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VI.
THE EVIDENCES OF MORMONISM

As they are pompously termed, could never beguile any thoughtful mind. Every truly pious heart must revolt at the unscriptural tenets it propounds ; every independent spirit must spurn its demand to exercise faith before evidence, and to submit to a priesthood more domineering and despotic than has ever insulted the birthrightliberty of man ; and every clear-sighted observer must detect the most convincing signs of cunning, rapacity, and imposition, in the whole history of the system. What do its advocates present as evidences,' which shall warrant their fellow-men rejecting the sufficient authority of Scripture, and believing in the institution of a New Dispensation ?

(1.) A Golden Bible, (the basis of which is a Romance,) pervaded by ignorance, and bedecked with borrowed forms of speech; and the witnesses to which, were men since denounced by their former associates as fools or scoundrels !

(2.) Revelations, which meekly claim acceptance as divine on the veracity of one man, whose interests they are manifestly and disgustingly intended to promote.

(3.) Miraculous Gifts, which refuse to come to the light, that they may be proved whether they are derived from God, and are therefore sure to produce only works of darkness and "lying wonders."

(4.) An Appeal to Ancient Prophecy, in which the most glaring perversions and mutilations are committed, and weakness of argument strengthened by audacity of assertion. But a very important inquiry here springs up-must not this pertinacious

appeal to the Jewish prophets be accepted as an admission that no indication or adumbration is afforded by the New Testament of the Church of Joseph Smith ? But if it had been the will of God to raise up such a Prophetical Revivalist as he assumed to be, would not Christian common sense confidently rely upon some notice of this superior being contained in the later Scriptures ? And since it is tacitly admitted that no such intimations are contained there, will not the same common sense feel bound on account of this momentous defect, to refuse any ear or credence to such hollow pretensions ?

VII. The Prospects of MORMONISM present themselves as the final topic of reflection, and one on which dogmatically little shall be said. At the August Conference more than a hundred elders were sent out to preach and gather the saints to the great centre of rendezvous—Salt Lake City. This capital, we are assured, is further to be distinguished in April next, by a deliberative Congress of the * First Presidency, (Brigham Young, H. C. Kimball, and Willard Richards), the Twelve Apostles, and the various quorums of the priesthood in Zion.' And this April conference we are told is to be held preparatory to the erection of a Great Temple, and to the appearance of many important revelations, which no doubt are now reserved under the protection of Brighan's 'patent lock.' A plain intimation is conveyed that the authorities at Zion will not allow any other saints than those of their own caste, to intermeddle with the civil and political government of the territory of Utah. not consistent that the people of God should always

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be subject to man-made governments; if it were so they could never be perfected. None other than a government under the direction of Apostles and Prophets is sufficient to perfect mankind; they were given of God for this purpose. The civil law justly becomes the servant of the saints, and the laws of God reign supreme under the administration of His prophets as in days of old." From this only one conclusion is deducible—that the Mormons mean to keep Utan for themselves; and hence will prohibit every form of worship but their own, and will submit to no kind of civil government but through their own religious rulers. Whether the people and constitution of the United States will tolerate this intolerance, the future will declare. In the meantime the President is enlarging his view. . The land of Joseph' he has discovered, is the land of Zion, and it takes North and South America to make the land of Joseph'!! Utah is already growing too small for the horizon of Brigham's imagination. A universal American monarchy is beginning to dance like an ignis fatuus, before his mental vision. 'Suppose we are ready for it'-he shrewdly puts the case—' and a great temple is built at the central point in Jackson county :'-—but perceiving here some gestures on the part of elders whose rememberance of Jackson county was anything but alluring, he added-“Gentlemen, don't be startled ; for if we don't go back there our sons and daughters will; and a great Temple will be built upon the consecrated spot, and a great many more besides that.” When these temples are erected, the Prophet promises conversational and revelational visits from the righteous men who are now

in the limbo patrum, and among the worthies who will come along and stay over night will be brothers Joseph and Hyrum Smith ; and perhaps • David Patten may come along and shake hands with some of the Twelve and want to stay all night with them and expound the Scriptures, and reveal the hidden things of God; it will not be long before will be so !' These prophetic forecasts are no further interesting to us than as shewing that the system of imposture is to go on increasing in magnitude and intricacy; and as the President of the British churches' confesses that the last revelation on marriage stamped its divinity on his mind, and absorbed every feeling of his soul' more than any previous one had done, we may conjecture what a mass of mingled superstition and turpitude is collecting, to enter into the ordinances and

practice of the Mormon people.

The proselytizing energy may begin to abate, (as the success in England has begun to do,) when a satisfactory number of the saints' have made their way to Zion;' and 'the mystery of iniquity' will then more rapidly develop its spirit and resources; the consequences of which may possibly contribute a new revenue of horrors to the transactions of the world.

With a warning tone, as if now proclaimed by the divine Saviour from the throne of his glory, and the mercy-seat of mediation, the words once spoken to his disciples come to us, and who hath ears to hear let him hear them,-" There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect. Behold I have told

you! Wherefore, if they shall say, behold, he is in the desert, go not forth : behold he is in the secret chamber, believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be."

APPENDIX.

A. The former of the books noticed in the text is, “The Mormons; or, Latter-day Saints ;'' with memoirs of the life and death of Joseph Smith the “Mormon Mahomet:'' pp. 326; published at the Office of the National Illustrated Library, 193 Strand.

This volume contains forty wood-cuts of a superior description. As a compilation, its merit is considerable; and the neutral spirit it professes to display, renders it useful for consultation by the calm enquirer. Yet at times it seems tinctured by a pro-mormon bias, arising from an excessive reliance on ex parte Mormon statements, and from an apparent sympathy with some of the principles which are leading postulates in the Mormon Theology.

The other book is an English republication, of one first issued in America, and is entitled :

“The Prophet of the Nineteenth Century; or, the rise, progress, and present state of the Mormons or Latter-day Saints, to which is appended an Analysis of the Book of Mormon. By Rev. Henry Caswall, A.M., Professor of Divinity in Kemper College, Missouri. London: Rivington St. Paul's Church-yard, 1843."

Mr Caswall is now a clergyman of the Church of England, and was a prominent member of the last Convocation. His book incorporates the marrow of several others of great value which had preceded it from the pens of Rev. Dr. Clark, Professor Turner, Hon. John Corrill, and others.

B. Fifty citizens of Palmyra signed a declaration that “ Joseph Smith, Sen., and his son Joseph were considered entirely destitute of moral character, and addicted to .vicious habits." And eleven citizens of Manchester certify, that the entire family “were not only a lazy indolent set of men but also intemperate; and that their word was not to be depended on; and that we are truly glad to dispense with their society.” Another

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