Rev. Clark Braden
(Disciples of Christ)
Elder Edmund L. Kelley
(Reorganized LDS Church)
THE REORGANIZED CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST [DISCIPLES],
HELD IN KIRTLAND, OHIO,
Beginning February 12th, and Closing March 8th, 1884,
ST. LOUIS, MO.:
C L A R K B R A D E N, P u b l i s h e r.
BRADEN - KELLEY DEBATE
-- C O N T E N T S --
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P R E F A C E.
It is not necessary to detail all that led to the debate in Kirtland, Ohio. Suffice it to say that it was held by mutual agreement between Mr. Kelley of the R. C. of J. C. of Latter Day Saints; and Mr. Braden of the Church of Christ, known as Disciples in the East and North, and as Christians in the West and South. The following were the Rules of Discussion between Clark Braden and E. L. Kelley.
1. The discussion shall be held at Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio, commencing February 12, 1884, and shall continue for the time of sixteen sessions of two hours each to be held each day as the parties shall determine.
2. Each session shall be occupied by two speeches each, by the disputants, of one half hour each. The affirmative shall open and the negative shall close the debate on each proposition, but in the closing speeches no new matter shall be introduced without mutual consent.
3. Each party shall choose a moderator, and they too shall choose a third if necessary, the duties of whom shall be the usual duties of moderators of such assemblies.
4. Eight sessions of two hours each shall be given to the first proposition, and four sessions of two hours each shall be given to each of the others.
5. Each session shall be opened and closed by prayer, by the parties alternately, or by selection.
6. The parties shall be governed by Hedge's Rules of Logic in this discussion as follows:
Rule 1st. The terms in which the question in debate is expressed, and the precise point at issue, should be so clearly defined that there can be no misunderstanding respecting them.
Rule 2d. The parties should mutually consider each other as standing on a footing of equality in respect to the subject in debate, each should regard the other as possessing equal talents, knowledge and desire for truth, with himself and that it is possible therefore that he may be in the wrong and his adversary in the right.
Rule 3d. All expressions which are unmeaning, or without effect, in regard to the subject in debate, should be strictly avoided. All expressions may be considered as unmeaning which contribute nothing to the proof of the question, such as desultory remarks, and declamatory expressions, all technical ambiguities and equivocal expressions.
Rule 4th. Personal reflections on an adversary should in no instance be indulged in. Whatever his private character, his follies are not to be named, nor alluded to in controversy. Personal reflections are not only destitute of effect in respect to the question in discussion, but they are productive of real evil.
Rule 5th. No one has a right to accuse his adversary with indirect motives.
Rule 6th. The consequences of any doctrine are not to be charged on him who maintains it, unless he expressly avows them.
Rule 7th. As truth and not victory is the professed object of controversy, whatever proofs may be on either side should be examined with fairness and candor, and any attempts to ensnare an adversary by arts or sophistry, or to lessen the force of his reasoning by wit, caviling, or ridicule, is a violation of the rules of honorable controversy.
The Following are the Propositions agreed upon by Disputants, and their Order1. Is the Book of Mormon of divine origin, and are its teachings entitled to the respect and belief of all christian people?
KELLEY, AFF.2. Is the church of which I, Clark Braden am a member, the church of Christ, and identical in faith, organization, teaching, ordinances, worship and practice, with the church of Christ as it was left perfected by the Apostles?
BRADEN, AFF.3. Is the Re-organized Church of Jesus Christ of L. D. S. in fact, the Church of God, and accepted with him?
KELLEY. AFF.In the discussion of the questions the Bible is to be the standard of evidence, but either party has the privilege of also using whatever proofs he may bring from Historical, Ethnological, Scientific or other works.
Nearly all of the matter presented in debate was read from manuscript on both sides, hence the matter in the Book is almost verbatim, as it was presented in the debate.
With the hope and prayer that the book may aid in leading all readers to a knowledge of the truth, it is submitted to the reader by the authors.
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MODERATORS.Messrs. Ezra Bond, Wm. H. Kelley and A. B. Deming.
The meeting having been called to order, the chairman moderator, Mr. Bond, had read the rules of the debate as agreed upon by the parties, and the propositions agreed upon for discussion.
Mr. Kelley then opened the debate as follows; --
GENTLEMEN MODERATORS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN; -- It is with some degree of pleasure that I appear before you this evening to enter upon an investigation of the question which has just been read in your hearing. And I say this notwithstanding the fact of which I am already aware, that to undertake such a task requires on the part of any disputant a work of constant and continuous labor; and when one is called upon in such investigation to also contend with an experienced and persistent debater the undertaken will necessarily be with proportionate difficulties.
But I am happy in this step toward a critical examination of the proposition for the reason that I believe there is a merit, deep and lasting, attached to the subject-matter that few realize, and that should be attained by all mankind, and a fair and candid investigation will enable you to judge for yourselves of this, and decide as all thinking men and women should as to the merits or demerits, and let the decision be whichever way if may, it will to a certain extent not only affect you here but in a manner in all time that is to come. I say this, not for the purpose of stating to you anything that is calculated to terrify one in any respect with regard to the investigation of the question at issue, for I not only believe it is so with regard to the subject-matter in dispute here, but it is so also of any truth, any rule of action or fact that has emanated from the divine being, or that has been in this sphere elicited by mankind; it being better that the people should be brought in contact with and that they should accept that which is true, rather than that they should not come in contactwith it, or that they should reject it after having investigated.
This is not only true in religion but also in other matters. It is a fact as to the affairs of government; in science and the arts of man and in fact through all the broad dominion of knowledge and experience. It is far better that the faith and impulses of the race be founded in truth than error, let that truth spring from whatever source it may; and believing also that mankind in the matter of religion may in the fullest sense become better while here in this life, and thus be better fitted to enjoy and inherit the life to be made manifest, by conforming to that which is true, -- that system of religion which is in fact a revealed science from above, must contain truths, which if believed and followed, will affect the life and character here and so relate to us in the great hereafter, to a greater extent than can principles started or evolved by the wise of this little world of ours.
Taking up the subject-matter under discussion, I refer you directly to the question: The Book of Mormon -- is it of divine origin? and are its teachings of such a character as to entitle them to the respect and belief of all Christian people? These are questions that you ought to be able to answer correctly and intelligently as you are called upon to pass judgment upon them from time to time, and also to pass upon the society, so far as reflecting your views are concerned, which believes the work is of divine origin and that its teachings are calculated of their very nature to elevate the human family and to make men better here and thereby prepared for better promises the realization of which is to come. Do not overlook the gist of this proposition;-- it not only contains teachings of value but those of as high a nature as can be found in any work written in any age so far as furnished us in the history of the race. That we are bound as enlightened people to give to the claim by this work of being of "divine origin" a candid and careful consideration, will certainly follow if the work is brought under such circumstances and in that way as to present in its behalf a prima facie case touching its merits and its origin. And while it may be true Ladies and Gentlemen, that you are not required to examine everything that is thrown upon the world in order to fulfill the purposes and designs of creation, it is a fact which relates to the human family as absolutely as that, truth is more to be desired than error in its development, that whenever a fair and proper case is made
4 THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE.
upon the very outset of a matter claiming to be the truth, or a thing of divine source, it is incumbent upon all to hear and make a fair and candid examination of the same; and when persons go so far as to judge a matter before hearing it, or to pass a case fairly presented without the trouble even of giving it a hearing, they violate the prime law by which truth is made attainable in the world and progress possible, and thus far must forever stand condemned by Him who ordained the law for a wise purpose and gave to the creature thereunder intelligence and liberty of action.
The injunction to "Prove all things and hold fast that which is good," is certainly taken in the light of human reason a good one; and I go so far as to say, that neither you nor any other people should be called upon to accept as truth a matter or principle relating directly to them, except upon a due examination of the evidences favoring the same, or so much as may be necessary to support the principle; and in the progress of this discussion I shall only call upon you to accept as truth the work referred to in this proposition after you shall have had some of the evidences relating thereto.
The Book of Mormon comes to the people in such a shape as to fairly demand of them a candid and impartial examination. Whatever may be said as to the work otherwise, in the presentation of it at least there is made out a clear, concise, and prima facie case, containing every essential feature that would be requisite to a bona fide message or work absolutely emanating from the creator of the race and the dispenser of the system of religion as reflected in the Bible, the admitted standard of truth in this controversy.
This is made apparent from the following facts set forth on the face of the work:
1. It makes claim to have originated from the proper source. It does not claim to have originated with man. It does not claim to be the doctrines of any false god that has invaded this world; or of any god made with men's hands. It claims to have had its origin in the work of Him who delivered a like record to a people on the Eastern continent of the world. And since the claim of its origin is from the same source from which we claim to have received the Bible, the first position of the prima facie case is clear, and thus far makes the work entitled to the respect and careful consideration of all.
2. It claims to contain a proper message. A communication from Jehovah to any part of the race would contain a message evidently for the highest good of the people to whom it was made; and in this book there is what claims to be a record of the "Everlasting Gospel" as it was delivered to a people other than those of the tribe of Judah, together with a history of the works and worship of that same people. The second position to a proper case is made then in that, the message it claims to bear is a good and proper one.
3. The object in delivering the work to the world as borne out upon its face is a right and proper one. To show this object I will read from the book itself. I have in my hands a reprint of the third American edition. Would read from the original copy of the book which I also present to you, but this edition which I have used I am more accustomed to and hence use it for the sake of rapidity in my work. The two editions are emphatically the same however, except as to a few typographical and grammatical errors that evidently crept in, in the copying and printing of the work and from which I might say, no book is exempt. It is sometimes given out that there have been changes made in the work since its first publication. This I deny as to anything material whatever. The only thing claimed as a material change by any candid critic is in the inscription page, the first copy reading. "Joseph Smith, Author and Proprietor," whereas in subsequent editions he is simply the "translator." By examining the first page of the original, however, I find that he is set out there as the "translator," and in the preface to the original he is clearly and emphatically set forth as the translator only, so far as his work in the matter is concerned, and hence it was not possible to have misled any reader by the words "Author and Proprietor," as they there appeared. But it will be brought out more fully as we proceed as to how this came to be placed on the inscription and for the present I leave the matter. The object of the book, I read from the title page: --
"Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites * * * An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared; who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven: Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever: and also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations." And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment seat of Christ."
And also in the body of the work, page 490, one of the writers states as follows: --
"And this is the commandment which I have received; and behold they shall come forth according to the commandment of the Lord, when he shall see fit, in his wisdom. And behold they shall go unto the unbelieving of the Jews; and for this intent shall they go: that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most beloved, his great and eternal purpose, in the restoring the Jews or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant, and also that the seed of this people may more fully believe his gospel, which shall go forth unto them from the Gentiles: for this people shall be scattered, and shall become a dark, a filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of that which ever hath been amongst us."
The object of the work then and the introduction of it is in the highest sense a proper one and thus the third fact entering to make up the prima facie case is complete.
THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE. 5
4. in the array of its witnesses the work is shown to be fully entitled to a thorough and unprejudiced examination.
First, the testimony of a single witness; beginning with the statement of the boy when but fourteen years of age, and consistently maintained by him afterwards, until when in his thirty-ninth year he gave the highest assurance of its correctness by resolutely standing in the gate of death itself for the truth of it. His full statement I shall introduce in another part of the discussion.
Second, The testimony of three witnesses. And in presenting to you their statement I call your attention to the fact that the character of their lives were such subsequently as to fully attest the truth of the original testimony. They not only accepted this knowledge as a part of their lives religiously, but also taught to their children and to their children's children. Two of them having borne the same testimony till their voices were sealed in death, and the survivor, now under the lilies of nearly eighty winters, still points all enquirers to this the testimony as a circumstance in his life's work which was, and is, the happiest of all, and his has been a well spent life.
This testimony they left upon record not only to have its effect upon the present things and associations, but also to extend to future generations, being the declared act and knowledge of the three with reference to this work under discussion, when uninfluenced by any conceivable sinister motive, or any inducement or hope of reward whatever, except the reward of well doing, which they expected only to receive when they should come into the presence of Him who is cognizant of all the secret motives that move men to action
The following is their testimony: --
"Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: that we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken; and we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bare record that these things are true; and it is marvelous in our eyes. Nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; Wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.
"Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come, that Joseph Smith, Jr., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted, and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen; and we lie not, God bearing witness of it." Signed.
Christian Whitmer Hiram Page
To support the element relating to the manner in which the work comes to us I have now introduced the positive declarations of twelve witnesses, a sufficient number to maintain any cause to be contested before courts of justice; and in things relating to the divine being and religion it cannot be said truthfully that the rule would require more. In the introduction of the religion of Christ in the first century of what is termed the Christian era, a single witness first made known the proclamation; and the people to whom the witness was sent were required to properly consider and examine the message, although the witness himself by reason of different habits and a different life to that approved by many of the people, was considered possessed with an evil Spirit. Yet it is said of him in the first chapter of John: "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe." This was the only witness in fact of the great mission of Jesus until the time when God gave a revelation to Peter, and yet Jesus says of John's work: "But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the council of God against themselves, being not baptized of him." Luke 7:30.
The twelve witnesses whose testimony I have now introduced in their work are similar to those raised up to bear testimony of the things declared and done in the first century; and so far as it is possible to compare testimonies it comes with equal weight of that which has supported any divine message in any time or age. The apostle Peter says with reference to the testimony to the work in his ministry: "And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged upon a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead." Acts, 10:39, 41.
It is sometimes objected that the plates which are said to have been [preserved] by
6 THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE.
the immediate power of God, kept that they might not be destroyed but yet fill a purpose in the world of instructing it in things pertaining to the divine life, were not shown to all people. The same objection has been made time and again with reference to the New Testament foundation evidence. That Jesus did not show himself to the people after his resurrection in order to make them believe, but to a few "chosen witnesses."
The objection is a futile one in the mind of any person who understands anything of the essence and faith peculiar to the Christian religion, and the means adopted by Jesus himself of establishing it among the people.
But I am not left to the twelve witnesses; the thousands who have since attested the divine character of the work upon the independent knowledge they themselves have attained to, may be brought and marshalled as a living host testifying to the truthfulness of the claim.
All of these, however, I have referred to simply to substantiate my claim that in the presentation of the Book of Mormon in the world a prima facie case of its divine authenticity is in every respect complete. It claims to have come from the right source; the message it claims to bear is a proper one; the object of the message and the object of its introduction are proper; and now the army of witnesses to that message is found all that can reasonably be asked.
It is truly entitled to an investigation then, and with your attention, I at once proceed to unfold the evidence relating to its divine character, by which you and all thinking people must determine for yourselves.
There is an avenue of knowledge open to this world that is peculiar to it, and the doctrine taught by Christ in the New Testament Scriptures only. In the 7th chapter and the 16th and 17th verses of John's gospel it is recorded: "Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself."
In this record which I hold in my hand (the Book of Mormon) occurs a sentiment very much the same as found in this instruction of Jesus; and singular as it may seem. these are the only two works published to the world that have boldly claimed that the truth or falsity of their statements might be known by each person who would go to the Creator of all and do his will. I read from page 544:
"And when ye shall receive these things," (contained in the book under discussion), I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost; and by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things. And whatsoever thing is good, is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is."
Remember, my friends, you are not asked to first accept the book as true, nor to do those things commanded in the book -- but the will of God; if you are in doubt, simply go aside and pray, with a sincere heart and honest purpose, and the statement is made fearlessly, and without regard to the fact that if it was a deception upon the people it might be at once detected by the first honest enquirer who should go before the Lord, for it says: "If ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost." The statement is not that of a cunning deceiver, but certainly of a person who has absolute confidence in the cause which he represented.
I am a believer in the Bible. I am ready at all times to come forward and stand in defense of the divine authenticity of its claim. But, while I am a believer in the Bible, I am at the same time equally a believer in the divine authenticity of the record that was given to the people who lived upon this continent. And I believe that its truth can be proven to the world, whether attacked by a professor of religion, theologian of whatever rank, or the most gifted skeptic.
Believing this, and that the evidences of such proof are susceptible of demonstration, I may truly say that I stand up in the effort to defend it to-night, as a work that has been committed to man by Jehovah himself, and that my reward for so doing will be the reward of all those who shall "have kept the word of God." Taking up the record as it has been presented to the world and examining it, I find that in holding forth its truths to the world, I make no attack, either directly or by implication, upon the Christian religion. I make no attack upon the Bible. I make no attack upon anything that people should believe in, and that they do believe in and accept, if they believe in and accept the sacred scriptures. But I hold forth a work confirmative of the truths revealed in the Bible, and containing a record also in its completeness of the gospel set forth in the Bible, and evidently prepared of the Lord as a means in his hand to stay the tide of infidelity which he must have foreknown would come rolling in like a flood to destroy his work. And this record not only being susceptible of clear proof from the Bible, but also from the scientific developments of the age and discoveries in archaeology made since the publication of the book, it is, as I firmly believe, notwithstanding the warfare against it since the first communication of the light to the boy in 1823, destined to yet become one of the most important factors in the evangelization of the human race.
If the work is a good one its teachings and principles will be good: --
"For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh," Luke 6: 44 and 45.
THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE. 7
So it must prove of this work whether written by men or idicted by the Holy Spirit through them from time to time. To show you what its teachings are I will read a few specimen paragraphs, which I claim are in perfect keeping with all the teachings of the book; and if they are not, I shall expect my opponent during the discussion to point out and read to you others of a contrary character. And if any of this audience think they can find something contrary to the teachings that I shall read, I want you to buy a book and make the examination for yourselves as a couple of gentlemen did to-day, who were not afraid to examine. Page 99:
"And again, the Lord God hath commanded that men should not murder; that they should not lie; that they should not steal; that they should not take the name of the Lord their God in vain; that they should not envy; that they should not have malice; that they should not contend one with another; that they should not commit whoredoms; and that they should do none of these things; for whoso doeth them, shall perish; for none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him, and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen, and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile."
Page 242, of the same record.
"And now my brethren, I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety, even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance; that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long suffering; having faith in the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day, and enter into his rest; and may the Lord grant unto you repentance, that ye may not bring down his wrath upon you, that ye may not be bound down by the chains of hell, that ye may not suffer the second death."
Also, paragraph 8, page 249.
"Now those priests who did go forth among the people, did preach against all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and malice, and revilings, and stealing, robbing, plundering, murdering, committing adultery, and all manner of lasciviousness, crying that these things ought not so to be; holding forth things which must shortly come; yea, holding forth the coming of the Son of God, his sufferings and death, and also the resurrection of the dead."
Again from the instruction on page 224, paragraph 4..
"And now my beloved brethren, I have said these things unto you, that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him; that ye may walk after the holy order of God, after which ye have been received. And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive, and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive, and see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works; and may the Lord bless you, and keep your garments spotless, that ye may at last be brought to sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the holy prophets, who have been ever since the world began, having your garments spotless, even as their garments are spotless in the kingdom of heaven, to go no more out."
Such are the teachings of this book that claims to have been written by good men and prophets as directed of the Lord, to show unto future generations the dealings of our heavenly Father with peoples other than the tribe of Judah. And here I propound a question for my opponents and each one of you to answer. Why is it, that since the object of the work and the character of its teachings are in perfect accord with the object and teachings of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, and that no person can be a believer in the Book of Mormon unless he also believes the Bible, that persons who claim to believe in the Bible and are called Christians, and many who are Christians too, have been found fighting against this same book? Why is it they fight against it since Jesus himself has said: "An evil tree can not bring forth good fruit?" I wish the negative of the proposition under discussion to answer these questions; and to candidly and carefully peruse the work and point out every evil thing, or any evil thing or principle taught therein to this audience so that you may judge for yourselves of the fact, whether a man cannot accept the Book of Mormon as of divine origin, endorse its teachings, and at the same time be a christian man in the truest and highest sense of that term.
8 THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE.
MR. BRADEN'S OPENING SPEECH.
The book of Mormon cannot be appealed to as authority in this discussion, for the issue is, 'Is the book of Mormon worthy to be used as authority?" Even if it be found in this discussion, that it is worthy to be used as authority, because it is of divine origin, that would not enable my opponent to use it in this discussion, in determining the issues in this debate. All appeal to the book of Mormon, as a standard in this debate, will be a begging of the question, or an impudent assumption of the very issue in debate. It is the work of each disputant in a discussion, to show that his position, clearly and honestly defined, harmonizes with a correct interpretation of this commonly accepted standard, and that the position of his opponent clearly and honestly defined, does not harmonize with a correct interpretation and use of this standard. It is the work of my opponent in this discussion to clearly and honestly define his affirmative, concealing and evading nothing, using no equivocation or pettifogging, and then to show that his position thus defined, harmonizes with a fair interpretation and use of the Scriptures. It is my work, if my opponent does not define his Affirmative clearly and honestly -- if he attempts to conceal or evade the real teaching of his system, by equivocation, or pettifogging to expose such chicanery and to show what are the real teachings of his system, and then to show that the teachings of his system, fairly and clearly stated, do not harmonize with a correct interpretation of the Scriptures.
There are three questions to be settled. I. What are the teachings of my opponent's system when clearly and honestly stated without concealment or equivocation. II What do the Scriptures when correctly interpreted teach in regard to the doctrine of his system. III. Do the Scriptures when clearly and fairly interpreted, harmonize with a clear and honest statement of the doctrines of the system of my opponent. There is no sense in our spending time in talking about what we both accept. Nor in caviling over what is not in dispute. Let us then determine, as far as may be, in what do we agree; concerning what do we disagree; what conclusions should we draw from those things in which we agree, concerning those things in which we disagree. Whether the position of my opponent in regard to the things in which we agree is in harmony with his position in regard to those things in which we disagree. Let us make the issues as few, as brief and as clear as possible, I. My opponent and myself both believe that the Israelite Sacred Scriptures, of the Old Testament and the Christian Sacred Scriptures, of the New Testament, were given by inspiration of God, and that they are therefore of divine origin, and authority -- a revelation from God to man. We differ concerning "The Book of Mormon." My opponent believes that it also was given by inspiration of God and that it is also of divine origin and authority as revelation from God to man, containing "the fullness of the Gospel," and that it stands related to the New Testament as that does to the Old -- and is as much superior to it. I believe that the Book of Mormon is a base, puerile fabrication, and a wicked fraud.
We both believe that God has made revelations to man, through men inspired by the Holy Spirit -- through angelic messengers -- and through his Son Jesus the Christ. My opponent believes that he has spoken to men through Joseph Smith, and men who have accepted him as a prophet of God, and that God has through such persons, given revelations to men. I believe that Joseph Smith was a wicked, contemptible impostor and that all who have pretended to speak by inspiration, in this age
THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE. 9
are either hypocritical impostors or self-deluded visionaries. III. We both believe that, in the apostolic age, God spoke to men through the apostles of Christ, and through persons to whom the apostles imparted supernatural gifts, by the imposition of their hands. My opponent believes, that in the apostolic age, others than those to whom the apostles imparted supernatural gifts by the imposition of hands, enjoyed those gifts. He believes also that those gifts were an all important element of the religion of Christ, and that they were to continue, until the end of time, in the church. That those gifts can be enjoyed now. That they should be enjoyed now. That the condition of the church where those gifts are not enjoyed is that of apostasy -- a dead church. He believes that those gifts can be imparted now by the imposition of hands, of persons now living. That they are so imparted and enjoyed in his organization. That all believers who do not enjoy those gifts are in an apostate condition.
I believe that those gifts were to exist only during the apostolic age. That it was the will of God that they should cease, when the word of God was completed in the New Testament, and that, as it was his will that they should cease then they did cease. That in the apostolic age, those gifts were never enjoyed by any, except those to whom an apostle imparted them by the imposition of his hands. That no one but an apostle could, or ever did impart those gifts. That they never descended to a third person. That the power to impart those gifts was the "sign of apostleship." That when the last person, to whom an apostle imparted those gifts died, they ceased from earth. That such was God's will and law. Also that the condition of the church, when the best of those gifts were enjoyed, was the formative, the child-like condition of the church. That the condition of the church under the control of "the perfect law of liberty," -- "of that which is perfect," the completed word of God, is as much superior to the condition of the church, when the best of these gifts were enjoyed, as the condition of the world, when God ceased from creation -- after creating man, is superior to the period, when by miracles of creation, he was preparing for man. Or as the condition of the full grown man is superior to that of the undeveloped child. Or as the condition of our country under our completed constitution, and government in accordance with it, is superior to the condition of our nation, while the constitution convention was in session, framing the constitution.
I am careful to define and elaborate these differences, because this is the key note to the whole discussion. This is the crucial issue in this debate. My opponent bases his claim that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God; that the Book of Mormon was given by inspiration of God, that it "contains the fulness of the Gospel" -- that the Book of Mormon and other pretended revelations stand related to the New Testament, as the New Testament stands related to the Old Testament, that his people possesses these miraculous powers and spiritual gifts, on a claim that the promises of Joel and other prophets, of John the Baptist, of Jesus, of Peter and the apostles, concerning spiritual gifts, were to be enjoyed by the church in all ages. If my position, that these promises refer only to the apostolic age, and were enjoyed only in the apostolic age, and that they were to remain only until the Word of God was completed in the New Testament, -- that in the New Testament, God completed this miraculous work and the exercise of spiritual gifts, in a perfect revelation of a complete system of universally applicable and eternal truths and principles be true, it utterly demolishes the claim of my opponent, by showing that revelations, in addition to those in the Bible, are needless, and contrary to the teachings of God's Word, and therefore his Book of Mormon and pretended revelations are base frauds, and Joe Smith a vile impostor.
We both believe that all followers of Christ, should be united and stand on the divine platform, laid down for such union, in Ephesians, IV. (A.) One God the Father. I shall in the right place, prove that the teachings of the system of my opponent, in regard to the one God, are gross materialism and idolatry. (B.) One Lord; Jesus of Nazareth; the Christ, the only begotten son of God -- the only Divine Prophet, or source of all teaching in religion -- the only Divine Priest, or sacrifice and atonement for the sins of all men -- the only mediator between God and man -- the only Divine King, -- the only source of all law in religion, and the only one whose commands we are to obey, in religion. I shall, in the right place, express the gross sensualism of my opponent's system in regard to the origin and character of the Son of God. My opponent claims that Joe Smith was a prophet of God, whose teachings are to be obeyed, accepted as "the fullness of the gospel," and as much superior to those of Jesus, as the teachings of Jesus, are superior to those of the prophets of the Old Testament; and whose commands are as much superior to the New Testament as the New Testament is to the Old Testament. I believe that Joe Smith was a base impostor, a wicked deceiver, whose silly fabrications should be despised as contemptible frauds. (C.) One Holy Spirit, who inspired the men whose inspired acts are recorded in the Bible. My opponent believes that the Holy Spirit inspired Joe Smith, and others who have accepted him as a true prophet of God, and that he inspires men now. I believe that all inspiration and miraculous powers ceased in the apostolic age, having accomplished their purpose, in giving to mankind, a completed revelation of general and universally applicable truths; and that the Holy Spirit now influences men, in the only way in which one intelligence
10 THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE.
can exert a moral influence over another, that is through the truth contained in his utterances recorded in the Scriptures and through the teaching that is in accordance with the truths revealed by the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures.
(D.) The one faith -- the faith -- the teaching -- the Word of God, -- the scriptures -- "the faith once delivered to the Saints." My opponent would add to this "one faith" delivered to the Saints -- to God's Word, the Book of Mormon and other pretended revelations of Joe Smith and of others who accept Joe Smith as a prophet of God. I reject all of these as base fabrications of impostors, or as silly vagaries of fanatical visionaries, (E.) One baptism -- immersion into water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit -- into the remission of sins. My opponent teaches these errors in regard to baptism. I. Baptism for the miraculous gift of the Holy Spirit. II. That baptism in the Holy Spirit was universal in the church, in the apostolic age, and that it can be enjoyed now, and exists in his organization, III. The farce of baptizing the living as proxies for the dead. I believe that in the days of the apostles only those of the baptized received the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, to whom an apostle imparted them by the imposition of his hands. I believe also that there were never but two occasions of baptism in the Holy Spirit, one on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem -- the other at the house of Cornelius in Caesarea -- that both were miraculous -- direct miracles from Heaven and never were, and never will be repeated. The baptism for the dead I regard as a farce resulting from a blunder in regard to an obscure passage of Scripture.
(F.) One hope -- remission of sine to the penitent believer who is baptized into Christ -- union with God and his Holy Spirit, so long as the Christian, in a holy life, makes his body a fit temple for such union and such a guest; and eternal life if men are faithful unto death. My opponent includes in this hope, miraculous spiritual gifts in this life and he debases the eternal hope into a materialistic sensual reigning of Mormons over Gentiles, in a materialistic sensual state, like the Paradise of the Mahommedan. (G.) One body --"The church of God" or "The church of Christ." Christ is the head of the body, and all believers are living stones, members in this body, this temple. In this church are Evangelists who proclaim the good news; Overseers who take care of the flock -- Servants who minister unto the church; and members who are not called to such work. My opponent adds to this simple statement of the New Testament presidents, councilors, apostles, twelve apostles, three seventies of apostles, traveling bishops, presiding elders, quorums, patriarchs, seers, prophets, pastors, teachers, translators revelators, until not even an inspired Mormon knows how many more, and about one-third of the men are officers of some sort. He asserts that all of these should-exercise miraculous powers, and divides them into the Melchisedec priesthood and the Aaronic priesthood, and tells us that the Aaronic priest must be a literal descendant of Aaron. That caps the climax of absurdity.
(H.) One name -- "Christian" -- for all individuals who are followers of Christ; and "Church of God" or "Church of Christ " for the one body composed of these followers of Christ or Christians. My opponent calls his people "Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ." Shades of the apostles what an Ashdodish lingo! He calls his organization "The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." Where in the World of God does he find such a rigmarole as that? He may find such a jargon in the Book of Doctrines and Covenants, or Joe Smith's Book of Abraham, but not in the Scriptures. Such an Ashdodish Babel is not found in the pure speech of Canaan, in God's word. Such is a fair statement of the points concerning which we agree and also those concerning which we disagree. My opponent summarizes his teachings in his proposition: "The Book of Mormon is of divine origin and entitled to the confidence of all Christian people."
My first and cardinal objection to my opponent's position is that the Bible teaches that the work of inspiration, miracles and revelation was completed in the revelations of the Son of God, that he [gave] in person, and through his apostles, in the New Testament, in which there is given to mankind, a system of eternal truths, universally applicable principles, which man can not outgrow, for which there can he no substitute, and to which there can be no additions. That as inspiration and miracle had accomplished their work in completing revelation; they ceased when the last person died to whom an apostle had imparted spiritual gifts, by the imposition of his hands. If this position be true, the Scriptures teach that such a claim as my opponent makes for his Book of Mormon, is absolutely impossible. It was not given, or translated by inspiration, for the Bible teaches that inspiration and miraculous power ceased nearly 1,800 years before it appeared. This is the crucial question, the vital issue of this discussion. If my position be Scripturally true, my opponent's affirmatives are utterly unscriptural and utterly untrue, according to what is the standard of truth in this debate. We intend to hold our opponent right to the work on this point. If he does not meet and overturn my position, his claim for the Book of Mormon is "as baseless as the fabric of a dream."
The first vital query then is "What do the Scriptures teach in regard to inspiration, miracles and revelations -- in regard to when they first appeared -- their purpose -- their history and development -- how long they were to continue? What was their purpose, and how long did that purpose make it necessary for them to continue? What
THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE. 11
do the Scriptures teach in regard to the continuance of inspiration, miracle and revelation? And their completion and cessation? The Scriptures teach that the Father has spoken, in the hearing of man only three times. At the baptism of Jesus, Matthew, III 17. At the transfiguration, Matthew, XVII, 5. When Jesus prayed and the multitude heard the answer, John, XII, 28. On all other occasions, the Father has spoken through representatives, -- the Word -- the Christ -- the Holy Spirit -- angels inspired men. The Word spoke to men through angels or through men inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Word was the God of the Old Testament, John I. Colassians, I. Hebrew I. The Word the God of the Old Testament spoke through angels, Acts, VII, " Ye received the word through the ministry of angels "The law was ordained through angels, by the hand of a mediator" (Moses). While on earth Christ, spoke to men. Angels spoke to men as representatives of Jehovah, the Word and of Christ after his ascension. Rev. I. "The revelation of Jesus, the Christ, which God gave to him, to show to his servants, the things which must shortly come to pass, and he sent his angels to his servant John and made them known unto John, and John bear witness of the word of God." In Exodus, III, Me read interchangeably, "Jehovah said," and "the angels said," showing that Jehovah spoke through his angels that represented him. In several places Jehovah says, to Moses through his angel that represented him, " I send my angel before you. I have put my word in his mouth. Hear him," etc. Isaiah, LXI, we read that the Mosaic dispensation was given by "an angel of the face of Jehovah" or a messenger from his presence. We might illustrate this idea by many other passages, but these will suffice, for probably our only dispute will be over the work of the Holy Spirit.
Both parties agree that the Holy Spirit inspired all, men who acted, spoke, or wrote under inspiration, from Adam to Malachi; that he inspired all who acted, spoke, or wrote under inspiration from Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, until the last person died to whom an apostle imparted spiritual gifts, by the imposition of his hands. My opponent claims that the Scriptures teach that these spiritual gifts were to remain in the church until the end of time, that it is the law of God that they should now exist, that they do now exist in his organization, that as a result of such existence of these gifts Joseph Smith was inspired, was a true prophet of God, and therefore the "Book of Mormon," that he gave to the world, is a revelation from God. I claim that the Scriptures teach that these miraculous powers of the Holy Spirit were given for a specific purpose, the revelation of a plan of redemption -- that they were to exist until that purpose was accomplished in completing the New Testament -- that they ceased when they accomplished this purpose, in completing this revelation, in the New Testament. I claim that the law of God ordains that they were to exist for a certain purpose, the revelation of the scheme of redemption, and they were to continue until that object was accomplished. The purpose for which God ordained their existence and continuation, has been accomplished, in completing the New Testament; and they have ceased, having accomplished their object, and being no longer necessary.
The issue is not one of power, but of fact and law. Not whether God can impart gifts now, but whether it is his law that they should exist now. Or is it his law that they should cease with the apostolic age, having accomplished their objects. As a question of fact, did Joseph Smith possess these powers? Do his followers now possess them? Proving that they can be exercised now, would not prove that Joseph Smith possessed them, nor that his followers do possess them. A man may be able to practice law, but that does not prove he does so. The fact that God can impart such powers now, does not prove that he does so. God can have apples grow as tubers on the roots of trees, but that does not prove that he does. The question of fact remains, "How do apples grow?" The fact that God imparted these powers to persons in former ages, does not prove that he does so now. God once brought animals and plants into existence by miracle of direct creation. That does not prove that he does so now. As a matter of fact, we know that he does not, but that he brings them into existence through operation of natural law.
Let me here expose the vital error of my opponent's position, by an illustration. God exerted his miraculous powers in creation, to prepare the way for natural law, the law of reproduction, and the world is in a higher and more perfect condition under the operation of natural law, than when God exerted miraculous power, in bringing animals and plants into being, by creation. Miraculous power, in creation, was only temporary, and provisional, and exerted only to prepare the way for the higher and more perfect natural law. In like manner, God exerted his miraculous power in connection with revelation, only to prepare the way for the higher and permanent, a completed system of divine revealed truth, in the completed word of God, in the completed New Testament. Miraculous power in revelation, ceased when that purpose was accomplished; just as miraculous power, in creation ceased when it had prepared for, and introduced the higher and the permanent, the operation of natural law. Miraculous power in connection with revelation, was inferior to the work of the completed word of God, just as miraculous power, in creation, was inferior to the operation of natural law. God is in the operation of his completed word of truth, in a higher and more perfect manner, than he ever was in the highest exercise of miraculous power, just as he is
12 THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE.
in the operation of natural law in a higher and more perfect sense, than he ever was in the exercise of miraculous power in creation. In each case the method employed at first, was provisional and temporary, and was employed only to introduce the higher and permanent for which it prepared the way. There is no evading the conclusion that the operation of natural law and the influence of the revealed truths of God's completed word, are superior to the highest exercise of miraculous power, either in creation or revelation.
We do not remove God out of nature, or his word; but we show that, in each case, he acts in a higher and more perfect manner. We do not remove a single thing God created nor a single truth of revelation. Miraculous power was not a part of the things created, but the means of creating them, and ceased when that was done, and gave way to the operation of a higher and more perfect means of accomplishing the same end. Miraculous power was not a part of the truths revealed, but the means of revealing divine truth, and ceased when that work was done, and gave way to a higher and more perfect work, and presence of God in the moral influence of the divine truths revealed. The idea of my opponent, that the possession of miraculous power is the thing to be desired above everything else, and that the condition of the church, when it was exercised, was the highest condition of the church, and far superior to its condition now, when it does not exist, and the church exerts only moral power resident in perfect truth, is a contradiction of the Scriptures, of reason, and of fact. Such a state of the church was the childhood of the church. The exercise of such gifts was necessary because it was in its childhood. They were aids to childhood, that ceased when the church laid aside such childish things." The church is now in its manhood, and governed by "the perfect law of liberty" the completed Word of God. The moral power of divine truth, appealing to reason and conscience of men as rational beings, is far superior to miracles, appealing to the childish wonder of children.
A vital query is suggested here. How can one intelligence influence another? How can one spirit, the Holy Spirit, influence another spirit -- the spirit of man? Man can influence his fellow man in two ways. I. By utterances or acts that convey ideas to the minds of the persons addressed. This is the only moral power or influence that one spirit can exert on another. II. An abnormal psychological influence, called mesmerism or psychology. This is not a moral influence for it leaves the mind influenced no wiser, no better In like manner the Holy Spirit has exerted two influences over the spirit of men. I A miraculous influence, psychologizing the spirits of men, so that they uttered the words he wanted them to perform. II. The ordinary influence, that he has exerted on the minds of those who heard or read the utterances of those he psychologized, or saw or read the acts they performed. In the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit he has always exerted two influences. I. The miraculous psychological influence exerted on the hearts of those inspired by which he caused them to do or say what he wanted to reveal to others. I. The ordinary and moral influence that he exerted on the minds of those who heard or read their revelations.
We desire now to emphasize a thought that we do not want to be lost sight of for one moment in the discussion of the issues before us. "The miraculous influence of the Holy Spirit never, in a single instance, exerted one particle of moral power, on the spirit of the person influenced by it; never in a single instance produced one particle of moral change in the person influenced by it." The cases of Baalam, Saul King of Israel, Jonah and Caiaphas show that the person influenced, often uttered what was entirely opposed to his own wishes. That he did not know what he would say before he was influenced. Nor what he was saying when the influence was upon him. When the influence left him he knew no more about the meaning of what he had uttered than any other person, and had to study it the same as any other person. Peter says, "The Prophets, who prophesied of the good that should come unto you, sought and searched diligently, what manner of time, and what things, the Spirit of Christ, that was in them did signify, when he testified beforehand of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow." The character of Baalam, Saul, Caiaphas and Jonah show that this influence of the spirit was imparted, sometimes, regardless of character to vile, rebellious persons. That it left vile men just as it found them. It did not change them morally one particle. We wish our readers to remember these facts, while weighing the question, whether this influence was to remain in the church. As it was not a moral influence if was not I to be desired, on an account of its moral benefits to the person influenced. As it produced no moral influence, except through the truth it revealed, it ceased, when it had perfected that work. There can he no reason why it should exist in the church when revelation was completed. There is no work that the church does now, or is required, by the Word of God to perform, that can be accomplished by this miraculous influence, nor that it can aid one particle.
Let us now trace the miraculous influence of the spirit in the Gospel Dispensation. Joel and other prophets promised miraculous outpouring of the spirit in the last days of the Mosaic dispensation. Peter declared, on the day of Pentecost, that the baptism in the Holy Spirit, received by him and his brethren was a partial fulfillment of Joel's promise. "This," the baptism in the Holy Spirit, that he and his brethren had received, "is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel." That it included the
THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE. 13
miraculous powers that others enjoyed in the apostolic age Peter's language has not the slightest reference to the ordinary influence of the spirit on the Christian, when he says: "Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" -- the Holy Spirit as a gift --"for the promise." What promise? Joel's promise of the miraculous influence of the spirit, "is to you and your children, and to those that are afar off." -- It was, for Joel's promise was "to all flesh, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." Call how? By the imposition of an apostle's hands as we shall show. John the Baptist and our Saviour promised the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost and at the house of Cornelius. Our Saviour promised that his apostles should be inspired, when before persecuting magistrates. They were and the Bible records, no other instances. Our Saviour declares: "that out of those who believe on his name shall flow inspiration like rivers of water." This included the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit that existed in the apostolic church. These had not yet been given.
In his last lecture to his apostles and to no others, as recorded in John, XIII to XVI, delivered just before crucifixion, our Saviour told his apostles that he would leave them -- the apostles -- that he would send to them -- the apostles -- the Comforter to take his place with them -- the apostles -- that the Comforter would reveal to their minds -- the minds of the apostles -- what he had said to them -- the apostles -- that the Comforter would guide them -- the apostles -- into all truth -- show them -- the apostles -- things to come, and would take the things of the Father and show them to them -- the apostles. These promises have not the slightest reference to the ordinary influence of the Holy Spirit on the Christians, for his work was all miraculous. These promises apply to the apostles, and to no others. Our Saviour's address was a closing charge to his apostles, and has no application to any other persons. It was a promise that they -- the apostles, should be qualified for the work that he committed to their care -- committed to the apostles, and none others. After his resurrection he renewed this promise, when he promised that his apostles should be endowed with power from on high. That they should be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Let us now dispose forever of the promise of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It was a promise. Not a command. Was received. Not obeyed. Christ was the administrator. Not man. Was poured out from heaven. Not performed on earth by man on another man. It was promised as a miraculous power. Not commanded as an ordinance. If was a miracle. Was always attended with miracles. It always conferred miraculous power. It was not; in any name. It was not a memorial, a monument, a symbol, a type, a likeness, a form, an object lesson, setting forth any fact or truth. It was perhaps the most extraordinary and miraculous event in the Gospel Dispensation. Did not and could not become a permanent element in the church.
There is only one baptism in the church, Eph., IV, 4. It is a command. Men are to administer if to others. Men are to obey it. If is in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is in water. It is a monument of Christ's burial and resurrection -- monument of the great facts of the Gospel, a memorial, a type, a likeness, a symbol, a form, an object lesson setting forth Christ's burial and resurrection -- also the sinner's burial to his past sinful life, and his resurrection to a new life in Christ. It is for the remission of sins. It is a permanent ordinance in the church. The Scriptures designate but two occurrences as Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Peter declares, Acts, XI, "As I began to speak to the household [of] Cornelius, the Holy Spirit fell on them as he did on us at the beginning, (on the day of Pentecost). Then remembered I the words of the Lord, how that he said: "John indeed baptized in water, but; ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit." God bestowed the same gift -- the Holy Spirit as a gift -- on them as on us." Peter declares that these two occasions -- when the Holy Spirit fell on the apostles and brethren, on the day of Pentecost, at Jerusalem -- and on the house of Cornelius in Caesarea -- were baptisms in the Holy Spirit. The Bible knows no other. This disposes forever of all talk of Baptism in the Holy Spirit now, or on any other occasion, than the two mentioned by the Scriptures. Persons might as well claim the power to create a world, as to claim Baptism in the Holy Spirit. All such unscriptural visionary ideas that leave an open door for fanaticism and folly and have cursed the world with the most infamous delusions and crimes, should be abandoned.
14 THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE.
Will you do this? But I will first notice one or two of his positions, in order to show their fallacy to the audience, and then proceed with my affirmative arguments, as I shall not be drawn away from the main question under consideration to discuss side issues. I am here for the purpose of showing you the divine origin of this book, and shall show it before the eighth evening returns, I promise you that. It is said that the views and belief of the people who believe in this book are erroneous.
Now, suppose that I was discussing with an infidel friend at this time with regard to the divinity of the Holy Scriptures and when I should take my position in order to show that the scriptures as delivered to the human family were of divine origin, my infidel opponent would arise and say, yes, your positions are all right; I cannot move those. But then your people have not been doing right. The people who believe in the Holy Scriptures are not in accordance with them in faith and doctrine. Would that interfere in the least or be applicable to the question of whether the Scriptures are true or not? And so it is with the question under discussion. The question is, as to the divine authenticity of this book, in regard to the teachings of this book; but he has sought to answer here and to throw into the minds of the audience the assertion that the people who believe in this book are not doing right, has called in question the character of some of the persons who have believed in it, by his language and a few set phrases. In the first place, this is no argument nor can it have a particle of weight, so far as that is concerned, towards impeaching the divinity of the record that is before us. I might ask him if he believes in the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, written and compiled by Solomon? Yet after Solomon had written these books he bowed down to wood and stone; gods made with men's hands. And yet I could hurl in his face that those books that were the compilation of the wise king ought not to be tolerated, because, forsooth, Solomon afterwards turned from the things therein and did evil in the sight of the Lord. He believes in the Psalms. Yet David had his hundreds of wives and concubines; and not only had many wives and concubines, but took a poor soldier's wife when he was in the front of war, battling for his country, and then afterwards had the soldier put in the front of the battle and murdered in order that he might carry out his designs. But because of this shall I say that the divinity of the Scriptures is at all called in question? Such fallacy of reasoning as this ought to be patent to any man that has come here for the purpose of investigating truth. I place the matter in the shape of a separate and distinct proposition. How shall we canvass this subject? How shall we go to work in order to canvass this book, and arrive at a correct conclusion as to its merits? There are many ways in which you may fail to do it. There were many ways in which the people in the first age of christianity undertook to canvass the claims with regard to whether Jesus was what he claimed to be or not. And there were true ways to canvass it then, and there were false ways to canvass it. And remember that the majority of the people undertook to canvass it upon the false issues and in the false ways. Why, I have only to open my Bible here and show you the conflict in this regard by turning to the 7th chapter of John. And it was a conflict not unlike the conflict that is presented here. In the 7th chapter of John and the 12th verse I read this: "And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews." Now here was a question in regard to deciding upon the divine claim of that man, and there was a right way to proceed, and there was a wrong one. Some, instead of investigating the principles that he brought and the truths that he presented, said standing behind the cloak of the persons that had
THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE. 15
told the stories around about Jerusalem with regard to him, he is "a deceiver;" and not only a deceiver, but "a gluttonous man," "a wine bibber;" and he is palming upon the people something for truth that is not truth. Was there any argument in that? Is there any argument in the bare assertion that Joseph Smith was a false teacher, or that he was a deceiver? And I call my friend's attention to the fact the he has made him out a false prophet and a false teacher by his language before the audience, before he has offered even a scrap of evidence to you to prove him such. Is it proper, in the consideration of the question here, to call a man false before he is proven false? I wish to have him present the argument here, if he wishes to take up that line, and show that he is a deceiver, a false prophet, and a very wicked man. Then after he shall have done that, if I am not able to meet him and show the contrary, it may possibly be proper for him to use the language with regard to him that he has used. I have not said anything in regard to the point of order raised by the chairman which was certainly proper, because if my opponent in this discussion wishes to make a poor use of his time and thus throw it away in regard to the question at issue, I propose to let him do that, so far as I am concerned. But I shall not be drawn from the main subject under consideration myself.
Then how shall we canvass this question? By an examination into the history and character, supposed faith and failings of the ones presenting it? Do you think that a fair examination could be made in such a way? This, as I said before, was the manner of those who sought or tried in a certain way to destroy the divine mission and character of Jesus. Why, you cannot palm that man off on us for the Messiah! "For is he not the carpenter's son?" Is not his Mother Mary, and are not Joses and James and Simon and Judas his brothers?" Such a rule of investigation adopted as that, was calculated to deceive the people, and to keep all those deceived who engaged in it, rather than to bring light to them. Afterwards when the apostles went out to preach to the world, there was a rule laid down whereby men might come to a correct conclusion with regard to the things that were presented by the apostles. And certain individuals saw fit, instead of following the true rule, to make war upon the character of the apostles. But was that a true way to examine into their faith? I ask my opponent in this discussion to answer a question with regard to that -- Does he approve the course of the Jews in testing the truth and divinity of the message presented by John and Jesus in searching for stories as to their characters? Tracing out their father and mother, and their brethren, etc.; instead of investigating from the standpoint of the message that was brought, and that was shown forth in the claim itself? After he has answered these, then I ask him to state to this audience whether he approves the act of the wicked Jews in investigating the claims and teachings of the apostles themselves as they went forth to the world to carry that message, by inquiring into the character of Paul and of Peter, and by listening to the stories that were being told all around about them in Jerusalem and elsewhere instead of coming up like fair men and weighing and canvassing the words that they presented and comparing them with the Scriptures that they claimed to believe in? It seems to me that if we are to canvass the question under consideration, there is some proper way by which we must do it. How shall it be done? Is there any rule laid down? I believe that the Bible is the standard in controversy, as stated by my opponent. He stated many things to you that were true, and many things with regard to my belief that were untrue, and so many of them are not true, that the only answer that I will make to them at this time, is the answer that General Rosecrans telegraphed back to Washington on the occasion of the re-union of the soldiers at Cincinnati last Fall in reference to a statement made in the newspapers at Washington of a purported interview. He said, "there is so much falsehood mixed in with the little truth in the publication, that I send back a telegram that the whole is false." Now, I do not use the term falsehood in a deliberate sense in regard to my opponent, but certainly he has misconceived the positions that I take and that my people take with reference to our belief in the scriptures and in the revelations. And on many other things that he stated before you he is ignorant, if he has stated what he really believes, as the majority, no doubt of the audience. But it is my place to enlighten him, and I will try to do so before this discussion closes. When Jesus had been examined under a wrong rule by the wicked Jews in his time, he gave the apostles a correct rule by which they might try men, and that correct rule is stated in direct language when he refers them to the teaching of Moses and the prophets. He says to them, "If ye believed in Moses and the prophets, ye would believe in me, for Moses wrote of me." And again, as you will find recorded in the 8th chapter and 46th verse of John: "Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?" Now, the Jews were standing there, some saying that he was the son of Joseph, some saying that he was the son of Mary and that these men around here were his brethren, and that he was a deceiver and a wine bibber and a gluttonous man. But Jesus says to them, "If I say the truth, why do you not believe me?" That was the proper ground upon which to decide whether he was an impostor or not, or whether his message came from heaven or not. Afterwards he lays down a distinct and positive rule for his disciples to go by. My friend claims to be a Disciple. Will he go by it, and will he answer to this audience whether it is a true rule or not? He says,
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"Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?" "He that is of God heareth God's words: Ye therefore hear them not because ye are not of God." -- John 8:46, 47.
Again, a further exposition of this rule by one of his apostles afterwards. You will find it recorded by John in his second epistle, 9th verse, wherein he states that "whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God." That is the way to try men. I have presented you my case this evening, and told you that I believed in the doctrine of Christ, and that so far as the revelation on the other continent was concerned, I was in agreement with it. I take up the revelation made on the other continent, and it says, "He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." And what am I answered with? "Oh, they are deceivers! They are fanatics! He is a false prophet."
There was one position that was taken by the negative in his argument that I will examine in due time, but I will not leave the subject at this time to do so. That with reference to the cessation of miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, or inspiration, or the confining of them to the first century. If I cannot show that they were not confined to the first century, why certainly I ought to be able to, if this is true in this book, in one sense. But then this book might be true in a certain sense, too and still they be confined, so far as the people on the eastern continent are concerned, to the first century.
However, I will examine that when the time comes, and will make it explicit, and clear to the audience. We have the rule as stated by the Apostle John, in accordance with the rule laid down by the Master himself: -- "Whatsoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." Now, will you investigate my character in order to know whether I am teaching the right kind of doctrine or not this evening? Or would such a course be pertinent to the question? So with any other character. If that was not the test, I could overthrow, by taking the testimony of enemies and the testimony of friends, every writer that is contained in the Bible, and sink them so low that no man could ever resurrect them. But, I repeat, it is no test.
In the next verse to the rule already quoted the apostle says: -- "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed." But instead of examining the question in regard to the presentation of the book under investigation, in that line, he sees fit to go back and ask it in regard to the character of the people, what their enemies said about them preferring the stories of their enemies, to the truth. But I leave the matter thus far with you, and proceed with my main affirmative argument.
Having generally introduced the subject under discussion, I shall proceed at once to marshal the testimony found in the Bible that is fairly applicable to my position.
It may be properly arranged under the following general divisions: --
1. That of a general nature, showing that it is in harmony with the general law relating to the race of man, that God makes known his will to him wherever and whenever man will put himself in condition to receive instruction, regardless of caste or nationality, and making it possible and probable, that nations other than the Jews of Palestine, have received instructions from Him.
2. Such testimony as is contained in the Scriptures which specifically refers to the fact of a prophet settling the American continent from the orient; definitely setting forth who they were; the reason and object of their coming; the results of the migration, and the character and nature of the revelations God from time to time made to them.
3. The prophetic writings contained in the Bible which refer to the descendants if the people who came here, the bringing to light of their history and Record, and the important part that Record is to fill in the purposes of the Almighty as an ensign to the people, and a means of leading men and women to the knowledge of the true God.
Under the first of these divisions the statement of the Apostle Paul is directly in support. Acts 17:26 and 27: "And (God) hath made of one blood all nations of men for 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."
Whatever may be our views and preconceived notions with regard to the dealings of the divine hand with the human family, it was made clear to the gifted minds of the apostle, that God did have something to do in fixing the bounds of human habitation, and that He did it for the purpose that they might seek Him; -- not only this, but that they might also "find him," which finding is to be brought into such relationship with him as to actually know him, to have a knowledge of their acceptance from him of their work and hence a communication of his will. The testimony of the apostle Peter is in perfect agreement with the thought, Acts 10:34 and 35, when he declares:
"Of a truth I perceive that God is no respector of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness is accepted with him." It had been with the Jews up to Peter's time as with the great mass of the people denominated Christians to-day, an idea that God would have nothing to do with any people except the few who congregated about Jerusalem so far as communicating his will or acceptance to them was concerned, and that all had been said by him to the world through them that was necessary, or that he had to
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communicate. But when the light of truth was sent from on high and dawned upon Peter's mind, he woke up to the grand fact that with our common Father and Creator there was no partiality, that his will and desire extended everywhere to aid and bless the creature, the same that was subjected in hope. His acceptance on this occasion was the same as made all along through the history. That same comforter which was shed forth at the acceptance of Jesus, when He said, "This is my beloved Son," and of which Jesus had said, "If I go away I will send him," was shed forth; and falling upon those of the uncircumcision, "They heard them speak with tongues and magnify God." And the apostle and those who were with him from the manifestation of God to the people recognized that there was an acceptance.
Jesus is the next witness I offer upon the point of the existence of another people, than the Jews, who had been in communication with the Father at the date he personally presented the gospel to the people: John 10, 14 and 16: -- "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, (people), and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep, (people), I have which are not of this fold: (the fold of Jerusalem), them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd."
To have been sheep, the people referred to by Jesus in this scripture, must have at some time had the will of God made known to them and also believed the same, or else have been of Israel, made so by reason of the promises. Otherwise, they could not have been sheep; for says Jesus: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me." They like Abraham of old had heard and recognized the inspired voice as had also the Jews when he led them along through the difficulties of life and who had hearkened in a manner to his precepts; and although at that time far separated from the fold from whence they had been led, (Jerusalem), yet, they, as the Jews to whom the address was then made, were to hear the voice of that same shepherd. These citations establish the fact certainly of the first proposition, that there were at the time Jesus was ministering upon the earth, another people than those at the fold of Jerusalem who were, or had been acceptable in their worship with God. But this is but one fact established; the second, pointing out the people referred to, must be shown, ere we can supply with understanding to the particular people, the Master's declaration. Turning to Math. 10:5, 6, we find a descriptive statement of the kind or class of people who were termed by Jesus, sheep: -- "These twelve Jesus sent forth and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Here then is another mark of distinction by which the sheep of whom he spoke may be known.
In addition to being a people who have hearkened to his teachings, they were of the house of Israel; -- of the tribes of which Judah was but one, that had under the promises sprung from Jacob, (Israel), and hence of the house of Israel. The prophet Ezekiel in speaking of those in the 34th chapter of that book gives us instruction as to where we might expect to look for this house of Israel: "My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill; yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them." And again, verse 11. "For thus saith the Lord God: Behold I, even I, will both search my sheep and seek them out."
It is clear then that in our search to find the people denominated sheep of whom Jesus spoke, and that he was to search after, we are not necessarily bound to confine ourselves to any particular part of God's heritage; for, "they were scattered upon all the face of the earth;" and although men who have termed themselves the wise and learned of the world, may have thought that the little country of Palestine is the only one wherein Jesus' voice had been heard, inspiration unmistakenly points to the contrary, and no person should be surprised to find that in the faithful examination of these things the inspired writings shall have been found correct. Taking up the Record forming the basis of this discussion, I read on page 451, of a claim made that the language of Jesus made at Jerusalem was with the understanding that he knew of these on this continent, as also others in a different part of the earth:
"And behold," (says Jesus to these), "this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you. And not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem; neither at any time hath the Father given me commandment, that I should tell it unto them concerning the other tribes of the house of Israel, whom the Father hath led away out of the land. This much did the Father command me, that I should tell unto them, that other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. And now because of stiff-neckedness and unbelief, they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them. But, verily, I say unto you, that the Father hath commanded me, and I tell it unto you, that ye were separated from among them because of their iniquity; therefore it is because of their iniquity, that they know not of you. And verily, I say unto you again, that the other tribes hath the Father separated from them; and it is because of their iniquity, that they know not of them. And verily, I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said, Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
But, says the objector, what evidence is that, that these were the people referred to? Only this; in the singularity of the statement which the record makes, and the new facts brought to light, if it shall upon investigation be found to be a fact, at a time in the world's history when it was supposed by scriptorians everywhere that Jesus referred to another thing, and which view is
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found to have been erroneous when examined closely from a Bible standpoint in the light that is newly thrown upon the world by this record. And further it bears evidence in this, being a circumstance in the chain of evidence which unites to form a complete connection with this people and that at Jerusalem. And it is of value providing the other links in the chain accord therewith, and harmonize, and thus indeed form a chain, the which, no other reasonable view is adverse.
Do not understand me, or misrepresent me as jumping at the conclusion that because of the expression of Jesus on the other continent, found in John's gospel, therefore the book of Mormon is true; nor because the language is contained in the book from which I have read, therefore, it is true. I think I understand and comprehend the rules of logic as well as those of evidence too well to make any such blundering, or startling leap, at conclusions as that; and wish you to take only things for evidence after they shall have fairly been shown to be such.
Whether I believed in the words read from the Record I have before me or not, there would hang to mind the singularity of the statement of Jesus at Jerusalem, taken in connection with the other fact that it seemed to have been so wholly ignored and misunderstood by those to whom it was addressed. No one even to ask, Lord to whom do you refer?" Indeed it is singular knowing as we do, that the Gentiles are not and never were reckoned as sheep. The same stolid indifference still manifest by that people and that seems to have hung by them so long before and after, that to them nothing was of worth or interest outside of Judah and the little country on the east of the great sea.
Returning to the line of evidence, I take up the testimony of the scriptures which relate to the establishment of a people in the land as claimed in this record: --
Genesis, 49:22, (Jacob, (Israel), the head of the tribes in his last blessing upon the twelve sons whose children should figure so wonderfully in the history of the world, says, in his blessing of Joseph: --
"Joseph is a fruitful bough, even 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: But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel): Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound 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.
Whatever may or may not have been the former entertained or expressed views of the meaning and application of this prophetic blessing, one thing must be admitted by all the intelligent, and that is, that the prediction clearly shows a change of place of residence and habitation at some period of time, of the posterity of Joseph. Also their settlement and inheritance of a country far greater in extent, and more wonderful for richness and desirableness than the country of Palestine, or that adjacent.
The prophecy reveals what is to be the history of the descendants: -- "Whose branches run over the wall." "The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills." The blessing of Jacob's progenitors, Isaac and Abraham, consisted in the promise of the country wast and south of the great sea (Mediterranean), from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates, including the whole of Canaan. This is clearly established by the following references: Gen. 12:7; 7:8; 15:7 & 18; 26:3 & 4; 28: 4, and 48:4.
But in the prophetic blessing of Joseph the statement is emphatic that the branches (daughters, children, posterity), of Joseph were to extend above this, beyond Canaan and the country of the Mediterranean, even "unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills." Far from the country of Palestine, to a land teaming with the first things of earth, honored with the choicest of blessings and one to be desired above that of Canaan.
I invite you to candidly and fairly enter upon the search for this "promised" land, and to be only as confident in the same as the history and prophetic writings shall fully and fairly warrant. Turning to Deut. 33:13 to 18, we find a further account and description of this same country, and also a prediction with reference to this same branch of the human family. It is the language of Moses, the great civil and ecclesiastical lawgiver of ancient times, and "the prophet" to whom even reference is made in pointing out a likeness of the great character of Jesus.
Upon these words we may rely if we are to place implicit confidence in any statements of the divine record.
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MR. BRADEN'S SECOND SPEECH.
I claim that he called them to the exercise of spiritual gifts in every instance, except the Baptism of the Holy Spirit by the imposition of an apostle's hands -- in that way alone. None but an apostle could call men to the exercise of these gifts. This power to bestow these gifts was "the sign of apostleship." When the apostles ceased to call men, God ceased to call men, to the exercise of these gifts, for his appointed and only means of calling men to these spiritual gifts ceased. Then as many out of all flesh, out of believers, as God called -- by his only appointed means, the imposition of an apostle' hands --to the exercise of these spiritual gifts and no others received them. Outside of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit no one ever enjoyed these gifts, except those on whom an apostle laid his hands, to impart them. Acts, VIII. Philip, who exercised wonderful spiritual powers could not impart spiritual gifts. "Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that the Samaritans had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John, who when they were come down prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for as yet he had not fallen on any of them, only they had been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." My opponent's claim that baptism is for the receiving of the Holy Spirit, is at fault here. These persons had been baptized and had not, and could not receive the Holy Spirit until the apostle had laid hands on them, for the account proceeds: "Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostle's hands." Here it is declared, as clearly as human speech can make it, that the Holy Spirit was received through the laying on of an apostle's hands. That he was imparted in that way alone, for the apostles had to come down from Jerusalem, and lay their hands on them, before they could receive him although they had been baptized and Philip the mighty wonder-worker, who was full of the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit, was with them. If Philip could not bestow the Holy Spirit, no one outside of an apostle could.
Acts, IX.: Saul's case is supposed to be an exception. He was in Damascus, hundreds of miles front any apostle. As prophets, who were not Levites, sometimes offered sacrifices as prophets, when no Levite was present to officiate, so here, God called and miraculously commissioned and appointed Ananias to act as special apostle, in this case, to confer on Saul the Holy Spirit. He declares: "The Lord Jesus sent me to you, that you may receive the Holy Spirit." This case no more sets to one side our law than the act of Elijah in offering sacrifices as prophet, when there was no priest to officiate, sets to one side God's positive law that no one but a Levite could offer Sacrifices. Acts, XIX. Paul baptized the twelve disciples of John, at Ephesus. "Then he laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit and spoke with tongues and prophesied." Tim. 1-6. "Stir up the gift of God that is in you, through the laying on of my hands." These are all of the instances of the impartation of spiritual gifts, in the Scriptures, outside of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was imparted, in every instance, by the imposition of an apostle's hands. These Scriptures prove beyond cavil that no one but an apostle could confer these gifts and that they were conferred in that way alone. None but an apostle could call to the exercise of these gifts. These gifts never descended to a third person. I challenge an instance where they descended to a third person. That Any one ever exercised spiritual gifts but one called by the imposition of an apostle's hand. When the last person to whom an apostle had imparted these gifts, by the imposition of his hands, died these gifts
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ceased from earth. God ceased calling men to the exercise of these gifts when his only appointed means of calling them ceased. Thus we utterly demolish every claim of inspiration for Joe Smith or any of his followers; every shadow of claim of inspiration for the Book of Mormon; all claim that it is of divine origin.
The Scriptures clearly teach that these miraculous powers were exercised to give to man a completed revelation of a scheme of salvation from sin, and that when that object was accomplished, they ceased. We have already used the illustration of creation. God brought animals and plants into existence by miracle of direct creation. But when that was done he ceased miracles of creation, and now operates in a higher and more perfect manner, by natural law. So he gave revelation by means of inspiration until he had completed a perfect system of revelation universally applicable, and eternal truths. Then he ceased revelation and miracle, and operates now through a higher and more perfect law, the moral power of these divine truths, thus revealed and completed. The Bible speaks of the unfolding of the scheme of redemption as being similar to the growth of each person, from infancy to manhood. As the child lays to one side the discipline of the school and the parent, and enters on the duties of life, in which he uses what parents and teachers have taught him, so the Bible teaches that mankind have laid to one side the instrumentalities employed in childhood and youth, and now, as men, use the truths God has imparted and perfected.
There was a time when the settlers of America had no government. Then they obtained from home government colonial governments. This was followed by the revolutionary government. Then came government under the Articles of Confederation. Under these a constitutional convention was held and a constitution offered to the people. They adopted it and established a complete government under it. All constitutional convention work then ceased. The Antediluvian Dispensation, from Adam to the flood, might be compared to the settlers before they had a regular government. The Patriarchal Dispensation from the flood to the law of Sinai, might be regarded as the period of colonies and governments under the parent government. The Mosaic Dispensation might be compared to our revolutionary government. The preparatory work of John and our Saviour to government under the articles of confederation, when the constitutional convention was established and did its work. The apostles and the work under them might be compared to the work of the constitutional convention, and the organization of our government in accordance with the constitution. The apostles were appointed by our Saviour to give to the church its constitution the New Testament, just as the people chose delegates to the constitutional convention, through their representatives, and empowered them to frame the constitution. Now mankind adopt the New Testament, form churches under it, and live in accordance with its principles, just as our people accept our constitution, form states under it, and live in accordance with the general laws and principles of the constitution. Just as the constitutional convention ceased its work, when it had framed the constitution, so the apostles and revelation ceased their work, when the New Testament was completed. To go back under direct revelations would be as absurd as to go back under a constitutional convention. Direct revelations were as much inferior to the operation of the completed word of God, as the constitutional convention was to government under the constitution. In all of the former dispensations, when miraculous powers were exercised, the condition of mankind was as inferior to our condition now, under a completed revelation, as all former conditions of our people were inferior to our present condition. Not only so but revelation in all dispensations speaks of the dispensations, when miraculous powers existed, as imperfect provisional, and preparatory to something higher and better. They speak of the work of Christ and his apostles as that which is perfect and complete. They never speak of anything that is to succeed it, of anything that is to be better than the Gospel. John speaks of the work of Jesus as perfect. The apostle speaks of this work as the perfection of the work of revelation, as that which is perfect. That which is to have no successor. They speak of what the Gospel will do, but not what something higher and better, that is to replace it, will do. The Scriptures teach clearly and positively, not that these miraculous gifts were to remain as a constituent and perpetual element in the Gospel, the church and their workings, but that they were the means of revealing the Gospel, the New Testament, and when that was done they were to cease. These miraculous powers were no more a part of the Gospel than the exercise of miraculous powers exercised in creation was a part of things created. Just as miraculous power in creation was only the means, and ceased when it had accomplished its work, so miraculous power in revelation, was the means of revealing the word of God, and not a part of that word and ceased when revelation was completed, and did not remain a part of what it had introduced and completed. Constitution making is only a means of making the constitution, and not a part of it. It ceased when it had done its work in giving the constitution. It does not remain as part of what it has made. My opponent's position is as absurd as it would be to claim that God must now bring animals and plants into being by miracle of creation or that a constitutional convention must set forever, and be forever making constitutions.
The teachings of the New Testament harmonize exactly with our position and illustrations. Eph., IV: "Christ gave
THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE. 21
miraculous gifts to men. He gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, some to be shepherds and some to be teachers." These apostles and prophets, were extraordinary powers in the church. Their work was necessarily one accomplished by inspiration, miraculous power from the Holy Spirit. The evangelists, shepherds and teachers were endowed with miraculous powers then, for such power was essential to their work, in the condition in which the church then was. All these had miraculous powers, spiritual gifts. How long were they to continue? For what purpose were these miraculous powers given? Paul answers: "For the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of the ministry, for the building (the work of the ministry in building) of the body of Christ," or completing the organization of the church -- "until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God" -- or until "the faith" -- the word of God -- the New Testament is completed. This passage of Scripture explains, definitely and clearly, for what purpose these gifts were given, and how long they were to continue. They were given to furnish the saints for the work of the ministry in building up the organization of the church, and were to remain until that work was done, or until all attained to the unity of the faith, and the faith is perfected. Then they ceased, having accomplished their purpose. There can be but one answer to this. My opponent must show that the "until" refers to something else than the completion of the organization of the church, and the completion of the word of God -- the New Testament, and show that the work of these gifts was not accomplished in these works, and that it is needed now.
My position is still more fully taught in I. Cor., XII, XIII, XIV. The apostle in XII, 8, 9, 10, and 28, 29, 30, enumerates the gifts that the Holy Spirit bestowed on persons in the church: I. Word of Wisdom. II. Word of knowledge. III. The faith -- the word of God. IV. Gifts of healing. V. Working of powers. VI. Prophecy. VII. Discerning of spirits. VIII. Speaking in different tongues. IX. Power to interpret different tongues. These miraculous gifts made persons: I. Apostles. II. Prophets. III. Teachers. IV. Miraculous powers. V. Gifts of healing. VI. Helps. VII. Wise counsellors. VIII. Speaking in different tongues. IX. Interpretation of different tongues. He then says: "Desire earnestly the best of these spiritual gifts" -- while it is the order in the church to exercise these gifts -- "but nevertheless I show unto you a more excellent way" -- than the exercise of the best of these spiritual gifts. Observe carefully that Paul, after exhorting his brethren to desire the best of these spiritual gifts while it is the order of the church to exercise spiritual gifts, declares positively that there is a more excellent way than the exercise of the very best of these spiritual gifts. In this he flatly contradicts the central idea of Mormonism, which teaches that the highest condition of the church is the exercise of these spiritual gifts, and that the state of the church, when they are not exercised is, not as Paul declares "the more excellent way," but an apostate condition.
Paul proceeds to unfold this more excellent way in what is the XIII chapter in our English Bible -- this way that is more excellent than the exercise of the very best of these spiritual gifts, which my opponent makes the all in all in Christianity. He declares that Christian love, Christian character and spirit, are the great purpose of the religion of Christ. All things -- the highest and best spiritual gifts, are worthless unless they aid in producing Christian love, Christian spirit and character; and are valuable only as they aid in producing such results. He then unfolds a way of producing Christian love, Christian spirit and character, that is better than the exercise of the highest and best of these spiritual gifts, that my opponent regards as the alpha and omega of Christianity. He declares that Christian love, Christian character and spirit, shall remain forever, for they are the great object of the religion of Christ. "But prophesying" all utterances by inspiration, "shall cease" -- "speaking in different tongues shall cease" -- that is all miraculous powers that are mere signs, of the presence of superhuman power shall cease. "Knowledge" -- all knowledge by inspiration "shall cease," or in other words, when that more excellent way than the exercise of the best of these spiritual gifts obtains, all miraculous powers shall cease.
Paul then gives the reason why they shall cease, and tells when they shall cease. We come now to a passage of scripture that is more frequently perverted and worse perverted than almost any other in the word of God. Paul is discussing the condition of the church, and if the ordinary interpretation be true, he leaves the church entirely, and goes up into heaven, in his discussion, and contrasts, not two different states, but the church and heaven. Outside of the Bible, such an idea would be regarded as preposterous nonsense. But men seem to lay one side all sense, when studying the Bible. It is not to be understood as any other book; but is to be made as unnatural and fantastic as possible. No conceit is too farfetched, too unnatural to be injected into Biblical interpretation. I insist that Paul is contrasting two conditions of the church. One when spiritual gifts are exercised, the other when they are not exercised. Both states are states of the church, and of course here on earth and before Christ gives up his Messiahship, and the church ceases to exist as an institution, on earth, for the salvation of man from sin. The passages following have not the slightest reference to heaven, or to anything but a condition of the church on earth.
The apostle declares: "For now" -- that is during the exercise of these spiritual gifts, the present state of the church -- "we know
22 THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE.
in part" -- that is the knowledge imparted by these spiritual gifts is but partial -- but a fragment of revelation each time they are exercised -- "and prophesy in part" -- that is speaking by inspiration, gives but a fragment of revelation each time it is exercised -- "but when that which is perfect is come" -- when the "perfect law of liberty" of James -- when that which makes perfect the man of God, the scriptures, are completed in the New Testament -- "then that which is in part" -- the exercise of these spiritual gifts -- these partial revelations through them "shall be done away." The apostle then returns to the figure used in the XII chapter where he compared the church to the human body, and personifies the church by his own body, and its development by his own growth. He declares that just as he "perceived as a child, felt as a child, spoke as a child, when he was a child," so the church, during the exercise of these spiritual gifts, "perceives as a child, speaks as a child," for all revelations under such circumstances must be fragmentary and broken. But as he "put away childish things when he became a man" so the church will put away these childish things, the exercise of these spiritual gifts when it passes out into the condition of manhood, when it is under "the perfect law of liberty" the completed Testament a law of universal truths, suited to the liberty of manhood.
This agrees exactly with the apostle's teaching in Eph. IV, as we have already seen. The apostle continues: "Now" that is during the exercise of these spiritual gifts -- "we" -- that is all believers -- 'see as in a mirror dimly" -- these partial revelations, through the exercise of these spiritual gifts. give imperfect knowledge -- "but then" -- that is when the word of God is completed in the New Testament -- "we shall see face to face." As James declares: "the perfect law of liberty," the New Testament is a mirror, and if a man looks into it and is a doer of what it requires he is blessed. "Now," continues the apostle -- that is during the exercise of these spiritual gifts -- "I know in part" -- that is the fragmentary revelations, given through the exercise of spiritual gifts, imparts but partial knowledge -- "I prophesy in part" -- that is inspired speaking through these spiritual gifts is partial and fragmentary -- "but then" -- that is when the word of God is completed in the New Testament -- "I shall know even as I am known" --that is the church shall know what it ought to be, just as the Holy Spirit knows what it ought to be, for the Holy Spirit will then have made a perfect revelation of the matter. The apostle closes by declaring that "faith," the faith, God's perfected promises -- "love" christian spirit and character, that are the object of revelation, "shall remain forever, but the greater of these is love, christian spirit and character" the great aim and purpose of all religion. I have been careful to unfold this important revelation, because it cuts up by the roots, all claim of inspiration for Joe Smith, and all claim that the Book of Mormon is of divine origin. I might rest my case here.
We will clinch the matter however by putting Mormonism to the test it challenges. Has Mormonism revealed a single new idea, not contained in the Bible? Has it given a better expression to a single idea revealed in the Bible, than is given by the Bible? Man is constitutionally a religious being. Without any revelation his religious nature would have, and ever has had its expression in religious ideas and system of religion. Into these systems of religion man has wrought certain catholic religious ideas of his religious nature. Religions differ in the number of these ideas that they contain, and in their expression of them. All human systems of religion are faulty in these particulars. I. They do not contain all of the catholic ideas of man's nature, II. They do not express these ideas perfectly. III. They do not expand them into universally applicable principles. All human religions are national or race religions. They are not religions for all mankind. IV. They do not unite these ideas into a harmonious system. V. They do not expand the system into a universal and absolute religion. VI. They corrupt these ideas with error and evil. VII. They incorporate error and evil into the system as cardinal ideas. We claim for Christianity: I. It contains every catholic religious idea of man's religious nature. II. It expresses each and every idea perfectly. III. It expands each and every idea into an eternal truth, a universally applicable principle. IV. It unites all of these ideas into a harmonious system. V. It strips these ideas and the system of all error and imperfection, with which human systems has polluted them. VI. It expands the system into an absolute religion, a religion for humanity.
If this position be true, then a man can not outgrow Christianity. It is the work of all study to reach universally applicable principles, such as the law of gravitation, or the Copernican law of the universe. When research has attained to such principles, it has revealed the ultimate in that direction. It can never outgrow such a principle. It will never need anything in its stead. It can only learn more of the scope and grasp, the ramifications of these universal truths, throughout the infinite universe, but it can never outgrow them. It will never need anything in their stead. In Christianity, we have a system composed of such universal truths, such universally applicable principles. Man can never outgrow them not even a "Re-organized Mormon." He will never need new truths, new revelations in addition to them, nor in their stead. If man progresses throughout eternity, he may be able to understand the scope and grasp of these eternal truths, these universally applicable principles better, but he will never outgrow them, nor will he need something in their stead, no more than he will outgrow the law of gravitation, and need something in its stead. This forever
THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE. 23
silences and renders absurd the claim of Mormon revelations.
The catholic ideas of man's religious nature are these. I. The self-existent, independent, self-sustaining, eternal and absolute Being, the origin of all derived existences, and the cause of all phenomena, is Absolute Spirit, or God. Has Mormonism any idea to take the place of this? Does it give a better revelation of it than is given in the Bible? II. This Absolute Spirit created, controls and sustains all things in the boundless universe. Has Mormonism a revelation to take the place of this truth? Does it give a better revelation of this truth than is given in the Bible? III. Spirit existence. God who is absolute spirit; Christ who is a divine spirit; the Holy spirit, a divine spirit; angels; spirit in man. Has Mormonism any ideas to take the place of the teachings of the Bible on this subject? Does it give a better revelation of them than we find in the Bible? IV. The immortality of man's spirit and all spirits. Has Mormonism given us any new ideas o this topic? Does it reveal any truth not in the Bible, or better than it is expressed in the Bible? V. Freedom of volition in all acts of the spirit. Has Mormonism any new revelations on this topic, not in the Bible? Or does it express the truth better than the Bible? VI. The division of all things into good or evil; all ideas into true or false; all acts into right or wrong; all characters into righteous or wicked. What new revelations has Mormonism given us on these matters, that better expresses this truth? VII. Clear, simple, infallible standard for deciding what is right and wrong, true and false. Has Mormonism given us a single new idea in regard to this matter? VIII. Responsibility to God? Has Mormonism added a single thought in regard to this? IX. Accountability to God? What light have we from Mormonism, on this topic, not in the Bible? X. Retribution here and hereafter. Has Mormonism given us a single new idea on this important topic? XI. God's providence, as our Father in heaven. Has Mormonism added a ghost of an idea to our knowledge on that subject? XII. Prayer and answer to prayer. What new revelations has Mormonism given us on that question? XIII. Revelations from God, of truth man unaided could not attain. What new idea in regard to revelation does Mormonism give to man? XIV. Inspiration of chosen men as mediums of revelation. What new light have we from Mormonism on this topic? XV. Miracles as proof of inspiration and revelation. What new truth has Mormonism in regard to miracles? XVI. Prophecy. What new ideas in regard to prophecy has Mormonism given to the world? XVII. Sacrifice for sin. What light have the pretended Mormon revelations thrown on this topic? XVIII. The expiation or atonement that Christ made for mankind. Have Mormon pretended revelations given us one new thought on this central idea of Christianity? XIX. The mediatorship of Christ. Has Mormonism given to the world one particle of light on that topic, not in the Bible? XX. A leader in religion and redemption. What light from Mormon revelations here? XXI. A perfect embodiment of teaching and example in life. Has Mormonism given us a ray of additional light on the subject? XXII. An object of faith devotion and love? What light does Mormonism add to the teachings of the Bible? XXIII. Incarnation of Jesus as divine sacrifice, mediator, and object of love and devotion. Does Mormonism add a single thought on this topic? XXIV. Sin as a fact in man's life and experience. Its nature, its results. Has Mormonism thrown one particle of additional light over this dark theme? XXV. Regeneration of life, spirit and character. Have we any additional light on this glorious idea of Christianity, from the jack-o-lantern of Mormonism? XXVI. Forgiveness of sin on repentance and reformation. What new revelations on this cheering truth, have we from Mormonism? XXVII. A life of righteousness moulded and directed by religion. Does Mormonism give us new revelations here? XXVIII. The life of each individual, the family, society in all relations, nations, mankind, are to be regenerated by the pure religion of Christ. Do we owe anything to Mormon revelations on this subject? XXIX. The regulation of all thought, action, and life, in every relation of life and sphere of action, by this religion. What new ideas does Mormonism give us here? XXX. Each person elevates himself in love and righteousness, by giving himself in loving self-sacrifice for others. Does Mormonism give a new revelation on this thought? XXXI. Man is to be a co-worker with God in the great work of redemption. What new revelation have we from Mormonism on this topic? XXXII. Man in the mental and moral likeness of God. What new revelations here? We ask Mormonism. XXIII. Endless growth, development and progress of all intelligences towards the absolute perfection of their Creator. What new revelations have we here? We ask the Mormon. XXXIV. The resurrection and glorification of man's nature. What new revelations on this theme have we from Mormonism? XXXV. The universal Fatherhood of God. What new light does Mormonism give us in regard to this topic? XXXVI. The universal brotherhood of man. What new revelations on this theme has Mormonism given us? XXXVII. A system of truth to be believed, of worship to be performed, of rules of life to be lived. Has Mormonism in its pretended revelations added the ghost of an idea to what is in the Bible? XXXVIII. The church of Christ as a perfect organization, for the maintenance of this religion, and man's culture in it. What new truth has Mormonism given us here? Will our opponent answer these questions?
He dare not contradict common sense and God's word, in claiming that all of the pretended revelations of Mormonism, have suggested a ghost of a new truth. In regard to one of these great ideas revealed in the
24 THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE.
Bible. There is left for him one refuge. He may say that he does not claim that revelations are needed to add to the truths revealed in the Bible, or to express them better, but the spiritual gifts are needed to enable man to do the work that the religion of Christ and the revelations of the Bible demand of him. That inspiration and new revelations are needed to aid man in such work, and to enable him to do it. That human wisdom is not always sufficient to the task of developing and applying the universally applicable truths of revelation. Nor to the task of deciding what should be done in applying them. That revelations, inspiration, spiritual gifts, are needed to supply this want of human weakness. Also to authenticate and establish the divine origin of Christianity. That as spiritual gifts were needed as helps and a sign of the divinity of the religion of Christ anciently, so they are needed now. This is the only refuge left him. Should he attempt refuge there, we will soon drive him out of that last hiding place.
Now will our opponent meet these two positions. I. The Scriptures teach that inspiration, revelation and miraculous power existed for a definite purpose, the revelation of a perfect system of truth. That system of truth was completed in the New Testament. Inspiration, revelation and miracle ceased, having accomplished their purpose. Therefore all claims of later revelations is absurd and unscriptural. II. Christianity contains all religious ideas and expresses them perfectly. Further revelation is needless. Will he grapple with these positions like a man and cease his jingling interpretation of prophecies that have not more reference to Mormonism than the frauds of a gang of counterfeiters,
THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE. 25
THIRD SPEECH OF MR. KELLEY.
I turn and read again from Deuteronomy 33:13-18:
"And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, and for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth and fullness thereof, and for the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the "earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim and they are the thousands of Manasseh"
Here we have such a full and definite description of Joseph's land -- where the branches -- posterity of Joseph -- were to pass to, and inherit, that it is hardly possible to make a mistake in applying it to the country, unless we shall while trying to do so be determined in our minds at all risks to preserve to our souls some cherished and petted theory or selfish institution, rather than to approach fairly and openly the light. It is a land of broad fields and extended territory. Of great diversities of soil, climate and temperature. It must extend through and occupy in the different zones. Here are the products of the earth set out in their fulness. Celebrated for its fruits and luxurious vegetation, "put forth by the sun and moon." A land of the chief minerals, "chief things of the ancient mountains;" for the wealth and products of its lakes and rivers "the deep that coucheth beneath; " and for the blessings of heaven, the revelation of God -- verse 16, "For the good will of him that dwelt in the bush;" and then it was far away from Canaan "to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills."
Associate this description now, with the promised blessing upon the children of Joseph Ephraim and Manasseh, Gen. 48: 15-20, where the land is located in the midst of the earth which, when we remember that the patriarch stood in the country lying on the Mediterranean and near to Canaan, could not with any sense of justice or fitness to the statement be made to apply to that land, and it will be possible to intelligently point it out.
The children also were to "grow into a multitude." Wherever the land is, a multitude of people will doubtless be found who are the descendants of Joseph of Egypt. "And he blessed them that day, saying, "In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and Manasseh." This accords with the description of the blessing of Joseph's land by Moses. It is one greatly to be desired choice above every other land, as was the blessing of the lads: so much so that it would be the highest thing to bless others as was the blessing of these children. The other sons of Jacob had their blessing and inheritance in Canaan and how could it ever be truly said, "God bless thee as Ephraim and Manasseh," if theirs was thus confined to Canaan also?
Pursuing the examination however, in search of this promised land and the line of Joseph, I next refer you to the prediction with reference to the departure from Jerusalem of the people who evidently were led to the land spoken of by these inspired men and the manner and time of their coming. Jeremiah 48:32 "O vine of Sibmah I will weep for thee with the weeping of Jazer: "Thy plants are gone over the sea, they reach even to the sea of Jazer: the spoiler is fallen upon thy summer fruits, and upon thy vintage." Here is introduced under the figure of a choice vine the dispersion of the line of Israel's beloved, and an introduction of the fact that they should pass from the then inheritance to the sea, and over the sea; as is also more specifically set forth by the prophet Isaiah 16:8, where it is evident the same event is referred to of which Jeremiah has given evidence. He says: "For the fields of Heshbon languish, and the vine of Sibmah: the lords of the heathen have broken down the principal plants thereof, they are come even unto Jazer, they wandered through the wilderness: her branches are stretched out, they are gone over the sea."
Now pass in your mind over the sea, from the old country of Jazer on the east of the Mediterranean, in either direction (so as to pass over the sea), and tell me what land you shall find and the only one you can find that answers the description of Joseph's land as foretold by Israel and Moses.
The phrase, "vine of Sibmah," may be understood by comparing it with the saying of the Lord in the second chapter, 20th and 21st verses, of Jeremiah: "For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy "bands; and thou saidest, thou wilt not "transgress; when upon every high hill and every green tree thou wanderest playing the harlot. Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: "How then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?" Sibmah refers to that to be desired pleasant, choice. And the "vine of Sibmah" is properly interpreted, "a noble vine," "a right seed," which was true of Ephraim and Manasseh.
26 THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE.
Turning again to the evidence upon the main thread of our search, I refer you to the 49th of Jeremiah, 30th to 33rd verses inclusive; where he gives the excited warning which God had commanded him to deliver, just a short time before the king of Babylon brings desolation upon the country of Jerusalem. The language of the prophet fully discloses the troublous scenes which suddenly followed: "Flee, get you far off, dwell deep," (that is go unobserved, secret).
"O ye inhabitants of Hazor, saith the Lord; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath taken counsel against you, and hath conceived a purpose against you. Arise, get you up unto the wealthy nation, that dwelleth without care, saith the Lord, which have neither gates nor bars, which dwell alone. And their camels shall be a booty, and the multitude of their cattle a spoil: and I will scatter into all winds them that are in the utmost corners; and I will bring their calamity from all sides thereof, saith the Lord. And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, and a desolation for ever: there shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it."
The warning to these people was to get out of the reach of the King of Babylon who at that time held complete sway in the countries of the east, and they were promised that if they would obey the voice and hearken unto the Lord, they should be led to a wealthy nation, a land descriptive of Joseph's land, and which, had been aforetime inhabited and whose inhabitants dwelt without bars; -- with nothing to prevent persons who should go there of taking possession, -- showing that the cattle and camels would be prey to be had for the taking.
Such a country as this existed at some place upon the earth at the time of the delivering of the warning prophecy and of the captivity referred to, unless the prophecy is false. Where was it? The Book of Mormon comes in with the new light reflected in 1829, and shows that at the time, such a country existed upon the American continent.
It had to that date been inhabited by a people who were led here from the plains of Shinar at the time of the confounding of languages; and who had been greatly blessed and enriched and had builded cities and towns and earthworks, and had been rich in cattle and camels and all kinds of animals, and in mines and mining. But had been at this time hurriedly gathered together by their leaders from every part of the land, leaving their cities unkept, the ores in process of removal in the mines, their herds and their flocks free to wander, while they engaged in mortal combat, stirred so the most desperate frenzy by animosity and revenge, until the country had become desolate of inhabitants.
Ah! but says my opponent, this comes from the Book of Mormon, it is not evidence. But I shall not leave the testimony here. I refer to it to show you that so early as 1829, when the book went into the hands of the publisher, this work cast the new light upon the nation and peoples of the world, when all were in ignorance and darkness; not only with regard to the former inhabitation of the continent, but also the interpretation of these prophecies. For my proofs I shall bring before you the corroborative testimonies which have come to light through the explorations and archaeological discoveries of the continent, as set forth and published in the first scientific and historical works of the times, and which could not have been known to the author of the Book of Mormon if it is claimed to be the work of man only,
Upon last evening it was repeatedly challenged, to point to a new thing which reflected light to the people from the work. I had nevertheless just referred him to the new light thrown upon the prophecy of the Master at Jerusalem. Here is another that stands out boldly and sublime as though flashed by the inspired shaft from the heavenly realms; and were it material to the maintenance of the authenticity of the work, I could gather from its brilliant pages ten thousand reflections of its rays, which are for the elevation of man, the encouragement, consolation and spiritual growth of the Christian as he wrestles with the evils of life, and which are not attained by the reading of any other work. But suppose I could not show a single new truth. How could it affect the argument as to whether God revealed himself to the people upon this continent, and that the result of such revealment were not teachings, "entitled to the respect and belief" of all the people who believe in the partial record that is left to us of the will of heaven as given to the people on the other continent? Will he answer the question for you? His ringing of [changes] on the word Mormon and "Mormonism," will hardly answer him as argument even with half thinking people. If this record is what it purports to be, all of it except about 75 pages, was in existence as a matter of history, prior to the time the revelator was at Patmos, and the greater part, long prior to the dawning of the Christian era. The people by whom much of it was written were also to a degree in customs, manners, and education, comparable with those who wrote much of the Bible. Should it be thought wonderful then that we can find often in its pages a similarity of thought and style?
I know the position has been assumed by my opponent, that he has a right to set up and affirm what he thinks the principles of my faith are, or of the body I represent in this discussion, and then to make a grand lunge at these supposed views as though he were battling down my arguments.
But he will find out before the close of the sixteen sessions that I lead in my own affirmatives, and have a different source from which to gather and elucidate my faith, than the brazen works of falsehood of Howe, Hyde, Tucker, Beadle, Stenhouse, Bennett, Ford, et al., by the score, who by garbling, falsifying, innuendo and deceit, have sought to make the faith of the Saints, (which is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, as was the kingdom of God with the apostles), to be a curse and "sensual
THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE. 27
system." And by way of a reminder I will tell him here and now, that it will avail nothing for his side to set up imaginary men of chaff and straw at which to make a show of fight. I claim to be founded upon the rock, the which, neither fog, bluster, dust nor ashes will startle or move, and against which slanderous stories, calumny, abuse and vilifying can make no impression. Returning, however, to my affirmative argument, I invite your consideration to a thought that may arise in the minds of some as to whether or not at the time of these last prophecies, there lived at, or in the country of Jerusalem, any of the posterity of Joseph of Egypt. It was not as may have been imagined by some that these tribes had their respective boundaries and there was no intermingling in their living and their marriages. It was common for persons of different tribes to inhabit in the territory of other tribes. In 1 Chron 9:3 it is stated: "And in Jerusalem dwelt of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim and Manasseh."
For further evidence on this point I cite you to 1 Chron. 7:28, 2 Chron. 15:8,9; 17:2; and 30:18. It will not do then to take the position that the prophet's warning was to be heeded by some of the tribe of Judah only, and that it was thus fulfilled in passing out of the land, and that none of the others of Israel improved the opportunity.
The other prophecies relating to subsequent events are in conflict with such an idea or interpretation. There were in the city and country of Jerusalem at this time, those of other tribes, and particularly Ephraim and Manasseh.
Here I call to your minds a summary of the proofs I have made so far in this line, not one of which the negative has even noticed to this time. He has been waxing strong elsewhere, trying to draw comfort from the use of a few choice phrases in a derisive manner to the church and people I represent, and to prove to you that God could not reveal himself to the people of this continent, because by the action of a few persons who lived a few hundred years after the death of the apostles, and who got together, collected as many copies of the manuscript of the apostles as they could find, and after assorting them according to their judgment, made a book and called it the Book, or "The Bible;" and thus forever shut Deity out. Don't fail to gather the idea! they shut off the means of communication before they had heard whether Deity accepted their work as containing all the word of God. And now my opponent occupies the ridiculous position of stating that the compilation and collation contains all that God ever did, or ever will give for the instruction of men. It is a terribly false and superstitious belief, and has been the means of making more infidels than any other one thing. But I shall particularly notice this hereafter, and pass now to the proposed summary.
I have so far shown:
1. That it is according to the expressed will of heaven to make known to man in every nation His will, and that all should seek after and find Him.
2. That other nations than the Jews have sought after and found Him, and we have not their record in the Bible.
3. That in the days of the Patriarchs, and of Moses, and of the Prophets, there were express predictions to the effect that a line or remnant of the seed of Joseph should change their inheritance from Palestine, to a country that far exceeded it in all that is calculated to make a land desirable; and that the new country was far from Canaan.
4. That such a people did leave the country of Palestine in the time of the reign of Zedekiah, King of Judah, and started for a land of this description, passing covertly to and over the sea to a land beyond the borders of Africa.
I shall now enter upon another line of proofs and show that the people did not only thus leave Palestine, but also show more particularly whence they went to, and what was said they should do after they arrived upon the (to them), "promised land." Referring to the prophecy of Ezekiel, 37:15-28, we find a clear and explicit statement made with regard to an event to take place in the earth, and one particular thing which was to precede this notable event:
"The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, moreover, thou son of man, take thee 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 thy hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? 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 whereon 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 land."
If in this prophecy it shall be concluded that the particular sticks, can have no interest of signification, certainly the writing upon them must. The writing upon one of these sticks was for Judah, to represent the line, evidently, through which it came, and may be fairly and truly interpreted to mean the scriptures which came through that line. The writing upon the other was for Joseph, and complimentary by reason of the blessings upon his sons long prior, called the stick of Ephraim, and may fairly be interpreted to refer to some like writing which should come through the line of Joseph. Verse 19 shows, that the Lord should at some time in the divine economy use these together for the accomplishment of his purpose; and verses 22 and 23, show what these purposes are, and at what time the sticks or writings were to be joined together, i. e., at the time declared
28 THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE.
by the prophet when, "the envy of Ephraim shall depart and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off." "Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim." Isaiah 11:13; and more particularly with regard to the time and event see the instruction in verse 12: "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."
Turning to the 18th of Isaiah, the parallel text with this, we find the place of the setting up of the ensign and a further confirmation of the time when it was to take place. See the entire chapter. The prophet calls attention to the land shadowing with wings, as the place, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopa -- far west of Jerusalem. Verse 3, calls special attention to the ensign to be lifted up, and the sound that shall go forth as of a trumpet, the thought in this is that a call is to be made upon the people by the God of heaven. Verse 5, fixes the time as being just afore the harvest of the world; the same time in which the event is placed by Jesus as set forth in Matthew 13:39, and in the same time referred to by John the revelator, 14:6, where he says: "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
This again, brings the gospel by an angel to the earth after the apostle's time and just at the time before the harvest, when the judgments should go forth, and with a call to the people like to the blowing of a trumpet. "Hear ye!" and, "worship Him who made the heaven and the earth;" and this call is, and since 1830 has been made, whether my opponent would confine all angels, and gospel that came in power and the Holy Ghost, to the apostles' age or not.
Turning now to the 29th chapter of Isaiah, I find clearly and definitely set out the nature and character of the ensign that was to be lifted up. The gifted prophet beholds it in the form of a book containing the "everlasting gospel;" the same which Jesus preached; a gospel of power and salvation from sin; the same as the revelator saw. This chapter is clearly definitive also of what is termed "The stick of Joseph," referred to in the 37th of Ezekiel's prophecy. I will proceed and examine it particularly.
The first six verses of the chapter in Isaiah portray the degradation, distress and punishment of Jerusalem, and the ruin of their city; after which, "all nations," that have occasioned this distress and ruin, are represented in the condition of one in a dream; verses 7-11.
These nations are under the influence of the spirit of deep sleep; they are slumbering as to hearing the voice of God, with eyes closed, without prophets or seers. Then verse 11, "The vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed." (A book descriptive of a people that had wandered from God, so that they had wrought evil and felt not after him aright, and for their iniquities had been overthrown.) "Which (words) men deliver to one that is learned, saying, read this I pray thee; and he saith I cannot; for it is sealed." "And the book (not the words only), is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this I pray thee: And he saith, I am not learned."
Then the Lord says, that he will proceed to do his own work, "Even a marvelous work and a wonder," (Not by the wisdom of the world; for no learned man after the wisdom of the world was to be able to do his work); "for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." Then the book, the work referred to elsewhere as the "ensign," is to be translated and read by the means God has prepared. He will do His own work.
This work is to be wrought among the people at the time He sets His hand to redeem Jacob and establish Israel. To bring peace to those trodden down and scattered upon every mountain. It was not the work of Jesus in his time; for then was the beginning of the scattering, so far as Judah was concerned, or rather the beginning of the completion of the scattering of Israel.
Lebanon, the country of Jerusalem, then began to dry up and become barren, but this work is to be done at the time Lebanon was to be redeemed from the barrenness, and to become "a fruitful field, and the fruitful field esteemed as a forest." All of the things referred to here, every essential feature, of people, of time, of place, of the day in which the book should come forth, of the words which the book should contain, of the power of God to be manifested in the reading of the book, and the bringing to nought the wisdom of the wise (after the world and not after God), is fulfilled in the coming forth and publishing to the world of the Book of Mormon. Don't forget that I take a positive and confident stand with regard to the fulfillment of the prophecy. And yet, my wise opponent stands, darkening counsel with words without knowledge, never even attempting to give you an adverse explanation and application of the prophecy, such that he is willing to stand by, saying, "Where does it say that the Book of Mormon is meant?"
Where does it say in Genesis that the Shiloh is Christ? Yet we can see the relation of the prophecy. Again:
"He was led as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep dumb before his shearers, so he opened not his mouth." How did Phillip find out this was Christ? Is the name mentioned? Does it say "Jesus of Nazareth" is he who is mentioned? Not at all.
THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE. 29
What are the rules of evidence which should govern in this controversy? I call attention to the fact that the same rule which has governed in the reception or rejection of divine messages in every age or time of trying things or men, claiming a divine origin, or call from heaven, must be the governing rule in this case of the trial of the Book of Mormon being of Divine origin.
This rule I have sought to abide, saying: if you believe in Moses and the prophets, you will believe in this also; for they wrote of this. And again, "To believe for the very work's sake." What works? The gospel that is preached, and the everlasting gospel that it contains.
From that sure rule of examination, "He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." 2 John, 9th verse. The reason is evident and all sufficient; by Jesus' words, not miracles, not what is said about character, not the stories told on people, are we to be judged at the last day; and if we have stood by the word we will be right there and then; and whether it come from the high or low, rich or poor, from the mean city of Nazareth or the city of the kings; whether he who brings it is abstemious neither eating nor drinking, or whether he shall both eat bread and drink wine, it matters not; the lesson is taught us that we must not expect perfection in men, because God speaks to them; but perfection in the work so far as it comes from the hand of the Creator. God to my mind selects the best fitted persons he can find to do his work here, and no doubt he would, -- save in the instance of Jesus only, -- have preferred a more appropriate man than he found for the conduct of his work in every age in the past; but he works by unchangeable laws. Rules of discipline and development. He fits and prepares men by such laws, only in proportion as they will conform to the same, and hence in his selections, make choice from the material he has, and thus through the established means been able to prepare. And it is not for me to say he is not true, and that the law ordained for this preparation is not the best possible order. It was by this just rule that the compilers of the New Testament did their work. They had a mass of books claiming to be of divine origin. Some were acknowledged to be such. They tried the others by these. The correspondence in teaching, character of works, &c., -- receiving some and throwing out others. Do you deny it sir? So far as tracing the writings back to the original, or first writers, they could not do it in any instance positively. The rule followed by them, however, was a good one, and the same is true now, and I am willing to abide it.
But to return to the direct line of argument! I have now further located the land to which the descendants of Joseph were to come, as lying over the sea from Canaan, west of that country beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, far away to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills; to a "land shadowing with." (lying widely stretched out in the form of) "wings;" located as these prophecies claim, with a record containing the "everlasting gospel;" revealed as predicted by an angel from the courts of heaven, and "just afore the harvest," in the hour of the judgment.
The land is the continent upon which you and I live. Do not these proofs make my claim from the Bible stand point complete? Which link has he succeeded in breaking? One thing, however, I shall show in this connection, that is, the fact of a race of people of Israelitish origin or extraction, having come to this continent in ages past, and who well occupied and inhabited here, from the certain proofs obtained through archaeological research and discovery brought to light since the publication of the Book of Mormon to the world.
Not only this, but prior to their habitation, there had been upon and inhabited the continent another people and race which was not of the Jewish extraction, but highly civilized, and whose work of art in the ruins of the continent is readily distinguishable, from that of the people who succeeded them. These answer to, and are in fact the complete prototype and primeval race whose history is set out in the Book of Mormon as the Jaredites, who came here as they were led from the plain of Shinar. But just now I will take up and examine some objections, pretended or real, made by the negative.
1. He says, That in the New Testament God perfected and completed his work of revelation in a system of universal truths, &c.
To the unthinking listener there may appear a degree of force in this proposition. But is there in fact? In the first place the statement is at fault in that, it assumes the truth of a thing he is trying to prove, to wit: -- That in the New Testament is contained all that God has ever revealed to the world. For neither of us will deny that whatever he has revealed is perfect.
In what way is it perfected and completed? As my opponent would have you believe, so that God could not, and would not, outside of this, reveal Himself to any part of mankind? Certainly not. No man can maintain the proposition that in the New Testament is contained all the tour Heavenly Father has revealed for the instruction of man, or that he desires that they should know concerning him. The New Testament is but a compilation of many of the things revealed for the good of the human family, and not all. St. Luke in the first four verses of his record, sets forth the true idea of the record of the gospel. Then he proceeds to give his account of the things said and done by Jesus. The account is true, and in a sense complete in itself, and the truths are universally applicable to the race; but would that justify me in asserting that this book of Luke's writing, or this in connection with the Acts of the Apostles, which he wrote, contains all the revealed
30 THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE.
will of God, and all necessary truth? Such a conclusion would be most ridiculous and absurd. But not more so than the conclusion arrived at by my opponent, that the New Testament compilers, who were not inspired men, succeeded a few centuries after the evangelist Luke wrote, in bundling up all truth, which God had or would reveal in order to guide his children.
While man is not expected to outgrow the universal and eternal principles of the gospel that were delivered by Jesus himself, yet in the dissemination and acceptance of these principles in their true sense there is as necessarily instruction to be given by revelation in this age of the world, as there was after the personal ministry of Jesus had ceased and his instructions given, and when Peter, Paul and John did their work.
While we are quite ready to allow that truths which God has given for the good of universal man are universally applicable, and these in a sense perfect and complete, it does not follow from this that man should be limited to the simple reading of these, neither that it is not absolutely necessary that the act of revelation itself be continued in order that these very universal truths may be properly carried out in one's life.
This continuance of revelation is in fact a part of the revealment, and essential to growth in that already given; hence the apostle declares: "Wherefore I also after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus" "after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation" (that already revealed), "Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers, that the Father of glory may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him." My position is that the negative, in this method of jumping at such a conclusion of no more revelation, assails that which he professes at the same time to accept. (Time called.)
THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE. 31
MR. BRADEN'S THIRD SPEECH.
My opponent cannot appeal to one particle of the first line of proof. He can trace his book no farther back than to Impostor Joe Smith. It has not one particle of framework of corroborating history, geography literature and customs into which it interlocks. It stands on the naked assumption that Impostor Joe was inspired and on that alone. If he was inspired, then we should believe that he translated the Book of Mormon by inspiration, and of course it is true, and of divine origin. The Book itself has not one iota of interlocking corroborating, or collateral evidence. It steps out into human life from the hand of Impostor Joe as the Goddess Minerva burst from the head of Jupiter. He claims that he received it from an angel by miracle and that he translated it by inspiration. Therefore it is of divine origin and mankind should accept it. There are no monumental institutions no literature based on it. It has had no career in the life of our race of which we have one particle of knowledge or proof except the assertions of the book itself. If my opponent appeals to the Bible, as Jesus appealed to the Old Testament, he must show that the Bible, in its history, narrates the same events as are found in the Book of Mormon. It does not hint one of them, except what the Book of Mormon steals from the Bible. Or that the Bible foretells the events recorded in the Book of Mormon. He has attempted this, and oh how weak an attempt. I can prove that the Bible foretells the Koran or Swedenborg's writings just as clearly. The false prophets and false Messiahs of Israel furnished far more proof from prophecy than he has produced. Even if the Bible foretold the events narrated in the Book of Mormon, that would not prove that the Book of Mormon is of divine origin. The Bible foretells events narrated in Assyrian and Egyptian history. That does not prove that the books recording what the Bible foretells are of divine origin. Do the prophecies he quotes, even if we admit his fanciful application, prove that the Book of Mormon is of divine origin, one particle more than the prophecies in the Bible of events recorded in Egyptian history , proves that the Egyptian books were of divine origin? Where does the Bible prophesy in such a way as to prove that the Book of Mormon is of divine origin?
The only proof of the divine origin of the Book of Mormon is the pretended inspiration of Impostor Joe Smith. If Impostor Joe was inspired, then of course he translated the Book of Mormon by inspiration, as he claimed, and we can believe his story that he received it from an angel by miracle, and that the angel told him that the Book of Mormon is what it pretends to be, and true. If he was not inspired, we have not a shadow of proof of the divine origin of the Book of Mormon. My opponent can establish that Impostor Joe was inspired by proving that he wrought miracles, as nearly all of the inspired men of the Bible did; or that he foretold future events, as Noah, John the Baptist and others did, who wrought no signs, or that he had superhuman wisdom, and revealed what men could not know, as the inspired men of the Bible did, or that his character was such that he would not
32 THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE.
claim to be inspired. If it were not so, as we show in the case of Christ. If he appeals to the Bible as Jesus and the apostles appealed to the Bible, let him produce from the Bible the proof they did. Let him prove that the Bible prophesies directly and clearly of Impostor Joe, his work and his book. Let him show that the work of Impostor Joe and the Book of Mormon are a clear fulfillment of Bible prophecies. The appeals to prophecy, made by Christ and his apostles, were clear direct positive and overwhelming. They were not such far fetched fanciful distortions and perversions of the Bible, as we hear from Mormonism. He seems to be afraid to affirm and defend the inspiration of Impostor Joe. If he abandons that, he abandons the sole basis of his claim for his book. The only basis for the claim for the divine origin of the Book of Mormon is two assertions. I. An angel revealed to Impostor Joe the existence of certain plates and gave them to him and told him that the contents were true. II. That Impostor Joe translated these plates, and we have in the Book of Mormon the contents of the plates. Prove that you establish the divine origin of the Book of Mormon. Fail in that and you utterly fail to establish such claim.
My opponent attempted to prove the divine origin of his book by appealing to these facts: I. It claims to come from the right source. So does the Koran. II. It claims to be a proper message to mankind. So do the Shasters of India. III. Its object is good, the salvation of mankind. The same can be said of the revelations of Anni Lee. IV. Its teachings are good. So were the sermons of Stephen Burrows, the greatest scoundrel that ever lived. He, a vile impostor, stole and uttered the teachings of the Bible. So did Joe Smith and the Book of Mormon. If Impostor Joe was inspired, and his book a revelation Burrows was also inspired and his sermons revelations, on precisely the same ground. My opponent asserts that I should follow him in argument. That depends on where and how he leads. If he presents the issue clearly and fully, and any proof of his position, I will follow him. If he does not, I will present the issues myself, and refute his system, whether he presents it or not. I am surprised that one who claims to be a lawyer, as does my opponent, should be ignorant of the rules of debate, that the negative is free to pursue two courses. I. Reply to the attempted arguments of the affirmative. II. Or by an independent line of argument prove that his affirmative is untrue. If he pursues the latter course, he completely overturns the affirmative's position, if he never notices one of his pretended arguments.
My opponent's feelings seem to be very badly hurt by my calling Smith an impostor, a deceiver, a scoundrel. If I prove that he pretended to be inspired and was not, that his book was a fraud, I prove him to be an impostor, a scoundrel of the blackest dye. A woman once declared, "I don't like Mr. Brown. He called my husband a liar. And that was not the worst of it. He proved it." Mormons will have the same reasons to dislike Mr. Braden. I have called Joe Smith an impostor, a scoundrel and I will prove it. My opponent reminds me that the Jews called Jesus a drunkard, a glutton, a lover of harlots and vile persons. Will he answer one question? If the charges of the Jews had been true, would it not have proved that Jesus was an impostor? That he was neither inspired nor divine. If I prove that Joe Smith was a vile character, will it not prove that he was not inspired? Now answer if you dare. The fallacy of the Jews, was not in using the wrong argument, but in making a false accusation. Jesus admitted that if their charges had been true, it would utterly destroy his claim to be sent of God and divine, when he challenged them "Who of you have convicted me of any wickedness?" In that question, Jesus flatly contradicts the nonsense my opponent uttered last night. He appeals to the errors and sins of men that the Bible says were inspired. When he proves that they were ever inspired while living in such sin, while committing or practising it, we will notice his argument. What portion of the Bible was uttered or written by a man, while committing these vile sins? What inspired act or utterance of David, Solomon, Moses or Paul, have we that was acted or uttered while they were committing vile sins?
He admits that he who transgresses the teachings of Christ is not of God. That admission overturns all his special pleadings, in appealing to the sins of Bible characters. While in transgressions, they were not of God, not inspired, nor were their acts or utterances revelations. Then comes the one everlasting text of Mormonism "He that hath the teachings of the Christ hath both the Father and the Son." He assumes that if they have the Father and the Son, they are of God. True but that does not prove that they are inspired, nor that what they say or write is a revelation. Even if Joe Smith has been a good man, it would not prove that he was inspired, or that his book was a revelation, any more than the fact that Wesley was a good man, proves that he was inspired, and his sermons revelations. "But Joseph Smith claimed to be inspired. If a good man makes such a claim it must be true." No, a good man may be deceived. Hundreds of good men have been deceived in believing that they were inspired and that the stuff they uttered were revelations.
The gross absurdity of the use that Mormons make of that passage will be seen if my opponent well answer [my] question. How must a man have the teaching of Christ in order to have the Father and the Son? In mere preaching alone? Or in living them out in life? When the scoundrel Burrows had the doctrine of Christ in his sermons, did he have the Father and the Son? Would not the fact that he was a hypocrite, an impostor and a scoundrel, prove that he
THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE. 33
did not have the Father and the Son, no matter what he preached? Does the fact that Joe Smith stole and put the teachings of the Bible into the Book of Mormon, prove that he had the Father and the Son, that he was a good man, that he was inspired, that his book was a revelation? When the devil quoted the words of God to our Saviour, did it prove that he had the Father and the Son? That he was inspired and that his utterances were revelation? Even if the moral and religious sentiments of the Book of Mormon, that are stolen from the Bible, are good, it does not prove that its statements of pretended facts are true, and much less does it prove that the book is a revelation, that Joe Smith was inspired, or even a good man. Language can hardly express the idiocy of this pet argument of Mormonism. It would prove that when the devil transforms himself into an angel of light, and utters, hypocritically and to deceive, good sentiments, he is good, inspired, and his utterances revelations, just as clearly as it proves that Impostor Joe had the Father and the Son, was a good man, inspired and his book a revelation, because it stole good teaching from the Bible, and hypocritically gave it to the world, in the Book of Mormon, lying and claiming that his fraud was a revelation.
The question from Acts 17, no more proves or hints the divine origin of the Book of Mormon than a repetition of the multiplication table. Neither does the quotation from Acts 10. The quotation from John 10:14-16, teaches the opposite to what he claims it teaches. In Gen. 17:15, we read: "The uncircumcised person shall be cut off from my people. He has broken my covenant." Circumcision was the mark of the flock. If the Nephites were circumcised, they were of the same flock as those Jesus was addressing. If they were not circumcised, they had ceased to be Israelites, and not a prophecy that my opponent quotes can have any reference to them. Neither the Bible, nor the Israelites, nor Jesus ever speak of Israelites outside of Palestine, as belonging to a fold separate and different from those in Palestine. If the Nephites of the Book of Mormon were circumcised Israelites, they were as much members of the fold Jesus was addressing, as the Israelites in Egypt or Palestine. The sheep that were not of that fold of which Jesus was speaking, were not circumcised Israelites in Egypt or America or any other place, for all circumcised Israelites were of one fold. The other sheep that were not of that fold, that was made up entirely of circumcised Israelites, were Gentiles. The language has reference to the breaking down of a wall of partition between Jew and Gentile, and making Jews and Gentiles one fold in Christ.
The quotation from Ezekiel 84, "My sheep were scattered upon all the face of the earth" proves nothing for in such phraseology, often the Bible means no more than that they were widely scattered, and it never refers to more than the old continent which was all that the Israelites knew anything about. The quotation from the highly poetical figurative language of Jacob's blessing on Joseph, with its hold hyperbole, proves nothing. The Mormon interpretation is an unnatural one, foreign to the subject, and forced on to the language to sustain a theory. There is nothing in the language that was not fulfilled in Palestine, as much as the hyperbole of many other prophetic promises, that all admit did not extend beyond the land of Palestine. Even if it did extend beyond the land of Palestine, it need include no more than the old continent. It need not extend beyond the Josephites in Europe, Asia and Africa. My opponent reverses the order of the line of argument. He must prove that the Josephites migrated beyond the old world, to America, before he can extend the language of the prophecy to America. He absurdly assumes that the language must extend beyond the old world to America, in order to prove that the Josephites came to America.
ORIGIN OF THE BOOK OF MORMONI propose now to refute the claim made by my opponent that the Book of Mormon is of divine origin, by proving that it had a very base human origin, about seventy years ago. If I can show that it was gotten up by three men, in the first half of the present century, through base motives, and for the purpose of fraud, and gain by fraud and deception, I utterly explode all claim to divine origin. I propose now to trace out such origin, for the Book of Mormon, as clearly as a chain of title to a piece of land, Let us first state what the Book of Mormon professes to be. It purports to be a history of America from the time of its first inhabitants entered it, just after the confusion of tongues at the tower of Babel, till about A.D. 400, a period probably of nearly 4000 years. It asserts that this continent was peopled by three different families. I. The family of Jared, who emigrated from the Tower of Babel, over 3000 years before the birth of Christ, and whose descendants were exterminated, one portion of the book declares about 600 years before Christ; another portion of the book declares about 250 years before Christ. II. The family of Lehi, a Manassehite, who emigrated from Jerusalem. 600 years before Christ, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah. His descendants divided into two nations, the Nephites, the righteous portion; and the Lamanites, the wicked portion; III. The people of Zarahemla, Judahites who left Jerusalem about eleven years after Lehi. The descendants of these Judahites were destroyed in war or absorbed by the Nephites. In war, the Nephites were exterminated by the Lamanites, about A.D. 384. The Lamanites remained sole possessors of the continent, and are the American Indians. I wish the reader to notice that, according to the Book of Mormon, not an Ephraimite, ever came to America. How then can the prophecies in regard to Ephraim
34 THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE.
apply to the aborigines of America, even if the history in the Book of Mormon be true? According to the Book of Mormon the deeds of this people were, by divine direction, engraved by their prophets, on plates of gold, brass, and ore (what ever that nondescript substance may mean). These plates were religiously preserved by divine direction. The Book of Mormon tells us, on almost every page, with painful iteration and reiteration, of plates, of how they were prepared, preserved and revised, handed down from generation to generation -- how careful the Lord was to see that this was done, until they fell into the hands of one Mormon, who about A. D. 384 made an abridgment and buried the originals, together with certain relics, in a hill which is now near Manchester Ontario Co., New York. He handed this abridgment "these few pages," to his son Moroni, providentially leaving a few pages for him to use in finishing the abridgment. Moroni finishes, by engraving on the few pages left by his father, what happened after his father revised his record. Then he writes, and on nothing, for he tells us that his plates are full, and he had nothing to make plates of and is alone, an abridgment of the history of the Jaredites. Moroni then boxes up these few plates containing the abridgment made by his father, and his appendix to it, written on the few pages his father left him for that purpose, and buries them in a hill, Cumorah, that was in what is now Manchester, N.Y. He buried only "these few plates," and nothing with them for Mormon had buried everything else years before, in an entirely different locality.
"These few plates" remained in this box, till September, 22m 1823, when Moroni, then an angel appeared to Joe Smith, and revealed to him the existence of these plates, their place of burial, and a summary of their contents. September, 22, 1827, Moroni delivered the plates to Joe Smith, who by means of a peep stone that he had stolen from the children of Willard Chase, translated them, and gave their contents to the world, in the Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon mentions a perfect museum of relics that are "hid up" somewhere near Palmyra, New York. We give the list that our readers may see how careful the Lord was to have the records and the relics preserved. We cite the pages of the Book of Mormon. English edition, where they are mentioned. It shows with what iteration and reiteration "plates" are mentioned and how much pains the authors take to convince the skeptical, that these records were so carefully preserved, there can be no doubt about the accuracy of the Book of Mormon. I. Plates of Laban, pp. 9-11-144-145. II. Brass genealogical plates, p. 11. III. Brass plates of Lehi, after abridged by Nephi, pp. 3-44-62. IV. Brass plates of Nephi containing "the more part of the history" (shades of Murray, what English) pp. 16-138. V. Brass plates of Nephi containing "the more part of the ministry" (shades of Addison, forgive the English of the fullness of Mormon inspiration) pp. 16-44. VI. Ore (what nondescript substance is that?) plates of Nephi "containing mine own prophecies" p. 44. VII. Plates of Zarahemla containing genealogy, p. 140. VIII. Plates of Mormon, containing an abridgment of Nephi's plates that contained "the more part of the ministry," p. 141. IX. Plates containing a record from priest Jacob to king Benjamin, p. 141. X. Plates containing record of Zeniff, p. 161. XI. Golden plates of Ether, pp. 161-312-516. XII. Plates containing Alma's account of "his afflictions," p. 196. XIII. Plates Jared "brought across the great deep," p. 530. XIV. Copies of Scriptures "out of which the sons of Mosiah studied 14 years," pp. 255-271. XV. Many records kept by people "who went north-west," pp. 394-395. XVI. Twelve epistles by different prophets on different themes. The Book of Mormon gives us only an abridgment of these. The originals are "hid up." XVII. The liahona -- the sacred brass globe called the brass compass or brass director of Lehi, pp. 38-314. XVIII. The record of Laban, pp. 142-143-145. XIX The engraved stone of Coriantumr p. 140. XX. The sixteen stones that God touched with his fingers, p. 20. XXI. The two stone interpreters of Moroni, pp. 162-204. XXII The two stone interpreters of Jared's brother, pp. 522-523. XXIII. A white stone Gazelem, p. 212. XXIV. A brass breastplate found with Ether's plates, p. 161, Besides all these Smith and other Mormons describe articles different from these enough to increase the number indefinitely. Mormon tells us p. 492, that he hides all of three relics, and hands only "these few plates" containing his abridgment to his son Moroni. They are "hid up" no one knows where. The reader will observe have piles of plates, a score of them, mentioned scores of times. No one are deny the accuracy of records kept on metallic plates, imperishable material, with such constant care, and by divine direction, and inspiration.
It is our purpose to prove that the Book of Mormon originated with Solomon Spaulding, was revamped by Sydney Rigdon, and given to the world by Impostor Joe Smith. We shall give first a sketch of Spaulding, and his work until he came in contact with Rigdon. Then a sketch of Rigdon and of his work, until he confederated with Impostor Joe, to give his stolen fabrication to the world, by means of his stolen peepstone. Solomon Spaulding was born in Ashford Connecticut in 1761. He graduated at Dartmouth College in 1785, with the degree of A.B. He studied theology and graduated in theology in 1787 and received the degree of A.M. He preached until after 1800. On account of failing health he went into business in Cherry Valley, New York. He failed in merchandizing and moved to Conneaut, Ohio, in 1807 or 08. Here he went into the foundry business and failed again. There were in the township of Conneaut a great
THE BRADEN AND KELLEY DEBATE. 35
many mounds and other relics of an extinct race of people. Mr. Spaulding became very much interested in these antiquities. In 1809 he began a romance, in which he assumed that the ancestors of the Indians were Romans. After writing forty or fifty pages, he abandoned this idea, because, as he said, the Romans were too near the time in which he was writing. This MS was the only one Philastus Hurlbut said he found in the trunk, supposed to contain all of Spaulding's MS's, when they examined the trunk at Mr. Clark's house, in 1834. This MS we will designate as Roman MS or MS No. 1.
Ever since the European missionaries began to labor among the Indians, as early as the year 1500, Spanish, French, English and Portuguese Missionaries had observed certain things among the Indians, that led some of them to believe that the Indians were of Israelite origin, descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Such ideas can be found in the writings of the Spanish, Portuguese, and French Monks, and in the writings of Elliott, Cotton Mather and scores of American writers, before the commencement of the present century. Mr. Spaulding was a firm believer and earnest advocate of this theory. He began to write a romance, in which he assumed, that the aborigines of America, and the authors of its mounds and other antiquities were Israelites. He commenced writing this MS as early as 1809. His brother, J. Spaulding, certifies that he visited his brother Solomon in 1810, and found him writing a book which he called, "The Manuscript Found," which he intended to publish, and hoped by the sales to pay his debts. He described it as follows.
"It was a historical romance of the first settlers of America, and endeavored to show that the American Indians are the descendants of the Jews, or the Ten Lost Tribes. It gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem, by land and sea, until they arrived in America, under the command of Lehi and Nephi. They afterwards had quarrels and contentions, and separated into two distinct nations, one of which he denominated Nephites, the other Lamanites. Cruel and bloody wars ensued, in which great multitudes were slain. They buried their dead in large heaps which caused the mounds so common in this country. Their arts, sciences and civilization were all brought into view, in order to account for all the curious antiquities found in various parts of Northern and Southern America. I well remember that he wrote in the old style, and commenced almost every sentence with "And it came to pass," or "Now it came to pass."
I will leave it to the reader, if the average Mormon can give a better synopsis of the historical part of the Nephite portion of the Book of Mormon, then John Spaulding gives in describing his brother's romance the "Manuscript Found."
Martha Spaulding, wife of John Spaulding, and sister-in-law of Solomon Spaulding, testifies:
"I was at the house of Solomon Spaulding shortly before he left Conneaut. He was then writing a historical novel founded on the first settlers of America. He represented them as an enlightened and warlike people. He had for many years contended that the aborigines of America were the descendants of some of the Lost Tribes of Israel; and this idea he carried out in the book in question. The lapse of time which has intervened prevents my recollecting but few of the leading incidents of his writings; but the names Lehi and Nephi and are yet fresh in my memory as being the principal heroes of his tale. They were officers of the company which first came off from Jerusalem. He gave a particular account of their journey by land and sea, till they arrived in America, after which disputes arose between the chiefs, which caused them to separate into bands, one of which was called Lamanites and the other Nephites. Between these were recounted tremendous battles, which frequently covered the ground with the slain and their being buried in large heaps was the cause of the many mounds in the country. Some of these people he represents as being very large."
Again I ask the reader if an average Mormon could give a better outline of the historical part of the Nephite portion of the Book of Mormon than Mrs. Spaulding gives in describing the "Manuscript Found" of her brother-in-law Solomon Spaulding.
Henry Lake, Solomon Spaulding's business partner testifies:
"Solomon Spaulding frequently read to me from a manuscript which he was writing, which he entitled the "Manuscript Found," and which he represented as being found in this town. I spent many hours in hearing him read said writings, and became well acquainted with their contents. The Book represented the American Indians as being the descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel, and gave an account of their having left Jerusalem, and of their contentions and wars, which were many and great. I remember telling Mr. Spaulding, that the so frequent use of the words "And it came to pass," "Now it came to pass," rendered the book ridiculous."
Aaron Wright testifies:
"One day when I was at the house of Solomon Spaulding, he showed and read to me a history he was writing, of the Lost Tribes of Israel, purporting that they were the first settlers of America and that the Indians were their descendants. He traced their journey from Jerusalem to America. He told me his object was to account for the fortifications, etc. that were to be found in this country, and said that in time it would be fully believed by all except learned men and historians."
Oliver Smith testifies:
"Solomon Spaulding boarded at my house six months. All his leisure hours were occupied in writing a historical novel, founded upon the first settlers of this country. He said he intended to trace their journey from Jerusalem by land and sea till their arrival in America, and give an account of their arts, sciences, civilization, laws and contentions. In this way he would give a satisfactory account of all of the old mounds, so common to this country. Nephi and Lehi, were by him represented as the leading characters, when they first started for America. Their main object was to escape the judgments which they supposed were coming on the old world."
Nahum Howard testifies:
"In conversation with Solomon Spaulding I expressed my surprise that we had no account of the people once in this country, who erected the old forts, mounds, etc. He told me he was writing a history of that people."
Artemus Cunningham testifies:
"Solomon Spaulding described to me his book. He said that it was a fabulous or romantic history of the first settlement of this country, and it purported to be a record found buried in the earth, or in a cave. He had adopted the ancient or Scriptural style of writing. He then read from his manuscript. I remember the name of Nephi, who appeared to be the principal hero of the story. The frequent repetition of the phrase, "I Nephi," I remember distinctly as though it were yesterday. He attempted to account for the numerous antiquities which are found upon the continent."
John N. Miller who was a member of Solomon Spaulding's household for many months testifies: "I perused Spaulding's manuscripts as I had leisure more particularly the one he called his "Manuscript Found." It purported to be a history of the first settlers of America. He brought them off from Jerusalem under their leaders detailing their travels by land and by sea."
go to: page 36: Kelley's 4th speech
Index of Sample Excerpts
The record of the Braden-Kelley Debate contains citations of and references to numerous unique statements relating to the Spalding claims for Book of Mormon authorship. A few of these references are tabulated below. The statement names shown in red lettering are apparently original to the debate record and are not known to have been published prior to 1884:
"Sampler" of Excerpts
Clark Braden was a leading minister for the Disciples of Christ. He published and distributed a copy of the entire Braden-Kelley debate (apparently at his own expense) shortly after it concluded.
MR. BRADEN'S THIRD SPEECH
...My opponent cannot appeal to one particle of the first line of proof. He can trace his book no farther back than to Impostor Joe Smith.... The Book itself has not one iota of interlocking corroborating, or collateral evidence. It steps out into human life from the hand of Impostor Joe as the Goddess Minerva burst from the head of Jupiter....
ORIGIN OF THE BOOK OF MORMON
I propose now to refute the claim made by my opponent that the Book of Mormon is of divine origin, by proving that it had a very base human origin, about seventy years ago. If I can show that it was gotten up by three men, in the first half of the present century, through base motives, and for the purpose of fraud, and gain by fraud and deception, I utterly explode all claim to divine origin. I propose now to trace out such origin, for the Book of Mormon, as clearly as a chain of title to a piece of land...
It is our purpose to prove that the Book of Mormon originated with Solomon Spaulding, was revamped by Sydney Rigdon, and given to the world by Impostor Joe Smith. We shall give first a sketch of Spaulding, and his work until he came in contact with Rigdon. Then a sketch of Rigdon and of his work, until he confederated with Impostor Joe, to give his stolen fabrication to the world, by means of his stolen peepstone. Solomon Spaulding was born in Ashford Connecticut in 1761. He graduated at Dartmouth College in 1785, with the degree of A.B. He studied theology and graduated in theology in 1787 and received the degree of A.M. He preached until after 1800. On account of failing health he went into business in Cherry Valley, New York. He failed in merchandizing and moved to Conneaut, Ohio, in 1807 or 08. Here he went into the foundry business and failed again....
...In 1809 he began a romance, in which he assumed that the ancestors of the Indians were Romans. After writing forty or fifty pages, he abandoned this idea, because, as he said, the Romans were too near the time in which he was writing. This MS was the only one Philastus Hurlbut said he found in the trunk, supposed to contain all of Spaulding's MS's, when they examined the trunk at Mr. Clark's house, in 1834. This MS we will designate as Roman MS or MS No. 1....
MR. BRADEN'S FOURTH SPEECH.
...We propose now to introduce Sidney Rigdon himself. Rev. John Winter, M.D. was teaching school in Pittsburgh, and was a member of the First Baptist church when Rigdon was its pastor and was intimate with Rigdon. He testifies that
In 1822 or 3 Rigdon took out of his desk in his study a large MS, stating that it was a Bible romance purporting to be a history of the American Indians. That it was written by one Spaulding, a Presbyterian preacher whose health had failed and who had taken it to the printers to see if it would pay to publish it. And that he (Rigdon) had borrowed it from the printer as a curiosity.James Jeffries, an old and highly respected citizen of Churchville, Hartford Co., Maryland, testifies, in a statement he dictated to Rev. Calvin D. Wilson, Jan. 20th, 1884, in the presence of his wife and J. M. Finney, MD; and attested by Dr. Finney, Rev. Wilson and Mrs. James Jeffries:
Forty years ago I was in business in St. Louis. The Mormons then had their temple in Nauvoo Illinois. I had business transactions with them. I knew Sidney Rigdon. He acted as general manager of the business of the Mormons (with me). Rigdon told me several times in his conversations with me, that there was in the printing office with which he was connected in Ohio, a MS of the Rev. Spaulding, tracing the origin of the Indians from the lost tribes of Israel. This MS was in the office several years. He was familiar with it. Spaulding wanted it published but had not the means to pay for printing. He (Rigdon) and Joe Smith used to look over the MS and read it on Sundays, Rigdon said Smith took the MS and said "I'll print it," and went off to Palmyra New York."Forty years ago" would be the fall of 1844, just after Rigdon had been driven out of Nauvoo. The Times and Seasons assailed him bitterly that fall and winter, for exposing Mormonism. On his way from Nauvoo to Pittsburg, he called on his old acquaintance, Mr. Jeffries, in St. Louis, and, in his anger at the Mormons, he let out the secrets of Mormonism, just as he told the Mormons he would, if they did not make him their leader.
George Clark, son of Jerome Clark of Hartwicke, N.Y., testifies that Mrs. Davidson left the trunk containing her first husband's MSs. at his fathers, before she went to Munson Mass., to live with her daughter. He says:
"Shortly before Hurlbut got the MS. from fathers, during a visit to fathers, Mrs. Davidson gave to my wife to read a MS. written by her husband, Spaulding: remarking as she handed her the MS.: 'The Mormon Bible is almost a literal copy of this MS'"It was this MS. Hurlbut obtained from Jerome Clark, and which he never delivered to Howe. He retained it and gave to Howe a few leaves, the beginning of an entirely different MS.
...From all these facts we gather these conclusions. Spaulding wrote, at first, only the historic part of the Nephite portion of the Book of Mormon. This was his second manuscript which we will call manuscript No. II, or Mormon Manuscript No. I. It was this small manuscript that Mrs. Martha Spaulding, his daughter, saw in the trunk at W. H. Sabin's, her uncle's, in Onadago Valley, N.Y. about the year 1823. From the amount of writing Spaulding did during the seven years, and from Miller's description, it is evident that he prepared a more complete manuscript, adding the Zarahemla emigration. This we will call manuscript No. III, Mormon manuscript No. 2.
In 1812 Spaulding moved to Pittsburg, for the purpose of publishing his book, intending, as he told Oliver Smith, to lead a retired life and rewrite it for the press. He showed it, his daughter testifies, to Mr. Patterson, a publisher in Pittsburg, who told him to rewrite it for the press and he would publish it. He did so and added the Jaredite emigration. Mrs. Spaulding, his wife, and Miss Spaulding, his daughter, testify that he sent the manuscript to Patterson's publishing house. Mr. Miller, Mr. McKee and Dr. Dodd of Amity, Pa., testify that Spaulding told them be had done so. In 1814 Spaulding, then in very poor health, went to Amity, Washington Co., Pa. His wife kept tavern and supported the family. Spaulding continued to write on his manuscript and read it to all who would listen to him until his death Oct. 20th, 1816.
His wife and daughter put his manuscript and papers that they found into a trunk, and took it with them to the residence of a brother of Mrs. Spaulding, W. H. Sabin, Onandago Valley, Onandago County, N.Y. In 1820 Mrs. Spaulding went to Pomfret Conn. Sometime afterwards she married a Mr. Davison of Hartwicke, Otsego County, N.Y. and went there to live. She left her daughter, Miss Martha Spaulding, with her uncle, Mr. Sabin, and left the trunk containing the manuscripts in her care. Miss Spaulding testifies that she read one of the manuscripts, a small one, either Spaulding's first draft of the story, or his Mormon manuscript No. 1 -- the one he wrote in 1809-10. She also testifies that while she was at her uncle's Joseph Smith worked as [a] teamster for her uncle, and learned of the existence of the manuscript.
Impostor Joe places his first vision concerning the plates, Sept. 1823. As this is his way of dressing up his first knowledge of the manuscript, he worked for Sabin in September 1823 and learned of the existence of the manuscript then. Sometime after her moving to Hartwicke, and after Sept. 1823, Mrs. Davidson sent for the trunk and it was sent from Onandago Valley, to the house of Mr. Davidson in Hartwicke. In 1828 Miss Martha Spaulding married Dr. McKinstry and went to Munson Mass. to live. In 1830 Mrs. Davidson left Hartwicke and went to Munson to live with her daughter, Mrs. McKinstry. She left the trunk containing the manuscript and papers -- that is all she and her daughter found after Spaulding's death, in care of her brother-in-law, Jerome Clark, in Hartwicke. Here it stayed until it was opened by Philastus Hurlbut and Jerome Clark in 1834. Hurlbut had visited Mrs. Davidson and Mrs. McKinstry in Munson, and obtained an order from them authorizing him to open the trunk, and examine the contents.
We are ready now to introduce the person who was instrumental in giving to the world the "Book of Mormon." Sidney Rigdon...
...Mr. Patterson remembers nothing of him. On the other hand Mrs. Davidson, Spaulding's wife, declares positively that he was connected with the office. Mr. Miller of Amity, Mr. McKee, and Dr. Dodd testify that Mr. Spaulding so informed them. There must have been some foundation for such positive impressions on the part of Mr. and Mrs. Spaulding, and many others.
I think Mrs. Eichbaum who was clerk in the post office, in Pittsburg, from 1812 to 1816, gives the key to the matter. A young man by the name of Lambdin was in Mr. Patterson's employ and became his partner in 1818. She states that Rigdon and Lambdin were very intimate and that Mr. Engle [sic] foreman of Patterson's printing office complained that Rigdon was loafing around the office all the time; that Rigdon was working in a tannery at the time. The explanation then is that Rigdon was intimate with Lambdin one of the leading employees of Patterson, while he was working in a tannery in Pittsburg, and from this intimacy, persons supposed that he was in Patterson's employ; especially when he was around the office so much...
Dr. Dodd who took care of Spaulding in his last illness declared that Spaulding's manuscript had been transformed into the Book of Mormon, and that Rigdon was the one who did it. He made this statement years before Howe's book appeared, the first public statement of such a theory. He did it on account of what he had heard of the Spaulding manuscript, and what Spaulding had told him. Mrs. Spaulding positively declares that Rigdon was connected with Patterson's office, when the manuscript was there, and that he copied it. That the manuscript was a subject of much curiosity and interest in the office. That it was well known that he had a copy of it...
Mrs. Eichbaum's statement is confirmed by the fact that Rigdon went to work in a tannery when he quit preaching in 1824. He had learned the trade in 1812 to 1816. That Rigdon was in Pittsburg, when Spaulding's manuscript was in Patterson's office, learning the tanner's trade. He was intimate with Lambdin, an employee of Patterson. He was about the office so much that Engles complained that he was always hanging about. He was just such a person as would be excited over Spaulding's manuscript. He took great interest in it. That was what made him hang around the office. The manuscript was stolen and Spaulding said that Rigdon was suspected of taking it.
Rigdon joined the Baptist church on Piney Fork of Peters creek May 31, 1817.... He embraced many of the teachings of Campbell and Scott. His church and Scott's often met together in worship. He was arraigned for such doctrinal errors and excluded Oct. 11, 1823. He preached for his adherents in the courthouse till the summer of 1824. Then for two years did no regular preaching. He says he studied the Bible and worked in a tannery...
...In June 1826 Rigdon was invited to preach the funeral sermon of Warner Goodall of Mentor Ohio, and so pleased the congregation that they chose him their preacher and he became a Disciple preacher.... His favorite theme was the millennium, on which he was fond of declaiming, and entertained the ideas now found in the Book of Mormon. He was always talking of some great time coming, some great thing going to happen. He brought with him many of his Baptist ideas, and never accepted all Disciple teaching. His power in revivals and his love of revival excitement inclined him to the idea then popular in all churches, except the Disciples, of direct and immediate or miraculous power of the Holy Ghost.... His imagination and love of the marvelous lead him constantly into exaggerations, that often were absolute falsehoods.... He was a vain and showy pulpit orator but never was a trusted preacher among the Disciples.
We propose now to show that Rigdon knew of the appearance of the Book of Mormon before it appeared, and knew of and described its contents. Adamson Bentley Rigdon's brother-in-law and one of the most reliable men that Ohio has ever known, declares... "I know that Sidney Rigdon told me as much as two years before the Mormon Book made its appearance, or had been heard of by me, that there was a book coming out, the manuscript of which was engraved on gold plates."
We will now introduce Darwin Atwater of Mantua, who testifies:
Sidney Rigdon...knew beforehand of the coming of the Book of Mormon is to me certain, from what he said during the first of his visits at my father's some years before (in 1826). He gave a wonderful description of the mounds and other antiquities found in some parts of America, and said that they must have been made by the aborigines. He said there was a book to be published containing an account of those things......Zebulon Rudolph, Mrs. Garfield's father testifies:
"During the winter previous to the appearance of the Book of Mormon, Rigdon was in the habit of spending weeks away from home, going no one knew whither. He often appeared preoccupied and he would indulge in dreamy visionary talks which puzzled those who listened. When the Book of Mormon appeared and Rigdon joined in the advocacy of the new religion the suspicion was at once aroused that he was one of the framers of the new doctrine, and that probably he was not ignorant of the authorship of the Book of Mormon.John Rudolph, brother to Z. Rudolph, says:
For two years before the Book of Mormon appeared,
Almon B. Green, well known in Northern Ohio, says:
In the Annual Meeting of the Mahoning Association held in Austintown in August, 1830, about two months before Sidney Rigdon's professed conversion to Mormonism, Rigdon preached Saturday afternoon. He had much to say about a full and complete restoration of the ancient gospel. He spoke in his glowing style of what the Disciples had accomplished but contended that we had not accomplished a complete restoration of Apostolic Christianity. He contended such restoration must include community of goods -- holding all in common stock, and a restoration of the spiritual gifts of the Apostolic Age. He promised that although we had not come up to the apostolic plan in full yet as we were improving God would soon give us a new and fuller revelation of his will. After the Book of Mormon had been read by many who heard Rigdon on that occasion they were perfectly satisfied that Rigdon knew all about that book when he preached that discourse...
Scores of others who were present have made similar statements hundreds of times. Eri M. Dille testifies:
In the Autumn of 1830 Sidney Rigdon held a meeting in the Baptist meeting-house on Euclid Creek. I was sick and did not attend the meeting, but my father repeatedly remarked while it was in progress that he was afraid that Rigdon was about to leave the Disciples for he was continually telling of what marvelous things he had seen in the heavens and of wonderful things about to happen, and his talks indicated that he would leave the Disciples . . .
MR. BRADEN'S FIFTH SPEECH
...I have here two books. One is "The Wonders of Nature and Providence," written by Josiah Priest, and copyrighted by him June 2d, 1824...It was from priest's book that Rigdon and the Pratt stole their arguments.... That ends all claim that Joe Smith must have obtained the idea by revelation. It shows that not only did Rigdon steal the book, but Mormons stole their arguments from Priest...
...Rigdon visited Smith in the spring of 1827. The two concocted their scheme. Smith was to pretend to have a "Golden Bible," a book made of plates of gold, and pretend to translate it with his stolen peep stone. Spaulding had intended to pretend that his fabrication had been found in a mound, or in a cave... Rigdon always spoke of his fraud, when prophesying of its appearance, as a "Golden Bible." Smith, however, in publishing it, changed the name to the "Book of Mormon."
...In their conferences Impostor Joe told Rigdon of the existence of the other Spaulding manuscripts, then at Hartwicke, New York, in the house of Mrs. Davidson, formerly Spaulding's wife and widow. The two concocted a scheme to steal them and thus destroy all likelihood of detection of the theft of the Spaulding manuscript, and exposure of the fraud...
Having, in possession, they supposed, all means of exposing their fraud, the confederates now went to work... What he actually did, was to read from Rigdon's manuscript which was a remodeling of Spaulding's Manuscript No. III...
... Mrs. Harris took the manuscript and burned it, one night while her husband was asleep. There was dire consternation, and Rigdon appears on the stage. I want to call the reader's attention to a singular coincidence here. Mr. Lake, Spaulding's partner testifies that when Spaulding read to him his romance, Mormon Manuscript No. 1, he pointed out an inconsistency in the story of Laban which Spaulding promised to correct, but the same blunder is in the Book of Mormon. That can be explained. Spaulding no doubt did correct it in the manuscript prepared for the press, but when Mrs. Harris destroyed the 118 pages, Rigdon had to restore the stolen portion from an older manuscript, in which the blunder had not been corrected...
MR. BRADEN'S SIXTH SPEECH
...We have proved that Solomon Spaulding was an enthusiast in American antiquities, believed that the Indians were descendants of the Israelites. As an earnest advocate of such theories, and as an enthusiast in American antiquities, he was well versed in the literature of the subject, Seventeen witnesses of the highest character testify that he wrote his "Manuscript Found" assuming all of these facts and theories, pretending to give a history of the people who were the authors of these ruins and antiquities several years before the Book of Mormon appeared. That Rigdon stole his manuscript and interpolated the religious matter...
In the meantime Rigdon was preaching and working constantly to prepare the way for his scheme. He preached extravagant ideas of the millennium, such as are in the Book of Mormon -- community of goods -- restoration of miraculous gifts -- new revelations, and that something wonderful was going to happen...
In June 1830 Rigdon attended the Annual Meeting of the Mahoning Association in Austintown. In an address he presented his hobbies in regard to return to community of goods, and restoration of spiritual gifts, a restoration of everything in the apostolic churches. He was signally defeated in discussion by Campbell...
Rigdon returned home to Mentor. He sent for Pratt who came through Mentor in August, and went from Rigdon straight to Manchester, in the wilds of New York... Then he and Cowdry and Whitmer returned to Mentor. After weakly pretending to be ignorant of the scheme, and to oppose it, Rigdon is miraculously converted, by a vision, embraces Mormonism, goes to New York, he and Impostor Joe have a revelation, that Joe is the Moses, Sidney the Aaron of the movement...
There has been some controversy over Spaulding's motives and object in writing his Manuscript Found... He intended to assert that his book was copied from a manuscript dug out of the earth, or found in a cave. He expected to deceive the world except the learned few... No wonder he concealed his purposes from his wife and daughter. Howe says on page 289 of his history, that he has a letter in his possession that proves that Spaulding was skeptical (on religion) in his last days. If so we can understand his caricaturing the Bible in the way he did, in his romance. The Book of Mormon was in its inception a deliberate fraud, conceived by a backsliden preacher, who intended to foist it onto the world, the fraud by falsehood, stolen by another renegade preacher, who increased the blasphemy of the fraud by plagiarizing the Bible, so as to deceive the world by it as a revelation....
Mrs. Davidson declares that Hurlbut wrote to her from Hartwicke that he found the Manuscript and would return it to her when through with it....
[Hurlbut came to Howe] with a lie and told him he only found a portion of an entirely different manuscript. He sold the manuscript to Rigdon and Smith, took the money and went to Western Ohio and bought a farm, and Mrs. Davidson and her daughter, Mrs. McKinstry, could never get a word of reply from him although they sent several letters to parties who wrote, they gave the letters to Hurlbut. This answers the Mormon "Why did not the Spauldings publish the 'Manuscript Found'?" Because Mormons had gotten it into their possession by bribing Hurlbut.
... the manuscript brought by Hurlbut was not what the ones sending him to search the trunk expected him to bring. It explains how the 116 pages of stolen manuscript were replaced. They were replaced from another Spaulding manuscript, probably Mormon manuscript No. II....
SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE original source: pages 065-066
[List of similarities between Spaulding's writings and the Book of Mormon, with references back to various witnesses]
... We will now notice some of the retorts of Mormonism to this testimony. I. It is "the Spaulding story." ... [The Mormon Church] says there is a collusion in the [8 Conneaut witnesses'] testimony... There never were seventeen witnesses whose testimony was more independent, and marked with each one's personality than these.... The contents of the manuscripts were so peculiar that they would be remembered and recognized.... There was no suggestion of an attempt at religious persecution. Nor do the statements show any such spirit. They are remarkably calm and unsectarian in tone.
MR. BRADEN'S SEVENTH SPEECH
...We wish to call the attention to a fact strangely overlooked by former writers -- that Spaulding wrote several manuscripts.... When Mrs. Harris destroyed 118 pages Rigdon was sent for and he replaced them from another Spaulding manuscript...
...We have proved that one of the accused, Rigdon, was around the place where the manuscript Spaulding had prepared for the press was last seen. That he took a deep interest in it. That Spaulding told James Miller and McKee and Dr. Dodd that his manuscript had been stolen and Rigdon was suspected of the theft. We have proved that Rigdon in 1822 or 3 showed the manuscript to Dr. Winters, stating that it was a manuscript that Spaulding a Presbyterian preacher had left with a printer, for publication, and that he had borrowed it from the printer to read as a curiosity ....
MORMON CHRONOLOGY original source: pages 075-077
[Braden's chronology of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon as it was adapted from Spaulding's works]
MR. BRADEN'S NINTH SPEECH
...In that first romance Spaulding assumed that the Indians round the Great Lakes were descendants of ship-wrecked Romans. He abandoned this theory and began the Manuscript Found, in which he assumed the aborigines of America and the ancestors of all Indians were Israelites. Howe does not say that he received the Manuscript Found and that the Manuscript Found was not what he expected it to be, as Kelley falsely asserts he says. He says that he did not receive the Manuscript Found but the manuscript of an earlier and entirely different story...
[In a letter written to] J. E. Gaston in 1842, Mrs. Davidson says that shortly after Hurlbut left Munson with the order from her to get the manuscript of the "Manuscript Found" from the trunk at Mr. Clark's at Hartwicke, N. Y., she received a letter from Hurlbut, in which he told her that he had obtained from the trunk what he had come for, the manuscript of "Manuscript Found," and that when he had taken it to the parties that sent him, and it had been used for the purpose for which they wanted it, that is published to expose the plagiarism of the Book of Mormon from it, he would return it to her.
Hurlbut came to the people at Conneaut and Howe, and lied, and said that the only manuscript he found was the part of the manuscript we have described above [the Roman MS]. Up to this time he had been very active in getting up the book Howe published; he had spent months and much money in collecting the evidence used in it; now he suddenly abandons all, takes no further part or interest in it and goes to Western Ohio and buys a farm; when, before he had not money enough to pay his traveling expenses. Mrs. Davidson, on reading Howe's book and Hurlbut's statement as given in it, was amazed and wrote to him reminding him of what he had written to her and that the Clark's had written that he had got the manuscript of "Manuscript Found." She demanded that he return the manuscript to her.... The Rev. J. A. Clark published in the "Episcopal Recorder" that the Mormons in Missouri said they paid Howe [Hurlbut?] $400.00 for the manuscript. The Rev. Storrs in a letter published in "Gleanings by the Way" states that he [Hurlbut] made $400.00 out of the manuscript. He sold it to the Mormons in Kirtland. These charges Hurlbut never met.... Howe, the publisher, betrayed them and sold it to the Mormons. Hurlbut's false and contradictory statements and absurd stories to Mr. Patterson in 1880 proved that he was guilty of what he was charged with and was trying to lie out of it....
[BRADEN'S 10th SPEECH]
... From [Book of Mormon] page 17 to page 32 Rigdon makes Nephi; and Lehi talk like preachers of the nineteenth century. They foretell the history of John the Baptist, Mary the mother of Jesus, and the ministry of Jesus, giving names of persons and places with great minuteness... Rigdon makes Nephi and Lehi discourse like Disciple preachers. They discuss all the leading topics of the gospel as Disciple preachers do, and discuss many themes of modern theology. They plagiarize Paul's parable of the olive tree. Lehi declares he has the Holy Spirit in the name of Christ and through faith in Christ 800 years before Christ came. Rigdon airs one of his hobbies that he retained from the Baptists and in which he differed from the Disciples. John tells us that the Holy Spirit was not given in that way till after Jesus was glorified... Rigdon tells us that Lehi and Nephi knew all about them 600 years before Paul lived [and] ... settles several questions of modern theology, and always in harmony with Rigdon's ideas...
...These Nephites preached the Gospel of Christ as clearly as Sidney Rigdon could preach it, and as he preached it; and enjoyed every blessing of the Gospel as fully as Rigdon could...
...Who is such a sodden idiot as to believe that men in America preached all the doctrine of Christ and his apostles 600 years before they uttered it, in the exact words in which they uttered it, rather than that Sidney Rigdon interpolated these quotations into the manuscript he had stolen from Spaulding when he was remodeling it to make a "big thing of it" as a new revelation? ...
[BRADEN'S 11th SPEECH]
... If Mrs. Salisbury lied, as we have proved she did, in saying that Joe was at their father's, when he was not there, she would have lied in saying Rigdon was not there, when he was. Tucker, Mrs. Eaton, McAuley, Chase and Saunders say that he was there, and some say at least eighteen months before the Book appeared...
... On page 119 King Jacob, alias Sidney Rigdon, preaches, and has a perfect knowledge of the atonement and modern theological speculations concerning it... The terse, beautiful parables of our Savior concerning the unfruitful tree, the husbandman and his vinyard, and Paul's parable of the olive tree, that would not cover a page of the Book of Mormon, are diluted, caricatured, and mixed and spread over eight pages, as only hifaluting Sidney could do it...
... In the next chapter we have a debate between Jacob and a Deist, in which the mediatorship of Christ, the atonement, and kindred New Testament ideas and modern theological speculations are discussed, very much after the manner they were in controversies between Rigdon and a skeptical Justice of the Peace in Beaver County, Pa., to which my father [Mr. Braden] listened about sixty years ago....
... Seriously, now, as persons of sense, shall we believe that an Israelite, under the law of Moses, preached in that way, 150 years before the birth of Christ? Or that Rigdon interpolated these sentences from the New Testament, these phrases from modern theology, the revivalisms of his own, into the MS he stole from Spaulding -- when he was fixing it up to make "a big thing" out of it as a new revelation?
... On page 277 we have doctrine taught that is as clearly the work of Rigdon as is his blackguard letter to the "Boston Journal," or his glorification of King Ahasuerus' horse. Immersion for the remission of sins is preached over 100 years before John the Baptist, and in the name of Christ, more than 150 years before the days of Pentacost, just as Disciple preachers preach it; and to clinch the matter, that it is Rigdon, immersion in the name of Christ is for the miraculous gift of the Holy Spirit, what Rigdon believed and brought from the Baptists, and the Disciples do not believe. Observe the teachings agrees with the Disciples as far as Rigdon agreed with them, and disagrees with them, just where he differed from them.
... This was followed by a regular series of Rigdonish revivals, under preachers preaching like Rigdon, the gospel in all of its fullness, according to Rigdon's notions... Let me ask any person of common sense which do you believe, that an Israelite, under the law of Moses, preached in that way, in the exact words of Christ and his apostles, more than 100 years before Christ? Or has Rigdon interpolated one of his exhortations into the manuscript he stole from Spaulding when he was making "a big thing," in the shape of a new revelation out of it? Old acquaintances of Rigdon in this audience can almost hear hifalutin, spread eagle Sidney in one of his revival exhortations, as they hear that language.
MR. BRADEN'S TWELFTH SPEECH
... that settles the vexed question in favor of a literal resurrection. God inspired the Nephite Amalek, long before the birth of Christ, to explain the resurrection and temporal death and spiritual death, just as Rigdon believed.
On page 238 a soul-sleeper is silenced with [Rigdon's ideas on eschatology]...
...and what is more miraculous, these Nephites always agree exactly with Rigdon's theology in their revelations....
... Walter Scott and others [Campbellites] insisted that they should be called "Christians," and that the Church should be called "the Church of God" or "Church of Christ." Rigdon agreed with Scott.... inserting into his stolen manuscript his ideas, he contradicted the New Testament concerning the time the name Christian was first given... the most singular fact is that the Lord agreed with Rigdon in all of these revelations that he gave these highly favored Nephites. How highly favored these old prophets were in receiving, by inspiration from God, all of Rigdon's theology 1800 years before the advent of Sidney.
...After this our Savior, who has been resurrected at Jerusalem, appears on this continent and preaches one of Sidney Rigdon's discourses to them, and commands them to use Sidney Rigdon's baptismal formula, "Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." By the way, Sidney dropped the Disciple peculiarity of saying "Spirit" instead of "Ghost," and went back to his old Baptist formula...
... Then Sidney goes for the Disciples who would not accept the Baptist idea of a direct and miraculous influence of the Holy Spirit. We have Sidney's ideas for several pages and one of his exhortations in his most approved camp meeting style...
...When Spaulding went to Pittsburg, at Patterson's request, he rewrote the romance, writing Mormon Manuscript No. III and adding the Jaredite portion. He overlooked this language of Moroni [that the plates were full] with which he had appropriately closed the Manuscript No. II and as the Book of Mormon now stands, Moroni wrote 56 pages -- the whole of the Jaredite portion [on] nothing, for his plates were full, and he could write no more. That one blunder is enough to condemn this fraud....
[BRADEN'S 13th SPEECH. ]
Mormon out in the wilds of America... preaches Sidney Rigdon's sermon against infant baptism and quotes scores of passages and phrases from the New Testament. What an insult to common sense to ask us to believe that an Israelite, in the wilds of America, over one thousand years after his people had any communication with the old continent or knew about its troubles over "infant baptism" just beginning, preached in America, 1400 years before Rigdon was born, Rigdon's rant against infant baptism.... The Holy Ghost says to Moroni "Listen to the words of Christ," and then we have over twenty quotations of the sentences and phrases from the New Testament. No, Sidney, the Holy Ghost never said that to Moroni. You used to say just such things to your hearers in your sermon on infant baptism, and you have interpolated your sermon into the manuscript you stole from Spaulding.
[BRADEN'S 14th SPEECH]
Sidney Rigdon was famous for his power in revival excitements. He had his revival expressions common to the camp meeting style of his day. The Book of Mormon is full of them, such as "I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love," . . . "Have ye been spiritually born of God:" "If he have experienced a change of heart:" "If ye have felt to sing the songs of his redeeming love:" "For the arms of mercy are extended towards you." The last expression occurs several times in the book. "Ye shall awake to a sense of your awful condition," . . . "Many died firmly believing that their souls were redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ," . . . "Have they not revealed the plan of salvation?" . . . Disciple all over . . . Rigdon all over . . . "I glory in my Jesus, for he has saved my soul from hell." "Enter into the narrow gate and walk in the straight way which leads to life." A Regular Baptist experience and exhortation . . . We might quote Rigdon's pet revival expressions by the page.
[BRADEN'S 15th SPEECH]
We have proved by historic evidence that Rigdon remodeled Spaulding's manuscript, interpolating the religious portion . . . We have proved by the Rigdonisms in the Book of Mormon that it is his work. His belief in immersion, believer's baptism, baptism for the remission of sins, free grace, opposition to infant baptism, opposition to the doctrines of total hereditary depravity that borders on Pelagianism. These were the ideas of the Disciples then. His opposition to secret societies, denunciation of sectarianism. When he agreed with the Disciples we have Disciples teaching, but when he differed, their teaching is bitterly opposed. He contends for community of goods. He retained the Baptist idea of direct and miraculous power of the Holy Spirit. This led him to contend for baptism of the Holy Spirit, baptism to receive miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost. Imparting spiritual gifts by laying on of hands. Restoration of miracles, revelations and spiritual powers of the Apostolic church. We also have the fall down power of Rigdon's revivals, and that he was subject to himself, When he agreed with the Disciples, the Book of Mormon agrees with them. When he differs from them it differs bitterly. Take for instance his bitter denunciation of those who say, "We have the Bible, we need no new revelation." He is especially bitter over this, and his book is full of instances of the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit, such as he contended for. We have his pet expressions, his revivalisms, his baptismal formula, his rant against infant baptism. The child is not more clearly the offspring of his parent than the religious portion of the Book of Mormon is the work of Sidney Rigdon...
[BRADEN'S 16th SPEECH]
... The prophecies in the Book of Mormon begin with Christ's mother's name, and they foretell every incident of his career with the minuteness of history. They even foretell his exact language, a thing the Bible does not do in a single instance, and close with his ascension. We have as exact history as we have in the New Testament. Rigdon was determined that his prophecies should excel the Bible, and he copied the New Testament to such an extent that the fraud is as impudent...
... The arguments of those who contended, as the Disciples did with Rigdon, that we have a perfect revelation in the Bible, are elaborately stated and answered with all the bitterness that Rigdon felt against the Disciples because they rejected his fanatical hobbies....
[BRADEN'S 18th SPEECH]
... Rigdon's letter to the Boston Journal showed, in misspelled words, grammatical blunders, lack of capitals and punctuation, that he was illiterate. That Rigdon preached the peculiarities of Mormonism for two or more years before he joined them is notorious. Darwin Atwater mentions it. So does Campbell, Bentley, Zeb Rudolph, John Rudolph, and A.B. Green and Dille. He advocated community of goods, and especially the idea that a restoration of the apostolic church must include spiritual gifts, miracles and revelations, the pet hobby of Mormonism. My opponent himself has stated that Rigdon had a contest with Campbell over these peculiar doctrines of the Book of Mormon before he joined the Mormons...
...We have proved that all that my opponent can cite in the Book of Mormon, as sustained by research, is just what the witnesses say Spaulding knew and put into his romance. The [8 Conneaut] witnesses are not witnesses that mentioned their evidence, as was the case with Mrs. Salisbury and the witnesses of my opponent, or they would have claimed to know more than they did. They repudiate the religious portion of the Book of Mormon as an addition to Spaulding's romance. They do not mention the Jaredite portion; but one mentions the Zarahemlite portion. They do not exaggerate their recollection of the historic part of the Nephite portion. If ever there were cautious, conscientious witnesses they are...
...We proved by the concurrent testimony of seventeen witnesses, one of them Rigdon himself, that Solomon Spaulding wrote a romance called the "Manuscript Found;" that he wrote three drafts or manuscripts of this romance and part of another before his death. We have proved that the "Manuscript Found" had in it these features found in the Book of Mormon, and found in no other books but the Book of Mormon and the "Manuscript Found" [27 points of identity: original source, pp. 216-217]
...We proved by Atwater, Dille, Z. Rudolph, John Rudolph, Green, and by Kelley himself, that Rigdon preached and advocated the doctrines in which the Book of Mormon differs from the Disciples, the peculiar ideas of the Book. That he so indoctrinated all his hearers, where he could, that every Rigdonite became a Mormon, when he became one....
...We then gave a chronology of Mormonism showing that our history of the book accorded exactly with every demand of history. We then proved by the Rigdonisms in the Book of Mormon that Rigdon is its author. We found that no one but a Disciple preacher of the time when it appeared, could have been its author, used its language, and uttered its teachings. We showed that where Rigdon agreed with the Disciples, the Book agreed with them. Where he disagreed it disagreed and very bitterly too. That it advocates Rigdon's ideas on community of goods, restoration of spiritual gifts, new revelations, his fall-down power to which he was subject....
... it contains his baptismal formula, his revival expressions, his rant, bombast, fustian and spread-eagle. That it has every mark of being arranged by one mind, not many, as Mormons claim. The style is a unit, not diverse as is the case in the Bible. That one mind is Rigdon...
MR. BRADEN'S SIXTH SPEECH
...The real originator of Mormonism was Sidney Rigdon, who only intended to use Smith as his tool, to get the fraud before the world, as a miracle and revelation, through his stolen peep-stone. But Smith proved to be a deeper schemer than even Rigdon. When Rigdon allowed Joe to go before the world first, to usher in, and conduct the movement for months, as his prophet, and [Rigdon] came in only as a convert, he gave away his chances to be leader... Smith always held Rigdon in the position he assumed when he embraced Mormonism openly, that of a mere convert, and never allowed him to assume his real position, the author of the whole fraud and the one who intended to be leader...
... Since the discussion began I have come in possession of the following facts: James Jeffery of Churchville, Hartford Co., Maryland, in a statement dictated to Rev. Calvin D. Wilson, in the presence of his wife, declares:
Forty years ago I was in business in St. Louis. The Mormons then had their temple in Nauvoo, Ill. I had business transactions with them. I knew Sidney Rigdon. He acted as general manager of the business of the Mormons (with me). Rigdon told me several tines in his conversations with me, that there was in the printing office with which he was connected in Ohio, a manuscript of the Rev. Solomon Spaulding's, tracing the origin of the Indian race from the lost tribes of Israel. This manuscript was in the office several years. He was familiar with it. Spaulding wanted it published, but had not the means to pay for the printing. He (Rigdon) and Joe Smith used to look over the manuscript and read it on Sundays: Rigdon Said Smith took the manuscript and said "I'll print it," and he went off to Palmyra, N.Y.
[Rigdon, on Sept. 14. 1844] was called by a committee of the Twelve Apostles. In the conversation with them he told them that they dare not reject him. If they did, he would reveal their secrets. On the 15th and 16th Brigham Young and others denounced him for such threats. They rejected him and expelled him September 16th.
In an article in the "Times and Seasons" of May 1st, 1845, reprinted from the Kalamazoo Gazette, and signed E. M. Webb, Rigdon is bitterly denounced for his exposures of Mormonism.
In a conversation with Dr. Silas Sheppard, some time after his return to Pennsylvania from Nauvoo, in response to Dr. Sheppard's request that he would now, since he had, as he declared to Dr. Sheppard, renounced all connection with Mormonism forever, tell him, Dr. Sheppard, the truth, in regard to the Book of Mormon; Rigdon replied, "Dr. Sheppard, my mouth is forever sealed on that subject."
... Now let us collate the facts, I. Rigdon becomes intimate with Mr. Jeffery, while acting for the Mormons in business transactions. II Rigdon threatens the Mormons in the Fall of 1844, that he would divulge their secrets, if they reject him in his attempt to be President. III They reject him. IV On his way back East, and while in St. Louis, he fulfills his threats, and tells Mr. Jeffery that Spaulding's manuscript was taken to a printing office. That he got it from the office. That he and Smith examined it together. That he gave it to Smith to publish. V About the same time Mormon papers are denouncing him bitterly for his exposures. VI A change comes over the spirit of his dream. He announces that he has renounced Mormonism forever, but that his mouth is forever sealed in regard to matters that he had been freely making public.
The key to the matter is, Rigdon had failed to get a party to follow him. He could make nothing out of Mormonism. He began to tell their secrets as he declared (he) would. Mormon agents visited him. They could not let him talk any more. They offered him two alternatives. Money and silence, or Danite vengeance. Rigdon had sent the Danites on their murderous errands too often not to know what they meant. He took the bribe, and his mouth was forever sealed...
...[Rigdon] was expelled from the Baptist church and preached a short time to his malcontents in the [Pittsburgh] court house. He resumed working at his trade, a tanner, and began to fix up the manuscript he had stolen from the printing office. During this time he resumed his infidelity and talked it openly and freely, as old citizens of Pittsburg and Pennsylvania testify. On a visit to a relative near where the author's [Braden's] father had charge of a stone yard, he used to spend hours in sitting near the author's father and talking his doubts and skepticism...
[BRADEN'S 7th SPEECH]
...We have already exposed the violence and intolerance exhibited by Mormonism. It began in abuse of all who would not accept the fraud, and has since been carried on by violence, denunciation and vilification of all who oppose it. It began with abuse of all who opposed it in New York. This was carried to violence and plotting assassination in Kirtland....
... APPENDIX, No. 2.
Evidence of Witnesses produced on the Part of E. L. Kelley
Reuben P. Harmon, being duly sworn, testifies as follows:...
...I heard [Rigdon] preach a funeral sermon in 1829. I heard him preach frequently after that. He is a man, I should judge, who had acquired a classical education. I would regard him as a good English scholar, and, perhaps, as well versed in the Bible and history as any other man that I ever heard speak; having read Grecian and Roman history, he frequently used descriptions from these authors. He was eloquent in language, and an excellent speaker, and carried an audience with him. He established a church in Mentor, also came and held a revival in Kirtland. The meeting-house, a one-story building, was completed in Mentor at the time when Oliver Cowdery and Parley P. Pratt come on here. I heard Sidney Rigdon (in) the last speech that he made while he officiated as a Disciple preacher. He said he had been mistaken all his life-long, and he quit preaching and went into Mr. Morely's field and went to plowing. Worked at common labor for some time, until he took up the Latter Day Saint doctrine and began to preach it. He did not go to preaching right away after he left the Disciple church. I heard him make the remark that he never expected to speak in public again. There was quite a church of the Disciples here in Kirtland, and he carried a portion of them with him into the Latter Day Saints' church...
... [Hurlbut] went on and got affidavits. The meeting was held in the Presbyterian church... He did not get the manuscript at all, that I know of. I never saw the manuscript. He said he saw a man who had read the Book of Mormon, and that he said that it resembled the manuscript.Q. Did you see him after he returned from the widow of Solomon Spaulding, where he went to get the manuscript?
A. No, sir...
"Sampler" of Excerpts
Edmund L. Kelley was the brother of William H. Kelley, who was made an RLDS Apostle in 1873. Edmund was a prominent member of the RLDS First Quorum of Priests, prior to his being chosen a counselor to President Joseph Smith III in 1897. Edmund became the RLDS Presiding Bishop in 1902. Edmund continued his interest in the Spalding authorship claims by visiting Oberlin College's President James H. Fairchild in July of 1885 and obtaining a copy of the Oberlin Spalding manuscript (which the RLDS published later that same year).
MR. KELLEY'S FIFTH SPEECH
... The Spaulding Romance no doubt will still be the means of entertaining you upon the part of the negative, as it seems to be a much easier task for him to spin out that yarn, than to attempt to answer the arguments of the affirmative. I will promise you one thing however, that is, that the Spaulding tale shall not go unanswered, if the arguments of the affirmative are. I will show you before the close of the discussion of this question, if the negative holds out the time agreed upon, that, that thing is so rotten and deceitful in conception, so false and malicious in publication, so absurd and ridiculous in belief, that you shall in your hearts feel ashamed that you ever entertained the thought, that there might be something in it....
[KELLEY'S 7th SPEECH]
... it was speculative, long prior to the publication of the Book of Mormon, that the ten lost tribes of Israel had been led to this country, and that afterwards they had dwindled into barbarism... that was one of the main theories at the time of the publication of the Book of Mormon.
... There was one English publication in 1822 [on the high state of extinct Meso-American ancient civilizations]... suppose that they had heard of the publication of the work and that it had been all over the country in 1822, and that it contained anything of these great cities: -- what would it benefit my opponent in this argument? His claim is that this "Romance" was written by one Solomon Spaulding in 1811. Well, if it was written in 1811, and the historical part of it gotten up by Mr. Spaulding, could Mr. Spaulding write correctly of these things when he (in 1811) did not know about them unless he was a prophet? Why not God inspire Smith to write and antedate these discoveries as well as Spaulding? The argument is, that neither Smith nor Spaulding could get these things out, for the manuscript of the Book of Mormon as they are described therein as early as the year 1829, (or 1811), and as they have since been found correct by the best authors....
...A few persons under the guidance and leadership of one Philaster Hulburt, who, at the time had been cut off from the church of the Latter Day Saints for bad conduct, and who had publicly confessed his crime and had been taken back upon his profession of repentance... and was again cut off; and a few others at Conneaut, Ohio, of a like stamp, got together in 1833, with the Book of Mormon in their hands and vengeance and hatred in their hearts and got up some affidavits as to a story which it was surmised had been written before by Solomon Spaulding, a broken down clergyman of that place...
... A few of the best citizens of Ohio, at Conneaut, got together one night and appointed one of their number, to wit, the said Dr. Hulburt, who had before been ostracized from the Latter Day Saints for an open insult to a young lady in Kirtland, to go to New York, Pennsylvania, and other places, to get statements...
... It is said... that at one time a niece of Sidney Rigdon once saw him go to an old trunk, take out a manuscript, go to the fireplace and read it... Rigdon might have a hundred manuscripts and read them... and each and every one of them altogether different from the Spaulding manuscript...
Mr. Rudolph says, so Braden says, that one time during the year 1827, Sidney Rigdon, who was their pastor at Mentor, Ohio, went off some place and was away two or three weeks and they did not know where he went to. It might have been over to Hiram, down to Mantua, to Cleveland or Cincinnati.... Where is his witnesses showing where Rigdon was at this time, or that he was in New York? There is none... when I come to ask for the evidence, I find out the whole thing is trumped up to defeat Sidney Rigdon because he left their [Campbellite] church....
[KELLEY'S 8th SPEECH.
...did Spaulding ever write such a manuscript (of the Book of Mormon)? I claim that he did not.... The manuscript Spaulding is said to have written was too meager a thing to in any sense compare with a manuscript that would make a book the size of the Book of Mormon... the character of the "Manuscript Found" which is the one all rely upon as the romance was entirely different from the Book of Mormon.... He was such an invalid at the time it is alleged he wrote his manuscript, that it would have been impossible for him... to have written such a manuscript...
... Then the following interview with Mrs. McKinstry on April 4th, 1882, in Washington City: --
Q. Mrs. McKinstry, have you the "Manuscript Found" Mr. Solomon Spaulding is said to have written, in your possession?*[Kelley's notes]: That is the way she identified it -- on account of the word Lehi beginning with a very fancy capital letter. Suppose instead of being Lehi the word had been Levi. Would not the capital letter have been just the same and might there not have been the same fancy about it? . . .
** These parties were the old neighbors Aaron Wright, Miller, etc.
August, 1883, is another important interview.
I will give the evidence of Mr. Howe, but not claim it as evidence if my friend upon the other side of the question will put him on the stand here for cross-examination. It is as follows: --
Q. Mr. Howe, did Hulburt bring the manuscript to you he got of Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson?Now, who has got the stolen property that he has made such a parade over? These other parties who are seeking for evidence in order to show that Mr. Smith has stolen property in his possession go and get the original manuscript -- the manuscript in the handwriting of Solomon Spaulding -- in the penmanship of Solomon Spaulding, and they bring it here to Painsville, Ohio and it is traced into the hands of Mr. Howe and Mr. Hulburt, the ones that are determined to crush out the faith of the church: -- And what do they do? Publish it? Keep it? Preserve it? Oh no! "They did not use it," Why did they not use it? The reason is too evident to require naming. Ten words preserved in Mr. Spaulding's handwriting would have been sufficient to have identified the two if the Book of Mormon was the same. And these opposers, both sworn enemies of Mr. Smith and the Book of Mormon . . . deliberately destroyed the "Manuscript Found," which they got from Mrs. (Spaulding) Davidson, and published their statements and affidavits, instead of the manuscript they got... But now I will continue with Mr. Howe's statement of last summer:
[Q.] What do you know personally about the Book of Mormon and the Spaulding story being the same?
[KELLEY'S 9th SPEECH.]
Hulburt and Howe in their madness had before this, skulked down to Conneaut for a few of these ready witnesses who were embittered against the Saints (for a large number of people had accepted the faith about Conneaut, Mantua and other places, and thus made the sects rage), got the parties to sign their stuff which they had garbled from the Book of Mormon...
MR. KELLEY'S TENTH SPEECH
... Rigdon had been an enthusiastic and constant laborer in the "Reform Movement," as it was then called... and his time so occupied in his ministerial labors that it was not possible for him to have left his work and duties to visit Smith...
... I, Katherine Salisbury, being duly sworn, depose and say, that I am a resident of the state of Illinois, and have been for forty years last past; that I will be sixty-eight years of age, July 28th, 1881....The persons [at Conneaut] who had the manuscript in their possession and claimed that their affidavits were true, were the very ones who destroyed the manuscript lest it destroy their affidavits... In the very places where they say Spaulding's manuscript was best known is where the Saints gathered many converts and were the most successful in disproving these stories...
... John Spaulding, nor no other Spaulding, ever arose in any meeting of the Saints and made any such claim. It would never have been done without the Minister reporting it to the society and none was ever made. John Spaulding never placed himself where he could be cross-examined on this matter,...
Smith, he [Braden] says, worked for Sabine in 1823 or 1824, and this is when the second revelation came out. He had access to the Spaulding story... Mrs. Spaulding and her daughter were at Sabine's till 1820, when Mrs. Spaulding got married to Davidson. Then they leave and order their trunk sent to Jerome Clark... [But] Smith did not work for Sabine as they claim in 1823 or 1824. He was then a boy in Wayne County, New York, at least 50 miles from where Sabine lived...
I cannot take as evidence anything that has passed through such hands as Mr. Hulburt and Howe, unless I have the original statement to compare, or it can be proven outside in some way that these statements that he [Braden] has been referring to... are unaltered and genuine... Here is where he gets his John Spaulding, Martha Spaulding, Henry Lake, John Miller, Aaron Wright, Oliver Smith and Nahum Howard. Do you want me to swallow their contradictory, self-accusing, wholly improbable, malicious falsehoods rather than accept the truth...?
[KELLEY's 12th SPEECH]
This [Adamson Bentley's 1841 letter to Scott] is a genuine Campbellite letter... He is Sidney Rigdon's brother-in-law... intimate with Rigdon all along; during the years 1823-30; the two working together, preaching together; and Bentley knew perfectly well that Rigdon could have had no more to do in getting up the Book of Mormon than he had and yet because Rigdon held united with the Saints he was mad and wanted to destroy him...
. . . Suppose the memory of Mr. Campbell to be entirely correct... [and] Sidney Rigdon stated in his presence in the year 1826 or '27... that some plates of gold had been dug up in that State [NY], giving an account of the aborigines of this country and stating that the Christian religion had been preached in this country... what have we? Simply that Sidney Rigdon stated in his presence in the year 1826 or '27 that there was a claim made by some person in New York State, not even the name of the party then known to him it seems, that some plates of gold had been dug up in that State, giving an account of the aborigines of this country and stating that the Christian religion had been preached in this country just as... [by the Campbellites] on the Western Reserve.
MR. KELLEY'S THIRTEENTH SPEECH
... these persons [Spalding claims supporters] never get his -- Patterson' s -- statement, although he lived 20 years after they started the story... However, Wm. Small, of Camden, N. J., in the meantime goes to this same Patterson in Pittsburg, and he makes affidavit to the fact that he never knew anything about such a manuscript...
And Howe writes Mrs. Davidson a letter... saying, "It did not read as we expected, and we did not use it:" but never once hints that it was the wrong manuscript... he never once in his letter to them asks if they did not have another manuscript somewhere of Spaulding's, or if they had any means of telling whether he had the right one or whether Hulbert had played off on him and given him the wrong one...
... the copiers of the pretended statements must have taken [their statements' information] from the Book of Mormon, as this was four years after its publication, and done when they have the book before them...
... this same Robert Patterson [Junior], in 1882, suppresses in his publication this claim of his father, and gives the purported statement as obtained from one, Rev. (?) Samuel Williams who wrote up a list of stories for publication against the Saints, when the first three lines of the statement clearly show that it is a fraud, and that Patterson never had anything to do with it whatever. It is as follows: -- "R. Patterson had in his employment Silas Engles at the time, a foreman printer," etc., then signed at the bottom, "Robert Patterson." This is certainly enough on this.
The statement of Mrs. [Maria S.] Hulburt, made on Tuesday, February 5th, 1884, I now submit to you: -- She said that,
Mr. Hurlbut never obtained but one manuscript from Mrs. Davison. That one he let E. D. Howe have. When Mrs. (Spaulding) Davison let him have it, he said he promised to return it; and when he let Howe have it, Howe promised to restore it to Mrs. Spaulding, but he never did. Hulburt spent about six months time and a good deal of money looking up the Spaulding manuscript and other evidence, but he was disappointed in not finding what he wanted. This was the reason he turned the whole thing over to Howe. He never was satisfied with what he found, and while on his death-bed he would have given everything he had in the world, could he have been certain there was ever a "Manuscript Found," as claimed, similar to the Book of Mormon.This is overwhelming proof, showing there was never any such manuscript as they claimed Spaulding wrote, and that they got the quire of paper upon which he did write. It is the confirming proof, too, of Howe's guilt. Why did he not do as he agreed, send the manuscript which he got back to Mrs. Davison? The reason is too plain to be concealed for a moment. He is so anxious to have it destroyed that he violates his agreement to return "as soon as used." Why did he not return it when "it did not read as they expected," at the time he wrote to Mrs. Davidson?
Shame on such trickery!
I might also introduce the emphatic statement of Mrs. Emma Smith, wife of Joseph Smith the Seer. She positively states: "That no acquaintance was formed between Sidney Rigdon and the Smith family till after the church was organized in the year 1830. That neither (her husband nor herself) ever saw Sidney Rigdon until long after the Book of Mormon was in print.".... Also the positive declaration of David Whitmer, made at Richmond, Mo., April 1882, in answer to a question asked him in the presence of a number of persons... "That the Book of Mormon was published long before Sidney Rigdon was known to our [the witnesses'] family, or the Smiths; that I know that the story told of the Spaulding romance in connection with the Book of Mormon is false."
Add to this the statement of Braden's witness, Gilbert, who said in my presence, that he had tried for 50 years or near that long to find out something that would connect Rigdon and Smith together in some way, he living at Palmyra, N.Y., all this time as shown in his testimony, and who stated at the same time, that "they could not find out that Rigdon was ever about here or in this state until sometime in the fall of 1830,"...
[KELLEY'S 15th SPEECH]
Tell me the faith that is a living active principle as taught in the Book of Mormon was taken from the Campbellites! They never believed or taught the principle of restoration in repentance as set forth in the Book of Mormon: Nor did Sidney Rigdon till after his conversion to the faith the last part of the year 1830. They never taught or believed in the baptism of the Holy Spirit except as a thing of the past, nor did Rigdon till after 1830. They never believed in contending for the faith once delivered to the Saints as [p. 156] that book teaches; but they contended only a part of it, a very small part at that; neither did Rigdon till after his conversion in 1830. They never believed in a divine call to the ministry, nor do they now, claim that their ministers are so called; nor did Sidney Rigdon till after his conversion in 1830. They do not believe in the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Spirit, nor did Rigdon till after his conversion in 1830. They do not believe in God answering the penitent child for wisdom by any communication directly to him, or by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, nor did Rigdon till 1830. They do not believe in the signs of the Gospel as spoken of by Jesus attending the believer, nor did Rigdon till 1830. They do not believe in the organization of the Church as spoken of in the 12th of Cor., 10th of Matt., and 4th of Eph., nor did Rigdon till 1830...
. . . Mr. Braden's reasoning is like this: Joseph Smith was an unlearned boy, with a limited vocabulary of words, as the vocabulary of all unlearned persons is of few words when compared with the scholarly. The Book of Mormon is in the language of such an unlearned and illiterate boy; Sidney Rigdon and Solomon Spaulding were educated, able and well-informed men, and ministers... Sidney Rigdon, so far as the use of language is concerned, was one of the most eloquent men that this nation has ever produced...
[THIRD PROPOSITION] KELLEY'S 7th SPEECH] ... Gilbert tried to get his [Orlando's] brother, Lorenzo Saunders, who was only 9 years of age in 1830, to swear that he saw Sidney Rigdon at Smith's in 1827, and he refused to make the statement; and yet, Braden has reported it in this discussion as though it was true...
Next I turn to his new witness, Jeffries, who got acquainted with Rigdon in 1844, when Rigdon did business for the Mormons in Nauvoo, so he says; but Rigdon did not do the business for them neither in 1844, 1843 or any other time... He never told Jeffries such thing at any time, and never at any time in his life claimed or pretended to claim he ever knew anything about Joseph Smith until after October, 1830...
Rev. Clark Braden
Biographical Sketches of the Rev. Clark Braden (1831-1915)
CLARK BRADEN was born in the Disciples of Christ stronghold of Gustavus township, Trumbull Co., Ohio, in 1831. His father Robert Braden, was then living not far from the residence of Erastus Cowdery, elder brother of Oliver Cowdery. Clark Braden's father had known Sidney Rigdon during Rigdon's Pittsburgh years and no doubt he monitored the famous "Reformed Baptist" preacher's progress as a Mormon during the 1830s in northern Ohio. Clark Braden married Sarah Northway on Nov. 2, 1856 in Rome, Ashtabula Co., Ohio. Their son was Bion Braden, born in 1858 in Rome. From 1866 to 1870 Clark Braden served as the first President of Southern Illinois College at Carbondale. Rev. Braden also served as the editor of the Disciple newspaper, Herald of Truth. He moved his family to Pawnee City, Nebraska in 1870: Sarah Northway Braden died there late in 1870 or early in 1871.
Clark Braden next married Mary Elizabeth Edson, on Jan. 26, 1872, at Galva, Henry Co, Illinois. He briefly served as the pastor of the Disciple congregation in Bloomington, Illinois in 1873. The couple had one son, Clark Edson Braden, born Jul. 30, 1875, at Abingdon, Knox Co, From 1876 to 1877 Clark Braden served as President of Abingdon College. (Between late 1873 and late 1875 Clark Braden apparently served briefly in that same capacity at "Christian College" in Abingdon). Mary E. Braden died Sep. 8, 1878, at Abingdon. Rev. Braden spent much of the 1880s and 1890s engaging in public debates on religious topics. From 1899 to 1900 he returned to the academic world for a short time, filling the presidency at Southern Illinois Christian College. He died on Mar. 6, 1915, at the home of his son in Carbon, California.
from: Warren's 1910 Centennial Convention ReportClark Braden was born Aug. 8, 1831, in Gustavus, Trumbull Co., O. He was immersed by Calvin Smith, Feb. 28, 1855, in Rome, Ashtabula Co., O. He has been preaching nearly fifty-five years. He has been what is called "pastor" for twenty-five congregations, and has been regular preacher for as many more. He has taught school sixty-nine terms of three months. He, has been president of Elgin College, Abingdon College, Southern Illinois College and Southern Illinois Christian College. He edited a Christian paper, the Herald of Truth. He is author of the "Braden-Hughey Debate," the "Braden-Kelly Debate," the "Problem of Problems," "Ingersoll Unmasked," "Errors in Regard to the Trial and Crucifixion of Christ."
He has delivered more than three thousand lectures in nearly every State in the United States and Provinces of Canada. He can give time, place, proposition and opponent of more than 130 regular debates that had moderators and two written debates. He has held more debates than any other member of the churches of Christ. J. S. Sweeney comes next with 113 debates. He has held forty debates with champions of both wings of infidelity, materialism and spiritism -- more debates than any other man living or that has lived. He has met in debate B. F. Underwood, the American champion; Charles Watts, the British champion of materialism, and Moses Hull, the champion of spiritism. He has debated the action, subjects and design of baptism, the work of the Holy Spirit, human creeds, justification by faith only, church organization, soul-sleeping, kingdom-come-ism, Seventh-day-ism, and Universalism.
He has held eighteen debates with Mormons. He was challenged three times to debate with Ingersoll. Ingersoll was challenged three times to debate with Clark Braden. And six times Ingersoll backed out. He gave as his reason, and I beg your pardon for saying this, "I'll be G-- d----d if Bob don't know what he's doing. I am not such a G-- d----d fool as to place myself on the platform for six nights of debate with that fellow. Why, d--n it, he would wear me out." When S. P. Putnam, president of the Infidel Leagues of America, refused to debate with Clark Braden, Clark Braden chased him and replied to him until infidels, disgusted with Putnam's cowardice, forced him to quit the field. Charles Watts backed out of defiant challenges and left the Maritime Provinces of Canada when Clark Braden was selected to meet him. The Infidel Leagues of Canada backed out of challenges when Braden was selected to meet them. In 1889, in the last of eleven debates with Clark Braden, B. F. Underwood backed out in the middle of the debate, and took the first train next morning. Infidels withdrew their indorsement of Jamieson and closed the last debate with Jamieson. Last August, Elbert Hubbard, whom infidels regard as the successor of Ingersoll, and their champion, in the most cowardly and disgraceful manner backed out of a positive agreement, when he learned that he would have to meet Clark Braden.
During the last twenty years, every prominent champion of infidelity has backed out of debating with Clark Braden. So have champions of Mormonism, soul-sleeping, Seventh-day-ism, spiritism and kingdom-come-ism. The speaker does not make these statements in a spirit of personal vainglory, but simply to demonstrate the invincibility of the truth in fair contest with error....
from: Haynes' 1915 History of the Disciples of Christ in IllinoisMr. Braden graduated from Farmers College, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1860. No one aided him by a dollar after he left the country district school. For ten years he labored, taught and attended school as he could. Aiding his younger brothers and sisters, in their struggles for an education, delayed the completion of his own course. His father and mother were pioneer Abolitionists and active teetotaler -- temperance advocates from 1835 to 1855. Mr. Braden was himself in line with the enemies of slavery from his youth. He cast his first vote for Freesoil in 1852. He stumped and voted for Fremont in 1856, and for Lincoln in 1860. In this work his life was twice in peril from friends of the saloons and thrice by Mormons. He made war speeches and carried a gun as a soldier in the 127th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
Many years of his life have been given to educational work. In this field he filled many positions, from the teacher of a "deestrick skule and board round" to the presidency of three colleges.
He has served in the Christian ministry for fifty-seven years and has been pastor of thirty-five churches. He has been a voluminous writer and has edited one political and one religious paper. He has delivered more than six thousand lectures. He has conducted 133 public discussions, on nearly all topics agitating the public mind. Twenty-six of these discussions were in Illinois. He was endorsed for more than one hundred other debates at which his opponents failed to appear, including "Seventh-dayists," infidels and Mormons. For more than twenty years it was a standing formula with these errorists, when they challenged for a debate, to condition, "any one except Braden." Some of his opponents, when hard pressed by Mr. Braden, unceremoniously fled from the halls where the discussions were in progress, amid the jeers and hisses of audiences. His debates and lectures have reached through many States and Provinces of Canada.
In April, 1872, Mr. Braden sent a challenge to the great agnostic, Robert G. Ingersoll, to debate in Peoria. When asked by Colonel Wright, "Why do you not accept?" he replied, "I am not such a fool as to debate. He would wear me out." Mr. Braden's last public discussion was successfully conducted in his seventy-eighth year. A prominent minister declared in a church paper that Mr. Braden, by his assaults upon errors and his earnest advocacy of the truth, had saved the Pacific Coast from a tidal wave of infidelity. Mr. Braden was sometimes criticized for his neglect or disregard of the social amenities of life. However, he was always a companionable man, when he had time. A fine physique has enabled him to do the work of two or three men. He has been "a crank all his life and grows no better," for he is now an active advocate of Christian socialism. The storms of eighty years have not cooled the ardor of his love for "the truth as it is in Jesus." For more than sixty years he has studied, investigated, written, taught and debated, and through these six eventful decades his master aim has been, "Accept the Christ's teachings, live the Christ life, realize the Christ character."
A fanatical theological gospel of the Holy Ghost was preached instead of the gospel of Christ. The Holy Ghost was mentioned, in preaching, prayer and religious talks and narrations of experience, a score of times for each mention of Christ. From early childhood the writer heard and witnessed the most fanatical and extravagant conduct, language and scenes, in camp-meetings, revival meetings, prayer-meetings, class meetings and other religious gatherings. He has stood in the door of a meeting-house and heard a crowd of mourners around the altar agonizing, shouting and screaming at the top of their voices, to the Holy Ghost to come down into their hearts. and work the miracle that they had been taught to expect as conversion, and a crowd of others around them agonizing, shouting and screaming at the Holy Ghost to come down and do such work; and a score or more stretched out on the floor in trances. He has seen men and women running frantically over the house, or campground, shouting, screaming, leaping, clapping their hands, like the inmates of a lunatic asylum. He has seen the floor of a meeting-house, or camp-ground, covered with scores of men and women stretched out in trances. He has listened to the most extravagant and frenzied experiences, all tales of miraculous experiences. He has known these frenzies to continue until daylight.
In class-meeting, prayer-meeting, regular services, camp-meeting, and all religious gatherings, the great aim and work seemed to be to work up these manifestations of what was called "the power of the Holy Ghost." and such frenzies were regarded as the all-in-all of religion. The meeting in which there were no such displays was denounced as dead, and destitute of the power of the Holy Ghost, heart-felt religion. The conversion and experience of one who did not boast of such miraculous experiences, were regarded with grave suspicion. As he writes, the memory of the writer is flooded with recollections of such scenes. Such was what he heard and witnessed, as the all-in-all of religion. In the childhood of the writer, C. G. Finney held great meetings in New York and northeastern Ohio. His one great hobby was what was then called "perfection" or "sanctification;" since then dubbed :holiness," "sinlessness," "higher life," "second blessing." The meetings held to attain this ne plus ultra of religious experience, were, if possible, attended with more extravagant frenzies than any other meetings; and the experiences told were, if possible, more extravagant and monstrous, and sinless angels could scarcely rival the claims made.
Even in early childhood, the writer began to compare the lives and conduct of those who boasted of such wonderful experiences in conversion, and such miraculous blessings in sanctification, with their boasts, professions and claims. Their professions and claims compelled such comparisons. He saw that, in many instances, the lives and conduct of those who led in such frenzies, and made their loudest boasts, fell far below, in honesty, truthfulness, decency and morality, the lives and conduct of those that they denounced as sinners and infidels. He saw that such experiences rarely produced a change for the better, in life or conduct. He saw that the most excitable, irritable, quarrelsome, untrustworthy persons were most prone to such frenzies, and often led in them. The first sermon on sanctification he heard was preached by a man convicted of buying with a measure larger, and selling with one smaller than legal, yet he boasted that he had been perfectly sanctified for seven years and had not sinned for six months. The writer was one of a group of laborers who dug up the bones of the illegitimate offspring of the chief apostle of sanctification and his most brilliant convert and chief assistant. The editor of the organ of "holiness," also president of a college that made "perfection" a hobby, was convicted of lewdness. The writer can enumerate scores of such cases.
In later youth, the writer witnessed the same manifestations in spiritual seances, and in displays of hypnotism. He has learned that such phenomena have been a part of all religions and superstitions, in all ages and lands...
From fourteen to twenty-four the writer was a confirmed skeptic. When persons assert that there never has been one who was really, honestly, at heart a skeptic, the writer knows from personal experience that such talk is nonsense. The writer did not hear those people nicknamed "Campbellites" until he was eighteen. He remarked that they put more sense into the Bible than he had any idea could be done. He is well satisfied that he had heard from the first, the full, clear, plain, common sense of the Bible, that our preachers so earnestly preached in the beginning of our work, it would have saved him from years of infidelity. In the fall of 1854, while attending the old Tuckerman Academy, in Orwell, Ashtabula County, the writer had his first public discussion, in which, almost alone, he contended with the rest of the debating club, in an open, unsparing attack of the Bible. A. J. Marvin, of Cleveland, and his brother, J. A. Marvin, were his principal opponents. The debate caused great excitement in the school, town and surrounding country. The writer delivered his first lectures that fall, and against the Bible. That brought down on him odium and denunciation.
During the winter of 1854 and 1855, the writer taught a high school, in the old academy building that stood at the center of Rome, Ashtabula County. Calvin Smith, our first great revivalist, began a meeting in Rome. He invited all who wished, to present questions, and the writer handed in a list of questions...
For about three weeks, Calvin Smith and the writer read the Bible together and reasoned together over its teachings. The inquiries were, "What does the Bible, when properly interpreted, teach? Are such teachings reasonable and true?" The writer did not accept a thing as true because it was in the Bible. He accepted what was in the Bible when convinced that it was reasonable and true. The writer became satisfied that what he had rejected, what had caused his skepticism, were theological barnacles, that theologians had fastened upon the Bible, that had concealed the Bible from his sight. That when the Bible is studied and interpreted, using the same common sense that is used in interpreting other books, its teachings are reasonable and therefore true. Before a great audience at the close of the night service, Feb. 22, 1855, the writer confessed his faith in Jesus as the Messiah and his Saviour, and was immersed the next day. The weather was intensely cold and the ice was more than two feet thick, but neither the writer nor any one of more than eighty that were immersed were injured in the least.
As soon as he was immersed, the writer began contending for the faith he once sought to destroy. From childhood it had been his intention to practice law; but as he earned every dollar spent, directly or indirectly, in getting an education, he was compelled to teach, to educate himself, and graduated at the age of twenty-nine. Though he read law, because he could make more teaching than in preliminary law practice, he continued to teach until he taught sixty-nine terms of three months each, and had been president of four different colleges, and had held nearly every position in private and public schools. While teaching he usually preached from two to four times each week, and also lectured and debated, until the "Campbellite" champion could no longer secure a position as teacher, and had preached and debated himself out of his profession, into the pulpit and on to the rostrum. In his stormy career, the writer has held over 130 regular public discussions, and has been selected and endorsed for a larger number, when his opponents did not materialize. He has delivered more than six thousand lectures, on nearly every topic agitating the public mind; and of these more than five thousand against infidelity. He has preached at least as many sermons, and has spoken in nearly every State and Province in the United States and Canada. He has met the leading champions of both wings of infidelity, Spiritism and materialism of America and Britain; in forty public discussions.
The writer regrets his years of skepticism, and his work against the Nible. He has none of that purient desire for base notoriety displayed by persons of coarse taste...
from: "Clark Braden" by John W. Allen, Southern Illinois University
Centralia Sentinel June 11, 1965.
Prominent Pioneer Educator Was School Superintendent Here in 1860s CARBONDALE -- ... It was the Rev. Mr. Braden who helped fully as much as any other man in establishing Southern Illinois Normal University. This college through successive changes became Southern Illinois University. Calling him to mind made us want to know more about the man.
Much of the following information is in a 1942 letter written by the Rev. Mr. Braden's son, Bion, then 84 years old. From it we learn that Clark's grandfather brought his seven sons and two daughters to America from County Armagh, Ireland, in 1804. The youngest of the Braden sons was four-year old Robert Anderson. When grown up, Robert married Jeanette Clark, also of Irish descent. Clark, third of their 13 children, was born in Ohio and later married Sarah Maria Northway of Holland Dutch and Oneida Indian stock.
As a young man, Clark alternated between being a day laborer and a student at College Hill Seminary, Cincinnati, where he was graduated after the birth of his second child. From Cincinnati he moved to Elgin, where he and Mrs. Braden taught in Wheeler Academy until the Civil War. Braden then enlisted in the 127th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. After active service in the vicinity of Vicksburg, he was sent to the hospital at Holly Springs. There he was captured and paroled by General Van Doren's men.
Upon his return to Elgin, Clark was elected county superintendent of schools for Kane County. He left at that office to become principal of East Side School in Centralia and to serve as pastor of the Christian Church there.
From Centralia the Bradens moved to Carbondale in September of 1866. Here, he became president of Southern Illinois College which was then located on the grounds where Lincoln Junior High School now is. Mrs. Braden became preceptress.
Apparently a restless and wandering educator, the Rev. Mr. Braden made his most successful halt in Carbondale. Here he opened a college that had been chartered for DeSoto, six miles north. When Carbondale College, founded by the Presbyterians, became insolvent and its property in Carbondale was offered for sale the Christian Church bought it on Sept. 8, 1866, and the Rev. Mr. Braden became president. Opening of the school was announced for Oct. 6, 1866.
When Braden and five students met on that day, it was decided that a clean-up program was in order. The opening accordingly was delayed a week while all gave a hand to make the place usable.
On Monday, Oct. 13, 1866 the school began. Eight additional students appeared to make the total enrollment thirteen. (No superstition evident here.) During the fall term enrollment reached 54 and increased the winter term to 75. During the first year 142 individuals were enrolled. During the second year, 1867-68, 315 enrolled. Exact figures are not available for the next year. Apparently there were 370 individuals enrolled during the year.
The students produced school plays, published at least four literary journals and had formal commencements, one being addressed by General John A. Logan.
All the while Braden had strongly advocated a state school at Carbondale. When assurance of its establishment came, Southern Illinois College closed. Why support Southern Illinois College when the state was to supply its need? It was a good 25 years before Southern Illinois Normal University grew to equal the deceased Southern Illinois College.
Braden remained in Carbondale until June, 1870, when he went to Pawnee City, Neb., where Mrs. Braden died. He taught in a private school there until June, 1872. This school became Cotner University.
After that he served as pastor of Christian churches in Illinois at Bloomington and Perry. He next moved to Abingdon, where he served as president of the Christian College until 1873. At another time he was president of Christian University at Alpha and later he served as pastor if the Christian Church at Meaford, Canada.
Braden was the author of several books, pamphlets, and newspaper articles. He also was a great debater on doctrinal and theological subjects with almost anyone who would debate. In his last years he went to live with his youngest son near Mills City, Calif., where he died in 1912 [sic].
Rev. Clark Braden's DebatesThe Rev. Clark Braden participated in at least 133 different public debates upon religion between 1866 and 1903. Below are listed some of his more well known debates:
001. J. P. Den (Methodist Episcopal); Richview, IL; 1866; baptism
002. H. V. Spencer (?); Richview, IL; Bible revision
003. Jacob Ditzler (Methodist Episcopal); De Soto, IL; 1866; baptism
004. R. C. Dennis (Infidel); Duquoin, IL; 1868
005. G. W. Hughey (Methodist); Vienna, IL; August 18-27, 1868; baptism, Holy
Spirit, Methodist Episcopal Discipline, human creeds; 9 days. Book publication: Debate on the Action of Baptism, the Design of Baptism, the Subjects of Baptism, the Work of the Holy Spirit, the Discipline of the M. E. Church, and Human Creeds. Cincinnati, OH: Franklin & Rice, 1870.
006. B. F. Underwood (Atheist); Duquoin, IL; 1870; Christianity and materialism
007. Samuel Binns (Cumberland Presbyterian); Casey, IL; 1870; baptism
008. B. F. Underwood (Atheist); Time, IL; 1871; Christianity and materialism
009. B. F. Underwood (Atheist); Bushnell, IL; 1871; Christianity and materialism
010. Sam Binnus (Universalist); Reynoldsburg, OH; 1871
011. B. F. Underwood (Atheist); Washington, IL; 1872; Christianity and materialism
012. John Hughes (Universalist); LaFayette, IL; 1872
013. C. R. Sanborn (Free Congregationalist); Bloomington, IL; 1873; infidelity
014. C. H. Bliss (Seventh-day Adventist); Lovington, IL; 1874
015. B. F. Underwood (?); Jacksonville, IL; summer 1876
016. John Hughes (Universalist); Lewistown, IL; 1877
017. W. F. Jamison (?); Salem, IL; 1878; Christianity and materialism
018. E. L. Kelley (Reorganized Latter-day Saints); Wilber, NE; November 7-_, 1883
019. E. L. Kelley (Reorganized Latter-day Saints); Kirkland, OH; February 12 - March 8, 1884. Book publication: Public Discussion of the Issues Between the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the Church of Christ (Disciples). St. Louis, MO: Clark Braden, 1884.
020. J. W. Gillen (Reorganized Latter Day Saints); Stewartsville, MO; December 1884
021. E. L. Kelley (Reorganized Latter-day Saints); Bellair, IL; 1889
022. E. L. Kelley (Reorganized Latter-day Saints); Bellair, IL; March 6-13, 1890; Book of Mormon, Scriptures
023. John Williams (First-day Adventist); Chicago, IL; 1894
024. A. J. Fishback (Spiritualist); Sturgis, MI
025. Thomas Williams (Christadelphian); 1896; 7 nights. Book publication: Chicago, IL: Advocate Printing Co., 1897.
026. I. N. White (Reorganized Latter-day Saints); Orchardville, IL; 1898
027. Joe S. Warlick (Christian); Dallas, TX; ?April, 1898; instrumental music in worship; 4 sessions
028. I. N. White (Reorganized Latter-day Saints); Alma, IL; 1899; Mormonism
029. C. H. Bliss (Seventh-day Adventist); St. Elmo, IL; 1899
030. Joe S. Warlick (Christian); written; instrumental music in worship
031. Rev. Hicks (Baptist); Nebo, IL; 1901; church
032. W. G. Roberts (Christian); Belmont, IL; November 1902
033. A. P. Roberts (?); Olney, IL; 1903
034. D. B. Turney (Protestant Methodist); Wayne City, IL; 1903; baptism
Clark Braden as an Anti-RLDS Debater
The Saints' Herald reports eleven debates in which Clark Braden of the Disciples of Christ was the opponent. By 1901, however, Braden was claiming fifteen debates... with eight different RLDS debaters, in addition to many, many last minute back-outs by RLDS ministers... Braden probably ranks with John C. Bennett, Brigham Young, and R. C. Evans as characters of almost mystic proportions, characters whom RLDS love to hate. Even though Braden never was affiliated with the Joseph Smith Restoration, many RLDS followed his career closely with almost purient fascination.
In 1883 a debate took place between Braden and E. L. Kelley in Nebraska on the standard propositions. This was the first mention in the RLDS press. The reporter claimed that at one point Brother Kelley so completely overturned the argument of Braden that in his last speech Braden stood silent as if dumb (Saints' Herald, Nov. 24, 1883.) When his silence became painful to all present, Brother Kelley broke the spell by requesting the moderators not count the time lost against him. Naturally, Braden's recollection of this debate differs.
In the following year, 1884, occurred the Great Kirtland Debate between E. L. Kelley and Braden, a debate that was reported verbatim in the Saints' Herald, and then published by Herald House in a book that remained a best seller for decades.
No good word was ever said about Clark Braden in the RLDS press. Page after page are devoted to his evil exploits, especially his unfair debating practices.
One particularly unforgiving article in the Herald called Braden
the man with the big knife dealing deathly blows to the undaunted, unsullied, and stargemmed brow of the kingdom of Christ... (Saints' Herald, Dec. 19, 1894.)
Church leadership recommended that RLDS ministers not debate Braden because of his dirty tricks and unscrupulous debating methodology....
Note: the above excerpt and the paper from which it was taken are copyright © 1987 by Wayne A. Ham, all rights reserved.