President Smith read the 14th chap. of Rev. and said,
“We have again the warning voice sounded in our midst which shows the uncertainty of human life; and in my leisure moments I have meditated upon the subject, and asked the question, Why it is that infants, innocent children are taken away from us? especially those that seem to be the most intelligent and interesting? and the strongest reasons that present themselves to my mind are these;—This world is a very wicked world; and it is a proverb that the ‘world grows weaker and wiser’ if it is the case, the world grows more wicked and corrupt. In the early ages of the world, a righteous man, and a man of God, and of intelligence had a better chance to do good, to be believed and received, than at the present day; but in these days such a man is much opposed and persecuted by most of the inhabitants of the earth; and he has much sorrow to pass through here, the Lord takes many away even in infancy that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore if rightly considered instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again.
“What chance is there for infidelity when we are parting with our friends almost daily? None at all. The infidel will grasp at every straw for help until death stares him in the face, and then his infidelity takes its flight, for the realities of the eternal world are resting upon him in mighty power; and when every earthly support and prop fails him, he then sensibly feels the eternal truths of the immortality of the soul. We should take warning and not wait for the death bed to repent, as we see the infant taken away by death, so may the youth and middle aged, as well as the infant suddenly be called into eternity. Let this then prove as a warning to all, not to procrastinate repentance, or wait till a death bed; for it is the will of God that man should repent, and serve him in health, and in the strength, and power of his mind, in order to secure his blessing; and not wait until he is called to die. Also the doctrine of Baptizing children, or sprinkling them, or they must welter in hell is a doctrine not true, not supported in Holy writ, and is not consistent with the character of God. All children are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and the moment that children leave this world they are taken to the bosom of Abraham. The only difference between the old and young dying, is, one lives longer in heaven, and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from this miserable wicked world.— Notwithstanding all this glory, we for a moment lose sight of it, and mourn the loss; but we do not mourn as those without hope.
“My intention was, to have spoken upon the subject of baptism, but having a case of death before us I thought proper to refer to that subject. I will now however say a few words upon baptism, as I intended. God has made certain decreees which are fixed, and immovable, for instance; God set the sun, the moon, and the stars in the heavens; and gave them their laws, conditions, and bounds which they cannot pass, except by his commandments; they all move in perfect harmony in their sphere, and order, and are as lights, wonders, and signs unto us. The sea also has its bounds which it cannot pass. God has set many signs on the earth, as well as in the heavens, for instance; the oak of the forest, the fruit of the tree, the herb of the field; all bear a sign that seed hath been planted there; for it is a decree of the Lord that every tree, plant, and herb, bearing seed, should bring forth of its kind, and cannot come forth after any other law, or principle. Upon the same principle do I contend that baptism is a sign ordained of God, for the believer in Christ to take upon himself in order to enter into the kingdom of God, “for except ye are born of water, and of the spirit ye cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” saith the Saviour. It is a sign, and commandment which [p. ]