Times and Seasons, 15 October 1842

  • Source Note
Page 955
image
true answer. Men cannot, by the spirit of men, show the true way to heaven; the experience of every age plainly proves this. The religion of Jesus Christ, taught by himself, and practiced by his Apostles under the miraculous “power from on high,” began to loose its efficacy, power, simplicity, and glory that surpasseth understanding, when men, so far exceeded the heavenly rule as to use their own opinions, notions, and judgments, in preference to the revealed will of God. To elucidate this principle, we shall bring in a quotation from Mosheim, relative to the apostacy of the church in the fifth century, viz:
“The doctrines of religion were, at this time, understood and represented in a manner that savored little of their native purity and simplicity. They were drawn out by labored commentaries beyond the terms in which the divine wisdom had thought fit to reveal them; and were examined with that minuteness and subtility that were only proper to cover them with obscurity. And what was still worse, the theological notions that generally prevailed, were proved rather by the authorities and logical discussions of the ancient doctors, than by the unerring dictates of the divine word.— And again—this prodecure of the Roman tribunal—by which, the authority of certain lawyers—a pleurality of voices among them—or the sentiments of the more learned and illustrious, were made to decide the point in dispute—was, in this century, admitted as a standing law, both in the deliberations and councils, and in the management of religious controversy.—Reason, and even common sense, were, in some measure, excluded from every question; and that was determined as right and true, which appeared such to the greatest number, or had been approved by doctors of the greatest note in the preceding times. The acts of the various councils, yet extant, manifestly show that his was the case.”
It will readily be seen by the above extract, that men, and not the comforter as prohecied in John, governed the teachings of those who stood as watchmen, or shepherds, for the kingdom of our Lord. Lamentable is the fact, too, from this (5th) century down to the present nineteenth, that not one solitary sample of a better state, or more perfect unity, of the church can be found upon the pages of history: no; more division, more distraction, more persecution of one sect against another; more bloodshed; more folly; more pride, and less spirit; less veneration of sacred things; less brotherly love; less virtue; less temperance; less fruits of humility; and less charity, are visible in each succeeding year, in every country, throughout christendom.
Since the comforter left men, and pride and ambition have ruled the way wherein some have endeavored to enter into heaven, in a greater or less degree, wealth, and not a “pure heart” has swayed the destinies of what pretended to be the “church:”—and the prince of this world has spread his dominions in all the earth; and his wife, as the whore of Babylon, with the multiplicity of daughters playing the harlot among all nations, have left but a small chance for eight hundred millions of people to escape the curse pronounced by the prophet Malachi. Well may the Apostle James exclaim—
“Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire.— Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth; and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemed and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”
 
————
MORMONISM—, &c.
“Five feet nine inches high, with black eyes, black hair sprinkled with grey, dark complexion, and rather a thin face,—such, as nearly as we could judge by lamp light, was the aspect presented by this would be notable personage, the other evening, in Marlboro’ Chapel, . We hardly knew, after all, what to think of him and his purposes. His manner does not impress us, as that of one actuated by any very high and noble impulses. Yet, that all he is saying and doing is falsehood and forgery we are not at all inclined to think. That he read sundry documents that were genuine we have no manner of doubt. That his original instigation to what he is doing, is the purest in the world, we must confess we do not believe.— However, be his motives what they may, we [p. 955]
true answer. Men cannot, by the spirit of men, show the true way to heaven; the experience of every age plainly proves this. The religion of Jesus Christ, taught by himself, and practiced by his Apostles under the miraculous “power from on high,” began to loose its efficacy, power, simplicity, and glory that surpasseth understanding, when men, so far exceeded the heavenly rule as to use their own opinions, notions, and judgments, in preference to the revealed will of God. To elucidate this principle, we shall bring in a quotation from Mosheim, relative to the apostacy of the church in the fifth century, viz:
“The doctrines of religion were, at this time, understood and represented in a manner that savored little of their native purity and simplicity. They were drawn out by labored commentaries beyond the terms in which the divine wisdom had thought fit to reveal them; and were examined with that minuteness and subtility that were only proper to cover them with obscurity. And what was still worse, the theological notions that generally prevailed, were proved rather by the authorities and logical discussions of the ancient doctors, than by the unerring dictates of the divine word.— And again—this prodecure of the Roman tribunal—by which, the authority of certain lawyers—a pleurality of voices among them—or the sentiments of the more learned and illustrious, were made to decide the point in dispute—was, in this century, admitted as a standing law, both in the deliberations and councils, and in the management of religious controversy.—Reason, and even common sense, were, in some measure, excluded from every question; and that was determined as right and true, which appeared such to the greatest number, or had been approved by doctors of the greatest note in the preceding times. The acts of the various councils, yet extant, manifestly show that his was the case.”
It will readily be seen by the above extract, that men, and not the comforter as prohecied in John, governed the teachings of those who stood as watchmen, or shepherds, for the kingdom of our Lord. Lamentable is the fact, too, from this (5th) century down to the present nineteenth, that not one solitary sample of a better state, or more perfect unity, of the church can be found upon the pages of history: no; more division, more distraction, more persecution of one sect against another; more bloodshed; more folly; more pride, and less spirit; less veneration of sacred things; less brotherly love; less virtue; less temperance; less fruits of humility; and less charity, are visible in each succeeding year, in every country, throughout christendom.
Since the comforter left men, and pride and ambition have ruled the way wherein some have endeavored to enter into heaven, in a greater or less degree, wealth, and not a “pure heart” has swayed the destinies of what pretended to be the “church:”—and the prince of this world has spread his dominions in all the earth; and his wife, as the whore of Babylon, with the multiplicity of daughters playing the harlot among all nations, have left but a small chance for eight hundred millions of people to escape the curse pronounced by the prophet Malachi. Well may the Apostle James exclaim—
“Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire.— Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth; and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemed and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”
 
————
MORMONISM—, &c.
“Five feet nine inches high, with black eyes, black hair sprinkled with grey, dark complexion, and rather a thin face,—such, as nearly as we could judge by lamp light, was the aspect presented by this would be notable personage, the other evening, in Marlboro’ Chapel, . We hardly knew, after all, what to think of him and his purposes. His manner does not impress us, as that of one actuated by any very high and noble impulses. Yet, that all he is saying and doing is falsehood and forgery we are not at all inclined to think. That he read sundry documents that were genuine we have no manner of doubt. That his original instigation to what he is doing, is the purest in the world, we must confess we do not believe.— However, be his motives what they may, we [p. 955]
Page 955