blood," reads the sentence which
delivered him to the secular authorities; "the abominable formula,"
remarks Draper, "for burning a man alive." [4] He was burned at Rome
on the 16th of February, 1600. Some of the spectators remarked as he
fell out of sight in the consuming flames that his soul had doubtless
gone to some of the imaginary worlds of whose existence he had been so
positive. [5]

It is suspected that this harsh treatment of Bruno, and in his person
of the Copernican theory itself, checked for a time speculation on
the lines of thought which Cusa, Copernicus and Bruno followed.
Investigation, however, was afoot, and in an age when the people
were just awakening to a sense of intellectual freedom, it could not
be expected that a subject of such great interest would long remain
unagitated. The man who next championed the Copernican system was the
immortal Galileo. Early in the seventeenth century he invented the
telescope, and by its aid made numerous discoveries which demonstrated
the truth of the Copernican theory. He discovered that the planet Venus
had phases like the moon, which demonstrated for her a motion around
the sun. The discovery of this fact well nigh silenced the opposition
to the Copernican theory, at least, among its more intelligent
opponents who were capable of appreciating the value of the discovery.
"If the doctrine of Copernicus be true," they had said, "the planet
Venus ought to show phases like the moon which is not the case."
But the telescope of Galileo proved that Venus had phases and hence
furnished the proof demanded by the objectors to the Copernican theory.

By means of his telescope Galileo also discovered the existence
of innumerable stars not visible to the unaided eye. The ignorant
multitude who assailed the Copernican theory of the universe, starting
to argue from the supposition that the stars had been created merely to
give light by night, said that since the stars which Galileo claimed to
have discovered could not be seen by the naked eye, they could be of no
use in giving light to the earth and therefore they did not exist!

Galileo by turning his telescope upon the moon found that she had
mountains casting shadows, and valleys like those of the earth. He also
discovered the four satellites of Jupiter, and their movement about
their primary. As this furnished an illustration in miniature of the
Copernican theory of the solar system, it was hailed with great delight
by the ever increasing number that accepted the heliocentric doctrine.

Galileo, like Bruno, lacked the caution that characterized Copernicus,
and by boldly affirming the truth of the heliocentric doctrine, he
brought upon himself the displeasure of the orthodox party, and finally
the condemnation of the church. The controversy which arose over his
doctrines and discoveries would require too much space to detail here.
Let it be sufficient to say that he was tried before the Inquisition
for teaching as a positive truth that the earth moves; that the sun
is stationary; and attempting to reconcile these doctrines with the
scriptures. He acknowledged the charges made against him, and thereupon
was commanded on pain of imprisonment to renounce these heretical
opinions and pledge himself for the future not to defend or publish
them. Doubtless the fate of Bruno, still sufficiently recent to be
vividly remembered, influenced the conduct of the astronomer, for he
gave the necessary pledges. The Inquisition in passing sentence on
Galileo took occasion to say something of the Copernican system itself,
denouncing it as "_that false Pythagorean doctrine utterly contrary to
the Holy Scriptures_."

Galileo after his condemnation by the Inquisition received some
kindnesses both from Pope Paul V, and Urban VIII, his successor,
and from other high ecclesiastical authorities. Whether or not the
considerate and even flattering treatment he received from these popes
led him to think he could with impunity break the pledge he had so
solemnly given the church not to publish more about or defend the
Copernican doctrine, is difficult to determine; but it is a fact that
he broke that pledge by publishing in 1632, the work entitled "The
system of the world," the purpose of which was to establish the truth
of the heliocentric doctrine. He was again summoned before the Holy
Inquisition. His offenses were recited and he was told that he had
brought upon himself the suspicion of heresy, and was liable to the
penalties thereof--imprisonment or death. The Inquisition, however,
was inclined to be merciful, and agreed to give him absolution for
his offenses if with real intent of heart he would adjure and curse
his heresies. This the now aged philosopher consented to do. But
that he might be a warning to others he was to be kept a prisoner at
the pleasure of his judges, his new work was prohibited by public
edict, and for three years he was condemned to recite once a week the
penitential psalms. "In his garment of disgrace the aged philosopher
was now made to fall upon his knees before the assembled cardinals, and
with his hand upon the gospels, to make the required abjuration of the
heliocentric doctrine and to give the pledges demanded. He was then
committed to the prison of the Inquisition. The persons who had been
concerned in the printing of his book were punished; and the sentence
and abjuration were formally promulgated, and ordered to be publicly
read in the universities." [6]

It has been claimed that Galileo as he rose from his humble posture
before the cardinals exclaimed,--_soto voce--"ep pur si muove!" [7]_
Whether the philosopher ever made the remark may be doubtful, but the
truth nevertheless was that it did move, and it found those of a more
daring spirit than Galileo to affirm it. Among these was Galileo's
contemporary, the great Kepler. [8] He lived in Protestant Germany
where, though as bitterly opposed by the Protestant Christians of
Germany as Galileo was by the Catholics of Italy; and his advocacy
and defense of the Copernican theory as emphatically condemned by the
Theological Faculty of Tubingen as the Italian philosopher's efforts
in the same line were by the Inquisition, yet, though the Academical
Senate of Tubingen might prevent the publication of his works, he could
not be threatened with death or imprisonment, nor could he be compelled
to deny the truths he had discovered.

Kepler relieved the Copernican system from the erroneous hypothesis
of circular orbits for the planets, by proving that the orbits were
elliptical and have the sun as a common focus. This first discovery,
known as Kepler's first law, together with his other two laws of
planetary motion, establish the Copernican system upon an immovable
basis by adding to the fact of the motion of the planets around
the sun, the other fact that that motion is under the influence of
never-varying mathematical law.

But one thing was lacking to complete the triumph of the new theory--an
explanation of the force which held the planets in their orbits and
balanced the universe. That explanation came in Newton's great law of
gravitation, by which it is made know that "Every portion of matter in
the universe attracts every other portion with a force varying directly
as the product of the masses acted upon, and inversely as the square of
the distance between them." [9]

The explanation of the Copernican system was now complete, and
everywhere triumphant. Meantime larger and more powerful telescopes
were being invented which constantly extended man's knowledge of the
immensity of the universe. It is estimated that the unaided eye can
see from five to eight thousand of the fixed stars; but with the aid
of our modern telescopes, though no very reliable computation has yet
been made, it is estimated that between thirty and fifty millions are
visible; [10] and it only requires the invention of larger or more
perfect telescopes to increase the number of God's creations to our
already astonished vision!

It could only be expected that the facts discovered by our exact
scientists would set in motion those of a speculative turn of mind.
Among those most noted for outstripping the plodding scientists and
plunging into speculation were Kant [11] and Johann Heinrich Lambert.
[12] The former taking the now well-known construction of the planetary
system as the basis of his speculation advanced the idea that the whole
stellar universe was constructed on the same plan. That is, as the
planets of our solar system revolved about a common centre, and are
kept from falling into each other or into the sun by the centrifugal
force generated by their revolutions in their orbits, "so Kant supposed
the stars to be kept apart by a revolution around some common centre."

At that time but little, if anything, was known positively about the
proper motion of the stars; and the objection was made to his theory
that the stars were found to occupy not only the same position from
year to year, but from age to age, and therefore could not be moving
about a centre. To this the philosopher replied that the motion of the
stars was so slow, their distances from us so immense, and the time
of their revolutions so long that the movement was imperceptible to
us, but he doubted not that "future generations by combining their
observations with those of their predecessors, would find that there
actually was a motion among the stars." [14]

Lambert, the contemporary and a correspondent of Kant's, supposed
"the universe to be arranged in a system of different orders. The
smallest systems which we know are those made up of a planet with its
satellites circulating around it as a center. The next system in order
of magnitude is a solar system, in which a number of smaller systems
are each carried round the sun. Each individual star which we see is a
sun, and has its retinue of planets revolving round it, so that there
are as many solar systems as stars. These systems are not, however,
scattered at random, but are divided up into greater systems which
appear in our telescopes as clusters of stars. An immense number of
these clusters make up our galaxy, and form the visible universe as
seen in our telescopes. There may be yet greater systems, each made up
of galaxies, and so on indefinitely, only their distance is so immense
as to elude our observation. Each of the smaller systems visible to us
has its central body, the mass of which is much greater than that of
those which revolve around it. This feature Lambert supposed to extend
to other systems. As the planets are larger than their satellites, and
the sun larger than its planets, so he supposed each stellar cluster to
have a great central body round which each solar system revolved. As
these central bodies are invisible to us, he supposed them to be opaque
and dark. All the systems from the smallest to the greatest, were
supposed to be bound together by the one universal law of gravitation."

This of course in Lambert was speculative conjecture, based on the
few facts that astronomers had discovered up to his day. There was no
evidence, astronomers said, of the existence of the opaque centers
referred to by Lambert, and they relegate the sublime ideas of the
philosopher to the realm of pure speculation.

Later the German astronomer Madler [16] attempted to show from an
examination he made of the motion of the stars that the whole steller
universe was revolving around the star Alcyone, in the constellation
of Pleiades. No more weight, however, has been given by astronomers to
the conjectures of Madler than to those of Kant or Lambert. The ideas
of all three have been held to be mere baseless speculation. [17] There
is this to say, however, in favor of the theories of Kant, Lambert and
Madler, and against the astronomers who condemn their conjectures: the
stars which, in the days of the two former, at least, were generally
supposed to be stationary and hence called fixed stars, are now known
to have "a proper motion," by which astronomers mean "not an absolute
motion, but only a motion relative to our system. As the sun moves, he
carries the earth and all the planets with him; and if we observe a
star at perfect rest while we ourselves are thus moving, the star will
appear to move in the opposite direction. * * * Hence from the motion
of a single star it is impossible to decide how much of this apparent
motion is due to the motion of our system, and how much to the real
motion of the star. If, however, we should observe a great number of
stars on all sides of us, and find them all apparently moving in the
same direction, it would be natural to conclude that it was really our
system which was moving and not the stars. When Herschel averaged the
proper motions of the stars in different regions of the heavens he
found that this was actually the case. In general the stars moved from
the direction of the constellation Hercules, and toward the opposite
point of the celestial sphere, near the constellation Argues. This
would show that, relatively to the general mass of the stars, our sun
was moving in the direction of the constellation Hercules." [18]

As our sun is conceded to be one of the stars--one of the smaller ones,
too, of the great galaxy that spans the heavens--if it be in motion,
the inference that other stars are also in motion is not unreasonable.
Indeed they are known to be in motion, but their appears to be, so
far as the observations of astronomers enable them to determine, no
regularity in that movement more than the general movement noted from
the direction of Hercules. "So far as they have yet been observed,"
says Newcomb, "and indeed so far as they can be observed for many
centuries to come, these motions take place in perfectly straight
lines. If each star is moving in some orbit, the orbit is so immense
that no curvature can be perceived in the short arc which has been
described since accurate determinations of the position of the stars
began to be made. * * * The stars in all parts of the heavens move
in all directions, with all sorts of velocities. It is true that by
averaging the proper motions, as it were, we can trace a certain law in
them; but this law indicates, not a particular kind of orbit, but only
an apparent proper motion, common to all the stars, which is probably
due to a real motion of our sun and solar system." [19]

The assertion of the fact on the part of our exact masters in working
astronomy that there is a motion among the stars, places under the
speculations of Kant, Lambert and Madler the groundwork of a great
probability in respect to their main idea, which I understand to be,
that as the planets move around the sun in regular order, influenced
by unvarying law, so the stars that make up the visible universe move
around one or more centres. These centres are yet unknown. Madler may
have been mistaken in pointing to Alcyone as that centre, but who shall
say that one does not exist?

Meantime we need not follow this matter further. Enough has been said
to show that the false geocentric theory has been displaced by the
heliocentric doctrine, which has been demonstrated to be true. The
earth is no longer looked upon as the centre of the universe, with the
sun, the moon and stars especially created to revolve about it, to
give it light by day and preserve it from total darkness in the night.
The burning of Bruno, the imprisonment of Galileo by the Catholics,
the condemnation of the works of Kepler by the Protestants of Germany,
could not save the erroneous geocentric theory. It went down as all
error in the end must go down. The earth instead of being the immovable
centre of the universe is relegated to its true place--it is one of
a number of planets, one of the smaller ones--that revolve around
the sun. With all its islands and continents; its rivers, lakes and
mighty oceans; its mountains and valleys; its towns, cities, and all
the tribes of men, together with all their hopes and fears and petty
ambitions--all is but a moat in God's sunbeam--a single grain of sand
on the seashore! Our solar system itself, magnificent as it is in its
greatness, is nevertheless insignificant in comparison with the visible
universe of which it is only so small a part.

"As there are other globes like our earth," says a popular author,
"so, too, there are other worlds like our solar system. There are
self-luminous suns exceeding in number all computation. The dimensions
of the earth pass into nothingness in comparison with the dimensions of
the solar system, and that system, in its turn, is only an invisible
point if placed in relation with the countless hosts of other systems
which form, with it, clusters of stars. Our solar system, far from
being alone in the universe, is only one of an extensive brotherhood,
bound by common laws and subject to like influences. Even on the very
verge of creation, where imagination might lay the beginning of the
realms of chaos, we see unbounded proofs of order, a regularity in the
arrangement of inanimate things, suggesting to us that there are other
intellectual creatures like us, the tenants of those islands in the
abysses of space.

"Though it may take a beam of light a million years [20] to bring to
our view those distant worlds, the end is not yet. Far away in the
depths of space we catch the faint gleams of other groups of stars like
our own. The finger of a man can hide them in their remoteness. Their
vast distances from one another have dwindled into nothing. They and
their movements have lost all individuality; the innumerable suns of
which they are composed blend all their collected light into one pale
milky glow.

"Thus extending our view from the earth to the solar system, from
the solar system to the expanse of the group of stars to which we
belong, we behold a series of gigantic nebula creations rising up one
after another, and forming greater and greater colonies of worlds.
No numbers can express them, for they make the firmament a haze of
stars. Uniformity, even though it be the uniformity of magnificence,
tires at last, and we abandon the survey, for our eyes can only behold
a boundless prospect, and conscience tells us our own unspeakable
insignificance!" [21]

That philosophy which considered the earth to be the immovable centre
of the universe with sun, moon and stars performing a daily revolution
about it was not more erroneous than that which asserted the earth and
the universe to be instantaneously created about six thousand years
ago, out of nothing.

The doctrine that the earth and universe were created out of nothing,
need not detain us a moment. The absurdity of such a proposition is
self-evident, and is becoming quite generally conceded.

Of the idea that the earth and the heavens, by which I understand is
meant the universe, were created about six thousand years ago, it is
only necessary to say that the discoveries men made in astronomy led
them to question the correctness of that theory. Men have learned
that there is a progressive movement in light. That is, the rays of
light emitted by an object, "and making us sensible of its presence
by impinging on the eye, do not reach us instantaneously, but consume
a certain period in their passage. If any sudden visible effect took
place in the sun, we would not see it at the absolute moment of
its occurrence, but about eight minutes later, this being the time
required for light to cross the intervening distance." [22] It is said
by astronomers that there are objects in the heavens so distant that
it would take many hundreds of thousands of years--allowing that light
travels at the rate of 198,000 miles per second--for their light to
reach us; and since we see them it necessarily follows that they have
existed so long. They, at least, were not created six thousand years
ago, but long before that time. If the orthodox theory was wrong as to
the time when those distant worlds were created, may it not be equally
wrong concerning the age of the earth?

Of course, it cannot be expected that in this work the writer can
give any extended review of the evidence which geology furnishes
of the great age of the earth. It will be enough to say that when
men look upon the earth, and take note of those forces which today
are producing the gradual changes in the structure of its islands,
continents, mountain ranges and deltas, and then attribute the changes
which have evidently taken place in the past to the operation of those
same forces, they see on all sides of them evidences of a very great
antiquity for the origin of the earth.

It is generally conceded that all the heat we now have upon the surface
of the earth comes from the sun; but this only effects the surface of
the earth to the extent of a few feet at most. It has been determined,
however, by experiments so many times repeated, and in all parts of
the earth that it cannot be attributed to any merely local cause,
that beyond the few feet of the earth's surface affected by the sun's
heat, a stratum of invariable temperature is discovered, beneath which
as we descend, the heat increases at the uniform rate of one degree
Fahrenheit for every fifty or seventy feet. The uniformity of this rate
implies that at no great depth a very high temperature must exist. "We
have every reason to believe," remarks Newcomb, "that the increase of
say one hundred degrees a mile continues many miles into the interior
of the earth. Then we shall have a red heat at a distance of twelve
miles, while at the depth of one hundred miles the temperature will be
so high as to melt most of the materials which form the solid crust of
the globe." [23]

The globular form of the earth is also looked upon as evidence of its
original fluidity; while the existence of volcanoes, found all over
the land, as well in the frigid as the torrid zone; in ocean beds as
well as in the interior of continents, proving that they are not merely
local, or depend on restricted areas for the liquid lava they belch
forth--are supposed to furnish indisputable evidence that the interior
of the earth is now as its whole mass once was, white-hot, molten

Granting that the whole earth was once such a ball of fire, the time
for the cooling of such a mass to the present depth of the earth's
crust would require a much longer period than the sometime orthodox
view of the Bible account of creation allows. "The age of the earth,"
remarks Draper, "is not a question of authority, not a question of
tradition, but a mathematical problem sharply defined; to determine the
time of cooling a globe of known diameter, and of given conductibility
by radiation in a vacuum."

It would unquestionably require a great length of time for the thinest
of crusts to form on such a globe; long ages for the immense clouds of
gases and vapors in which the mass revolved to be separated into oceans
and atmosphere. Then followed upheavals from the ocean's bed, some
gradual, some abrupt--the mountains appeared, bleak and bare, dripping
only with the ocean's slime. Then came the action of atmosphere and
floods of rain upon them. Mountains were melted down and valleys
formed. Then followed depressions and more upheavals; vast quantities
of the interior lava were thrown to the surface through immense rents
in the earth's thin crust, and in time cooled. The ocean receded here
and advanced there, mountain chains, islands and continents were as
unstable as clouds, when viewed in geological time. Constantly the
earth's crust grew thicker and more stable as the mass of molten matter
within was more securely confined.

In time vegetation appeared and so did animal life. Still the operation
of depression and elevation went on, as is evident from the fact that
imbedded in various strata of the earth's crust, at great depths, are
found the remains of animals whose species is long extinct; while on
mountain tops are found imbedded in rocks in the region of perpetual
snow the fossil remains of animals that only inhabit the ocean.

All these changes, necessarily gradual and slow, require periods of
time so vast that the finite mind fails to grasp them. The book of
nature, made up of the earth's crust, turn to what page of it you will,
"tells us of effects of such magnitude as imply prodigiously long
periods of time for their accomplishment. Its moments look to us as if
they were eternities. What shall we say when we read in it that there
are fossiliferous rocks which have been slowly raised ten thousand
feet above the level of the sea so lately as since the commencement
of the Tertiary times? * * * That, since a forest in a thousand years
can scarce produce more than two or three feet of vegetable soil, each
dirt-bed is the work of hundreds of centuries? What shall we say when
it tells us that the delta of the Mississippi could only be formed in
many tens of thousands of years, and yet that is only as yesterday when
compared with the date of the inland terraces? * * * If the depression
of the carboniferous strata of Nova Scotia took place at the rate of
four feet in a century, there were demanded 375,000 years for its
completion--such a movement in the upward direction would have raised
Mount Blanc. * * * It would take as great a river as the Mississippi
millions of years to convey into the Gulf of Mexico as much sediment as
is found in those strata. Such statements may appear to us, who with
difficulty shake off the absurdities of the patristic chronology, wild
and impossible to be maintained, and yet they are the conclusions that
the most learned and profound geologists draw from their reading of the
book of nature." [24]

While not accepting all the conclusions of geologists, and certainly
not all their speculations--because they do not know what conditions
have existed in the past, nor can they be sure that the forces which
they now see operating are the only ones that have operated in all past
time--yet the evidence is very clear that the earth has a much greater
age than was attributed to it by the orthodox explanations of the
scriptural accounts of creation. It is now generally conceded that the
six creative days spoken of in Genesis are not six ordinary days, but
six long creative periods. So strong is the proof of the great age of
the earth, however absurd some of the conjectures of geologists may be
considered, that no one undertakes to dispute it.

Thus the ideas of men as to the relation of the earth in time as well
as its relation in space have been completely changed within the last
century. Illimitable ages of duration corresponding to infinite space,
leads up to a grander conception of the universe and prepares the mind
for a better comprehension of God and his works.

So far I have considered these changes in the ideas of men relative
to the universe as they have been affected by the researches of
scientists and speculative philosophers. It now remains to show that
while these philosophers have been plodding their way through slow
discovery and precarious conjecture towards the truth; wholly apart
from them and independent of them, there sprang into existence a
philosophy pertaining to duration, space, matter, the earth's place in
the universe, the universe itself, the relation of man therein and the
Gods which, while running parallel with the truths that scientists have
discovered, goes far beyond them, and demonstrates a divine inspiration
as its source.


1. "Intellectual Development of Europe" (Draper), Vol. ii. pp. 252-4.

2. "Intellectual Development," Vol ii. p. 255.

3. "Newcomb's Popular Astronomy," Introduction, p. 6.

4. "Intellectual Development," Vol. ii. p. 258.

5. I have read with some attention the apology which Catholics make
for the church's harsh treatment of Galileo; but I have not yet found
a writer among Catholics who attempts a defense of the church in this
Bruno affair. Perhaps it is a credit to modern Catholics that they
make no such effort. The incident stands, however, as an evidence of
Catholic intolerance and bigotry, and shows how the apostate church of
Rome had departed from the spirit of the Gospel of Christ.

6. "Intellectual Development," Vol. ii. p. 264.

7. "It moves however."

8. Kepler was born near Stuttgard in Wurtemburg, 1571, died 1630.

9. "Gillet & Rolfe's Astronomy," p. 48.

10. "Newcomb's Astronomy," p. 422.

11. Born 1724, died 1804.

12. Born 1728, died 1777.

13. "Newcomb's Astronomy," p. 475.

14. "Newcomb's Astronomy," p. 476.

15. "Newcomb's Astronomy," p. 477.

16. Johann Heinrich Madler, born 1794, died 1874.

17. "Newcomb's Astronomy," p. 466.

18. "Newcomb's Astronomy," p. 466-7.

19. "Newcomb's Astronomy," p. 466.

20. And light travels at the rate of 198,000 miles per second.

21. "Draper's Intellectual Development of Europe," Vol. ii., p. 292-3.

22. Intellectual Development of Europe, Vol. II., p. 299.

23. Newcomb's Astronomy, p. 305.

24. Intellectual Development of Europe, vol. ii, page 334.



Before entering into an exposition of those doctrines taught by Joseph
Smith in respect to the construction of the universe, man's place in it
and the Gods, it is necessary to remind the reader that the prophet was
reared and spent his life in the midst of environments which utterly
separated him from all possible connection with the scientific thought
of the age in which he lived. The western wilds of the state of New
York in the eighteen-twenties and thirties, the wilderness of Ohio,
the frontiers of Missouri and Illinois were not the centres of thought
on astronomy and other scientific subjects; nor was a man engaged in
the great affairs of a new and struggling religious society, hunted by
his enemies, often betrayed by men whom he trusted, and constantly on
the move, in any condition to give his attention to scientific thought
had he lived in the very centres of its agitation. Moreover, some of
the things that the prophet announced as revelation concerning the
universe, the movements of planetary systems and their habitability are
not even yet commonly accepted by scientists. Only the most advanced of
astronomers admit the possibility of these things, and that with great
caution. [1]

I. Joseph Smith taught that space is infinite, and that there are no
outside curtains to it--no limits--no place beyond its bounds. As it
was at creation's dawn so it is now and ever will remain, incapable
of extension or contraction--a limitless vastness to which nothing
can be added by way of extension. It is without a centre, without a
circumference. Let reason, aided by the imagination, do all it can,
no other conception regarding space can be formed. Astronomers tell
us that between our earth and the sun there are ninety-two millions
of miles of space. What is beyond the sun in a straight line from us?
Space. Ninety-two million miles of it? Aye, and if ninety-two millions
of miles be multiplied by ninety-two millions, the space in a direct
line from us beyond the sun would not begin to be measured!

But I am weary of measuring distances by such a paltry unit as a mile,
let us pluck a ray of light from the sun to aid us in our measurements.
Scientists tell us that in one beat of the pendulum a ray of light
would pass eight times round the circumference of the earth, or
198,000 miles! Yet from _Alpha Centauri,_ the brightest star in the
constellation of the _Centaur_ and of the fixed stars the nearest to
the earth--it would take its light about three and a half years to
reach us. "It has also been estimated that it would take light over
sixteen years to reach us from _Sirius,_ about eighteen years to reach
us from _Vega,_ about twenty-five years from _Arcturus_ and over forty
years from the _Pole-Star_." [2]

These are stars whose distances from the earth have been carefully
ascertained. But if these stars nearest to the earth are at such an
immense distance from us that figures fail to convey to the mind any
adequate idea of its immensity, what of those clusters of stars of
which astronomers speak as only being visible through the most powerful
telescopes, and that are at such immeasurable distances that it would
require a million of years for a ray of light to reach us from them!
[3] So much space is between us and them--what is beyond those distant
groups of stars in a direct line from us? Space; and as much of it
on the other side of them as on this side; just as there is as much
beyond our earth in a straight line from them as there is between our
earth and those distant groups of stars. But why attempt to describe
the infinite? It is a hopeless task; and as space is infinite, it is
useless to attempt to describe it. Let imagination fancy it as vast
as it can, but it is still vaster than that. There are heights in it
to which even in thought the mind cannot ascend; there are depths in
it which imagination even cannot fathom. What is here set down is not
written with the hope of describing space, but only to aid minds not
accustomed to think upon such themes to mentally grasp the self-evident
truth that space is limitless. That to some minds may be a difficult
thought, but it is more difficult to conceive bounds to space; and the
effort to do so will result in bringing a consciousness of the truth
that space is absolutely without limits.

II. In this limitless space Joseph Smith taught that there are
inexhaustible quantities of matter; that matter is eternal; it always
existed, it always will exist in some form or other--some of it as
suns, earths and their satellites, and immeasurable quantities of it
in unorganized masses, or thinly distributed throughout the immensity
of space. As space cannot be extended or contracted, so the sum-total
of matter cannot be increased by so much as an atom, nor can one
atom of it be destroyed. It may be put through innumerable changes,
organized into worlds and systems of worlds, and then resolved again
into unorganized elements, but these changes neither increase the sum
total of matter nor annihilate a single atom of it. He who asserts the
eternity of matter, at the same time asserts the impossibility of its
creation from nothing, and also its indestructibility.

The discovery of the immense quantity of matter in space by astronomers
goes far towards establishing the truth of its infinitude and eternity;
just as their measurements of immense distances go far towards
establishing in the mind the conception that space is limitless.

When the geocentric theory prevailed, men had only a very narrow
conception of the amount of matter that really existed, just as they
had but a meagre conception of the extent of space. But when through
the successive speculation and discoveries of Cusa, Copernicus, Bruno
and Galileo, the conception that the earth is the immovable centre
of the universe to attend upon which the sun and all the stars were
created, was displaced by the truth that the earth is but one of the
smaller of a number of planets that revolve around the sun; that the
sun with its retinue of planets is but one of the stars that make up
the galaxy that spans the heavens--each of which is a sun and doubtless
the centre of a planetary system; [4] when the telescope increased to
man's vision the number of such suns from five thousand visible to the
naked eye, to thirty or fifty millions, he began to be aware of the
vast amount of matter distributed in space which makes up the visible

But beyond the faintest stars that can be discerned, the telescope
reveals the existence of masses of soft, diffused light of greater or
less extent, to which astronomers have given the name of nebulae. Many
nebulae which once were set down as masses of unorganized matter, when
more powerful telescopes were turned upon them, were resolved into star
clusters, and for a time it was thought that all that was needed to
discover that all nebulae were star clusters was still more powerful
telescopes. This opinion is now, however, abandoned, since another
means of determining the character of these hazy patches of light
exists, viz., the spectroscope. In 1846 it was discovered by Dr. John
William Draper, that the spectrum of an ignited solid is continuous,
and as it was already known through the careful experiments of
Fraunhofer that the spectrum of ignited gases is discontinuous, a means
was furnished by the discovery of Dr. Draper for "determining whether
light emitted by a given nebulae comes from an incandescent gas, or
from a congeries of ignited solids, stars, or suns. If the spectrum be
discontinuous, it is a true nebulae or gas; if continuous a congeries
of stars." [5]

Observations of nebulae by means of the spectroscope since this
discovery have resulted in some of them giving discontinuous or
gaseous spectre, others continuous ones; and accordingly the nebulae
of the former class have been set down as true nebulae or gas, and
the latter as star clusters, too distant to be resolved by our most
powerful telescopes into separate stars to the vision. The revelations
of the spectroscope in this particular are accepted by scientists as
"demonstrating the existence of vast masses of matter in a gaseous
condition, and at a temperature of incandescence;" and it is suggested
by Draper that in some of those gleaming apparitions we see the
genesis, and in others the melting away of universes. However that
may be, the extended view of the amount and diversity of matter in
space afforded us by means of the discoveries of scientists through
the instrumentality of telescopes and spectroscopes, helps the mind to
comprehend the infinitude and eternity of it; and prepares the way for
the acceptance of the great truth announced in one of God's revelations
to Joseph Smith--"_There are many kingdoms; for there is no space where
there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no
space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom_." [6]

While on this subject of "matter" it may be as well to state that the
prophet taught that "There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All
spirit is matter," said he, "but it is more fine or pure, and can only
be discerned by purer eyes. We cannot see it; but when our bodies are
purified, we shall see that it is all matter." [7]

That there is no such thing as "immaterial matter" is a self-evident
truth; and either we must affirm the materiality of spirit, or deny
its existence; for what would an immaterial spirit be? the same as
immaterial fire or water or atmosphere. To say that any one of the
substances named is immaterial is to deny its existence. If it shall be
said that intelligence or love is immaterial, the answer would be that
neither intelligence nor love is matter, but a property of matter--an
attribute of spirits, just as motion or weight is a property of matter.

Running parallel with boundless space and limitless and eternal matter
is eternal duration, according to the teaching of the prophet. Eternal
duration of time is of that class of truths called "necessary truths,"
because it is impossible to conceive the contrary; that is, we cannot
conceive of duration having a beginning. Starting with today for a
unit, I ask, what preceded it? Yesterday, I am answered. And what will
follow it? Tomorrow. What preceded this present year? Last year. And
what will follow it? Next year. What preceded this present century?
Last century. What preceded the present millennium? Last millennium.
And what will follow it? Another millennium. So I might continue to
go on questioning and answering, constantly enlarging the periods,
yet getting no nearer to the beginning of the past, nor to the end of
future time. As in starting from any given point in space, and going
with the velocity of light or thought in opposite directions, would
never take us to the point where space is not extended, so starting
from any given point in duration, and going in opposite directions,
though our mental strides be a million years each we should never
arrive at the beginning nor the end of time. It has neither, it is

Of course there is relative duration, which has a beginning and an end,
such as the period between that moment, when the chaotic mass of matter
out of which a solar system was made began to break up into rings and
condense into a sun and its planets and their satellites, and that
moment when it may be resolved again into such a mass. Such a period
may have a beginning and an end. There is also relative space which may
have a point where it begins and another where it ends, such as space
between our earth and the sun. But I have been speaking of absolute
space and duration, not of relative, and the one is as limitless as the
other is eternal.

I shall be told that in all this there is nothing new; that the
philosophers, at least of the materialistic school, believe and teach
all this. Be it so, they thus far teach the truth, at which they have
arrived by the slow and painful pathway of experiment and discovery.
Wholly separated from them and independent of them, the youthful
prophet Joseph Smith learned the same truths by the inspiration of
God, and taught them to his followers fifty and sixty years ago in the
wilderness of New York and Ohio. But he went beyond the philosophers as
I am now to prove.

First, Lambert and Madler, as we have seen, conjectured that the
so-called fixed stars of our galaxy were each the centre of groups of
planets and with their retinue revolved about some greater centre,
somewhere in the universe. Lambert's conjectures provided opaque
centres, while Madler selected _Alcyone_ of the constellation Pleiades
as the centre of the steller universe. Astronomers regard these
conjectures as baseless speculation, but cannot deny the possibility
of them. They say that such may be the plan on which the universe
is constructed, but they have no proof of it. They admit that their
discoveries prove a movement of the stars, but they are unable to
determine its character. But what the speculative philosophers
advanced as conjecture and the working astronomers of today admit
only as possible, more than half a century ago Joseph Smith taught as
revelation from God. That is, he taught that among the stars commonly
called fixed stars there are certain great ones which govern the
smaller ones in their times and revolutions, or are the centres about
which they revolve; that there is pre-eminently one great central
body around which even these great ones with their attendant systems
revolve, and that this governs all the planetary systems of the order
to which our earth belongs.

To put the statement in another form, for the sake of clearness, as
the eight planets with their attendant satellites which form our solar
system revolve around the sun, so the sun with all his attendant
planets is one of a number of such systems which revolve around a still
greater centre; and that centre with its attendant systems is but one
of a number of such systems which revolve around the pre-eminently
great central body--to which reference has been made--that God has set
to govern all those planetary systems that belong to the same order as
our own.

Second, Joseph Smith taught that all these worlds and systems of worlds
are under the dominion of law, by which they move in their times and
their seasons; "that their courses are fixed, even the courses of the
heavens and the earth--which comprehend the earth and all the planets.
And they give light to each other in their times and in their seasons,
in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in
their months, in their years: all these are one year with God, but not
with man." [8] But while the prophet proclaimed the universal dominion
of law, he also proclaimed that "unto every law there are certain
bounds also and conditions;" [9] by which I understand that even law
is governed by law. That as systems upon systems of universes rise one
above another, so also do the laws by which they are governed, so that
which to us often seems a violation of law, is but the application of
higher laws of which we are wholly or in part ignorant.

Third, the prophet taught that these worlds and systems of worlds, of
which I have spoken, were inhabited. [10] The learned scientists of
today in dealing with the question, "are the innumerable worlds in the
universe revealed to you by your powerful telescopes inhabited?" can
only give as an answer a doubtful "perhaps." One of the scientists,
a leading astronomer, thus gives his conclusions after a long review
of the question: "It seems, therefore, so far as we can reason from
analogy, that the probabilities are in favor of only a very small
fraction of the planets being peopled with intelligent beings. But
when we reflect that the possible number of the planets is counted by
hundreds of millions, this small fraction may be really a large number,
and among this number many may be peopled by beings much higher than
ourselves in the intellectual scale. Here we may give free rein to our
imagination with the moral certainty that science will supply nothing
tending either to prove or disprove any of its fancies." [11] This
is the best that science can do. The habitability of other worlds to
science is a proposition more or less doubtful; but the teachings of
the Prophet Joseph are clear and positive upon the subject as far back
as 1832. [12]

Fourth, the prophet taught that all these inhabitants had their own
times and seasons, days and years, etc., according to the revolutions
of the planets on which they reside. [13]

Fifth, that the Creator of all these worlds and systems of worlds will
visit them each in turn. The revelation which teaches this doctrine
refers to those worlds or planets that constitute the universe as
"kingdoms" which the Lord likens unto a man having a field, "and he
sent forth his servants into the field to dig in the field; and he said
unto the first, go ye and labor in the field, and in the first hour
I will come unto you, and ye shall behold the joy of my countenance.
And he said unto the second, go ye also into the field, and in the
second hour I will visit you with the joy of my countenance; and also
unto the third, saying, I will visit you; and unto the fourth; and so
on unto the twelfth. And the Lord of the field went unto the first
in the first hour, and tarried with him all that hour, and he was
made glad with the light of the countenance of his Lord. And then he
withdrew from the first that he might visit the second also, and the
third and the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth; and thus they all
received the light of the countenance of their Lord; every man in his
hour, and in his time, and in his season, beginning at the first and
so on unto the last, and from the last unto the first, and from the
first to the last--every man in his order, until his hour was finished
even according as his Lord had commanded him, that his Lord might be
glorified in him, and he [the servant] in him [the Lord], that they all
might be glorified. Therefore unto this parable will I liken all these
kingdoms [worlds] and the inhabitants thereof; every kingdom in its
hour and in its time and in its season; even according to the decree
which God hath made." [14]

Sixth, the prophet taught that the earth and the heavens at least as
they are now constituted, will pass away; that afterwards the earth
will be re-created and made an immortal or celestial world; and the
righteous inhabit it as an eternal abode. This is the language of
the revelation which teaches the doctrine--"Verily I say unto you,
the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the
measure of its creation and transgresseth not the law. Wherefore it
shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be
quickened, again and the righteous shall inherit it. [15]

"And the earth shall pass away so as by fire. * * * * And every
corruptible thing, both of man or the beasts of the field, or the fowls
of the heavens, or the fish of the sea, that dwell upon all the face
of the earth, shall be consumed; and also the elements shall melt with
fervent heat; and all things shall become new, that my [the Lord's]
knowledge and glory may dwell upon all the earth." [16] In a revelation
given to Joseph Smith making known to him more fully the visions which
the Lord gave to Moses in the mount, and from which Moses wrote his
account of creation in the book of Genesis, the Lord is represented as
saying: "And worlds without number have I created. * * * But only an
account of this earth and the inhabitants thereof give I unto you. For
behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my
power. * * * And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying, the heavens
they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man, but they are
numbered unto me, for they are mine, and as one earth shall pass away,
and the heavens thereof, even so shall another come; and there is no
end to my work." [17]

Seventh, the prophet taught that the "earth in its sanctified and
immortal state will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and
Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things
pertaining to an inferior kingdom [world], or all kingdoms [worlds]
of a lower order will be manifest to those who dwell on it;" and that
through the means of Urim and Thummim these inhabitants of the earth in
its celestial state will learn of things pertaining to the higher order
of kingdoms or universes. [18]

These doctrines concerning the earth and the universe will be found
scattered through the revelations received by the prophet as quoted
in the margin of the respective pages of this book devoted to their
consideration, except the first, which, from the importance of the
matter with which it deals, viz.: the movements of planetary systems
around great centres, and these great centres with their attendant
systems around some pre-eminently great centre--as well as from the
peculiar manner by which he came into possession of the information,
requires special consideration.

The construction and movements of the planetary systems herein
described as the teaching of the prophet Joseph Smith makes no
pretension to being new doctrine. The prophet rather proclaims that
the ancients were familiar with it. Such was the construction of
the universe as taught to the Egyptians by Abraham; and Joseph
Smith learned it from the "Book of Abraham," a record written by
that patriarch, and which came into the hands of the prophet in the
following manner:

The records were obtained from one of the catacombs in Egypt, near
the place where once stood the renowned city of Thebes, by a French
traveler named Antonio Sebolo, in the year 1831. He procured license
from Mehemet Ali, the viceroy of Egypt, under the protection of
Chevalier Drovetti, the French Consul, in the year 1828. He employed
four hundred and thirty-three men; and after four months and two days'
hard work, entered the catacomb June 7th, 1831, and obtained eleven
mummies. There were several hundred mummies in the same catacomb; about
one hundred embalmed after the first order, and placed in niches,
and two or three hundred after the second and third orders, and laid
upon the floor or bottom of the ground cavity. The last two orders of
embalmed were so decayed, that they could not be handled, and only
eleven of the first order found in niches were well enough preserved to
be removed.

On his way from Alexandria to Paris, Sebolo put in at Trieste, and,
after ten days' illness, died. This was in the year 1832. Previous to
his decease, he made a will of his whole collection of mummies to Mr.
Michael H. Chandler (then in Philadelphia, Pa.), his nephew, whom he
supposed to be in Ireland. Accordingly the mummies were sent to Dublin,
and Mr. Chandler's friends ordered them to New York, where they were
received at the custom house in the winter or spring of 1833. In April
of the same year, Mr. Chandler paid the duties, and took possession of
his treasures. [19] Up to this time they had not been taken out of the
coffins, nor the coffins opened. On opening the coffins, Mr. Chandler
discovered that in connection with two of the bodies, was something
rolled up with the same kind of linen, saturated with the same bitumen,
which when examined, proved to be two rolls of papyrus, filled with
hieroglyphics and characters or letters somewhat like the present form
of the Hebrew. All the hieroglyphics were beautifully written with
black and a small part with red ink or paint. Two or three other small
pieces of papyrus with astronomical calculations, epitaphs, etc., were
found with the other mummies. Mr. Chandler traveled with his mummies
exhibiting them and the rolls of papyrus in the principal cities of
the eastern states, and in July, 1835, arrived at Kirtland, where the
ability of Joseph Smith to translate ancient languages by a divine gift
being known, Mr. Chandler submitted to him some of the characters,
which the prophet translated.

A few days later some of the Saints in Kirtland purchased the mummies
and rolls of papyrus of Mr. Chandler; and the Prophet Joseph with W. W.
Phelps and Oliver Cowdery acting as scribes commenced the translation
of the rolls, when to their joy they found that one of them contained
the writings of Abraham, and the other of Joseph, who was sold into
Egypt by his brethren. [20]

As soon as it was announced that the prophet had come into possession
of another ancient record in the manner above described, it was rumored
about that he pretended to be in possession of the bodies of Abraham,
Abimelech, the king of the Philistines, Joseph who was sold into
Egypt, etc. These false rumors the prophet corrected by saying of the
mummies which had so strangely come into his possession--"Who these
ancient inhabitants of Egypt were, I do not at present say. Abraham was
buried on his own possession in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of
Ephron, the son of Zohah, the Hittite, which is before Mamre, which he
purchased of the sons of Heth. Abimelech lived in the same country,
and for aught we know died there; and the children of Israel carried
Joseph's bones from Egypt, when they went out under Moses; consequently
they could not have been found in Egypt in the nineteenth century."
[21] Then follows the account of the finding of the record as already
recited in preceding paragraphs.

Some parts of the "Book of Abraham" the prophet translated and
published, but if he translated the writings of Joseph they have not
been published. From the fragments of the writings of Abraham thus
brought to light the prophet learned the construction of the universe
that I have set down in these pages. Abraham received his knowledge of
the wonderful works of God as seen in the planetary and stellar worlds
by revelation from God through the Urim and Thummim, an instrument by
means of which God revealed knowledge to the ancient patriarchs and
prophets. [22] One of the principal passages in the writings of Abraham
which teaches the principles of astronomy is as follows:

"And I, Abraham, had the Urim and Thummim, which the Lord my God had
given unto me, in Ur of the Chaldees; and I saw the stars that they
were very great, _and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of
God; and the Lord said unto me, these are the governing ones; and the
name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me. * * * I
have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order
of that upon thou standest._ And the Lord said unto me, by Urim and
Thummim, that Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its
times and seasons in the revolutions thereof, that one revolution was a
day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand
years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest.
This is the reckoning of the Lord's time, according to the reckoning of
Kolob." [23]

In this passage will be found the germ of that system of the
construction and movement of planetary systems that make up the
universe, set forth in the teachings of Joseph Smith. Here it may
be seen that there are many great stars--the "governing ones,"
near together, and from among them rises one pre-eminent in
greatness--Kolob--which governs all the rest that are of the same order
as that to which our solar system belongs.

From other fragments translated from the writings of Abraham on the
roll of papyrus we learn that a star called by the Egyptians "Oliblish"
stands next to Kolob--that it is the next grand, governing creation;
that it is equal to Kolob in its revolutions and in the measurement of
time; that it holds the keys of power as pertaining to other planets.

Another governing star in this Abrahamic system is Enish-go-on-dosh,
"said by the ancient Egyptians to be the sun, and to borrow [receive]
its light from Kolob through the medium of Kae-e-vanrash. * * *
Kae-e-vanrash is the grand key or governing power which governs fifteen
other fixed planets or stars, as also the moon (Floeese), the earth
and the sun in their annual revolutions. * * * Kae-e-vanrash receives
its power through Kli-flos-is-es or Hah-ko-kau-beam. Kli-flos-is-es
and Hah-ko-kau-beam receive their light from the revolutions of
Kolob." [25] From the foregoing it appears that our solar system, the
governing planet of which--the sun--is known in this Abrahamic system
as Enish-go-on-dosh, is governed by, or has for a centre around which
it revolves a star known as Kae-e-vanrash. Kae-e-vanrash is governed
by or has for a centre around which it revolves, together with its
attendant systems of worlds, Kli-flos-is-es or Hah-ko-kau-beam; and
these two stars with their attendant systems are governed by or revolve
around Kolob, the great centre of that part of the universe to which
our planetary system belongs.

Of course these names of governing stars are of but little importance
to us at present because of our inability to identify them with those
"fixed" stars known to us under other names; but this Abrahamic system
of the construction of the universe and movement of planetary systems,
revealed to the world by Joseph Smith certainly presents the grandest
ideas of the scale on which the universe is constructed, and the power
and majesty of the laws by which it is governed. It is true that Kant,
Lambert and Madler somewhat approached the Abrahamic system in their
speculations, but what they advanced as conjecture, the Prophet Joseph
Smith taught as divine truth, as revelation.

It is over half a century since the Abrahamic system was first
announced by the prophet; and it is interesting to note the fact
that though the heavens have been constantly searched by powerful
telescopes during that time, nothing has yet been discovered which
at all conflicts with it. On the contrary, as we have seen, much has
been learned which tends to confirm it. What God has revealed on this
most important and interesting branch of knowledge far outstrips what
scientists have learned or speculative philosophers have conjectured;
and with confidence those who accept that revelation may watch the slow
but important discoveries of astronomers which will yet demonstrate the
truth of that system which God has revealed.

It represents the universe as planned on a scale so magnificent that
it is worthy of the intelligence of a God as its Creator. Such ideas
of the construction of the universe are worthy of revelation, they
carry with them by the very force of their grandeur the evidence of
their truth; and when it is remembered that they were brought forth by
a young man wholly separated from the centres of scientific thought,
unacquainted with the speculations of philosophers, and without any
previous knowledge of astronomy, it is not difficult to believe that
he received his knowledge of them from the writings of one inspired
or taught of God; and that he himself was gifted with divine power to
translate those ancient writings, and hence himself a prophet and seer
inspired of God.

Another matter of interest to note is, as already observed, that this
Abrahamic system of astronomy is not held up as a new idea of the
construction of the universe, but is simply bringing to light again
the knowledge had among the ancients. In a preceding chapter I called
attention to the fact that Copernicus in the preface of his work on the
movement of the heavenly bodies, complains against the imperfections
of the geocentric theory and states that he _sought among ancient
writers for a better way, and so had learned the heliocentric doctrine
[26]_--that is, that the sun was the center around which the earth

As another evidence that the idea of Copernicus concerning the
structure of the universe was known to the ancients and that he learned
it from their writings, it is only necessary to say that when the
"Holy Inquisition" on the 5th of March, 1616 A. D., issued its decrees
against Galileo, it also condemned and denounced the whole Copernican
system as "_that false Pythagoran doctrine, utterly contrary to the
Holy Scriptures_." [27]

Pythagoras was born about 540 B. C., most probably at Samosa, an island
in the Aegean Sea. Despite the efforts of some eminent scholars to
prove that the doctrines of Pythagoras were not of Egyptian origin,
it is now quite generally conceded that they were. "If it were not
explicitly stated by the ancients," says Draper, "that Pythagoras lived
for twenty-two years in Egypt, there is sufficient internal evidence in
his story to prove that he had been there a long time. As a connoisseur
can detect the hand of a master by the style of a picture, so one who
has devoted attention to the old system of thought sees, at a glance,
the Egyptian in the philosophy of Pythagoras." [28]

The only thing, however, that now concerns me in his doctrines is
that part which relates to astronomy. However touched with fancy his
theory may have been, he did teach that the sun was the centre of
the planetary system, around which the earth with four other planets
revolved; [29] and in that one may see substantially the heliocentric
theory subsequently taught by Copernicus. It is clear from his own
statement that Copernicus learned the heliocentric doctrine from the
ancients, among whom doubtless was Pythagoras, who learned it from
the Egyptians, among whom he spent twenty-two years of his life. It
only now remains to prove that the Egyptians received their knowledge
of astronomy from Abraham, in order to prove that indirectly the
heliocentric theory, which has led to our modern notions of the
construction of the universe, as well as the Abrahamic system of
astronomy revealed to the world through Joseph Smith has one and the
same source--the revelations which the Lord gave to the Patriarch

That Abraham was in Egypt is clear both from the Bible [30] and the
writings of Josephus. The latter after relating all that the Bible
does, only in greater detail, adds to the account that the Egyptian
king made Abraham a large present in money; "and gave him leave to
enter into conversation with the most learned among the Egyptians;
from which conversation, his virtue and his reputation became more
conspicuous than they had been before. For whereas the Egyptians were
formerly addicted to different customs, and despised one another's
sacred and accustomed rites, and were very angry one with another
on that account, Abraham conferred with each of them, and confuted
the reasonings they made use of, every one for their own practices,
he demonstrated that such reasonings were vain, and void of truth;
whereupon he was admired by them, in those conferences, as a very wise
man, and one of great sagacity, when he discoursed on any subject he
undertook; and this was not only in understanding it, but in persuading
other men also to assent to him. He communicated to them arithmetic,
and delivered to them the science of astronomy; for before Abraham came
into Egypt, they were unacquainted with those parts of learning; for
that science came from the Chaldeans into Egypt, and from thence to the
Greeks also." [31]

Josephus does not give his authority for this remarkable addition to
the Bible account of Abraham's sojourn in Egypt, but there can be
no doubt of the correctness of his statement or of his sufficiency
as authority for the fact. For, as remarked by Mr. William Osburn,
author of the "Monumental History of Egypt," "Not only were the temple
records of Egypt in existence at the time [when Josephus wrote his
Antiquities], but the work of Josephus was itself specially addressed
to the Greek and Egyptian philosophers of Alexandria as an apology
for his own nation. So that to have ventured upon a falsification of
the history of Egypt, thus disparaging to its ancient fame, and thus
to the credit of his own hero, to antagonists perfectly competent to
expose it, and deeply interested in the exposure, would have been
sheer insanity. It would hardly, therefore, be possible to produce a
statement better authenticated. We assume it, then, for an historical
fact, that Abraham arrived in Egypt at a time when the monarchy
was convulsed by a fierce civil broil, arising out of religious
differences, which was appeased during his sojourn there." [32] And
on the same authority, supported by the same reasoning, I also accept
it as an historical fact that the patriarch taught the Egyptians
arithmetic and astronomy, from whence afterwards the Greeks learned
some fragments of the patriarch's teaching on the latter subject. [33]
From the Book of Abraham we learn that the patriarch went into Egypt
because he was commanded of God to go, and that for the express purpose
of teaching the things he had learned concerning the heavens and the
earth. [34]

The agreement of the statement of Joseph Smith that he learned what he
knew of the construction of the universe from the writings of Abraham,
found as already described, in Egpyt--the agreement of this claim with
the historical fact that Abraham did, for a time, live in Egypt and
teach the Egyptians a system of astronomy, is very strong presumptive
evidence of its truth. It will appear the more so when Joseph Smith's
lack of historical information at the time he first announced these
doctrines--as early as 1835--is taken into account. Still more will it
appear when it is remembered that the fragments of astronomy learned
by Pythagoras in Egypt is the foundation of the Copernican system,
the nucleus from which has been developed through the researches of
our latter-day astronomers, our modern knowledge of the solar system
and the plan of the construction of the universe. And when it is also
remembered that those fragments as well as the system developed from
them are in accord with that fuller information that has come through
the medium of revelation to Joseph Smith. All this--these undesigned
coincidences--give direct evidence that in this man Joseph Smith
there was an excellent spirit of understanding, so extra-ordinary in
its character that it can be referred to no other origin than the
revelations of God to him.


1. See a recent article in the American press by Sir Robert Ball on
the "Possibility of Life on Other Worlds," in which Sir Robert views
the present state of the question from a scientific standpoint, and
only conservatively admits the possibility of life on other worlds.
He concludes, however, thus: "No reasonable person will, I think,
doubt that the tendency of modern research has been in favor of the
supposition that there may be life on some of the other globes."

2. Gillet and Rolf's Astronomy pp. 364-5. "In many instances it is
believed that it would take the light of stars hundreds of years to
make the journey to our earth, and in some instances even thousands of

3. Draper's Intellectual Development Vol. II., p. 292. Also Newcomb's
Astronomy p. 455-6.

4. "These distant suns are, many of them, much larger than our sun.
Sirus, the beautiful Dog-star, is (so far as can be judged by its
amount of light) nearly 3,000 times larger, and therefore its system
of dependent worlds must be so much more important than those which
form our solar system. Its planets may far exceed ours in size and
revolve at far greater distances; for such a sun would throw its beams
of light and heat very much beyond a distance equal to that of our
Neptune."--_Samuel Kinns,_ P. H. D, F. R. A. A. S., in "Harmony of the
Bible with Science," second edition, p. 238.

"Man when he looks upon the countless multitudes of stars--when he
reflects that all he sees is only a small portion of those which exist,
yet that each is a light and life-giving sun to multitudes of opaque,
and therefore invisible worlds--when he considers the enormous size of
these various bodies and their immeasurable distance from one another,
may form an estimate of the scale on which the world [universe] is
constructed."--"Intellectual Development of Europe," Vol. II., p. 279.

5. "Draper's Intellectual Development of Europe," Vol. II., p. 283.

6. Doc. and Cov. Sec. lxxxviii: 37.

7. Doc. and Cov. Sec. cxxxi. See also an article on the absurdities of
Immaterialism, by Elder Orson Pratt; and Doc. and Cov. Sec. xciii: 29,

8. Doc. and Cov., Sec. lxxxviii: 36, 42-44.

9. _Ibid,_ verse 38.

10. Doc. and Cov. Sec. lxxxviii: 45-6.

11. Newcomb's Astronomy, p. 531.

12. Doc and Cov., Sec. lxxxviii: 45-61. The revelation was given
December, 1832. See also Doc. and Cov., Sec. cxxx: 4, 8.

13. Doc. and Cov., Sec. cxxx: 4, 5.

14. Doc. and Cov., Sec. lxxxviii: 51-61.

15. _Ibid,_ verses 25, 26.

16. Doc. and Cov., Sec. ci: 24, 25.

17. Pearl of Great Price, p. 5, 6, 1888 edition. A noted author and
scientist states essentially the same truth in the following manner:
"The multiplicity of worlds in infinite space leads to the conception
of a succession of worlds in infinite time. This existing universe,
with all its splendors, had a beginning, and will have an end; it had
its predecessors, and will have its successors; but its march through
all its transformations is under the control of laws as unchangeable
as destiny. As a cloud which is composed of myriads of separate
and isolated spherules of water so minute as to be invisible, on a
summer's afternoon changes its aspect and form, disappearing from
the sky, and being replaced in succeeding hours by other clouds of a
different aspect and shape, so the universe, which is a cloud of suns
and worlds, changes in the immensity of time its form and fashion,
and that which is temporary with us is only an example of countless
combinations of a like kind, which in ancient times have, one after
another, vanished away. In periods yet to come the endless succession
of metamorphoses will still go on, a series of universes to which there
is no end."--"Intellectual development of Europe," Vol. II., p. 336.

18. Doc. and Cov., Sec. cxxx: 9, 10.

19. This account of how Mr. Chandler came into possession of the
mummies is of course given by himself; and for its accuracy the Prophet
Joseph is in no way responsible.

20. History of Joseph, _Millennial Star,_ Vol. xv., p. 296.

21. History Joseph Smith, _Millennial Star,_ Vol. xv., p. 550.

22. See Exodus xxviii: 30; Lev. viii: 8; Num. xxvii: 21; Deut, xxxiii:
8; I. Sam. xxviii: 6; Ezra ii: 63; Neh. vii: 65.

23. Pearl of Great Price, p. 58, 59. 1888 Edition.

24. Reynolds' "Book of Abraham, a Divine and Ancient Record," p. 30.

25. Book of Abraham, circular disc, plate 2. See also Elder George
Reynolds' "Book of Abraham, a Divine and Ancient Record," p. 30.

26. Intellectual Development, Vol. II. p. 255.

27. Intellectual Development, Vol. II. p. 263.

28. Intellectual Development, Vol. I. p. III.

29. Intellectual Development, Vol. I. p. 116-117.

30. Genesis xii.

31. Antiquities of the Jews, Bk. I. ch. viii.

32. Monumental History of Egypt, Vol. I. p. 37.

33. Josephus in another place repeats his assertion that the Greeks
learned their knowledge of celestial things of the Egyptians by
saying: "But then for those that first introduced philosophy, and the
consideration of things celestial and divine among them [the Greeks]
such as Pherecydes, the Syrian, and Pythagoras and Thales, all with one
consent agree, that they learned what they knew of the Egyptians and
Chaldeans, and wrote but little." Josephus against Apion, Bk. I.

34. "Book of Abraham," Pearl of Great Price, p. 61.



We are to turn now from the contemplation of the universe to consider
man's place in it, and the doctrine in relation to the Gods as taught
by Joseph Smith.

Whether man be viewed from the standpoint of his relationship to
other animals, the beauty and majesty of his physical organism, the
superiority of his intellectual endowments, or the sublimity of his
spiritual aspirations, something will be found in each that argues for
him a special place in the universe. It is true that many animals in
their physical organism are stronger than man; some are swifter; others
keener of sight or smell, and still others are of more acute hearing;
but in none is there found that combination which renders man superior
to them all. Which of the animals, however strong, or fierce, has he
not subdued? Some yield their strength, and others their speed to serve
him; others still please him with their beauty, or yield a useful
product for his comfort; while all pay him homage by yielding to his

Nor has man been content with obtaining dominion over the animal
creation alone. Gradually he is mastering the elements and extending
his dominion over all the earth. The winds and ocean currents have
long been his servants; the lightning bears his messages; the element
of fire is made to serve him in a thousand ways; steam propels his
chariot; distance he well nigh annihilates; he weighs the earth in
his balances; measures the distances of the sun and the stars, tells
the substances of which they are composed and the mathematical laws
by which they are governed. As one thus even partially reviews man's
achievements and considers the mastery he has obtained alike over the
animal creation and the forces of nature--with the poet he exclaims:
"What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in
faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action, how
like an angel! in apprehension, how like a God! the beauty of the
world! the paragon of animals!"

Well might the Psalmist say--addressing himself to God: "What is man
that thou art mindful of him? And the Son of man that thou visitest
him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast
crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over
the works of thy hands, thou hast put all things under his feet." [1]

These favors granted to man by the Creator, no less than his
superiority to all other creatures of earth, proclaim for him a special
place in the universe; and according to the teachings of Joseph Smith,
both the superiority of his endowments and the special favors that he
enjoys, arise out of his relationship to the Deity.

The prophet taught that the spirits of men before they tabernacled in
bodies of flesh and bone on this earth had an existence with God in
another world; that God is the Father of their spirits, Jesus Christ
being the firstborn. [2] That existence was a tangible one; it involved
the realities of life in the heavenly kingdom or family. Each spirit
there was as much an entity as each man is in this present life.
Each spirit there had its agency as each man has it here; and was at
liberty to take that course it elected to pursue. [3] "At the first
organization in heaven," says the prophet, "we were all present, and
saw the Savior chosen and appointed and the plan of salvation made, and
we sanctioned it."

Some spirits went so far in the exercise of their agency as to rebell
against God. Lucifer, the Son of the Morning, did so, and drew away
with him one-third of the hosts of heaven, and they became the devil
and his angels. [4] This is not only the teaching of Joseph Smith, but
also of the Bible. [5]

One thing, however, Joseph Smith taught which, as far as I know, the
Bible does not teach, viz, that these spirits in their pre-existent
estate attained unto a variety of degrees of intelligence and nobility
of character. In the Book of Abraham, quoted in my last chapter, it is
written: "Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences
that were organized before the world was: and among all these there
were many of the noble and great ones; and God saw these souls that
they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said, These
I will make my rulers, for he stood among those that were spirits, and
he said unto me, Abraham, thou art one of them, thou wast chosen before
thou wast born." [6]

How beautiful is this doctrine! how reasonable! how many problems it
explains! What light it throws upon the life and character of man!
Notwithstanding the great influence of parentage and environment upon
character, we may understand now how it is that in spite of indifferent
parentage and vicious environments some characters arise that are
truly virtuous and great, and that purely by the strength of that
intelligence and nobility to which their spirits had attained in the
heavenly kingdom before they took bodies upon earth. Their grandeur of
soul could not all be suppressed by environment in this life, however
inauspicious for their development. As the sun struggles through clouds
and mists that at times obscure his brightness, so these spirits,
stirred by their innate nobility, breaking through all disadvantages
attendant upon ignoble birth and iron fortune, rise to their native
heights of true greatness.

If a wider survey be taken of mankind, and those advantages and
disadvantages under which whole generations, nations and races of men
have lived be taken into account; if the fact of their pre-existence
be considered in connection with that other fact that the spirits of
men before coming to this earth were of unequal intelligence and of
every degree of nobility; if it be remembered that in that pre-existent
state all spirits had a free agency, and that they there manifested
all degrees of fidelity to truth and righteousness, from those who
were valiant for the right to those who were utterly untrue to it
and rebelled against God; if it be further remembered that doubtless
in this earth-life these spirits are rewarded for their faithfulness
and diligence in that pre-existent state--if all this, I say, be
considered, much that has perplexed many noble minds in their effort to
reconcile the varied circumstances under which men have lived with the
justice and mercy of God, will disappear.

The doctrine of the pre-existence of spirits, as also their
relationship to Deity, is beyond all doubt a scriptural doctrine; but
it seems to have been reserved for the Prophet Joseph Smith to give
clearness and force to it. The fatherhood of God, and its necessary
corollary, the brotherhood of man, are trite phrases much in fashion in
these modern days; but it is questionable if they have conveyed to the
minds of men any definite ideas of the actual relationship of father
and son existing between man and Deity. In the mouths of sectarians
the phrases under discussion have always been employed to express some
mystic or indefinite relationship not clearly explained or explainable.
It was reserved, I repeat, for the great modern prophet to give these
phrases reality. He declared the relationship to be as real as that
existing between any father and son on earth; that man's spirit was
actually the offspring of Deity--"A spark struck from his own eternal
blaze." With him the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man were
not mere abstractions more or less beautiful, but a reality. The words
taught by the Savior of men to his disciples as the proper mode of
address to Deity--"Our Father, who art in heaven"--are not meaningless
verbiage, but express the true relationship of man and God.

Inspired by these teachings a disciple at Nauvoo, fifty years ago,
composed and the Saints still sing the following invocation to the
Heavenly Father and Mother:

O my Father, thou that dwellest

In the high and glorious place!

When shall I regain thy presence,

And again behold thy face?

In thy holy habitation,

Did my spirit once reside:

In my first primeval childhood,

Was I nurtured near thy side.

For a wise and glorious purpose

Thou hast placed me here on earth,

And withheld the recollection

Of my former friends and birth;

Yet oft-times a secret something

Whispered, "You're a stranger here;"

And I felt that had wandered

From a more exalted sphere.

I had learned to call thee Father,

Through thy Spirit from on high;

But, until the Key of Knowledge

Was restored, I knew not why.

In the heavens are parents single?

No; the thought makes reason stare!

Truth is reason; truth eternal

Tells me, I've a mother there.

When I leave this frail existence,

When I lay this mortal by,

Father, Mother, may I meet you

In your royal court on high?

Then, at length, when I've completed

All you sent me forth to do,

With your mutual approbation

Let me come and dwell with you. [7]

The pre-existence of man's spirit and its relationship to Deity having
been disposed of, I must now refer to the prophet's teaching on the
subject of man's future existence and the possibilities which lie
before him in the course of the eternities.

Joseph Smith taught the literal resurrection of the body, and its
immortality. He declared that the same sociability which exists
among us here will exist among us in that future life, only it will
be coupled with eternal glory which now we do not enjoy. [8] On one
occasion he said: "I will tell you what I want. If tomorrow I shall be
called to lie in yonder tomb, in the morning of the resurrection let
me strike hands with my father and cry, 'My father,' and he will say,
'My son, my son!' * * * Would you think it strange if I related what I
have seen in vision in relation to this interesting theme? Those who
have died in Jesus Christ may expect to enter into all that fruition of
joy, when they come forth, which they possessed or anticipated here. So
plain was the vision that I actually saw men before they had ascended
from the tomb, as though they were getting up slowly. They took each
other by the hand, and said to each other: 'My father, my son, my
mother, my daughter, my brother, my sister.' And when the voice calls
for the dead to arise, suppose I am laid by the side of my father, what
would be the first joy of my heart? To meet my father, my mother, my
brother, my sister; and when they are by my side, I embrace them and
they me. * * * The expectation of seeing my friends in the morning of
the resurrection cheers my soul and makes me bear up against the evils
of life. It is like their taking a long journey, and on their return we
meet them with increased joy." [9]

The prophet also taught that the relationships formed in this life were
intended to be eternal, not excluding that of husband and wife, with
all its enduring affections. He taught that the marriage covenant which
binds man and woman as husband and wife should be made for eternity,
and not until "death doth them part." To be made for eternity, however,
the marriage covenant must be entered into with that object in view,
and sealed and ratified by God's authority on earth--even by the holy
priesthood, that authority which binds on earth and in heaven, in time
and in eternity; which also looses on earth and in heaven--in time and
in eternity. Otherwise such covenants are of no efficacy, virtue or
force in and after the resurrection from the dead. The house of God
is a house of order, and it is useless to hope that covenants made
until death shall overtake the contracting parties will endure in
eternity; or that covenants entered into for eternity, unless sealed
by the authority of God, will be of binding force in and after the
resurrection from the dead.

I wish to be perfectly understood here. Let it be remembered that the
Prophet Joseph Smith taught that man, that is, his spirit, is the
offspring of Deity; not in any mystical sense, but actually; that man
has not only a Father in heaven, but a Mother also. And when I say
that the prophet taught that the resurrection is a reality, that the
relationship of husband and wife is intended to be eternal, together
with all its endearing affections, I mean all that in its most literal
sense. I mean that in the life to come man will build and inhabit, eat
drink, associate and be happy with his friends; and that the power of
endless increase will contribute to the power and dominion of those who
attain by their righteousness unto these privileges.

What a revelation is here! As I have remarked elsewhere, [10] instead
of the God-given power of pro-creation being one of the chief things
that is to pass away, it is one of the chief means of man's exaltation
and glory in that great eternity, which like an endless vista stretches
out before him! Through it man attains to the glory of the endless
increase of eternal lives, and the right of presiding as priest and
patriarch, king and lord over his ever increasing posterity. Instead of
the commandment, "Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth,"
being an unrighteous law, it is one by means of which the race of
the Gods is perpetuated, and is as holy and pure as the commandment,
"Repent and be baptized." Through that law, in connection with an
observance of all the other laws of the gospel, man will yet attain
unto the power of the Godhead, and like his Father--God--his chief
glory will be to bring to pass the eternal life and happiness of his

If anyone shall say that such views of the life to come are too
materialistic; that they smack too much of earth and its enjoyments, my
answer is, that if it be inquired what thing has contributed most to
man's civilization and refinement, to his happiness and dignity, his
true importance, elevation and honor in life, it will be found that the
domestic relations in marriage, the ties of family, of parentage, with
its joys, responsibilities, and affections will be selected as the one
thing before all others. And those relations and associations which
have contributed so much to man's true progress and refinement in this
world may be trusted not to degrade him in the life that is to come. On
the contrary, with all the affections chastened, with all the qualities
of the mind improved, and the attributes of the soul strengthened, we
may reasonably hope that what has done so much for man in this life
will contribute still more abundantly to his happiness, his exaltation
and glory in the life which is to come.

One other point I must not omit to mention. I know how like sacrilege
it sounds in modern ears to speak of man becoming a God. Yet why should
it be so considered? Man is the offspring of Deity, he is of the same
race and has within him--undeveloped, it is true--the faculties and
attributes of his Father. He has also before him an eternity of time
in which to develop both the faculties of the mind and the attributes
of the soul--why should it be accounted a strange thing that at last
the child shall arrive at the same exaltation and partake of the same
intelligence and glory with his Father? If Jesus Christ, "being in the
form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God," [11] why
should it be considered blasphemous to teach that man by faith and
righteousness in following the counsels of God, shall at last become
like him, and share his power and glory, being a God, even a son of God?

I grant you the height from our present position looks tremendous;
yet it is not impossible of attainment, since we have eternity in
which to work. Stand by the cradle of a new-born babe and contemplate
it. Within that little body of organized pulp--with eyes incapable
of distinguishing objects; legs unable to bear the weight of its
body--without the power of locomotion; hands over whose movements it
has no control; ears that hear but cannot distinguish sounds; a tongue
that cannot speak--yet within that helpless little tabernacle, what
powers lie dormant! Within that germ in the cradle are latent powers
which only require time for their unfolding to astonish the world. From
it may come the man of profound learning who shall add something by
his own wisdom to the sum-total of human knowledge. Perhaps from that
germ will come a profound historian, a poet or eloquent orator to sway
the reason and passions of men, and guide them to better and purer
things than they have yet known. Or a statesman may be there in embryo;
a man whose wisdom shall guide the destiny of the state or perhaps
with God-like power rule the world! If from such a germ as this in the
cradle may come such an unfolding of power as we see in the highest and
noblest manhood, may it not be, that taking that highest and noblest
manhood as the germ, that from it may come, under the guiding hand
of our Father in heaven, a still more wonderful unfolding, until the
germ of the highest and noblest manhood shall develop into a God? The
distance between the noblest man and the position of God is greater,
perhaps, than that between the infant in the cradle and the highest
development of manhood; but if so, there is a longer time--eternity--in
which to arrive at the result; and God and heavenly influences instead
of human parents and earthly means to bring to pass the necessary

This doctrine makes very clear some of the sayings of the scripture,
"Now are we the sons of God," said the Apostle John, "and it doth not
yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he [Christ] shall
appear we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is; and every
man who hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure."
[12] We can see now some meaning in the exhortation of Jesus--"Be ye
therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
[13] "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."

All these sayings give us reason to believe that man may become as
Christ and God are; that he may walk in their footsteps, become like
them and inherit the same glory with them. The Prophet Joseph Smith
corrected the idea that God that now is was always God: "We have
imagined," said he, "and supposed that God was God from all eternity,
I will refute that idea, and will take away the vail so that you can
see. * * * It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a
certainty the character of God and to know that we may converse with
him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like
us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth the
same as Jesus Christ himself did. * * * The scriptures inform us that
Jesus said: 'As the Father hath power in himself, even so hath the Son
power'--to do what? Why, what the Father did. The answer is obvious--in
a manner, to lay down his body and take it up again. Jesus, what are
you going to do? To lay down my life, as my Father did, and take it up
again. Do you believe it? If you do not believe it, you do not believe
the Bible." [15] * * * God himself was once as we are now, and is an
exalted Man and sits enthroned in yonder heavens. That is the great
secret. If the vail was rent today and the great God who holds the
world in its orbit, and upholds all worlds and all things by his power,
was to make himself visible--I say were you to see him today, you would
see him like a man in form--like yourselves, in all the person, image
and very form as a man, for Adam was created in the very fashion,
image and likeness of God, and received instruction from and walked
and talked, and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with

"* * * Here, then, is eternal life--to know that only wise and true
God and you have got to learn how to become Gods yourselves, and to
be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before
you--namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a
small capacity to a great one, from grace to grace, from exaltation to
exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are
able to dwell in everlasting burnings and to sit in glory, as do those
who sit enthroned in everlasting power." [16]

But if God the Father was not always God, but came to his present
exalted position by degrees of progress as indicated in the teachings
of the prophet, how has there been a God from all eternity? The answer
is that there has been and there now exists an endless line of Gods,
stretching back into the eternities, that had no beginning and will
have no end. Their existence runs parallel with endless duration, and
their dominions are as limitless as boundless space. These truths led
one of the disciples of the prophet to write:

  If you could hie to Kolob,
    In th' twinkling of an eye,
  And then continue onward,
    With that some speed to fly,

  D'ye think that you could ever,
    Through all eternity,
  Find out the generation
    Where Gods began to be?

  Or see the grand beginning,
    Where space did not extend?
  Or view the last creation,
    Where Gods and matter end?

  Methinks the Spirit whispers--
    "No man has found 'pure space,'
  Nor seen the outside curtains
    Where nothing has a place.

  "The works of God continue,
    And worlds and lives abound;
  Improvement and progression
    Have one eternal round."

These conceptions of man's origin and future development and glory
involve the idea of a plurality of Gods--a doctrine somewhat startling,
perhaps, to modern ears, since men in our times have been taught to
look upon it as sacrilege to speak or think of more than one God. But
since modern Christianity finds itself so far separated from other
truths of the gospel, may it not find itself wrong in this? What means
that expression in Genesis where, speaking of the creation of man, God
is represented as saying: "Let _us_ make man in _our_ image, after
_our_ likeness?" [17] Is it not a fair inference that he addressed
himself to other Gods who were present? In the account of the creation
given in the Book of Abraham the plural is used throughout--"And the
Gods prepared the earth to bring forth the living creatures." "And the
Gods took counsel among themselves and said, 'Let us go down and form
man in our image, after our likeness,'" etc.

Passing by many other expressions in the Old Testament that convey the
idea of the existence of a plurality of Gods, I take up the preface
to the gospel according to St. John: "In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the
beginning with God." It is generally conceded that the "Word" here
spoken of as being with God in the beginning is Jesus Christ. If any
doubt existed that Jesus is referred to, it would be dispelled by the
fourteenth verse of the same chapter, in which the preface occurs: "And
the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and

Here, then, at least is an account of two Gods--one of which dwelt
with the other in the beginning, and one--the Word--afterwards came to
the earth, was made flesh and dwelt on earth with men and was known as
Jesus of Nazareth.

When Jesus--the Word--was baptized in Jordan, as he came out of the
water, the heavens opened, the Spirit of God descended upon him, and
lo, a voice from heaven said: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well
pleased." [18] Here there appears on the scene again two Gods--the
"Word" and doubtless the God with whom the "Word" had dwelt in the
beginning. In other words here was God the Father, and God the Son,
both present, yet both distinct and separate--two Gods. [19]

In the greeting to the seven churches of Asia, which John embodies
in his preface to the Apocalypse he says: "Grace be unto you * * *
from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness. * * * Unto him that
loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made
us kings and priests _unto God and his Father;_ to him be glory and
dominion forever and ever. Amen." [20] I call special attention to the
words written above in _italics--"unto God and his Father,"_ which can
only mean God and the Father of God, which certainly conveys the idea
of a plurality of Gods. [21]

I have not space here to consider such expressions--with which the
scriptures abound--as "The Lord God is God of Gods and Lord of Lords;"
[22] "The Lord, God of Gods, the Lord, God of Gods, he knoweth, and
Israel he shall know if it be in rebellion," etc. [23] "O give thanks
to the God of Gods * * * O give thanks to the Lord of Lords." [24] "And
shall speak marvelous things against the God of Gods." [25] "The Lamb
shall overcome them: for he is Lord of Lords and king of kings." [26]

Such expressions I know would be worthless as evidence in the matter
under discussion if found in the mouths of heathen kings and prophets
who are sometimes represented as speaking in the Bible; but the
expressions here carefully selected are found on the lips of Moses, of
the children of Israel, David, Daniel, and the Apostle John; and coming
as they do from recognized and divinely authorized servants of God,
they are important as not only upholding but proclaiming the idea of a
plurality of Gods.

"I and my Father are one," said Jesus on one occasion. "Then the Jews
took up stones again to stone him."

_Jesus_--"Many good works have I showed you from my Father, for which
of those works do ye stone me?"

_The Jews_--"For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and
because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God."

_Jesus_--"Is it not written in your law, I said ye are Gods? If he
[that is, God who gave the law] called them Gods unto whom the word of
God came, _and the scripture cannot be broken;_ say ye of him, whom
the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, thou blasphemest;
because I said I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father
believe me not." [27]

Let it be observed that in the above conversation when Jesus was
accused of making himself God, he did not deny the charge; but on the
contrary, called their attention to the fact that God in the law he had
given to Israel had said to some of them--"ye are Gods." And further,
Jesus argued, if those unto whom the word of God came were called Gods
in the Jewish law, and the scripture wherein the fact was declared
could not be broken, that is, the truth denied or gainsaid--why should
the Jews complain when he, too, that is Christ, who had been especially
sanctified by God the Father, called himself the Son of God?

On another occasion Jesus said to the Pharisees: "What think ye of
Christ? whose son is he?"

_Pharisees_--"The son of David."

_Jesus_--"How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying--The Lord
said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, till I make thy foes thy
footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?" [28]

The Pharisees could make him no answer, nor dared they question him
further. All that concerns me in the passage is to note that one God is
represented as saying to another--"Sit thou upon my right hand until I
make thy foes thy footstool--and that clearly proves the existence of
more than one God."

No higher authority than this can be cited in support of any
theological doctrine. These conversations of Jesus with the Jews so
completely prove that Jesus himself taught the existence of a plurality
of Gods, that there can be no questioning it.

I shall be told, however, that Paul expressly says: "There is none
other God but one." That statement taken alone would seem conclusive;
but considered in connection with its context, which explains it, it
will be found in harmony with all the passages here produced to prove
a plurality of Gods. The single statement quoted above is immediately
followed by these words: "For though there be that are called Gods,
whether in heaven or in earth (as there be Gods many, and Lords many);
but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and
we in him, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we
by him." [29]

From this it appears that there be many that are called Gods both in
heaven and in earth. Had the reference to many Gods and many Lords
been confined to these that are called such in the earth, the force of
the passage might have been broken somewhat by the probability that
reference was made to the false gods of the heathens; but when we
are told that "there be that are called Gods whether in heaven or in
earth," by which I understand that there are those that are called Gods
both in heaven and in earth, Christians will not claim that the many
Gods spoken of as being in heaven are false Gods.

But still the apostle teaches that to us there is but one God, the
Father; and one Lord, Jesus Christ. So also taught the prophet Joseph.
[30] He taught that there was but one God to whom it was proper for us
to pay divine honors in worship--God, the Father--the Father of Jesus
Christ, and of whom the Holy Ghost is the witness. And these three, in
the teachings of the great modern prophet, as in the teachings of the
Jewish scriptures, constitute one Godhead, or Grand Presidency to whom
alone man owes allegiance to be expressed in divine worship. But this
does not strike out of existence the many other Gods and Lords that
live and have dominion in other universes and worlds, any more than it
strikes out of existence other kings and emperors of this world, when
we say that to the British subject there is but one sovereign to whom
he owes allegiance.

If the phrase "Grand Presidency" be substituted for Godhead; and
"President" for God, we shall have a nomenclature that will better
convey correct ideas to the mind respecting the Gods than that now
in common use. How, then, would the teaching of the Prophet Joseph
respecting the Gods rise to meet the conceptions of the extent and
grandeur of the universe, both as now known to our scientists and
as revealed through the prophet himself! An infinitude of worlds
and systems of worlds rising one above the other in ever-increasing
splendor in limitless space and eternal duration, would have, as a
concomitant, an endless line of exalted men, to preside over and within
them as Priests, Kings, Patriarchs, Gods! Nor is there confusion,
disorder, or strife in their vast dominions; for they all govern upon
the same righteous principle that characterizes the government of God
the Father. The Gods have attained unto the excellence that Jesus
prayed for in behalf of his apostles and those who might believe on
their word, when he said: "Holy Father, keep through thine own name
those whom thou hast given me, _that they may be one as we are._ * * *
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe
on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father,
art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; * * * and
the glory which thou givest me, I have given them; that they may be one
even as we are one." [31]

If that prayer does not contemplate the apostles and those who believe
on their words becoming like God the Father and Jesus Christ; sharing
their glory and their power; becoming one with them as they are now one
with each other, hence becoming as they are--Gods!--then the language
is without meaning, and is hollow mockery, the meaningless verbiage of
one who knew not what he was saying. But Jesus knew for what he was
praying; and he knew that he was not asking in behalf of his apostles
and those who would believe on their words the unattainable. He was but
asking for them that glory and excellence and exaltation to which many
had already attained in other worlds.

I say the Gods had attained unto that excellence of oneness that Jesus
prayed his disciples might possess, and since the Gods have attained
unto it, and all govern their worlds and systems of worlds by the
same spirit and upon the same principles, there is a unity in their
government that makes it one even as they are one. Let worlds and
systems of worlds, galaxies of systems and universes extend as they may
throughout limitless space, Joseph Smith has revealed the existence of
a government which while characterized by unity is still co-extensive
with them. Let duration, as to the past, be without beginning--yet
Joseph Smith has revealed the great truth that in the beginningless
duration there has existed always an endless succession of exalted
men, called Gods. Let duration, as to the future be without end,--let
the end of time be as remote as the beginning of time, which it is,
for neither exists--yet Joseph Smith has revealed the great truth that
in that endless future, new worlds, systems of worlds and universes
will be created from the exhaustless store of eternal matter, and
made the habitation of the ever increasing posterity of the Gods. Let
no one fear--there is room for all this multiplying and increasing
in limitless space. Let no one fear--there is material for all these
worlds and systems of worlds in the exhaustless store of eternal matter
distributed throughout limitless space. Let no one fear--there is time
enough in endless duration to accomplish all that God has decreed
through his prophet pertaining to the perfecting and exalting of our

Nor will this exaltation of man detract from the majesty and exaltation
of the Gods. Joseph Smith's doctrine does not degrade Deity, it merely
points out the future exaltation of man. The glory of God does not
consist in his being alone in his greatness, but in sharing that
greatness and his intelligence and glory with others. It is a case
where the more is given the richer he becomes who gives, because he
is constantly widening the circle of his own power and dominion.
As the glory of earthly parents is increased by having beautiful,
intelligent children, capable of attaining to the same intelligence,
development and standing as the parents, so the glory of the heavenly
parent--God--is added unto by having sons who shall attain unto the
same honor and exaltation as himself, and who shall be worthy of
sharing his power and glory and everlasting dominion.

What glory is here! What honor! What exaltation! What thrones,
principalities, kingdoms, dominions, powers! What incentive to right
living! What encouragement to struggle against weaknesses and make war
for righteousness against the flesh, the world and the devil! Well may
the Apostle say--when speaking of this doctrine--"_And every man that
hath this hope in him, purifieth himself, even as he [Christ] is pure_."

This is the doctrine of the great modern prophet Joseph Smith--the
testimony of the New Witness for God. And in the sublimity of
the doctrine; in the grandeur of it; in the noble aspirations a
contemplation of it inspires in the soul of man, may be seen the
evidence of divine inspiration in him who re-announced it to the world.


1. Psalm viii.

2. Doc. and Cov. Sec. xciii.

3. Doc. and Cov. Sec. xciii: 29-31.

4. Doc. and Cov. Sec. xxix: 36-38, also Pearl of Great Price p. 14.
(1888 Edition.)

5. See Rev. xii: 7-12. II. Peter ii: 4. Jude vi.

6. Pearl of Great Price p. 62.

7. The hymn was composed by Eliza R. Snow Smith, wife of the prophet.

8. Doc. and Cov. sec. lxxxviii. 26-34; see also sec. lxxvi. and cxxx.

9. History of Joseph Smith, _Millennial Star,_ vol. xxi., p. 6.

10. Outlines of Ecclesiastical History, p. 435.

11. Phillippians ii. 6.

12. I. Epist. John iii. 2, 3.

13. Matt. v. 48.

14. Rev. iii. 21.

15. The argument here made by the prophet is very much strengthened by
the following passage: "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what
he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he (the Father) doeth,
these also doeth the Son likewise." St. John v. 19.

16. From a discourse preached by Joseph Smith at Nauvoo, April 7th,
1844. _Millennial Star,_ vol xxiii, pp. 245-248.

17. Gen. i. 26.

18. Matt. iii. 16, 17.

19. The prophet Joseph, referring to this matter, says: "I wish to
declare I have always, and in all congregations when I have preached
on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It
has been preached by the elders for fifteen years. I have always
declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and
distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was
a distinct personage and a spirit; and these three constitute three
distinct personages and three Gods. If this is in accordance with the
New Testament, lo, and behold! We have three Gods anyhow, and they are
plural; and who can contradict it?" _Millennial Star,_ vol. xxiv. p.

20. Rev. i. 1-6.

21. Commenting on this text the prophet said: "If Jesus Christ was the
Son of God, and John discovered that God, the Father of Jesus Christ,
had a Father, you may suppose that _he_ had a Father also. Where was
there ever a son without a father? And where was there ever a father
without first being a son? Whenever did a tree or anything spring into
existence without a progenitor? And everything comes in this way. Paul
says that that which is earthly is in the likeness of that which is
heavenly. Hence, if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that _he_
had a Father also? I despise the idea of being scared to death at such
a doctrine, for the Bible is full of it." _Millennial Star,_ vol xxiv.,
p. 109.

22. Deut, x. 17.

23. Josh. xxii. 22.

24. Psalms cxxxvi. 2, 3.

25. Dan. xi. 36.

26. Rev. xvii. 14.

27. John x. 30-37.

28. Matt. xxii. 41, 45. Also Psalms cx. I.

29. I. Cor. viii. 4, 6.

30. On the passage under consideration the prophet remarked: "Paul
says there are Gods many and Lords many--I want to set it forth in
a plain and simple manner--but to us there is but one God--that is,
_pertaining_ to us; and he is in all and through all. But if Joseph
Smith says there are Gods many and Lords many, they cry, 'Away with him!
Crucify him! Crucify him!' * * * Paul, if Joseph Smith is a blasphemer,
you are. I say there are Gods many, and Lords many, but to us only one;
and we are to be in subjection to that one." _Millennial Star,_ vol.
xxiv. p. 108.

31. St. John, xvii.

32. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that
we should be called the Sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us
not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the Sons of God; and
it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall
appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every
man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure."
First Epistle of John, iii: 1-4.



The highest evidence that one man can give another of friendship is
that he sacrifices his life for him. "Greater love hath no man than
this," said Jesus, "that a man lay down his life for his friends."
[1] When a man does that he gives all that he has, and hence can give
no more. The highest evidence of sincerity that a man can give his
fellow-men--the highest proof that he has spoken the truth in any given
case--is that he perseveres in it unto death, and seals his testimony
with his blood. When he does that he affixes the broadest possible seal
to that of which he testified, and henceforth the truth so testified of
must be in force in all the world.

So important did such a testimony become in the estimation of Paul that
he said: "_Where_ a testament is there must also of necessity be the
death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead:
otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." [2]
In the light of this principle, and when the importance of the great
testimony which he bore to the world is taken into account, it is not
to be wondered at that Joseph Smith was called upon to affix the broad
seal of martyrdom to his life's work. Something of incompleteness in
his work would likely have been complained of had this been lacking;
but now, not so; his character of prophet was rounded out to complete
fullness by his falling a martyr under the murderous fire of a mob at
Carthage, in the State of Illinois.

The circumstances attendant upon the prophet's death, briefly told,
are as follows: The extreme bitterness of his enemies culminated in
the spring and early summer of 1844, in a charge against himself as
mayor of Nauvoo, and some members of the City Council, of riot in
suppressing in their official capacity a scurrilous and libelous paper
known as the _Nauvoo Expositor._ A warrant for the arrest of Joseph
Smith and the City Council was issued by a Mr. Morrison, justice of
the peace, at Carthage, and made returnable to the justice at Carthage
"or some other justice of the peace." Mr. Smith and the City Council
being assured that it was unsafe for them to go to Carthage, insisted
upon being taken before "some other justice of the peace," as provided
in the warrant. To this the constable refused to assent, whereupon
the parties under arrest applied for a writ of _habeas corpus_ made
returnable before the municipal court of Nauvoo. A hearing was granted
and the case dismissed. Subsequently, however, at the instance of Judge
Thomas, the circuit judge of the judicial district which included
Nauvoo, Joseph and the City Council submitted to a new trial on the
same charge before Squire D. H. Wells, a justice of the peace, and were
again acquitted. But the course pursued by the mayor and City Council
was declared to be resistance to the law by the prophet's enemies, and
was made use of to influence the public mind against the saints.

Mobs assembled about Carthage and the work of violence was inaugurated
by kidnapping, whipping and otherwise abusing the saints living in
the outlying districts of Nauvoo. For protection the people thus
assailed fled to Nauvoo, and this was heralded abroad as the massing
of the Mormon forces. The Governor of the State--Thomas Ford--was kept
informed of all that was transpiring in Nauvoo by the city authorities,
and in answer to the question, "What course shall we pursue in the
event of an armed mob coming against the city," he replied that Joseph
Smith was Lieutenant-General of the Nauvoo Legion, and it was his duty
to protect the city and surrounding country, and issued orders to that
effect. Thus declared, qualified and directed to act by the Governor
of the State, the Nauvoo Legion was called together and measures were
taken for the defense of the city; and as the mob forces grew bolder
every day, Nauvoo was at last placed under martial law.

Meantime the mob forces were active in making misrepresentations to
the Governor, until finally in his perplexity he resolved on visiting
the scenes of the disturbances, and for that purpose went to Carthage.
Here he was met by a delegation from Nauvoo--Elder John Taylor [3] and
Dr. John M. Bernhisel [4]--to represent the mayor and City Council.
They presented to him a full statement of the case and submitted all
the documents. The Governor was of the opinion that in order to prove
to the people that the saints were willing to submit to the law, it
would be best for Joseph Smith and all concerned in the destruction
of the _Expositor_ to come to Carthage for examination. Elder Taylor
called the Governor's attention to the fact that they had already
been examined before two competent courts and acquitted; that they
had fulfilled the law in every particular, and that their enemies had
murderous designs and were only making use of this matter to get Joseph
Smith into their power. The Governor, however, insisted that the proper
thing for the prophet to do was to come to Carthage.

Elder John Taylor then stated that in consequence of the excitement
prevailing, it would be extremely unsafe for Joseph Smith and his
friends to come to Carthage; that they had men and arms to defend
themselves, but if their forces and those of the enemy should be
brought into close proximity the most probable result would be a
collision. In reply to this the Governor "strenuously advised us,"
says Elder Taylor, "not to bring our arms, _and pledged his faith as
Governor, and the faith of the State, that we should be protected, and
that he would guarantee our perfect safety._"

As soon as the delegation returned from Carthage a meeting of the
prophet and a few of his friends was called and the demands of the
Governor considered. It was finally determined that it would be unsafe
for the Prophet Joseph to go to Carthage, and he himself felt inspired
to go west. He crossed the Mississippi that night, and expected to
continue his journey as soon as arrangements could be perfected.

Some of the prophet's "friends," when they learned of his determination
to leave Nauvoo and seek an asylum for the church in the west, accused
him of taking the part of the unfaithful shepherd, who, when the wolves
were about to come upon the flock, was taking to flight. They entreated
him to return and give himself up, trusting to the pledges of the
Governor for a fair trial. Influenced by these entreaties and stung by
the charge of cowardice from those who should have known better and
aided his flight, the prophet said: "If my life is of no value to my
friends, it is of none to myself," And against his own better judgment,
and with the conviction in his soul that he would be killed he resolved
to return. He besought his brother Hyrum to leave him, but nothing
could induce Hyrum to forsake the prophet. Having stood by him through
well nigh all the storms of his career, it was not in Hyrum Smith's
nature to forsake the prophet in the darkest hour of his life.

Arriving at Nauvoo, the prophet promptly sent a message to Governor
Ford that he would be at Carthage next day. Early next morning the
prophet and a company of his friends set out for Carthage. _En route_
they met Captain Dunn, an officer of the militia of the state, with
a requisition from the Governor for the state arms in possession of
the people of Nauvoo. He earnestly entreated the prophet to return to
Nauvoo with him, thinking doubtless that his task would be easier of
accomplishment if the prophet was present, and Joseph Smith complied
with the request. It was on the occasion of meeting Captain Dunn's
company, some four or five miles out of Carthage, that Joseph uttered
these prophetic words: _"I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but
I am calm as a summer's morning. I have a conscience void of offense
toward God and toward all men. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet
be said of me, 'he was murdered in cold blood.'"_

Hyrum Smith that morning before leaving Nauvoo, and in spite of an
assumed cheerfulness, also left evidence that the fate awaiting his
brother and himself at Carthage had been foreshadowed in his mind. He
read a passage in the Book of Mormon, near the close of the twelfth
chapter of Ether:

"And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord that he would give
unto the Gentiles grace that they might have charity, and it came to
pass that the Lord said unto me, if they have not charity it mattereth
not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore thy garments shall
be made clean, and because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be
made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have
prepared in the mansions of my Father. _And now I bid farewell unto the
Gentiles, yea, and also to my brethren whom I love, until we shall meet
before the judgment seat of Christ, where all men shall know that my
garments are not spotted with your blood_."

On this passage he turned down the leaf, and there it is to this day, a
silent witness that he, too, knew that he was "going like a lamb to the

The state arms secured as per the requisition of Governor Ford, the
prophet and his friends, attended by Captain Dunn's company of militia,
set out again for Carthage, where they arrived about midnight. One
militia company encamped on the public square--the Carthage Greys--were
aroused by the passing cavalcade, and gave vent to ominous threats and
a volley of imprecations.

The next morning Joseph Smith and a number of the Nauvoo City Council
appeared before a justice of the peace in Carthage, and were bound over
to appear before the circuit court at its next session on a charge
of riot. No sooner, however, was this matter so adjusted than Joseph
and Hyrum Smith were arrested on a charge of treason against the
state at the instance of Henry O. Norton and Augustine Spencer--men
of no character, and whose words were utterly unreliable. They were
arbitrarily thrust into prison, where they were at last completely at
the mercy of their enemies. The friends of the prophet protested to the
Governor against such treatment, but to no purpose. Governor Ford was
sorry that the thing had occurred--he did not believe the charge, but
thought the best thing to do would be to let the law take its course.

The day following, the 26th of June, there was a long interview between
the prophet and the governor in the prison. All the difficulties that
had arisen in Nauvoo were related by Joseph and the action of himself
and associates explained and defended. In concluding the conversation
the prophet said: "Governor Ford, I ask for nothing but what is
legal; I have a right to expect protection at least from you; for
independent of law, you have pledged your faith and that of the state
for my protection, and I wish to go to Nauvoo." "And you shall have
protection, General Smith," replied the Governor. "I did not make this
promise without consulting my officers, who all pledged their honor to
its fulfillment. I do not know that I shall go tomorrow to Nauvoo, but
if I do, I will take you along."

The next day--the ever memorable 27th of June-the Governor broke the
promise he had made to Joseph Smith the day previous, viz: that if
he went to Nauvoo he would take him along. He disbanded the militia
except a small company he detailed to accompany him to Nauvoo, and
the Carthage Greys, a company composed of the very worst enemies the
prophet and his friends had--these he left to guard the prisoners! It
was the public boast of the disbanded militia that they would only
go a short distance from the town and then after the Governor left
for Nauvoo they would return and kill the prophet. When this fact was
stated to the Governor by Dan Jones, one of the Elders of the Church,
who heard the boasts, Governor Ford replied, that Jones was over
anxious for the safety of his friends.

The events of that day proved that the boasts of the prophet's enemies
were not idle. About five o'clock in the afternoon the prison was
suddenly surrounded by an armed mob, of from one hundred and fifty
to two hundred persons. They forced the prison doors and ruthlessly
murdered the brothers Smith. Hyrum was shot first and fell, calmly
saying, "I am a dead man!" For a moment the prophet bent over the
prostrate form of Hyrum, and said, "Oh! my poor, dear brother Hyrum!"
Then instantly rising to his feet he stepped to the half-open door,
through which the mob was firing their guns, and discharged at them a
pistol left in his hands that morning by Cyrus Wheelock, one of the
brethren who had visited him in prison. He then turned from the door
and attempted to leap from the window; as he did so he was shot and
fell to the ground, exclaiming, _"Oh Lord, my God!"_ Instant terror
seized his murderers and they fled.

By the side of the well-curb just under the window from which he had
half leaped, half fallen--the sands of the young prophet's life ebbed
away, and another soul was added to the number under the altar "that
were slain for the word of God and the testimony which they held."

Joseph Smith was innocent of any crime; his death was the direct result
of that bitter and relentless persecution which had followed him from
the time the Lord first appeared to him and made him a prophet to the
nations; and in his death, so tragic, and so pitiful, he affixed a
broad seal to the message he bore to the world--a seal that makes his
testimony of binding force--"For where a testament is, there must of
necessity be the death of the testator; for a testament is of force
after men are dead!" Not in vain fell the prophet! Not in vain did his
blood make crimson the soil of the great state of Illinois! It was
fitting that the prophet of the great Dispensation of the Fullness of
Times should complete his great work by sealing his testimony with his
blood, that his martyr-cry _"Oh Lord, my God!"_ might mingle with the
martyr-cries of so many of the prophets who, like him, were sent to
bear witness for God.

My task draws to a close--and yet I take my leave of it with regret
rather than joy; for I have learned to love the holy theme; and now
that I must think of it as a task completed, instead of having it the
sweet companion of my daily thought, and care, and joy, brings more
of sadness than of gladness, and I part with it as I would with some
dear friend whose affections and interests and very life had become
interlocked with my own. Moreover, I know that this book goes out into
a world that has little sympathy with it, and harsh treatment may await
it as harsh treatment was meted out to God's New Witness, of whom this
volume is a vindication, in that it bears testimony to the divinity of
his mission. But whatever the character of the reception accorded this
book, harsh treatment or cold neglect, the author is confident that the
time will come when the world will listen with respectful attention to
the message delivered by Joseph Smith.

And now let me say in conclusion--it is a fact; the world did need a
New Witness for God; the church of Christ was destroyed; there was an
apostasy from the Christian religion so complete and universal as to
make necessary a new dispensation thereof; the ancient prophets of God
did foretell the coming forth in the last days of a new dispensation
of the gospel--which was to be preached to all the world; God has sent
forth his angel with that new dispensation of the gospel; God did
raise up a New Witness for himself and divinely commissioned him to
preach the gospel, administer its ordinances and speak in his name, and
has given to the world abundant evidence of the divine authority and
inspiration of that Witness--THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH.



1. John xv: 13.

2. Heb. ix: 16, 17.

3. John Taylor subsequently became the President of the Church,
succeeding Brigham Young in 1877.

4. Dr. Bernhisel afterwards was Utah's Delegate in Congress for a
number of terms.



A work of 486 pages, treating of the divinity of the mission of the
Prophet Joseph Smith. The Committee appointed by the First Presidency
to read the manuscript of this work before it was published--viz.
Elders Franklin D. Richards, George Reynolds and John Jaques--say in
their report:

"Your committee, to whom you referred the consideration of Elder B.
H. Roberts's new work entitled "A New Witness for God," respectfully
represent, that they have read it with great care and believe it to
be a valuable addition to our church literature. They find nothing
therein calling for adverse criticism but to the contrary find that
it is orthodox and consistent with our teachings. There is harmony in
its chapters which gives much strength to its arguments, all of which
point directly to the evidences, first of the need of a New Witness
for God, and next that Joseph the Prophet was that witness. The truths
are emphasized on lines of reasoning different from those common to
our elders which carries to the work a freshness and an interest
that will, we think, attract students and develop in our youth and
others an increased love for the study of the great Latter-day work.
Brother Roberts' work collates and condenses a large amount of useful
and important information historical and theological which is often
not readily accessible to the Elders and members of the Church, but
which tends to broaden their views and enlarge and enlighten their
understanding of various vital matters connected with the gospel of
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." Full coth $1.75, Full leather gilt
$2.75, post-paid. Geo. Q Cannon & Sons Co., Salt Lake City, Utah.


A pamphlet of 125 pages, uniform in type and page with the "New
Witness" and the author's "Outlines of Ecclesiastical History." It
was written to refute the false claims of the so called "Re-organized
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," or the "Josephite
Church." It is a work with which every Elder and member of the Church
should be familiar. Price, paper cover 30 cts; full cloth 55 cts; full
leather 75 cts. Deseret News Company, Salt Lake City, publishers.


A work now so well known that it is only necessary to say that a second
edition is just issued by Cannon & Sons Company, Salt Lake City. The
book is especially dedicated to the seventies, but is valuable to all
students of this department of knowledge, and will be of great service
to all quorums of the priesthood, the Mutual Improvement Associations
and advanced theological classes in Sunday Schools. Full cloth $1.75.
Full leather gilt, $2.75, post paid. Cannon & Sons Company, publishers,
Salt Lake City, Utah.


An exposition of the first principles thereof. The second edition
of this book, revised and enlarged, is now out, to which the author
has added a supplement on the subject of "Man's Relationship to
Deity." "The Gospel" by Elder B. H. Roberts answers more questions
arising among young missionaries in the space devoted to the
exposition of the first principles, than any work yet published among
us."--_Contributor._ Cannon & Sons Co., publishers.


Third President of the Church of Jesus Christ, in the Dispensation
of the Fullness of Times, is a handsome volume of four hundred and
sixty-eight pages, and containing ten illustrations finely executed,
and the portrait of President John Taylor as the frontispiece. These
are all well executed, and the steel engraving of the subject of the
work is a striking and pleasing likeness.

_Deseret News:_--"The literary ability displayed in the book is to be
highly commended. The volume is from the pen of Elder B. H. Roberts,
and he has treated his theme in an able manner. The interest of the
readers is maintained throughout. The life of President Taylor abounded
with incidents of uncommon import. They are presented in forcible and
pleasing style. The language is simple yet eloquent, and not overloaded
with rhetoric." Price, full cloth, $2.50; half leather, $3.00; full
leather, $4.00; Morrocco, extra gilt, $5.00.



--This book will doubtless be published during the next year. It will
be a reproduction in book form of a series of articles, by Elder
Roberts, published some years ago in the _Contributor._ The articles
will be carefully revised and enlarged, and will relate in greater
detail the story of those stirring times than any other publication
among us. It is the intention to have the work beautifully illustrated.
The author visited all the places in Missouri and Illinois where the
Church located and therefore adds the charm of description of places,
to the narration of events that transpired.


is also in course of preparation and will be a companion volume to
the work now issued under the title of "A New Witness for God."
Incidentally the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon will be
thoroughly considered.

Transcriber's Note

Some obvious printer's errors in the original, including numerous
words with missing, substituted, or extra letters, have been
corrected as seemed appropriate.

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