Sectarian Folly and Wickedness Made Manifest

1841-07

Millennial Star Adams, George J.

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Adams, George J. “Sectarian Folly and Wickedness Made Manifest. Northampton, 22 June, 1841.” Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star (Manchester, England) 2, no. 3 (July 1841):33–37.

-SEECTARIAN FOLLY AND WICKEDNESS MADE MANIFEST.

Northampton, 22 June, 1841.

Elder Pratt Highly esteemed Brother in Christ,—Having a few leisure moments of time, I cheerfully sit down to communicate to you a short account of my travels and labours since I left Manchester. You will doubtless recollect I left immediately after the conference in company with our beloved brother Elder Snow; we travelled together until we arrived in Birmingham, and there brother Snow left me, and proceeded on his way to London.

I remained in Birmingham about ten days; while there, I preached eleven times, and there were three baptised: a number of others were believing, and I have no doubt but the time is nigh when a great work will be accomplished in that place.

On Monday, the 19th of April, I left Birmingham for Bedford, where I arrived the following day; I was kindly received by the bretheren there, and in the evening I met with the saints in the room which they had to preach in.

At the close of the meeting I spoke about fifteen minutes and bore testimony to the great work of God in these last days; I then gave out that I should preach on Thursday evening, and dismissed the people.

Previous to this time, the congregations in Bedford had been very small; few attended but the saints, and these did not exceed thirty in number.

However on Thursday evening a number of strangers came out to hear; the report having gone through the town that a man from America was going to preach. I spoke on the first principles of the gospel: the people listened with great attention, and at the close of the meeting I published preaching for the following Sabbath.

Most of the people that were present on the Thursday evening came to hear again on the Sabbath, bringing many of their friends along with them; in fact the report had spread so, that in the evening the room was filled to overflowing.

Many were pricked in their hearts, a number believed, and during the week several came forward and were baptised. The place was then too small to hold the people who wished to hear; and before the next sabbath we engaged Mr. Mayle’s large room, and sent a notice to the branch of the church at Honeydon which then consisted of about fifteen or eighteen members. [33]

Honeydon is a village about nine miles from Bedford, it is the place were brother Joseph Fielding was born, and he was the first Elder that preached the fulness of the gospel to the people in that place. While he was with them last winter he baptised two, and sowed the seed that has now sprung up in many hearts.

Agreeably to appointment which had been made, I preached on the sabbath in Mr. Mayle’s large room, which was completely filled with the people from Honydon and those from Bedford. In the morning I preached on the new covenant, and the people received my testimony with apparent joy. In the afternoon thirteen that had been baptised were confirmed by the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, &c.

Six were called by the spirit of prophecy, and ordained to the office of Priest to preach the gospel in the region round about Bedford.

Now my dear brother the above proved to be too strong meat for the people of Bedford: for it set the whole town, or at least the people of the town, in commotion. The sectarian priests began to cry delusion—deceivers—false prophets, &c. &c.

They said this was the way the Lord use to work in the days of Apostles when men were inspired;—and they knew there were no Apostles or inspired men in these days; for they said they were all done away, and not at all needed in this enlightened age, when religion is so fashionable, and there are so many colleges, &c. &c.

They seemed to think that a prophet or an Apostle should be something different from any body else, and should pull a longer face.

But the more they cried delusion, and railed against us, the more the honest in heart wanted to hear the truth. Mr. Mayle’s room was now too small to hold the people,—and we engaged the new brick rooms, Castle Hill, that will hold about a thousand people.

On the Thursday evening after the above named sabbath, I commenced lecturing in the said rooms; the first evening every thing went on well, but on the second evening, which was the following Tuesday, when I had got about half through my lecture, there commenced and was carried on the two following evenings, such scenes as I had never before witnessed:—scenes which I shall “remember while heaven gives my common intellect.”

I had on this occasion hundreds of sectarians to hear me; they seemed to be aware of one thing, (viz.) that God’s house was a place of order, and that their only chance was to throw the meeting into disorder and confusion.

To this end they had engaged a couple of ignoramuses that were capable of doing any piece of dirty work they have in hand. The first that made his appearance was a Mr. Mallows, a Moravian, who arose and asked a question concerning the two witnesses spoken of in the revelation given to John in the Isle of Patmos. I told him it had no allusion to the subject whatever. The sectarians all bawled out with one accord, “the answer to the question; we will have the answer to that question.” Some cried out one thing, and some another. The devil having thus succeeded in throwing the meeting into confusion, the second and principal actor made his appearance, a Mr. White, Independent preacher, bookseller and printer. The moment he arose the sectarians cried out, hear, hear Mr. White. He commenced by saying that he had an history of Mormonism contained in a newspaper that he would now read to the meeting. I objected to have the cause of truth tried by the lying newspaper statements, but it was no use; the sectarians were many in number, and they cried out with one accord, the newspaper story!! the newspaper story!! we will have the newspaper story!!!

I recollected it was prophesied in the Word of God, that there should be some in the last days that would love a lie more than the truth; for this cause God should send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. When I recollected this fact, (knowing [34] that they had acted unrighteously in interrupting me when I was proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ,) I thought probably the Lord was about to send them strong delusion, that they might believe a lie, and some of them be damned.

Accordingly, White commenced reading a pack of lies published in the Athenaeum, (all of which you have replied to in the first No. of this year’s Star) concerning “money digging”— “fortune telling”—“gold bible company”—“the Spaulping story”—and many other abominable lies that have all proven such some years ago. After he had done reading, he declared that he was prepared to prove the principles of the Latter-day Saints were all false.

I arose and told him that I was prepared to prove them true, and if he would meet me the following evening the subject should be discussed before the public, and all arguments should be brought from the Scriptures, and not from newspaper stories. To this he agreed. We accordingly met the following evening; the house was crowded at an early hour, and the Devil had another scheme ready for them, viz., they must have a chairman. I told them it was not according to the agreement, but they insisted that they would have a chairman! I then told them if there was any man present who belonged to no sectarian party, who would stand up before God and that congregation, and say that he was not prejudiced against the Saints or their doctrines, I would not object to such a man. They had their man ready to say any thing for them, in order to carry the purpose; and they immediately appointed him. His name is Wyatt. He arose and declared that he was such a man as is above described, and I suppose if that had been the first lie that he had told it would have choaked him; for, instead of Mr. Wyatt being a candid, unprejudiced man, he was just such a man as would suit sectarianism, for he acted with prejudice from first to last, as all the people, both friends and enemies, can bear witness.

But to proceed with my history. After the chairman had taken his seat, I arose and called the attention of the congregation to the 48th & 49th chapters of Genesis, showing that the descendants of Joseph were to become a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth, and inhabit the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills, &c. I then spoke on the 37th chap. of Ezekiel, and the 29th of Isaiah, and many other important parts of the Bible, which speak of the great and marvellous work of the Lord in the last days. After I had taken my seat, Mr. White arose, he coughed two or three times, and then commenced slandering my bretheren by calling them money diggers—speculators—and reiterated the same slang that he had read the evening before, by adding the compass story!! he also said that some parts of the Book of Mormon were too much like the Bible to be true! I then arose, and showed the people the doctrines and principles of the gospel as they were taught eighteen hundred years ago; and compared them with the systems of the present day. I told them the Lord had restored the same order of things in these last days according to his promise. Mr. White then rose and repeated the same trash over again, adding another lie to it, which he read from a newspaper, although he had agreed not to read newspaper stories.—I objected, but it was useless—the sectarians would have the story!!—and for no other reason that I know of than this: the Bible condemned them and their creeds, while the newspapers sanctioned them. The chairman granted them their request, and White read from a paper a number of lies, which it would not be worth while to write. After this the meeting adjourned until the following evening,

It appears that during the next day, they held a private meeting to consult what was best to be done; for, said they, their numbers are increasing;—they are daily baptising some;—and if we keep the public excited, some of the principal men of the place will join them, for that Adams proves everything by the Scriptures. Some advised that they should send for a very learned man from Lon- [35] don to come and show me up. After many propositions of various kinds, I learned that they came to the following conclusion, viz., to get all the lying trash and newspaper misrepresentations they could muster, and lay them before the public that evening; and then give it up for a bad business. The evening came, the room was filled in every part, and two-thirds of the people who were present were members of the different churches and chapels in Bedford.

Mr. White began by demanding “a sign;” he said “show us a sign!” “give us a miracle!” “raise a dead man and we will believe!!” “a new religion wants a miracle to confirm it!!” After he had continued crying something like the above for nearly half an hour, he declared to the meeting that he was sorry he had anything to do with the subject, and told them that it was the last evening that he would appear.

I then arose, and told the congregation that I was somewhat astonished that a man should come and interrupt religious worship by declaring that he could prove the doctrines and principles of a religious society false, and their teachers all deceivers and false prophets,—the Bible being the rule of evidence,—and then never bring a single argument from the Scriptures; but have recourse to newspaper statements, and lying slanders, which were even without the shadow of truth. I told the gentleman that he had better search the scriptures and he would find out that signs were to follow those that believe,—not go before to convince men,—and that they never could be enjoyed or even witnessed by unbelievers such as himself; I told him the Lord had never promised them to those that said they were done away and no longer needed. I also told him that his satanic majesty once desired a miracle or two of our Lord, likewise Herod wanted a sign, and if signs were given to convince unbelievers, Herod, being filed with unbelief, of course should have a very great sign to convince him; and what a pity it was that my opponent was not there to have instructed our Lord how to act on that occasion. I told him that Jesus said a wicked and adulterous generation seek after a sign, and I was sorry that he had ot acknowledge that the religion of the New Testament was new to this generation; but such it seemed was the fact.—I then bore testimony to the fulness of the gospel, and told Mr. White that I really hoped he would notice the passages of the scriptures I had laid before the people.

He then arose and commenced reading from a tract published in London, charging the Saints with heresy—blasphemy—slavery—and treason; he told the people that these things were contained in a secret book, called “doctrine and covenants,” and that they never let the people see this book:—this was the cue or signal for the sectarians to commence, and immediately there was such a scene of confusion as is seldom witnessed:—some cried “shoot him!” some cried “hang him!” some cried “stone him out of the place!” others cried “give us a miracle! raise a dead man,” &c. &c.

I arose and attempted to speak: some stopped their ears, others cried down with him.

Several of these men who are called wicked infidels, by the religious sects of this generation, then arose, and prevailed on the good Christians to hold their peace for a few minutes. I at length arose and told the people that those statements were all false, and that I could procure the book in a few days, and it should answer for itself.

I then proposed to Mr. White to meet me when I obtained the book: to this he reluctantly consented. The people then separated.

I continued to lecture for the five or six following evenings, no man forbidding me. I baptised a number more and then went to the London Conference; we had a good time at the Conference; our beloved brother Elder O. Hyde was present. The prospects in London were excellent, many were believing and embracing the truth.

Elder O. Hyde returned with me to Bedford; I then called on Mr. White and told him that I had obtained the book I asked him when he would meet me; [36] he said he did not think it necessary to disturb the peace of the town again. I then told him I should send the Bell-man round to notify the people that we should answer to the charges of heresy, slavery, blasphemy and treason. Accordingly we met at the time appointed, but no Mr. White appeared. Elder Hyde then addressed the meeting; he entirely freed the saints from the above charges, and left our enemies writhing in shame, confusion and disgrace!!

Thus, you perceive, Mallows, White, and Co. have retreated from the field of action without having left even a stone to tell where slumbers the ashes of these fallen heroes.

Elder Hyde laboured with us faithfully and very acceptably, for a number of days, and then left to fulfil his mission in the east, and his memory will be cherished in many hearts when he is far away. On the 6th June, Elder Joseph Brotherton arrived in Bedford, and has been labouring with me in different places round about Bedford, and is now with me in Northampton.

We came here not knowing a single individual in in the place; the Lord has been with us, and opened our way in a wonderful manner; we have obtained a chapel to preach in that will hold more than 500 people. It is in a respectable part of the town.

Thus, you see, we have come to a conclusion, in the name of Jesus Christ, our master, to push the battle to the strong holds of sectarianism. I have preached twice in this place since our arrival; we had a very large intelligent congregation. They listened with attention; many are believing, and I expect a number to be baptised soon. When I first came into this region of country, we had but two or three preaching places, now we have more than a dozen; then we had but about fifty members, now we have more than 100, and the members are increasing almost daily.

We have preaching places open in Bedford, Crawley, Kempston, Malden, Gravely, Honeydon, Thorncutt, Wibrison, Whaden, Wellinbro, Northampton, and other smaller places too numerous to mention. The fields are all white, and ready to harvest, and we are determined, in the name of our Lord to thrust in our sickles and reap, well knowing that the summer will soon be passed, the harvest gathered home.

I remain your friend and brother in the new and everlasting covenant, GEORGE J. ADAMS.

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