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.
whom was Col. Pendleton, who had a number of men painted like Indians, engaged in the before mentioned laudable undertaking, according to the rules of evangelical churches.— was also a conspicious character, as also , , , and a host of others; and so zealous were they in the propagation of evangelical principles, that they drove fifteen thousand men, women, and children from their homes; killed many and confiscated the property of others, and, to shew what pure evangelical principles possessed, he said when speaking to the humbugites “whether you are innocent or not is nothing to me; I am determined to see the ’s orderd executed.“ His orders to exterminate.
Another criterion whereby the evangelical church can be known, is by their asking people to work miracles; for, says Mr. Johnson, “many of the miracles of Moses, Christ, and Apostles, were performed publicly, in the presence of enemies and friends, to induce faith.” And again, “let people be put in possession of the fact that they have a right to see the miracles of those who pretend to work miracles; and that they were bound to disbelieve all accounts of men working miracles unless they work them publicly, in the presence of enemies as well as friends.” I am not aware, sir, of the Mormons professing to do miracles; indeed, I know that they do not; they merely believe in the same principles that the Apostles believed in. But this is nothing to the point; it is evangelical religion that we are investigating. The grand principle that now comes under our consideration, is, that “miracles must be performed publicly to induce faith.” Consequently, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Habbakuk, Amos, David, Solomon, and many other of the prophets are not entitled to the faith of an evangelical church; for they did not work miracles; and also John the Baptist; there was not a greater prophet born among men, than he: “yet he did no miracle,” say the scriptures. What a pity it is that the bible of the evangelicals should be burtheded with such “humbugery.”—For they did no miracles ‘to induce faith,’ and conseqently an evangelical church has no faith in them. I had a curious thought here, sir, and wondered whether the evangelicals work miracles or not to prove their religion, as it is a ‘poor rule that will not work both ways.’ The grand rule, however, seems to be, that if the Mormons will not work miracles to ‘induce belief’ they are ‘humbugites!’ consequently, if I find a people asking for miracles, I set them down as evangelists. However, as Mr. Knapp tells me to carry my bible in my pocket, to pray over it, to search it diligently,’ &c. I must take it out of my pocket, and have you search it again with me, sir. I find, then, recorded in Luke, 23. that Herod was a true evangelist, for he sent for Jesus, hoping to have seen some miracle done by him, but it could not be done for him; and no doubt, being a true evangelist, but he thought Christ was a humbug. The evangelical church in Jerusalem before referred to, had this trait, as well as others; hence they said to our Savior, ‘what sign shewest thou.’ But he would not give so honorable a body as that any answer, and they thought of course that he was a humbug. Then there was a respectable church on Mount Calvary, composed of Gentiles and Jews, who cried out tauntingly, ‘if thou be the son of God, come down from the cross, and then we will believe in thee,’—but he did not do it; ah, say they, ‘he saved others, himself he cannot save.’ These were purely evangelical. Paul, sir, had a most complete way of getting rid of Mr. Johnson’s arguments; he was a sly fellow; hence, says he, ‘to one is given the gift of faith, to another the power to work miracles,’—‘do all work miracles? do all prophesy?’ Hence, if any of his members had been asked for a miracle, they would have come flatly out and said, ‘all do not work miracles,’ ah, says Mr. Johnson, a pure evangelist, that is humbugery, ‘I have a right to look for miracles.’ But lastly, on this subject, I found a most eminent personage, one that I least expected, belonging to the evangelical church; one who is ‘the prince and the power of the air;’ one who ‘wanders to and fro in the earth;’ one, against whom ‘Michael the Archangel, dared not to bring a railing accusation;’ one who has often appeared among the ‘sons of God;’ one who says that ‘this world, and its glory and dominion, belongs to him;‘—coming to our Savior and wanting him to make stones bread, and requesting him to ‘cast himself down from the temple,‘ or to perform some miracle, that he might know that he was the son of God; and perhaps the old gentleman would have believed if he had seen a miracle—but he did not do it. What a pity.
But having said so much upon this subject, I must now touch upon another, and then close. I find, sir, that it is not truth that the evangelical church are in quest of, but miracles; hence, for instance, although there is so much humbugery about Mormonism, and it is palpably false, and unscriptural, if they would work a miracle it would be true at once; all its obnoxious features would depart; all its errors would be removed; and it would be changed from the perfectly ridiculous, to the most sublime; error would at once become truth, and wickedness be transformed into righteousness. The evangelicals were no doubt convinced that the Magicians of Egypt were of God, for they performed miracles. The Witch of Endor also possessed supernatural agency, and would of course be believed by tbe orthodox church. Simon the Sorceror, seems to have been an honorable man, and obtained great credence among the orthodox. But, unfortunately for our modern evangelical churches, they have not had much of an opportunity of seeing miracles performed; however, as a glorious day is about to dawn upon them, they have cause to lift up their hearts and rejoice; for Paul says, that ‘Satan will come with all deceivableness, and signs, and lying wonders, and for this cause God will send them strong delusions, that they may believe a lie and be damned; because they received not the love of the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.’ John says, I saw three unclean spirits, like frogs, come out of the mouth of the Dragon; and out of the mouth of the beast; and out of the mouth of the false prophet; for they are the spirits of devils working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world.’ Rev. xvi: 13, 14. John further speaks of a beast that made war with the saints, and overcame them. The evangelical church in have patterned well after their great prototype. But he [p. 794]