A Few Plain Facts

1841

A Few Plain Facts Adams, George J. (George Jones), 1813-1880

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Adams, George J. A Few Plain Facts, S hewing the Folly, Wickedness, and Imposition of the Rev. Timothy R. Matthews; also a Short Sketch of the Rise, Faith, and Doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, ii–16. Bedford: C. B. Merry, 1841.

A FEW

PLAIN FACTS,

SHEWING THE FOLLY, WICKEDNESS, AND IMPOSITION OF THE REV. TIMOTHY R. MATTHEWS;

ALSO A SHORT SKETCH OF THE RISE, FAITH, AND DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS.

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BY GEORGE J. ADAMS,

MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL, BEDFORD, ENGLAND.

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“Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest shall no mind make thee ashamed.” Jon 5 ch. 11 v.

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BEDFORD:

PRINTED BY C. B. MERRY.

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1841. [ii]

PREFACE.

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I have been led to publish the facts contained in this pamphlet from the following considerations, viz.—being directed by the Spririt of God, I went to Northampton on Wednesday the 9th day of June, to proclaim to the people of that place the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, or the dispensation of the fulness of times, which has been committed in these last days by the ministry of angels,—by the holy priesthood being restored,—and by the church of God being re-established upon the principles laid down in the New Testament, with all the gifts, powers, and blessings which the Saviour promised should follow his faithful and humble disciples to the end of the world.

I obtained the room under the Mechanics’ Institute, and delivered two lectures on the above-named subject; confining myself wholly to the word of God, and to the great message of truth which he has given to his servants in these last days. I made no allusion to Mr. Matthews, or to any other religious teacher either directly or indirectly, as I am prepared to prove by hundreds that were present, amongst whom were many of Mr. Matthews’ own members.

Kind reader,—judge of my astonishment when I learned that a few days after a meeting was called in Mr. Matthews’ chapel, and a number of lying statements and misrepresentations were read from a certain newspaper regarding the Latter Day Saints, which the wicked author was ashamed to have his name attached to.

This is not all; for no sooner had Mr. Matthews learned [iii] that I had commenced preaching the truth in Northampton, than he began to abuse and slander the latter Day Saints in public, by saying that their record came from hell, and the angel that had appeared to them was the devil transformed into an angel of light; though at the same time he says that God has not given a revelation to man for many hundreds of years! so we may infer that the devil revealed this to him. He has also circulated, or caused to be circulated, a number of lying tracts, trying to shew that the “Book of Mormon” was altered from the “Manuscript Found,” a romance which the Rev. S. Spaulding had written, though this has been proved to be a falsehood many years ago, and not only so, but the authors themselves have acknowledged it*. Under circumstances like the above, and for many other reasons, I feel it my duty to my God, and to the cause of truth, to publish the following facts to the world, that I may stand acquitted in the day of the revelation of Jesus Christ.

GEORGE J. ADAMS.

Bedford, July 2nd, 1841.

* For further information concerning the Spaulding lie, I would refer the reader to a pamphlet of 28 pages, published in Bedford, entitled, “Plain Facts, showing the origin of the Spaulding Story.”

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[iv]

PLAIN FACTS, &c.

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“And all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.”—REV. 21 c. 8 v.

“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie.”—REV. 21 c. 27 v.

When the Public are overwhelmed with lying slanders of every description concerning the Church of Latter Day Saints, the inquiry often arises, why do the Elders of the Church hold their peace, instead of contradicting the various falsehoods which are published concerning them and their principles? The answer is, it would require a standing army of writers and printers in constant employ; for no sooner are our enemies detected in one falsehood, than a thousand more are put in circulation by them; and there are many who love a lie so much better than the truth, that we are quite willing they should enjoy their strong delusion, “that they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness,” see 2nd Thess. 2 c. 12 v.—but we know that those who are seeking for truth will judge for themselves, by an examination of our books, and not allow our opposers to judge for them. What ideas would be formed of the Bible by one who had never read the book himself, but who trusted altogether to the statements of Thomas Paine and other infidel writers concerning it? We propose in this work to prove to every candid mind, that the Rev. Timothy R. Matthews is guilty of folly, wickedness, and imposition.

And we shall prove these charges by examining and comparing certain statements which he has made at different times.

At one time, Mr. Matthews has been heard to say that no one has authority to administer in the ordinances of God’s house unless he has received ordination in the Church of England;— at another time (and that before numerous witnesses) that God is not on the Throne, in Parliament, nor in the Church. Query—If God is not in the church, [5] how has the church power to administer the ordinances of God’s house? Again, he has said to the people at one time, that they may all be saved by faith alone, and at another time he has said, that unless they repent and be baptized they will all go to hell. Further, he has also stated that it is of no consequence to what religious society a man belongs, if he only believes in the Lord Jesus Christ; and at another time he has contradicted this, by saying that every denomination in Christendom is descended from the Church of Rome, which he calls the “Mother of Harlots,” and that all the present churches constitute the Babylon spoken of in Revelations; each society being a number of the name of the beast. This statement he declared to his congregation at Northampton on Sunday, the 20th of June, and added that this was a fact that could not be denied; but in proving this he has proved too much, for he himself received his authority from some one of these churches, consequently he proved that he belongs to Babylon. At one time he has been heard to cry out bitterly against infant baptism, declaring in public that it was wrong; at another time, he has taken little children and baptized them, by immersion, for the remission of their sins, forgetting that the Saviour has said “Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Again, very recently, he declared to his congregations that he wished them to have nothing to do with the present elections, telling them at the same that he should keep away from them altogether; but, to the astonishment of many, he attended the poll and voted himself, which has caused some of the member of his church to say that they will have nothing more to do with such an inconsistent man. Perhaps some of my readers may have heard of the unparalleled fact of Mr. Matthews having baptized himself; and I will now take the opportunity of adding an extract from the 12th No. of the ‘Millenial Star,’ giving the particulars of this circumstance; and by so doing, undeceive the public, bring to light the wickedness of an old impostor, and be the means of saving the honest in heart.

“Elders Goodson and Richards arrived in Bedford on the 2nd of August, 1837, and having letters of introduction to the Rev. Timothy R. Matthews, from Brother Joseph Fielding, (Mrs. Matthews’ brother) they immediately waited on Mr. Matthews, who expressed great joy at their arrival, and manifested his sincerity by walking arm in arm with [6] the elders through the streets of Bedford, calling on the members of his church, and inviting them to attend the lecture of the elders, at his chapel vestry that evening. Mr. Matthews had previously been apprised of the Saints in America, through the medium of the Rev. James Fielding, of Preston, and the letters from America before referred to. In the evening, his church assembled in the vestry, and Elders Goodson and Richards continued to lecture and testify of the work of God, on that and the three following evenings in the same place, with the entire approbation of Mr. Matthews, who, at the close of the lectures, publicly bore testimony to the truths advanced, and called upon his people to know why they did not come forward for baptism; while they in return, wished to know why he did not set them the example.

“After, this, Mr. Matthews engaged another house in the neighbourhood for the elders to preach in, under the pretence that some of the proprietors of the chapel might not be pleased with the elders occupying the vestry, and Mr. Matthews continued to attend the preaching of the elders, and also spent a great share of his time, from day to day, in conversation with them.

“Mr. Matthews told the elders that he had received two ordinations, one from Bishop West, whom he had proved to be an impostor; and another from the Church of England, which he acknowledged to be descended from the Church of Rome, and he further acknowledged that he had no authority from God for a administering in the ordinances of God’s house.

“On the 10th, Mrs. Braddock and four others were baptized by Elder Goodson. Soon after this, Mr. Joseph Saville, member of Mr. Matthews’ church, being very desirous of receiving baptism at the same time with Mr. Matthews, waited on him at his house in company with Elders G. and R., and Mr. Matthews and Mr. Saville mutually agreed to meet the elders on the bank of the river Ouse, at a specified hour in the afternoon, and attend to the ordinance of baptism.

“At the hour appointed, Mr. Saville met the elders at the place previously designated by Mr. Matthews; but as he did not make his appearance, after waiting for him an hour, Mr. Saville was baptized, when the elders repaired to Mr. Matthews’ to learn the cause of his not fulfilling his engagement, and were informed by Mr. Matthews’ family that he had gone out into the country to preach. [7]

“In a day or two it was currently reported that Mr. Matthews had baptized himself, and this rumour was afterwards confirmed by Mrs. Matthews, who stated to Elder Kimball, at Preston, that Mr. Matthews had baptized himself, reasoning upon this principle within himself, “If I have authority to administer this sacrament to my people, why not have authority to baptize myself,” &c. and all this after Mr. Martthews had acknowledge to Elders Goodson and Richards that he had no authority to administer in the ordinances of God’s house; and altogether regardless of the words of the apostle, (Heb. v. 4) “No man taketh his honour unto himself but he that is called of God as was Aaron.

“By the foregoing it is plainly to be seen that Mr. Matthews has attempted to take that upon himself which was never conferred upon him by the spirit of revelation, either by God, his angels, or his servants: viz. the holy Priesthood; and from that period Mr. Matthews began to preach baptism, and baptized those who felt it in their duty to be baptized, and then invited them to the penitent form to get remission of their sins; but finding that would not answer all the design which he intended, he afterwards began to baptize for the remission of sins.

“Mr. Matthews appears well to have understood that counterfeit coin is more current the nearer it approximates to the true, and governed himself accordingly, for he continued to preach faith, repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, the second coming of Christ, &c. &c., adding one thing to another, in imitation of truth, as fast as it answered his purpose, from those doctrines which he had heard from the Latter Day Saints; but it was some time before he arrived at that heaven-daring conscience-scared hardihood, to lay hands on those whom he had baptized for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and at the same time, he acknowledged that he had not got the Holy Ghost himself, by praying that he might receive it,—(Query—How can a man communicate that which he is not in possession of?) Thus has Mr. Matthews been running about from Bedford to Liverpool; from Liverpool to Northampton; from Northampton, and other places, crying aloud in public and private; that the Latter Day Saints and their doctrines came from hell.—At the same time he has been preaching the same doctrines, and he is administering in the same ordinances, just as though he fully believed that the doctrines [8] and sacraments of hell would be sanctified and made holy and heavenly when administered by the tongue and hands of an impostor.

“About the time that Mr. Matthews rejected the truth in Bedford, his son, (as Mr. Matthews called him) the Rev. Robert Aitken, commenced his attack on the principles of righteousness in Preston, and while furiously pounding his pulpit with the Book of Mormon, and warning his people to beware of the Latter Day Saints and their doctrines, saying that they and their record came from hell; called upon his people to use all their efforts to put down the work of God, or stop the progress of the Latter Day Saints; and if it could not be put down without, prayed that God would smite the leaders; and from that time to the present his prayer has been answering on his own head.

“After Mr. Aitken had preached against the corruptions of the Church of England for years, and established many flourishing chapels in Liverpool, Preston, Manchester, Burslem, London, &c. &c.; after he had been visited by the elders of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and acknowledged to them at one time that baptism was right, but he could find no man who had an authority to baptize; and at another time that he was afraid of them, and rejected their testimony, and last of all would not receive the elders into his house; after all this, and deserted by a part of his flock, he has fled from the remainder because he was an hireling, and cared not for the sheep: yes, he has deserted his “Christian Society”—ceased to be an Aitkenite, and dissolved his co-partnership with father Matthews, as may well be supposed, returned, and taken ‘holy order’ in mother church, against the corruptions of which he has testified so diligently from year to year, and is now about to enter on his parochial duties in St. John the Evangelist’s Church, Hope St. Liverpool, for not other reason that the writer knows of, only that he could find no onw who had authority to baptize for the remission of sins; and not possessing the faith of his father Matthews, to believe that the doctrines of the pit would become holy and gospel doctrines, when taught by the tongue of wickedness and imposture; he has concluded thus publicly to acknowledge himself a servant of those very errors he has so long contended against for the sake of filth lucre.”

HEBER C. KIMBALL.

ORSON HYDE Preston, Mar. 24, 1841.

WILLARD RICHARDS. [9]

I shall now ask the Rev. Timothy R. Matthews a few plain questions. Reverend Sir,—Why did you appoint the time and place to be baptized and then not fulfill the said appointment; was it that you learned just on the ever of being baptized, that if you joined the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints you never could receive a settled salary for preaching, but would have to go forth and preach according to the pattern in the New Testament; and when you learned this did you exclaim, “what will my family do?” Ans. Yes. Was you perfectly satisfied with the authority you had received of the Church of England? Ans. No. And did you to ease your troubled conscience! go and baptize yourself? Ans. Yes. But tell it not in Bedford—publish it not in the streets of Northampton—for by so doing the people will find out my great folly, wickedness, and imposition, and forsake me here as they have done in other places. Did you ever preach baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the Holy Ghost, according to the scriptures, until after your interview with Elders Richards and Goodson. Ans.

No. When you heard that I had gone to Northampton, to preach the fullness of the gospel, did you fear lest I should make known to the people of that place your folly, wickedness, and imposition? Ans. Yes. Did you give instructions that Mr. Painter should call the people together, hold a private meeting, and read certain newspaper falsehoods, concerning myself and the Church of Christ. Ans. Yes. Did you do this for the purpose of injuring my character, and misrepresenting the doctrines and principles of the Church of God to which I belong? Ans. Yes.

Did you cause some hundreds of lying tracts to be circulated in Northampton, leading the people to suppose that the “Book of Mormon” was written from the Rev. Solomon Spaulding’s manuscript? Ans. Yes. Did you tell your hearers to have nothing to do with the late elections for members of Parliament, and that you yourself should have nothing to do with them? Ans. Yes.

Did you, after making that solemn declaration, go and vote for the church and state party that they might use their influence to get you back into the Church of England, from whence you have fallen? Ans. Yes. Do you now feel fearful that the people of Northampton will find out your folly, wickedness, and deception, and forsake you as they have done in other places? Ans. Yes.

Do you know that you are an old hypocrite, and a [10] wicked impostor! and unless you repent and humble yourself before the Lord, and confess your lies and great wickedness, that the hand of God will be heavy upon you? if you do not know that fact, I now inform you that such is the case; and by the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is the spirit of prophesy, by the power and authority of the holy priest committed unto me, which has been restored, in these last days, by the ministry of angels, and by the voice of God, I declare unto you, that unless you humble yourself before God, repent of all your sins, and forsake them, and acknowledge your wickedness and imposition, and by so doing undeceive the public, the hand of the Lord will be heavy upon you, and you will cease to deceive the public. If the Rev. Timothy R. Matthews wishes to know when this shall take place, I tell thee it is nigh thee, even at thy doors; I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

From the foregoing, it will be clearly seen that Mr. Matthews is guilty of folly, wickedness, and imposition! his many contradictory statements (of which I have only published a few) shew his great folly to every candid mind; his having taken upon himself the holy priesthood, which was never conferred upon him by the spirit of revelation, either by God, his angels, or his servants, clearly proves to every unprejudiced person his unprecedented wickedness! his having borrowed many great and glorious doctrines and principles of the Latter Day Saints, and his having taught them to the people as his own; together with his having slandered, abused, and misrepresented the very men from whom he learned those great truths, shows to every lover of truth that he is guilty of imposition! I now, by way of conclusion, invite those that have been deceived by Mr. Matthews, together with all others into whom whose hands this pamphlet may fall, to come forth with “broken hearts and contrite spirits,” repenting of all their sins, and be baptized by immersion in water, in the name of Jesus, for the remission of sins by those that have received authority of Jesus Christ, and have been called of God, as was Aaron, that they may receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and be saved in the day of coming of the son of man. “And, behold, he will come as a thief, and reward every man according to his works; and they that overcome shall inherit all things, and they shall reign on earth: Amen.”

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[11]

A short sketch of the Rise, Progress, and Faith, of the

LATTER DAY SAINTS.

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was first organized in the State of New York, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty, on the sixth day of April. At its first organization, it consisted of six members. The first instruments of its organization were Joseph Smith, Jun. and Oliver Cowdery, who received their authority and priesthood, or apostleship, by direct revelation from God—by the voice of God—by the ministering of angels—and by the Holy Ghost. They claim no authority whatever from antiquity, they never received baptism nor ordination from any religious system which had previously existed; but being commissioned from on high, they first baptized each other, and then commenced to minister the gospel and its ordinances to others. The first principle of Theology as held by this Church, is Faith in God the eternal Father, and in his Son Jesus Christ, who verily was crucified for the sins of the world, and who rose from the dead on the third day, and is now seated at the right hand of God as a mediator, and in the Holy Ghost who bears record of them, the same to day as yesterday, and for ever. The second principle is Repentance towards God; that is, all men who believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are required to turn away from their sins, to cease from their EVIL DEEDS, and to come humble before the throne of grace with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. The third principle is Baptism, by immersion in water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the remission of sins with the promise of the Holy Ghost, to all who believe and obey the gospel. The fourth principle is the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus Christ, for the gift of the Holy Ghost. This ordinance is to be administered by the apostles or elders of the church, upon all those who are baptized into this church. Through these several steps of faith and obedience, man is made partaker of the Holy Ghost, and numbered with the children of God. Through this process man is adopted into the Church and kingdom of God, as one of his Saints: his name is then enrolled in the book of the names of the righteous, and it then becomes his duty to watch, to pray, to deal justly; and to meet together with the saints as oft as circumstances will admit of it; and with [12] them to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the broken body, and shed blood of Jesus Christ; and in short, to continue faithful unto the end, in all the duties which are enjoined by the law of Christ. Fifth, it is the duty and privilege of the saints thus organized upon the everlasting gospel, to believe in and enjoy all the gifts, powers, and blessing which flow from the Holy Spirit. Such for instance, as the gifts of revelations, prophecy, visions, the ministry of angels, healing the sick by the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus, the working of miracles, and in short all the gifts as mentioned in scripture, or as enjoyed by the ancient saints.

This is a brief outline of the doctrine of this church, and we believe that it is the only system of doctrine which God ever revealed to man in a gospel dispensation, and the only system which can be maintained by the New Testament.

Now as far as all other modern religious systems differ from the foregoing principles, so far we disfellowship them. We neither recognize their priesthood, nor ordinances as divine. But at the same time we wish well to the individuals of all societies; we believe that many of them are sincere, and that they have the right to enjoy their religious opinions in peace. We do not wish to persecute any people for their religion. But we wish to instruct them in those principles which we consider to be right, as afar as they are willing to receive instruction, but no farther.

We also believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testament are true; and that they are designed for our profit and learning, and that all mystical and private interpretation of them ought to be done away; that the prophecies, and doctrine, the covenants and promises contained in them have a literal application, according to the most plain, easy, and simple meaning of the language in which they are written. We believe that the scriptures now extant do not contain all the sacred writings which God ever gave to man, for it is easily demonstrated, that they contain but a small portion indeed of the things which God has made known to our race, for it is evident that a communication has been kept open between God and man from the days of Adam to the present day, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people; except such communication has been withheld by reason of transgression. Thousands of communications were received before the Bible was begun to be written.—Thousands of communications were received during the progress of these [13] writings, besides those which are written in it, and thousands of communications have been received since the Bible was completed. Thousands of communications have also been received among other nations, and in other countries remote from the scenes where the Bible was written. And in short, the Holy Ghost is a spirit of revelation and prophecy, and wherever it has been enjoyed by mankind, there communications from God have been received.

We therefore believe in the Book of Mormon, which is an ancient American Record lately discovered, containing a sketch of the history, prophecies, and doctrine of the ancient nations who inhabited that country. And we also believe in many communications which God has been pleased to make to us in the rise and progress of this church, as he has often revealed his word to us, by visions, by dreams, by angels, by his own voice, and by the Holy Spirit of Prophecy and Revelation: and lastly, we believe that God will continue to reveal himself to us until all things are revealed concerning the past, present, and future; until we have come in possession of all the knowledge, intelligence, or truth which is in existence. We believe that the Jews and all the house of Israel will soon be gathered home to their own lands, from all the countries where they have been dispersed, and that they will become one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel, never more to be divided or overcome, and that they will all be brought to a knowledge of God, Jesus Christ will come in person, in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and all the saints with him to reign on earth a thousand years, and that he will destroy the wicked from the earth by terrible judgments at the time of his coming. We also believe that the saints will rise from the dead at his second coming, and that they will live and reign on earth one thousand years. We do not believe that the wicked will rise from the dead until the thousand years are ended, but that their resurrection is after the millennium and connected with the last judgment. We further believe that the restoration of Israel and Judah, and the second advent of Messiah are near at hand, and that the generation now lives who will witness the fulfilment of these great events, and that the Lord has raised up the Church of Latter Day Saints, and has set the truth in order among them as a commencement of this great restoration. For further particulars as to our doctrine and principles, I refer [14] the reader to a work entitled “The Voice of Warning,” which is particularly designed as an introduction to our faith and doctrine. I must, however, before leaving this subject, contradict certain reports which are in circulation concerning our principles in regard to property. It is a current report, and often credited by those who have no acquaintance with our society, that we hold our property in common. This is a base falsehood without a shadow of truth. The members of this church have ever held their property individually, the same as other societies, with the exception of that which they freely give for the use of the society, to minister to the wants of the poor, and for the building of houses of worship, &c. The property thus given is managed by proper officers, who render a strict account for all their incomes and expenditures, and who have no right to apply one shilling for any other purpose than that for which it is given.

Having given this brief sketch of our religious principles, we will now proceed to our account of the rise and progress of the church until this present time. After the Church was organized as stated in the foregoing, they gradually increased in numbers from that time until June, 1831; the whole church numbered near two thousand. A general conference was then held in Kirtland, Ohio, and was attended by something like sixty of our preachers. From this time until 1835 it rapidly spread throughout all the United States of North America, in so much that in 1836 branches of the church and General Conferences had been organized throughout that vast republic, and at the present time the number amounts to about 75,000. In the latter part of the same year it was introduced into Toronto, Upper Canada, when it soon spread through that province; and in 1837, several of the elders sailed for England, under the direction of O. Hyde and H. C. Kimball, where they soon baptized between one and two thousand; from that time the work of the Lord has rapidly spread through England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, and we have now flourishing societies in the principal towns and cities of Great Britain; and we find by the minutes of the last conference held in Manchester last April, the number amounted to between six and seven thousand; it is still spreading in every country where it is known, and we anticipate a time not far distant, when a knowledge of the great work which the Lord has set his hand to do in these last days will be enjoyed by all the [15] nations of the earth for to this end was it sent into the world. The apostles and elders of this church have a special mission to fulfil to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people under heaven, and this is the gospel of the kingdom which was to be preached for a testimony unto all nations, and then shall the son of man come. If the people oppose this great mission, it will only injure themselves; it will not hinder the rolling forth of the work of God, or the fulfilment of his purposes, for he has set his hand a second time to bring about the restoration of Israel, with the fulness of the Gentiles.

FINIS. [16]

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