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and salvation ? All the show of Bible argument is drawn from the example of the Jewish Patriarchs and Kings-none from the lessons and examples of Jesus and his Apostles—and a great jealousy is professed for the "eternal laws and institutions of God," in whose “ truth or validity, four thousand years make no difference." Not any of course when Polygamy is concerned ; but when Slavery and the Sabbatic law are in the question, the one a regulated institution, and the other a Divinely-delivered law, (neither of which Polygamy ever was)—then, “eternal laws and institutions” can shrivel into very temporary dimensions; for Slavery, to the credit of Mormonism is not yet one of its “domestic institutions"; (yet who can say whether the ancient doctrine concerning it, does not lie under Brigham Young's 'patent lock,' which prevents things leaking out before their time ?) and the Prophet himself in the Tabernacle of Salt Lake City, frankly confessed—“As to keeping the Sabbath according to the Mosaic law, indeed I do not ; for it would be ALMOST beyond my power !"
But the next quotation makes the serious Christian stand aghast at the pitiable ignorance, or awful deceit which could indite it.-“ Abraham the father of the faithful and the friend of God, was a polygamist, and in his POLYGAMIC seed God promised that all the nations of the earth should be blessed.”— The author of this sentence might have set himself the task of seeing how flatly he could give the lie to the Apostle Paul, who in the 4th chapter of Romans shews that “the blessing of Abraham" was his justification as a sinner before God through his
faith-in which all participate who share in his faith;
—and in the 3rd chapter of Galatians, the same Apostle explains how the nations of the earth were to be blest in Abraham ; not in the gross Mormon manner, by imitating his polygamy, but by being savingly interested in the Divine Redeemer, who was Abraham's seed—“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed, Which is Christ." To enter on any amplified discussion of the Polygamic question, would be out of season, but the following observations are sufficient to explode the fanciful and flimsy argumentation used in support of this Mormon innovation.
(1). The Scriptures do not countenance the theory that all human spirits have existed from the Adamic creation or that there is, or can be, such a thing as the propagation of spirits-or that the marriage union is perpetuated after death.
(2). But on the contrary, the Saviour did say that even in the resurrection (when body and soul are reunited) there will be no marrying or giving in marriage, but that beatified saints will be as the angels of God.
(3). There is not in either Testament, a single precept or law, instituting or sanctioning the custom of Polygamy. Its permission is the only difficulty attending the historical evidences of its existence, and this is not greater than that suggested by the practice of divorce which was an actual part of the Mosaic law, and yet was, merely—the Redeemer distinctly declared-a concession, and not an “eternal' one, to the hardness of heart evinced by ancient Jews.
(4). Mono-gamy and not poly-gamy receives invariably the approval of the Divine word. Monogamy was the law and practice of Eden ; and why do the Mormons stop at Abraham and not take their pattern from the estate of man's primal innocence ? —And to that ' beginning,' when the husband and the wife (not wives) were one, the Saviour referred the Pharisees as the lawful and irrevocable rule of the conjugal relation. That this was to be the principle observed in the Christian church is evident from such passages as—“Let every man have his own wife, (not wives) and every woman her own husband.” “The woman (not women) which hath a husband is bound to her husband so long as he liveth.” “If any brother hath a wife (not wives) that believeth not,” &c. “The husband is the head of the wife (not of his wives) even as Christ is the head of the church.” “Let every one Jove his wife (not wives) even as hiinself.” “Let the wife (not wives) see that she reverence her husband.” “One wife" is expressely assigned to bishops and deacons, the very characters in the Mormon society who will be the most likely to receive the Abrahamic dispensation from the holder of the keys of power. In fine, from the study of the New Testament nothing can be more clear than that it knows nothing of polygamy as a custom, nothing of its peculiar blessedness, and nothing of the puerile conceits in which it has been enfolded to give it a theologic form. The Mormon principle of Polygamy is the doctrine of the Kuran, encircled with a spiritualistic verbiage to conceal its innate indelicacy and sensual grossness.
It seriously looks as if the leaders of the More mon society were anxious to give the most literal imitation conceivable, of those colossal sinners, whom Peter designates as, “they that count it pleasure to riot in the day-time; baving eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin ; beguiling unstable minds; a heart they have exercised with covetous practices ; cursed children; for when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness those that were clean escaped form those who live in error: while they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption." And happy were it for those who answer to this inspired portraiture, if they would tremble and repent under the terrible results painted by the same infallible pencil—" they shall utterly perish in their own corruption ; to them the mist of darkness is reserved for ever!"
It is against similar characters that the Great Judge has launched the tremendous threatening, that he “ will fight against them with the sword of his mouth."
The prayer of every Christian must be, that both they and their erring followers may attend to the exhortation to repent, lest this bitterest of curses descend "quickly” upon them.
IV. THE ANALOGIES, DOCTRINAL AND HISTORICAL, suggested by the Mormon religion are exceedingly numerous, and so ramified that it may claim relationship to almost every religion and heresy that has ever existed. Its views on the Divine nature are more pagan than Jewish or Christian-a form of that pantheism which makes the Divine essence and intelligence the same in kind with man's. Its founder has equal, but not superior, in Simon Magus, or Manes. Its dogma of faith as an instinctive impulse rather than an efficient belief on the ground of sufficient testimony, unites it with every extreme of error, from the “ spiritual school” of Newman to that ultra-orthodoxy which makes faith the result, and not the instrument, of the soul's regeneration.* Its notion of baptismal efficacy brings it into the society of the ancient fathers and the modern puseyites. Its doctrine of the power of a living person to benefit another who has died in pardonable sin, makes it fraternize with the Romish superstitions of purgatory,' and ' masses for the dead;' at the same time that its multiplied orders with the use of the name priesthood, and the powers supposed to be confined to a peculiar caste, assimilate it organically to Popery, while by the subtle division of the priesthood into spiritual and temporal, it secures what popery never obtained, -an absolute control over its disciples' manner of supporting the church-embodying the theocratic idea as never has been attempted since the time of Moses. Its miraculous assumptions put it into the same asylum with the sacerdotal conjurism of all false religions, and with such fanatical eruptions as Rappism, Irvingism, and Shakerism. Its dream of domination is one with the Anabaptist spirit of Munster and the Fifth Monarchy furor of England. And what shall we say more ? Only that to complete all, it is the Muhammedanism of the east, with a christian mask and an English speech. To say nothing of its polygamy, on which much deserves * See A pendix G