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John A. Clark
Gleanings by the Way (2)
(Phila.: W. J. & J. K. Simmon, 1842)
  • Title Page   Preface   Contents

  • pp. 268-303  Part 2: Ch. 26-27
  • pp. 304-322  Part 2: Ch. 28-29
  • pp. 323-336  Part 2: Ch. 30-31
  • pp. 337-352  Part 2: Ch. 32-33

  • Transcriber's Comments  

  • Clark's 1840-41 articles in: Episcopal Recorder  |  Warsaw Signal






    ACCORDING to the intimation given in the last chapter, we proceed to furnish our readers with a brief outline of the contents of that mysterious volume whose origin and history we have already given, and which, as we have seen, has exerted no small influence in imparting a degree of plausibility to the claims set up by this sect, and in gaining for them among the superstitious and the credulous, hosts of converts. I have before me a copy of the Book of Mormon, which I have read through in order to furnish the following analysis. Since reading this volume of nearly six hundred pages, I am more than ever convinced that there were several hands employed in its preparation. There are certainly striking marks of genius and literary skill displayed in the management of the main story -- while in some of the details and hortatory parts there are no less unequivocal marks of bungling and botch work. 

    As I have already stated, this volume consists of fifteen separate books, which profess to have been written at different periods, and by different authors, whose names they respectively bear: all these authors, however, belonged to the same people, and were successively raised up by Jehovah.



    and by him inspired to carry on the progress of the narrative. and deposit the record when made upon metallic plates in the same ark of testimony which contained the plates handed down by their predecessors. The first book in the volume is called the Book of Nephi: it contains seven distinct chapters, and opens with an account of Lehi, the father of Nephi. Nephi, the writer of this first book, appears to be the grand hero of this epic. His father, Lehi, resided in Jerusalem -- was a devout man, and one that feared God. His mother's name was Sariah -- and the names of his three brothers were Laman, Lemuel, and Sam. The narrative commences with the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah. During this year the prophets of the most high God came and uttered such fearful predictions in relation to the destruction of Jerusalem, that Lehi became greatly alarmed for the city and for his people. He was so impressed with the messages which the Hebrew seers proclaimed, that he was led to go and pray with great fervency before the Lord. While in this solemn act of prayer, there came down a pillar of fire and rested upon a rock before him, blazing forth in awful majesty, and speaking to him out of the flames. Awed and terrified by this divine manifestation, he went home and cast himself upon his bed overwhelmed with anxious thoughts and fearful forebodings. While he lay there thus meditating upon what he had seen, he was suddenly carried away in a vision, and saw the heavens opened, and God sitting upon his throne, "surrounded by numberless concourses of angels." "And it came to pass," I here use the language of Nephi, (page 6.) "that he saw one descending out of the midst of heaven. And



    he beheld that his lustre was above that of the sun at noon-day; and he also saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament; and they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he should read. And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the spirit of the Lord, and he read, saying, Wo, wo unto Jerusalem! for I have seen thine abominations; yea and many things did my father read concerning Jerusalem -- that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof, many should perish by the sword, and many should be carried away captive into Babylon." Lehi, after this vision, became himself a prophet, and predicted the overthrow of the Holy City; on account of which he was persecuted by the Jews. While they were plotting to destroy him, he had another vision, by which he was instructed to take his family and depart into the wilderness. He immediately obeyed, leaving his house and land and gold and silver and pecious things behind. In his journeyings he came near the shore of the Red Sea, and at lebgth pitched his tent in a valley beside a river of water. His two eldest sons were quite unbelieving, and thought it absurd that their father should leave all his comforts behind, and come to dwell in a tent in the wilderness. But Nephi who was the third son, was piously disposed, and being led to seek the face of the Lord in prayer, had a revelation from God -- that he should be led to a land of promise, and become a teacher and ruler over his brethren.

    After this, Lehi also had another vision, in which he was commanded to send Nephi and his brethren back to



    Jerusalem to obtain "the record of the Jews, and also a genealogy of his forefathers, engraven upon plates of brass." This was a mission attended with great danger, and replete with sundry adventures of a marvellous character. After the three brethren had reached Jerusalem, they cast lots to decide which should go to Laban, who seems to have been the keeper of these sacred deposits, and ask for the records. That lot fell upon Laman. He was received very roughly by Laban, and had to flee from his presence for his life, without attaining the object of his wishes. The two elder brothers now determined to abandon the object of their mission and go back to their father; but Nephi, full of faith, wished still to persevere, and therefore proposed that they should go to their former residence and collect together the gold and silver and precious things belonging to their father, and endeavour to make an impression upon Laban's mind by the offer of all these, if he would give them "the plates of brass." Laban was pleased with the exhibition of their treasures, and determined to slay them, in order to possess their wealth. They fled, however, into the wilderness, and hid themselves in the cavity of a rock. The two elder brothers now became utterly indignant with Nephi, and smote him with a rod, because he had led them into such an adventure. An angel of God, however, appeared, and rebuked them -- enjoining it upon them to go up to Jerusalem again, and not to give over the enterprise upon which they had embarked -- assuring them that the Lord would deliver Laban into their hands. Notwithstanding this divine reproof, the two elder brothers felt rather sorely towards Nephi, and went up again towards Jerusalem quite reluctantly. When they reached the walls of the city, they positively



    refused to go any farther. Nephi, however, offered to go again to the house of Laban. He proposed that they should hide without the walls, and wait till his return. It was night; and Nephi stole carefully into the city, directing his steps towards the house of Laban. As he drew near his residence, however, he found a man stretched out on the ground, drunk with wine. Upon examination, he found it was Laban himself. He was armed with a sword, the hilt of which was "of pure gold, and tie workmanship exceeding fine." Nephi drew the sword from its scabbard, and as he held it up, he felt constrained by the Spirit to kill Laban. He had to struggle some time with the natural tenderness of his feelings, but his desire to obey God prevailed, and he therefore "took Laban by the hair of the head, and smote off his head with his own sword." He then stript off the garments of Laban, and put them on himself, and girded himself with his armour, and "went forth towards the treasury of Laban," and as he went, "he saw the servant of Laban that had the keys of the treasury. This servant mistook Nephi, who tried to imitate the voice of Laban, for his own master, and readily took out "the engravings which were upon the plates of brass" and carried them without the walls. When the servant discovered the mistake, he was very much frightened -- but at length was prevailed upon to accompany these adventurers into the wilderness: therefore having obtained the object of their wishes, they returned to the tent of their father.

    Lehi now examined, at his leisure, the records engraven upon the plates of brass, and found that they contained the five books of Moses, "and also a record of the Jews from the beginning even down to the commencement of the



    reign of Zedekiah, and also many prophecies spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah." He also found a genealogy of his fathers, from which he learned that he was a descendant of Joseph.

    Here I cannot but remark that it is astonishing that he had not found out before this to what tribe he belonged; and it is not a little remarkable that as the sons of Joseph, Ephraim, and Manassah, were appointed to represent two tribes, in the place of Joseph and Levi, he had not told us from which of these descendants he sprang. We were all along at a loss to know what sort of officer Laban was, but here we are told at this stage of the narrative: "Thus my father Lehi did discover the genealogy of his fathers. And Laban also was a descendant of Joseph, wherefore he and his fathers kept the records." This seems to us quite a non sequitur.

    But to proceed. Upon obtaining these plates of brass, Lehi began to be "filled with the spirit, and to prophecy concerning his seed; that these plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, which were of his seed. Wherefore, he said that these plates of brass should never perish; neither should they be dimmed any more by time."

    Soon after this Nephi had a very wonderful vision, which he told to his two sons, by way of warning the two elder, Laman and Lemuel, of whom he had great fears -- as they were disposed to be unbelieving and rebellio[n]s. This vision presented an allegorical representation. Lehi declared that he saw a man dressed in a white robe, who came and stood before him and then bade him follow him. He did so. The white robed guide led him through a long, dark, and dreary waste. After travelling on for



    many hours in darkness he began to pray unto the Lord; and the Lord then led him into a large, spacious field, in the midst of which he saw "a tree whose fruit was desirable to make one happy." He partook of this fruit, which was intensely white, "exceeding all the whiteness he had ever seen." As soon as he had partaken of the fruit, "his soul was filled with exceeding great joy." This led him to wish that his family should come and partake of the same, While looking around to see if he could discover his family, he beheld a river of water, which ran along near the tree of whose fruit he had been partaking. At a short distance he beheld the head of this stream, and near it his wife and two younger sons, and they stood as if they knew not whither they should go: and he called out unto them with a loud voice to approach the tree and partake the fruit thereof, and they came. And then his anxieties were awake for his two elder sons, whom at length he discovered in the distance, near the head of the stream, but he could not induce them to come to him or approach the tree. And then he beheld a rod of iron extending along the bank of the river, leading to the tree by which he stood: and also "a straight and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron to the tree. And it also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field, as if it had been a world, and he saw numberless concourses of people: many of whom were pressing forwards, that they might obtain the path which led unto the tree by which he stood." As soon as those who were advancing entered this narrow path they encountered "an exceeding great mist of darkness," so that many lost their way, while others caught hold of the end of the rod of iron, and pressed forward through the mist, clinging to the rod,



    and following it until they came into the light amid which the tree stood, and partook of its fruit. The persons who thus approached the tree, after they had partaken of the fruit, looked around and some of them seemed ashamed. "Lehi also cast his eyes round about, and beheld on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building: and it stood as it were in the air: and it was filled with people both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceeding fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those which had come at, and were partaking of the fruit." This was what caused some who had come to the tree to be filled with shame, and to fall away. He saw continual multitudes pressing forward towards the tree, and others towards the great, and spacious building. With all his persuasion Lehi could not induce his two eldest sons to come and partake of the fruit of the tree, therefore he had great fears in relation to them.

    After relating this vision, Lehi began to prophecy in relation to the Saviour, and told very distinctly what is related in the New Testament about him. Nephi, however, became very anxious to see the tree or which his father had told, and at length he was gratified. The same vision was repeated to him, and he obtained also from the spirit of the Lord the interpretation thereof. The spirit commanded him to look. He did so, and first he beheld Jerusalem -- then Nazareth -- and "in the city of Nazareth, a virgin exceeding fair and white." And then he saw the heavens open, and an angel came down, and stood before him, and said, "the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh." She was carried away in the spirit, and after a while she returned bearing a



    child in her arms, and the angel said to him, "Behold the Lamb of God, yea even the eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw? And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God." Afterwards he looked and saw the son of God going forth among the children of men. He then saw in succession all the miracles of Christ -- all the events of his life -- the scenes that followed his crucifixion -- and the whole history of the Christian Church up to the present time -- beyond which the deponent Nephi sayeth not.

    The tree was the love of God in Christ -- the rod of iron leading to it was the word of God -- the mist and darkness, that blinded the eyes of those to the tree, were the temptations of the devil -- the large and spacious building was the pride and vain imaginations of the children of men.

    After this protracted vision, Nephi returned to the tent of his father, and found his brethren disputing about the allegorical sense of the vision of their father Lehi. He of course was now prepared to enlighten them. They asked him "what meaneth the river of water which our father saw?" and he replied, "The water was filthiness. So much was my father's mind swallowed up in other things, that he beheld not the filthiness of the water, and I said unto them, that it was an awful gulf which separateth the wicked from the tree of life, and also from the saints of God -- a representation of hell."

    I have neglected to mention that previous to Lehi's vision, Nephi and his brethren were commissioned to go up to Jerusalem the second time, to persuade Ishmael and his five daughters to join his father in the wilderness. The fifth chapter opens with a tender scene, in which



    Nephi and his brethren are married to the daughters of Ishmael. Immediately after, Lehi received a command to strike his tent and journey on into the wilderness. And when he arose the next morning and went forth to the tent door, "in his great astonishment he beheld upon the ground a round ball of curious workmanship, and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness." They travelled on "for the space of four days nearly in a south east direction." Various trials occurred in their journey. The elder brothers uniformly murmured, and Nephi was uniformly submissive. When in extremity the brass ball was their guide, pointing out the way, and exhibiting, inscribed on its sides, the various intelligence they needed visible at proper times. Ishmael died in the wilderness, where they sojourned for the space of eight years. At length they pitched their tents by the sea shore. Here Nephi was called to ascend a high mountain. There the Lord met him, and commanded him to construct a ship to carry his people across the waters to the promised land. He commenced the construction of this ship in the face of much opposition, and of many difficulties, being quite ignorant of the art of ship-building, and his brethren at the same time ridiculing and opposing him. But the Lord helped him, so that ultimately his brethren not only desisted from their opposition, but united in assisting him to complete it; and then they embarked with all their stock of seeds, animals, and provisions. During the voyage Nephi's elder brothers began again to be rebellious. They bound him with cords, and treated him with great cruelty. They, however, soon encountered a terrible gale, and were driven



    back from their course. The brazen ball which had miraculously guided them through the wilderness, and which was now a compass to steer by, ceased to work, and they were in the most awful peril. For a long time their fate seemed suspended, and their destiny doubtful; but the power of God at length softened the hearts of Laman and Lemuel, who released Nephi from his confinement, and then again every thing went on smoothly and they soon reached the land of promise, which of course was America, where "they found beasts of every kind in the forest, both the cow, and the ox, and the ass, and the horse, and the goat, and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals for the use of men," And "all manner of ore, both of gold and silver, and copper." Nephi by the command of the Lord made metallic plates soon after his arrival in America of this ore, on which he recorded their peregrinations, adventures, and all the prophecies which God gave him concerning the future destinies of his people and the human race. These plates were to be kept for the instruction of the people of the land, and for other purposes known to the Lord.

    The second book of Nephi consists of fifteen chapters. It opens with an account of Lehi's death, who, previous to his decease, calls all his children around him and their descendants, and reminds them of God's goodness in having brought them to the promised land, and gives each a patriarchal blessing, uttering sundry predictions in reference to their future destinies. After the death of Lehi, Laman and Lemuel undertook to destroy Nephi, who thereupon fled into the wilderness, taking along with him his own family, his brother Sam, and his younger brothers, Jacob and Joseph, who were born after his father



    went out from Jerusalem, and their families. He also took along with him the places of brass, and the ball that guided them in their former wanderings in the wilderness by the Red Sea, and was their compass to steer by across the ocean. Being thus separated they became the heads of separate tribes. The Nephites soon grew into a numerous people, and built a temple "like unto Solomon's." They, like their father Nephite, [sic] for many generations were good christians, hundreds of years before Christ was born, practising baptism and other christian usages. Nephi here accounts for the color of the aborigines. It was the curse of God upon the descendants of his elder brothers on account of their disobedience. "Wherefore as they were white, and exceeding fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, therefore the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them." A curse was also pronounced upon intermarriages with them. Nephi also declares that on account of the curse of God upon them "they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey."

    In this book is also introduced "the words of Jacob, the brother of Nephi, which he spake unto the people of Nephi." He predicts the coming of Christ, and the return of the Jews from dispersion upon embracing the gospel. Nephi then takes up the subject, and transcribes several chapters from Isaiah by way of corroboration. This is followed by a long harangue, setting forth all the peculiar theology of the New Testament. He then predicts the appearance of a great prophet, and a marvellous book which he shall bring to light. The book of course is the golden Bible, and the prophet Jo Smith. "Wherefore,"



    continues he, "at that day when the book shall be delivered unto the man of whom I have spoken, the book shall be hid from the eyes of the world, that the eyes of none shall behold it, save it be that three witnesses shall behold it by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered: and they shall testify to the truth of the book, and the things therein." This would seem to be directly in the teeth of what actually happened, for as we have seen in a former number there were eight other witnesses besides the three, who declared that they saw these mysterious plates. To elude this difficulty a saving clause is thrown into this chapter to this effect. "And there is none other which shall view it, save it be a few, according to the will of God, to bear testimony of his word unto the children of men." The reason is also here assigned why the plates are not spread before the learned -- it is to teach them humility! An unlearned man is chosen to transcribe the hieroglyphics, or words of the book, that the learned may read them. The learned refuse to read the hieroglyphics, unless they can see the plates whence they are taken. This God will not permit. He has no need of learned men. He is able to do his own work. He will therefore make use of the unlearned to bring these hidden things to light. The prophet, though an unlearned man, will be competent through the power of God, not only to transcribe but to translate the book

    Nephi discards altogether the idea that our present revelation is complete, or that our sacred books contain the whole canon of Scripture. He predicts that the Book of Mormon will meet with opposition, -- that many of the Gentiles would say upon its appearance, -- "A Bible, a



    Bible, we have got a Bible, and there cannot he any more Bible. Thou fool, that shall say, a Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews? Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God have created all men, and that I remember they which are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea even upon all the nations of the earth? Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I, remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together, the testimony of the two nations shall run together also. And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday to-day and forever, and that I speak forth my words according to my own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word, ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another: for my work is not yet finished, neither shall it be until the end of man; neither from that time henceforth and forever. Wherefore because ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye to suppose that I have not caused more to he written; for I command all men both in the east and in the west, and in the north and in the south, and in the Islands of the sea, that they shall write those words I speak unto them. Behold I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it, -- unto the Nephites, and they shall write it, --



    unto the other tribes of the house of Israel which I have led away, and they shall write it; and unto all the nations of the earth and they shall write it. And the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites the words of the Jews. And the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel, &c." This we consider one of the most pernicious features of this HISTORICAL ROMANCE. -- that it claims for itself an entire equality in point of divine authority with the sacred canon. It is not only calculated to deceive and delude the credulous, and marvel loving, but to strengthen the cause of infidelity.

    The only remaining thing worthy of note in this second Book of Nephi, is the prediction of the ultimate conversion of the Indians, who are a part of the lost tribes of Israel, or descendants of Nephi, to Christianity, through the influence of Mormonism, and that soon after this event they would change their colour, and become "a white and delightsome people." The period occupied by the events related in the Book of Nephi, is fifty five years.

    The next book in course is the Book of Jacob, one of the younger brothers of Nephi; which contains five chapters. This book gives an account of the ordaining of Jacob by Nephi, to be priest over the people, and the particulars of Nephi's death. It also relates the circumstance of Jacob's confounding a man who rose up among them and sought to overthrow the doctrine of Christ; and contains a specimen of Jacob's preaching. One of the arguments by which he endeavoured to reclaim the Nephites from certain prevailing sins, was that if they



    did not repent, the curse of God would light upon them and they would become as dark coloured as the Lamanites. Sundry efforts were made by the benevolent Nephites "to reclaim and restore the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth." But it was all to no purpose. They continued to delight in wars and bloodshed, and cherished an eternal hatred against their brethren. To ward off their incursions, the people of Nephi had to fortify and protect their land with a strong military force.

    Jacob, who had brought up his son Enos "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," when he saw his own decease approaching, gave him the plates and left him successor in office over the people of Nephi.

    The Book of Enos is short, as is also the two following books of Jarom and Omni, containing little except an account of the transmission of the plates from one generation to another till the time of king Benjamin, about 320 years after the flight of Lehi from Jerusalem. During the latter part of this period, many wars took place between the people of Nephi and the Lamanites; so that Mosiah, then king, was warned to emigrate into a new region, or district of the wilderness -- into a land called Zarahemla. After reaching there they discovered that the people of Zarahemla were also Jews who came from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon, and that they were also brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters. The Lamanites at this period are described as "a wild, ferocious, and blood-thirsty people, wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girded about their loins, and their heads shaven, and their skill was in the bow and the



    scimitar and the axe. And many of them did eat nothing save it was raw meat."

    But I must stop. I fear the reader is already wearied with these foolish vagaries of the imagination, which the Mormon prophet palms off upon his followers as the revelation of the Most High. To redeem our pledge in giving an analysis of the Book of Mormon, we shall be obliged to occupy another chapter with these details. If the reader cannot make up his mind to follow us, he can skip over the next chapter.






    THE question has been frequently asked, why the sect whose history we have been attempting to sketch, are called Mormons? The answer to this question will be readily suggested to any one who has patience to wade through Mr. Spaulding's historical romance. From the account that we have already given of the Book of Mormon we are led to see the mode by which it is pretended that the records of one generation of the Nephites were transmitted to another, and how the history of each preceding age was preserved. These records were engraven upon plates, and the plates, handed down from one prophet to another, or from one king to another, or from one judge to another -- the Lord always having raised up some one to receive these plates, when the person in whose hands they had been previously placed was about to die. Mormon, who lived about four hundred years after the coming of Christ, while yet a child received a command in relation to these sacred deposits. The metallic plates which contained the record of all the generations of his fathers, from the flight of Lehi from Jerusalem to his own time, ultimately came into his hands.



    From these plates he made an abridged record, which, taken together, in connection with the record of his own times, constitutes the Book of Mormon. Thus we see why the book bears this title. For Mormon was a sort of Ezra, who compiled the entire sacred canon contained in this volume. He lived at a very eventful period, when almost all his people had fallen into a fearful apostacy, and he lived to see them all destroyed, except twenty-four persons. Himself and these sole survivors of his race were afterwards cut off with a single exception. His son, Moroni, one of the survivors, lived to tell the mournful tale, and deposit the plates under the hill where Jo Smith found them. Mormon took his name from the place where the first American church was founded, of which we shall hear directly. and where the first candidates for admission into the church were baptized, some two hundred years before the commencement of the Christian era. He was very distinguished in his way, and quite worthy to be the founder of this new sect, who have brought to light his records, and rescued from oblivion such a bundle of marvels, as no one ever heard the like before.

    I am sorry to say I must ask you to follow me through a labyrinth of history, if I carry out the plan of furnishing an analysis of the Book of Mormon.

    We have already traced the history of the Lamanites and Nephites down to the period of King Benjamin, between three and four hundred years from the period of Lehi's flight from Jerusalem. The father of Benjamin was Mosiah, who was warned of the Lord to migrate to Zarahemla with all his people, that he and they might not be destroyed by the Lamanites. Zarahemla was subsequently



    the scene of much that is interesting in this history. It now became the dwelling place of the Nephites. Benjamin was the king of the land. He was a sort of David. He not only fought nobly, but took great pains to establish true religion among the people. He assembled them together, and addressed to them powerful exhortations, preaching to them "repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ." The people were so much affected that they fell to the earth -- were converted, and became firm believers in Christ. Benjamin then thoroughly instructed them in the doctrines of Christianity, and finally died about four hundred and seventy six years after Lehi's flight. His son, Mosiah, reigned in his stead, who was no less eminent in kingly power and righteousness than his father. All these facts are given us in what is termed the Book of Mosiah, which contains thirteen chapters.

    In the fifth chapter we have quite an episode introduced. As we have before noticed, the Nephites had left their first residence and gone to dwell in the land of Zarahemla. -- Some of their number, however, desired to go back to the land where they formerly dwelt. The first party that went out for this purpose were unsuccessful, having had much dissension among themselves. The second attempt, made under a leader by the name of Zeniff, resulted in their making a settlement in that land, and building a city called Lehi-Nephi. No intercourse, however, having been kept up by this colony with their parent country, the result of their enterprise remained unknown in Zarahemla. In the reign of Mosiah, however, a number of individuals determined to go out on an exploring excursion, and to ascertain what had been the fate of their brethren, who had thus



    gone up to the land of Nephi. The leader of this exploring party was Ammon, a man that afterwards became famous among the Nephites. The party travelled a long way through the wilderness. I suppose the wilderness as the term is used in the book of Mormon in reference to America, means woods or forests. At length they approached the land of Shilom and Nephi. They had not proceeded far before an armed band fell upon them, and having taken them prisoners, bound them and brought them before the king of the land. His name was Limhi, and, as it appeared in the sequel, he was a descendant of Zeniff. As soon as Limhi learned Ammon's origin and the errand on which he came, he released him and his company from their bonds, treated them with great hospitality, and invoked his and his country's aid to assist them in extricating themselves from the oppressive power of the Lamanites. Limhi also assembled his people together, and announced to them the character of these visitors. He then brought out the records of his people, and exhibited them to Ammon and his company. Ammon read the engravings upon the plates, which in substance were as follows: -- Zeniff, the founder of this people, after leaving Zarahemla, travelled a long way through the wilderness, where he encountered various trials, and at length came to the land of Lehi-Nephi and Shilom. They found this country in possession of the Lamanites. From the king of Laman, however, he obtained by treaty the privilege of occupying this land. The Lamanites, the old enemies of his nation, allowed his people to go on and build cities, and make improvements for many years, and then rose up and sought to bring them under their dominion, that they might bear



    the relation of serfs or vassals to them. This attempt was rigorously resisted by Zeniff and the colony he had established. During the whole life of Zeniff, who now became their king, the Lamanites were invariably repulsed, and driven off. After his death the kingdom was conferred upon his son Noah, who proved to be a very bad and depraved man. Iniquity soon began to abound every where in the land, and vice to stalk shamelessly abroad with brazen front. Just at this time the Lord raised up among them a prophet by the name of Abinadi. He was very valiant for the truth. He reproved the people for their sins, and denounced the judgments of God openly against them. This fearless denunciation on the part of the prophet awakened the displeasure of the people, who determined and sought to slay the man of God. But Abinadi fled and escaped out of their hands. After about two years, however, he returned in disguise, so that they did not know that it was Abinadi. But as he continued to reprove them, and denounce heaven's wrath against them they determined to kill him. He however was not at all intimidated, but enforced his bold reproofs by repeating to them each one of the commands contained in the decalogue. This exasperated them the more, and they sought to destroy him at once; but he defied their efforts, declaring to them they could have no power over him till he had finished his message. Accordingly he went on, and preached unto them the coming of Christ, exhibiting the whole plan of salvation as laid down in the gospel. His preaching seemed to make some impression upon the mind of the king, but the priests of the land, who were wicked and who derided the idea of the coming of Christ -- succeeded in



    getting him put to death. He was accordingly led forth and burned at the stake.

    Among those who were present, and heard Abinadi testify in reference to the coming and power of Christ, was a young man by the name of Alma, whose heart was touched by the words of the prophet. Though Abinadi perished in the flames, his spirit lived in Alma, who now became not only a firm believer, but a prophet of the doctrines which Abinadi taught. He, of course, became obnoxious both to the king and priests of Lehi-Nephi. -- He, however, persevered in preaching, though he was obliged to do it in a private way. His preaching was attended with great effect. And now it was, that those who believed on him resorted to a place called MORMON for baptism. The record thus states the matter. "As many as did believe him, did go forth to a place which was called Mormon, having received its name from the king, being in the borders of the land having been infested, by times, or at seasons, by wild beasts. Now there was in Mormon a fountain of pure water, and Alma resorted thither, there being near the water a thicket of small trees, where he did hide himself in the day-time, from the searches of the king." Here the people came secretly to hear him. And Alma instructed them in the doctrines of Christ, and baptized them by immersion in the waters of Mormon. About two hundred and four souls were thus baptized. The record having recounted these facts, proceeds to say, "This was done in Mormon; yea, by the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea how blessed are



    they, for they shall sing to his praise for ever." It was from this place, and these waters, that the individual took his name, from whom the sect of the Mormons derives their appellation.

    Alma and his operations at Mormon, however, soon became known, and created a great sensation. He and his followers were denounced as rebels, and a military force was sent to cut them off. They had now increased to nearly five hundred souls. Apprised of the designs of King Noah, they immediately fled into the wilderness.

    The Lord did not allow the wickedness of the people of Lehi-Nephi to go unpunished. The Lamanites soon came upon them, and reduced them to a state of vassalage. -- They were still allowed, however, to keep up the shadow of a government, and Limhi succeeded Noah in the kingdom. They were not only made tributary to the Lamanites, but repeated efforts were made on the part of the Lamanites to cut them off, and this led them to be always in a warlike posture. They were also exposed to assaults continually from a banditti that at times came up from the wilderness, and fell upon them. When Ammon and his party were seized by the armed forces of Limhi they were supposed to be one of these marauding bands. This explains the cause of the treatment which they at first received.

    Limhi, having thus explained matters to Ammon, proceeded to tell him that a short time before, a small party, having been sent out by him to search for the land of Zarahemla, missed the object of their search, but stumbled upon a country, filled with the ruins of ancient buildings, the remains of decayed and rust-cankered armour, and the



    bones of men and beasts. Here, also, were found the records of this extinct race, "engraven upon plates of ore." These plates, which were twenty-four in number, and of pure gold, they brought away with them, but the writing was in a language which neither Limhi nor any of his people understood. They applied therefore, to Ammon to see if he could translate it, but he could not. Ammon, however, told them that he knew one who could interpret these engravings, "even the king of the people which is in the land of Zarahemla." He remarked, "he hath wherewith he can look and translate all records that are of ancient date, and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters; and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he had not ought, and he should perish." I suppose these must have been the spectacles handed down with the plates through which Joseph Smith looked to read and translate the book of Mormon. Ammon, in his discourse to Limhi, greatly magnified the office of such a looker: "whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer. A seer is a revelator, and a prophet also. A seer can know of things which has past, and also of things which is to come: and a gift which is greater can no man have." The preceding quotation will give an idea of the grammatical correctness and style of this book.

    Limhi of course was very happy at the idea of having the historic facts veiled under these mysterious characters, constituting the written language of an extinct race, brought to light. In this he was gratified, as we shall subsequently see.

    But the great matter, which just at this time weighed



    most upon Limhi's mind, was, how he could extricate himself from the iron meshes of the net which the Lamanites had cast over his people. Ammon, however, devised an expedient, by which the whole people could flee secretly from Lehi-Nephi. They watched the opportunity and took their flight and found a secure asylum in Zarahemla, where they were received by Mosiah with joy, who also received their records, and the record which they had found in the country of the extinct people before noticed. Here this episode should end. But appended to this is a sub-episode in relation to the people, which were driven into the wilderness by the people of king Noah. -- The followers of Alma, who were organized into a church at Mormon, and fled for their lives, travelled eight days through the dense forests, till at length they came to a very beautiful and pleasant country. Here they pitched their tents, and began to till the ground and erect buildings. They offered to make Alma their king, but he declined the honour, and dissuaded them from the idea of having a kingly government. He was already the founder of their Church, and filled among them the office of high priest. No irregularities were allowed in ecclesiastical discipline, as we are expressly informed that "none received authority to preach, or to teach except it were by him from God. Therefore he consecrated all their priests and all their teachers." The deep secluded glen which they inhabited was at length discovered by the roving tribes of the Lamanites, who immediately subjected them to a bondage that was peculiarly oppressive. They soon contrived, however, to escape from their hands, and fled to the land of Zarahemla, which was now becomming a refuge for the oppressed.



    They were there kindly received by Mosiah, shortly after the arrival of Limhi and his people. Thus ends this episode.

    All the people of Nephi were now assembled together, and also the people of Limhi and Alma, and in their hearing Mosiah read the records both of Zeniff and of Alma; and the Nephites were filled with amazement and joy. -- Alma was called out to address the mighty concourse of these gathered tribes. King Limhi and all his people at once became converts to the doctrines of Alma, and desired baptism. And we are told: "That Alma did go forth into the water, and did baptize them; yea, he did baptize them after the manner he did his brethren in the waters of Mormon; yea, and as many as he did baptize, did belong to the church of God; and this because of their belief on the words of Alma. And it came to pass that king Mosiah granted unto Alma that he might establish churches throughout all the land of Zarahemla; and gave him power to ordain priests and teachers over every church. Now this was done because there was so many people that they could not all be governed by one teacher; neither could they all hear the word of God in one assembly; therefore they did assemble themselves together in different bodies, being called churches, every church having their priests and their teachers, and every priest preaching the word according as it was delivered to him by the mouth of Alma; and thus notwithstanding their being many churches they were all one church; yea, even THE CHURCH OF GOD!!" The people had generally, especially those who had lived in the land of king Benjamin, become very pious Christians. But many of the children, who were now



    growing up to man's estate, being still unregenerate, were full of unbelief; and some of them became awfully depraved. Among the number were the sons of the king, and also a son of Alma, who bore the name of his father. They were not only profligate in their lives, but bitter and scoffing infidels. While this young Alma, like Saul of Tarsus was laying waste the church of God, an angel of God appeared to him by the way, and descending in a cloud spoke to him in a voice of thunder which caused the earth to shake upon which they stood. He instantly fell to the earth, being struck dumb and entirely senseless. He continued in this state for two days and two nights and then rose up a perfectly changed and converted man, and became a most zealous preacher of righteousness. Four of the sons of Mosiah were also converted, and became preachers. These sons of the king were so zealous, that they embraced the idea of going on a mission to see if they could not convert the Lamanites. The plan having been approved by their father, they set off. We shall in due time hear what was the result of their efforts. But years passed away without any intelligence being received of them. Their father was growing old, and he had no one on whom to confer the kingdom. He therefore committed the records of his people for transmission to young Alma, who had now become so pious. He did not do this however, till he had translated the records of the extinct nation found by the people of Limhi, engraven upon twenty-four plates of gold.

    These records form what is called the book of Ether, in the Book of Mormon, which is placed by Mormon nearly at the end of this volume. The substance of this



    record is as follows: The people who inhabited these regions, were descendants of Jared and his brother, who were among those that were engaged in building the tower of Babel. When Jared and his brother saw that God was confounding the language of all the builders, they cried unto him that he would have compassion on them and not confound their language. He did so. They also besought him to show them into what part of the earth he would have them go. He gave them a satisfactory response, guided them a long way through the wilderness, and instructed them to build barges to cross the sea. These were made air tight. A breathing hole was made in the top. To dissipate the darkness, they were instructed to obtain sixteen molten stones, which were touched by the finger of God, and thus these molten stones became in the dark barges like so many stars to enlighten the passengers. They embarked in these barges and were miraculously conducted over mountain waves to the promised land -- which was America. Here they became mighty nations -- built cities -- cultivated the arts -- and finally on account of their wickedness became exterminated by dreadful wars between themselves.

    The following description is the account given of Mosiah's mode of translating these records: "He translated them by the means of those two stones which was fastened into two rims of a bow. Now these things was prepared from the beginning, and was handed down from generation to generation for the purpose of interpreting languages; and they have been kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord; and whosoever has these things is called seer." --



    The same spectacles, as we have seen, came down as an heir loom to Jo Smith.

    We have now reached the five hundred and ninth year after the flight of Lehi. Here the book of Mosiah ends giving an account of the termination of the reign of the kings, and the commencement of a sort of republican government, or what is called the reign of the judges. -- This change was brought about because none of the sons of Mosiah would accept the kingdom. Alma was made the first chief judge. The book of Alma here follows, which contains twenty-nine chapters, and occupies nearly two hundred pages of the Book of Mormon. It is principally filled with details of the events that happened under the reign of the early judges of the wars and contentions among the people, of the efforts of Alma and others to establish the church, and an account of a war between the Nephites and the Lamanites. One of the first cases brought before Alma after he sat upon the judgment-seat, was that of Nehor, a very large man, and noted for his great strength. He preached strange doctrine to the people, declaring "that every priest and teacher had ought to become popular; and they ought not to labour with their own hands, but that they had ought to be supported by the people." This was one of his heresies. The other was the doctrine of the universalists, "he testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and in the end all men should have eternal life." Gideon opposed him, and thereupon Nehor became wroth and slew him.



    He was accordingly brought before the judgment seat and doomed to die. After about five years Amilici, a cunning shrewd man, of similar sentiments with Nehor, rose up, and tried to lead away the people. He at length was so successful that he proposed himself as the king of the nation. The question whether he should be king, was decided by popular vote, and he was defeated. His adherents however still clave to him, and anointed him king, and immediately hereupon there commenced a civil war. The insurgents were defeated in battle, and fled to the Lamanites, who now came in like an inundation upon Zarahemla. But the people of Zarahemla cried unto the Lord, and went forth in his strength and utterly defeated them. The grotesque appearance of the Lamanites at this time is thus described. "The heads of the Lamanites were shorn; and they were naked, save it were a skin, which was girded about their loins, and also their armor, which was girded about them, and their bows, and their ar[mour], and their stones, and their slings. And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression, and their rebellion against their brethren."

    A season of universal prosperity to the church followed this expulsion of the Lamanites, three hundred and fifty persons having been baptized by Alma during the seventh year of the reign of the judge. At the end of the eighth year there was a sensible decline in spiritual things. So alarming was the state of things, that Alma, who had hitherto held the office of chief judge and high priest, laid down altogether the ermine, and took up the crozier, devoting



    himself wholly to the business of preaching, with a view to revive and establish the churches. We have sundry specimens of his sermons, which show that he was a perfect Boanerges, a real son of thunder, with which few modern preachers, however versed in the doctrines of Christianity, or skilled in the tactics of Arminian theology, would venture to compete. Great effects attended his preaching generally in the various cities he visited, but when he reached the city of Ammonihah he could make no impression upon the minds of the people. He therefore gave them up in despair; but as he was departing an angel of God met him and told him to go back, and make another effort. He did so, and Amulek, a young man of some distinction, was converted, who laboured with him in the ministry. But the lawyers opposed them, and tried to stir up the people against them. Alma, however, waxed mighty in spirit, and confounded, and perfectly silenced Zeezrom, the most distinguished of the lawyers. Zeezrom himself was ultimately converted, and suffered much persecution for his faith. Alma and Amulek were imprisoned, abused and every way insulted, but their prison doors were broken open, and they delivered in the sight of all the people. Among the most prominent topics of Alma's preaching was the speedy coming of Christ. He declared he would appear in this land in America after his resurrection. Before dismissing the subject of Alma and his preaching, who is one of the most distinguished characters in the book, I cannot refrain from transcribing a passage from his address to the people of Ammonihah. "And now, my beloved brethren, for ye are my brethren, and ye had ought to be beloved, and ye had ought to bring



    forth works which is mete for repentance, seeing that your hearts have been grossly hardened against the word of God, and seeing that ye are a lost and a fallen people."

    We have next an episode, giving an account of the missionary adventures of the sons of Mosiah, in their attempts to evangelize the Lamanites. These four sons most unexpectedly made their appearance in the land of Zarahemla after an absence of fourteen years. After they first reached the land of the Lamanites, they were seized and made slaves in the service of several princes that reigned there. Ammon, whose adventures are related with the most minuteness, was a perfect Guy of Warwick. He could encounter and overcome by his single arm, hundreds of men, all trying at the same time to overpower him. He gave a specimen of his prowess in this way, in protecting the king's flock, which he was leading to water, against the efforts of a band of hostile shepherds who tried to scatter and disperse the flock. The fame thereof came to the king. He was called into his presence. This opened the way for him to preach the Gospel to him. While he was speaking the power of the Holy Spirit was displayed in such a way that the king fell to the ground, and his wife and servants. They were, of course, all converted. Ammon now became a great man, and though he encountered much opposition, and many trials, he and his brethren succeeded in converting all the Kings and Queens, and most of the people of the Lamanites. They seem, generally, previous to their conversion, to have had, what in modern times is called the power. They were most generally struck down under the word, and after remaining insensible awhile, they rose up and began to shout praises to the



    Most High, being perfectly transformed. These converted people were called Anti-Nephi-Lehies. Soon the more fierce tribes of the Lamanites who still remained unconverted, made war upon these; and as they seem with these new views to have adopted the doctrine of non-resistance, they were in danger of being exterminated. Hence by the suggestion of the four missionaries, they determined to emigrate to Zarahemla. They had already reached the border of the land, and when the king's sons met Alma, their principal errand was to ask permission for this people to dwell in the land of the Nephites. This request was of course granted.

    Alma gave very long lectures or charges to his sons, and especially to Helaman, to whom he committed all the sacred plates, the interpreters, and the director which guided Lehi through the wilderness. To him he also uttered this prediction, "Behold I perceive that this very people, the Nephites, according to the spirit which is in me, in four hundred years from the time that Jesus Christ shall manifest unto them, shall dwindle in unbelief; yea, and then shall they see wars, and pestilences, yea, famines and blood-shed, even until the people of Nephi shall become extinct."

    Alma, after uttering this prophecy, disappeared in the same mysterious way that Moses did, and no man knoweth his grave unto this day. At this period all who believed in Christ took upon them the name Christians. Various wars now raged between the Lamanites and Nephites. The people of Nephi erected many forts and high mounds to secure themselves from the invasion of their enemies.

    The Book of Helaman, which consists of five chapters,



    opens with the fourth year of the reign of the Judges. It details sad accounts of dissensions and war, and strange alternations of prosperity and adversity to the church. A man by the name of Nephi, who was now chief judge, imitated Alma, and laying down his civil office, became a great preacher and prophet, performing miracles and mighty wonders. He went even to the Lamanites, and was so successful in converting them, that he arrested the tide of war and restored peace to the land. The earth shook, the heavens were opened, and angels came down at his voice. After Nephi, rose up Samuel, a Lamanite, who predicted that Christ would come in five years, and that on the day he was born, though the sun would go down as usual, there would be no night, it would continue as light as day. This was to be the sign. Another sign to attend his death, which was to take place in the thirty-fourth year after his birth, was three whole days of darkness, in which there were to be thunderings and lightnings, and earthquakes, and the rending of rocks and cleaving of hills. According to the testimony in the next book, at the end of five years the sign of his birth occurred, two days succeeding each other without any intervening night. The Nephites, therefore, knew that Christ had come. They accordingly reckoned their time from this period, regarding it as the commencement of a new era. The Lamanites that were converted now became white as the Nephites. At the end of thirty-three years, the signs that were foretold would accompany the death of Christ appeared. There was a great tempest, and terrible thunder; the earth shook, as though about to divide asunder. Vivid lightning ran along on the ground, cities were overturned and buried in the



    midst of the sea -- a terrible darkness came over the land for three days -- and a great mourning and howling and weeping among the people. The voice of Christ was heard, amid the awful tempest, denouncing woes upon sinners, and offering grace and salvation to all who would repent and believe. After this Christ made his personal appearance on the earth, coming down from heaven with great glory. There were several occasions on which he appeared, at which times he delivered to the assembled thousands all the injunctions, and performed nearly all the miracles recorded in the New Testament, and then he was again taken up out of their sight. He ordained twelve apostles and gave them singular gifts. He instituted baptism and the Lord's supper, blessed the children and healed the sick, but I am obliged to pass over all the details of these, as this chapter is already so long. Now all were baptized in the name of the Trinity. All the Nephites, and nearly all the Lamanites, became converted. For about fifty years the earth was almost a perfect paradise. But then the love of many began to wax cold, and iniquity to abound. Terrible wars ensued. The Nephites apostatized more and more from the faith, till at the end of four hundred years after Christ they became entirely destroyed, and Mormon, as we have said, was one of the last of his race, who committed the records of this people to his son, Moroni, who deposited them in the hill, where Joseph Smith found them. This is an outline of this historical romance, which the deluded Mormons now regard as a revelation from God. In this brief sketch we have been obliged to omit many things that attracted our attention; but I suppose that our readers are exceedingly glad we have reached the end, as the writer certainly is.






    SINCE preparing the preceding chapters for the press, there have come into the author's hands several documents, that seem to throw additional light upon the origin and authorship of the Book of Mormon. These documents consist of statements made by Mr. John Spalding, now residing in Crawford county, Pa., the brother of Rev. Mr. Spalding -- by Mrs, Martha Spalding, the wife of Mr. John Spalding -- by four gentlemen, residing in Conneaut, Ashtabula county, Ohio, the very spot where Mr. Spalding's historical romance was originally written, and by several others acquainted with the facts in reference to Mr. Spalding's manuscript. From these statements we make the following extracts:

    Mr. John Spalding, having given an account of the education of his brother, his preparation for the ministry, his subsequent relinquishment of its duties, and his engagement in mercantile business, says, "In a few years he failed in business, and in the year 1809, removed to Conneaut, in Ohio. The year following, I removed to Ohio, and found him engaged in building a forge. I made him a visit in about three years after; and found that he had failed, and became considerably involved in debt. He then



    told me had he been writing a book, which he intended to have printed, the avails of which he thought would enable him to pay all his debts. The book was entitled the 'Manuscript Found,' of which he read to me many passages. It was an historical romance of the first settlers of America, endeavouring to show that the American Indians are the descendants of the Jews, or the lost tribes. It gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem, by land and sea, till they arrived in America, under the command of Nephi and Lehi. They afterwards had quarrels and contentions, and separated into two distinct nations, one of which he denominated Nephites and 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 brought into view, in order to account for all the curious antiquities, found in various parts of North and South America. I have recently read the Book of Mormon, and to my great surprize I find nearly the same historical matter, names, &c. as they were in my brother's writings. I well remember that he wrote in the old style, and commenced about every sentence with 'and it came to pass,' or 'now it came to pass,' the same as in the Book of Mormon, and according to the best of my recollection and belief, it is the same as my brother Solomon wrote, with the exception of the religious matter. By what means it has fallen into the hands of Joseph Smith, Jr. I am unable to determine."

    Mrs. Martha Spalding's testimony is very similar. She says, "I was personally acquainted with Solomon Spalding, about twenty years ago. I was at his house a short



    time before he left Conneaut; he was then writing a historical novel founded upon 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 of Nephi and Lehi 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 different lands, 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 numerous mounds in the country. Some of these people he represented as being very large. I have read the Book of Mormon, which has brought fresh to my recollection the writings of Solomon Spalding; and I have no manner of doubt that the historical part of it, is the same that I read and heard read, more than twenty years ago."

    Mr. Henry Lake, residing at Conneaut, gives the following statement: "I left the state of New York, late in the year 1810, and arrived at this place, about the 1st of January following. Soon after my arrival, I formed a co-partnership with Solomon Spalding, for the purpose of re-building a forge which he had commenced a year or two before. He very 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 its contents. He wished me to assist him in getting his production printed, alleging that a book of that kind would meet with a rapid sale. I designed doing so, but the forge not meeting our anticipations, we failed in business, when I declined having any thing to do with the publication of the book. This book represented the American Indians as the descendants of the lost tribes, gave an account of their leaving Jerusalem, their contentions and wars, which were many and great. One time, when he was reading to me the tragic account of Laban, I pointed out to him what I considered an inconsistency, which he promised to correct; but by referring to the Book of Mormon, I find to my surprise that it stands there just as he read it to me then. Some months ago I borrowed the Golden Bible, put it into my pocket, carried it home, and thought no more of it. About a week after, my wife found the book in my coat pocket, as it hung up, and commenced reading it aloud as I lay upon the bed. She had not read twenty minutes till I was astonished to find the same passages in it that Spalding had read to me more than twenty years before, from his 'Manuscript Found.' Since that, I have more fully examined the said Golden Bible, and have no hesitation in saying that the historical part of it is principally, if not wholly taken from the 'Manuscript Found.'"

    Mr. John N. Miller, residing in Springfield, Pa., who was then in the employ of Mr. Lake, and boarded in the family of Mr. Spalding, corroborates the preceding statement. After having mentioned being introduced to the



    manuscript of Mr. Spalding, he says, "It purported to be the history of the first settlement of America, before discovered by Columbus. He brought them off from Jerusalem, under their leaders; detailing their travels by land and water, their manners, customs, laws, wars, &c.

    "I have recently examined the Book of Mormon, and find in it the writings of Solomon Spalding, from beginning to end, but mixed up with Scripture and other religious matter, which I did not meet with in the 'Manuscript Found.' Many of the passages in the Mormon Book are verbatim from Spalding, and others in part. The names of Nephi, Lehi, Moroni, and in fact all the principal names, are brought fresh to my recollection, by the Gold Bible."

    Mr. Aaron Wright, of Conneaut, remarks, "I first became acquainted with Solomon Spalding in 1808 or 9, when he commenced building a forge on Conneaut creek. When at his house, one day, 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 decendants. Upon this subject we had frequent conversations. He traced their journey from Jerusalem to America, as it is given in the Book of Mormon, excepting the religious matter. The historical part of the Book of Mormon, I know to be the same as I read and heard read from the writings of Spalding, more than twenty years ago; the names more especially are the same without any alteration. He told me his object was to account for all the fortifications, &c. to be found in this country."

    Mr. Oliver Smith, of Conneaut, gives the following statement: "When Solomon Spalding first came to this



    place, he purchased a tract of land, surveyed it out and commenced selling it. While engaged in this business, he boarded at my house, in all nearly 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, give an account of their arts, sciences, civilization, wars and contentions. In this way, he would give a satisfactory account of all of the old mounds, so common to this country. During the time he was at my house, I read and heard read one hundred pages or more. Nephi and Lehi were by him represented as leading characters, when they first started for America. Their main object was to escape the judgments which they supposed were coming upon the old world. When I heard the historical part of the Book of Mormon related, I at once said it was the writings of old Solomon Spalding. Soon after, I obtained the book, and on reading it, found much of it the same as Spalding had written, more than twenty years before.

    Mr. Nahum Howard, of the same place, gives a similar statement We will detain the reader only by a single additional statement. Mr. Artemas Cunningham, of Perry, Geauga county, relates the following facts: "In the month of October, 1811, I went from the township of Madison to Conneaut, for the purpose of securing a debt due me from Solomon Spalding. I tarried with him nearly two days, for the purpose of accomplishing my object, which I was finally unable to do. I found him destitute of the means of paying his debts. His only hope of ever paying his debts, appeared to be upon the sale of a book, which he



    had been writing. He endeavored to convince me from the nature and character of the work, that it would meet with a ready sale. Before showing me his manuscripts, he went into a verbal relation of its outlines, saying that it was a fabulous or romantic history of the first settlement of this country, and as it purported to have been a record found buried in the earth, or in a cave, he had adopted the ancient or Scripture style of writing. He then presented his manuscripts, when we sat down and spent a good share of the night, in reading them, and conversing upon them. I well remember the name of Nephi, which appeared to be the principal hero of the story. The frequent repetition of the phrase, 'I Nephi,' I recollect as distinctly as though it was but yesterday, although the general features of the story have passed from my memory. The Mormon Bible I have partially examined, and am fully of the opinion that Solomon Spalding had written its outlines before he left Conneaut.

    With such a cloud of witnesses, commentary seems quite unnecessary.





    TO  OHIO.

    Steps leading to the Mormon emigration to the West -- Conversion of Parley P. Pratt -- Mission to the Lamanites -- Sidney Rigdon -- His avowed conversion -- Fanatical scenes at Kirtland -- Dr. Rosa's letter -- Mr. Howe's statement -- Smith's removal.

    JO SMITH, who aspired to the high character of a prophet of God, was far more successful in gathering early disciples than Mahomet. His own family, and numerous coadjutors, being in the secret with himself, and hoping to build up their fortunes by this scheme, became very zealous converts to the Mormon imposture.

    There was not much ground for Smith to hope to make converts in the neighbourhood where this fabrication was got up. In addition to his own family, Harris, Cowdery, Whitmer, and those whom they could personally influence, a few converts were obtained in the neighbouring towns, by the marvellous pretensions which the prophet set up. These, however, were either mere adventurers, or firm believers in ghosts and hobgoblins. Soon after the Book of Mormon was issued from the press, a person by the name of Parley P. Pratt, passed through Palmyra, and hearing of the "golden Bible," sought an



    interview with the prophet, and immediately became a convert. This individual resided in Lorrain co., Ohio, and was very intimate with Sidney Rigdon. Rigdon was professedly a Campbellite Baptist preacher. He resided in the county of Geauga, and but a few miles from Kirtland, which afterwards became the headquarters of the Mormons. About the time that Pratt visited the prophet, and gave in his adhesion to the Mormons, an expedition was fitted out for the Western Country, under the command of Cowdery, to convert the Lamanites, as the western Indians were called by them. The persons sent on this mission were Cowdery, Pratt, Peterson, and Whitmer. Under the guidance of Pratt, they reached the residence of Rigdon in Mentor, Ohio, the last of October, 1830. -- Rigdon at first received them apparently with suspicion, and objected to the Mormon scheme, and the authority of the prophet, but in the course of two days, his objections gave way, and he avowed his conversion to the Mormon faith. He very soon started off in order to have a personal interview with the prophet. Smith of course was prepared to receive him, and declared there had just been made to him a revelation from the Lord in relation to this new convert. This pretended heavenly communication uses such language as the following: "Behold, verily, verily, I say unto my servant Sidney, I have looked upon thee and thy works; I have heard thy prayers, and prepared thee for a greater work -- thou art blessed, for thou shalt do great things. Behold thou wast sent forth even as John to prepare the way before me, and before Elijah which should come, and thou knewest it not -- thou didst baptize by water unto repentance, but they received not the Holy Ghost; but now I give unto you a commandment, that thou shalt baptize



    by water, and fire of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands, even as the Apostles of old."

    There is great reason to believe that this meeting of Smith and Rigdon was preconcerted -- and that the pretended mission to the Indians was devised to form a plausible pretext for Rigdon, to come out openly in favour of the Mormons -- and thus to conceal more effectually the hand which he might previously have had in concocting this scheme of imposture.

    Certain it is "their plans of deception appear to have been more fully matured and developed after the meeting of Smith and Rigdon. The latter being found very intimate with the Scriptures, a close reasoner, and as fully competent to make white appear black, and black white, as any other man; and at all times prepared to establish, to the satisfaction of great numbers of people, the negative or affirmative, of any and every question, from Scripture, he was forthwith appointed to promulgate all the absurdities and ridiculous pretensions of Mormonism, 'and call on the Holy Prophets to prove' all the words of Smith." A revelation was soon received, "that Kirtland, the residence of Rigdon and his brethren, was to be the eastern border of the 'promised land,' 'and from thence to the 'Pacific Ocean,' On this land the 'New Jerusalem, the city of Refuge,' was to be built. Upon it, all true Mormons were to assemble, to escape the destruction of the world, which was soon to take place."

    Those sent on the mission to the Lamanites having spent some time at Kirtland, succeeded in making a number of converts. After Cowdery and his associates began to develop the peculiarities of their system, we are told that scenes of the most wild, frantic and horrible fanaticism



    ensued. "They pretended that the power of miracles was about to be given to all those who embraced the new faith, and commenced communicating the Holy Spirit, by laying their hands upon the heads of the converts, which operation, at first, produced an instantaneous prostration of body and mind. Many would fall upon the floor, where they would lie for a long time, apparently lifeless. They thus continued these enthusiastic exhibitions for several weeks. The fits usually came on, during or after their prayer-meetings, which were held nearly every evening. The young men and women were more particularly subject to this delirium. They would exhibit all the apish actions imaginable, making the most ridiculous grimaces, creeping upon their hands and feet, rolling upon the frozen ground, go through with all the Indian modes of warfare, such as knocking down, scalping, &c. At other times, they would run through the fields, get upon stumps, preach to imaginary congregations, enter the water, and perform all the ceremony of baptizing. Many would have fits of speaking all the different Indian dialects, which none could understand. Again, at the dead hour of night, the young men might be seen running over the fields and hills in pursuit, as they said, of the balls of fire, lights, &c., which they saw moving through the atmosphere."

    Three of the young converts pretended to have received commissions to preach from the skies, after having first jumped into the air as high as they could. All these transactions were believed to be from the Spirit of God. They very soon numbered in this region a hundred converts. To these converts Rigdon, soon after joining Smith at Manchester, wrote a letter, disclosing among other things that Kirtland was to be the seat of empire -- and that they



    were dwelling on their eternal inheritance, and that the land of promise extended from that place to the Pacific ocean.

    The facts above stated are principally taken from a volume entitled "MORMONISM UNVEILED" sent the author by a most estimable clergyman of the Episcopal Church, residing at Ashtabula, Ohio, with the information that this volume is regarded by all candid and respectable people in the neighbourhood of the Mormon settlement, as a correct and fair statement of facts. It may tend to throw some now light upon some of the actors in this grand drama of deception to insert a portion of the correspondence that led the clergyman just referred to, to forward this volume to the author. The Rev. Mr. Quinan, who now resides in Philadelphia, having formerly lived in the neighbourhood of Kirtland, was requested by the author to open a correspondence with some intelligent person in that neighbourhood, who would be able to give some account of the first emigration of the Mormons to Kirtland, and the line of operations which they had there pursued. Rev. Quinan's letter was addressed to Dr. A. Hawley. Dr. H--. put this letter into the hands of the clergyman above alluded to, who, having obtained the following communication from Dr. Rosa, forwarded it to the author, with a postscript of his own appended, as will be seem in the insertion below. Dr. Rosa's letter is dated Painesville, Ohio, June 3d, 1841, from which we make the following extract.

    *   *   *  "I think the history of Mormonism as published by E. D. Howe -- a copy of which can he obtained in our place -- contains all the material truths connected with the rise and progress of that miserable deception. There are occasionally new doctrines introduced and incorporated with their faith, such as being baptized



    for the dead. This is a common custom here. When a member is satisfied that his father, mother, or brother, or any other friend is in hell, he steps forward and offers himself to the church in baptism for that individual, and when properly baptized the tormented individual will instantly emerge from his misery into perfect happiness. There are many such follies which the simple hearted are ready and willing to believe. There is no permanent separation in the socirty. There were a few seceders a few years since, some of whom left them entirely, and became infidels, and others held to the original purity of the doctrines as they termed it.

    As to Martin Harris -- of late I have heard but little of him. My acquaintance with him induces me to believe him a monomaniac; he is a man of great locquacity and very unmeaning, ready at all times to dispute the ground of his doctrines with any one. He was one of the seceders, and for a time threatened the Mormons with exposure, as I have been informed; but where he is now I cannot say.

    Jo Smith is regarded as an inspired man by all the Mormons.

    Sidney Rigdon is at the western settlement; he embraced the Mormon religion in the latter part of October, 1830. See page 102 of the book published by E. D. Howe, above referred to.

    In the early part of the year -- either May or June -- I was in company with Sidney Rigdon, and rode with him on horseback a few miles. Our conversation was principally upon the subject of religion, as he was at that time a very popular preacher of the denomination calling themselves 'disciples' or Campbellites. He remarked to me, that it was time for a new religion to spring up; that mankind



    were all rife and ready for it. I thought he alluded to the Campbellite doctrine -- he said it would not be long before something would make its appearance -- he also said that he thought of leaving for Pennsylvania, and should be absent for some months. I asked him how long -- he said it would depend upon circumstances. I began to think a little strange of his remarks, as he was a minister of the Gospel.

    I left Ohio that fall, and went to the state of New York, to visit my friends, who lived in Waterloo -- not far from the mine of golden Bibles. In November I was informed that my old neighbor, E. Partridge, and the Rev. Sidney Rigdon were in Waterloo, and that they both had become the dupes of Joe Smith's necromancies: it then occurred to me that Rigdon's new religion had made its appearance, and when I became informed of the Spalding manuscript I was confirmed in the opinion that Rigdon was at least accessory if not the principal in getting up this farce. Any information that I can give shall be done cheerfully.
    Respectfully, your obedient servant,                  S. ROSA.

    Rev. Mr. Hall.

    June 5th, 1841.    

    Rev. John A. Clark, D.D.
    Dear Sir:
    The above letter I have obtained in answer to several questions respecting Mormons and Mormonism, transmitted by the Rev. Mr. Quinan to Dr. Hawley, of this county, from you. This letter of Dr. Rosa's, together with the book, "Mormonism Unveiled" which accompanies it, I send as the best answers to your questions, and



    the best expositions of Mormonism, which can be obtained. It is believed by candid and respectable people in the vicinity of the Mormon Temple, that Mr. Howe's book -- "Mormonism Unveiled" -- is very correct. As to the deponents in reference to [the] Spalding manuscript, at New Salem (now Conneaut), I have been acquainted with them for thirty years (excepting Miller), and believe them to be credible and respectable persons.

    It is indeed astonishing that so low an imposture should ever have been countenanced at all; much more so that hundreds of English converts should recently have come over to it, and that four hundred more should now be daily expected to take shipping at Buffalo, in order to pass up our Lakes to join the Western Mormons!

    JOHN HALL.      
    Rector of St. Peter's, Ashtabula, Ohio.  

    In the conclusion of Mr. Howe's book -- referred to in the preceding letter -- we were particularly struck with the following statement, which seems to account perfectly for Rigdon's easy faith, and to identify him with this scheme of imposture from its very origin. The reader will recollect that Mrs. Davison states that the manuscript was lent to Mr. Patterson, the publisher of a newspaper in Pittsburg, with whose office Rigdon was connected. The author of the volume above referred to, says: -- "It was inferred at once that some light might be shed upon this subject, and the mystery revealed, by applying to Patterson & Lambdin, in Pittsburg. But here again death had interposed a barrier. That establishment was dissolved and broken up many years since, and Lambdin died about eight years ago. Mr. Patterson says he has no recollection



    of any such manuscript being brought there for publication, neither would he have been likely to have seen it, as the business of printing was conducted wholly by Lambdin at that time. He says, however, that many manuscript books and pamphlets were brought to the office about that time, which remained upon their shelves for years, without being printed or even examined. Now, as Spalding's manuscript, (or a copy of it) remained there in seclusion, till about the year 1823 or '24, at which time Sidney Rigdon located himself in that city. We have been credibly informed that he was on terms of intimacy with Lambdin, being seen frequently in his shop. Rigdon resided in Pittsburg about three years, and during the whole of that time, as he has since frequently asserted, abandoned preaching and all other employment, for the purpose of studying the Bible. He left there, and came into the county where he now resides, about the time Lambdin died, and commenced preaching some new points of doctrine, which were afterwards found to be inculcated in the Mormon Bible. He resided in this vicinity about four years previous to the appearance of the book, during which time he made several long visits to Pittsburg, and perhaps to the Susquehannah, where Smith was then digging for money, or pretending to be translating plates. It may be observed also, that about the time Rigdon left Pittsburg, the Smith family began to tell about finding a book that would contain a history of the first inhabitants of America, and that two years had elapsed before they finally got possession of it.

    "We are, then, irresistibly led to this conclusion: -- that Lambdin, after having failed in business, had recourse to the old manuscripts then in his possession, in order to raise



    the wind, by a book speculation, and placed the "Manuscript Found," of Spalding, in the hands of Rigdon, to be embellished, altered, and added to, as he might think expedient; and three years' study of the bible we should deem little time enough to garble it, as it is transferred to the Mormon book. The former dying, left the latter the sole proprietor, who was obliged to resort to his wits, and in a mirculous way to bring it before the world; for in no other manner could such a book be published without great sacrifice. And where could a more suitable character be found than Jo Smith, whose necromantic fame and arts of deception, had already extended to a considerable distance? That Lambdin was a person every way qualified and fitted for such an enterprise, we have the testimony of his partner in business, and others of his acquaintance. Add to all these circumstances, the facts, that Rigdon had prepared the minds in a great measure, of nearly a hundred of those who had attended his ministration to be in readiness to embrace the first mysterious ism that should be presented -- the appearance of Cowdery at his residence as soon as the Book was printed -- his sudden conversion, after many pretentions to disbelieve it -- his immediately repairing to the residence of Smith, three hundred miles distant, where he was forthwith appointed an elder, high priest, and a scribe to the prophet -- the pretended vision that his residence in Ohio was the "promised land," -- the immediate removal of the whole Smith family thither, where they were soon raised from a state of poverty to comparative affluence. We therefore, must hold out Sidney Rigdon to the world as being the original 'author and proprietor' of the whole Mormon conspiracy, until further light is elicited upon the lost writings of Solomon Spaulding."



    We proceed, however, with our narrative. Rigdon tarried with Smith in Manchester about two months, receiving revelations, preaching in that vicinity, and trying to establish the truth of Mormonism. But meeting with little success, he returned to Kirtland, being followed in a few days by the prophet and his connections. This happened early in 1831. "From this point in the history of this delusion, it began to spread with considerable rapidity. Nearly all of their male converts, however ignorant and worthless, were forthwith transformed into 'Elders,' and sent forth to proclaim, with all their wild enthusiasm, the wonders and mysteries of Mormonism. All those having a taste for the marvellous, and delighting in novelties, flocked to hear them. Many travelled fifty and an hundred miles to the throne of the prophet, in Kirtland, to hear from his own mouth the certainty of his excavating a bible and spectacles. Many, even in the New England States, after hearing the frantic story of some of these 'elders,' would forthwith place their all into a wagon, and wend their way to the 'promised land,' in order, as they supposed, to escape the judgements of Heaven, which were soon to be poured out upon the land. The State of New York, they were privately told, would most probably be sunk, unless the people thereof believed in the pretensions of Smith.

    "On the arrival of Smith in Kirtland, he appeared astonished at the wild enthusiasm and scalping performances, of his proselytes there, as heretofore related. He told them that he had enquired of the Lord concerning the matter, and had been informed that it was all the work of the Devil. The disturbances, therefore, ceased. Thus we



    see that the Devil, for the time being, held full sway in making converts to Mormonism."*

    We have already stated that Sidney Rigdon, previous to his conversion to the Mormons, was a preacher among the Campbellite Baptists, and enjoyed considerable popularity. After his return to Kirtland, with his new companions and new faith, Elder Campbell, the founder of the sect to which he had previously belonged, sent him a challenge for a public debate, in which he would undertake to show the foolish absurdities, shameless pretensions, and manifest imposture of the whole Mormon scheme. This challenge, however, Rigdon very prudently declined accepting.

    * Mormonism Unveiled.






    Mission to Missouri -- Cause that led to emigration -- Settlement at Independence -- Change in operations -- Gift of tongues -- Role for speaking and interpreting.

    COWDERY and those connected with his mission, after having made the converts we have noticed at Kirtland in the autumn of 1830, proceeded on still farther to the west, in order to convert the Indians. They at length set down in the western part of Missouri.

    The following extract from the volume already referred to, will explain the cause that led the Mormons to think of emigrating to Missouri.

    "The Mormons soon began to assemble in considerable numbers at and about Kirtland, the supposed "eternal inheritance," and those who were able, bought land; but the greater part of their dupes had thus far been the poor and needy, and came there with a view of enjoying all things "in common," as such doctrine had gone forth. Many, however, found out their mistake after their arrival; and the revelation appeared to be only that the prophet and some of his relations should be supported by the church. -- In consequence of their inability to purchase lands adjoining head-quarters, they were scattered about



    in several townships, much exposed to 'wild beasts,' and subject to have their faith shaken by the influence of reason. Several renounced it. They were daily running to the prophet with queries and doubts which were constantly arising upon their minds. He generally satisfied them by explaining; nevertheless, they annoyed him much, and the necessity of withdrawing them from the influences which surrounded them, became apparent; hence, their removal to Missouri, where they could, in time, purchase all the land which they should need at a low rate, and become a 'distinct people.'

    "As before noticed, Cowdery and his companions, proceeded on to the west, with the avowed intention of converting the Indians, under a command of the Lord. On their way they tried their skill on several tribes, but made no proselytes, although their deluded brethren at home could daily see them, in visions, baptizing whole tribes. They finally arrived at the western line of the State of Missouri, late in the fall of 1830, with the intention of proceeding into the Indian country, but were stopped by the agents of the general government, under an act of Congress, to prevent the white people from trading or settling among them. They then took up their winter quarters in the village of Independence, about twelve miles from the State line. Here they obtained employment during the winter. In the following spring, one of them returned to Kirtland, with a flattering account of the country about Independence. About the first of June, the prophet assembled all his followers, for the purpose of a great meeting, at which time it was given out that marvellous events were to take place. Here many new attempts were made by Smith to perform miracles



    and otherwise deceive his followers. Previous to this time, it should be remarked, nearly all the Mormonites had arrived from the State of New York, under a revelation, of course, to take possession of the 'promised land.' There were, in all, about fifty families. At the above mentioned meeting a long revelation was manufactured, commanding all the leading men and Elders to depart forthwith for the western part of Missouri, naming each one separately, informing them that only two should go together, and that every two should take separate roads, preaching by the way. Only about two weeks were allowed them to make preparations for the journey, and most of them left what business they had to be closed by others. Some left large families, with their crops upon the ground, and embarked for a distant land, from which they have not yet returned.

    "On arriving at the village of Independence, they proceeded to purchase a lot of land, upon which the prophet directed Rigdon and Cowdery to perform the mock ceremony of laying the corner stone of a city, which he called Zion. Of the future prosperity and magnificence of this city, many marvellous revelations were had by the prophet and many more marvellous conjectures formed by his disciples. Among others, it was said that it would in a few years exceed in splendor every thing known in ancient times. Its streets were to be paved with gold; all that escaped the general destruction which was soon to take place, would there assemble with all their wealth; the ten lost tribes of Israel had been discovered in their retreat, in the vicinity of the North Pole, where they had for ages been secluded by immense barriers of ice, and became



    vastly rich; the ice in a few years was to be melted away, when those tribes, with St. John and some of the Nephites, which the Book of Mormon had immortalized, would be seen making their appearance in the new city, loaded with immense quantities of gold and silver.

    "The prophet and his life-guard of Elders, stayed in their city about two weeks. Revelations were had for a part of them to return to Ohio, a part to stay and take charge of the city, and a part to commence preaching 'in the region round about.' Much dissatisfaction was manifested by some as to the selection of the site, and the general appearance of the country. Smith, Rigdon and Cowdery returned to the old head-quarters in Kirtland. Their followers immediately commenced selling their lands, mostly at great sacrifice, and made preparations for emigrating up the Missouri. All were now anxious to sell, instead of buying more land in Ohio. A special command was given to seventeen families, who had settled in one township, some three months previous, to depart forthwith to the promised land, who obeyed orders, leaving their crops to those who owned the land. Besides a great variety of special revelations relating to individuals, and other matters, a general one was given to the proselytes to sell their lands and other property and repair to Missouri as fast as possible, but not in haste. Accordingly, many went during the year, making sacrifices of property, (those few of them who had any,) in proportion to their faith and their anxiety to be upon their 'eternal inheritance.' In the mean time, thirty of forty 'Elders' were sent off in various directions in pursuit of proselytes. This year passed off with a gradual increase,



    and considerable wealth was drawn in, so that they began to boast of a capital stock of ten or fifteen thousand dollars.

    "Their common stock principles appear to be somewhat similar to those of the Shakers. Each one, however is allowed to 'manage his own affairs in his own way,' until he arrives in Missouri. There the Bishop resides; he has supreme command in all property matters, according to the revelations given by the prophet.

    "The next year commenced with something like a change of operations. Instead of selling their possessions in Ohio, they again began to buy up improved land, mills and water privileges. It would seem that the Missouri country began to look rather dreary to the prophet and his head men, supposing that they could not enjoy their power there as well as in Ohio. They could not think of undergoing the hardships and privations incident to a new country. Besides, the people there were not much disposed to encourage the emigration of such an army of fanatics -- and their "Lamanite" brethren under Gen. Black Hawk, were about that time commencing a war upon the whites.

    "They, therefore, continued to extend their impositions by sending abroad every thing that could walk, no matter how ignorant, if they had learnt the tales and vagaries of their leaders. All that were so sent, were dubbed Elders or High Priests, and furnished with a commission, purporting to have been dictated by the Lord to the prophet. These requisites being added to their credulity, they were of course inspired with all necessary self-sufficiency, zeal and impudence. They were thus prepared to declare that



    every thing which they stated or imagined, was absolutely true -- for the Spirit had so informed them.

    "During the year 1832, considerable progress was made in writing out, and revising the Old and New Testaments, which the prophet pretended to do by inspiration, or by the guidance of the Spirit. In this business, most of his leisure hours were occupied, Rigdon acting as his scribe. They say that the Scriptures, in their present form, retain but little of their original purity and beauty, having been so often copied and translated by unskillful hands. The whole of the old Bible is now said to be ready for the press, in its amended form, and will be forthcoming, as soon as the state of their finances will permit.

    "On the opening of the year 1833, the 'gift of tongues' again made its appearance at head-quarters, and from thence extended to all their branches in different parts. Whether the languages now introduced differed materially from those practised two or three years previous, (and pronounced to be of the Devil,) we have not been informed. It appears that this last device, was all that was then lacking to make the system perfect. They had long before professed to be fully endowed with the power of healing all manner of diseases, discerning spirits, and casting out devils. But a succession of failures had rendered them rather stale, and given distrust to many of the faithful. A new expedient was therefore indispensably necessary, in order to revive the drooping spirits of the deluded, and at the same time, insure a new crop of converts. The scheme proved eminently successful. Hundreds were soon convinced of the truth of the whole, by hearing of and seeing the manner in which the 'tongues' were performed, although the trick would



    seem more susceptible of discovery than any previous one. This gift was not confined to the elders and high priests, who, in other respects, were supposed to have a superabundant share of 'the spirit;' but nearly all the proselytes, both old and young, could show their faith by speaking with 'tongues.'"

    One would think from the following account that the Mormons had been taking some hints from the school of Edward Irving.

    Mr. Kilby, who was an elder among the Mormons, but afterwards came to his senses and renounced the delusion, relates some very curious facts in relation to their pretended gift of tongues. Two distinguished Mormon preachers, Mr. Cahoon and Patton, gave a rule for speaking in unknown tongues, and also for interpreting what was spoken by others.

    "This rule, they said, was perfect -- that as long as we followed it we could not err. And so I believe; it was a perfect rule to lead men astray. The rule, as given by Cahoon, is this: rise upon your feet and look and lean on Christ; speak or make some sound; continue to make sounds of some kind, and the Lord will make a correct tongue or language of it. The interpretation was to be given in the same way." Subsequent to this there was a still greater emigration to Missouri, Soon disturbances of various kinds arose.

    We had prepared two chapters containing such facts as we were able to collect, to exhibit the history of the Mormons in their residence in Missouri, and the two wars in which they were engaged. But upon looking over the pages which we had prepared we cannot make up our mind to tax the reader with the details of these



    belligerent operations. The result of their last resort to arms was their expulsion or emigration from Missouri into Illinois, and the founding of their new city at Nauvoo where at present is the principal Mormon settlement. There are some few remaining facts to which we shall call the attention of the reader, in order to illustrate still further the folly, and depraved character of some of the prominent actors in this grand imposture.






    The prophet's attempt at financiering -- Mr. Smalling's letter.

    ALLUSION has been made to the attempts at financiering in which the Mormon prophet and his coadjutors embarked, before leaving Kirtland. The facts connected with this are presented in a clear light by Mr. Smalling, of Kirtland, in a letter addressed to Mr. Lee, of Frankford, Pa. An effort having been made at that village to establish a Mormon society, the Mormon preacher at the close of his lecture invited any one, who chose to ask questions, or offer remarks. Mr. Lee being present arose, gave his views of the new sect, which were not very complimentary, and among other facts presented before the audience a ten dollar bank note issued by Smith and Rigdon, which he declared was a gross fraud, as they had ever obtained a charter for a bank, and did not pretend to redeem their notes. Mr. Lee was quite brow-beaten by the Mormon preacher. To satisfy himself and the public, Mr. Lee wrote to Kirtland, and obtained a letter in reply from Mr. Smalling, from which we make the following extracts:

    Kirtland, Ohio, March 10th, A.D. 1841.    

    Dear Sir:
    By request and duty I owe to my fellow-man, I consent to answer your letter, and your request as to Joseph



    Smith, Jr., and the Safety Society Bank of the Latter Day Saints, as they call themselves at the present, or Mormons. The followers of Smith believe him to be a prophet, and he had a revelation that the church must move to the Ohio, which they did, selling their possessions and helping each other as a band of brothers, and they settled in this place. The Smith family were then all poor and the most of the church. I visited them in 1833, they were then building a temple to the Most High God, who, Smith said, would appear and make his will known to his servants, and endow them with power in their last days that they might go and preach his gospel to all nations, kindred tongues, and people. For this purpose they wrought almost night and day, and scoured the branches in the east for money to enable them to build. The people consecrated freely, as they supposed for that purpose, for they supposed they were to be one in the church of Christ, for so Smith had told them by his revelations, and that they must consecrate all for the poor in Zion. Thus many did until they finished the temple, and in the meantime the building committee built each of them a house, Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith, Jr. By this time the leaders of the church, Smith, Rigdon, Carter and Cahoon, I may say, all the heads of the church, got lifted up in pride, and they imagined that God was about to make them rich, and that they were to suck the milk of the Gentiles, as they call those that do not belong to the church, or do not go hand in hand with them. From this you can see they have a great desire for riches, and to obtain them without earning them. About this time they said that God had told them, Sidney and Joseph, that they had suffered enough and that they should be rich; and they informed



    me, that God told them to buy goods and so they did, to some thirty thousand dollars, on a credit of six months, at Cleveland and Buffalo. In the spring of 1836 this firm was, I believe, Smith, Rigdon & Co. It included the heads of the church. In the fall, they formed other companies of their brethren, and sent to New York as agents for them, Hiram Smith and O. Cowdery, and they purchased some sixty or seventy thousand dollars worth, all for the church, and the most of them not worth a penny, and no financiers. At this time the first debt became due and not any thing to pay it with, for they had sold to their poor brethren, who were strutting about the streets in the finest broadcloth, and imagining themselves rich, but could pay nothing: and poverty is the mother of invention. They then fixed upon a plan to pay the debt. It was, to have a bank of their own, as none of the then existing banks would loan to them what they wanted and the most refused them entirely. They sent to Philadelphia and got the plates made for their Safety Society Bank, and got a large quantity of bills ready for filling and signing; and in the meantime, Smith and others, collected what specie they could, which amounted to some six thousand dollars. The paper came about the first of January, 1837, and they immediately began to issue their paper and to no small amount: but their creditors refused to take it. Then Smith invented another plan, that was to exchange their notes for other notes that would pay their debts, and for that purpose he sent the elders out with it to exchange, and not only the elders, but gave large quantities of it to others, giving them one half to exchange it, as I am informed by those that peddled for him. Thus Smith was instrumental in sending the worthless stuff abroad, and it



    soon came in again. There was nothing to redeem it with, as Smith had used the greater part of their precious metals. The inhabitants holding their bills came to inquire into the Safety Society precious metals: the way that Smith contrived to deceive them was this: he had some one or two hundred boxes made, and gathered all the lead and shot that the village had or that part of it that he controlled, and filled the boxes with lead, shot, &c.; and marked them, one thousand dollars, each. Then, when they went to examine the vault, he had one box on a table partly filled for them to see, and when they proceeded to the vault, Smith told them that the church had two hundred thousand dollars in specie, and he opened one box and they saw that it was silver, and they hefted a number and Smith told them that they contained specie. They were seemingly satisfied and went away for a few days, until the elders were sent off in every direction to pass their paper off: among the elders were Brigham Young, that went last, with forty thousand dollars; John F. Boynton, with some twenty thousand dollars; Luke Johnson, south and east, with an unknown quantity. I suppose if the money you have was taken of those, it was Smith's and their profit; and thus they continued to pass and sell the worthless stuff until they sold it at twelve and a half cents on the dollar, and so eager to put it off at that, that they could not attend meeting on the Sabbath, -- but they signed enough at that price to buy one section of land in the Illinois. There was some signed with S. Rigdon, cashier, and J. Smith, Jr. president, for the purpose, as it was then said, that if they should be called upon when they could not well redeem, that they would call them counterfeit, but they had no occasion to call any counterfeit, for they



    never redeemed but a very few thousand dollars, and there must he now a great many thousands of their bills out. There was some which others signed pro. tem. that were genuine too, the name of F. G. Williams, N. K. Whitney, and one Kingsbury, all those are genuine.

    The church have not now nor never had any common stock,* all that has been consecrated, Smith and the heads of the church have got, and what they get now they keep, for to show this I send you a revelation which is as follows Revelation given July 9th, 1837, in far west, Caldwell county, Missouri, -- O Lord, show unto us, thy servants, how much thou requirest of the properties of thy people for a tything? Answer: Verily, thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus properties to be put into the hands of the bishop of my church of Zion, for the building of mine house, and for the laying the foundation of Zion, and for the priesthood, and for the debts of the presidency of my church, and this shall be the beginning of the tything of my people, and after that, those who have been tythed, shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually, and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood saith the Lord: Verily, I say unto you, it shall come to pass, that all those who gather unto the land of Zion, shall be tythed of their surplus properties, and shall observe this law, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you; and behold, I say unto you, if my people observe not this law to keep it holy, and by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto me that my statutes

    * Instead of the stock being common, it appears the intention of the ringleaders is to monopolize it, and leave their poor dupes at last to shift for themselves.



    and my jugments may be kept thereon, that it may be most holy; behold: Verily I say unto you, it shall not be a land of Zion unto you, and this shall be one example unto all the sta[k]es of Zion, even so. Amen." They left here in a great hurry, as there was many debts against them, for the principal part that Smith had was borrowed, as also the heads of the church in general, and they had to keep the poor brethren lugging their boxes of silks and fine clothes from place to place, so that they should not be taken to pay their just debts, and mostly borrowed money. They were pursued, but to no effect, they had a train too numerous, so the people could not get their pay, and thus they have brought destruction and misery on a great many respectable families, that are reduced to distress, while they live in splendour and all kinds of extravagance. These statements are well known here, and I presume will not be contradicted there, unless by some fanatic that has no knowledge of things as they do exist, or those deeply interested in the frauds of the saints themselves.
                I am yours, &c.
    CYRUS SMALLING, of Kirtland, Ohio.






    An interesting public document -- The Danite band -- Testimony of Dr. Avard -- Paper drafted by Rigdon.

    WE insert the following communications, published in a most highly respectable religious journal.

    From the New York Baptist Advocate.

    M O R M O N I S M.

    Mr. Editor:
    A rare public document of a most interesting character having fallen into my hands, I propose to furnish you several communications in reference to it, and likewise in relation to the people to whom it relates.

    The Mormons have been generally regarded as a harmless sect of deluded fanatics, unworthy of any particular notice; and the common impression seems to be, that they have been wronged and persecuted by the state of Missouri. For my own part, having had occasion to become better acquainted with their principles and history than many others, I have for a long time been endeavouring, as opportunity offered, to open the eyes of the community to their character, and show that mischief lurks beneath



    this cover of apparent insignificance, and that there are two sides to the story of the Mormon war in Missouri.

    Near the close of the recent session of Congress a pamphlet was printed by order of the United States Senate, for the use of the members of Congress, entitled a "Document showing the testimony given before the judge of the fifth judicial circuit of the state of Missouri, at the court-house in Richmond, in a criminal court of inquiry begun November 12th, 1838." A list of fifty-three individuals is given, as being charged with the crimes of high treason against the state, murder, burglary, arson, robbery, and larceny. Among the numbers are Joseph Smith, jr., Hiram Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Parley P. Pratt. A copy of this document I succeeded in obtaining after considerable difficulty, it not having been printed for general distribution.

    The first witness produced on behalf of the state was Dr. Sampson Avard, who had been a special teacher among the Mormons. He testifies that a band at first denominated the Daughters of Zion, but afterwards the Danite band, was formed by the members of the Mormon church, the original object of which was, to drive from the county of Caldwell all who dissented from the Mormon church. Joseph Smith, jr., blessed them, and prophesied over them, declaring that they should be the means, in the hands of God, of bringing forth the millennial kingdom. The covenant taken by this band was as follows, (holding up the right hand:) "In the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I do solemnly swear myself ever to conceal, and never to reveal the secret purposes of this Society, called the Daughters of Zion. Should I ever do the same, I hold my life as the forfeiture." This band felt themselves



    as much bound to obey Joseph Smith, jr., and his two counselors, Hiram Smith and Sidney Rigdon, as to obey the supreme God. Joseph Smith, jr., in a public address, told them that they should stand by each other, right or wrong. He declared on another occasion, that all who did not take up arms in defence of the Mormons of' Daviess, should be considered as tories, and should take their exit from the county. In reference to taking the property of others, in their expeditions to Daviess county, he told them that the children of God did not go to war at their own expense. He said it was high time they should be up, as the saints of the most high God, and protect themselves, and take the kingdom. On some occasions, he said, that one should chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight; that he considered the United States rotten; that the Mormon church was the little stone spoken of by the prophet Daniel; and that the dissenters first, and the state next, was part of the image that should be destroyed by the little stone. In an address to the forces at Far West, about the time that Gen. Lucas appeared in that quarter with the militia, Smith told them, that for every one they lacked in number of those that came out against them, the Lord would send angels, who would fight for them, and that they should be victorious.

    This witness (Dr. Avard) received orders from Smith and his counselors to destroy the paper containing the constitution of the Danite Society, inasmuch as if it should be discovered, it would be considered treasonable. This order he did not obey, but kept the paper in his possession; and after he was made prisoner by General Clark, he delivered it up to him. The Mormon preachers and apostles were directed to instruct their followers to come



    up to the state called Far West, and to possess the kingdom, and that the Lord would give it to them.

    A paper was draughted by Sidney Rigdon against the dissenters from Mormonism, and signed by eighty-four Mormons. It was addressed to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, William W. Phelps and Lyman E. Johnson. Of these, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer were two of the three witnesses that testified to the truth of the Book Mormon, This will therefore serve to show how much credit is to be attached to their testimony. These eighty-four Mormons, in the letter, say to the dissenters, (Cowdery, Whitmer, &c.) that they had violated their promise, and disregarded their covenant; that Oliver Cowdery had been taken by a state warrant for stealing, and the stolen property was found in the house of William W. Phelps, Oliver Cowdery having stolen and conveyed it; that these dissenters had endeavoured to destroy the characters of Smith and Rigdon by every artifice they could invent, not even excepting the basest lying; that they had disturbed the Mormon meetings of worship; that Cowdery and Whitmer had united with a gang of counterfeiters, thieves, liars and blacklegs of the deepest dye, to deceive cheat and defraud the Mormons out of their property, by every art and stratagem which wickedness could invent, stealing not excepted; that they had attempted to raise mobs against the Mormons; that Cowdery attempted to pass notes on which he had received pay; that Cowdery, Whitmer and others, were guilty of perjury, cheating, selling bogus money, (base coin,) and even stones and sand for bogus ! that they had



    opened, read and destroyed letters in the post-office: and that they were engaged with a gang of counterfeiters, coiners, and blacklegs.

    There, Mr. Editor, is the character of two of the three witnesses who testified that they had seen the plates of the Book of Mormon; that God's voice declared to them that they had been translated by his gift and power; that an angel of God laid the plates and engravings before their eyes; and that the voice of the Lord commanded them that they should bear record of it. This is the character of two of the three witnesses, according to the testimony of eighty-four Mormons, and not opposers of Mormonism. To how much credit these two witnesses are entitled, you can judge for yourself. In the course of my communications on this subject, I shall exhibit the character of the other witness, (Martin Harris,) and likewise of Prophet Smith himself.

    From the Baptist Advocate.


    In my first communication on the subject of the Mormon war in Missouri, I showed, by Mormon evidence itself, that two of the three witnesses that testified to the truth of the Book of Mormon, viz: Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer, are utterly unworthy of any credit whatever. In pursuance of my proposal in the same letter, I now proceed to exhibit the character of the remaining witness, Martin Harris; and likewise the character of Smith himself, over and above what has already been shown in relation to him.




                                Palmyra, Nov. 29, 1833.

    Martin Harris is naturally quick in his temper. At different times while I lived with him, he has whipped, kicked, and turned me out of the house. In one of his fits of rage, he struck me with the butt end of a whip, which I think had been used for driving oxen, and was about the size of my thumb. He beat me on the head four or five times, and the next day turned me out of doors twice, and beat me in a shameful manner. His main complaint against me was, that I was always trying to hinder his making money. One day, while at Peter Harris's house, I told him he had better leave the company of the Smith's, as their religion was false; to which he replied: "I If you would let me alone, I could make money by it."

    There is the character of the third witness of the trio, on whose testimony the Book of Mormon depends for support. Let us now look a little further at the character of Prophet Smith himself.

    Fifty-one of Smith's old acquaintances in Palmyra declare him destitute of that moral character which ought to entitle him to the confidence of any community, spending much of his time in money digging, and being addicted to vicious habits,

    Peter Ingersol, of Palmyra, testifies, that Smith acknowledged that he could not see in a stone, as he had pretended.

    William Chase, of Manchester, Ontario county, N.Y. testifies, that Smith acknowledged he had no Book of Mormon, and never had any.

    Parley Chase, of Manchester, states, that Smith was entitled to no credit whatever; that he was lazy, intemperate,



    worthless, and very much addicted to lying, boasting of his skill in it, digging for money, and scarcely ever telling two stories alike in relation to the Golden Bible matter.

    David Stafford, of Wayne county, testifies, that Smith used to get intoxicated, on which occasions he would quarrel and fight.

    Barton Stafford, of Manchester, testifies, that Smith was very much addicted to intemperance, even after he professed to be a prophet; and when intoxicated, he frequently made his religion his theme.

    Henry Harris, of Cuyahoga county, Ohio, testifies, that such was Smith's character for lying, that the jury did not believe him when under oath.

    Rev. Nathaniel C. Lewis, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a relative of Smith's wife, testifies, that Smith's general character was that of an impostor, hypocrite, and liar.

    Alva Hale, brother-in-law of Smith, testifies, that Smith told him, that his gift in seeing with a stone and a hat, was a gift from God; but at another time he told him, that this "peeping" was all nonsense. He further testifies, that he knows Smith to be an impostor and liar.

    Levi Lewis testifies, that he has heard Smith and Harris both say, that adultery was no crime. Lewis further testifies, that he knows Smith to be a liar; that he saw him intoxicated at three different times, while composing the Book of Mormon; that he has heard him use the most profane language; that he has heard him say he was as good as Jesus Christ; that it was as bad to injure him as it was to injure Jesus Christ; and that God had deceived



    him with regard to the plates, which was the reason he did not show them.

    Let this suffice on this point. And now we have before us the character of this false prophet, and of his three supporters, on whose credibility the fate of the Book of Mormon depends. Not one word of commentary is necessary after such an exhibition of their worthlessness and vileness; and I shall, therefore, leave it as it is to speak for itself.






    THE following letter is the last in the series, originally written for the columns of the Episcopal Recorder.

    Although I have occupied your attention so long with the history of the origin and rise of Mormonism, I have a few words more to add before closing the subject. Several facts which have come to my knowledge, since commencing these sketches, lead me to apprehend, that the developments we have been attempting to make are not ill-timed. Is there any one who would have formed so low an estimate of the Christian intelligence of this land, as to have concluded A priori that a deception so barefaced, and, withal, so ridiculous, as the pretended disinterment of the Mormon Bible from one of the hills of Western New York, and this -- set on foot by an illiterate vagrant hanging on the skirts of society, and of exceedingly doubtful moral character, and backed by the pecuniary means of a man of the most credulous and superstitious cast of character, whose sanity of mind was greatly questioned by all his acquaintance, should have gained in a period of ten years such dominion over human belief, as to be received as the undoubted truth of God by more than sixty thousand persons. We are surprised to hear of the success of this imposture in the Great Valley of the West, although there is material there for



    almost every erratic conception of the human mind to act upon. But what shall we say of the success of Mormonism in the Atlantic states, -- gathering its converts from orthodox and evangelical churches? Will it not fill intelligent Christians with surprise to learn that the Mormons are establishing themselves not only in many parts of New England, but that they are spreading through Pennsylvania, and that they already have two churches formed in Philadelphia, and that a portion of the members of these churches, have been regular communicants in the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches? Such, however, is the fact, and we shall not he greatly surprised, if this mystery of iniquity" continues to work, and that those who have dared to "add to the words" of God's finished revelation, shall receive the threatened curse. We shall not be surprised if "God shall send upon such, strong delusion, that they should believe a lie," and that they "wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived."

    One thing however is distinctly to be noted in the history of this imposture. There are no Mormons in Manchester, or Palmyra, the place where the Book of Mormon was pretended to be found. You might as well go down into the Crater of Vesuvius and attempt to build an ice house amid its molten and boiling lava, as to convince any inhabitant in either of these towns, that Jo Smith's pretensions are not the most gross and egregious falsehood. It was indeed a wise stroke of policy, for those who got up this imposture, and who calculated to make their fortune by it, to emigrate to a place where they were wholly unknown. As soon as they had arranged their apparatus for deceiving weak, and unstable souls -- as soon as the Book of Mormon



    was printed and their plans formed, the actors in this scene went off en masse to a part of the country where their former character and standing were unknown, and where their claim to divine inspiration could be set up with a little more show of plausibility than it could have been any where in the state of New York. Mormonism had to grow a, number of years in a Western soil, and there acquire a sort of rank and luxuriant growth, before it could be transplanted with any success to a point near its birth-place. And even now it keeps very much in the background its grand peculiarities. The Mormon preachers, I am told, in this region, generally dwell upon the common topics of' Christianity, rather than upon the peculiarities of their system. The object of this is manifest. They wish to strengthen themselves by a large accession of converts, before they stand on the peculiarities of their system. But all Christians should beware of their devices. Their whole system is built upon imposture. They believe Joseph Smith to be a prophet of God, when there is not a man in our Penitentiary, that might not with just as much plausibility lay claim to that character. They believe the Book of Mormon to be a divine revelation, when it can be proved, that the whole ground-work of it was written by Mr. Spalding as a Religious and Historical Romance. They believe that they have the power among them to work miracles, when even "Satan with all" his "power and signs and lying wonders, and with all his deceivableness, has not been able to sustain their claim to in a single instance.

    Martin Harris, after he went to Kirtland, Ohio, where, as we have seen, the first Mormon settlement was formed, used



    occasionally to return to Palmyra. As one of the three witnesses, he claimed divine inspiration, and is, I believe, to the present day regarded by the Mormons, as one of the greatest and best among "the latter-day saints." In these visits to the place of his former residence he not only endeavoured to proselyte his old acquaintances to his new faith, but used sometimes to edify them with very solemn prophecies of future events. I was informed by Judge S--- of Palmyra, that he came to his office so much and uttered his prophecies so frequently that he at length told him, that he would not consent to his uttering his predictions any more orally, but that he must write them down and subscribe his name to them, or else seek some other place for the exercise of his prophetic gift. Harris instantly wrote down two predictions, attaching his signature to each.

    The one was a declaration that Palmyra would be destroyed, and left utterly without inhabitants, before the year 1836. The other prediction was that before 1838 the Mormon faith would so extensively prevail, that it would modify our national government, and there would at that period be nolonger any occupant of the presidential chair of the United States. To these predictions he subjoined the declaration that if they were not literally fulfiled, any one might have full permission to cut off his head and roll it around the streets as a foot-ball. Bear in mind that this was one of the pretended chosen witnesses of God, to testify to the truth of the Book of Mormon. I need not say that both these prophecies in their entire failure of fulfilment, convicted him of falsehood, and show how little is the value of his testimony.

    Another fact worthy of note in this connection is, that



    as Harris, Smith, Rigdon, &c., all expected to make their fortune out of this scheme. The banking enterprise in which they engaged, as we have seen, liked to have proved a ruinous operation to them all. Ultimately this speculation contributed to sever Harris from Smith and Rigdon, who went farther west, and commenced operations in Missouri. Harris, in one of his late visits to Palmyra, remarked to a friend of mine, that Jo Smith had now become a complete wretch, and that he had no confidence either in him or Rigdon. Recollect that this is the testimony of one of the three chosen witnesses by which the truth of the Book of Mormon is to be established.

    One fact more. You recollect that it was mentioned in a former No. of these sketches, that Martin Harris' wife could not be induced to come over to the Mormon faith. He consequently abandoned her, visiting her only once or twice a year. She at length declined in health, and was evidently sinking down to the grave. A gentleman of undoubted veracity in Palmyra told me that a few days before her death, Harris returned, and on one occasion while sitting in the room with her, appeared to be very much occupied in writing. She inquired what he was writing? He replied that he was writing a letter to a female to whom he was going to be married when she was dead! And according to his words he was married to her in a very few weeks after his wife's death. What are we to think of Mormonism, when we remember that a man of such feelings and such morality was one of the chosen witnesses to attest its truth.

    I have already said, that the Mormons in this region cautiously keep out of sight the peculiarities of their system, and principally dwell upon the common topics of



    Christian faith and practice. One proof of this is, the very few copies of the Book of Mormon, that are found among them. I am told that among all the members or the two Churches established in Philadelphia, there are not more than twenty copies of the Book of Mormon. This book I suppose is only for the initiated -- for those whose faith is well established.

    Another fact in proof of the foregoing position is the effort they use to drop the name of Mormons, and to assume the more taking one of "Latter day Saints" -- and when called upon to state their creed, instead of declaring boldly that Joseph Smith is the prophet of God, and that the Book of Mormon is his word, they rather dwell upon those points of faith which all Christians hold in common.

    In illustration of this last remark, I will here insert a written statement given by Joseph Young, of Kirtland, Ohio, an elder of the Mormon Church, while on a visit to Boston to establish his faith in that city.

    "The principal articles of the Latter-day Saints, vulgarly called Mormons, are

    1. A belief in one true and living God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, and in his Son Jesus Christ, who came into this world 1800 years since, at Jerusalem; was slain, rose from the dead, ascended on high, and now sits on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens; that through the atonement thus wrought out, all men map come to God and find acceptance; all of which they believe is revealed in the holy Scriptures.

    2. That God requires all men, wherever his gospel is proclaimed, or his law known, to repent of all sins, forsake evil, and follow righteousness; that his word also requires



    men to be baptized, as well as to repent; and that the direct way pointed out by the Scriptures for baptism, is immersion. After which, the individual has the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit; that this divine communication is absolutely promised unto all men, upon whom "the Lord our God shall call," if they are obedient unto his commandments. This gift of the Holy Spirit, was anciently bestowed by the laying on the apostle's hands: so this church believes that those who have authority to administer in the ordinances of the gospel, have this right and authority, through prayer; and without this authority, and this gift, the church is not now what it anciently was; consequently, cannot be recognized as the true Church of Christ.

    3. That God will, in the last days, gather the literal descendants of Jacob to the lands, anciently possessed by their fathers; that he will lead them as at the first, and build them as at the beginning. That he will cause his arm to be made bare in their behalf; his glory to attend them by night and by day. That this is necessary to the fulfilment of his word, when his knowledge is to cover the earth as the waters cover the seas. And that, as men anciently saw visions, dreamed dreams, held communion with angels, and converse with the heavens, so it will be in the last days to prepare the way for all nations, languages and tongues, to serve him in truth.

    4. That the time will come when the Lord Jesus will descend from heaven, accompanied with ten thousand of his saints ; that a mighty angel will lay hold on the dragon, bind him, cast him into the pit, where he will be kept from deceiving the nations for a thousand years; during



    which time, one continued round of peace will pervade every heart. And,

    5. They believe in the resurrection of the body: that all men will stand in the presence of God and be judged according to the deeds, or works, done in this life; that the righteous will enter into eternal rest, in the presence of God, but the wicked be cast off, to receive a just recompense of reward; and that, to ensure eternal life, a strict obedience to all the commandments of God must be observed, to the end."

    You see there is not even a remote allusion to what constitutes the gist of their whole system. But I will here leave the subject for the present.

    T H E   E N D.

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    Transcriber's Comments

    Rev. John A. Clark's Letters

    (under construction)

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