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though perhaps under different cir- , seriously ask now, what are the meancumstances, of the same power of in- ing and the motive of this crusade tuition. Admit now the views of against creeds ? Our view of a creed these · Representative Men,' and what is, a religious theory or system, of is the result ?-an absolute in faith principles, and that even where suband morals, which the mind needs and scription is required, no more is inlongs for, has no existence; and each tended than that the individual should man must go 'sounding on his dim declare his belief in, and attachment and perilous way' without a chart, to the sentiments contained in the guiding star, or compass to direct form of words he subscribes. It may him to the haven on whose quiet be here replied, that subscription is waters his storm-tossed spirit may essentially opposed to the progress rest. O spirit of the age, if this be of mind. But is not a creed unwritthy tendency and teaching, we re. ten equally opposed to intellectual nounce thy guidance and guardianship, progression ? We do not insist on and cling to an inspired Bible as and call for subscription; but we * pointing out a more excellent way.' do not see why an honest mind
Once more; considering the views should refuse to subscribe a formula now rising into prominence and popu- of doctrine that constitutes the basis larity, as to the record which God of the moral or religious organization bath given us of his Son,' views which to which he belongs. Every follower lower the standard of belief and con- of Christ has a creed, and why any duct, to the rank of mere human com- one should refuse to declare it we canpositions, and deny its pretensions to not divine; unless he is not sincerely the certitude which inspiration im- attached to the principles which form parts; we are not surprised that Lati- the basis of union. But perhaps we tudinarianism is a feature of the shall be told that the objection is present time. This is a sequence levelled at the non-essential articles to natural to the opinions cherished as which consent is required. Is it so ? to the Word of God. If men deny Are those who denounce creeds the the supremacy of its claims, as the men who ardently love the cardinal only safe teacher of man in things principles of the Gospel ? Are they affecting his eternal happiness; if with not rather those who look on moral blasphemous self-complacency they licentiousness with a smile of complacan speak of Christ in the same apcency, and desire the word 'christian' proving style, as they do of Plato, to be applied to the widest and most Zoroaster, Confucius, and Luther; if opposite principles? If they demand they are devoted to hero worship,' it, we are ready to concede that Scripand maintain the dogma, that earnest- tural truth is subjectively progressive; ness is the best criterion of truth; then but affirm, that progression will not with amiable consistency they will on earth surpass the views entertained proclaim the indifferency of all moral by the Protestant church on the fun. convictions. And this is the directiondamental doctrines of the gospel. in which, alas, popular faith is flowing, These we call our creed, and cannot as but a partial glance at recently pro- discover ourselves to be unphilosophic pounded views on this subject will in making the confession, and are not prove. It seems to have become ob- able to see the force of the objection or livious to the minds of many, that the relevancy of the contempt now there is, or ever was an eternal dis- poured on hard creeds and confes. tinction between truth and error. sions. In connection with this, we Accordingly we find that it has grown must notice the views obtaining on into a custom to pour scalding scorn the constitution of the church of Jesus on confessions and on creeds. We Christ. We do not now allude to the immodest and unscriptural pretensions , tiousness is all that we ought to reof that community of christians that is quire as the basis and the bond of governed by a hierarchy and per religious fellowship. Before, how. meated and inspired by a spirit of ex-ever, we can grant anything on this clusiveness, which we believe to be ground, we must take leave to proone of the causes that is working its | pose a prior question, and it is this, overthrow; but to the not less im. What means have been used to armodest and unscriptural tenet that rive at the conscientiousness thus prothe church should nestle and nurture fessed ?' Is it a conscientiousness inin its bosom men who hold scarcely dependent of Biblical teaching, or in any views in common, but the absurd harmony with it? Man is responsione that each member may believe ble only for voluntary error. Has he what he pleases. We, in common who claims my christian sympathy with multitudes more have been dull on the ground of his conscientiousenough to think, that the church of ness sought to free his mind from Jesus Christ should be composed only every moral principle but those which of those who believe and practise all the Scriptures enjoin or sanction? religious truth. But we have been Has he substituted human fancies for recently taught and that oracularly divine instruction ? If, either through too, that there should be a church indolence, or pride, or presumption, for the doubters. This class may of he has neglected these, his plea is as course include all the ranks of that worthless as that of the denier of numerous army, pourtrayed by the revelation, and he is to be pitied famous old tinker allegorist as having rather than caressed. We would attacked the town of Mansoul. There warn the unwary against being thus may and will be Election Doubters, beguiled; for we hold it as an honest Experience Doubters, Grace Doubters, conviction that the cry of conscienSalvation Doubters, and Glory Doubt. tiousness in many mouths is only an ers,' and we add, why not Christ apology for latitudinarianism. We Doubters, and Bible Doubters also have often found that those who What an anomalous church would plead for license to believe what they this be, for it would be founded on please, allow the least freedom to the convenient principle that a man those who greatly differ from them. may have as small a faith as he | They are not content with an ample pleases or no faith at all. And yet latitude of opinion, but are the first the formation of such a church has to charge others with bigotry and un. been gravely recommended, by one charitableness. They seem to forget who aspires to be considered as the that a man of a positive faith, may voice crying in the wilderness to pre- be as sincere as a man of a negative pare the way of the spirit of the age. one; and hence it comes to pass, that We need scarcely remind the man though they cry out most for charity who clings to his Bible, that such a they have the least share of this vir. church would not be that which Jesus tue themselves. The demand to sink purchased with his own blood, nor differences is but another manifestation that the principle which pleads for it of the spirit of intolerance, and the is thoroughly antagonistic to the contempt in which such men hold genius of scriptural piety. As har- sects,' is a clear indication of a prinmonizing with the sentiments just ciple of double-distilled illiberality. mentioned, we regard the common We can sink no differences that are use made of the word conscience, founded on convictions, and the reand the influence drawn from it as an quest to merge opinions, is at best argument. The principle in this age but a request to be dishonest to our frequently propounded, that conscien- | principles. Yet to this goal the ten
dency of the present time is leading ; | lation thereto. To the church it be. and if in one line we were asked to longs to stem the tide of unbelief indicate the spirit of the age,' we which threatens to submerge her : would say that it aimed on the mo- and to her God is assuredly saying, mentous question of man's eternal • Awake, awake, put on thy strength, weal or woe, to substitute human O Zion : put on thy beautiful gar. opinions for biblical instruction, or in ments, O Jerusalem.' She need not the words of the crucified One, 'to fear who in former times 'cut Rahab teach for doctrines the commandments in pieces and wounded the dragon.' of men.'
She can bear the taunt that she is With these decided convictions, and behind the age : she marches shoulder they have not been hastily adopted, to shoulder with truth, and keeps in we have ventured to express ourselves the footsteps of Christ. She must on the subject before us. We look exorcise this evil spirit,' for to her with trembling anxiety, though not it doth appertain. She must say over without hope, on the progress and it the name of Jesus, and use no other issue of present events. The fate of incantations than those drawn from christianity and of man are deeply in the cross. May he who by the spirit volved in the question we have at- of a former age was crucified and tempted to discuss; and it behoves slain, give to his servants the wisdom, every christian to contemplate long power, and grace requisite to such an and seriously the condition of society, onerous and momentous task. that he may discover his duty in re- |
"TRUST IN GOD AT ALL TIMES.'
Trust him when thy skies are lowering,
When no star of hope shall rise,When the floods of grief are pouring
O'er thy soul, then lift thine eyes; See the bow of promise glisten
In the distance--far away; Hearken! to thy Saviour listen,'
Strength is equal to thy day.' Worldly hopes may flee before thee,
Worldly prospects all may fail,
His kind promise will prevail ;
Every comfort flee away,
May be lit with heaven's own ray!
With the spirit of his love ?
By the presence of the Dove?
All our sunshine turn to night,
Beaming with eternal light.
Trust ye, then, in God's own promise,
Trust him in life's darkest hour,-
Trust in his almighty power;
Here's a solace for thy grief,
Through the pilgrimage of life.'
Brighter stars, as high ye rise ;
Whispering sweetly from the skies;
Through the valley, dark and gloom, "I am with thee, I am with thee,'
Shedding radiance o'er the tomb.
Listen! hear them softly singing,
When the last cold waves shall roll;
To revive thy fainting soul;
To convey thee to the skies;
The bright gates of Paradise !
LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC SELECTIONS.
THE BOOK OF MORMON; OR, GOLDEN BIBLE.
By Rev. Isaac Robinson, Stoddard, U. S. Tue Mormons claim a Divine Origin | Records, which had been handed down for this book, and esalt it above our by our fathers, which were sacred, to fall Bible, as they hold that not only the into the hands of the Lamanites, (for original, but also the translation was by the Lamanites would destroy them) Divine Inspiration. All this is implied therefore I made this record out of the in the title of this singular production. plates of Nephi, and hid up in the Hill • The book of Mormon. An account Cumorah all the records which had been written by the hand of Mormon upon entrusted to me by the hand of the Lord, plates taken from the plates of Nepbi. save it were these few plates which I Wherefore it is an abridgment of the gave unto my son Moropi.' (Golden Record of the people of Nephi, and also Bible, 3rd edition, p. 514.) of the Lamanites, who are à remnant of This Hill Curmoral, which it is said the house of Israel, and also to Jew and was in a land of many waters, rivers Gentile; written by way of command and fountains,' the Mormons allege was ment, and also by THE SPIRIT OF in the town of Palmyra, N. Y. In this PROPHECY, AND REVELATION. Written deposit the plates remained till the year and sealed up and hidden unto the 1826, when Joseph Smith pretended they Lord, that they might not be destroyed, were discovered to him by an angel of to come forth by the gift and power of the Lord. These plates are said to have God unto the interpretation thereof sealed been engraved with Egyptian Hieroby the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto glyphics, which Smith was inspired to the Lord to come forth by way of understand, and translate. GENTILE, the interpretation thereof BY · Now the first question wbich naturally THE GIFT OF GOD.'
arises here, is what proof have we of the The book of Mormon then, purports existence of these plates ? Or if without to be the history of a people descended proof we should admit their existence, from one Lehi, of the tribe of Joseph, what evidence bave we that they have who dwelt in Jerusalem in the beginning been correctly translated ? Have they of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, ever been submitted to the inspection or and who was commanded by the Lord in examination of any one who understood a dream to take his family, consisting of Egyptian Hieroglyphics? Or have they his wife and four sons, Laman, Lemuel, ever been seen by a single individual, Sam, and Nepbi, and retire into the wil whose testimony is worthy of the least derness toward the Red Sea, which be credit? Neither of these can with truth accordingly did ; and at length by divine be affirmed. And yet the strongest evi. direction crossed the ocean to a land dence is requisite to justify us in bewbich be called . The land of promise, a lieving a story so extraordinary, and land which is choice above all other which in its essential features bears so lands and which should as yet be kept near a resemblance to the imposture of from the the knowledge of all other Mahomet. He affirmed that ihe Koran nations.'
was written in heaven, and brought to The Records of this people and es- him by the angel Gabriel. But of this pecially of the Nephites containing pro. | he did not pretend to give any other phecies and revelations from God, were proof than his own assertion, and the engraven on plates till the year of our excellence of the Koran, which he Lord four hundred; when behold 1, alleged was super-buman and clearly Mormon, began to be old, and knowing evinced its divine criginal. And have it to be the last struggle of my people, we any more reason to believe Smith's and having been commanded of the story of the origin of the Book of Lord that I should not suffer the Mormon ? Was bis character for vera. city any better than that of Mahomet ? | the commandments of God we bear tes. This cannot be pretended, without set timony of these things. And we know ting aside the most ample testimony. that if we are faithful to Christ we shall Or does the book of Mormon contain rid our garments of the blood of all, and any more internal evidence of Divine shall be found spotless before the judg. authenticity than the Koran? If we ment seat of Christ, and dwell with him except those parts of it that are taken eternally in the heavens; and the glory verbatim from the Bible, it unquestiona be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy bly displays less ability, and carries with Ghost, which is one God. Amen. it more convincing marks of being a OLIVER COWDERY, DAVID WHITMER, mere fabrication than the Koran. But | MARTIN HARRIS. it will no doubt be said, that Smith did | As these witnesses were chosen from not require us to believe the alleged the beginning to testify by the power origin of the Book of Mormon upon of God, and as they were to be the only his own testimony, but has given witnesses of the existence of the plates us the testimony of witnesses chosen and of their being translated by the from the beginning. Let us examine gift and power of God,' so it might be their testimony. From the book of reasonably expected that they would Mormon (p. 109) we learn that three sustain an unblemished moral characwitnesses were chosen from the begin. ter, and would persevere to the end in ning, and predicted more than two bearing this testimony. But it is a well thousand years before they appeared on known fact, that they have all renounced the stage; and that they were to be the Mormonism, and their character, if we only witnesses of the existence of the may credit the testimony of Mormons, plates. For Nephi, who with his father as well as others, is a compound of every Lehi left Jerusalem in the reign of thing base and vile. Of the two first Zedekiah, thus foretells these witnesses. named witnesses it is said, in a paper • Wherefore at that day, when the book signed by eighty.four Mormons, 'OLIVER shall be delivered unto the man of whom COWDERY, David WHITMER, and Ly. I have spoken, (Smith, who had been man E. Johnson united, with a gang of before described) the book shall be hid counterfeiters, thieves, liars and blackfrom the eyes of the world, that the eyes legs of the deepest dye, to deceive, cheat of none shall behold it, save it be and defraud the saints out of their proTHREE witnesses shall behold it by the perty, by every art and stratagem that power of God, beside him to whom the wickedness could invent, using the in. book shall be delivered, and they shall fluence of the vilest persecutions to testify to the book and the things bring vexatious law suits, villainous therein.' Accordingly they testify,- Be prosecutions, and even stealing not ex. it known unto all nations, kindreds, i cepted. And of the other witness, Martongues and people unto whom this work tin Harris, who was high Priest of the sball come, that we through the grace church, Joe Smith says in his usual of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus style: One thing we have learned, Christ, have seen the plates, which con. that there are negroes who wear white tain this record and we also know that skins, as ihose who wear black ones, they have been translated by the gift and Grappy Parish and a few others who power of God; for his voice hath declared acted as lackies, such as Martin HARit unto us; wherefore we know of a RIS, &c., but they are so far beneath surety that the work is true and we contempt that a notice of them would declare with words of soberness that an be too great sacrifice for a gentleman to angel of God came down from heaven make.' It may be added that there is and he brought and laid before our eyes, on record the testimony of several reand we beheld and saw the plates and spectable men, that Harris was 'a liar the engravings thereon; and we know and a seducer.' Such then is the cba. that it is by the grace of God the Father, racter of these three witnesses, who and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we be pretend that an angel of God came held and bear witness that these things down from heaven, and laid the plates are true. And it is marvellous in our before them, and that the voice of the eyes; nevertheless the voice of the Lord | Lord commanded them to bear witness commanded that we should bear record that the plates had been translated by of it. Wherefore to be obedient unto i the gift and power of God. That the