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anything around, though at the time they were covered over with a cloth.” Whitmer described the angel as being “like a man in grey clothes, having his throat cut!” In 1831, Smith avowed himself unable to trust Harris with certain 'moneys ;' and in 1838 he dubs this poor dupe 'a lackey far beneath contempt,'—while Rigdon classes Cowdery and Whitmer with counterfeits, thieves, liars, and blacklegs of the deepest dye, united to deceive, cheat, and defraud the saints.' Admirable witnesses ! Sufficit ad nauseam. On the supernatural sagacity evinced by the 'translators' every unprejudiced mind will have passed its judgment by the light of Mrs. Harris' experiment, which has been described; and as the fellow to it, a curious incident is related by Mr. Tucker, who was employed in the office where the Book of Mormon was put into common type. “We had heard much said by Martin Harris the man who paid for the printing, and the only one in the concern worth any property," observes Mr. Tucker, “about the wonderful wisdom of the translators of the mysterious plates, and resolved to test their wisdom. Accordingly after putting one sheet in type, we laid it aside and told Harris it was lost, and there would be a serious deficit in the book in consequence, unless another sheet like the original could be produced. The announcement threw the old gentleman into quite an excitement; but after a few moments reflection, he said he would try to obtain another. After two or three weeks another sheet was produced, but no more like the original than any other sheet of paper would have been, written over by a common school-boy, after having
read the manuscripts preceeding and succeeding the last sheet.” From this it appears certain that after “ translating" from poor Spaulding's manuscript, Smith had burnt the original, lest it should at any future day be adduced against him : but he had not counted upon having a woman and printer's arts arrayed against him.
What does “ Mormon” mean, some may ask ? The question was proposed to Joseph, who replied that mon is the Egyptian for good, and “hence with the addition of more, or the contraction mor, we have the word Mormon, which means literally, more good.” But the Prophet's Egyptian lore is not to be credited. In 1842 Mr. Caswall visited Nauvoo, and in an interview with Smith, (whom he pictures as a “coarse plebeian person in aspect, and exhibiting in his countenance a curious mixture of the knave and clown,") handed to him an ancient Greek MS. of the Psalms, which he boldly pronounced to be a dictionary of Egyptian hieroglyphics; and pointing to the capital letters at the commencement of each verse, he said —“ Them figures is Egyptian hieroglyphics, and them which follows is the interpretation of the hieroglyphics written in the reformed Egyptian language. Them characters is like the letters that were engraved on the golden plates !"
The Book of Covenants and Revelations, containing the doctrines and church order of the new sect, has gone through several editions, the first in 1833. and the second in 1835. Inconsistencies abound as might be expected, considering how, and from whom, it emanated. Gross discrepancies exist between the first and second editions. During Smith's
life the work was confined to his own speculations, or those which received his approval, and is now open to all enlargements which the Ruling Head may see fit to introduce. Like the sea, of which Solomon says, that all the rivers run into it, yet it is not full, this Book which is the Authorised Mormon Bible, will continue to be fed by new revelations so long as there are deceivers and deceived. It will unquestionably be rather inconvenient to have so bulky a spiritual statute book as this may become in time, but this evil may be in part kept in check, by a process of official filtration and selection being used before new revelations pass into it; common ones prompted by sudden and pinching exigencies, being committed to the accidental care of the universal church. Even ten years since “there were many hundred" of these floating revelations “ which a Mormon is bound to believe and obey wherever he meets them."
About 1832, the new and amended (1) Version of the (Genuine ) Bible was prepared, and was subsequently published in small parts, Rigdon was the translator in chief, and in his own conceit mightier at his task than the seventy of Alexandria, who gave the Old Testament a Grecian garb, or the forty-seven venerable men who gave us the fruit of their learning in the present, on the whole, incomparable English version. At Rigdon's Trial in Sep. 1844, one of the Apostles, Amasa Lyman, declared him to have had “as corrupt a spirit as hell, for the last four or five years," a testimony not likely to tempt the sceptical to excessive confidence in the “ new edition of the Holy Scriptures." It was one
of the most flagitous schemes ever adopted to.give party views a sacred sanction; the 'translator' amplifying wherever he thought an opportunity was presented for introducing latter-saint theology. Since Rigdon's exclusion however, the Mormon leaders may prefer disparaging and superseding the Scriptures, to attempting their enlargement, but nothing can obliterate the fact which hangs like a mill stone round the Mormon movement, that this impious effort was made, when Rigdon was high in office, and by the concurrence of Smith himself,
(2.) Its Creed embraces faith in its Bible, as it now is, and subject to future enlargements—in the constitution of the church as laid down by Smith in the ordinances of Baptism for the remission of sins and for the relief of the dead, Laying on of Hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Lord's Supper, Marriage Ordination, &c.; the literal gathering of Israel, and restoration of the ten tribes—the establishment of Zion in America-Christ's personal reign, &c. Their views of the Divine Being however, are very objectionable, indeed, truly blasphemous; for they represent Him as a material, organized intelligence, possessing both parts and passions, not omnipresent, and undergoing such developement, that when the Trinity have arrived at a certain increase of greatness, men will be equal to what they now are !* The sublime idea of Infinity is scouted as the notion of nonentity. These, and other errors respecting angels, &c., arise from an axiom of Mormon hermeneutics—to take any and every word in the Scriptures in a literal anthropomorphic sense. * See Appendix D
Among the gifts of the Spirit those of tongues* and miracles occupy a forefront place; but the Mormon elders, unlike the ancient Confessors, are mighty in word instead of in deed; and demonstrate the vanity of their pretensions, by carefully avoiding any public attempt to raise the dead. This is the impassable asses-bridge in the science of thaumaturgic deception. Pretenders to supernatural power have sometimes desperately dared to attain this miraculous climax, but their discomfiture has been decisive. In 1708 the attempt was made in London, by some French fanatics who went by the name of Camisards, to raise a Dr. Emms five months after his interment; but nothing except a complete failure distinguished the day on which it was predicted the resurrection would happen, The false prophets became almost deserted after this. Mr. Tucker has related a story of some Mormon resurrectionists, more amusing to read, than honourable to the actors.it
(3.) The Ecclesiastical Constitution of Mormonism is singularly elaborate-its fundamental dogma being a twofold priesthood : that of Melchizedec, the greater ; and that of Aaron, the lesser ; to both which Smith was ordained-to the first by John the Baptist, and to the second by Peter, James, and John!
* The gift of tongues is rendering the Elders very indifferent assistance in their missionary labours, where we should expect it to be perpetually vindicating its supernatural utility. Mr. Mc Cune writing from Rangoon, October 14, 1852, (MILL. STAR, January 15.) reports, “I am LEARNING the Burmese language. I must confiue myself to the Europeans, or others who may understand English, until I have OVERCOME THE LANGUAGE.” Confessions like these, oozing out, are telling commentaries on miraculous assumptions.
See Appendix E