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which is my law, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power, and the keys of this Priesthood, and it shall be said unto them, ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights, and depths—and they shall pass by the angels, and the Gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds for ever and ever.
“ Now, as touching the law of the Priesthood, there are many things pertaining thereunto. Verily, if a man be called of my Father, as was Aaron, by mine own voice, and by the voice of him that sent me: and I have endowed him with the keys of the power of this Priesthood, if he do anything in my name, and according to my law, and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him. Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph; for I will justify him; for he shall do the sacrifice which I require at his hands, for his transgressions, saith the Lord your God.
“And again, as pertaining to the law of the Priesthood :
: If any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent; and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery, for they are given unto him ; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to none else ; and if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.
“And again, verily, verily I say unto you, if any man have a wife who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my Priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe, and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law. Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things, whatsoever I, the Lord his
then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law, when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen."
Faith is simply belief in some proposition; and, therefore the demand for faith when made by any person should be accompanied by evidence that the proposition is true-by such evidence as is sufficient to convince the reason. This evidence may be moral or miraculous, and both kinds were furnished in a divine abundance by the Son of God. He appealed to his doctrine as divinely wise-to his life as spotlessly pure—to ancient prophecy as witnessing of him--and to his supernatural works, as the Father's own testimony concerning him. From these works Nicodemus derived his faith" We know that thou art a teacher come from God, for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” To these works he repeatedly referred his adversaries, as undeniable proof that he was the Sent of the Father.
Christianity demands to be believed, because she presents valid credentials of her divine origin; and she stands at the bar of human reason to be examined, in order that she may take her seat on the throne of the human soul. But Mormonism shuns this trial, and insists on faith as some practical principle, which must be exercised as the means of evidence. This is unbounded arrogance; and all the faith which is thus obtained, is superstitious and irrational. Much of what is said in Mormon books on faith, as a principle of power, is true in a sense —but not in their sense. Logically considered, their fallacy lies in confounding the basis and effect of faith. Its basis is testimony satisfactory to the judgment; and its effect just that influence which the object of it is naturally adapted to exert. Faith, therefore, in Christianity is the root of all its virtues and graces--the means by which the Spirit of Christ operates to carry on the processes of sanctification and transformation into the life of Jesus. In the Book of Covenants, seven leetures on faith are given, in which the following
passage occurs, which is here quoted as a specimen of Mormon metaphysics; and to shew what reliance can be placed on Mormonism interpreting Scripture; and also as indicating its grovelling tendency to reduce the Incomprehensible to a level with his creatures :
“ The principle of power which existed in the bosom of God, by which the worlds were framed, was faith; and it is by reason of this principle of power existing in the Deity, that all created things exist; so that all things in heaven, on earth, or under the earth, exist by reason of faith, as it existed in Him."
Very instructive this may be to the initiated—but what can the understanding make of it? What truth is recented by the assertion, that the principle of power in God is his faith? But apart from its want of intelligibility we are concerned with it as containing an allusion obviously borrowed from Hebrews xi. 3, and as intended for an exposition of that celebrated passage—“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Comparing the two passages, we may ask, Could any interpretation be more sophistical? Does Paul assert that the worlds were made by faith-by God's faith? The most illiterate English reader, we may affirm, never could have fallen into such a misconception. Most distinctly does the Apostle declare, that through faith WE KNOW that the worlds were framed by the Divine word-hence it is our faith of which he speaks :-We were not present to perceive the Divine Artificer command the order and beauty of the universe into being; consequently it is only by faith we can know that this was done and our faith then becomes to us (according to the Apostle's definition in the first verse) the “evidence" or conviction“ of things not seen.” Every Greek student will, on consulting the original, see, that if Paul had meant to predicate this faith as existing in God (and not directed to what he had done) another construction of the sentence must have been adopted-equivalent in English to—“We know that by faith God framed the world by his own word.” One such gloss and corruption brought home to selfstyled infallible interpreters, shakes their entire system into ruins: and renders faith in them an offence against
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