Supplement to an Antidote to Mormonism, &c

1839

M'Chesney, James M'Chesney, James

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M’Chesney, James. Supplement to an Antidote to Mormonism, &c. , 1–4. Brooklyn,1839.

SUPPLEMENT TO AN ANTIDOTE TO MORMONISM, &c.

BY JAMES M’CHESNEY.

One year has nearly passed away since the above named publication was laid before this community. The author, after calmly examining it, during this period, finds no cause to alter his opinion in the least point; but believes that those remarks will be abundantly able to carry themselves through.

Our attention has been arrested lately by a new movement of this influence, one which we have heretofore anticipated, and appears better calculated to prove successful in the present state of society, than all the great mysteries, signs, wonders or miracles, this Mormon spirit can get up. We always thought if they could find way to the blind sympathies of an imprudent people, their case would be measurably safe. Like Mahometanism, and every other delusion, its foundation is hatred to virtue; consequently it matters not how their ends are accomplished, if they can gain this point. This move by them is to raise money through an excited sympathy for the widows and orphans of those who fell in the conflict with the State of Missouri. But how many, we would ask, can there possibly be of such destitutes, and how much money will it require to supply their wants, and is there no other suffering objects in these new States, in as deplorable and destitute condition from fevers, agues, &c. who are left to suffer in silence? I found in my travels, while in some of those parts a year ago, many objects of pity of this kind. But this raising money accomplishes two things. While it gives them that which is the strength and power of this fallen world, it also steals insensibly on the minds of an unguarded people, and half Mormonises them before they are aware of it. It gains their agency and influence, and sways a control over their minds of which they may be insensible. Smith has it in one of his revelations, that “By this (money-giving) you may know my disciples.

We have often thought that this Mormon influence was the hardest one for its dupes to obtain liberty from, when once under its dominion, of any other we have ever heard of. If they are brought to see their deluded state, this can accomplish nothing; for shame and pride acting on their polluted minds, in view of the height of presumption to which they have run, drives them back with a full determination to make it right whether or no, while they console themselves with the thought that it is good as many others. We have been almost constrained sometimes to think that this delusion was of a character (considering the present light with which mankind are blessed) bordering on the sin against the Holy Ghost, when [1] it runs full length of this presumption in the mind of a man. Our hopes for the restoration of such a one has become in some measure feeble. We have heard of but few cases of the kind; two of which were, one at Sing Sing Camp-meeting, the other last winter, in Washington-street Church, both weak females, who could have been but a little way initiated into the mysteries of this delusion. These are serious thoughts, it must be confessed, and of deep importance, and with which we desire to move very cautiously.

But this money-movement is one of great extent, (almost as great as the “Centenary collections, ”) according to their influence. Not only in one or two places, but all over the country, we find those men employed wherever they can find access; and we 1 understand in England, too, and where else we know not; and for what? to build this Zion? O, no; but for orphans and widows, as before mentioned. Money, money! for the distressed women and children, is the grand plea.

A few evenings ago, a meeting was held for this purpose in New York, by a person from Missouri, said to have recommendations from the Governor and a member of the legislature. As to this we know nothing about it. We find by some of the papers of the day, a certain D. M. Reese and W. L. Stone, Esq. an editor of one of the popular journals of our city, addressing this meeting. Well, may be their tender sympathising souls are always ready to every good word and work that stands first on the list of public notoriety.

But for the sake of shortening our remarks, let us admit every thing that is or can be said in their behalf to excite sympathy, and ask them if their own folly and madness has not been the grand cause of it all, and if it is not the natural consequence of the course they have taken? True, they are objects of pity, but our pity should never be exercised so as to add sorrow to grief. They have received, no doubt, barbarous treatment; but from whom? Why, those as bad, equally so, as themselves. Mormons altogether performing the work allotted them on both sides, by him who is their master. When we examine the foundation of this modern speculation, a more barefaced humbug, we suppose, history cannot point out. We find it to be the Book of Mormon, with certain other assumed revelations, entitled “Doctrines and Covenants, ” and sanctioned by them as the voice of God, being delivered to them at such times as suited the demands of Smith and his companions in this plot, who pretend to more knowledge than any other beings we have ever heard of on earth. At a certain time, (they say,) while lifting up their hearts with one accord in prayer, “Saw all things even before the world was.

This book of Mormon, according to their own account, was found in 1827, in Ontario county, in this State, in a hill which was called, “Cumora, ” which deposit was made in the year 420, by Morina, one of the sons of Mormon, (it was engraved on gold plates in characters which are now dead to the knowledge of the world,) and “was brought to light by no less than the ministry of angels, and translated by inspiration.” It is said to be an abridgement of the laws of the ancient inhabitants of this country, a branch of Israel, of the tribe of Joseph, of which our Indians are a part, and was thus miraculously brought to light, to restore them to the knowledge of their fathers, and the means of the destruction of their enemies, (all the Gentiles except Mormons,) who together are to possess this land with all its wealth.

This translation was made by Joseph Smith, Jr., it is said, while this book was hid in the woods, part of the time, where he could see as well to translate as if he had it by him—by means of an enchanted stone placed [2] in a hat put over his face, as we have been informed he done formerly in fortune-telling, &c. They profess to work miracles speak with tongues, prophesy, discern spirits, and possess every gift and power of the Holy Ghost, and to be the “only living and true church on earth, ” all others to be immediately destroyed, without mercy, and they alone remain supreme rulers of all things. Thus we see them with such maddening views, leaving Palmyra, in this State, where they took their rise, and passing into other parts, trouble seems to have followed in their walks till they located in Kirtland, Ohio, Temple and all; where they commence banking, like other modern speculators: then again we see them leaving this place, while their worthless notes are afloat all over the country,—they land in Missouri, another land 2 of promise, where “Zion must be obtained by purchase or by blood, ” and the “city of the Far West” become the home of those favored ones, by another new revelation, which Smith and his associates have always at hand.

This section of country not being brought into market by government, was settled by squatters, who in those parts form laws among themselves and appoint commissioners to see to their proper observation, and unite together to support each other in what they consider their legal claims. By this means, the lands which they have taken up they can sell at anytime, and what is called a squatter’s title be given by those commissioners.

Thus I found it in those new countries. Here the Mormons settled and began to occupy waste lands, and to build their city, and were kindly received, and all things appeared to go on peaceably, till Sidney Rigdon, on the 4th of July, 1838, delivered a large address to his brethren in this celebrated city, which was published in hand bills and distributed through some of those counties, containing the essence, if not treason itself. Next we hear of them encroaching on the rights of their neighboring squatters, from which trouble arises; the Mormons being already a combination, call for a union of effort by the other party. Soon the whole county is in agitation. Next we see Smith equipping his forces and preparing his city for war, consisting of 2,000 fighting men; while the doctrine is advanced by them, “That the gentiles are obliged to supply the chosen with all things needful,” or in some such words. Thus things went on from bad to worse, till the whole State becomes alarmed, and general hostility seems to appear on both sides. Gov. Boggs now sends an army of 3,000 men, commanded by Gen. Atchison, which puts a stop to those grand arrangements at once. Here he finds 700 men under arms, well entrenched and prepared for war. Would any one suppose that if but 500 men were only sent, that they would have found in that case no more resistance, and that a flag of truce would have been raised, and six men offer themselves as hostages? No; surely not. Or why did they thus prepare for war, if their intentions were peace? It is possible these poor men thought the time was come, according to their notion, that they should obtain this country as their kingdom. You have no doubt heard their peculiar method of fighting in those battles;—as soon as any move was made in this spot to victory, the whole united influence in every other part would “break forth like a lion among a flock of sheep, ” and saturate the earth with opposing blood, utterly destroying the “Gentiles’ strong holds” and all, and take complete possession of every thing. The Church of Christ may yet be hunted like partridges on the mountain in this country, by this foul influence, (for it has every appearance of such a scourge,) if we do not wake up and turn with our whole heart to that God we have so long neglected, (the sure way, the only way to subdue them finally, ) who so long with other lovers have been playing the harlot. [3]

Give them money, influence and men, and then see what could be done. How many are there who now occupy high stations in society, “the fallow ground of whose hearts have never yet been ploughed up” thoroughly, that would not only fill their ranks as speakers in charitable meetings, or newspaper trumpeters, but would wholly engage in this foul plot against virtue and truth. Is there not many such, who know not nor ever think what manner of spirit they are of, or the motives that force them to action, (our remarks are general; we detest personality if it can be avoided.) But we have no doubt that the wheels of virtue are clogged, and society is burthened in every department with such; and if we could reach the mainspring of their actions, and critically examine it, we would find it of a very impure composition, such as desire of popular notice, gain, or 3 some others as bad, or all the filthiness of an unrenewed heart, composing the foundation of their mind, so that any excuse would be sufficient if only plausible, for them to aid, or start the foul car of the most deplorable influence, although loaded with death and destruction, if it could only be able to produce the desires of an impure heart.

But shall a nation be thus blinded by such an influence, which uses every means to make inroads upon them, and that with one of the greatest humbugs ever offered to any people, (being called, as we are, to the highest state of virtue, freely,) and be duped by the innocent “Fox-like appearance when caught in a trap, ” which if but once was loose again, would not spare a chicken if it came in his reach, no more than before.

In travelling through various parts of the country we hear of and find them preaching any thing to suit the people or the peculiar disposition of the community; where bigoted fanatics bear control, they will have it that even if they chew tobacco, or any such thing, the Holy Ghost will not stay with them. At another place, they will not only countenance this, but the sale and use of rum also. Again, their baptism is all and in all! Every one must be damned without reserve, and hell prove their portion, if they are not baptized by them. At any other place this is passed over in silence. Again you find them denying their Mormon name for that of Latter Day Saints, and often denying the “Golden Bible,” and pretending the utmost regard for Divine Revelation, (our blessed Bible,) as the only thing they take for the man of their counsel, keeping those presumptuous revelations on the back ground which they style “the fulness of the gospel.” At other places you find them hand in hand with open infidelity, consigning Christianity by wholesale to ruin. Such is the nature of that influence with which we have to do. Always at home where Mormon supremacy is acknowledged. Any thing will then answer the purpose. It is only the heart’s blood of virtue that it seeks after.

We are sorry that our space is so limited; but it is all that we can afford the public at this time. It would no doubt be desirable to communicate more on this subject, and be more explicit on what has been said; but, we must leave it till in the course of providence the way may be opened.

Brooklyn, Oct. 3, 1839.

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