Parley P. Pratt
A Voice of Warning
(First edition: NYC, 1837)
In its incipient years, the LDS Church generally confined its public teaching to a call for repentance, conversion and "gathering" in anticipation of imminent, pre-millennial war and destruction. Prior to the publication of Pratt's 1837 A Voice of Warning, the public promulgation of Mormon doctrine was limited to the pronouncements published by the Church in its newspapers and through word of mouth preaching. Following the 1833-34 failure of the Saints to establish their prophesied "New Jerusalem" in Jackson County, Missouri, the overt Mormon message was refurbished to accent several doctrinal innovations and to downplay previous saintly predictions for an imminent destruction of the "ungodly."
Pratt's 1837 book retains and explicates the original LDS teachings, but it mutes the intensity of the Mormons' previous calls for converts to flee to a frontier city of refuge among the Indians and there seek shelter from the coming eschatological storm of God's vengeance upon the Gentiles. The book is representative of Mormon doctrine as it was presented to the public in the half-decade following the Church's publication of its 1835 Doctrine & Covenants. In later years parts of Pratt's book were substantially rewritten for publication in subsequent editions. See additional comments (below) regarding a few of these changes.
A VOICE OF WARNING AND INSTRUCTION TO ALL PEOPLE, CONTAINING A DECLARATION OF THE FAITH AND DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH OF THE LATTER DAY SAINTS, COMMONLY CALLED MORMONS.Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth, I tell you of them. -- Isa. xiii. 9. Produce your cause, saith the Lord; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. -- Isa. xii. 21. ========== New-York: PRINTED BY W. SANFORD, 29 ANN-ST.
New-York: PRINTED BY W. SANFORD, 29 ANN-ST.
Entered according to act of Congress, A. D. 1837,
by Parley P. Pratt, in the Clerk's Office of the District
Court of the United States, for the Southern District
of New York.
P R E F A C E.
During the last nine years the public mind has been constantly agitated, more or less, through all parts of our country, with the cry of Mormonism, Mormonism, Delusion, Imposture, Fanaticism, &c.; chiefly through the instrumentality of the press. Many of the Newspapers of the day have been constantly teeming with misrepresentations, and lying slanders, of the foulest kind, in order to destroy the influence and character of an innocent Society, in its very infancy; a Society of whose real principles many of them know nothing at all. Every species of wickedness has been resorted to, and all manner of evil has been spoken against them, falsely; insomuch that in many places, houses and ears are closed against them, without the possibility of being heard for a moment, saying we do not wish to hear you, we know enough of your principles already; the Newspapers, or our good Preachers, have told us all about you. Were this the only evil, we might have less cause of complaint;
but in consequence of this, we have been assaulted by mobs, some of our houses have been torn down or burned, our goods destroyed, and fields of grain laid waste. Yea, more, some of us have been Stoned, Whipped, and Shot; our blood has been caused to flow, and still smokes to heaven, because of our Religious principles; in this our native Land, the land of boasted Liberty and equal Laws, while we have sought in vain for redress, while officers of State have been deaf to the voice of innocence, imploring at their feet for justice and protection in the enjoyment of their rights as American Citizens. And no doubt many of the instruments of these diabolical proceedings verily think they are doing God service, being inspired by the influence of the press and pulpit, or, what is still worse, by the personal examples of some of the Clergy, who actually marched, with Rifle in hand, at the head of parties of the Mob, and afterward published an excuse in order to justify the Mob in such awful wickedness; (among other clergymen who were personally engaged in such conduct, I would identify the Rev. Isaac McCoy, a noted Missionary to the Indians,)
Under these circumstances, what could be done? how were we to correct the public mind? We were few in number, and our means of giving information very limited; the columns of most of the papers were closed against us, their prosperity being at stake the moment our principles were admitted; it is true we published a monthly paper, in which our principles were clearly set forth; but its circulation was limited to a few thousands. Under these circumstances, had we the tongue of Angels, and the zeal of Apostles, with our hearts expanded wide as eternity, with the intelligence of heaven, and the love of God burning in our bosoms; and commissioned to bear as joyful tidings as ever were borne by Michael the Archangel from the regions of Glory; yet it would have been as impossible for us to have communicated the same to the public, as it was for Paul when he stood in the midst of Ephesus, to declare the glad tidings of a crucified and risen Redeemer; when his voice was lost amid the universal cry, of great is Diana of the Ephesians. Go lift your voice to the tumultuous waves of the Ocean, or try to reason amid the roar of cannon while the tumult
of war is gathering thick around, or speak to the howling tempest while it pours a deluge over the plains; let your voice be heard amid the roar of chariots rushing suddenly over the pavements; or, what is still less useful, converse with a man who is lost in slumber, or reason with a drunkard while he reels to and fro under the influence of intoxicating poison, and these will convince you of the impossibility of communicating truth to that soul who is willing to make up his judgment upon popular rumor; or to be wafted gently down the current of public opinion, without stopping for a moment to listen, to weigh, to hear both sides of the question, and to judge for himself. One of the greatest obstacles in the way of the spread of the truth, in every age, is the tide of public opinion. Let one ray of light burst upon the world in any age and it is sure to come in contact with the traditions and long established usages of men, and their opinions; or with some religious craft, so that, like the Ephesians they counsel together, what shall be done; their great goddess will be spoken against, her magnificence despised, her temple deserted; or
what is still worse, our craft is in danger, for by this we have our wealth. Call to mind the apostles in contact with the Jewish Rabbis, or with Gentile superstitions; in short at war with every religious establishment on the earth. Witness the popular clamor: if we let them thus alone, all men will believe on them, and the Romans will come and take away our place and nation; these men that turn the world upside-down have come hither also; what new doctrine is this, for thou bringest certain strange things to our ears; these men do exceedingly trouble our City, and teach customs which are not lawful for us to receive, being Romans; what will this babbler say, he seems to be a setter forth of strange Gods; and many other such like sayings.
Or, let us for a moment contemplate the events of later date: for instance, the Mother Church against the reformers of various ages; see them belied, slandered, degraded, whipped, stoned, imprisoned, burned, and destroyed, in various ways; while the ignorant multitude were made to believe, they were the very worst of men. Again, think for a moment of the
struggles of Columbus; an obscure individual, of limited education, but blessed with a largeness of heart, a noble genius, a mind which distained to confine itself to the beaten track. Accustomed to think for itself; it burst the chains which, in ages past, had held in bondage the nations of the earth. It soared aloft, as it were on eagle's wings; it outstripped and left far behind the boasted genius of Greece and Rome; it penetrated the dark mysteries which lay concealed amid the western waters. Behold him struggling for eight years against the learned ignorance of the courts and councils of Europe; while the sneer of contempt, the finger of scorn, and the hiss of derision, were the solid arguments opposed to his theory. But what was the result when, after many a fruitless struggle, an expedition was fitted out, consisting of three small vessels; a new world presents itself to the wondering nations of the East, destined at no distant period, to become the theatre of the most glorious and astonishing events, of the last days; this fact was no sooner demonstrated, than their philosophical, geographical and religious objections vanished in a moment; haughty
ignorance and bigotry, were for once constrained to cast their honours in the dust, and bow their reverend heads at the feet of real worth; and learn, in humble silence, that, one fact, clearly demonstrated, is worth ten thousand theories and opinions of men.
Having said so much to impress upon the human mind the necessity of hearing, and then judging, I would only add, that the object of this publication is to give the public correct information concerning a religious system, which has penetrated every state from Maine to Missouri, as well as the Canadas, in the short space of seven years; organizing churches and conferences in every region, and gathering in its progress from fifty to a hundred thousand disciples; having, at the same time, to sustain the shock of an overwhelming religious influence, opposed to it by the combined powers of every sect in America. What but the arm of Omnipotence could have moved it forward amid the rage of mobs? Having to contend with the prejudice of the ignorant and the pen of the learned; at war with every creed and craft in Christendom; while the combined powers of earth and hell were hurling a
storm of persecution, unparalleled in the history of our country.
This work is also intended as a warning voice, or proclamation of truth, to all people into whose hands it may fall, that they may understand and be prepared for the great day of the Lord. Opinion and guess work in the things of God, are worse than useless; facts, well demonstrated, can alone be of service to mankind; and as the Holy Ghost can alone guide us into all truth, I pray God the Eternal Father, in the name of Jesus Christ his Son, that the spirit of truth may inspire my heart in inditing this matter; that I may be able to write the truth in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that it may be the word of God, the everlasting Gospel, the power of God unto salvation to the Gentile first, and also to the Jew.
Bringing to remembrance things past, and showing things to come, according to the spirit of Prophesy, and Revelation; that my garments may be clear of the blood of all men in the great and coming day, when all people must stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, to receive a reward according as their work shall be.
A VOICE OF WARNING
INSTRUCTION TO ALL PEOPLE.
ON PROPHESY ALREADY FULFILLED.
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye witnesses of his majesty.
For he received from God the Father, honour and glory when there came such a voice from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from Heaven, we heard when we were with him in the holy mount.
We have also, a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day Star arise in your hearts.
Knowing this first, that no prophesy of Scripture is of any Private Interpretation; for the prophesy came not in old time by the will of
man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost. -- Peter.
Positive Demonstration which none can gainsay nor resist, is the design of the author throughout this work.
No believer in the Holy Scriptures, who reads it with attention, shall close this volume without being fully convinced of the great and important truths contained therein.
In order to prove any thing from Scripture, it is highly necessary in the first place to lay down some certain, definite, infallible rule of interpretation, without which the mind is lost in uncertainty and doubt, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
The neglect of such a rule, has thrown mankind into the utmost confusion and uncertainty in all their biblical researches. Indeed while mankind are left at liberty to transform, spiritualize, or give any uncertain or private interpretation to the word of God, all is uncertainty.
Whatsoever was written aforetime, was written for our profit and learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, might have hope. Now suppose a friend from a distance
should write us a letter, making certain promises to us on certain conditions, which if obtained, would be greatly to our profit and advantage; of course it might be said the letter was written for our profit and learning, that through patience and comfort of the letter, we might have hope to obtain the things promised; now, if we clearly understood the letter, and knew what to expect, then it would afford us comfort and hope; whereas if there was any doubt or uncertainty on our minds in the understanding of the same, then could we derive no certain comfort or hope from the things written; not knowing what to hope for; consequently the letter would not profit us at all. And so it is with the Scriptures. No prophesy or promise will profit the reader, or produce patience, comfort, or hope in his mind, until clearly understood, that he may know precisely what to hope for. Now the predictions of the Prophets can be clearly understood, as much so as the almanac, when it foretells an eclipse; or else the Bible of all books is of most doubtful usefulness. Far better would it have been for mankind, if the great Author of our existence should have revealed nothing to his fallen
creatures, than to have revealed a book which would leave them in doubt and uncertainty, to contend with one another, from age to age, respecting the meaning of its contents. That such uncertainty and contention has existed for ages, none will deny. The wise and learned have differed, and do still widely differ, from each other, in the understanding of prophesy. Whence then this difference? either Revelation itself is deficient, or else the fault is in mankind. But to say Revelation is deficient, would be to charge God foolishly; God forbid, the fault must be in man. There are two great causes for this blindness, which I will now show.
First, mankind have supposed that direct inspiration by the Holy Ghost was not intended for all ages of the Church, but confined to primitive times; the Canon of Scripture being full; and all things necessary being revealed: the Spirit which guides into all truth was no longer for the people: therefore they sought to understand, by their own wisdom, and by their own learning, what could never be clearly understood, except by the Spirit of truth: for the things of God knoweth no man, except by the Spirit of God.
Secondly, having lost the Spirit of Inspiration, they began to institute their own opinions, traditions, and commandments: giving constructions, and private interpretations, to the written word, instead of believing the things written. And the moment they departed from its literal meaning, one man's opinion, or interpretation, was just as good as anothers; all were clothed with equal authority, and from thence arose all the darkness and misunderstanding on these points; which have agitated the world for the last seventeen hundred years.
O ye inhabitants of New York, ye people of the United States; and finally I appeal to all of every nation, tongue, and people; you have many commodities for sale, which attract the attention, and are very desirable; but there is one thing, for which you would give more than for any other which has been presented to you. A something which, if once obtained, would greatly assist in obtaining all other things worth possessing, whether it were power, wealth, riches, honours, thrones, or dominions. Comparatively few have ever possessed it, although it was within the reach of many others,
but they were either not aware of it, or did not know its value. It has worked wonders, for the few who have possessed it. Some it enabled to escape from drowning, while every soul who did not possess it was lost in the mighty deep. Others, it saved from famine, while thousands perished all around them; by it, men have often been raised to dignity in the State; yea, more, some have been raised to the thrones of Empires. The possession of it has sometimes raised men from the dungeon to a palace. And there are instances in which those that possessed it. were delivered from the flames, while cities were consumed, and every soul, themselves excepted, perished. Frequently when a famine, or the sword, has destroyed a city or nation, they alone who possessed it escaped unhurt. By this time, the reader inquires, what can that thing be? inform me, and I will purchase it, even at the sacrifice of all I possess on earth. Well, kind reader, this treasure is foreknowledge! a knowledge of things future! Let a book be published in this city, entitled a knowledge of the future, and let the inhabitants be really convinced that it did give a certain, definite
knowledge of future events; so that its pages, unfolded the future history of the nations, and of many great events, as the history of Greece or Rome does unfold the past, and a large edition would immediately sell at, a great sum per copy: indeed, they would be above all price. Now, kind reader, the books of the Prophets and the spirit of prophesy were intended for this very purpose. Well did the apostle say, covet earnestly the best gifts; but rather that ye prophesy. Having said so much, we will now enter into the wide expanded field which lies before us, and search out the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, which have been shining for ages, like a light in a dark place. We will explore regions unknown to many; we will gaze upon the opening glories which present themselves on every side: and feast our Souls with knowledge which is calculated in its nature to enlarge the heart, to exalt, the mind, and to raise the affections above the little, mean, grovelling things of the world, and to make one wise unto salvation.
But, first for the definite rule of interpretation. For this we will not depend on any man
or commentary: for the Holy Ghost has given it by the mouth of Peter. "Knowing this first, that no prophesy of Scripture is of any private interpretation." -- 2 Pet. i. 20.
There is one grand division to be kept in view constantly, in the study of Prophesy; namely, the distinction between the past and the future; the reader should be careful to ascertain what portion has been fulfilled, and what remains to be fulfilled; always remembering, Peter's rule of interpretation will apply to both. Now if we should find in our researches that every prophesy, which has been fulfilled to the present year has been literally fulfilled, then it follows of necessity, that every prophesy which is yet future, will not fail of a literal fulfillment. Let us commence with the days of Noah. -- Gen. vi. 17. "And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the Earth, to destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of life, from under Heaven, and every thing that is in the Earth shall die."
In the verses which follow the above, the Lord commands Noah to enter the Ark, and take with him some of every sort, and food of
every kind. And in the 22nd verse it is written, Thus did Noah according to all that God commanded him, so did he." It was well for Noah that he was not well versed in the spiritualizing systems of modern divinity; for, under its benighted influence, he would never have believed that so marvelous a prophesy would have had a literal meaning and accomplishment. No, he would have been told that the flood meant a Spiritual flood, and the Ark, a Spiritual Ark, and the moment he thought otherwise, he would have been set down for a fanatic, knave, or fool; but it was so, that he was just simple enough to believe the prophesy literally; here then is a fair sample of foreknowledge; while all the world who did not possess it, perished by the flood literally.
The next prediction we will notice is Gen. xv. 13, 14, 15, 16. "And he said unto Abraham, know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred years. And also that nation whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterwards shall they come out with great substance.
And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age; but in the fourth generation they shall come hither again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full."
The evil entreating of the children of Israel four hundred years, together with their coming out with great substance, and the judgments of God upon Egypt, as well as the death of Abraham, in a good old age, are all facts too well known to need comment here; suffice it to say, that it is a striking example of the exact fulfillment of prophesy; uttered more than four hundred years before it had its accomplishment. From this we gather, that none of those ancient men knew anything of the modern system of spiritualizing. Our next is Gen. xix. 12, 13. And the men said unto Lot, hast thou here any besides; son in law, and thy sons and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the City, bring thou out of this place; for we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it." Now Lot being simple enough to believe the thing, in its literal sense,
took as many of his family as would follow, and escaped for his life, to the great amusement no doubt of the Sodomites, who stood gazing after, crying delusion, delusion; they thinking all the while, that the Prophecy was only a figure. Here is an example, of a man escaping from the flames, by foreknowledge imparted to him, while the whole City perished. O what a blessing that Lot had no knowledge of the modern manner of interpreting Prophesy. If it had once entered his heart, that he must come out of Sodom spiritually, instead of literally, it would have cost him his life.
Let us examine a prophecy of Joseph, in the land of Egypt. -- Gen. xli. 29, 30, 31. "Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: and there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; And the plenty shall not be known in the land, by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous." Joseph then proceeds to give directions for corn to be laid up in great abundance during the seven plenteous years, in
order to provide against the famine. And Pharaoh, being no better versed in the school of modern divinity, than his predecessors, never once thought of any other interpretation, but the most literal. And thus he was the means, together with Joseph, in the hand of God, of saving, not only their own nation, but the house of Israel from famine. This is another striking example of the power of foreknowledge. It not only saved from famine, but it exalted Joseph from a dungeon to a palace; from the lowest degradation, to the highest honour; so that they cried before him, bow the knee: but, O! what death and mourning, would have followed, had they dreamed only of spiritual famine, and spiritual corn.
Having given a few plain examples in early ages, we will lightly touch upon some of the most remarkable events of prophesy, and its fulfillment, until we come down to the days of the Jewish prophets, where the field opens wide, touching in its progress the most remarkable events of all ages, and terminating in a full development of the opening glories of the last days.
One remarkable instance, concerning Elijah the Prophet, was, that he prophesied to Ahab, that it should not rain for three years and upwards, which came to pass according to his word. There is also a remarkable instance of Hasael, the Syrian, who came to Elisha to inquire of the Lord concerning the king of Syria, his master, who was sick. The Prophet earnestly beholding him burst into tears; and Hasael asked him saying, 'why weepest thou?" and he answering said, "the Lord hath shewed me, that thou shalt be King over Syria." And he then proceeded to unfold unto him the cruelties which he would afterwards exercise towards Israel, which are too horrible to mention here, lest in so doing I might offend the delicate ear. But Hasael, astonished to hear these things predicted concerning himself, which at that time filled him with horror, exclaimed with surprise, "But, what! is thy servant a dog, that he should do such things?" yet, astonishing to tell, all was afterwards fulfilled to the very letter."
In the 21st Chap. 2 Chron., it is written that there came a writing to Jehoram, from Elijah, which after stating the great wickedness
of which he had been guilty, in turning to idolatry and also murdering his brethren of his father's house, who were better than himself, proceeds thus: "Behold, with a great plague will the Lord smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods: and thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out, by reason of thy sickness day by day." In the same chapter it is written, "that the Philistines and Arabians came against him, and took his wives and children, and goods captive; and, after all this, the Lord smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease, and his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness, so that he died of sore disease.
In the 6 Chapter of Joshua, 26 verse, there is a wonderful prediction, concerning Jericho: "Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho. He shall lay the foundation thereof, in his first born; and in his youngest son, shall he set up the gates thereof."
After this curse, the city of Jericho lay waste for ages; none daring to rebuild it at the expense of their first born, and of their youngest son.
Until after a long succession of judges and kings, when hundreds of years had passed, Hiel, the Bethelite, who lived in the days of Ahab, probably supposing that the Lord had forgotten the curse pronounced upon it by Joshua, ventured to rebuild the city: but no sooner had he laid the foundation thereof, than Abiram, his first born, died; but still persevering in the hardness of his heart, he set up the gates thereof, with the loss of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord by Joshua; see 1 Kings xvi. chapter, 39 verse. We might fill a volume with instances of a similar kind, dispersed through the historical part of the Scriptures; but we forbear, in order to hasten to a more full examination of the books of the Jewish Prophets. We shall trace them in their fulfilment upon Jerusalem, Babylon, Tyre, Egypt, and various other nations.
Babylon, the most ancient and the most renowned city of the world, was pleasantly situated on the banks of a majestic river, that flowed through the plains of Shinar, near where the tower of Babel once stood. It was laid out fours square, and surrounded with a wall upwards
of three hundred feet high, and sixty miles in circumference; having an hundred gates of brass, with bars of iron, twenty-five gates at every side, which opened to streets, running through the whole city, a distance of fifteen miles; thus forming the whole city into exact squares of equal size. In the midst of these squares were beautiful gardens, adorned with trees and walks, diversified with flowers of every varied hue; while all the houses of the city were built upon the borders of the squares; directly fronting on the streets. In the midst of this city, sat Nebuchadnezzar, enthroned in royal splendor and magnificence, and swaying his sceptre over all the kingdoms of the world; when it pleased God in a vision of the night to unveil the dark curtain of the future, and to present before him at one view, the history of the world, even down to the consummation of all things. "Behold! a great image stood before him, whose head was of fine gold, his breast and arms of silver, his belly and thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet and toes, part of iron, and part of miry clay. He beheld till a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands,
which smote the image upon the feet, which were part of iron and part of clay, and brake them in pieces; then was the iron, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became as the chaff of the summer threshing floor; and the wind carried them away, and there was no place found for them; but the stone which smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." When Daniel was brought in before the king, to tell the dream, and the interpretation, he exclaimed, "there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king, Nebuchadnezzar, what shall come to pass in the latter days. Then, after telling the dream, he continues thus: "Thou, O king, art a king of kings; for the God of Heaven hath given thee a kingdom, and power, and strength, and glory, and wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the Heaven, hath he given into thy hand; and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou are this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom, inferior to thee; and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the
earth; and the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron; for as much as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things, and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruize. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron. The kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it, of the strength of the iron; for as much as thou sawest the iron mixed with clay, and as the toes of the feet, were part of iron, and part of clay; so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men, but they shall not of cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings, shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom, which shall not be destroyed, and the kingdom shall not be given to another people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Forasmuch as thou sawest the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver and the gold: the great God hath made known to the king, what shall
come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure."
In this great view of the subject, we have presented before us in succession; first, the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar; second, the Medes and Persians, who took Babylon from Belshazzar, and reigned over all the earth; third the Greeks, under Alexander, who conquered the world, and reigned in the midst of Babylon; and fourth, the Roman Empire, which subdued all things; fifth, its division into Eastern and Western empires, and its final breaking up or subdivision into the various kingdoms of modern Europe, represented by the feet and toes, part of iron and part of clay. And lastly, we have presented before us an entirely new kingdom, organized by the God of Heaven, in the last days, or during the reign of these kings, represented by the feet and toes. This last kingdom was never to change masters, like all the kingdoms which had gone before it. It was never to be left to other people. It was to break in pieces all these kingdoms, and stand forever. Many suppose that this last kingdom alluded to, was the kingdom of God, which was organized
in the days of Christ, or his apostles. But a greater blunder could not exist; the kingdom of God set up in the days of Christ, or of his apostles, did not break in pieces any of the kingdoms of the world; it was itself warred against and overcome, in fulfillment of the words of Daniel, 7 chapter, 21st. verse: "I beheld and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;" also 22nd. verse. "Until the ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom"; also, verse 27th. "And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him."
John records, Rev. xiii. 7. "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, tongues, and nations." In fulfillment of these sayings, power has been given to the authorities of the earth, to kill the apostles and inspired men; until, if any remained,
they were banished from among men, or forced to retire to the desolate islands, or the dens and caves of the mountains of the earth; there to live, being men of whom the world was not worthy; while at the same time, many false prophets and teachers were introduced in their place, whom men heaped to themselves, because they would not endure sound doctrine. In this way the kingdom of God became disorganized and lost from among men, and the doctrines and churches of men, instituted in its place. But we design to speak more fully on this subject, when we come to treat on the subject of the kingdom of God. Suffice it to say, that the kingdom spoken of by Daniel, is something to be organized in the last days by the God of Heaven himself, without the aid of human institutions, or the precepts of men. And when once organized, it will never cease to roll; all the powers of earth and hell will not impede its progress, until at length the Ancient of Days shall sit, and the Lord Jesus will come in the clouds of Heaven, with power and great glory, as the King of kings, and Lord of lords, and destroy all these kingdoms, and give the kingdom and the greatness
of the kingdom, under the whole Heaven, to the saints. Then there will be but one Lord, and his name one, and he shall be king over all the earth.
We shall now return to Nebuchadnezzar, whom the Lord, by the mouth of Jeremiah, calls "his servant, to execute his judgments upon the nations." It seems that the Lord exalted this great man, and made him a King of kings, and Lord of lords, arming him with his own sword, and clothing him with power and authority, for the express purpose of executing his judgments, and scourging and humbling all the nations of the earth. Jeremiah, chap. xxv. says "that the Lord proposed to bring Nebuchadnezzar and his army against Jerusalem, and against all the nations round about, that he might bring them to desolation and captivity for seventy years; and after seventy years, he would turn and punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, for their iniquity." Now, who can trace the history of the fulfilment of these great events, so exactly pointed out by Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel, and not be struck with astonishment and wonder, at the marvelous gift of prophecy
enabling men in those days to read the history of the future, as they read the history of the past. Indeed, the reader of history in the nineteenth century, holding in his hand the history of the Babylonians, Medes and Persians, Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, together with that of the Jews, will hardly render himself more familiar with the events which transpired among those nations, than the prophets were for seventy years previous to their accomplishment. Witness the seventy years captivity of the Jews in Babylon, and their safe return. Next witness the taking of Tyre, the city of merchants, the mart of nations, situated at the haven of the sea, surrounded not only by the sea, but by a strong wall. So strong a hold, required the utmost skill and perseverance of Nebuchadnezzar, and his whole army, who laboured incessantly for a long time, and at length succeeded in conquering the city, and bringing its inhabitants into captivity for seventy years; after which they returned and established their city. But when the king of Babylon had succeeded in taking Tyre; after many a bald head and peeled shoulder, caused by the hard service of his army in
the siege; the Lord, by the mouth of Ezekiel, promised to give the spoils of Egypt unto him, for wages for his army, in order to pay him for the great service, wherewith he had served God against Tyre. Next, witness his war, in the taking of Egypt, and bringing it into captivity, until the seventy years were accomplished.
And finally, trace him, executing the Lord's vengeance and anger against Uz, upon the kings of the Philistines, and Askelon, Azaah, and Ekron, Edom, Moab, Ammon, and Dedan Tema, and Buz, and the kings of Arabia, and of Zimri and of Elam, and of all the kings of the Medes, and upon all the kings of the north, far and near; and finally upon all the kingdoms of the world, who were to be drunken, and spew, and fall, to rise no more, because of the sword, which he would send among them. But, when the Lord had accomplished all his mind upon these nations; he purposed, in turn, to punish this great monarch, and those who succeeded him; and also the City and Nation over which he reigned: and finally to make it perpetually desolates. And all this for their pride and haughtiness. The Lord exclaims, shall the ax boast itself,
against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw boast itself against him that shaketh it, &c. But, in order to trace the events of the return of the Jews, and the other nations, from their seventy years captivity and bondage, and the punishment of Babylon; another and very different character from that of Nebuchadnazer is introduced by the Prophets; one who is in Scripture termed the Lord's Anointed. He may be considered one of the most extraordinary characters that ever the heathen world produced; his mildness, his courage, his perseverance, his success, and, above all, his strict obedience to the command of that God, which neither he nor his fathers had known; all go to prove that Isaiah was not mistaken when he called him by name, as the Lord's Anointed, to deliver the nations from bondage, to scourge and subdue the greatest city and monarchy that have at any time existed on the earth; and to restore the Jews, and to rebuild the city and temple. Indeed, he was one of those few, which the world never produces, except for extraordinary purposes. But let us hear the Prophet's own description of him. Isaiah, 45 chap: "Thus saith the
Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two-leaved gates, and the gates shall not be shut. I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron. And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none else." In the 13th verse, he says, "I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts." The reader will bear in mind, that Isaiah lived about one hundred years before the Jewish captivity, and one
hundred and seventy years before Cyrus caused their return.
Here I would pause and enquire what power, but the power of the great God, could enable one man to call another by name, a century before his birth, and also to foretell the history of his life. What must have been his wonder and astonishment, when, after many years of wars and commotions, during which he marched forth, conquering and to conquer, gathering as a nest the riches of the nations, he at length pitched his camp near the walls of the strongest hold in all the earth -- he gazed upon its walls of upwards of three hundred feet in height, with its gates of brass and its bars of iron; the people within feeling perfectly safe, with provisions enough to last the inhabitants of the city for several years; -- how could he think of taking that city -- who would not have shrunk from such an undertaking unless inspired by the great Jehovah. But, turning the river Euphrates from its course, and marching under the walls of the city, in the dry bed of the river, he found himself in possession of the city, without any difficulty, for Belshazzar
the king was drinking himself drunk with his nobles and concubines, and that too from the vessels of the house of the Lord which his father had taken from Jerusalem, and his knees had already smote together, with horror, from the hand writing on the wall, which Daniel had just been called in to interpret, giving his kingdom to the Medes and Persians. Having subdued this great monarchy, he seated himself upon the throne of kingdoms; and becoming familiar with Daniel, he was, no doubt introduced to an acquaintance with the Jewish records, and then the mystery was unfolded -- he could then see that God had called him by name, that the almighty hand girded him for the battle, and directed all his work; he could then understand why the treasures of the earth poured themselves into his bosom, and why the loins of kings had been unloosed before him, and why the gates of brass had been opened, and the bars of iron burst asunder. It was, that he might know that there was a God in Israel, and none else, and that all idols were nothing; that he might also restore the Jews, and rebuild their city and temple, and fulfill God's purposes upon
Babylon. He accordingly issued his proclamation to the Jews, to return, and for the nations to assist them in rebuilding. For, said he, God hath commanded me to build him an house at Jerusalem. -- Ezra, i. 2, 3, says, 'Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judea. Who is there among all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judea, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God), which is in Jerusalem."
What powerful argument, what mighty influence was it, which caused Cyrus to be convinced that it was the God of heaven, (who dwelt at Jerusalem, who alone was God,) who had done all these things. He had not been traditioned in the belief of the true God, nor of the holy scriptures. Nay, he had ever been very zealous in the worship of idols; it was to idols that he sought for assistance, in the former part of his life. I reply, it was the power of God, made manifest by prophesy, and its fulfillment; not in a spiritualized sense, not in some obscure,
uncertain, or dark mysterious way, which was difficult to be understood; but in positive, literal, plain demonstration, which none could gainsay or resist. Isaiah says, that this was the object the Lord had in view, when he revealed such plainness. And Cyrus manifested, that it had the desired effect. I would here remark, that when we come to treat of that part of Prophesy which yet remains to be fulfilled, we shall bring proof positive, that the heathen nations of the latter days, are to be convinced in the very same way that Cyrus was; that is, there are certain events plainly predicted in the Prophets, yet future, which, when fulfilled, will convince all the heathen nations of the true God, and they shall know that he hath spoken and performed it. And all the great and learned men of Christendom, and all societies, who have put any other than a literal construction to the word of Prophesy, shall stand confounded, and be constrained to acknowledge that all has come to pass, even as it is written.
But to return to our research of Prophesy and its fulfillment; we will give a passing notice of the vision of Daniel, recorded in the 8th chap.
of his Prophesies, concerning the ram and the he-goat. The reader would do well to turn and read the whole chapter; but we will more particularly notice the interpretation, as it was given him by Gabriel, as recorded from the 19th to the 25th verses. And he said, "I will make the thee known what shall be in the last end of the indignation, for at the time appointed the end shall be. The ram which thou sawest, having two horns, are the kings of Media and Persia; and the rough he-goat is the king of Grecia; and the great horn that is between his eyes, is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up; and his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power, and he shall destroy the mighty, and the holy people; and through his policy also, he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand, and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many; he shall also stand up against the Prince
of princes; but he shall be broken without hand." In this vision, we have first presented the Medes and Persians, as they were to exist, until they were conquered by Alexander the Great. Now it is a fact well known, that this empire waxed exceedingly great for some time after the death of Daniel, pushing its conquests westward, northward, and southward, so that none could stand before it; until Alexander, the king of Grecia, came from the west, with a small army of chosen men, and attacked the Persians upon the bank of the river, and plunging his horse in, and his army following, they crossed and attacked the Persians, who stood to oppose them upon the bank, with many times their number; but notwithstanding their numbers, and their advantage of the ground, they were totally routed; and the Grecians proceeded to overrun and subdue the country, beating the Persian prince in a number of pitched battles, until they were entirely subdued. It is also well known that Alexander, the King of Greece, went forth from nation to nation, subduing the world before him, until having conquered the world, he died at Babylon, at the age of thirty-two years.
And thus, when he had waxed strong, the great horn was broken, and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. His kingdom was divided among four of his generals, who never attained unto his power. Now in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgression of the Jewish nation was come to the full, the Roman power destroyed the Jewish nation, took Jerusalem, caused the daily sacrifice to cease; and not only that, but afterwards destroyed the mighty and holy people, that is the apostles and primitive Christians, who were slain by the authorities of Rome.
Now, let me inquire; does the history of these United States give a plainer account of past events, than Daniel's wisdom did of events which were then future; and some of them reaching down the stream of time, for several hundred years; unfolding events which no human sagacity could possibly have foreseen? Man, by his own sagacity, may accomplish many things; he may plow the trackless ocean, without wind or tide in his favor; he may soar aloft amid the clouds without the aid of wings; he may traverse the land with astonishing velocity without the aid of
beasts; or he may convey his thoughts to his fellows by the aid of letters. But there is a principle which he can never attain; no, not even by the wisdom of ages combined; money will not purchase it; it comes from God only, and is bestowed upon man as a free gift. Ah! says the Prophet to the idols, tell us what shall be, that we may know that ye are gods.
We will now proceed to show how exactly the prophesies literalized in the person of Jesus Christ. Behold, said the Prophet, "a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son." Again, Bethlehem should be the place of his birth; and Egypt, where he sojourned with his parents, the place out of which he was to be called. He turned aside to Nazareth, for it was written, he shall be called a Nazarene. He rode into Jerusalem upon a colt, the foal of an ass, because the Prophet had said, "behold thy King cometh, meek and lowly, riding upon a colt," &c. And again, saith the prophet, "he shall be afflicted and despised; he shall be a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: he shall be led as a lamb to the slaughter, and like a sheep dumb before his shearers; so he opened
not his mouth: in his humiliation his judgment was taken away; and who shall declare his generation, for his life is taken from the earth; he was wounded for our transgressions, and by his stripes we are healed; he was numbered with the transgressors; he made his grave with the rich. Not a bone of him is broken; they divide his raiment, cast lots for his vesture; give him gall and vinegar to drink; betray him for thirty pieces of silver; and finally, when it was finished, he rested in the tomb until the third day, and then arose triumphant without seeing corruption. Now, kind reader, had you walked up and down with our dear Redeemer during his whole sojourn in the flesh, and had you taken pains to record the particular circumstances of his life and death, as they occurred from time to time, your history would not be a plainer one, than the prophets gave of him hundreds of years before he was born. There is one thing we would do well to notice, concerning the manner in which the Apostles interpreted prophesy, and that is this; they simply quoted it, and recorded its literal fulfillment. And by pursuing this course, they were enabled
to bring it home to the hearts of the people in the Jewish synagogues, with such convincing proof, that they were constrained to believe the supposed impostor whom they had crucified was the Messiah. But had they once dreamed of rendering a spiritualizing or uncertain application, like the teachers of the present day, all would have been uncertainty and doubt, and demonstration would have vanished from the earth.
Having taken a view of the Old Testament prophets, concerning prophecy and its fulfillment, and having shown clearly, that nothing but a literal fulfillment was intended, the objector may inquire, whether the same mode will apply to the predictions contained in the New Testament. We will therefore bring a few important instances of prophesy, and its fulfillment, from the New Testament, after which we shall be prepared to enter the vast field which is still future. One of the most remarkable prophesies in sacred writ, is recorded by Luke, xxi. 20-24. "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea
flee to the mountains, and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto; for these be the days of vengeance, that all things that are written may be fulfilled. "But wo unto them that are with child, and to those that give suck in those days; for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people; and they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles is fulfilled." This prophecy involves the fate of Jerusalem and the temple, and the whole Jewish nation, for at least eighteen hundred years. About the year seventy, the Roman army compassed Jerusalem. The disciples remembered the warning which had been given them by their Lord and Master, forty years before, and fled to the mountains. The city of Jerusalem was taken, after a long and tedious siege, in which the Jews suffered the extreme of famine, pestilence, and the sword; filling houses with the dead, for the want of a place to bury them. While women ate their own children for want of all things.
In this struggle, there perished, in Jerusalem near one million and a half Jews, besides those taken captive. Their city was laid waste, their temple destroyed, and the miserable remnant dispersed abroad into all the nations of the earth; in which situation they have continued ever since, being driven from one nation to another, often falsely accused of the worst crimes, for which they were banished, and their goods confiscated. Indeed, they have been mostly accounted as outlaws among the various nations; the soles of their feet has found no rest, and they have been a hiss and a by-word; and the people have said, "these are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of his land."
During all this time the Gentiles have possessed the land of Canaan, and trodden under foot the holy city, where their forefathers worshipped the Lord. Now in this long captivity, the Jews have never lost sight of the promises respecting their return. Their eyes have watched and failed with longing for the day when they might possess again that blessed inheritance bequeathed to their forefathers; when they might again rear their city and temple, and reestablish
their priesthood, and worship as in the days of old. Indeed, they have made several attempts to return, but were always frustrated in all their attempts, for it was an unalterable decree, that Jerusalem should be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled. On the subject of this long dispersion, Moses and the Prophets have written very plain; indeed, Moses even mentioned the particulars of their eating their children secretly in the siege, and in the straitness wherewith their enemies should besiege them in all their gates. Whoever will read the 28th of Deuteronomy, will read the history of what has befallen the Jews, foretold by Moses, with all the clearness that characterizes the history of past events, and all this thousands of years before its accomplishment.
Our next is found in Acts xxi.10, 11., where a Prophet named Agabus took Paul's girdle and bound his own hands and feet, and said, thus saith the Holy Ghost, "So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles." The fulfillment of this prediction is too
well known to need any description. We therefore proceed to notice a prophesy of Paul, recorded in 2 Tim. iv. 3, 4. "For the time will come, when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts will they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." This prophesy has been fulfilled to the very letter, for it applies to every religious teacher, who has arisen from that day unto the present, except those commissioned by direct revelation, and inspired by the Holy Ghost. But, to convince the reader of its full accomplishment, we need only to point to the numberless priests of the day, who preach for hire, and divine for money, and who receive their authority from their fellow man; and as to the fables to which they are turned, we need only to mention the spiritualizing and private interpretations, which salute our ears, from almost every religious press and pulpit. But there is another prophesy of Paul well worth our attention, as illustrative of the times in which we live; it is found in the first five verses of the 3d chap. 2 Tim. "This know also,
that in the last day perilous times shall come; for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." From the last verse of this quotation, we learn to our astonishment, that this sum of awful wickedness applies to professors of religion ONLY; that is, this would be the character of the (so-called) Christian part of community, in the last days. Do not startle, kind reader, we do not make the application without proof positive to the point: for remember, non-professors have no form of godliness, but those ungodly characters spoken of, were to have a form of godliness, denying the power thereof. But if you doubt Paul's testimony on the subject, look around you, examine for yourselves. "By their fruits ye shall know them." My heart is pained while I write. Alas, has it come to this; has the spirit of truth removed
the veil of obscurity from the last days, only to present us with the vision of a fallen people; an apostate Church, full of all manner of abominations, and even despising those who are good; while they themselves have nothing left but the form of godliness, denying the power of God, that is, setting aside the direct inspiration, and supernatural gifts of the Spirit, which ever constitute the Church of Christ. Was it for this only, that the Holy Spirit opened to the view of holy men, the events of unborn times, enabling them to gaze upon the opening glories of the latter days? O! ye Prophets and Apostles, ye holy men of old, what have you done, if you stop here; if your prophetic vision only extended down the stream of time, to the present year? Alas! you have filled our minds with sorrow and despair; the Jews you have left wandering in sorrow and darkness, far from all their hearts hold most dear on earth: their land a desolation, and their city and temple in ruins, and they without the knowledge of the true Messiah. The Gentiles, after partaking of the root and fatness of the tame olive-tree, having fallen, after the same example of unbelief, are left without
ON THE FULFILMENT OF PROPHESY YET FUTURE.
Having made the discovery, and produced sufficient proof, that the Prophesies, thus far, have been literally fulfilled-to the very letter; we hope the reader will never lose sight of the same rule with regard to those yet future. And while we stand upon the threshold of futurity, with the wonders of unborn time about to open upon our view, presenting before our astonished vision the most mighty and majestic scenes,
the most astonishing revolutions, the most extraordinary destructions, as well as the most miraculous displays of the power and majesty of Jehovah, in his great restoration of his long dispersed covenant people, from the four quarters of the earth: I say, as these scenes are about to open to our view, let us bow before the great I AM, in the name of Jesus, and pray in faith for his Spirit to enlarge our hearts and enlighten our minds, that we may understand and believe all that is written, however miraculous it may be. But O, kind reader, whoever you are, if you are not prepared for persecution, if you are unprepared to have your name cast out as evil, if you can not bear to be called a knave, an impostor, or madman, or one that hath a devil; or if you are bound by the creeds of men to believe just so much and no more, you had better stop here; for if you believe the things written in the Bible, that are yet to come, you will be under the necessity of believing miracles, signs, and wonders, revelations, and manifestations of the power of God, even beyond any thing that any former generation has witnessed; yea, you will believe that the waters
will be divided, and Israel go through dry-shod, as they journey to their own land, as they did in the days of Moses; for no man ever yet believed the Bible, without believing and expecting such glorious events in the latter days. And I will now venture to say, that a believer in the Bible, would be a something, that very few men have ever seen in this generation, with all its boasted religion. For there is a great difference between believing the book to be true when shut, or believing the things therein written. It is now considered in Christendom a great disgrace not to believe the Bible when shut; but whosoever tries the experiment, will find it a greater disgrace to believe that the things therein written will surely come to pass. Indeed, it is our firm belief in, and careful teaching of, the things written in the Bible, that has brought upon us all the persecution we suffer. For let the prophesies be understood by the people, and let them roll on in their fulfillment, and it will blow to the four winds every religious craft in Christendom, and cause the kingdom of Christ to arise upon their ruins, while the actual knowledge of the truth will cover the earth as the waters do the sea.
Having said so much by way of caution; if there are any of my readers, so bold, and regardless of consequences, as to dare with me, to gaze upon the future, we will commence with Isaiah xi chap. 11, 12, 15 & 16 verses, -- And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand a second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, 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.
And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind will he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it, in the seven streams thereof, and make men go over dry shod.
And there shall be an high way 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.
Here you behold an ensign to be reared for
the nations; and not only for the dispersed of Judah, but the outcast of Israel (the ten tribes) are all to be assembled together, from the four quarters of the earth. The Jews are called dispersed because they are scattered among the nations: but the ten tribes are called outcasts, because they are cast out, from the knowledge of the nations, in a land by themselves. Now the reader will bear in mind, that the ten tribes have not dwelt in the land of Canaan, since they were led captive by Shalmanezer, king of Assyria. We have also presented before us, in the 15th verse the marvellous power of God, which will be displayed in the destruction of a small branch of the red sea, called the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and also the dividing of the seven streams of the River Nile; which flows into the Mediterranean, by seven mouths; and the causing men to go over dry shod; and lest any should not understand it, literally, the 15th verse says, there shall be an high way for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, like as it was to Israel when he came up out of the land of Egypt. Now we have only to ask whether, in the days of Moses, the Red Sea was
literally divided? or whether it was only a figure? for as it was then, so it shall be again. And yet we are told by modern divines, that the days of miracles have gone by forever; and those who believe in miracles, in our day, are counted as impostors, or at least, poor ignorant fanatics, and the public are warned against them, as false teachers who would, if possible, deceive the very elect. On the subject of this restoration, the Prophets have spoken so fully and so repeatedly, that we can only notice a few of the most striking instances, which will go to show the particular circumstances and incidents attending it, and the manner and means of its accomplishment. The 16th chap. of Jer. 14, 15, 16 verses, says -- "Therefore, behold the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, the Lord liveth, that brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them; and I will bring them again into their own land that I gave unto their fathers, Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them, and after, I will
send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. Now, it has ever been the case with Israel, when they wished to express the greatness of their God, to say, the Lord liveth, which brought up our fathers out of the land of Egypt. This saying at once called to mind the power and miracles of that memorable event; and associated with it, all that was great and grand, and calculated to strike the mind with awe, under a lively sense of the power of Israel's God. But to our astonishment! something is yet to transpire which will cast into momentary forgetfulness, all the great events of that day, and the children of Israel shall know that their God liveth, by casting their minds upon events of recent date which shall have transpired still more glorious and wonderful than their coming out of Egypt; They will exclaim, the Lord liveth which recently brought the children of Israel from the north, and from all lands whither he had driven them; and hath planted them in the land of Canaan which he gave our fathers. With this idea will be associated every display of grandeur and sublimity
of wonder and amazement, while they call to mind the revelations, manifestations, miracles, and mercies displayed in bringing about this great event, in the eyes of all nations.
In view of this, Jeremiah exclaims, in the last verse of this chapter, '"Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know my hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is the Lord."
But the means made use of to bring about this glorious event, are not only the raising of a standard, the lifting up of an ensign, so that we might know when the time was fulfilled. But fishers and hunters are to be employed to fish and hunt them from every mountain, from every hill, and out of holes of the rocks. Let the reader mark here; men were not to send missionaries, (who were not inspired,) to go and teach Israel several hundred different doctrines, and opinions of men, and to tell them they supposed the time had about arrived, for them to gather. But the God of Heaven is to call men by actual Revelation, direct from Heaven, and to tell them who Israel is; who the Indians of America are, if they should be of Israel, and
also where the ten tribes are, and all the scattered remnants of that long lost people. He it is, who is to give them their errands and mission, and to clothe them with power from on high to execute the great work, in defiance of opposing elements, and all the opposition of earth and hell combined; but do you ask, why is the Lord to commission men by actual Revelation? I reply, because he has no other way of sending men in any age. No man, says the Apostle, taketh this honour upon himself, but him that is called of God, as was Aaron, and we all know that Aaron was called by Revelation.
Now the Great Jehovah never has, nor never will acknowledge the priesthood or ministry of any man, who is not called by Revelation, and inspired, as in days of old. But, O, says the reader, you startle me, for the whole train of modern divines profess no Revelation, later than the Bible, and no direct inspiration, or supernatural gift of the Spirit. Do you cast them all off, and say that they have no authority? I reply, no, for the Bible does it, and I only humbly acquiesce in the decision; as they are no where known in Scripture, rather than as teachers,
whom the people have heaped to themselves, (the word heap means a great many). But to prove more fully that God will give revelations in order to bring about this glorious work, we will refer you to Ezekiel, xx 33-38. It reads, "As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord."
You discover, that this promise begins with a double assurance; first, with an oath, as I live; second, with an assurance, surely, with a mighty hand, &c. And, in the close of the same chapter, lest the people should possibly misunderstand him, he exclaims, "O Lord, they say of me, doth he not speak in parables!" Here we have the children of Israel, brought from among all nations, with a mighty hand, and a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out (O ye nations, who oppose these things, beware, remember Pharaoh, and learn wisdom,) we see them brought into the wilderness of the people; and there the Lord is to plead with them, face to face, just like as he did with their fathers, in the wilderness of Egypt. This pleading face to face can never be done. without Revelation, and a personal manifestation, as much so as in old times. Now, I ask, was all his manifestations to Israel in the wilderness, a mere fable, not to be understood literally; if so, this will be so too; for one will be precisely like the other, no parable, but a glorious reality. He will cause them to pass under the rod, and bring them into the bond of the covenant. This brings
to mind the new covenant, so often promised in the Scriptures, to be made with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, just in time to gather them from their long dispersion. Some may suppose that the new covenant which was to gather Israel, made its appearance in the days of Christ and his apostles. But Paul tells us, it was future in his day. -- So in his xi. chap. to the Romans, he declares that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, and so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, "There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob, for this is the covenant, when I shall take away their sins." From this we learn, that Paul placed that covenant in the future, even down to the restoration of Israel, in the last days, when the times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled. Then, there should come a deliverer for Israel, and not before, seeing that they had rejected the first coming of that Deliverer. And He himself said to the Jews, "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: from henceforth you shall not see me, until you shall say, blessed is he that cometh in the name
of the Lord." Then, and not until then, should the covenant be renewed with Israel. And even when the apostles inquired, saying, "Wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel;" the Saviour made answer that it was not for them to know the times and seasons, which the father had put in his own power; but they were to receive power, and bear witness of him, &c.; as much as to say, that work is not for you Apostles to accomplish, but shall be done in the Lord's own time, by whom he will; "but go ye, and do the work I have commanded you." -- Again, Isaiah, lxi. 8, 9, in speaking of this covenant, tells us, that it should make their seed known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people; and should cause all that see them, to acknowledge them, that they are the seed that the Lord hath blessed. Now, we know that it is a question which can only be decided by Revelation, whether the aborigines of America are the seed of Jacob or not. Again, it is a matter of uncertainty where the ten tribes are, or who they are; but the new covenant, whenever it makes its appearance, will reveal these things, and will leave the matter no
longer in suspense; we shall then know their seed among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people. But, O, how different was the effect of the covenant made eighteen hundred years ago in its effects upon Israel; it cast them off in unbelief, and caused all that have seen them or heard of them ever since to acknowledge, that they are the seed that the Lord has cursed. When the covenant is renewed in the last days, the Lord will bring them into the bond of the covenant, by manifesting himself to them face to face. Let me inquire, how does God make a covenant with the people in any age? The answer must be, by communicating his will to them, by actual revelation; for without this, it would be impossible to make a covenant between two parties. In order to illustrate this subject, let us bring an example. We see how we make covenants with each other. For instance, a young man wishes to enter into a covenant of matrimony with a young lady; but deprive him of the privilege of revealing his mind to her, cut off all direct communication between them, and a covenant could never be made; and so it is with the Almighty. He never
did enter into a covenant with his creatures without revelations; and he never can do it. In short, whenever he made a covenant with the people, where a whole people were concerned, he included in the covenant the priesthood, offices, and authorities, together with the ordinances and blessings which pertain to his covenant; and so will he do at this time. Whenever the new covenant is established, it will organize the kingdom of God, with all its offices, ordinances, gifts, and blessings, as in the days of old; but more of this when we come to treat the Kingdom of God. But, says the inquirer, what need have we of the renewal of a covenant which has never been broken.
If the Lord made a covenant in the days of the Apostles, called a new covenant, why should that covenant still be renewed again, seeing it is in full force, until it is broken by one party or the other? This is an important inquiry, involving the fate of all Christendom in its decision; we must therefore be very careful to make the decision perfectly plain, and the proof easy to be understood. That there was a new covenant made between God and the people, in the days
of Christ and his apostles, none will attempt to deny; and if that covenant never has been broken, it must be of force to the present day, and consequently there is no need of a new one. It therefore remains for us to prove, that that covenant has been broken, completely broken, so that it is not in force, either among Jew or Gentiles, having lost its offices, authorities, powers, and blessings, insomuch that they are no where to be found among men. In order to [do] this, we must examine, what were its offices, authorities, powers, and blessings, and then see whether they are still known among men.
We read that its offices consisted of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, all inspired, and set in the Church, by the Lord himself, for the edifying of the saints, for the work of the ministry, &c. And they were to continue in the Church, wherever it was found, until they all come to the unity of the faith, and unto the measure of the stature of a man in Christ.
Secondly, the gifts of the Spirit, which some call supernatural, were the powers and blessings, which pertained to that covenant, wherever
it existed, among the Jews or the Gentiles, so long as the covenant was of force. Now, I would ask of the world of Christendom, or either of its sects or parties, if they have apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, inspired, from on high, together with all the gifts and blessings of the Holy Spirit, which pertained to the gospel covenant? If not, then the offices and powers of that covenant have been lost. And it must be through the breaking of that covenant that, they were lost: for in this way the Jews lost these privileges, when they were handed to the Gentiles. And Paul told the Gentiles, in his 11th chapter Rom. "That if they did not abide in his goodness, they would fall, as the Jews had done before them." But in order to prove by further demonstration, that the gospel covenant has been broken, by Jew and Gentile, and all people, so long as to be no longer in force, I shall quote Isa. xxiv. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. "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 his 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 hath 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 also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left." In these few verses, we discover a like calamity awaiting priests and people, rich and poor, bond and free, insomuch that they are all to be burned up but a few; and the complaint is that the earth is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, and broken the everlasting covenant. Now, this could not be speaking of any other than the covenant, ordinances, and laws of the Gospel, made with the
people, in the days of the apostles; because, however any former covenant may have been broken, yet the inhabitants of the earth were never destroyed by fire, (all but a few,) for having broken any previous covenant. No, this destruction is to come by fire, as literally as the flood in the days of Noah; and it will consume both priests and people from the earth, and that too for having broken the covenant of the Gospel, with its laws, and its ordinances; or else we must get a new edition of the Bible, leaving out the xxiv. of Isaiah.
Now, having settled this question, I trust the reader will see the need of a new covenant, in order to save the few that are not to be burned. We will therefore drop this subject for the present, and turn again to the subject of the gathering of Israel; they will please turn and read the 36, 37, 38, 39 chapters of Ezekiel. In the 36 chap. you will discover a promise, that Israel is to return from all the nations where they have been scattered, and to be brought again to the land which he gave to their fathers; Jerusalem is to be filled with flocks of men. and all the desolate cities of Judea are to be rebuilt,
fenced, and inhabited; the land is to be fenced, tilled, and sown, insomuch, that they should say, this land that was desolate, is become like the garden of Eden. I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it; and the heathen shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that, that was desolate; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men, and they shall know that I am the Lord. In the 37 chap. you will find, after the vision of the resurrection of the dead, the Prophet goes on to speak of the two nations, becoming one nation upon the mountains of Israel, and one king being king to them all; and when this takes place, they are no more to be divided into two kingdoms, any more at all. Moreover, the Lord's tabernacle is to be with them, and his sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore; he will forever be their God, and they shall be his people; and the heathen are to know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them forevermore. Now, it is a fact well known, that Judah and the ten tribes have never been one nation, upon the mountains of Israel, since the day they were first divided into two nations.
But, when this does take place, even the very heathen are to know it, and are to be convinced of the true God, as was the case with Cyrus. Now, if the missionaries should convert the world, before the Lord does this great work, then it will save the trouble of the Lord's doing it in his own way, and it will save the trouble of fulfilling the Prophets, and the word of the Lord would fail, and all the world lay hold on infidelity. Well did the Lord say, "my ways are not as your ways, nor my thoughts as your thoughts." The 38th and 39th chapters, present us with a view of about ten nations, united under one great head, whom the Lord is pleased to call Gog; and being mounted on horseback, and armed with all sorts of armour, they come up against the mountains of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; their object is to take a prey, to take away silver, and gold, and cattle, and goods in great abundance.
This is an event which is to transpire after the return of the Jews, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem; while the towns of the land of Judea are without walls, having neither bars nor gates. But while they are at the point to
swallow up the Jews, and lay waste their country, behold, the Lord's fury comes up in his face, a mighty earthquake is the result, insomuch that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all the creeping things, and all men upon the face of the earth, shall shake at his presence, and every wall shall fall to the ground, and every man's sword shall be turned against his neighbour in this army, and the Lord shall rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, great hail-stones, fire and brimstone. And thus he will magnify himself, and sanctify himself, in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that he is the Lord; thus they shall fall upon the open field, upon the mountains of Israel, even Gog and all his army, horses and horsemen; and the Jews shall go forth and gather the weapons of war, such as hand staves, spears, shields, and bows and arrows; and these weapons shall last the cities of Israel seven years for fuel, so that they shall cut no wood out of the forest, for they shall burn the weapons with fire; and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them,
and they shall gather gold and silver, and apparel, in great abundance. At this time, the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the field, shall have a great feast; yea, they are to eat fat until they be full, and drink blood until they be drunken. They are to eat the flesh of captains and kings, and mighty men, and all men of war. But the Jews will have a very serious duty to perform, which will take no less than seven months; namely, the burying of their enemies. They will select a place on the east side of the sea, called the Valley of the Passengers; and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude, and they shall call it the valley of Haman Gog. And the scent shall go forth, insomuch that it shall stop the noses of the passengers; thus shall they cleanse the land. "And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them; so the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God, from that day and forward." "And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity, because they trespassed against me; therefore hid I
my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies, so fell they all by the sword." "According to their uncleanness, and according to their transgressions, have I done unto them, and hid my face from them; therefore thus saith the Lord God, now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; after that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses, whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt in their own land, and none made them afraid. When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemy's lands, and am sanctified in them, in the eyes of many nations; then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, who caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen; but I have gathered them into their own land, and left none of them any more there; neither will I hide my face any more from them, for I have poured out my Spirit upon the whole house of Israel, saith the Lord God."
In the foregoing, we discover that the heathen are to know, that the house of Israel went into
captivity for their iniquity, and are gathered again by the hand of God, after having borne their shame for all their trespasses, and the house of Israel shall know that it was the Lord their God who caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen, and that he it was that gathered and defended them, and he will hide his face no more from them, but will pour out his Spirit upon them.
O, ye blind, ye stiff-necked, ye hard-hearted generation, with the Bible circulated among all nations; will ten whole nations be so blind as to fulfill this prophesy, and not know it, until it brings destruction upon their own heads? Why all this blindness? Alas! it is because of false teachers, who will tell them the Bible must be spiritualized. Others declare that these prophesies can never be understood, until they are fulfilled. If this be the case, then we can never escape the judgments predicted in them, but must continue the children of darkness, until they come upon us unawares, and sweep us from the earth. Then where will be the consolation of looking back and seeing them fulfilled? But blessed be God, he has told us by the mouth of Daniel that many,
shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased, and that the wise shall understand, but none of the wicked shall understand. And now, I would ask, who are more wicked than the willfully blind leaders of the blind, who tell us we cannot understand the Scriptures? Whoever will look into this subject, will find that Ezekiel has here described scenes very nearly connected with the coming of Christ; indeed, Zachariah, in his 14th Chapter, has told us much, concerning the same great battle and overthrow of Gog and his army, and he has said in plain words, that the Lord should come at the very time of the overthrow of that army; yes, in fact, even while they are in the act of taking Jerusalem, and have already succeeded in taking one half the city, and spoiling their houses, and ravishing their women. Then behold their long expected Messiah, suddenly standing his feet upon the Mount of Olives, a little east of Jerusalem, to fight against those nations and deliver the Jews in the midst of the great shaking, which Ezekiel describes, when every thing should shake at his presence, Zachariah says, "the Mount of Olives shall cleave in twain,
from east to west, and one-half of the mountain removes to the north, while the other half falls off to the south," suddenly forming a very great valley, into which the Jews shall flee for protection from their enemies, like they fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah; while the Lord cometh with all the saints with him: then will the Jews behold that long, long expected Messiah, coming in power to their deliverance, as they always looked for him. He destroys their enemies, and delivers them from trouble, at the very time they were in the utmost consternation, and about to be swallowed up by their enemies. But what is their astonishment, when as they are about to fall at the feet of their Deliverer, and acknowledge him their Messiah, they discover the wounds which once pierced his hands and feet and side, and on inquiry at once recognize Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews, the man so long rejected. Well did the Prophet say, they shall mourn and weep, every family apart, and their wives apart. But, thank heaven, there will be an end to their mourning; for he will forgive their iniquities and cleanse them from uncleanness. And
Jerusalem shall be a holy city from that time forth; and all the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon, and shall be lifted up and inhabited in her place, and men shall dwell there, and there shall be no more utter destruction of Jerusalem; "and in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one, and he shall be King over all the earth." John, in his 11th chapter of Revelations, gives us many more particulars concerning this same event. He informs us that, after the city and temple are rebuilt by the Jews, the Gentiles (that is, Gog and his army,) shall tread it under foot, forty and two months, during which time, there shall be two Prophets continually prophesying, and working mighty miracles. And it seems that the Gentile army are hindered from utterly destroying and overthrowing the city, while these two Prophets continue. But after a struggle of three years and a half, they at length succeed in destroying these two prophets, and then overrunning much of the city. They send gifts to each other, because of the death of the two prophets, and in the mean time, will not allow their dead bodies to be put in graves, but suffer them
to lie in the streets of Jerusalem three days and a half: during which the armies of the Gog, consisting of many kindreds, tongues, and nations, (passing through the city, plundering the Jews,) see their dead bodies, lying in the street. But after three days and a half, on a sudden the Spirit of life, from God, enters them, and they will arise and stand upon their feet, and great fear will fall upon them that see them. And then they hear a voice from Heaven saying, "come up hither," and they ascend up to Heaven in a cloud, and their enemies behold them. And having described all these things, then comes the shaking, spoken of by Ezekiel; and the rending of the Mount of Olives, spoken of by Zachariah. John says, "the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell; and in the earthquake, were slain of men seven thousand." And then one of the next scenes that follow, is the sound of voices, saying, "the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever."
Now, having summed up the destruction of these great events spoken of by these three Prophets,
I would just remark, there is no difficulty in understanding them all to be perfectly plain, and literal in theft fulfillment.
Suffice it to say, the Jews gather home, and rebuild Jerusalem. The nations gather against them in battle. The armies of Gog compass the city, and have more or less power over it for three years and a half. A couple of Jewish Prophets, by their mighty miracles, keep them from utterly overwhelming the Jews, until at length they are slain, and the city is left in a great measure to the mercy of their enemies for three days and a half; the two prophets rise from the dead, and ascend up into Heaven. The Messiah comes, convulses the earth, overthrows the army of the Gog, delivers the Jews, cleanses Jerusalem, cuts off all wickedness from the earth, raises the saints from the dead, brings them with him, and commences his reign of a thousand years; during which time his Spirit will be poured out upon flesh; men and beasts, birds and serpents, will be perfectly harmless, and peace and the knowledge and glory of God, cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. And the kingdom and the greatness of the kingdom
under the whole heaven, shall be given to the saints of the Most High.
During this thousand years, Satan will be bound, and have no power to tempt the children of men. And the earth itself will be delivered from the curse which came by reason of the fall. The rough places will become smooth; the barren deserts fruitful; the mountains levelled; the valleys exalted; the thorn and thistle shall no more be found, but all the earth shall yield her increase in abundance to the saints of God. But after the thousand years are ended, then shall Satan be loosed, and shall go out to deceive the nations which dwell in the four quarters of the earth, to gather them to battle, and to bring them up to battle against the camp of the saints. Then the great and last struggle takes place between God and Satan, for the empire of the earth. Satan and his army shall be overthrown. And after these great things, comes the end of the earth; the resurrection of the wicked and the last judgment. And there shall be a new earth and a new Heaven, for the former earth and the former heaven have passed away, that is, they will be changed from temporal to eternal,
and made fit for the abode of immortals. Then cometh Jerusalem down from God, out of Heaven, having been renewed, as well as the heavens and the earth. For said he, "behold I make all things new." This new city, placed upon the new earth, with the Lord God and the Lamb in the midst, seems to be man's eternal abode, insomuch that, after all our longings for a place beyond the bounds of time and space, (as saith the poet,) we are at last brought to our common senses, and given to understand, that man is destined forever to inherit this self-same planet, upon which he was first created; which shall be redeemed, sanctified, renewed, purified, and prepared as an eternal inheritance for immortality and eternal life, with the Holy City for its capital, the throne of God in the midst, for its seat of government; and watered with a stream clear as crystal, called the Waters of Life, issuing from the throne of Jehovah; while either side is adorned with trees of never-fading beauty. "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." By this time, we begin to understand
the words of the Saviour, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." And also the song which John heard in Heaven, which ended thus: "We shall reign on the earth." -- Reader, do not be startled; suppose you were to be caught up into Heaven, there to stand with the redeemed, of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and join them in singing; and to your astonishment, all Heaven is filled with joy, while they tune the immortal lyre, in joyful anticipation of one day reigning on the earth -- a planet now under the domination of Satan, the abode of wretchedness and misery, from which your glad spirit had taken its flight, and as you suppose an everlasting farewell. You might perhaps be startled for a moment, and inquire within yourself, why have I never heard this theme sung among the churches on earth. Well, my friend, the answer would be, because you lived in a day when people did not understand the Scriptures. Abraham would tell you, you should have read the promise of God to him, Gen. xvii. 8., where God not only promised the land of Canaan to his seed for an everlasting possession, but also to him.
Then you should have read the testimony of Stephen, Acts vii. 5, by which you would have ascertained that Abraham never had inherited that promise, but was still expecting to rise from the dead, and be brought into the land of Canaan, to inherit it. "Yes," says Ezekiel, "if you had read the 37th chapter of my Prophesies, you would have found a positive promise that God would open the graves of the whole house of Israel, who were dead, and gather up their dry bones, and put them together, each to its proper place, and even clothe them again with flesh, sinews, and skin, and put his spirit in them, and they should live; and then, instead of being caught up to Heaven, they should be brought into the land of Canaan, which the Lord gave them, and they should inherit it." But still astonished, you might turn to Job, but Job, surprised to find one unacquainted with so plain a subject, would exclaim, "did you never read my 19th chapter, from the 23d. to the 27th verses, where I declare, I wish my words were printed in a book, saying that my Redeemer would stand on the earth in the latter days, and that I should see him in the flesh, for myself, and not
another; though worms should destroy this body." Even David, the sweet singer of Israel, would call to your mind his 37th Psalm, where he repeatedly declares that the meek shall inherit the earth forever, after the wicked are cut off from the face thereof. And last of all, to set the matter forever at rest, the voice of the Saviour would mildly fall upon your ears in his sermon on the mount, declaring emphatically "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." To these things you would answer, I have read them all, but was always taught to believe that they did not mean so, (although they declare these things plainly,) therefore I never understood until now. Let me go and tell priest and people, what wonders have opened to my view since my arrival here, merely from having heard one short song. It is true I have heard much of the glories of Heaven described on earth by our priests, but never once thought of their rejoicing in anticipation of returning to the earth. -- Says the Saviour, "they have Moses and the Prophets; if they will not believe them, neither would they believe although one should rise from the dead."
We will now return to the subject of the coming of Messiah, and the ushering in of that glorious day, called the Millenium, or rest of a thousand years. We will gather from the field of prophesy, through which we have passed, first, that that glorious day will be ushered in by the personal coming of Christ and the resurrection of all the saints. Second, we learn that all the wicked will be destroyed from the earth, by overwhelming judgments of God, and by fire at the time of his coming, insomuch that the earth will be cleansed by fire from its wicked inhabitants -- like it once was by water; and that burning, will include priests as well as people: all but a few shall be burned. And more especially applies to the fallen church, than to the heathen or Jews, whom they are now trying to convert. "Wo unto you, Gentiles, who call yourselves the people of the Lord, but have made void the law of God by your traditions; for in vain do you call Lord, Lord, and do not the things which Jesus commanded; in vain do ye worship him, teaching for doctrines, the commandments of men." Behold the sword of vengeance hangs over you, and except you repent it, shall soon
fall upon you, and it shall be more tolerable in that day for the Jews and heathen, than for you. Behold, ye flatter yourselves that the glorious day spoken of by the prophets, will be ushered in by your modern inventions and moneyed plans, which are got up in order to convert the Jews and heathen, to the various sectarian principles now existing among yourselves, and you expect when this is done, to behold a Millenium after your own heart. But the Jews and heathen never will be converted as a people to any other plan than that laid down in the Bible for the restoration of Israel. And you yourselves are labouring under a broken covenant, and ripening for the fire as fast as possible. But do not count me your enemy because I tell you the truth, for God is my witness that I love your soul's welfare too well, to keep back any truth from you, however severe it may seem. for the wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an enemy. But, now concerning the signs of the times, the inquiry often arises, when shall these things be, and what sign shall there be when these things shall come to pass? I am often asked the question, whether it is near at
hand; I will therefore tell you all, whereby you may know for yourselves, (and not be dependent on the knowledge of others,) when it is nigh even at the doors..
Now you behold the apple tree, and all the trees, when they begin to shoot forth their leaves, ye know of your ownselves that summer is nigh at hand; and so likewise when ye shall see great earthquakes, famine, pestilence, and plagues of every kind; the sea breaking beyond its bounds, and all things in commotion; the nations distressed with perplexity; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking for the things which are coming on the earth -- when you see signs in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, blood, and fire and vapour of smoke; the sun turned to darkness, the moon to blood, and stars hurled from their courses -- when you see the Jews gathering to Jerusalem, and the armies of the nations gathering against them to battle -- you may know with a perfect knowledge, that his coming is near, even at the doors. "Verily verily,I say unto you, this generation shall not, pass away, till all shall be fulfilled." Heaven and earth shall pass away, but not one word of
all that the Lord has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets and apostles shall fail. Whoever will look to the word of the prophets, and to the sayings of Jesus Christ, on this subject, the same will be convinced that all the signs of which I have spoken, are clearly pointed out as the signs of his coming. But, notwithstanding all these things are written, yet his coming will overtake the world unawares, as the flood did the people in the days of Noah. The reason is, they will not understand the prophets. They will not endure sound doctrine; their ears are turned away from the truth, and tuned to fables because of false teachers and the precepts of men; and what is still worse, when God sends men with the new and everlasting covenant, and clothes them with boldness to testify to the truth, they will be treated as the servants of God have been before them by the fallen churches; every church will cleave to its own way, and will unite in saying there is no need of these new things, the good old way is right, while at the same time they are walking in as many different ways as there are sects, and only agree in persecuting and speaking all manner of evil
against the fishers and hunters whom God shall send. But, thank heaven, there are individuals in every sect who are humbly seeking the truth, and who will know the voice of truth, and be gathered out and planted in the new and everlasting covenant, and they will be adopted into the family of Israel, and will be gathered with them, and be partakers of the same covenant of promise. Yea, as Jeremiah says, in the 16th chapter of his prophecies, "The Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanities, and things wherein there is no profit." But as the Jews overlooked his first coming, by not understanding the prophets, and fastening their whole expectations on his glorious coming in the last days, to restore the kingdom to Israel, and avenge them of their enemies; and by this mistake were broken and scattered: so the Gentiles will overlook the prophecies concerning his second coming, by confounding them with the last judgment, which is to take place more than a thousand years afterwards. But this fatal mistake, instead of causing the Gentiles to be broken and scattered, will cause them to be ground to powder.
O! my brethren according to the flesh, my soul mourns over you; and had I a voice like a trumpet, I would cry, awake, awake, and arouse from your slumbers, for the time is fulfilled, your destruction is at the door; "For I have heard from the Lord God of Hosts, a consumption even determined upon the whole earth." Prepare to meet your God! And again, awake, O! house of Israel, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh: yea, Depart ye, Depart ye, go ye out from hence, gather home from your long dispersion; rebuild your cities; yea, go ye out from the nations, from one end of heaven to the other; but let not your flight be in haste, for the Lord shall go before you, and the God of Israel shall be your reward. And finally, I would say to all, both, Jew and Gentiles, repent ye, repent ye, for the great day of the Lord is at hand; for if I, who am a man, do lift up my voice, and call upon you to repent, and ye hate me, what will you say when the day cometh, when the thunders shall utter their voices from the ends of the earth, speaking to the ears of all that live, saying, "Repent, and prepare for the great day of the Lord." Yea,again, when the lightnings
shall streak forth from the east unto the west, and shall utter forth their voices unto all that live, and make the ears of all that hear to tingle, saying these words, Repent ye, for the great day of the Lord is come. And again, the Lord shall utter his voice out of Heaven, saying, "Hearken, O ye nations of the earth, and hear the words of that God who made you: O ye nations of the earth, how often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not." "How often have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by mine own voice, and by the voice of thunderings, and by the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes and great hail-storms, and by the voice of famine, and pestilence of every kind, and by the great sound of a trump, and by the voice of judgments, and by the voice of mercy all the day long, and by the voice of glory and honour, and the riches of eternal life; and would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not." "Behold the day has come, when the cup of the wrath of mine indignation is full."
THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God." was the command of the Savior while on the earth, teaching the children of men.
Having taken a general view of the Prophesies Past and Future -- we shall now proceed to fulfil this command, and search out the kingdom of God. But, before we proceed, I would again caution the reader not to proceed with me in this research, unless he is prepared to sacrifice every thing, even to his good name, and life itself, if necessary, as a sacrifice for the truth; for if he should once get a view of the kingdom of God, he will be so delighted as never to rest satisfied short of becoming a citizen of the same. And yet it will be so unlike every other system of religion now on earth, that he will be astonished that any person with the Bible in his hand, should ever have mistaken any of the systems of men, for the kingdom of God. Now there are certain powers, privileges, and blessings, pertaining to the kingdom of God, which are found in no other kingdom, nor enjoyed by any other people. And by these things it was ever distinguished from all other kingdoms and systems, insomuch that the inquiring mind, who is seeking the kingdom of God, being once acquainted with these peculiarities concerning it, need never mistake or be at a loss to know when
he has found it. But before we proceed any farther in our research, let us agree upon the meaning of the term, or the sense in which we will use it; for some apply this term to the kingdom of Glory above, and some to the individual enjoyments of their own souls, while others apply it to his organized government on the earth. Now, when we speak of the kingdom of God, we wish it to be understood as speaking of his organized government on the earth.
Now, reader, we launch forth into the wide field before us, in search of a kingdom. But stop, let us consider what is a kingdom? I reply that four things are required in order to constitute any kingdom, in Heaven or on earth; Namely: first, a king; second, commissioned officers duly qualified to execute his ordinances and laws; thirdly, a code of laws, by which the citizens are governed; and fourthly, subjects who are governed. Now, where these exist in their proper order and regular authority, there is a kingdom: but were either of these to cease to exist, there is a disorganization of the kingdom, until re-organized after the same manner as before. Now in this respect, the kingdom of God is like all other kingdoms: whenever we find officers duly commissioned and qualified by the Lord Jesus, together with his ordinances and laws existing in purity, unmixed with any precepts or commandments of men; there the kingdom of God exists, and there his power is manifest, and his blessings are enjoyed as in days of old.
We shall now take a view of the commencement of the setting up of the kingdom of God in the days of the Apostles. The first intimation of its near approach was by an angel to Zachariah, promising him a Son, who should go before the king to prepare his way. The next manifestation was to Mary, and finally to Joseph, by an holy angel, promising the birth of the Messiah; while at the same time the Holy Ghost manifested unto Simeon, in the temple, that he should not die until he had seen the Saviour. Thus, all these, together with the shepherds and the wise men from the east, began to rejoice with a joy unspeakable and full of glory, while the world around them knew not the occasion of their joy. After these things, all seemed to rest in silent expectation, until John had grown to manhood, when [t]he came bounding from the wilderness of Judea with a proclamation strange and new; crying, "repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, baptizing unto repentance, telling them plainly that their king was already standing among them on the point of setting up his kingdom. And while he yet ministered, the Messiah came, and was baptized and sealed with the Spirit of God, which rested upon him in the form of a dove; and soon after, he began the same proclamation as John, saying: "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." And soon after choosing twelve disciples, he sent them forth into all the cities of Judea, with the same proclamation -- the kingdom of heaven is at
hand; and after them he sent seventy, and still another seventy, with the same news, so that all might be well warned and prepared for a kingdom, which was soon to be organized among them. But when these things had produced the desired effect, in causing a general expectation, more especially in the hearts of his disciples, who daily expected to triumph over their persecutors, by the coronation of this glorious personage, while they themselves were hoping for a reward of all their toil and sacrifice made for his sake, by being exalted to dignity near his person -- what must have been their disappointment, when they saw their king taken and crucified, being mocked, derided, ridiculed, and finally, overcame and triumphed over, both by Jew and Gentile? They would gladly have died in battle, to have placed him upon the throne. But tamely to submit without a struggle, to give up all their expectations, and sink in despair, from the highest pitch of enthusiasm to the lowest degradation, was more than they could well endure. They shrank back in sorrow, and turned every man to his net, or to their several occupations, supposing all was over, probably with reflections like these: is this the result of all our labors? was it for this, we forsook all worldly objects, our friends, our houses, and lands, suffered persecution, hunger, fatigue, and disgrace? -- and we trusted it should have been he, who would have delivered Israel; but alas, they have killed him, and all is over. For three years we have awakened a general
expectation through all Judea, by telling them that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, but now our king is dead, how shall we dare to look the people in the face. With these reflections, each pursuing his own course, all was again turned to silence, and the voice had ceased to be heard in Judea, crying, repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Jesus slept in the arms of death; a great stone, with the seal of state secured the tomb where he lay, while the Roman guard stood in watchful silence, to see that all was kept secure; when, suddenly, from the regions of glory, a mighty angel descended, at whose presence the soldiers fell back as dead men, while he rolled the stone from the door of the sepulchre, and the Son of God awoke from his slumbers, burst the bonds of death, and soon after appearing to Mary, he sent her to his disciples, with the joyful news of his resurrection, and appointing a place to meet them. When, after seeing him, all their sorrow was turned into joy, and all their former hopes were suddenly revived, they had no longer to cry, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, but were to tarry at Jerusalem, until the kingdom was established, and they prepared to unlock the door of the kingdom, and to adopt strangers and foreigners into it as legal citizens, by administering certain laws and ordinances, which were invariably the laws of adoption; without which no man could ever become a citizen. Having ascended up on high, and having been crowned with all powers in heaven and on earth, he again comes to his
disciples, and gives them their authority, saying unto them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; he that believeth and is bapitzed shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned: and these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover." -- Mark xvi., 15, 16, 17, 18. Now, I wish the reader never to pass this commission, until he understands it, because, when once understood, he never need mistake the kingdom of God, but will at once discover those peculiarities, which were forever to distinguish it from all other kingdoms or religious systems on earth; and lest he should misunderstand, we will analyze it, and look at each part carefully in its own proper light: first: -- first, they were to preach the gospel, (or, in other words, the glad tidings of a crucified and risen Redeemer) to all the world; second, he that believeth, and is baptized, should be saved; third, he that did not believe what they preached, should be damned; and fourth, these signs shall follow them that believe -- first, they are to cast out devils; second, to speak with new tongues; third, to take up serpents; fourth, if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; fifth, they were to lay hands on the sick and they should recover.
Now, it is willful blindness, or ignorance of the
English language, that has ever caused any misunderstanding here. For some tell us that those signs were only to follow the apostles; and others tell us that they were only to follow believers of that age. But Christ places the preaching, the believing, the salvation, and the signs that were to follow, all on an equal footing; where one was limited, the other must be; where one ceased, the other did. And if the language limits these signs to the apostles, it limits faith and salvation also to them. And if no others were to have these signs follow them, then no others were to believe, and no others were to be saved; again, if the language limits these signs to the first age or ages of Christianity, then it limits salvation to the first ages of Christianity; for one is precisely as much limited as the other; and where one is in force, the other is -- and where one ends, the other must stop. And as well might we say preaching of the gospel is no longer needed; faith is no longer needed; salvation is nolonger needed; they were only given at first to establish the gospel: as to say these signs are no longer necessary, they were only given to establish the gospel. But says the astonished reader, have not these signs ceased from among men? I reply, prove that they have ceased, and it will prove that the gospel has ceased to be preached, and that men have ceased to believe and be saved, and the world without the kingdom of God; or else it will prove that Jesus Christ was an impostor, and his promises of no effect.
Now, having analyzed and understood this commission, let us still pursue the subject of the organization of the kingdom of God, in the days of the apostles. The Saviour having given them their authority, commands them to tarry, and not undertake their mission, until they were endowed with power from on high. But why this delay? because no man was ever qualified, or ever will be, to preach that gospel, and teach all things whatsoever Jesus commanded them, without the Holy Ghost; and a very different Holy Ghost too, from the one now enjoyed by men who are not inspired; for the Holy Ghost of which Jesus spake, would guide into all truth, bring all things to remembrance, whatsoever he had said unto them, and show them things to come -- not to mention that it would enable them to speak in all the languages of the earth. -- Now a man who preaches, needs that Holy Ghost very much: first, to guide into all truth, that he may know what to teach; second, to strengthen his memory, lest he might neglect to teach some of the things which was commanded them; and third, he needs to know things to come, and that would constitute him a prophet, so that he might forewarn them of approaching danger. From this, the reader may see how careful Jesus was that none should preach his gospel without the Holy Ghost. And he may also learn how different the Spirit of Truth is, from the spirits now abroad in the earth, deceiving the world, under the name of the Holy Ghost. If the churches of the present day
have the Holy Ghost, why are they so much at a loss to understand truth? why do they walk in so many hundred different ways and doctrines? And I inquire, why do they need whole libraries of sermons, tracts, divinities, debates, arguments and opinions, all written by the wisdom of men, without even professing to be inspired? Well doth the Lord complain, saying, 'their fear towards me is taught by the precepts of men." But to return -- the apostles tarried at Jerusalem, until endowed with power, and then they commenced to proclaim the gospel.
Here we have discovered several things towards a kingdom; 1st. we have found a king, crowned at the right hand of God; to whom is committed all power in heaven and in earth; 2d. we have found officers commissioned, and duly qualified to administer the laws and ordinances of that kingdom; 3d. the laws by which they were to be governed, were, all things whatsoever Jesus had commanded his disciples to teach them.
And now if we can find how men became citizens of that kingdom, I mean as to the rules of adoption, then we have found the kingdom of God in that age, and shall be very much dissatisfied with every thing in our own age, professing to be the kingdom of God, which is not according to the pattern.
It happened that there were no natural born subjects of that kingdom; for both Jew and Gentile were included in sin and unbelief; and none could be citizens without the law of adoption,
and all that believed on the name of the king, had power to be adopted; but there was but one invariable rule or plan by which they were adopted; and all that undertook to claim citizenship in any other way whatever, were counted thieves and robbers, and could never obtain the seal of adoption. This rule was laid down in the Saviour's teaching to Nicodemus, namely, "except a man be born of water (that is, baptized in water) and of the Spirit, (that is baptized with the Spirit,) he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Now to Peter were given the keys of the kingdom; therefore it was his duty to open the kingdom to Jew, and also to Gentile. We will therefore carefully examine the manner in which he did adopt the Jews into the kingdom, at the day of Pentecost.
Now when the multitude came running together on the day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted his voice and reasoned with them from the Scriptures, testifying of Jesus Christ, and his resurrection and ascension up on high -- insomuch that many became convinced of the truth, and inquired what they should do. Now understand, these were not Christians; but they were people who were at that moment convinced that Jesus was the Christ, and because they were convinced of this fact, they inquired, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, "repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and you
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." But, kind reader, do you understand this proclamation? If you do, you will see that this gospel is not preached by any of the priests of this day. Let us therefore analyze and examine it, sentence by sentence. You recollect they already believed, and the next thing was for them to repent; first, faith, second, repentance, third, baptism, fourth, remission of sins, fifth, the Holy Ghost, was the order of the gospel. Faith gave the power to become sons or citizens; repentance and baptism in his name, was the obedience through which they were adopted; and the Holy Spirit of promise was the seal of their adoption, and this they were sure to receive if they would obey. Now, reader, where do you hear such preaching in our day? Who teaches that these who believe and repent, should be baptized, and none others? Perhaps the reader may say the baptists do; but do they call upon men to be baptized as soon as they believe and repent? Be assured, kind reader, they do not: and, moreover, do they promise them the remission of sins, with the gift of the Holy Ghost? Recollect now, what effect the Holy Ghost has upon people who receive it. It will guide them into all truth, strengthen the memory, and show them things to come. And Joel said, it would cause them to dream dreams, to see visions, and to prophesy. O! my reader, where do you find a
gospel like this preached among men? Would men go mourning for weeks, without the forgiveness of sins, or the comfort of the Holy Spirit, if Peter stood among us, to tell precisely how to get such blessings? Now what would you think of a camp-meeting, where three thousand men should come forward to be prayed for? and one of the ministers should (Peter-like,) command them every one to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, promising that all who obeyed, should receive the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, which should cause them to dream dreams and prophesy; and then should arise with his brethren of the same calling, and the same hour commence baptizing, and continue until they had baptized them all; and the Holy Ghost should fall upon them, and they begin to see visions, speak in other tongues and prophesy. Would not the news go abroad far and wide, that a new doctrine had made its appearance, quite different from any thing now practised among men? O yes, says the reader, this to be sure would be something new, and very strange to all of us. Well, strange as it may seem, it is the gospel, as preached by Peter on the day of Pentecost: and Paul declares that he preached the same gospel that Peter did; and he has also said, "though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel, let him be accursed." Now, the reader need no longer be astonished to see that these signs do not follow them that believe some other gospel, or doctrine, different from that preached by the apostles.
But now let us return to the kingdom of God organized in the days of the apostles; you discover that three thousand persons were adopted into the kingdom the first day the door was opened. These, together with the numerous additions which were afterwards made, were the subjects of this kingdom; which being fifty framed together, grew into a holy temple in the Lord. Thus we have cleared away the rubbish of sectarian tradition and superstition, which arose in heaps around us; and having searched carefully, we have at length discovered the kingdom of God, as it existed at its first organization, in the days of the apostles; and we have seen that it differs widely from all modern systems of religion, both in its officers, ordinances, powers, and privileges, insomuch, that no man need ever mistake the one for the other.
Having made this discovery, we shall proceed to examine the progress of that kingdom, among Jew and Gentile; and what were its fruits, and what were its gifts, and blessings enjoyed by its citizens -- soon after the organization of the kingdom of God at Jerusalem? -- Philip came to Samaria, and there preached the gospel; and when they believed Philip, they were baptized both men and women, and had great joy. And afterwards Peter and John came from Jerusalem, and prayed, and laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. Mark here, they first believed, and then were baptized, having great joy, and yet had not received the Holy Ghost. But that was given
afterwards, by the laying on of hands and prayer, in the name of Jesus. Oh, how different from the systems of men! Witness Paul's conversion while on his journey to Damascus; the Lord Jesus appeared to him in the way, but instead of telling him his sins were forgiven, and pouring the Holy Ghost upon him, he sent him to Damascus, telling him, that it should there be told him what he should do. And coming to Damascus, Ananias being sent, commanded him not to tarry, but said unto him, "arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord:" then he arose, and was baptized and was even filled with the Holy Ghost -- and straightway preached that Jesus was the Christ.
Again, witness Peter going to Cornelius, a gentile of great piety, whose prayers were heard, and whose alms were remembered, and who had even attained to the ministering of an angel; yet with all his piety, and the Holy Ghost poured out upon him, and his friends, before they were baptized, yet they must be baptized, or they could not be saved. Why? because the Lord has commanded the apostles to preach to every creature, and every creature who would not believe, and be baptized, should be damned, without one exception. Witness the words of the angel to Cornelius, "He (Peter) shall tell you words, whereby thou and all thy house should be saved." Now, query, could Cornelius have been saved without obeying the words of Peter? If so, the angel's errand was in vain. Recollect, Peter commanded them to be
baptized. Now methinks, that a minister who should find a man as good as Cornelius was, would say to him, go on brother, you can be saved, you have experienced religion, you may indeed be baptized to answer a good conscience, if you feel it your duty, or if not it is no matter, a new heart is all that is really necessary to salvation, &c. As much as to say, that the commandments of Jesus are not absolutely necessary to salvation; a man may call him Lord, Lord, and be saved, just as well as to keep his commandments. O vain and foolish doctrine; O ye children of men, how have you perverted the Gospel; in vain do we call him Lord, Lord, and do not obey his commands.
Next, we call to mind the Jailer, and his household, who were baptized the same hour they believed, without waiting for the day. And Lydia and her household, who attended to the ordinance, the first sermon they heard on the subject.
Also, Philip and the Eunuch, who stopped the chariot, at the first water they came to, in order to attend to the ordinance, while a few minutes before was the first time that he had heard of Jesus. Now, I gather from all those examples of ancient days, and from the precepts laid down in them, that baptism was the initiating ordinance, by which all those who believed and repented were received and adopted into the church or kingdom of God, so as to be entitled to the remission of sins, and the blessings of the Holy Ghost; indeed it was the ordinance through which they
became sons and daughters; and because they were sons, the Lord shed forth the spirit of his Son into their hearts, crying, Abba, Father. It is true, the Lord poured out the Holy Ghost upon Cornelius and his friends, before they were baptized; but it seemed necessary in order to convince the believing Jews, that the Gentiles also had part in this salvation. And I believe this is the only instance in the whole record, of the people receiving the Holy Ghost, without first obeying the laws of adoption. But, mark! Obeying the laws of adoption would not constitute a man, an heir of the kingdom, a citizen entitled to the blessings, and gifts of the Spirit, unless these laws, and ordinances, were administered, by one who had proper authority, and was duly commissioned from the King; and a commission given to one individual, could never authorize another, to act in his stead. This is one of the most important points to be understood, as it brings to the test every minister in Christendom; and questions the organization, of every church on earth, and all that have existed since direct inspiration ceased. Now, in order to come at this subject in plainness; let us examine the constitution of earthly governments, in regard to the authority and laws of adoption. We will say, for instance, the President of the United States writes a commission to A. B.; duly authorizing him, to act in some office in the government, and during his administration; two gentlemen from Europe, came to reside in this country, and being strangers,
and foreigners wishing to become citizens, they go before A. B., and he administers the oath of allegiance in due form, and certifies the same, and this constitutes them legal citizens, entitled to all the privileges of natural born citizens, or subjects.
After these things, A. B. is taken away by death, and C. D. in looking over his papers, happens to find the commission given to A. B., and applying it to his own use, assumes the vacant office; mean time, two foreigners arrive and apply for citizenship, and being informed by persons ignorant of the affairs of government, that C. D. could administer the laws of adoption, they submit to be administered unto by C. D., without once examining his authority; C. D. certifies of their citizenship, and they suppose they have been legally adopted, the same as the others, and entitled to all the privileges of citizenship. But, by and by, their citizenship is called in question, and they produce the certificate of C. D.; the President inquires, who is C. D., I never gave him a commission to act in any office, I know him not, and you are strangers and foreigners to the commonwealth, until you go before the legally appointed successor of A. B., or some other like authority, who has a commission from the President, direct in his own name. In the meantime, C. D. is taken and punished according to law, for practicing imposition, and usurping authority, which was never conferred upon him. And so it is with the kingdom of God.
The Lord authorized the apostles and others by direct Revelation, and by the spirit of Prophecy; to preach and baptize, and build up his church and kingdom; but after a while they died, and a long time passed away, and men reading over their commissions, where it says to the eleven apostles; "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, &c." -- they have had the presumption to apply these sayings as their authority, and without any other commission, have gone forth professing to preach the Gospel, and baptize, and build up the church and kingdom of God; but those whom they baptize never receive the same blessings, and gifts, which characterized a saint or citizen of the kingdom, in the days of the apostles. Why? because they are yet foreigners and strangers, for the commission given to the apostles, never commissioned any other man to act in their stead. This was a prerogative the Lord reserved unto himself. No man has a right to take this ministry upon himself, but, he that is called by Revelation, and duly qualified to act in his calling, by the Holy Ghost. But the reader inquires with astonishment -- what! is none of all the ministers of the present day called to the ministry, and legally commissioned? Well, my reader, I will tell you how you may ascertain from their own mouths, and that will be far better than for me to answer; go to the clergy and ask them if God has ever given any direct Revelation, since the New Testament was finished; inquire of them whether
the gift of prophecy ceased with the early age of the church; and, in short ask them if revelations prophets the ministering of angels, &c.; are needed or expected in these days, or whether they believe that these things are done away, no more to return to the earth; and their answer will be, that the Bible contains sufficient, and that since the Canon of Scripture was full, Revelation has ceased, the Spirit of Prophesy has ceased, and the ministering of angels has ceased, because, no longer needed; and in short they will denounce every man as an impostor who pretends to any such thing, and when you have obtained this answer, ask them, how they themselves were called and commissioned to preach the gospel, and they will be at a loss to answer you, and will finally tell you that the Bible commissioned them; saying, go ye into all the world, &c. Thus you see, all who have no direct revelation from the King of Heaven to themselves, neither by angels, nor by the voice of God, nor by the Spirit of Prophesy: are acting under authority which was given to others, who are dead, and their commission stolen, and their authority usurped; and the king will say, Peter I know, and Paul I know, I commissioned them, but who are you? I know you not, I never spoke to you in my life, indeed, you believed it was not necessary for me to speak in your day. Therefore you never sought in faith for any Revelation, and I never gave you any; and even when I spoke to others, you mocked them, and called them impostors, and persecuted them, because
they testified of the things, I had said unto them; "Therefore depart from me ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels, for I was an hungered, and ye fed me not, I was naked, and ye clothed me not, I was a stranger, and ye took me not in, sick and in prison, and ye visited me not." Ah! Lord, when did we fail in any of these things? Inasmuch as you have not done it unto the least of these, my brethren (taking them for impostors, because they testified of the things which I had revealed unto them,) ye have not done it unto me. But to return; having examined the kingdom of God, as to its offices, authorities, laws, and ordinances, and having discovered the only means of being adopted into it, let us examine more fully, what are the blessings, privileges, and enjoyments of its citizens. You have already seen, that they were to cast out devils, speak in new tongues, heal the sick by the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus, as well as to see visions, dream dreams, prophesy, &c.
But let us look at the kingdom in its organized state, and see whether these promises were verified to Jew and Gentile, wherever the kingdom of God was found in all ages of the world.
Paul, writing, first, to the church of God at Corinth; second, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus; third, to them who are called to be saints; and fourth, to all that in every place that call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord,
both theirs and ours. -- He says to them all, in I Cor. xii. 1.: "Now, concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant." And then continuing his instructions, a few verses farther on, he says, "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another, the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another, faith by the same Spirit; to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another, the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another, discerning of spirits; to another, divers kinds of tongues; to another, the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he (Christ) will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath
pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body?" I reply it would not exist. "But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again, the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversifies of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? but covet earnestly the best gifts. And yet shew I unto you a more excellent way." From the 13th verse of the above chapter, we learn that the Apostle is still speaking to the whole church in all ages,
whether Jew or Gentile, bond or free, even all who should ever compose the body of Christ, and showing that Christ's body consisted of many members, baptized by one Spirit into one body, possessing all these different gifts, some one gift and some another; and then expressly says, that one member possessing one gift, should not say to another member possessing another gift, We have no need of thee.
And having shown that it required apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers; together with the gifts of Prophesy, miracles, healing, and all other gifts, to compose the church, or body of Christ, in any age, whether Jew or Gentile, bond or free; and having utterly forbidden any of the members ever to say, of any of these gifts; we have no need of thee; he declares the body never could be a perfect body, without all of them, and that if they were done away, there would be no body, that is, no church of Christ in existence. Having shewn all these things clearly, he exhorts them to covet earnestly the best gifts. And in the 13th chapter exhorts them to faith, hope and charity, without which all these gifts would avail them nothing; and in the 14th chapter repeats the exhortation, "Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts; but rather that ye Prophesy." Again, in the Ephesians i.17. Paul prays, that the Lord would give unto the church the Spirit of wisdom, and of Revelation, in the knowledge of God. Again, Ephesians iv. He tells them, there is one body and one Lord,
one Spirit, one Faith, and one Baptism; and that Christ ascended up on high, led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men, and he gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors, and Teachers. And if the reader inquires what gift or offices were for, let him read the 12th verse: "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." And if we inquire how long these were to continue, the 13th verse says, "Till we all come in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of stature of the fulness of Christ." And if he still inquire what further object Christ had in giving these gifts? let him read the 14th verse, "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive."
Now, without these gifts and offices, first, the saints cannot be perfected; second, the work of the ministry cannot proceed; third, the body of Christ cannot be edified; and fourth, there is nothing to prevent them from being carried about with every wind of doctrine. Now, I boldly declare that the reason for all the division, confusion, jars, discords, and animosities; and the reason of so many faiths, lords, baptisms, and spirits; yea, the reason of the understanding being darkened; and of their being alienated from the life of God, through the
ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts, is all because they have no Apostles, and Prophets, and other gifts, inspired from on high, to whom they give heed; for if they had such gifts and would give heed unto them, they would be built up in one body, in the pure doctrine of Christ, having one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism, one hope of their calling; yea, they would be edified, perfected, built up unto Christ in all things, in whom the whole body fitly joined together, would grow into an holy temple in the Lord.
But so long as the cunning craftiness of men can persuade them that they have no need of these things, so long they can toss them about, with every wind of doctrine, just as they please.
Now, reader, I have done our examination of the kingdom of God, as it existed in the apostles days; and we cannot look at it in any other age, for it never did, nor never will exist, without Apostles and Prophets, and all the other gifts of the Spirit.
Were we to take a view of the churches, from the days that Inspiration ceased, until now, we should see nothing like the kingdom which we have been viewing with such admiration and delight. But instead of apostles and prophets, we should see false teachers, whom men had heaped to themselves, and instead of the gifts of the Spirit, we should see the wisdom of men; and instead of the Holy Ghost, many false false spirits; instead of the ordinances of God,
commandments of men; instead of knowledge, opinion; guess work, instead of Revelation; division, instead of union; doubt, instead of faith; despair, instead of hope; hatred, instead of charity; a physician, instead of the laying on of hands for the healing of the sick; fables, instead of truth; evil for good, good for evil; darkness for light, light for darkness; and in a word, antichrist instead of Christ; the powers of earth, having made war with the saints and overcome them, until the word of God should be fulfilled. O my God, shut up the vision, for my heart sickens while I gaze; and let the day hasten on when the earth shall be cleansed by fire, from such awful pollutions, but first, let thy promise be fulfilled, which thou didst make by the mouth of thy servant John; that thou wouldst call thy people out of her, saying, come out of her, my people, lest ye partake of her sins, and receive of her plagues; and then, O Lord, when thou hast called thy people out from the midst of her, by the fishers and hunters which thou hast promised to send in the last days, just in time to gather Israel; yea, when thine everlasting covenant has been renewed and thy people established thereon; then let her plagues come in one day, death, mourning, and famine, and let her be burned with fire; that thy holy apostles and prophets, and all that fear thy name, small and great, may rejoice, because thou hast avenged the blood of thy saints upon her. I ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
THE BOOK OF MORMON -- ORIGIN OF THE
AMERICAN INDIANS, &c.
Ye gloomy scenes! far hence, intrude no more!
Sublimer themes, invite the muse to soar
In loftier strains, while scenes both strange and new,
Burst on the sight, and open to the view.
Lo! from the opening heavens, in bright array,
An Angel comes, to earth he bends his way:
Reveals to man, in power, as at first,
The fulness of the Gospel long since lost.
See earth obedient, from its bosom yield,
The sacred truth, it faithfully concealed.
The wise confounded, startle at the sight,
The proud and haughty tremble with affright.
The hireling priests, against the truth engage,
While hell beneath, stands trembling, filled with rage;
False are their hopes, and all their struggles vain,
Their craft must fall, and with it, all their gain;
The deaf must hear, the meek their joy increase;
The poor be glad, and their oppression cease.
While darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people, every man walking in his own way, and looking for his gain from his quarter; the Lord having for a long time
holden his peace, and the people having fondly flattering themselves, that the voice of Inspiration would never again sound in the ears of mortals, to disturb or molest them in their sinful career; while a few more were looking for the consolation of Israel, and crying to God, for the ushering in of that long expected day, when an angel should fly through the midst of Heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth -- Suddenly a voice is heard from the wilderness, a cry salutes the ears of mortals, a testimony is heard among them, piercing to the inmost recesses of their hearts, when all at once the heathen begin to rage, and the people imagine a vain thing; the clergy lift a warning voice; crying, impostor, false prophets, beware of delusions, &c.; while the professors of religion, the drunkard, the sweater, the learned, and the ignorant, soon catch the sound and reiterate it, again and again. Thus it re-echoes from one end of our country to the other for a long time, and if anyone should be so fortunate as to retain his sober senses, and should candidly inquire, what is the matter? the reply is, we hardly know any thing about it; but suffice it to say, some fellows have made their appearance, Paul like, who testify some thing about the ministering of angels, or some Revelation or Inspiration; just as though the religion of ancient days, and the faith once delivered to the saints, was about returning to the earth in this enlightened age, so that not only this our craft is in danger; but our modern
systems of religion, built upon the wisdom and earning of men without direct inspiration, are like to be spoken against, and her great magnificence despised, whom all the world worship. And then all again cry with a loud voice, saying, great is the wisdom of man; great are the systems of modern divinity; great is the wisdom of uninspired priests who come unto us with excellency of speech, and with man's wisdom, determined to know nothing among us, save the opinions and creeds of their own, and their speech, and their preaching, is with enticing words of mans wisdom. Not in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power, for that is done away, that our faith should not stand in the power of God, but in the wisdom of man. And besides all this, says the objector, there is another feature which is very alarming concerning these impostors, which testify such wonderful things; and that is, they are counted as the very offscouring of all things, they are ignorant and unlearned, and of the lower class, and not only so, but all manner of evil is spoken against them, and the world hates them, and all sects and parties join in persecuting them, and casting them out of their company; and this is precisely what Christ said would always be done to his followers, and it is precisely what was done to the blessed Jesus and his followers, eighteen hundred years ago, and therefore we have reason to fear that God has sent them, and O what a pity would it be if the people should happen to find it out, and go after them, for they
would bring another storm of persecution equal to ancient days, for you know the apostles testified that if any would live godly in Christ Jesus, he should suffer persecution; whereas, before these men made their appearance we had modified the religion of Jesus, by taking away that part from it which always gave offence to the world, such as the inspiration and the power of God; in short we had heaped to ourselves teachers who gave us fables instead of truth, because truth might give offence, and disturb the world too much; and thus with a form of godliness, denying the power and instituting human wisdom in its stead, we had ceased to give offence to the world, in short we became just like the world, and the world loved us, and even helped on with the spread of our various gospels to the heathen. But now, alas, if it is true that God has spoken, and sent men as in days of old, they will be constrained to testify the truth, and that will disturb and frustrate all our plans, and turn out of employ thousands of hireling priests, who never would have engaged in so arduous an undertaking as preaching, had it not been for the riches and honours of the world; but something must be done, and as they have received wisdom from some quarter, which none of our learned men are able to resist, by fair argument and investigation; let us not attempt to meet them with argument lest we be disgraced, for they have both scripture and reason on their side; but let us shut our synagogues, our houses, our pulpits, and all our public places
against them; and above all stop our ears, and shut our eyes, and withall publish every false hood concerning them, and make the people believe that these men preach up a new religion contrary to the Bible; while ours is the religion of the Bible, only altered in a few non-essential points to suit the times, and this will be the most effectual way to stop the spread of truth. But if truth still prevails, let us do as did the Jews on a similar occasion in days of old. Make a law, that whosoever goes to hear them shall be cast out of the church; and if this will not do, our last resource will be to mob, kill, and destroy all that believe in that way; for if we let them alone, truth will finally prevail, and knowledge cover the earth as the waters cover the sea; and if this should be the case, farewell, to all our greatness, our creeds, our tracts, our sermons, our books of divinity, our commentaries, our opinions; our commandments, and traditions, would all be laid aside as useless, or brought together and burned, as the disciples burned their books of magic in days of old, our temples would be deserted, and our merchandize laid aside, and great Babylon would be a desolation, and all our merchants, and great men would stand afar off and weep, for no man would buy their merchandize any more. And besides all this, we have reason to be alarmed still more, for these men tell us about a new book, brought to light by the ministering of angels, and translated by Inspiration, as God formerly has done when he
has sent truth into the world, and although many tell us it is all a fable, yet thousands are testifying of its truth, and tens of thousands are believing it, through all parts of our country; and indeed the prophet Isaiah in his 29th chapter, tells us of a book which should make its appearance, as a marvelous work and a wonder, causing the wisdom of the wise to perish, and the understanding of the prudent to be brought to nought, the meek to increase their joy, and the poor among men to rejoice, and that too at a time just like the present, when the people were drawing near to God with their lips, and honouring him with their mouths, while their hearts are far from him, and their fear towards him, is taught by the precepts of men, just as we now see it. And this book, Isaiah tells us, should cause those that erred to come to understanding, and those who murmured to learn doctrine, and that the house of Jacob should be gathered at the same time, and all that scoffed at, and rejected it, should soon be cut off from the earth; and now we know that no former book has had these great events follow its coming forth, therefore, we have reason to fear that this is the book of Mormon, which is such a marvel in the world; at any rate we would do well to be on our guard. And there is one way in which we can prevent its general general circulations perhaps more effectually than any other, and that is, to teach the people, that the Bible contains all which God ever did reveal to man, or ever will; but there is some difficulty in this
too, for the people will read for themselves; and in looking over the old prophesies, they will find something like fourteen book, actually quoted by the prophets, which are not found in our English Bible; such for instance, as the book of Shemeiah the prophet, the book of Ahijah the prophet, the book of Jasher, and many others. And in reading the New Testament, we find the apostles quoting several episodes, which are not found among the New Testament writing, and we know too that there is nothing secret which shall not be revealed, neither hid, that shall not be made known, for the Saviour has told us so, and Jeremiah has told us, that when the Lord gathers Israel, he will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth, and in short all the prophets and apostles have given us to understand, that the dispensation of the fulness of times for the gathering of Israel, will be the greatest day for Revelation and Miracles, that the world ever witnessed, and the people will read and understand these things, and be looking for their fulfilment; unless we can persuade them that the prophecies are a great mystery, which none can understand. Notwithstanding, the apostles have told them that whatsoever was written afore time, was written for our profit, and learning, &c. But if the people get their eyes open to see all these things, then we will try to get them to believe that the book of Mormon comes in contact with the other scriptures, and is intended to do them away, and is a silly mess of stuff, not worth
reading, and that none but the ignorant who do not understand the scriptures, pretend to believe it. But here again, we will be in danger, for the book of Mormon is written in plain English, and published to the world, and its friends are determined to give it a general circulation among all nations. and bye and bye, the publick will begin to venture to look it through, and if they do, they will see that it not only agrees with the other scriptures, but comes in direct fulfilment of Prophesy, and that it contains some of the most sublime truths ever revealed to man; and that too on subjects entirely original; no other work on earth containing sufficient information on the subject; and thus we seem in danger, turn which way we will; what shall we do? I will tell you friend, you had better repent of all your sins at once, and come to the light, that your deeds may he reproved, for you cannot turn the right hand of the Lord to the left, nor frustrate the work of the Almighty, who has set his hand the second time to gather Israel; his arm is stretched out and none can turn it back. But what is that wonderful book about which there is so much said? what do these strange men testify, that causes so much excitement? let them speak for themselves?
Well, hearken my reader. The Book of Mormon was found in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, in Ontario county, New-York. Was translated and published in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty. It contains the
history of the ancient inhabitants of America, who were a branch of the house of Israel, of the tribe of Joseph; of whom the Indians are still a remnant; but the principal nation of them having fallen in battle, in the fourth or fifth century, one of their prophets, whose name was Mormon, saw fit to make an abridgment of their history, their prophesies and their doctrine, which he engraved on Plates; and afterwards being slain, the Record fell into the hands of his son Moroni, who being hunted by his enemies, was directed to deposit the record safely in the earth, with a promise from God that it should be preserved, and should be again brought to light in the latter days, by means of a Gentile nation, who should possess the land. The deposit was made about the year four hundred and twenty, on a hill then called Cumora, now in Ontario county, where it was preserved in safety, until it was brought to light by no less than the ministry of angels, and translated by Inspiration. And the Great Jehovah bore record of the same to chosen witnesses who declare it to the world.
Well, now, says the objector, if it were not for the marvellous, your book would be considered one of the greatest discoveries the world ever witnessed. Had you been ploughing, or digging a well or cellar, and accidently dug up a record containing some account of the ancient history of this continent, and of its original inhabitants, together with the origin of the Indian tribes who now inhabit it; had this record nothing to do with God, or angels, or inspiration,
it would have been hailed by all the learned of America and Europe, as one of the greatest and most important discoveries of modern times; unfolding a mystery which had, until then bid defiance to all the researchers of the learned world. Every newspaper would have been filled with the glad tidings, while its contents would have poured upon the world, a flood of light, on subjects before concealed in the labyrinth of uncertainty and doubt. But who can stoop in such humility as to receive any thing ("in this enlightened age, renowned for its religion and learning,") from the ministering of angels, and from inspiration? This is too much; away with such things, it comes in contact with the wisdom and popularity of the day. Ah! well, I reply, the Lord knew that before he revealed it; this was one principal object he had in view; it is just the manner of his dealing with the children of men, he always takes a different course from the one marked out for him by the wisdom of the world, in order to confound the wise, and bring to naught the understanding of the prudent; he chooses men of low degree, even the simple, and the unlearned, and those who are despised, to do his work and to bring about his purposes, that no flesh shall glory in his presence. O! ye wise, and ye learned, who despise the wisdom that comes from above! know ye not that it was impossible for the world by wisdom, to find out God? know ye not, that all your wisdom is foolishness with God? know ye not, that ye must become as a
little child, and be willing to learn wisdom from the least of his servants, or you will perish in your ignorance? But what are the evidences which we gather from Scripture, concerning the coming forth of this glorious work? We shall attempt to prove -- first, that America is a promised land to the seed of Joseph; second, that the Lord would reveal to them his truth as well as to the Jews; and third, that their Record should come forth and unite its testimony with the Record of the Jews, in time for the restoration of Israel in the last days.
First, Gen. xlvii., Jacob, while blessing the two sons of Joseph, says, "Let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth:" and in the same blessing it is said of Ephraim, his seed shall become a multitude of nations. Now put the sense of these sayings together, and it makes Ephraim a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth. In Gen. xlix. it is prophesyed concerning Joseph, (while Jacob was blessing him,) that he should be a fruitful bough by a well. whose branches run over the wall, the archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him, yet his bow abode in strength. Again he further says, "the blessings of thy Father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren." Now, I ask, who were Jacob's progenitors, and what was the blessing they conferred upon him? Abraham and Isaac were
the progenitors, and the land of Canaan was the blessing they conferred upon him -- or that God promised them he should possess. Recollect that Jacob confers on Joseph a much greater land than that of Canaan; even greater than his fathers had conferred upon him, for Joseph's blessing was to extend to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills. Now, reader, stand in Egypt, where Jacob then stood, and measure to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills, and you will land somewhere in the central part of America. Again, one of the prophets says, in speaking of Ephraim, "when the Lord shall roar, the children of Ephraim shall tremble from the west." Now let us sum up these sayings, and what have we gained: first -- that Ephraim was to grow into a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth; second -- Joseph was to be greatly blest in a large inheritance, as far off as America; third -- this was to be on the west of Egypt or Jerusalem.
Now, let the world search from pole to pole, and they will not find a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth, who can possibly have sprung from Ephraim, unless they find them in America; for the midst of all other parts of the earth is inhabited by mixed races, who have sprung from various sources; while here an almost boundless country was selected from the rest of the world, and inhabited by a race of men, evidently of the same origin, although as evidently divided into many nations. Now the Scriptures cannot be broken, therefore, these
Scriptures must apply to America, for the plainest of reasons -- they can apply to no where else.
Now, secondly, we are to prove that God revealed himself to the seed of Joseph or Ephraim, (as we have already proved,) dwelling in America. For this, we quote Hosea viii.12; speaking of Ephraim, he says by the spirit of prophesy, "I have written unto him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing." This is proof positive and needs no comment, that the great truths of Heaven were revealed unto Ephraim, and were counted as a strange thing.
Third. -- Were these writings to come forth just previous to the gathering of Israel? answer, they were, according to Ezekiel, 37th chapter, where God commanded him to take one stick and write upon it for Judah, and for the children of Israel, his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it for Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: and join them one to another, into one stick, and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, wilt not thou show us what thou meanest by these things, say unto them, thus saith the Lord God, "Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick; and they shall be one in mine hand: and the
sticks whereupon thou writest, shall be in thine hand before their eyes." And say unto them, thus saith the Lord God. "Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side and bring them into their own lands; and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all."
Now, nothing can be more plain than the above prophesy: there is presented two writings, the one to Ephraim, the other of Judah: that of Ephraim is to be brought forth by the Lord, and put up with that of Judah, and they are to become one in their testimony, and grow together in this manner, in order to bring about the gathering of Israel. The 85th Psalm, is very plain on the subject of the restoration of Israel to their own land: it says, "Mercy and Truth are met together; Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and Righteousness shall look down from Heaven. Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good, and our land shall yield her increase. Righteousness shall go before him, and shall set us in the way of his steps." Now, the Saviour while praying for his disciples, said, "sanctify them through thy truth -- thy word is truth." From these passages we learn that this word is to spring out of the earth, while Righteousness looks down from Heaven. And
the next thing that follows is that Israel is set in the way of his steps, and partaking of the fruit of their own land. Jeremiah, xxxiii., 6 -- speaking of the final return from captivity of both Judah and Israel, says, "I will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth." And Isaiah, speaking of the everlasting covenant which should gather them, makes this extraordinary and very remarkable expression: "their seed shall be among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people." Now, reader, let me ask, can anyone tell whether the Indians of America are of Israel, unless the Lord should reveal it? Therefore this was a hidden mystery, which it was necessary to reveal in time for their gathering.
So much then, we have produced from the Scriptures, in proof of a work like the book of Mormon, making its appearance in these days; to say nothing of Isaiah xxix., which we have already noticed in a former part of this work. -- But says one, what is the use of the book of Mormon, even if it be true? -- I answer, first, it brings to light an important history, before unknown to man. Second, it reveals the origin of the American Indians, which was before a mystery. Third, it contains important prophesies, yet to be fulfilled, which immediately concerns the present generation, and their very existence depends on an immediate understanding of them. Fourth, it contains much plainness in regard to points of doctrine, insomuch that all may understand, and see eye to eye, if they take pains to
read it. But what are its proofs, as to chosen witnesses who testify to its translation by inspiration? For this testimony I refer the reader to the last page of the Book of Mormon; he will there find as positive testimony as has ever been found in the other Scriptures, concerning any truth which God ever revealed. Men there testify, not only that they have seen and handled the plates, but that an angel of God came down from Heaven, and presented the plates before them, while the glory of God shone round about them; and the voice of God spoke from Heaven, and told them that these things were true, and had been translated by the gift and power of God, and commanded them to bear record of the same to all people: and these are men of unimpeachable character, and their truth and veracity on other subjects, never has been called in question. But blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, he has visited his people, and the day-spring from on high has dawned upon our benighted world once more; for no sooner had the book been translated, and then men began to bear record of the same, than the angel of the Lord came down from Heaven again, and commissioned men to preach the gospel to every creature, baptizing them in water, and saying unto them, He that believeth your testimony, and repenteth and is baptized, shall receive a a remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost; and all that endure to the end, shall be saved in the kingdom of God: and no sooner did the people begin to believe their testimony,
and be baptized, than the Holy Ghost fell on them, through the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus; and the heavens were opened, and while some had the ministering of angels, others began to speak in other tongues, and prophesy. And from that time forth, were any sick among them, they were often healed by the laying on of the hands, in the name of Jesus, and thus mightily grew the word of God and prevailed, and thus thousands have been raised up to testify that they do know for themselves, and are not dependent on the testimony of any man, for the truth of these things, for these signs follow them that believe: and when a man believes the truth through the testimony of God's witnesses, and then these signs follow not only them, but him also: if he has the ministering of angels, if he has been healed, or heals others, by the laying on of hands in Jesus name, or if he speaks in other tongues, or prophesies, he knows it for himself; and thus is fulfilled the saying of Scripture: "If any man will do my will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God." Thus faith comes by hearing, and knowledge by obeying; but hearing comes by preaching, and preaching comes by sending; as it is written, "how shall they preach except they be sent?" But there be many who say, show us a sign and we will believe. Remember faith comes not by signs; but signs come by faith. Gifts were not given to make men believe; but what saith the scripture? "Gifts are for the edifying of the church." If otherwise, why was it not
written, faith comes by miracles? But it is written, "faith comes by hearing." I always take it for granted that a man or woman (who comes demanding a sign in order to make them believe,) belong to a wicked, and adulterous generation, at least, to say no worse; for any person who will go to Jesus, with a pure heart, desiring and praying in faith that they may know the truth concerning these things; the Lord will reveal it to them, and he shall know, and shall bear testimony; for by the Spirit of God, they shall know truth from error; as it is written, "my sheep hear my voice." And he that will not come unto Jesus in faith, shall never know the truth, until, too late, he finds the harvest is over, and the summer is ended, and his soul not saved.
Thus the religion of Jesus, unlike all other systems, bears its own weight, and brings certainty and knowledge, leaving no room for imposition. And now I say unto all people, come unto the father in the name of Jesus; doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in days of old, and ask in faith for whatsoever you stand in need of, ask not, that you may consume it upon your lusts; but ask with a firmness not to be shaken, that you will yield to no temptation, but that you will keep his commandments, as fast as he makes them manifest unto you, and if ye do this, and he reveals to you, that he has sent us with a new and everlasting covenant, and commanded us to preach, and baptize, and build up his church as in days of old, then come
forward and obey the truth; but if you do not know, or are not satisfied, that he has sent us; then do not embrace the thing we preach. Thus to your own master you shall stand or fall; and one day, you shall know; yea, in that great day, when every knee shall bow, then shall you know that God has sent us with the truth, to prune his vineyard for the last time, with a mighty pruning.
Hear ye! hear ye! O ye Inhabitants
of the Earth:
For behold! I bring you glad tidings of great
joy, which shall be to all people.
The great Jehovah has looked down from heaven, upon the dark and benighted generation, who now stand upon the earth; he has beheld the confusion, the wickedness, and consequent distress, which every where prevailed; he has in great mercy and long suffering, visited his people with a manifestation of his will, granting repentance and forgiveness of sins; and sending a last warning, to all nations, first unto the Gentiles, and then to Israel; in order that mankind may prepare for the great day of the Lord, which draweth near.
This manifestation was by the ministering of Angels, and by the voice of Jehovah, speaking from the heavens in plainness, unto men who are now living among you; and also by the Holy Ghost, sent down from the Father and the Son, bearing record of the truth, and shewing things to come; and sending forth apostles, and prophets, for the last time, to prune his vineyard. And now, this is the commandment to all peoples, kindred, tongues, and nations, without any exception, religious or irreligious, teacher or taught, priest or people.
Believe on the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, repent of all your ungodly deeds, of your lyings, deceivings, fornications, murders, priestcrafts, drunkenness, and of all your secret abominations; and come forth and be baptized, by immersion in water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, in order that you may receive remission of sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, which is again conferred, by the laying on of hands, as in days of old: and these signs shall follow them that believe, as they anciently followed the disciples of Jesus; in his name they shall cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. And this the gospel which God has commanded us to preach to all people, once more, for the last time. And no other system of religion which is now organized among men
is of any use; every thing different from this, is a perverted gospel, bringing a curse upon them that preach it, and upon them that hear it. And now except you give heed to this last warning which the great God has sent forth for your salvation, the judgments of the almighty shall soon be poured out upon you to the uttermost; and it shall be as with the priest, so with the people; as with the maid, so with the mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the borrower, so with the lender; the prince and the beggar, the learned and the simple, the noble and the ignoble, shall alike feel the hand of the Almighty, by pestilence, famine, earthquake, and the sword; yea, ye shall be drunken with your own blood, as with sweet wine, until your cities are desolate; yea, the Lord will cut off your horses, destroy your chariots, throw down your cities, and pluck up your groves; until all lyings, priest-crafts, and all manner of abominations, shall be done away. Yea, wo, wo, wo, unto the inhabitants in all this land; for your sins have reached unto Heaven, and God has remembered your iniquities; and only this once will he call upon you to repent. Behold you do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than you love the poor, the needy, the sick, and the afflicted. O ye polluted ones, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, which sell yourselves for that which will canker; why do you adorn yourselves with costliness,
and all manner of extravagance, and suffer the poor and needy, the sick and the afflicted, to pass by you and you notice them not. Behold the sword of vengeance hangs over you, and except you repent, the Lord will cause that it shall soon overtake you. You may blame me, and say that I am a false prophet, or made, or possessed of the devil; but behold, your mocking will be of short duration; for soon the great Jehovah will mock when your fear cometh, and laugh at your calamity; and as for your scoffs, or frowns, or flatteries, I regard them not, for the Lord God has sent me, to warn you, and to prophesy these things, and him alone do I fear, And when I walk through the midst of you, and behold your abominations, I dare no longer hold my peace, lest the very stones should cry out.
And now be it known unto you, O ye inhabitants of this great city, that God has sent me to tell you these things, that you may repent; "For not many days hence the earth shall tremble, and reel to and fro as a drunken man, and the sun shall hide his face, and 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 our testimony cometh wrath and indignation upon the people, for after our 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 son, 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 to come; behold and lo! the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. And immediately there shall appear a great sign in Heaven, and all people shall see it together. And another angel shall sound his trump, saying, that great Church, the mother of abomination, that made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, that persecuteth the saints of God, that shed their blood -- her who sitteth upon many waters, and upon the islands of the sea; behold she is the tares of the earth, she is bound in bundles, her bands are made strong; no man can loose them; therefore she is ready to be burned. And he shall sound his trump both long and loud, and all nations shall hear it. And there shall be silence in Heaven for the space of half an hour; and immediately after shall the curtain of Heaven be unfolded, as a scroll is unfolded after it is rolled up, and the face of the Lord shall be unveiled, and the saints that are upon the earth who are alive, shall be quickened, and be caught up to meet him. And they who have
slept in their graves shall come forth, for their graves shall be opened, and they also shall be caught up in the midst of the pillar of Heaven: they are Christ's the first fruits: they who shall descend with him first, and they who are on the earth and in their graves, who are first caught up to meet him, and all this by the voice of the sounding of the trump of the angel of God.
And after this another angel shall sound which is the second trump, and then cometh the redemption of those who are Christ's at his coming. who have received their part in that prison which is prepared for them, that they might receive the gospel, and be judged according to men in the flesh.
And again another trump shall sound, which is the third trump: and then cometh the spirits of men who are to be judged, and are found under condemnation: and these are the rest of the dead, and they live not again until the thousand years are ended, neither again, until the end of the earth. And another trump shall sound which is the fourth trump, saying, these are found among those who are to remain until that great and last day, even the end, who shall remain filthy still. And another trump shall sound, which is the fifth trump, which is the fifth angel, who committeth the everlasting gospel, flying through the midst of heaven, unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people; and this shall be the sound of his trump, saying to all people, both in heaven and on earth, and that are under the earth; for every ear shall hear it, and every
knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess, while they hear the sound of the trump, saying fear God and give glory to him who sitteth upon the throne, for ever and ever, for the hour of his judgment is come. And again, another angel shall sound his trump, which is the sixth angel, saying, she is fallen, who made all nations drink of the wine, of the wrath of her fornication: she is fallen! is fallen!
And again another angel shall sound his trump, which is the seventh angel, saying it is finished! it is finished! the Lamb of God hath overcome and trodden the wine-press alone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God: and then shall the angels be crowned with the glory of his might, and the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance, and be made equal with him.
And then shall the first angel again sound his trump in the ears of all living and reveal the secret acts of men, and the mighty works of God, in the first thousandth year. And then shall the second angel sound his trump, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the thoughts and intents of their hearts, and the mighty works of God, in the second thousandth year: and so on until the seventh angel shall sound his trump: and he shall stand forth upon the land, and upon the sea, and swear in the name of him who setteth upon the throne, that there shall be time no longer; and satan shall be bound, that old serpent who is called the devil, and shall not be
loosed for the space of a thousand years. And then he shall be loosed for a little season, that he may gather his armies; and Michael the seventh angel, even the Arch-angel, shall gather together his armies, even the hosts of Heaven. And the devil shall gather together his armies, even the host of hell, and shall come up to battle against Michael and his armies; and then cometh the battle of the great God, and the devil and his armies shall be cast away into their own place, that they shall not have power over the saints any more at all; for Michael shall fight their battles, and shall overcome him who seeketh the throne of him who sitteth upon the throne, even the lamb; this is the glory of God and the sanctified, and they shall not any more see death." Amen.
THE RESURRECTION OF THE SAINTS, AND
THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS
SPOKEN BY THE PROPHETS.
This is one of the most important subjects upon which the human mind can contemplate; and one perhaps, as little understood in the present age, as any other now lying over the face of prophesy. But however neglected at the present time, it was once the ground work of the faith, hope, and joy, of the saints. It was
a correct understanding of, and firm belief in this subject, that influenced all their movements. Their minds once fastening upon it, they could not be shaken from their purposes; their faith was firm, their joy constant, and their hope like an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast, reaching to that within the vail. It was this that enabled them to rejoice in the midst of tribulation, persecution, sword and flame: and in view of this, they took joyfully, the spoiling of their goods, and gladly wandered as strangers, and pilgrims, on the earth. For they sought a country, a city, and an inheritance, that none but a saint ever thought of, understood, or even hoped for. Now, we can never understand precisely what is meant by restoration; unless we understand what is lost or taken away; for instance, when we offer to restore any thing to a man, it is as much to say he once possessed it, but had lost it; and we propose to replace, or put him in possession of that which he once had; therefore, when a prophet speaks of the restoration of all things; he means that all things have undergone a change, and are to be again restored to their primitive order, in which they first existed.
First, then, it becomes necessary for us to take a view of creation, as it rolled in purity from the hand of its creator: and if can discover the true state in which it then existed, and understand the changes that have taken place since. Then we shall be able to understand what is to be restored, and thus our minds
being prepared, we shall be looking for the very things which will come, and shall be in no danger of lifting our puny arm in ignorance, to oppose the things of God.
First then we will take a view of the earth, as to its surface, local situation, and production.
When God had created the heavens and the earth, and separated the light from the darkness; his next great command was to the waters, Gen. i. 9 -- "And God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so." From this we learn a marvelous fact, which very few have ever realized or believed in this benighted age; we learn that the waters, which are now divided into oceans, seas and lakes, were then all gathered into one vast ocean, and consequently that the land which is now torn asunder, and divided, into continents and islands, almost innumerable; was then one vast continent or body, not separated as it now is.
Second, We hear the Lord God pronounce the earth, as well as every thing else, very good. From this we learn that there were no deserts, barren places; no stagnant swamps, no rough broken rugged hills, no vast mountains covered with eternal snow; and no part of it was located in the frigid zone, so as to render its climate dreary and unproductive, subject to eternal frost or everlasting chains of ice.
Where no sweet flowers, the dreary landscape cheer;
Nor plenteous harvests crown the passing year:
But the whole earth was one vast plain, or interspersed with gently rising hills, and sloping vales, well calculated for cultivation; while its climate was delightfully varied, with the moderate changes of heat and cold, of wet and dry, which only tended to crown the varied year, with the greater variety of productions: all for the good of man, animal, fowl, or creeping thing; while from the flowery plain, or spicy grove, sweet odours were wafted on every breeze: all the vast creation of animated being, breathed naught; but health and peace, and joy.
Next we learn from Gen. i. 29, 30. "And God said, behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth; and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree, yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat; and to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life; I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so." From these verses, we learn that the earth yielded no nauseous weeds, no poisonous plants, no useless thorns or thistles; indeed every thing that grew, was just calculated for the food of man or beast, fowl, or creeping thing; and their food was all vegetable: and flesh and blood was never sacrificed, to glut their souls or gratify their appetites: the beasts of the earth were all in perfect harmony with each other; the lion ate straw like the ox -- the wolf dwelt with the lamb -- the leopard lay down with the
kid -- the cow and bear fed together in the same pasture, while their young ones reposed in perfect security, under the shade of the same trees; and all was peace and harmony, and nothing to hurt nor disturb in all the holy mountain.
And to crown the whole, we behold man created in the image of God, and exalted in dignity and power, having dominion over all the vast creation of animated beings which swarmed through the earth, while at the same time he inhabits a beautiful and well watered garden, in the midst of which stood the tree of life, to which he had free access; while he stood in the presence of his Maker; conversed with him face to face, and gazed upon his glory without a dimming veil between. O reader, contemplate for a moment this beautiful creation, clothed with peace and plenty; the earth teeming with harmless animals, rejoicing over all the plain; the air swarming with delightful birds, whose never-ceasing notes filled the air with varied melody; and all in subjection to their rightful Sovereign, who rejoiced over them; while a delightful garden stood as the capital of creation, and man was seated on the throne of this vast empire, swaying his sceptre over all the earth with undisputed right; while legions of angels encamped round about him, and joined their glad voices in grateful songs of praise, and shouts of joy; while not a sigh nor groan was heard throughout the vast expanse; no death, no sorrow, no tears, no weeping, no pain, nor sickness; nor contentions, wars, or bloodshed; but peace
crowned the seasons as they rolled, and life, joy and love, reigned over all his works. -- But, O! how changed the scene.
It now becomes my painful duty, to trace some of the important changes which have taken place, and the causes which have conspired to reduce the earth and its inhabitants, to their present state.
First, man, by giving heed to temptation, fell from his standing before God,; and this fall affected the whole creation, as well as man, and caused various changes to take place; first, man was banished from the presence of his Creator, and a veil was drawn between them, and he was banished from the garden of Eden, to till the earth, (which was then cursed for man's sake and should begin to bring forth thorns and thistles) and with the sweat of his face, and in sorrow, he should eat of it all the days of his life, and finally return to dust. But as to Eve, her curse was a great multiplicity of sorrow and conception; and as to her seed, and the seed of the serpent, there was to be a constant enmity; it should bruise the serpent's head; and the serpent should bruise his heel.
Now, reader, contemplate the change. This scene, which was so beautiful a little before, had now become the abode of sorrow and toil, death and mourning: the earth groaned with its production, of accursed thorns and thistles, -- and man and beast at enmity: the serpent slyly creeping away: fearing lest his head should
get the deadly bruise; and man startling amid the thorny path, in fear lest the serpent's fangs should pierce his heel, from among the grass, while the lamb yields his blood upon the smoking altar: and soon man begins to persecute, hate, and murder his fellow; until at length the earth is filled with violence; all flesh becomes corrupt, the powers of darkness prevail, and it repented Noah that God had made man, and it grieved him at his heart -- for the Lord comes out in vengeance, and cleanses the earth by water. But how far the flood may have contributed to produce the various changes, as to the division of the earth into broken fragments, islands, and continents, mountains and valleys, we have not been informed; the change must have been considerable. But after the flood, in the days of Peleg, the earth was divided. See Gen. x. 25 -- A short history to be sure, of so great an event. But still it will account for the mighty revolution, which rolled the sea from its own place in the north, and brought it to interpose between different portions of the earth, which were thus parted asunder, and moved into their present form: this, together with the earthquakes, revolutions, and commotions which have since taken place, have all contributed to reduce the face of the earth to its present state, while the great curses which have fallen upon different portions because of the wickedness of men; will account for the stagnant swamps, the sunken lakes, the dead seas, and great deserts. Witness, for instance, the
denunciation of the prophets, upon Babylon, how it was to become perpetual desolation, a den of wild beasts, a dwelling of unclean and hateful birds, a place for owls; and should never be inhabited but should lie desolate, from generation to generation. Witness also the plains of Sodom, filled with towns, cities, and flourishing gardens, well watered. But O, how changed! A vast sea, of stagnant water alone marks the place. Witness the land of Palestine, in the days of Solomon, it was capable of sustaining millions of people, besides selling wheat, and other productions to the neighboring nations; whereas, now it is desolate and hardly capable of sustaining a few miserable inhabitants. And when I cast my eyes over our own land, and see the numerous swamps, lakes and ponds of stagnant waters, together with the vast mountains, and innumerable rough places; while rocks have been rent, and torn asunder, from centre to circumference, I exclaim, whence all this! But when I read the Book of Mormon, it informs me, that while Christ was crucified among the Jews, this whole American continent was shaken to its foundations, that many cities were sunk, and waters came up in their places. That the rocks were all rent in twain. That mountains were thrown up to an exceeding height -- and other mountains became vallies -- the level roads spoiled -- and the whole face of the land changed. I then exclaim, these things are no longer a mystery; I have now learned how to account for the many wonders, which I
every where behold, throughout our country; when I am passing a ledge of rocks, and see them all split and torn assunder; while some huge fragments are found deeply imbedded in the earth, some rods from whence they were torn, I exclaim, with astonishment, these were the groans! the conclusive throes of agonizing nature! while the Son of God suffered upon the cross! But mankind have degenerated, and greatly changed, as well as the earth. The sins, the abominations, and the many evil habits, of the latter ages have added to the miseries, toils, and sufferings, of human life. The idleness, extravagance, pride, covetousness, drunkenness, and other abominations, which are characteristics of the latter times, have all combined to sink mankind to the lowest state of wretchedness and degradation; while priestcraft and false doctrines have greatly tended to lull mankind to sleep; and to cause them to rest, infinitely short of the powers and attainments, which the ancients did enjoy, and which are alone calculated to exalt the intellectual powers of the human mind; to establish noble and generous sentiments; to enlarge the heart, and to expand the soul to the utmost extent of its capacity. Witness the ancients, conversing with the Great Jehovah, learning lessons from the angels, and receiving instructions by the Holy Ghost, in dreams by night, and visions by day, until at length the veil is taken off, and they permitted to gaze with wonder and admiration upon all things past and future; yea, even to soar aloft amid unnumbered
worlds: while the vast expanse of eternity stands open before them, and they contemplate the mighty works of the Great I AM, until they know as they are known, and see as they are seen.
Compare this intelligence, with the low smatterings of education and worldly wisdom, which seem to satisfy the narrow mind of man in our generation; yea, behold the narrow minded, calculating, trading, overreaching, penurious sycophant of the nineteenth century, who dreams of nothing here, but how to increase his goods, or take advantage of his neighbour; and whose only religious exercises or duties consist of going to meeting, paying the priest his hire, or praying to his God without expecting to be heard or answered; supposing that God has been deaf or dumb, for many centuries, or altogether stupid and indifferent like himself. And having seen the two contrasted, you will be able to form some idea of the vast elevation from which man has fallen; you will also learn how infinitely beneath his former glory and dignity he is now living, and your heart will mourn, and be exceeding sorrowful, when you contemplate him in his low estate -- and then think he is your brother. And you will be ready to exclaim with wonder and astonishment, O man! how art thou fallen! once thou wast the favorite of Heaven; thy Maker delighted to converse with thee, and angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect, were thy companions; but now thou art degraded and brought down to a level with the
beasts; yea, far beneath them, for they look with horror and affright at your vain amusements, your sports, and your drunkenness, And thus often set an example worthy of your imitation. Well did the Apostle Peter say of you, That you know nothing only what you know naturally as brute beasts made to be taken and destroyed. And thus you perish, from generation to generation. While all creation groans under its pollution; and death and sorrow, mourning and weeping, fill up the measure of the days of man. But O my soul, dwell no longer on this awful scene; let it suffice to have discovered in some degree what is lost. -- And let us turn our attention, to which the Prophets have said should be restored.
The apostle Peter while preaching to the Jews says, "And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, whom the heavens must receive, untill the times of restitution (restoration) of all things which God hath spoken, by the mouths of all his holy prophets, since the world began." It appears from the above, that all the holy prophets from Adam and those that follow after, have had their eyes upon a certain time, when all things should be restored to their primitive beauty and excellence. And we also learn, that the time of restitution was to be at or near the time of Christ's second coming; for the heavens are to receive him, untill the times of restitution, and then the Lord shall send him again to the earth.
We will now proceed to notice Isaiah xl. 1,
2, 3, 4, 5. "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."
From these verses we learn, first, that the voice of one shall be heard in the wilderness, to prepare the way of the Lord, just at the time when Jerusalem has been trodden down of the gentiles long enough, to have received at the Lord's hand double for all her sins, yea, when the warfare of Jerusalem is accomplished, and her iniquities pardoned; then shall this proclamation be made as it was before by John, yea, a second proclamation, to prepare the way of the Lord, for his second coming; and about that time every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and rough places plain, and then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Thus, you see, every mountain being laid low,
and every valley exalted, and the rough places being made plain, and the crooked places straight; that these mighty revolution will begin to restore the face of the earth to its former beauty. But all this done, we have not gone through our restoration yet; there are many more great things to be done in order to restore all things.
Our next is Isaiah 35th chapter, where we again read of the Lord's second coming and of the mighty works which attend it. The barren desert should abound with pools and springs of living water, and shall produce grass, with flowers blooming and blossoming as the rose, and that too about the time of the coming of their God with vengeance and recompense, which must allude to his second coming; and Israel is to come at the same time to Zion with songs of everlasting joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Here then we have the curse taken off from the deserts and they become a fruitful and well watered country.
Our next object shall be to get the islands to return again to the continents, from which they were once separated. For this subject we refer you to Revelation vi. 14., "And every mountain and island were moved out of their places." From this we learn that they were moved somewhere, and as it is the time of restoring what had been lost they accordingly return and join themselves to the land whence they came.
Our next is Isaiah xiii. 13, 14, where "The earth shall move out of her place, and be like the chased roe which no man taketh up." Also,
Isaiah lxii. 4. "Thou shalt no more be termed forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married."
In the first instance we have the earth on a move like a chased roe, and in the second place we have it married. And from the whole and various scriptures we learn, that the continents and islands, shall be united in one, as they were on the morn of creation, and the sea shall retire and assemble in its own place where it was before; and all this mighty scene shall take place during the mighty convulsion of nature, about the time of the coming of the Lord.
While on its top, he sets his feet again.
The islands at his word, obedient, flee;
While to the north, he rolls the mighty sea;
Restores the earth in one, as at the first;
With all its blessings, and removes the curse.
of Peace and glory; causing all enmity to cease from off the earth; but this will never be done until there is a general destruction Poured out upon man, which will entirely cleanse the earth, and sweep all wickedness from its face; this will be done by the rod of his mouth, and by the breath of his lips, or in other words, by fire as universal as the flood. Isaiah xi Chap.4, 6, 7, 8, 9, verses. "But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth, and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. The wolf also 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, and the cow and the bear shall feed, their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the Cockatrice' den. 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."
Thus having cleansed the earth, and glorified it with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea, and having poured out his spirit upon all flesh, both man and beast becoming perfectly harmless, as they were in the beginning, and feed on vegetable food only, while nothing is left to hurt or destroy in all the vast creation. The prophets then proceed to give
us some glorious descriptions of the enjoyments of its inhabitants. "They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them; they shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, are the days of my people; and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth in trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them; And it shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." In this happy state of existence it seems, that all people will live to the full age of a tree, and this too without trouble pain or sorrow, and whatsoever they ask will be immediately answered, and even all their wants will be anticipated. Of course then, none of them will sleep in the dust for they will prefer to be translated; that is, changed, in the twinkling of an eye, from mortal to immortal; After which they will continue to reign with Jesus on the earth.
Thus we have traced the Prophets through the varying scenes which conspire to restore the earth, and its inhabitants to that state of perfection, in which they first existed; and in which they will exist during the great Sabbath of creation. And having seen all things restored among the living, we will now inquire after those who sleep in the dust; but in order to understand precisely the nature of their restoration, we must ascertain the particulars concerning the
resurrection of Jesus, for he was an exact pattern after which all his saints will be raised. We recollect first, that he was clothed upon with flesh and blood, and bones; like another man, and every way subject to hunger, thirst, pain, weariness, sickness and death, like any other person; with this difference, that he was capable of enduring more than any other human body. Second, This same body was hung upon the cross, torn with nails, which were driven through his hands and feet, and his side pierced with a spear from which there came out blood and water. Third, This same body, being perfectly lifeless, like any other corpse, was taken without a bone being broken; and carefully wrapped in linen and laid in the tomb, where it continued until the third day; when early in the morning the women came to the sepulchre, and his disciples also, and finding the linen clothes lying useless, and the napkin which was about his head, carefully folded, and laid by itself; but the body which had lain there was gone. From all these circumstances we discover that the same flesh and bones, which were laid in the tomb, were actually reanimated, and did arise and lay aside the linen which was no longer needed. And Jesus Christ came forth triumphant from the mansions of the dead; possessing the same body which had been born of woman, which was crucified; but no blood flowed in his veins, for blood was the natural life in which were the principles of mortality; and a man restored to flesh and blood would be mortal;
and consequently, again subject unto death, which was not the case with our Saviour, he had flesh and bones after he arose: for when he appeared to his disciples, and they were afraid supposing it was only a spirit, in order to show them their mistake, he said, "handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me have." And calling for something to eat, he was provided with a piece of broiled fish and an honey comb, and he did eat. And even afterwards, Thomas was invited to put his finger into the prints of the nails in his hands and feet; and to thrust his hand into his side, from which it is evident that he not only possessed the same body, but also, the same wounds continued to show themselves for a witness. And will continue until he comes again, when the Jews will look upon him whom they have pierced; and enquire what are these wounds in his hands and in his feet, O ye hard hearted, ye ungodly children of men; your eyes will very soon behold him who was crucified for your sins; then shall ye see that the resurrection of the dead is a reality, something tangible, and that eternity is not a land of shades, nor a world of phantoms, as some suppose. Among other things which Jesus did after the resurrection, we find him in the humble attitude of broiling fish, and calling his disciples to come and dine. Oh what simplicity, what love, what condescension; wonder O heavens! be astonished O earth! behold the Redeemer clothed upon with immortality, and yet seated by a fire of coals, in the open air with
his brethren, humbly partaking of a meal of fish, actually prepared by his own hands; O ye great and ye noble of the earth, who roll in luxury and refinement, who would sooner starve than to touch a morsel of fish in order to prepare your own dinner; O ye Priests with your gown and gloves and cushioned sofas, here is a lesson for you, which will make you blush; boast no more of being followers of the meek and lowly Jesus.
But to return to the subject of the resurrection; having proved to a demonstration, that our Saviour rose from the dead with the same body which was crucified, possessing flesh and bones, eating and drinking with his disciples. This puts the matter forever at rest respecting the resurrection of the saints. But if more proof were wanting, we have it in a prophecy of Job before quoted in a former part of this work, where he declares that his Redeemer will stand, in the latter day upon the earth, and he should see him in the flesh though worms should destroy the body which he then had. The fact is the saints will again receive their bodies, every joint in its proper and perfect frame, being clothed upon with flesh, sinews, and skin; like as we now are, the whole becoming immortal, no more to see corruption, being clothed with a white robe of fine linen, suitable for Immortality to wear. Well did the apostle say, "in heaven we have a more enduring substance" (not shadow) but in order to illustrate this subject, still farther, we will carefully examine the vision of Ezekiel
xxxvii. Chap. which we have touched upon before. In this vision the Prophet is carried away in the spirit, and a valley of dry bones is presented before him, and they are very numerous and very dry; and while he stands musing and contemplating the awful scene, a very wonderful question is proposed to him; "Son of man, can these bones live?" and he answered, "O Lord God, thou knowest." And the Lord said, "Son of man prophesy upon the bones, and say, O ye dry bones hear the word of the Lord." So he prophesied as he was commanded, and as he prophesied there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them. And again he prophesied to the winds, saying, "come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live," and the breath entered into them, and they lived and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army. We have heard many comments upon this vision, some compare it to sinners being converted, and some to the body of Christ, the church when dead as to the spiritual gifts; (but the church becoming dead can no longer be said to be the body of Christ, as when she abides in the true vine, she lives, and bears fruit, and is not dead, and when she does not abide in him, she is cut off as a branch withered, and burned instead of rising again. But did you ever hear the Lord's own explanation of this vision, in the same Chapter? It so far surpasses all other comments, I am inclined to
believe it; I will therefore write it in preference to any other and run the risk of becoming unpopular by so doing. The Lord says, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold they say our bones are dried, our hope is lost, we are cut off for our parts; Therefore say unto them, thus saith the Lord God, behold O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel; And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I shall place you in your own land. Then shall ye know, that I the Lord have spoken it and performed it saith the Lord." Thus you have the whole vision unfolded plainly; if the Lord's authority can once be allowed, which is seldom the case, in this age of wisdom and learning. The fact is, all the seed of Israel are to be raised from the dead, and are to be brought into the land of Israel, which was given to them for an everlasting inheritance. And in order to do this, their old dry bones are to be brought together, bone to his bone, and every part of their bodies are to be reinstated each to itself, and it will make a great noise and a wonderful shaking: when they come together; and surely when they stand upon their feet, it will make an exceeding great army. This just explains the promise, so oft repeated in scripture, my servant David shall be a prince over them forever; Indeed this same chapter, makes the
promise to them, that his servant David shall be raised up, and shall be prince among them, while the Lord shall be their king; while both they that are alive, and they that are dead, shall be restored, and become one nation in the land, upon the Mountains of Israel; while David comes forth and reigns, as a prince and shepherd over them forever; while the Lord Jesus reigns as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, in mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously."
My soul leaps forward at the thought;
When in that happy, happy land,
We'll take the ancients, by the hand;
In love and union, hail our friends:
And Death and Sorrow, have an end.
house of Israel; and with all the saints of the most high, not only one thousand years, but forever and ever. There our father Adam whose hair is white like the pure wool, will set enthroned in dignity as the ancient of days, the great Patriarch, the mighty prince; while thousands of thousands stand before him, and ten thousand times ten thousand minister to him, there he will hail all his children who died in the faith of the Messiah; while Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Job, and Daniel, with all the prophets, and Apostles, and all the saints of God of all ages, hail each other in the flesh; while Jesus the great Messiah will stand in the midst, And to crown the whole, he will gird himself, and administer bread and wine to the whole multitude, while he himself partakes of the same with them on the earth, while all are clothed in fine linen, clean and white. This is the marriage supper of the Lamb. Blessed are they who partake thereof.
And sought by holy men, from days of old;
Who found it not, but readily confessed,
As pilgrims here, they sought a promised rest;
Hear Abel groan, as first he yields his breath,
And is succeeded by his brother Seth;
He dies in faith, to wait til Christ appears;
To rise and reign with him a thousand years,
Hear Enoch, the wonderous scene foretell,
While future glories did his bosom swell;
Before him rose, and opened to his view.
Long, long he heard the earth in anguish mourn;
Saw heaven weep, while oft his bowels yearn'd;
While all eternity, with pain beheld
The scenes of sorrow which his bosom swell'd:
He saw the Lamb of Calvary expire,
While rocks were rent, and cities wrapped in fire;
He saw him burst the tomb, and mount on high,
Enthroned in glory, 'mid the upper sky.
Obtained the promise, he would come again
To earth, in triumph with his saints to reign,
His soul was glad, with joy he tuned the lyre;
And sung the glorious reign, of king Messiah.
Hosanna to the Lamb, that shall be slain;
All hails the day, when Zion comes again;
Out of the earth the truth in power He sends.
While righteousness from heaven, shall descend,
And these shall sweep the earth, as with a flood
To gather out the purchase of his blood;
Unto the Zion which he shall prepare;
And Enoch with his city, meet them there;
When all the ransom'd saints shall join the lay.
And shout hosanna in eternal day.
Wide o'er the earth, the Saviour's name extend
And peace o'er all prevail, from end to end.
Thus Enoch sang, while all the heavenly choir;
Join'd in hosanna, to the king Messiah.
And as a type, he did the ark prepare,
Condemned the world, by water overthrown,
While to his view, the light triumphant shone
He gazed with joy on all the glorious scene,
But mourn'd the darkness, that should roll between.
Abram with joy, beheld the day of rest;
When in his seed, all nations should be bless'd.
And gladly wandered, as a pilgrim here;
And full asleep, to wait till Christ appear --
In sum and certain hope, to rise and reign
In Canaan's land, a right he had obtained.
Isaac and Jacob, had the glorious view,
Rejoiced in death, and so did Joseph too;
While patient Job, in pain look'd far away,
Saw his Redeemer in the latter day,
Stand on earth, while he himself should rise,
And in the flesh, behold him with his eyes.
Moses and Joshua, Samuel and Isaiah,
Did each in turn, this solemn truth declare;
While David turned the lyre in joyful lays;
Spake of Messiah's reign, and sang his praise.
Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, Zacheriah,
And Malachi, have spoken of Messiah;
When he should set his feet on earth again,
Burn up the proud, and o'er the nations reign.
The time would fail me here, to mention all;
Who wrapt in vision clear, in turn foretold,
The day of wonders I would fain unfold.
Abinedi, who once rejoiced in fire;
Mormon, Moroni and Ether, testified;
For this they lived, and in this faith they died;
And all the saints of God, in all the earth,
Down from Old Adam, to the latest birth;
And all the vast creations, which extend,
Through boundless space till noon can find no end,
And all the heavenly host, around the throne,
Shall sound his praise in reverential tone;
Hail him as king, and crown him Lord of all.
Having traced the great restoration of the earth and its inhabitants, until we find them in the full enjoyment, of the promises made to their fathers; and having learned that a future state is not a state of shadows, and fables; but a something tangible, even a more enduring substance; we shall now take a view of the division of their land, and the laying out of their city, even the holy city, where the tabernacle of God and his sanctuary shall be forevermore, for of course this was the city sought for, by Abraham, and others, who found it not.This view is given in the last chapter of Ezekiel, where he divides the land, by lot, to the whole twelve tribes; and lays off the city, and sanctuary, in the midst, with its twelve gates, three on each side, the whole lying four-square; but in his 47th chapter, we have a description of a beautiful river, which will issue forth from the eastern front of the temple, from under the sanctuary,
and run eastward into the dead sea, healing the waters, and causing a very great multitude of fishes; so that from Engedi to Eneglaim, the fishers spread forth their nets; while the miry places shall not be healed; but shall be given to salt. And on either side shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, nor shall the fruit thereof be consumed; it shall bring forth new fruit according to its months; because, their waters they issued out of the sanctuary, and their fruit shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.
But to set forth more fully the building of the city, and the materials of which it is builded; Isaiah liv.11, to the end of the chapter: "O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted! behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against
thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord."
From these verses we learn something of the beauty of their city, and of the materials of which it is composed; their stones of fair colours, their foundations of sapphires, their windows of agates, and their gates of carbuncles, and all their borders of pleasant stones, are well calculated to beautify the place of his sanctuary, and to make the place of his feet glorious, as well as to give a lustre and magnificence to the whole city, of which the gentiles with all their boasted wealth and grandeur, can form but a faint idea; and then to mark, in the same description, the knowledge, as well as the peace and security of all the inhabitants, while they who gather together against them to battle are sure to fall for their sake; surely, this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord; surely, this is a delightful city, and well worth a pilgrimage like Abraham's; but in order to form a still more striking idea of the prosperity, wealth, beauty, and magnificence, of the cities of Zion and Jerusalem, we will quote Isaiah lx. "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up
thine eyes around about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory. Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted thee, shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee, shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet, and they shall call thee; the city of the Lord, the Zion of the holy one of Israel; whereas, thou has been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Thou shalt also suck the milk of the gentiles, and shalt suck the breasts of kings, and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Saviour, and thy Redeemer, the mighty one of Jacob. For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood, brass, and for stones iron; I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness, violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction, within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls salvation and thy gates praise. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness, shall the moon give light unto thee, but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory; thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I
may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation; I the Lord will hasten it in his time."
In this Chapter we learn, First, that there is a city to be built in the last days, unto which not only Israel, but all the nations of the gentiles are to flow; and the nation and kingdom that will not serve that city shall perish, and be utterly wasted. Second, we learn that the name of that city is Zion, the city of the Lord, Third, we learn that it is called the place of his sanctuary, and the place of his feet; Fourth, we learn that the best of lumber, consisting of fir, pine, and box wood, is to be brought in great plenty to beautify the place of his sanctuary; and make the place of his feet glorious: Fifth, The precious metals are to abound in such plenty, that gold is to be in the room of brass, silver in the room of Iron, brass in the room of wood, iron in the room of stones, while their officers are to be peace officers, and their exactors, righteous exactors, violence is no more to be heard in the land, wasting nor destruction within their borders, their walls are salvation, and their gates praise; while the glory of God in the midst of the city outshines the Sun. the days of their mourning are ended; their people are all righteous, and are to inherit the land forever, being the branch of the Lord's planting, that he may be glorified. A little one shall become a strong nation, and the Lord will hasten it in its time.
The Psalmist David, has told us, concerning
the time of the building of this city, in his 102nd Psalm, from the 13th, to the 22nd verse. "Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion, for the time to favour her, yea, the set time is come; For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. This shall be written for the generation to come, and the people which shall be created, shall praise the Lord, for he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary, from heaven did the Lord behold the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoners to loose those that are appointed to death, to declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem. When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord."
From this scripture we learn, First, that there is a set time to build up Zion, or the city of which Isaiah speaks; namely just before the second coming of Christ, and that when this city is built the Lord will appear in his glory, and not before; So from this we affirm, that, if such a city is never built, then the Lord will never come. Second, we learn that the people and kingdoms are to be gathered together, to serve the Lord both in Zion, and Jerusalem, and Third, that this Psalm was written expressly for the generation to come, and the people which
shall be created shall praise the Lord, (when they read it and see it fulfilled.)
I will now call the attention of the reader, to a part of the 6th Chap of the Record of Ether, contained in the Book of Mormon, page 597, second Edition. For Ether truly told them of all things, from the beginning of man, and how that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land (America) it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him which dwell upon the face thereof; and that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord. Behold Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land; and he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come, after it should be destroyed, it should be built up again a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore it could not be a new Jerusalem for it had been in a time of old; but it should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord. and it should be built unto the house of Israel; and that a new Jerusalem should be built upon this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for which things there has been a type; for as Joseph brought his father down into the land of Egypt, even so he died there; wherefore the Lord brought a remnant of the seed of Joseph out of the land of Jerusalem, that he might be merciful unto the
seed of Joseph, that they should perish not, even as he was merciful unto the father of Joseph, that he should perish not; wherefore, the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come, when the earth shall pass away. And there shall be a new heaven and a new earth; and they shall be like unto the old, save the old have passed away, and all things have become new. And then cometh the New Jerusalem; and blessed are they who dwell therein, for it is they whose garments are white through the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who are numbered among the remnant of the seed of Joseph, who were of the house of Israel. And then also cometh the Jerusalem of old: and the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they, for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who were scattered and gathered in from the four quarters of the earth, and from the north countries, and are partakers of the fulfilling of the covenant which God made with their father Abraham. And when these things come, bringeth to pass the scripture which saith, there are they who were first, who shall be last; and there are they who were last, who shall be first.
From this prophecy we learn, First, that America is a chosen land of the Lord, above every other land; Second, that it is the place
of the New Jerusalem, which shall come down from God out of heaven, upon the earth when it is renewed: Third, that a New Jerusalem, is to be built in America, to the remnant of Joseph (The Indians) like unto or after a similar pattern, to the old Jerusalem in the land of Canaan; and that the old Jerusalem shall be rebuilt at the same time; and, this being done, both cities will continue in prosperity on the earth, until the great and last change when the heavens and the earth are to be renewed: Fourth, we learn that when this change takes place, the two cities are caught up into heaven, and being changed and made new. The one comes down upon the American land, and the other to its own place as formerly; and Fifth, we learn that the inhabitants of these two cities are the same that gathered together and first builded them. The remnant of Joseph and those gathered with them, inherit the New Jerusalem. And the tribes of Israel, gathered from the north countries, and from the four quarters of the earth, inhabit the other; and thus all things being made new, we find those who were once strangers and pilgrims on the earth, in possession of that better country, and that city, for which they sought.
We will now turn to John's Revelation, and examine the city after it is made new; and see if it is any thing like the pattern which it exhibited previous to its final change. Rev. xxi, Chap. "And I saw a new heaven, and the first earth,
were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, it is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven
from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east, three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west, three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl; and the street of
the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." Also, 22d chapter he says. "And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever. And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and
true. And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. From this beautiful description we learn First, that the new earth is not to be separated by any sea, consequently, what is now called the eastern and western continents, will then be on one land. Secondly, we learn that the Lord makes not only the heavens and earth, but, all things new, (including, of course, the cities of Jerusalem, and Zion, where his Tabernacle had been for more than a thousand years). Thirdly, we learn that the city will lie four square, and have twelve gates, with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; inserted, one on each gate; three gates on the north; three on the south; three on the east; and three on the west; precisely after the same manner, as it existed temporarily, during the thousand years, as described by Ezekiel. Fourth, we learn that it will be composed of precious stones, and gold, as the temporal city also was; as described by Isaiah. Fifth, a pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, flows through this renewed city; proceeding from the throne of God; just as living waters flowed from the temporal city, from the sanctuary, as described by Ezekiel. Sixth, the tree of life, stood on either side of the river; even the tree which had once borne twelve manner of fruits, and had yielded its fruit every month while its leaves were for the healing of the nations. But now, when John
sees it the nations have no need of healing, for there is no death; neither pain, nor sorrow, for the former things have passed away, and all things are become new; consequently, he speaks in the past tense, and says, they were for the healing of the nations; of course, referring back to the time when they existed temporally, according to Ezekiel; before their final change.
Now, of the things which we have spoken this is the sum, that Ezekiel, and the other Prophets, have presented us with the view of the cities of Zion and Jerusalem, as they will exist during the one thousand years of rest, called the Millenium; and John has given us a view of the same cities, after their final change; when they come down from God out of Heaven, and rest upon the new earth. But Ether, has given us a sketch of them, as they are to exist, both in their temporal, and in their eternal state; and he has told us plainly, concerning their location, first and last; namely, the New Jerusalem, in America; inhabited by the remnant of Joseph, and those gathered with them, who have washed their robes, and made them white, in the blood of the Lamb; and the other Jerusalem, in its former place, inhabited by the house of Israel; gathered from the north countries, and from all countries, where they were scattered, having washed their robes, and made them white, in the blood of the Lamb. And here is the end of the matter; and I would only add, that the government of the United States, has been engaged, for upwards of seven years, in gathering
the remnant of Joseph, (the Indians) to the very place, where they will finally build a New Jerusalem, a city of Zion, with the assistance of the Gentiles, who will gather with them from all the nations of the earth; and this gathering is clearly predicted in the Book of Mormon, and other revelations, and the place before appointed, and the time set for its fulfillment;. and except the Gentiles repent of all their abominations, and embrace the same covenant, and come into the same place of gathering, they will soon be utterly destroyed, from off the face of this land; as it is written by Isaiah, "the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee, shall perish. Yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted." And as it is written by the Prophet Nephi, in the latter part of the 9th, and the fore part of the 10th chapters, of his Record, commencing page 526, of the Book of Mormon, second edition; "And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place, that I shall gather in from their long dispersion my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion; And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign; for verily I say unto you that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost, which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles, that they may know concerning this people, which are a remnant
of the house of Jacob; and concerning this my people, who shall be scattered by them; verily, verily, I say unto you; when these things shall be made known unto them of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, from them unto you; for it is wisdom in the Father, that they should be established in this land; and be set up as a free people, by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them, unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled, which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel. Therefore when these works, and the works, which shall be wrought among you hereafter, shall come forth from the Gentiles unto your seed, which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity: for thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles for this cause, that the Gentiles if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israel; and when these things come to pass, that thy seed shall begin to know these things, it shall be a sign unto them, that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfiling of the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel. And when that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths;
for that which had not been told them shall they see, and that which they had not heard shall they consider. For in that day, for my sake, shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them which will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them. But behold the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will shew unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the Devil. Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words which am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles (it shall be done even as Moses said,) they shall be cut off from among my people which are of the covenant; and my people who are a remnant of Jacob, shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them, as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces and none can deliver. Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off. Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles, except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots, and I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all
thy strong holds; and I will cut off witchcrafts out of thy land, and thou shalt have no more soothsayings; thy graven images I will also cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the works of thy hands; and I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities. And it shall come to pass, that all lyings and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away. For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day, whosoever will not repent and come unto my beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel; and I will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. Chapter x., -- But, if they will repent, and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant, and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance, and they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob; and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city which shall be called the New Jerusalem; and then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, which are scattered upon all the face of the land unto the New Jerusalem. And then shall the power of Heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst; and then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when
this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people; yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem. Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name; yea, and then shall the work commence with the Father, among all nations in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance. And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight: for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward."
O, ye Red Men of the forest; your secret is revealed, ye who are despised, smitten, scattered, and driven by the Gentiles, from place to place, until you are left few in number. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted; lift up your heads and rejoice, for your redemption draweth nigh: yea, we have found your Record; the Oracles of God once committed to your Forefathers; which have been hidden from you for a long time, because of unbelief. -- Behold! they are about to be restored to you again: then shall you rejoice; for you shall know that it is a blessing from the hand of God; and the scales of darkness, shall begin to fall from your eyes, and the Gentiles shall not again
have power over you; but you shall be gathered by them, and be built up, and again become a delightsome people, and the time has come; yea, the work has already commenced; for we have seen you gathered together, from all parts of our land, unto the place which God has appointed for the Gentiles to gather you; therefore lay down your weapons of war, cease to oppose the Gentiles, in the gathering of your various tribes -- for the hand of your Great God is in all this; and it was all foretold by your Forefathers, ten thousand moons ago. -- Therefore suffer them peacefully to fulfill this last act of kindness, as a kind reward, for the injuries you have received from them, for the very places of their dwellings will become desolate; except such of them as are gathered and numbered with you; and you will exist in peace, upon the face of this land, from generation to generation. And your children will only know, that the Gentiles once conquered this country, and became a great nation here, as they read it in history; as a thing long since passed away, and the rembrance of it almost gone from the earth. It is with mingled feelings of Joy and sorrow that I reflect upon these things, sorrow, when I think how you have been smitten; joy when I reflect upon the happy change that now awaits you; and sorrow again, when I turn my thoughts to the awful destruction that awaits the Gentiles, except they repent. But the eternal purposes of Jehovah must roll on, untill all his promises are fulfilled, and none
can hinder: therefore, O God, thy will be done. But while I still linger upon this subject, with feelings which are easier felt than described, methinks, I can almost hear the Indian's mournful chant resounding through his native woods, it whispers thus:
O'er the wide fields, he once could call his own;
Where oft in youth he sported in the chase,
Mourning the changes he scarcely knows the place.
With bursting heart his streaming eyes survey,
The sacred mound where lies his Father's clay:
Overwhelmed with grief to heaven he lifts his eyes,
Before the throne his prayers like incense rise.
"Great Spirit of our Fathers lend an ear;
Pity the red man, to his cries give ear;
Long hast thou scourged him with thy chastening sore;
When will thy vengeance cease, thy wrath be o'er?
When will the white man's dire ambition cease,
And let our scattered remnants dwell in peace?
Or shall we (driven to the western shore)
Become extinct, and fall to rise no more?
Forbid, great Spirit; make thy mercy known;
Reveal thy truth thy wandering captives own;
Make bare thine arm of power for our release,
And o'er the earth extend the reign of peace."
THE DEALINGS OF GOD WITH ALL NATIONS
IN REGARD TO REVELATION.
"And hath made of one blood all nations of men; to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if happily they might feel after him, and find him; though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being;" Acts xvii. 26, 27, 28. In this text we learn first, that all nations are made of one blood; secondly, they are designed to dwell on all the face of the earth, (America not excepted;) thirdly, that the Lord has determined the bounds of their habitation, that is, he has divided the earth among his children, giving each nation that portion which seemed him good, for instance, the land of Canaan, to Israel; Mount Seir, to Esau; Arabia to Ishmael; America, to the remnant of Joseph, &c. like a father, parcels off a large tract of land to his several children; and fourthly, he has granted unto all the nations of the earth the privilege of feeling after him and finding him; he, not being very far from every one of them; whether they were in Asia, Africa, Europe, or America; or even upon the islands of the sea. Now, we will suppose a case; what if any nation,
in any age of the world, or in any part of the earth should happen to live up to their privileges; and one of their privileges is to feel after him, and find him, and if they should find him; what would they obtain? I answer, Revelation, for the best of reasons, because no people ever found God in any other way, nor never will; therefore if they found God, they found him by revelation direct from himself; revealing his will to them; and if they did not find him in this way, they never knew him; and if they did obtain revelation it was their privilege to write it; and make a record of the same, and teach it to their children; and this record would be sacred; because it would contain the word of God; and thus it would be a HOLY BIBLE; no matter whether it was written by the Jews, the ten Tribes, the Nephites, or the Gentiles; I would just as soon have the gospel written by Nephi, Mormon, Moroni, or Alma; as to have the gospel written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Again, I would just as soon believe a revelation given in America; as believe a revelation given in Asia; for if ever a nation failed to get a revelation; it was because they did not attain unto that which was their privilege. But. why then was any nation ever left in darkness, from age to age, without the light of Revelation to guide them? I answer, because their forefathers in some age of the world, rejected Revelation, cast out and killed the prophets, and turned a deaf ear to the things of God, until God took away that which they
enjoyed, and committed it to some other people, and left them from generation to generation to grow up in ignorance, until he should see fit again to send his light and truth to that nation; but those who reject no light; are under no condemnation; and the mercy of God hath claim upon them, through the blood of Christ, which atoneth for the sins of the world; the heathen who never had the light of Revelation, will be saved, by the blood of Christ; while their forefathers, who rejected the light are condemned; for this is their condemnation, that when light came they reject it.
Now on this subject, let us examine the history of various ages. In the morn of creation, men had light by direct revelation, for Adam, Cain, and Able, talked with the Lord. In the next age, men had light by revelation for Enoch, walked with the Lord, and not only saw the first coming of Christ, but his second coming also; and he exclaimed, behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to take vengeance on the ungodly, &c.; as it is written in Jude, from which it appears that Enoch knew and prophesied, concerning the Messiah, with all the plainness of an apostle. Again, in Noah's day, there was positive revelation, and all these were Gentiles, or rather, the word Israel had not yet been named upon Jacob, by the angel. Now, if it was the privilege of so many Gentiles to get the word of the Lord, and to have the knowledge of the true God by revelation, therefore, it was the privilege of all the rest; and if
any run into the darkness and worshiped idols, untill God gave them over to work all uncleanness, with greediness, and finally took the oracles of God from them, and confined them more particularly to Abraham, it was because they had for a long time rejected them, and rendered themselves unworthy of them; so that from the days of Israel the Oracles of God seemed to pertain, more particularly to the chosen seed; chosen for that very purpose, namely, that to them might be committed the Oracles of God, the priesthood, the service of God, and the promises, which had been in existence from the beginning among, the Gentiles, who had long rendered themselves unworthy of such blessings. But in process of time, Israel had rendered themselves unworthy of a continuation of such blessings, by stoning and killing the prophets, and rejecting the Messiah, and all those, that God sent unto them, until at length, the Lord took the kingdom from them, as a nation, and gave it again to the Gentiles, in the mean time, winking at all the ignorance, through which the Gentiles had passed, from the time the kingdom had been taken from them, until restored again. But as soon as the kingdom of God was restored again to the Gentiles, he commanded them all every where to repent, and then if they did not do it, they were under condemnation, but not before; but no sooner is the kingdom taken from the Jews, than the fruits of it disappear from among them, and they were dispersed into all the nations of the earth, where they have
never again heard the voice of inspiration, commanding them to repent, and if any Gentile has commanded them to repent and be baptised, (in the name of the Lord), without being inspired and commanded to do it; it was an imposition practiced upon the; not that repentance was any harm, but the imposition consisted in professing to be sent with a message, when they were not; for when God commands men to repent, he sends some body with the command; in order, that they may teach it, to those for whom he designs it; and when he does not command them to do a thing, he does not require it at their hand. and any man who says that the Jews, as a nation, have been commanded to repent and be baptized, for the last seventeen hundred years; says that which he cannot prove; unless he can prove, that there has been a new revelation, within that time, commissioning some man, to go to them with such an errand; neither will any generation of Jews, which have existed since inspiration ceased, be condemned, for rejecting any message from God; for he has sent no message to them; consequently they have rejected none; but their forefathers who did reject the things of God, are under condemnation. Again, when men were sent with the gospel to the Gentiles then they were commanded to repent; and this command was in force, whenever men came preaching, who were sent by proper authority and inspired by the Holy Ghost; but when they had killed the apostles, and inspired men; and
abused their privileges, untill God took them away, and left them without inspiration; then the sin was answered upon that generation; and those who have since come upon the stage of action, have never been commanded to repent and be baptized; (except by some new revelation,) and any man, who says that God has commanded a Gentile, to repent and obey the gospel since the days that inspiration ceased; or since the days that apostles, and prophets, ceased from among men; says, that which he will not be able to prove; unless he proves that some revelation has been given, since that time again commissioning men to go to the Gentiles with such an errand. The fact is, God requires nothing more of a generation, than to do those things which he commands them, a generation to whom he reveals nothing; or to whom he does not send men, with a message from him; have no message to obey, and none to reject; and consequently nothing is binding on them; except the moral principles of right, and wrong, which are equally binding on all ages of the world; according to the knowledge people have of moral rectitude; but in these last days, God has again spoken from the heavens, and commissioned men to go, first, to the Gentiles; commanding them every where to repent, and obey the gospel; and then he has commanded them to go to the Jews, also, and command them to repent, and obey the gospel; thus restoring again, that which has been so long lost from the earth; and whenever their voices shall be heard,
issuing this proclamation in the name of Jesus; according as he has commanded them; then and there the people are under obligation to repent, and be baptized, and he that repents, and is baptized shall be saved; and he that does not believe their testimony; and repent, and be baptized; shall be damned; for this plain reason, because God has sent them, by revelation with this very errand, to this very generation; and he that rejects the least of God's [a]mbassadors, rejects him that sent him; and therefore they are under condemnation, from that time forth; but the message which God has sent these men with, is binding only on the generation, to whom it is sent; and is not binding at all upon those who are dead and gone before it came. Neither is it binding on any generation, which shall come after, unless God should raise up men and send unto them, with the same gospel, and then that generation, to whom he sends them will be saved, or damned, according as they receive or reject, their testimony not ours. People frequently ask this question, saying, if God has sent you with certain truths which are binding on the people, and without which they cannot be saved; what will become of the good people who have died before the message came. I answer, if they obeyed the message which God sent to their own generation, they will be saved; if not, they will be damned. But, if God sent no message to that generation; then they rejected none. And consequently are under no condemnation; and they
will rise up in judgment against this generation, and condemn it, for had they received the same blessings; which are now offered to us; they would no doubt have received them gladly. The principle of condemnation in all ages of the world, is no other than rejecting the very message which God sends to them; while they pretend to cleave closely, to that which he has sent in former ages. "Wo, unto you, scribes, and pharisees, hypocrites, you garnish the sepulchres of the prophets, and say, if we had lived in the days of our fathers; we would not have stoned and killed the prophets as they did. But, ye yourselves are witness, that you allow the deeds of your fathers; for they killed the prophets, and you build their sepulchres." This was the testimony of the Saviour to the Jews, who were pretending to stand stiffly, to their former prophets; and at the same time rejecting Jesus, and his apostles. And so it is now in the nineteenth century. You christians, (so called) garnish the tomb of the Messiah, and his former apostles, and even build fine chapels to their memory, entitling them Saint Paul's Church, Saint Peter's Chapel, Saint John's Church, &c.; and you say if we had lived in the days of the apostles; we would not have stoned and killed them. But ye yourselves are witness, that ye allow the deeds of your fathers, for they killed the apostles; and you build Chapels in honour of them; while at the same time, let a prophet, or an apostle, comes among you; and you will forthwith shut your houses against him; as soon
as he testifies of what God has sent him to testify; for you say there is to be no more prophets, or apostles, on the earth, and you forthwith pronounce him a false prophet; and if a mob rises, and kill him, or burns his house, or destroys his goods; you will either rejoice, or sit in silence, and give countenance to the deed; and perhaps cry, false prophets; while your presses, and pulpits, teem with all manner of lies concerning him. Wo unto you priests, pharisees, hypocrites; but fill ye up the measure of your fathers; for as they did, so do ye. But vengeance belongs to God who will speedily avenge his elect, who cry unto him day and night. But to return to the subject of Revelation, "There is nothing secret that shall not be revealed; neither hid that shall not be known;" this was a maxim of the Saviour, and again, "The knowledge of the Lord is to cover the earth, as the waters do the sea," was a saying of the prophet. Now, I ask how this great overturn is to be brought about; and I know no better way to answer this question, than to quote the prophesy of Nephi, Book of Mormon, page 124, second edition; "For I command all men, both in the east, and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written, I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written. For behold I shall speak unto the Nephites, and they shall write it; and
I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth, and they shall write it. And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews. And it shall come to pass that my people which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and my word shall be gathered in one. And I will shew unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever."
THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE DOCTRINE
OF CHRIST, AND THE FALSE DOCTRINES OF
THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.
"Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God; He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, hath both the Father and the Son." -- 2 John, 9 verse.
And it came to pass when Jesus had ended all these sayings the people were astonished at his doctrine, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
And it comes to pass when we have read this book to the end we are astonished at its doctrine, for it speaks with the authority of truth, and not as the opinions of men.
Pratt's 1837 book did not bear on its title page any official imprint of the LDS Church. Nevertheless, it well represents the Church's doctrine (as preached in public, at least) for the 1836-1838 period. Later editions included corrections, additions, and deletions of various kinds. Some of these were merely cosmetic changes, while others reflected corrective input originating from top Church leaders like Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith, Jr., and Parley P. Pratt himself.
The very fact that a doctrinal book such as this was approved by the Church leadership in 1837 marked a change from earlier Mormon assumptions of an imminent pre-millennial onslaught of war and destruction. With the Church's failure to build its prophesied "New Jerusalem" in Jackson County, Missouri after 1833, the Saints' expectations of impending religious conflicts and natural disatsters were relegated to an unspecified future and methodical missionary efforts in the eastern USA began in earnest -- thus the need arose for printed doctrinal works like Pratt's book.
In the first edition of A Voice of Warning the original Mormon claims for a coming pre-millennial great tribulation were retained, but the call for an immediate gathering of converts to the "city of refuge" located "on the borders of the Lamanites" was, of course, eliminated. The original Mormon call for a great proselytizing mission among the trans-Missourian American Indians was also muted. Although Pratt devotes a few paragraphs to a supposed Indian readership, his book is intended for a "Gentile" Christian audience, primarily the Protestants of the eastern USA. His book seeks to demonstrate how Mormonism differs from the mainstream Christian teachings and practices of his day. In this respect, A Voice of Warning stands as a bridge between the original Mormon message preached in 1829-1833 and the later doctrinal developments of the Far West and Nauvoo periods in LDS history.
Prior to the publication of Pratt's work in 1837, only the Church-printed newspapers, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine & Covenants were available to readers investigating the new religious movement. Pratt's message closely conforms to the LDS "party line" as standardized in articles written by Sidney Rigdon for the pre-1838 Church newspapers. These, in turn, expand upon the tenets provided in the 1835 Doctrine & Covenants. As Pratt was a student and disciple of Rigdon, this close correspondence in their writings comes as no surprise. It is likely that Rigdon reviewed and approved the pre-publication text for A Voice of Warning.
Major Textual Changes in Later AdditionsPratt's book was first reprinted in 1839. By that time Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris were all apostates from the Church. Unfavorable pronouncements regarding these three "witnesses" were printed in the third and fourth issues of the Church's Elder's Journal at Far West in 1838. Reprinting Pratt's 1837 glowing approbation of these three men would have been highly impolitic; so the passage on page 136 saying they were "men of unimpeachable character, and their truth and veracity on other subjects, never has been called in question" was stricken from the Mormon record. In subsequent printings many other important and interesting changes were made to the text, but none so disingenuous as this one.
Two lengthy insertions were incorporated into Chapter IV ("The Book of Mormon -- Origin of the American Indians, &c.") of Pratt's book in the early 1840s. The Church's need to reinforce and expand Pratt's original 1837 argument in support of the book may be discerned from reading the beginning of the first of these additions yo Chapter IV: "... America and England have... been flooded with publications against" the Book of Mormon "...By some of these it has been represented as a romance..." The reference Pratt makes here is primarily to anti-Mormon religious pamphlets and tracts printed from early 1838 onward, in which the writers gave public support to the Book of Mormon authorship claims made in Eber D. Howe's 1834 Mormonism Unvailed and in Matilda Spalding Davison's 1839 Boston Recorder statement. Pratt first tackled these claims (asserting that the Rev. Solomon Spalding (1761-1816) wrote parts of the Mormon holy writ) in his 1838 Mormonism Unveiled. Given these new challenges to the Mormon scriptures from their hostile critics, it is no wonder that Pratt says: "In the midst of all these jarring statements it now becomes our duty to show, as far as possible, what the Book of Mormon really is."
In his introduction to the second of these additions to Chapter IV, Pratt says he will "introduce much circumstantial evidence, from American antiquities... etc." and follows with quotations from the writings of Elias Boudinot, Josiah Priest, and other sources. Notably absent from his citations is any mention of Ethan Smith and his then well-known A View of the Hebrews.
These later additions to Pratt's book are reproduced in whole below. They are taken from the 1846 edition.
Textual Addition #1:
Inserted into the text in Chapter IV, just after this passage on page 123 of the original 1837 edition: "...that our faith should not stand in the power of God, but in the wisdom of man" and replacing the text therein up to this passage on page 129: Well, now, says the objector... (This insertion may be seen on pages 65-72 in the 1846 edition.)
In the midst of the noise and clamor and prejudice of an opposing world, it is difficult to get the people to understand the facts of the case in relation to one of the most important subjects ever presented to the consideration of mankind.
Textual Addition #2:
Inserted into the text in Chapter IV, just after this passage on page 139 of the original 1837 edition: "...prune his vineyard for the last time, with a mighty pruning." and replacing the text therein up to the end of the chapter on that same page (This insertion may be seen on pages 78-87 in the 1846 edition.)
We shall now introduce much circumstantial evidence, from American antiquities and from the traditions of the natives, etc.: