Statistics–Mormonism

1835-04-18

Evangelical Magazine G., A. B.

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“Statistics.—Mormonism.” Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate (Utica, New York)6, no. 16 (18 April 1835): 126.

STATISTICS.—MORMONISM.

TO CORRESPONEDENTS.—An esteemed brother in Steuben county requests us to publish a statistical table, giving at one view the whole number of Universalist Conventions, Associations, churches and societies, preachers, meeting-houses, periodicals and subscribers to each, and members of societies in each State. He is informed that we are but little (if any) better off for materials to compile such a table than he is, and have, perhaps, less time to arrange what we have. If he, or any other, will make out such a list, we will cheerfully add what we can and publish it. But it will require the labor of years, and much more care among our societies than now exists, to furnish any thing like a correct list, and keep up that correctness. The labors of the United States Universalist Historical Society will exert a beneficial effect on this subject— probably its meeting in September next, may furnish us with some statistical information.

We are also informed that a Mormon preacher quoted Jer. 1, and Genesis xlix: 22−27, in proof of his doctrine, and our opinion is gravely asked respecting the 24th verse of the latter passage. I will be explicit on both passages. In prophetic language, proper names, as Edom, Egypt, Babylon, &c., may be used to mean something else—but in no other case. The introduction to the prophecy here referred to, is not prophetical language—it is plain matter of history—yet it expressly declares it to be a prophecy against Babylon. The close of the prophecy is in similar language, and makes a similar declaration, intimating that those then living would see it fulfilled. See chap. li. this view is confirmed by history. Babylon was rapidly rising in glory and power at the time Jeremiah and Ezekiel prophesied. In forty years afterward Cyrus, the Medo-Persian power from the North, laid her low before his conquering arms. Here, then, there can be but one opinion. Jer. l and li, are but one prophecy—the burden, of Babylon—the event, its conquest by Cyrus, and the deliverance of the Jews after seventy years captivity.

As to the blessing of Jacob on Joseph, Gen. xlix: 22−27, “from thence” in the 24th verse, may by supposed to refer to some other (but it is extremely doubtful) than “the mighty of Jacob.”

I omit the supplied words. No genealogy of Christ can be traced to Joseph, that I know of. But is our friend certain that “the shepherd, the stone of Israel” means either Christ, (or a greater than he, as Jo. Smith would have his followers believe)? Christ is called “the Rock,” but this passage merely says “the stone of Israel!” It may mean Christ—(but the title does not denote a greater than Christ—) and it may mean “Joshua, the son of Nun,” the lineal descendant of the partriarch Joseph. He was the “Saviour of Israel,” and a very important personage in Jewish history. When it is remembered that Ephraim, the Son of Joseph, was the founder of a tribe that ultimately formed nearly the whole of the kingdom of Israel, the rest of the passage is easily understood.

In conclusion—for I have wasted more words on this subject than it deserves—when the close of “the fulness of the times,” which is the dispensation of Christ, can be proved to be past and finished, (1Cor. xv,) and when Jo. Smith’s lineage can be traced directly up to the patriarch Joseph, the Governor of Egypt (!), I will be willing to look for a “Jo. Smith dispensation,” when “Mormonism shall be all in all”—but not sooner. A. B. G.

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