History, 1834–1836

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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in crime of the deepest dye, and that I may the better you to understand what my real sins are, I will mention, (although pride forbids it) some that I am not guilty of. My hands have not been stained with innocent blood, neither have I lain couched around the cottages of my fellow men to seize and carry off the booty; nor have I slandered my neighbor, nor born false testimony, nor taken unlawful hire, nor oppressed the widow nor fatherless, neither have I persecuted the saints. But my hands are swift to do iniquity and my feet are fast running in the paths of vice and folly, and my heart, quick to devise wicked imaginations. Nevertheless I am impressed with the sure thought that I am fast hastening to a whole world of disembodied beings, without God and with but one hope in the world: which is to know that to err is human, but, to forgive is Divine. Much I might say in relation to myself and the original difficulties with the Church, which I will forbear and inasmuch as I have been charged with things that I was not guilty of, I am now more than doubly guilty, and am now willing to forgive and forget, only let me know that I am within the reach of mercy. If I am not I have no reflections to cast, but say that I have sealed my own doom and pronounced my own sentence. If the day is passed by with me may I here beg leave to entreat of those who are toiling up the rugged asscent, to make their way to endless felicity, and delight to stop not for anchor here below, follow not my example, but steer your course onward in spite of all the combined powers of earth and Hell, for know that one mistep here is only retrievable by a thousand groans & tears before God. Dear brother Joseph, let me entreat you on the reception of this letter, as you regard the salvation of my soul, to inquire at the hand of the Lord in my behalf for I this day in presence of God, do covenant to abide the word that may be given. for I am willing to receive any chastisement that the Lord sees I deserve. Now hear my prayer & suffer me to break forth in the agony of my soul. O ye, angels, that surround the throne of God. Princes of Heaven, that excell in strength, ye who are clothed with transcendent brightness, plead O plead for one of the most wretched of the sons of men. O Ye Heavens whose azure arches rise immensely high, and stretch immeasurably wide grand amphitheatre of nature, throne of the Eternal God, bow to hear the prayer of a poor wretched bewildered way wanderer to the eternity. O, Thou Great Omnicient & omnipresent [p. 131]
in crime of the deepest dye, and that I may the better you to understand what my real sins are, I will mention, (although pride forbids it) some that I am not guilty of. My hands have not been stained with innocent blood, neither have I lain couched around the cottages of my fellow men to seize and carry off the booty; nor have I slandered my neighbor, nor born false testimony, nor taken unlawful hire, nor oppressed the widow nor fatherless, neither have I persecuted the saints. But my hands are swift to do iniquity and my feet are fast running in the paths of vice and folly, and my heart, quick to devise wicked imaginations. Nevertheless I am impressed with the sure thought that I am fast hastening to a whole world of disembodied beings, without God and with but one hope in the world: which is to know that to err is human, but, to forgive is Divine. Much I might say in relation to myself and the original difficulties with the Church, which I will forbear and inasmuch as I have been charged with things that I was not guilty of, I am now more than doubly guilty, and am now willing to forgive and forget, only let me know that I am within the reach of mercy. If I am not I have no reflections to cast, but say that I have sealed my own doom and pronounced my own sentence. If the day is passed by with me may I here beg leave to entreat of those who are toiling up the rugged asscent, to make their way to endless felicity, and delight to stop not for anchor here below, follow not my example, but steer your course onward in spite of all the combined powers of earth and Hell, for know that one mistep here is only retrievable by a thousand groans & tears before God. Dear brother Joseph, let me entreat you on the reception of this letter, as you regard the salvation of my soul, to inquire at the hand of the Lord in my behalf for I this day in presence of God, do covenant to abide the word that may be given. for I am willing to receive any chastisement that the Lord sees I deserve. Now hear my prayer & suffer me to break forth in the agony of my soul. O ye, angels, that surround the throne of God. Princes of Heaven, that excell in strength, ye who are clothed with transcendent brightness, plead O plead for one of the most wretched of the sons of men. O Ye Heavens whose azure arches rise immensely high, and stretch immeasurably wide grand amphitheatre of nature, throne of the Eternal God, bow to hear the prayer of a poor wretched bewildered way wanderer to eternity. O, Thou Great Omnicient & omnipresent [p. 131]
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