Mormonism Unmasked

1840

Philanthropist of Chester County Philanthropist of Chester County

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Philanthropist of Chester County. Mormonism Unmasked, Showed to be an Impious Imposture, and Mr. Bennett’s Reply Answered and Refuted, 2–24. Philadelphia: T. K. & P. G. Collins, 1840.

MORMONISM UNMASKED,

SHOWED TO BE AN IMPIOUS IMPOSTURE,

AND MR. BENNETT’S REPLY ANSWERED AND REFUTED.

BY A PHILANTHROPIST OF CHESTER COUNTY.

PHILADELPHIA:

T. K. & P. G. COLLINS, PRINTERS,

No. 1 Lodge Alley,

———

1840.

IT is not because I considered Mr. Bennett’s Reply worthy of an answer, that I have undertaken to write again on the subject of Mormonism; nor is it, that I suppose I can by Scripture and ratiocination, produce acknowledged conviction in the Mormons, for they appear to have got far beyond the reach of the influence of reason and Scriptural argumentation; but it is in order more fully to acquaint the public with their ridiculous and astounding errors, blasphemies and wickedness.

A PHILANTHROPIST. [2]

MORMONISM UNMASKED,

AND

MR. BENNETT’S REPLY, ANSWERED AND REFUTED,

__________________

SOME time since, a tract was written by a Philanthropist of Chester County, being an impartial exhibition of the errors of Mormonism, as preached by their demagogues, in order to guard persons of honest and upright intentions, against the delusive enormities of this infatuated sect: since which time, a tract has been published, styled a Reply to the aforesaid tract, by S. Bennett, in which his intention is, as he in the title declares, to disabuse the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, of the slanders and falsehoods which he has attempted to fasten upon it. Perhaps, it might not be improper, to tell Mr. Bennett that the Church of Jesus Christ,* does not need such a mass of falsehood and slander as his tract contains, to undeceive it, and rescue it

*Mr. Bennett should here have said the church of Jo. Smith; for if Christ’s priesthood and covenant are abolished, and Smith’s established; then the Mormons should not use his name to deceive the unwary. from its mistakes as he imagines. For if this sect constitutes the church, and if it has the true priesthood, apostolical doctrine and only genuine form of worship, then to disabuse it certainly cannot be considered necessary. This is one proof among many, of the knowledge of unknown tongues, which the Mormon demagogues profess to have. That the Mormons have been slandered in said tract, is absolutely untrue. We can bring a number of respectable witnesses, if required, to testify to the truth of what has been said. It is so far from being true that they have been slandered, that but a part of the truth of their pernicious doctrines has been told. We are now, not only prepared to substantiate what has already been said, but to exhibit more fully a picture of their doctrines. I presume when the character of Mormonism is taken into consideration, that I will not be deemed unjustifiably severe by the public, in portraying it, when using in some places severe terms; since it is rather doubtful, whether language can furnish words too strong, to give adequate ideas of it. Three particular traits in the Mormon character, are slander, [3] imposture, and lying on every occasion, where it is judged convenient to screen them, and cover their errors. Prompted by a spirit of gall and wormwoo, malignant as that of a demon, and accompanied with the impudence of fiends, their intention seems to be, to prostrate Scripture, reason, truth, religion, and all authority except their own. The following lines, will perhaps, pretty appropriately describe the spirit of Mormonism.

A poisonous morsel in her teeth she chew’d, And gorg’d the flesh of vipers for her food, Which virtue loathing turn’d away her eye; The hideous monster rising heavily,

Came stalking forward with a sullen pace, And left her mangled offals on the place!

Soon as she saw the truth, in robes of light, She fetch’d a groan at such a cheerful sight.

Her looks were meagre, and her darkened eye, In foul distorted glances, turned awry;

A hoard of gall her inward parts possessed, And spread her greenness o’er her canker’d breast; Her teeth were brown with rust, and from her tongue In dangling drops, the stringy poison hung.

Watchful in spite, and restless to destroy, She pines and sickens at all others’ joy.

See MATTHEW xxiii, 15—33; and ROMANS iii, 13.

The Mormons essay to identify the opposition manifested against their pernicious doctrines, with the persecutions of the Christians, and thus they would insinuate that, because the community is not disposed to swallow their filthy stuff, and that because it is met with deserved censure and abhorrence, they are persecuted. That the Mormons are persecuted for righteousness’ sake no one will believe, who knows what righteousness is. And if they are blessed who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, surely they are cursed who are persecuted for wickedness sake. As well might a thief, or a murderer, who having been prosecuted, arrested, and confined in prison, attempt to justify his crime by asserting he was persecuted, as for the Mormons to attempt to cover up their turpitude, under the hypocritical outcry of persecution, persecution! Now let all who have any reverence for God, any esteem for the Scripture, any desire for salvation, and to escape the wrath to come; beware of the leaven of Mormonism, for it is tenfold worse than hypocrisy.

Mr. Bennett affirms, “That any one who has the slightest acquaintance with American antiquities, or Indian traditions, will find abundant evidence to establish the fact,” i. e., of the genuineness of the golden plates or Mormon Bible; and says, for confirmation of what he affirms, “See Priest’s American Antiquities, and A. Davis on the discovery of America by the Northmen.” A thousand opinions, sir, concerning the aborigines [4] of this country, is no proof of the truth of this book. And he who considers opinion sufficient to constitute a revelation, especially, when there is nothing in that opinion to that effect, may no doubt, find revelations in number as the sands of the sea.—Let those who wish to see, what abundant Mormon evidence amounts to, read the books mentioned above. This is one proof among many of Mormon veracity. If I was disposed to tell one of the most ridiculous falsehoods I could invent, I do not know how I could better accomplish my purpose, than by making such unwarrantable assertions as the above. To show how discordant the Mormons are in their testimony, I will mention one instance which I know. Mr. D. in a discourse at the Westnantmeal Seminary affirmed, “That when the golden plates were discovered, they were taken to professor Anthony, of New York, and he could make but little out of them; they were then taken to a man in Albany, but he could not even so much as make out a word of them. Then Mormon was endued with the gift of the interpretation of tongues, and translated the whole of them; according to which, Mormon must have lived since the discovery of the golden plates. Pratt in his Warning Voice, says that, “Mormon was a general in the army of the Niphites, about A. D. 450, and that he collected the prophecies of the Niphites, and concealed them in Cumora, to prevent their destruction by the Lemonites,” or in words to this effect: from which, the necessity of liars having good memories is obvious. But, perhaps, Mr. Davis then, had not read Pratt’s Warning Voice, and of course he must give some account to satisfy curiosity when required. The absurdity of supposing the Lemonites should intend the destruction of their own Scripture, I leave for Mr. Bennett to account for.

The Mormons affirm, “That the present Indians, are a part of the half tribe of Joseph, and that they sailed to this country across the Atlantic Ocean; being furnished with a compass by the hand of God.” We must of course presume that they were furnished also with a knowledge of navigation, reading, writing, &c. It is now nearly 350 years since this country was discovered; during which time, the Indians have had communication with English, French, Spanish, Dutch, &c., from whom they have procured guns, swords, axes, coins, &c. Some of these articles being lost long since, and recently found, are no doubt judged to be the work of the aborigines. But are there not mounds, forts, and the remains of towns, that show that the inhabitants of this country were once acquainted with the arts and sciences? I answer that these remains will not prove any greater degree of perfection in the arts, than that which was exhibited among the Mexicans, when first visited by the Spanish. No remains of antiquity, which can be proved to be the work of the inhabitants of this country, previous to its discovery, will constitute even so much as a shadow of proof, that the sciences of [5] reading and writing, much less, that of navigation and compasses were ever known here. The Israelites, so far as we are acquainted with their history, were versed in the arts and sciences: emigrating to this country (passing by the difficulties, attending their emancipation and marching in a body, through barbarous nations of people:) they would of course, not leave their useful knowledge behind them. We may reasonably presume, they would bring along with them the Scripture of the Old Testament; and by consequence, they would avoid the necessity of the Mormons counterfeiting a bible for them. Besides, as the Mormons tell us, that Jesus Christ was among the Indians here, and preached to them at the same time that he was among the Jews, they must have known something of the New Testament, of Christ’s mission into the world however. If I mistake not, I marked an account of seventeen great cities, which Pratt says existed in this country, and were destroyed in the 34th year. At which time, he says, the darkness was so great, that fire could not be kindled with fine dry wood. Every person who knows any thing of philosophy, knows that life cannot continue where fire will not burn. This must have been an age of miracles, like the present. However, we will now suppose, that about A. D. 450, this country had a vast multitude of Ephraimites in it, and that they had great cities, all kinds of tradesmen, and the sciences of navigation, reading, writing, arithmetic, and consequently the Scripture, particularly the Mormon Bible, and of course a multitude of other books. Why did not the Lemonites preserve a few of their books, at least a few copies of their Scripture, if not for their own instruction, to satisfy the Mormons of its truth. When did they agree to forget themselves? to forget who they were? When did they purpose to destroy their Scripture and all their other books? their schools, furnaces, forges, smiths, carpenters, masons, &c.? Would it not be impossible, to persuade us to destroy our manufactories, tradesmen, Scripture, books, schools, farmers, ploughs, harrows, wagons, axes, &c., &c., &c., and rush into a state of profound ignorance of every useful art and science of even ourselves? O says a Mormon advocate, Alexander Selkirk was in the Island of Juan Fernandez till he nearly forgot his language. I suppose it is hardly necessary to observe, that Selkirk was alone in this island, remote from books, and all means of improvement, and preservation of his acquirements; not so with the Ephraimites here; they were in society, and had every inducement and means to preserve their knowledge. Now Mr. Bennett, tell us how the Ephraimites acquired a knowledge of the Reformed Egyptian language? And why were the golden plates engraved in this language for Israelites? This is Mormon miracle all over, what astonishing believers the Mormons are!

Mr. Bennett in his Reply, says, “The authenticity of the book of Mormon rests exactly upon the same foundation, that [6] the communications of the Almighty to the human family, ever have rested in any age of the world, viz: the testimony of men of honesty and veracity.”

Whoever reflects upon the manner in which the Mormon bible was got up, will be convinced how much veracity there is in this fallacious assertion. The Mormon Bible was transformed, and got up altogether in the dark, represented indeed, as being accompanied with a multitude of miracles, but such as none but Mormons ever saw. In a word all the marks of imposture cluster round this criminal work of darkness. This abominable falsehood, is yet more evident, if we advert to the manner in which the law and gospel were given. See the 19th chapter of Exodus.

Here, in the presence of 600,000 men, besides women and children, there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, the voice of a trumpet exceeding loud, so that all the people in the camp trembled. Mount Sinai altogether in a smoke; the smoke ascending as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. There had been miracles achieved; stupendous, public and numerous; not such as no one ever saw. Ten of which had been performed in Egypt, and were witnessed by both Israelites and Egyptians. The red sea had been divided, and the cloudy pillar by day, and fiery pillar by night had gone before the whole congregation. The gospel also had preceded, accompanied, and succeeded by miracles, public, mighty and numerous. In the words of the gospel by Matthew, xv, 30—And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them; insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they SAW the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see. The dead were raised, the sun was darkened, the earth quaked, the rocks rent, and the graves opened: such mighty miracles has God been pleased, because he saw them proper to achieve upon the giving of the law and gospel, to authenticate them, neither of which dispensations, was to be increased or diminished. Now, Mr. Bennett, where is the authenticity for your Mormon bible? I unhestitatingly affirm that it has not a particle of it; and moreover, that by the introduction of your spurious bible, unauthenticated by any divine attestations, which you are attempting to palm on the world for revelation, you incur the terrible penalty denounced against impostors—Rev. xxii, 18, “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. The testimony of men, however honest they may be, is insufficient of itself to establish a revelation from God. To prove and establish, and show to the world its divine origin, authority and obligations, it must be accompanied by the achievement of works, public and seen, above all human and magical powers; such works as I have already showed, both Mosaic and Christian dispensations were accompanied with.— [7] And whoever essays to bring up revelations without such accompaniments, should be regarded, and in justice is regarded, as a criminal impostor, undeserving any credit, dangerous to the welfare of the community, and exposed to the punishment of hellfire. I have already given an example or two, to show how much the Mormons regard veracity, and before the conclusion of this work, I shall give many more. Perhaps, a little raillery here, may not be judged misplaced, particularly when we consider, that to “Answer a fool according to his folly,” is a Scriptural precept.

Beyond the bounds of truth and sense,

In dreams and smoke, and darkness dense,

We’ve travelled for a game;

Where ghosts and goblins stalk abroad,

And where there is a carnal God,

To magnify our name.

We’ll sport along, and gladly look,

To Spaulding’s Indian Mormon book,

Reveal’d to big Jo. Smith;

His handy craft, he’ll to us tell,

Which will our gloomy fears dispel;

We’ll glory in his pith.*

In hope of that great airy town,

In which we shortly shall sit down,

And lovely misses gain;

No human laws will then be found,

Which to our pleasures raise a mound;

They’ll bear without a pain.

We’ll sound the tidings, and we’ll tell To them whom we shut up in hell,

Enlighten’d by the flames;

Although surrounded by the smoke,

Which sometimes may our lingo choke,

We’ll wash away their stains.

*Strength, of which Smith boasted considerably.

We’ll give them signs and dreams enough,

And tales and stories of all stuff,

Which we have never seen;

And let the work their own faith do,

Or be undone ‘tis very true,

We’ve mighty power we mean.

There’s none but we, that’s right, we guess; We are the only ones that bless,

These fourteen hundred years;

You must believe, repent and turn To Mormon faith, or on you’ll burn,

In nothing more than fears. [8]

Shall we have here in our enlightened country, a Mahomet and Koran? Let those who would be convinced of the effects of countenancing imposture, read an account of the state of those countries, wherein Mahometanism has prevailed, and I presume, they will not be much disposed to favor, or put their necks under the fell yoke of Mormonism, which if unshackled, perhaps, would be many degrees the worse of the two. . . . [9] . . .

I received from a friend, the testimony of two persons of Susquehannah county, given January 27th, 1840, viz: Ichabod Buck, and Nathaniel Banker, who declare upon oath, that they were acquainted with J. Smith, and that he commenced his Mormonism about four miles from the residence of said Ichabod Buck. That said J. Smith seduced Mr. Isaac Hale’s daughter, and ran away with her into the [23] State of New Yord; that in the opinion of all intelligent person, so far as they are acquainted, Smith is an impostor of the blackest kind; and that he was a cunning designing knave, whose moral character was bad in all respects; and that with most of his followers, the delusion has altogether subsided in this county, where it started. The deposition of Mr. Banker adds, that the Mormon testimony, in one of their bibles, which he then had before him, affirms that the golden plates, with their engraving, were brought by an angel, and laid before the eyes of Smith and eleven more, and that said Smith translated them.* Sworn and subscribed before SAMUEL W. TRUESDELL.

*Pratt, in his Warning Voice, says the golden plates were dug out of, or found in, a hill in the State of New York, originally called Cumora; see page 3.

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