« PrécédentContinuer »
lieve, were taken from Strolling's store, consisting of a Leghorn bonnot, a casior, screw and hinges, or butts, which I knew belonged to Strolling. I saw a number of articles which had been concealed under ground, consisting of pots, ovens, and skillets; among them a pot belonging to myself.” Ib. page 34.
The above are sufficient to fix the charge of theft against Mormonism as a system. XII.-Mornions charge their leaders with the crimes of theft, lying,
cheating, counterfeiting, slander, and other infamous crimes. Dr. Avard, the Mormon teacher before alluded to, when under ex. amination, produced a document, signed by eighty-four Mormons, in which they charge a number of the leaders directly with theft, and in a manner which leaves no room to doubt the truth of what is stated. The following are extracts. It is addressed “To Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmar, John Whitmar, W. W. Phelps, and Lyman E. Johnson," and dated
"Far West, June, 1838. "After Oliver Cowdery had been taken by a state warrant for stealing, and the stolen property found in the house of William W. Phelps; in which nefarious iransaction John Whitmar had also participated. Oliver Cowdery stole the property, conveyed it to John Whitmar, and John Whitmar to William W. Phelps; and then the officers of law found it. While in the hands of an officer, and under arrest for this vile transaction, and, if possible, to hide your shame from the world, like criminals (which indeed you were) you appealed to our beloved Presidents, Joseph Smith, Jun. and Sidney Rigdon, men whose characters you had endeavored to destroy by every artifice you could invent, not even the basest lying excepted.
"As we design this paper to be published to the world, we will give an epitome of your scandalous conduct and treachery for the last two years. We wish to remind you that Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmar were among the principal of those who were ihe means of gathering us to this place, (Far West,) by their testimony which they gave concerning the plates of the book of Mormon, that they were shown to thein by an angel, which testimony we believe, now, as much as before you had so scandalously disgraced it. The saints in Kittland, having elected Oliver Cowdery io be a Justice of the Peace, he used the power of that office to take their most sacred rights from them, and that contrary to law. He supported a parcel of blacklegs, and diswrbing the worship of the saints. Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmar, and Lyman E. Johnson, united with a gang of counterfeiters, thieves, liars, and blacklegs of the deepest dye, to deceive, cheat, and defraud the saints out of their property, by «very art and stratagem which wickedness could invent; using the influence of the vilest persecutions, to bring vexatious law-suits, villainous prosecutions, and even stealing not excepted.
«During the full career of Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmar's bogus [counterfeit] money business, it got abroad into the world that they were engaged in it, and several gentlemen were preparing to come mence a prosecution against Cowdery; he, finding it out, took with him Lyman E. Johnson, and fled to Far West, with their families, Cowdery stealing property and bringing it with him, which has been, within
a few weeks past, obtained by the owner, by means of a searchwarrant; and he was saved from the penitentiary by the influence of two influential men of the place. He also brought notes with him, upon which he had received pay, and made an attempt to sell them to Mr. Arthur, of Clay county. And Lyman E. Johnson, on his arrival, reported that he had a note for one thousand dollars against a principal man of the church, when it was a palpable falsehood, and he had no such thing; and he did it for the purpose of injuring his character.
"Neither were you content with slandering and vilifying here, but you kept up a continual correspondence with your gang of marauders in Kirtland, encouraging them to go on with their iniquity, which they did to perfection, by swearing falsely to injure the character and property of innocent men-stealing, cheating, lying-instituting vexatious law suits-selling bogus [bad] money and also stones and sand for bogus: in which nefarious business Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmar, and Lyman E. Johnson were engaged while you were there. Since your arrival here you have commenced a general system of that same kind of conduct in this place. You set up a nasty, dirty pettifogger's office, pretending to be judges of the law, when it is a notorious fact that you are profoundly ignorant of it, and of every other thing which is calculated to do mankind good, (of course, then, they were ignorant of the plates' which they said an angel had 'made known' to them,] or if you know it, you take good care never to practise it.
"And in order to bring yourselves into notice, you began to interfere with all the business of the place, trying to destroy the characier of our merchants, and bringing their creditors upon them, and break them up In addition to this, you stirred up men of weak minds to prosecute one another, for the vile purpose of getting a fee for pettifogging from one of them. You have also been threatening continually to enter into a general system of prosecuting, determined, as you said, to pick a flaw in the titles of those who have bought city lots and built upon them-not that you can do any thing but cause vexatious lawsuits.
“And, amongst the most monstrous of all your abominations, we have evidence (which, when called upon, we can produce) that letters sent to the Post-Office in this place have been opened, read, and destroyed, and the persons to whom they were sent never obtained thein; thus ruining the business of the place. We have evidence of a very strong character, that you are at this time engaged with a gang of counterfeiters, coiners, and blacklegs, as some of those characters have lately visited our city from Kirtland, and told what they had come for; and we know, assuredly, that if we suffer you to continue, we may expect, and that speedily, to find a general system of stealing, counterfeiting, cheating, and burning properly, as in Kirtland—for so are your associates carrying on there at this time; and that, encouraged by you, by means of letters you send continually to them; and, io crown the whole, you have had the audacity to threaten us, that, if we offered to disturb you, you weuld get up a mob from Clay and Ray counties. For the insult, if nothing else, and yonr threatening to shoot us if we offered 10 molestyou, we will put you from the county of Caldwell: so help us God.”
• The above was signed by eighty-four Mormons.” Cong. Doc., No 189, p. 6, 7, 8.
Such, then, is the account which Mormons give of one another, and such are the men who profess to have "seen and hefted" the golden plates, and who command us to believe that they are inspired, and empowered to work miracles! And this Oliver Cowdery, here charged with such infamous conduct by his own disciples, is announced in the book of Doctrines and Covenants, (page 77,) as an “apostle," and the rosecond elder' of the Mormon church!!
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
NOTES ON A LATE TOUR-NO. II. While returning from Tennessee, in 1840, I visited the village of Bardstown and its environs, principally on the solicitation of our good brother Carpenter. I intended to have given another article on that tour in the Harbinger of that year; but, by some singular caprice of memory, the matter was pretermitted until it passed out of date. The association of ideas clustering around the name of the Rev. Mr. Rice now reminds me of my neglect to publish some strictures written by brother Carpenter on the conduct of that gentleman towards the brotherhood of Christians in that Ştate, and also of a singular maneuvre in reference to myself. But it is all matter of record in heaven, and it is now too late to revive the recollections of the sufferings of our breth ren there, or to dilate upon his valorous address to me after I had left his town and arrived at Bloomfield.
Romanism was too strong for Presbyterianisw at Bardstown, especially when assailed by that gentleman. The hands of Romanists are always strengthened by every attempt to alienate Protestants from each other, and by an intemperate zeal against its advocates and defenders. The respect paid by the non-professing portions of commanity to religion is not peculiar to the Christian Institution. While Tiberius or Nero was the Pontifex Maximus of the old Pagan hierarchy, every man in Rome that courted popular favor, had to pay a decent respect to the religion of his country.
It is often said that the hypocrite gives a very strong, though sometimes only a tacit testimony in favor of the excellency of Christianity. But, like some other adages of great currency, it is not strictly true. He only pretends to admire and feigns to practise that which promotes his oblique ends; not because he admires what is true and excellent, but because the public espousal of the cause conceals his measures of fraud and imposture. There are hypocrites at Rome, at Constantinople, at Alexandria, and Pekin, as well as at Jerusalem or Edinburgh, In the days of the Prophets some wore a rough and hairy garment to deceive. Pharisees and Scribes, in the days of the Messiah, made long prayers, and wore many sentences of the Law on their garments; while, like whitewashed sepulchres, they were full of rottenness and corruption.
Our great men generally, and most of our political aspirants also, inherit a portion of the spirit of their distinguished prototypes in Grecian and Roman story. Hence wc see them to-day in the carnivals of sensuality, at the theatre, the ball-room, or card-table; to-morrow, commanding a fast, and enacting a religious observance. I do not say that all are equally inspired with the Spirit, but certainly it is not wholly quenched in any of them.
During my rapid tour through Kentucky, in all places we were favored with the presence of the most distinguished men of that community. The multitude included all ranks and 'degrees of men. Now that I may not be supposed as impugning the motives of all such, I would
say, that some of our most distinguished characters exhibit a very sincere respect for religion-at least for such views of religion as they may regard rational. Some of them, indeed, only respect it as a handsome theory.
That the Messiah was a great reformer, a most sage philosopher, more deeply read ihat any other man in the secrets of human nature and in all the elements of society, and more exemplary in his manner of life than any other person, they do frankly own. Such is the amount of their faith. But that Jesus of Nazareth is really and literally the Son of God, in a sense peculiarly his ownấu joint participant of the godhead--as divine as his Father; and that his death as a sin-offering had power to expiate the sin of the world, and that it
opens a fair, full, and honorable vent for all the benignity and mercy of the great God 10 flow to every sinner who receives and acknowledges him in his proper person and official character; in one word, that it, and it only, justifies and sustains the unsullied purity, inflexible justice, immaculate holiness and inviolate truth of God in justifying and adopting into his favor a fallen man, a rebel, and in receiving into heaven itself the humble and devoted Christian who is sanctified and redeemed to God by the sacrifice of his Son and the sanctification of his Spirit.Of such a faith and of such a sanctification they see not the beauty, the excellency, or the grace. They do not feel their need of it, nor see any beauty or loveliness in it.
Still when I see such distinguished citizens attending with all apparent respect on the preaching of the word, and sometimes on the stated worship of the church, I would flatter myself that, like other men, their ears and their hearts might perchance be opened to the truth.But again, when I think of the almost irresistible power of the antagonist influences that oppose the truth, and of the words of the Lord“How can they believe who seek the honor that comes from man, regardless of the honor that comes from God!"- my hopes die within me, and I am all in despair of their salvation. The only flickering ray of hope in this case is, that "with God all things are possible.'
Machiavel is reported to have said that he would rather go to hell than to heaven-because, forsooth, he would have philosophers, orators, statesmen, sages, kings, bishops, and popes for his companions; whereas, in heaven he would only expect to see apostles, martyrs. monks, and beggars, I fear, indeed, that those great talents and high endowments which have been made to worship at the shrine of political ambition, or that have bowed in the temples of Mammon, are not within the precincts of the spiritual motives and celestial arguments which the gospel tenders to the poor, the wretched, and the disconsolate.
It is yet true that not many mighty, noble, wise, and great men in earth's esteem, are found preaching Christ. Thanks to the Lord that it does hot read, •None of the mighty, noble, wise, and great.' Some there are; but, alasl how few! I have had the pleasure and the honor of various intimate interviews, both recently and on former occasions, with some of those of highest fame amongst their contemporaries in the present evil world; and, with all their complaisance and high attainments, it requires no uncommon penetration to see that through all the glory that surrounds them, there is no opening for the humbling, renovating, soul-subduing, and redeeming doctrine of a crucified Savi
An arrow from an Indian bow would as easily have pierced through the shield of Achilles, as any word of mortal strike through the manifold envelopes of earth's honors and allurements that ensconce the heart of every aspirant after high political distinction.
When a whole nation has to be worshipped for its suffrage, and when there are ten thousand capricious demagogues to be secured, the costly incense and hecatombs of devotion at such shrines would bankrupt to all eternity the greatest prince of a man found in the four quarters of the globe.
What mighty Emperors and august Princes—what renowned Conquerors and Warrior Chiefs-what honorable Judges and eloquent Senators-what magnificent Merchants and rich Bankers—what stately Popes and Lord Bishops will forever wail with the fallen seraph and his angelic peers in that dark, deep, and dread abyss of untold anguish and everlasting ruin which Heaven's own Eternal King kas ordained for the devil and all his aids in the work of anarchy, misrule, and rebellion, because the gospel proffered eternal life on such terms