Though this issue was the beginning of JS’s editorship of the Times and Seasons, he did not actually begin direct supervision of the newspaper until the following issue. See Historical Introduction to Times and Seasons, 1 Mar. 1842; and “To Subscribers” in the 1 Mar. 1842 issue.
and if that power, being hostile to God, prevails against them, and they are given into his hand, what becomes of the church?
J. I will prove sir, that there has been a priesthood of apostolic succession, and a pure church, from the Savior’s day until the present.
. If you will, sir, and that church has pure, scriptural ordinances, I will give up my preaching, depart from this church, and join myself to that standard.
J. I refer you, sir, to Mosheim’s and Milner’s Church history, who shew that thing clearly.
. I must have demononstration, sir, show me the church.
J. We ought to have confidence in the testimony of good, accredited historians.
. But you say, sir, that it not only did exist, but does exist, consequently it is not only a matter of history, but a matter that can be now demonstrated, if such a church is now in being.
J. The Church of England, ordains as you do.
[.] But they sprinkle infants, sir, and that is unscriptural.
J. Peter says, “The promise is unto you, and to your children.”
. But it does not say to your infants; a man may have a child thirty years old and he is as much his child as though he were an infant; and you cannot point me out one single instance in scripture of an infant’s being baptized.
J. Do not misunderstand me, sir, I do not find fault with your baptism.
. But I should with yours, sir, if you were pointing out a true church, which you said that you could prove, had been in existence, and still existed.
J. We do it, either by dipping, pouring, or sprinkling.
. This is singular indeed, sir, you believe that a man, is sent of God, to teach, and does not know which ordinance to administer in; but must leave it to those that he is teaching to decide upon the matter: Peter did not do so.
J. The Baptists baptize by immersion.
. But do they lay on hands, for the gift of the Holy Ghost?
J. I do not know.
. They baptize, and you lay on hands: they have got one limb of the body and you another but none of you have the whole body.
J. I can, (beginning at our Savior,) trace an unbroken chain of apostolic succession until the present.
. I suppose, sir, through the medium of the Roman Catholic Church.
J. Yes, sir.
. You say that the Church of Rome is fallen; that she is the mother of harlots: if so, sir, how can she impart authority.
J. Just the same as she can the scriptures.
. “Can an impure fountain, send forth pure streams? Our Savior said not.
J. Oh, it makes no difference.
. Then, sir, if she had power to “bind on earth, and to bind in heaven,” she also professed the power, (according to the scriptures) to “loose on earth, and to loose in heaven,” and you know, that she cut off, and excommunicated, the Church of England, and all Protestant Reformers, and that would place you, sir, according to your creed, in a curious situation.
J. Do you believe in your heart, sir, that she had power to confer this?*
. If she had not there is no priesthood; and if she had she took it away from you, sir, and from all Protestants; consequently you have no priesthood or authority in either case:—You say that she is apostate, the mother of harlots; and she says that you are heretics; so I leave the matter between you, and both of your testimonies shall decide the case.
J. I can trace a regular succession of authority, independent of the Church of Rome, in two different ways; one through the Waldenses, and Albigenses, and the other through the Welsh church.
. As it regards the first of those, sir, I want to know where it is?
J. There may be some of them in the valleys of Piedmont; and if, at the time of the reformation, some of them went from this country to , they might be there.
. And if, and if, and may be is no demonstration, sir, there may not be any in the valleys of Piedmont, and if at the time of the reformation some having authority went to there would be no priesthood there, and consequently no priesthood in existence that you can prove. And as it regards the other churches you know sir that the whole of the Church of England was under the dominion of the Pope in Henry the eighth’s time, and all submitted to his authority. [p. 694]