I. T., Letter, to JS, , Hancock Co., IL, before 16 May 1842. Version published in Times and Seasons, 16 May 1842, vol. 3, no. 14, pp. 790–795. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
of God went, they abused them, and when Lot spoke to them to depart out of the city or they would be consumed, “his words seemed to them as idle tales;” they paid no attiontion to them; they were profoundly learned in the doctrines of taking no notice—in pure evangelical principles.
Without referring to an evangelical church that existed in Babylon, to another at Tyre and Sidon, and to another at Jerusalem, I would briefly mention one in Athens, the great seat of science and literature—they were not however fully sound in the faith; for some of them said “what will this babbler say,” but the majority of them shook their heads, and turned away, and said “we will hear thee again concerning this matter:” they paid no attention, not only so but having searched the scriptures according to the advice of Mr. Knapp, I find that the prophets have prophecied of an evangelical church, for, says our Saviour; “as it was in the days of Noah,” and “as it was in the days of Lot; so shall it also be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man.” Consequently Sir, the existence of a pure evangelical church, one that would pay no attention, is clearly spoken of. And again, in the latter day, there will be a great church of this kind, to whom it will be said, “I have called but you have refused; I have stretched out my arm, but ye have not regarded. “They paid no attention to it.”
But this is only one of the leading traits of the conduct of a member of an evangelical church; this is only a preventative; but as a remedy, we have the following; if they are making proselytes, “meet them at once,” don’t allow them the liberty of worshiping God according to the dictates of their own conscience;—show their errors and absurdities—but not knowing what these errors and absurdities were, Sir I had to enquire, and found out that they are so egregriously in error, as to believe that men must believe, and repent, and be baptized, and have hands laid on for the gift of the Holy Ghost, before they can be accepted of God. They are so foolish as to believe what our Saviour says, “he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned; and these signs shall follow them that believe:”—They have fallen into the same error that Peter did when he said, “the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call;”—they believe with Paul, “that to one is given the gift of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues; to another prophesy; to another working of miracles;”—they also believe what James says, “if any of you are sick, let him send for the elders of the church, and let them pray for him, annointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith shall heal the sick; and the Lord shall raise him up;”—they believe that no man is authorized to preach, unless he is called, as they were in the apostle’s days. These then are many of the absurdities of Mormonism. Now says Mr. Johnson, “these absurdities must be met;” evidently shewing that evangelical churches do not believe in the absurdities practiced and taught by our Saviour and his apostles; no Sir, they do not, and such men must be met at the threshold, met with boldness, and firmness, and promptness. I must again follow Mr. Knapp’s advice, sir, and take you to the scriptures with me:—Paul when he was preaching just such errors as the Mormons preach (I don’t know but that he was a Mormon), in Ephesus, was met with promptness by the inhabitants of that great city; they even cried out for two hours “great is Diana, the God of the Ephesians.” They would not allow the poor fellow to speak. Why every body knew; it was quite notorious that Diana fell down from heaven—it was absurd for Paul to teach anything else; this conduct was truly evangelical; and I have no doubt sir, but that if Mr. Johnson was to meet a Mormon he would just be as zealous as they were; for Mormonism is noto[ri]ous for spoiling the craft, So dilligent were many of these evangelicals at one time, that forty of them bound themselves under an oath, that they would not eat nor drink untill they had killed Paul; not only so but Paul himself was a true member of this fraternity; for he hailed men and women, committing them to prison, and scourging them for belonging to the “humbugites;” and caused many of them to blaspheme; however he apostatized and became an heretic himself; but he soon found that the evangelicals met him with as much promptness as he had met others; they stoned him, put him in prison, whipped him, made his feet fast in the stoks, brought accusations against him; &c. &c. and plainly proved to him that they believed no more in humbugery, than he had done before. Without refering, sir, to the crusades, and to a large church in Italy, who belonged to the evangelicals, I would just mention one of more recent date in the State of ; worthy scions of the old stock, and members of this honorable fraternity; and as the Cross and Journal is particularly devoted to the interests of missions in the west, I expect that they have received some very salutary instructions from its colums. To shew to you how zealous they have been the , a Baptist missionary, who was fully inducted into the blessings of pure evangelical principles held a tar bucket, while some of his worthy coadjutors were tarring and feathering one of the Mormons. Another sir, a worthy brother of his of the Christain order, who at the head of his brethren went and drove a number of the Mormon women, and children from their homes; & so zealous was he in the cause that he pursued them till the blood gushed from their feet, and their tracks were left in the prairie. They must have been purely evangelical. The redoubtable a Methodist minister, was forward also on another occasion, at the head of a company of his own cronies, burning and destroying heretic’s houses, plundering their property &c.; he proved himself evangelical: he had the misfortune however since that to shoot one of his fellow craft: but then he redeemed himself in true evangelical style, by preaching pure orthodox principles from there to . I might also speak of others of the same school, such were , and Habbot Hancock, two worthy Presbyterian prelates, who with swords by their sides came with a number of their fraternity, to , Corrol co. Mo. to disposess a number of men, women, and children, (who had the audacity in this land of liberty, to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience) of their inheritance, and to drive them from their homes. These were evangelical ministers. There were others of the same school, among [p. 793]