Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub
[graphic]

omitted to quote the words of Mr. Maccalla. Did he not find, that at the commencement of the debate Mr. M. styled Mr. C. “our accuser," "our adversary," and the Baptists “our adversaries," and that he continued the use of these terms till requested by the president to use epithets less accrimonious. (p. 51.) Now a man may, during the heat of debate, let slip words of gall, but when he uses them as Mr. M. did, at the onset, it proves that either his temper or cause is

a bad one

Again: Why did not Mr. Mills in justice, not charity, to the Baptists, quote the opprobrious epithets of Mr. Maccalla, when pouring bis vials of wrath upon their historians. He divided them into eleven classes, one consisting of " dissemblers,” another of the "unfair” Mr. Mills, another of “liars," and the other classes, of individuals whose ability or morality was branded with contempt.

Mr. Mills also states that the various immersionist bodies manifested anger at his lecture.

Now we affirm, and can prove by facts, that no immersionists could be more bitter and wrathful respecting the lecture, than sprinklers have ever proved themselves when their views have been publicly controverted. The anger of which Mr. M. complains was in the instances which came to our knowledge, but the outburst of indignant yet honourable feelings. Mr. M. bad attacked the views of Immersionists with great zeal, and yet refused to be interrogated, and to defend his assertions. Those therefore who had those views, considered themselves unjustly treated, and pronounced his conduct unmanly and cowardly.

We shall not impune the author's motives, but yet consider that it is dishonourable to attempt, by such insinuatious, to obtain the reader's sympathy. Such a procedure is indeed a fine specimen of worldly wisdom, but has no relation to :hat which is from above. This is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without PARTIALITY, and without hypocrisy." -James v.

Having thus animadverted on his introductory remarks, we shall proceed to examine the strength of his first proposition. This is

“IF IT COULD BE PROVED THAT WE

ARE WRONG IN THE FORM, WE ARE

BIGHT IN THE SPIRIT OF OBEDIENCE.

The author makes a few remarks explanatory of this proposition, and then draws the conclusion, “ Since then God will uot condemn us, why should our brethren ?" But it is indeed illogical to draw this conclusion from that proposition. It neither embodies nor warrants such an inference. There is another proposition which the author has not stated, much less attempted to prove, which ought first to have been stated and proved, before that proposition had been expressed and the conclusion drawn. It is this, that “the observance

[graphic]

Now the Saviour laid as much stress upon worshipping God in truth, as he did in spirit. If, then, it be necessary to obey both these principles in order to be constituted true worshippers, it follows that no man can claim that honoured character if he only obey one.

It is possible to obey in truth, and not in spirit ; and those who thus serve God, are said to have “the form of godliness, but to deny the power.” Such obedience is unacceptable to Jehovah ; and so likewise must that be which is performed in spirit and not iu truth. Now a man is in a condemned condition if he do not serve God in spirit, because he has given him the power of thus obeying his Maker. God has furnished him with means by which he can centre his faculties and affections upon Deity. These means are motives which urge, and capabilities enabling him, thus to act. Now, as God is just and merciful, he would not require that man should serve him in truth as imperatively as he demands that he should serve him in spirit, if he had not blest him with the means of thus obeying him. These means consist in a full revelation of truth, and the power of understanding and obeying it. Hence, therefore, the truth in all its commands and institutions, must be so plainly revealed, that man may fully comprehend its meaning. God, therefore, is just in demanding an obedience in spirit and in truth, having blest us with capabilites equally as efficient for serving him in one as in the other essential. Mr. Mills says,

“We certainly maintain and enforce the obligation to be baptized with water, and we therefore constantly observe the ordinance; but we deem the baptism of the soul by the Holy Spirit, to be of much greater importance. Christianity looks much more to the spirit of obedience, than to our formal compliance with certain rities, which men define more precisely anil authoritatively than the Holy Scriptures"

From the above remarks the reader will perceive that this asseris contrary to the Word of God.

And, again : If the Holy Spirit has not precisely and authoritatively defined the rites of Christianity, then men are excusable for disagreeing respecting them, and for separating into sects. This is, therefore, representing God as the author of confusion. But Paul pronounced the Corinthians to be "carnal" because they were divided into sects, and affirms that “God was not the author of confusion, but of peace." Every principle of Christianity must therefore be fully and clearly defined.

We shall resume the subject, (d.v.) next month. EDITOR.

SKETCH OF THE RISE, PROGRESS, AND DISPERSION

OF THE MORMONS, By John THOMAS, M. D., President of the S. and E. Medical College of Virginia, United States of America; to which is added an Account of the Nauvoo TEMPLE

[graphic]

MYSTERIES, and other abominations practised by the Mormons previous to their emigration to California. By INCREASE MO GEE VAN DUSEN; formerly one of the Initiated. London, Hall & Co., Paternoster Row; Edinburgh, A. Muirhead; Nottingham, H. Hudston.

This tract is very acceptable at this time, when Mormonism is beguiling the souls of the unwary. The origin and conduct of this sect are narrated in a plain and concise manner. The style of the Doctor is tinged with the ludicrous and ironic: it is not a mode of writing we admire, but many causes have urged the Doctor into its use, and made it excuseable. He is well acquainted with the characters, actions, and designs of the originators of the sect, and knows that they have not been cast in the mould of Christianity. He has witnessed the progress of the sect, and can declare that its march has not been the march of intellect, morality, or pure religion —but of anarchy, and every evil principle. Hence he is at once qualified to write the sketch.

We give the following extracts :At first, like the fictions of Mabommed, the contemptible absurdities of Joe Smith's book found but few gullible, or knaves enough in his particular craft, to pretend to believe them. They made but little noise at first, but in process of time a man went over to them, named Sydney Rigdon. This person was once a Baptist preacher, but leaving this denomination, he connected himself very intimately with Mr. Alexander Campbell of Bethany, Brooke Co., Virginia. While associated with him, he made himself perfectly acquainted with his views; and was quite a popular advocate of them. For some reason he separated from Mr. Campbell, and joined Joe Smith and his company. Joe's Book was their confession of faith, which, however was but charily used in the beginning. Like others of this class, be professed to respect the Bible and to preach it; but the new creed, with the collateral revelations invented to suit the occasion, were the real " rule of faith and practice” in the case. I have seen a hand-book of Joe's revelations, which is found chiefly in the possession of the initiated. It was in the hands of a Mormon elder, fresh from Nauvoo that I saw it, while I was residing in Illinois. Joe Smith came out publicly as & prophet, and Sydney Rigdon the advocate of the imposture. They did not preach from Joe's Book, but read a chapter in the Bible, and then discoursed in the words and sentiments of Mr. Campbell. In those days, he advocated the premillennial advent of Jesus in power and great glory in 1847 ; and proclaimed baptism for the remission of sins. Accordingly, Sidney Rigdon and his coadjutors made these things conspicuous in their preachings. But, the Advent, and Baptism for Remission, are no part of the original traditions of Joe Smith's book; they were merely grafted upon them, and presented in the foreground as bait to catch the unwary. When they had made Campbellites of them in effect, they were then introduced to “the Mysteries" which were reserved for the initiated, and they were converted into Mormons. They obtain the name from this cause. They received the Book of Mormon as a revelation from God and Joe Smith as his prophet, and therefore received the name of Mormons.

I have heard a very fair discourse from one of their Nauvoo elders, on Eph iv. 7-12, in which no Mormonism could be detected until near the end. “You must be,” said he," baptized for the remission of your sins; but your

« FöregåendeFortsätt »