Mormonism Dissected

1841

One Who Hates Imposture One Who Hates Imposture

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One Who Hates Imposture. Mormonism Dissected, or, Knavery “On Two Sticks,” Exposed. Composed Principally from Notes which were taken from the arguments of Dr. Orr, in the recent Debate on the Authenticity of the “Book of Mormon,” Between him and E. H. Davis, Mormon Preacher. The Whole Being Designed as a Check to the Further Progress of Imposition, By placing in the hands of every one the means of unmasking this “Latter-day” Humbug, 1–22. Bethania, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania: Reuben Chambers, 1841.

MORMONISM DISSECTED,

OR,

KNAVERY “ON TWO STICKS,”

EXPOSED.

Composed principally from Notes which were taken from the arguments of DR. ORR. in the recent Debate on the Athenticity of the

“BOOK OF MORMON,”

Between him and E. H. DAVIS, Mormon Preacher

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THE WHOLE BEING DESIGNED AS A CHECK TO THE FURTHER PROGRESS OF IMPOSITION,

By placing in the hands of every one the means of unmasking this

“LATTER DAY” HUMBUG.

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BY ONE WHO HATES IMPOSTURE.

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PRINTED BY REUBEN CHAMBERS.

BETHANIA, LANCASTER COUNTY, PA.

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1841.

TO THE READER.

THE author of the following pages would feel disposed to treat the itinerant promulgators of the absurd tissue of incongruous nonsense, called “MORMONISM,” with that contempt which ignorance and impudence always merits, were it not for the impious attempt made by them to make the WORD OF GOD subservient to their nefarious system of fraud, by impressing on the minds of their dupes the idea that the Bible proves the “BOOK OF MORMON” to be a divine revelation from God, and one, of course, whose commands and precepts have equal weight and authority with the Bible itself: and a breach of whose laws must call down on the head of us poor mortals the divine displeasure and vengeance;—thus inducing the ignorant to become an easy prey to the rapacious avarice of JO SMITH, the Mormon imposter, and his impious confederates; and robbing the poor of their hard-earned pittance, to keep up, as gentlemen, a set of knaves, who are too lazy to work, and yet too ignorant to be fit for any thing else. The object of the following pages is to place within the reach of the meanest capacity, the infallible means of unmasking this “LATTER DAY” humbug, and holding it up to public scorn, in all its original deformity. The writer is not a member of any religious denomination; and he here hurls back the charge of sectarianism, so often made, into the teeth of him who dares to make it. He is not in the habit of meddling with theology; but, when he sees the Scriptures of Eternal Truth wrested into the service of the swindler, and the plain meaning of GOD’S WORD perverted for the purpose of picking the pockets of the community, he conceives that silence any longer, ceases to be a virtue.

THE AUTHOR. [2]

MORMONISM DISSECTED.

THE first question which presents itself for our consideration, on entering on the investigation of the subject of “Mormonism,” is this: What is the evidence upon which the revelation of the “Book of Mormon” rests?—and is this evidence sufficient to warrant our belief in its “divine origin?” We are told “that there is sufficient evidence, both circumstantial and scriptural, to establish its authenticity;” and it shall be our business, in these pages, to notice the evidence in the order thus laid down by its inventors.

First, then, for the circumstantial: What is it? Why, we are gravely told by Winchester, in his “Gospel Reflector,” (it should have been called “Error Reflector.”) page 105, that “The Book of Mormon was found in the year A.D. 1827, in Ontario county, New York, was translated and published in A.D. 1830. It contains the history of the ancient inhabitants of America, who were a branch of the house of Israel, of the tribe of Joseph, of whom the Indians are still a remnant; but the principal nation of them having fallen in battle, in the fourth or fifth century, one of their prophets, whose name was Mormon, was commanded by the Lord to make an abridgment of their history, their prophecies, and their doctrines, which he engraved on plates; and, afterwards being slain, the record fell into the hands of his son, Moroni, who, being hunted by his enemies, was directed to deposit the record safely in the earth, with a promise from God that it should be preserved and brought to light in the latter days, by means of a Gentile nation, who should possess the land. This deposit was made about A.D. 420, on a hill then called Cumora, now in Ontario county, N.Y., where it was preserved in safety, until it was brought to light by no less than the ministry of angels, and translated by inspiration; and the GREAT JEHOVAH bore record of the same to chosen witnesses, who declare it to the world.”

I have thus quoted this tissue of nonsense, that the reader may see the nature of the circumstantial evidence upon which the book rests. Now, to us, it is of no consequence what the book contains. Until its own authenticity, as a revelation from God, be established, we have no right to believe or take in evidence any thing it may assert. Let us propose a few questious on this part of the subject, and hear the answers of its supporters. First—How do you know that “Mormon was commanded by the Lord to make an abridgment? Does the Bible say so? No; it does not. Does History say so? No; it does not. Well, how do you know that he was commanded?

“Why, the Book itself says so.” Does it, indeed! But that is no proof; therefore, there is no proof that he was commanded at all. Again—How do [3] you know that Moroni was directed to deposit it in the earth? Does the Bible say so? No. Does History say so? No. Who does say so?

Why, the Book itself says so. Pretty proof, truly—the thing denied brought to prove itself. But, how do you know that it was found in the earth? Why, Jo Smith says so. What dependence is to be put in his word on the subject? Was he not interested? Was he not the very man who started the imposition at first? Is it not his interest and object to deceive you? But you may say—“Oh, but God choose witnesses, to whom an angel showed the plates, and told them it was the work of God.” How many? Why, the large number of three. How do you know that God chose these men? Why, they say so. Well, are they men of veracity? If they were, how comes it that your church has turned two of them out? What for? Why, as LIARS and THIEVES! On what, then, does the position that your “Book of Mormon” was found in the earth, stand? Why, upon the word of two men who you yourselves say are Liars and Thieves. So much, then, for the circumstantial evidence of origin. We have seen that every circumstance connected with its origin is against its authenticity.

The next position taken up by the advocates of this imposture, is to prove from the antiquities of America that it was once inhabited by a people who, in point of civilization, were far above the present Indians. Well, suppose we admit that this land was inhabited by a people who were far above the Indians;—what then? Does that prove that they were Israelites? Has there been discovered in those “ruined cities” the law of Moses or the sacerdotal vestments of the Jewish priests? Nothing of the kind; but, on the contrary, every indication that the inhabitants were an idolatrous nation. How does these facts tally with the Mormon creed, that the worship of God was continued among this people? Now, what is the amount of the Mormon arguments, drawn from the antiquities of America? Simply this: “There is evidence that a wiser people than the Indians once inhabited America. Ergo, the Indians are the descendants of the Israelites, and the Book of Mormon, which says so, is a revelation from God.” Ridiculous as is this conclusion, it is the very argument of Mormonism on the subject. But how does a “ruined city,” which we admit, from its beautiful architecture, to be above the constructiveness of an Indian, prove that this city was built by an Israelite or Ephraimite, more than be a Greek, an Egyptian, or a Roman?

It does not do it at all; and the argument would prove, if it prove any thing, that the Indians are the descendants of the Egyptians or Romans, just as conclusively as that they are the descendants of the Israelites. But how comes it, if the Indians are the descendants of the Israelites, that they have lost their national characteristic as a race? Instead of belonging to the Caucasian race, as did the Israelites, we find them assuming a new variety—the American, or, if you like, the Mongolian. Their colour has been changed from white to a dark copper, and all the prominent points that distinguish varieties of mankind have been altered. “Oh, the Book of Mormon accounts for that,” says the Mormon. “It says [4] that they were cursed, and that was the cause of the change.” Does it, indeed? How wondrous wise must be its author! But its say-so, you will recollect, is no proof. What does the Bible say? Why, it says nothing on the subject. What does history say? It is silent. Well, what does the tradition of the Indians say? It is very likely that if they ever had the Book of Mormon among them, they would recollect its account of so remarkable an event as change of colour, and one in which they were so deeply interested. Their tradition gives the Book the lie direct. But, to the proof:

My reader will remember that there was an effort made, a few years ago, by the General Government, to establish common schools among the Indians; and agents were sent among them for the purpose of ascertaining the views of their chiefs on the subject. At one of the meetings which the agents had with the Indians, an aged chief arose, and after stating that they (the Indians) felt grateful to their “white father at Washington, for the interest he took in their welfare,” told the agents that they would be obliged to decline the offer, in consequence of a tradition, which they held sacred, which taught them that the Great Spirit did not design books for “Red Men.” He stated, “that the Great Spirit, when he first made man, tried his hand on the first one, and, after having finished him and set him down, found that he was black; he then tried again, and that time he came a little nearer what he wanted, for the man he made was red. The Great Spirit then made another effort, and succeeded in making a white man. He now set the white, red and black man in a row, and brought forward three boxes; into one he put books, maps, globes, &c.; into another he put tomahawks, bows, arrows, &c.; and into the third the put shovels, spades, picks, &c. Then, coming to the white man, he gave him his choice. The white man, after looking at the boxes for some time, chose the one containing the books, maps, &c.

The Great Spirit then pointed to the red man, that he should choose; the red man, after looking at the box with the spades and shovels, shook his head, and chose the one with the bows, arrows, &c.; and then, as there was but one left, it fell to the black man, who, with a dejected look, shouldered his box and marched off.” Now, however childish such stuff as this may appear to us, it is to an Indian sacred. Upon this, they refused the introduction of schools among them. Can any one believe that, if ever the book of Mormon had been among the Indians, as a divine record, that they would have a different tradition concerning the origin of colour from that which is given in it? They have a different tradition. Ergo, the Book of Mormon never was among them.

We have seen, then, that every “circumstantial” argument which we have examined condemns the authenticity of this “Book of Mormon,” although brought by its inventors to establish it. We will now see whether there be not other circumstances besides those noticed, to prove the same position. And, first, we would call the attention of the reader to a letter of the Rev. John A. Clark, a gentleman of unquestionable veracity, and who resided, at the time, in Palmyra, the immediate vicinity of this imposture. . . . [5]

“Circumstantial evidence,” then, is opposed to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, as we have seen. We will now inquire how far Scripture supports it. The question now for our consideration is, simply—Does the Bible prove the Book of Mormon to be a revelation from GOD? The first passages to which the Mormons refer, in support of their Book, may be found in Genesis, 48th chapter, 15, 16, with the last clause of the 19th verse: “And he (Jacob) blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers, Abraham and Isaac, did walk; the God which fed me all my life long, unto this day; the angel which redeemed me from all evil; bless the lads, and let my name be named upon them, and the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the Earth. And, in the last clause of the 19th verse, he says, “And his seed shall become a multitude of nations.” Now, we are gravely told by the Mormons that this prediction refers to America: “For the most obvious reason, they cannot be applied with propriety to any other land.” How, I ask, can this prediction, with any degree of “propriety,” be applied to America at all? Let us examine it. Come, Mr. Mormon, get on your spectacles, or, if you like it better, the transparent stones of Jo Smith. Now, what place did Jacob refer to by the phrase, “midst of the earth? ” Because, that was the place in which the seed of Joseph were to become a multitude of nations—was it not? Very well. Let us see what place he means. Jacob evidently, by this language, refers to the Land of Canaan; because, before he confers the blessing on Joseph, he informs him by what means he (Jacob) had received the title of this land in fee simple; on the authority of which title, he was now about to confer it as a possession on the sons of Joseph. In the 3d, 4th, and 5th verses of the 48th chapter of Genesis, may be found an account of this deed of conveyance to Jacob, with its transfer, by will, to the sons of Joseph. “And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz, in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, and said unto me, Be- [10] hold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee; and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give THIS land to thy seed after thee, for an everlasting possession. And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manassah, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt, before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine: as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.” Now, we learn from the passages just quoted, first, that God had promised to make of Jacob “a multitude of people;” and, secondly, that he had promised to give his seed the land of Canaan, for an “everlasting possession; ” which two promises Jacob again repeats and confers on Joseph. That the land thus given to Joseph was the Land of Canaan, is further established by referring to John’s Gospel, 4th chapter, 5th verse: “Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Lychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.” Now, as Jacob never gave Joseph ground on any other occasion than the one now under consideration, it follows that he never gave AMERICA. The words, “midst of the earth,” from which has arisen this difficulty, occurs but three times in the Bible. The Lord uses this phrase in Exodus, 8th chapter, 22nd verse, and applies it to the Land of Goshen, near or adjoining the Land of Canaan. It is again used by David in the 74th Psalm, 12th and 13th verses, in reference to the place where God divided the sea of old, &c., in the same land. But, to set this matter right, beyond the power of Mormon quibbling, we have the direct testimony of Jacob himself, informing Joseph, not only in what this blessing consisted, but also the place where they were to have their possession: Genesis, 48th chapter, 21st and 22nd verses. “And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die; but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the LAND OF YOUR FATHERS.” NOT TO AMERICA. “Moreover, I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.” Here, then, we have the whole matter explained by Jacob himself. Joseph, or his sons, were to have one portion of land more than their brethren of that country which Jacob took from the Amorite with his sword and bow. How, then, Mr. Mormon, does this transaction refer to America? Did Jacob ever take America from the Amorite? Is this your religion, to twist the Scriptures to suit your swindling purposes, and gull your ignorant dupes into the belief that the Word of God proves your imposition? Oh, shame! where is thy blush?

But, again—Why was the Land of Canaan called the “midst of the earth?” Will my reader just turn with me to the map of the world, and we will examine this questiou, geographically, and I think satisfactorily to every one, except some thick-skulled Mormon, who is determined not to be convinced. You will notice, then, on the map, that the portion of country formerly known as the Land of Canaan, is situate between the two great continents of Asia and Africa, extending along the south-eastern coast of the Mediterranean sea, and being very nearly the central portion of land between those continents; or, in the language of Scripture, “the midst of the earth,” [11] those continents being considered the “earth.” That they were so considered, see Genesis, 11th chapter, from the 1st to the 8th verse. Again: This portion of country was considered the “midst of the earth,” because it was here that the Garden of Eden was planted, where God created man. It was here the ark rested after the flood. It was here God appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. It was here that the Saviour was first promised,—where he appeared in the flesh,—where he rose from the dead,—and, in a word, every authentic revelation which God has ever given man since the creation to the present, has been given in this portion of country, or its vicinity,— with the exception of Jo Smith’s. So much, then, for the first scriptural argument of Mormonism.

Let us have another. The next may be found in Genesis, 49th chapter, 22nd to the 26th verse: “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough be a well, whose branches run over the wall.” We are informed by Winchester; page 113, that “this was spoken to suit the capacity of the ancient oriental nations, who considered the sea as a wall;” and that “it may be read with propriety, ‘ over the sea! ’” Poor souls; what a capacity they must have had, not to know the difference between the sea and a wall. Unfortunately for the Mormons, the orientals were not so ignorant as Mr. Winchester would have us believe. They knew very well the difference between “a wall” and the sea. Where, I ask, is the word wall used in Scripture to represent the sea, with the exception of Exodus, 14th chapter, and 22nd verse, where the waters were built up on either side like a wall? If we have a right to read the word “wall,” in this text, “the sea,” we have the same right in other places. Let us try it. Thus, Numbers, 22nd chapter, 25th verse, we are told that when “the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall.” And that is, according to Mormonism, “the ass thrust herself unto the sea, and crashed Balaam’s foot against the sea.” Ridiculous nonsense;—and yet it is the very pith of Mormonism. The meaning of the text is very plain: Jacob likens the fruitfulness of Joseph to the bough of a vine planted in a moist place, (“by a well”) whose branches run along or over the wall, on which it climbs. This mode of expression was very common among eastern nations to represent fruitlessness. See Exodus, 1st chapter, 7th verse; Psalm 128th, 3rd verse; Ezekiel, 19th chapter, 10th verse; with many others, if our limits would admit them.

The next verse brought as proof that America was the land given to Joseph, is the 26th, which reads thus: “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors, unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separated from his brethren.” Now, we learn from this text that the blessings or benefits enjoyed or possessed by Joseph’s father, (who was Jacob himself) had prevailed above the blessings enjoyed by his (Jacob’s) progenitors (who were Abraham and Isaac) unto the utmost bound [12] of the everlasting hills; and that these blessings or benefits which had been enjoyed by Jacob, should be on the head of Joseph and his seed in the future. Jacob literally confers on the head of Joseph his own blessings or benefits. But would it be believed that this plain passage of Scripture, which the veriest baby might understand, is twisted by Mormonism into its service. Hear the sage Winchester, page 113: “Now, reader, imagine yourself standing in Egypt, where Jacob then stood, and then search for the utmost bound of the everlasting hills, and you will find them in AMERICA.” Such a conclusion, from such premises, shows a degree of depravity on a subject like this, that we would fain hope had no existence in fact, were we not assured that the reasoning (if reasoning we can call it) did not originate with Winchester, but may be found verbatim et literatim in “Pratt’s Warning,” and no doubt emanated from the “School of Prophets” at Navoo. Now, I ask, how do you measure to get “the utmost bound of the everlasting hills” in America? Jacob does not say the farthest off hills.

Oh, no; but the farthest off bound of particular hills, which he calls “everlasting hills.” How do you measure? One hill is just as much an everlasting hill as another. Was there not everlasting hills in the Land of Canaan? There certainly was. Very well, then; it was simply the “utmost bound” of those hills which were given to Joseph. But the Mormons say Jacob gave Joseph, in this verse, ALL THE EVERLASTING HILLS IN THE WHOLE WORLD; and, of course, he gave America. Oh! very well;—be it so. But this proves too much; for it would prove that he gave the hills of Africa, and that the negroes are, therefore, the descendants of Joseph as much as the Indians. “He gave the whole world to Joseph, and, therefore, he gave America.” Now, if a little school-boy were to bring such an argument, when contending with his fellow, one would laugh at him, as a simpleton; but, when brought by men, it is only worthy of the most sovereign contempt. In order to show the reader that Jacob had no reference to any other hills than those of Canaan, it is only necessary to examine the passages already brought forward, with Deuteronomy, 4th chapter, 26th and 27th verses. You, kind reader, will observe that the amount of Jacob’s blessing to Joseph was this: That his seed was to become a multitude of people, or nations, in some land about which the question at issue arises—the Mormons contending that the land was America, and we asserting that it was Canaan. Now, let us call in Moses to settle the dispute. Come, Moses, what do you say? Deuteronomy 4th chapter, 26th and 27th verses: “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordon to possess it. Ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, AND YE SHALL BE LEFT FEW IN NUMBER, among the heathen whither the Lord shall lead you.” Now, reader, has Moses settled the dispute? You will recollect that the Mormons say, The seed of Joseph, according to Jacob, “were to become a multitude of nations in America after they [13] left Canaan.” But Moses says that they should be few in number, after they were dispersed from that land. Now, does it not follow that if they became a multitude of nations at all, it must have been in the Land of Canaan, before their dispersion? Certainly it does. Well, let us inquire if those predictions of Jacob were fulfilled in the Land of Canaan before the Lord dispersed them. Turn, if you please, to the book of Joshua, 17th chapter, from the 14th to the 18th verse: “And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people; forasmuch as the Lord hath blessed me hitherto.

And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites, and of the Giants, if Mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee. And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel. And Joshua spake unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and Manassah, saying, Thou art a great people, and hast great power; thou shalt not have one lot only; but the mountain shall be thine; for it is of wood, and thou shalt cut it down: And the outgoings (the utmost bounds) shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.” Now, reader, I appeal to you if this was not a literal fulfilment of Jacob’s prediction. Well, Mr. Mormon, d’ give it up?

Come, be honest, for once, and cheat the devil.

The next passage brought by the Mormons to prove that America was the land given to Joseph, is found in Hosea, 11th chapter, 10th verse: “They shall walk after the Lord; he shall roar like a lion; when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the West.” The argument brought from this text is, “That, as America is west from the Land of Canaan, they (the children) must be in America.” Now, the reader will perceive that this is no argument at all: First; because the text does not say where he shall stand to roar, and, of course, the country west of him will depend on that circumstance;—if he stand in America, then Asia will be in the west; if in Asia, then Africa will be west, &c. Secondly—Because, if we even admit that he roars from Zion, then there is a number of intervening places which would be west of Zion, and yet between it and America; viz. Egypt, with the whole breadth of the African continent, and next the Atlantic ocean. Now, the reader will observe that this text proves nothing in favor of Mormonism, but a great deal against it. Take it in connexion with the following verse of the same chapter, 11th verse: “They shall tremble as a bird, out of Egypt; and as a dove, out of the land of Assyria.” As Egypt lies in a west direction from Judea, there is no doubt but this was the place referred to from which they should tremble. But it may be said, “that the places, Egypt and Assyria, have no reference to where the ‘children’ were, but to the ‘bird’ and ‘dove,’ like which they were to tremble.” Well, [14] let us try it. The verse, then, would read thus: They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of Assyria. Very well. Had the Egyptian birds some peculiar mode of trembling? or, did Assyrian doves tremble different from other doves? It is not likely that either Egyptian birds or Assyrian doves trembled different from other birds or doves.

Therefore, we conclude that the children of Ephraim trembled from those places like birds, or like doves. That the Ephraimites were in Egypt and Assyria, is established beyond doubt by referring to Hosea, 9th chapter and 3rd verse: “They shall not dwell in the Lord’s land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria.” And again, in the 7th chapter, 11th and 16th verses: “Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without heart; they call to Egypt, they go to Assyria: They return, but not to the MOST HIGH; they are like a deceitful bow: their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue: this shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.”

From these passages, just quoted, we learn that the place “west” from Judea, from which the children should tremble, was not America, but Egypt. The next is from Zephania, 3rd chapter and 10th verse: “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, my suppliant, even the daughters of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.” Now, reader, hear what the Mormons say about this verse:

“If we stood on the Land of Canaan, where this prophet stood, and there should set out in search of a land beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, we would pass through the Barbary States, formerly called Ethiopia, and over the rivers of the same country; but, as soon as we should get beyond them, we would come to the Atlantic ocean; and, if we should still pursue our journey, we would come to America.” Now, I hesitate not to charge the author of this sentence with positive falsehood. When? I ask, was the Barbary States called Ethiopia? NEVER! What is now known as Ethiopia was originally the land of the Cushites. They were from Arabia, and invaded Africa and part of Egypt in Africa, under the name of Hyc Los, or Shepherd Kings. They crossed the Straits of Babelmandel, conquered Abyssinia, Nubia, part of Egypt, and what is to us the unknown regions of Central Africa, which, to this day, retains the name of Ethiopia. So that, “if we were to set out, in search of a land beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, from Canaan,” we should be obliged to go in nearly an opposite direction from that pointed out by the Mormons, viz. through Egypt, Nubia, Darfoor, and so across the “Mountains of the Moon” into Southern Africa; and then, “if we continued our journey,” we would arrive at the Southern Ocean, and would not touch America by a number of degrees. But, let us inquire what land is meant by the phrase “beyond the rivers of Ethiopia.” Now, what rivers are called the “rivers of Ethiopia?” In order that we may fully understand the meaning of this passage, and what land was meant by this phrase, we will refer to Isaiah, 18th chapter, 1st verse: “Wo to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia.” That this is the same land referred to by Zephania, 3rd chapter, 10th verse, [15] there can be no doubt. That the land of Ethiopia itself is intended by this mode of expression, is put beyond doubt by the following considerations: First—The rivers of Ethiopia, beyond which the land referred to was situate, near the head branches of the Nile, which have their origin in the land of Ethiopia, from springs arising in the Mountains of the Moon, situate in Abyssinia, and to the westward. These branches, arising in Ethiopia, were called the “rivers of Ethiopia;” and, in passing from the Land of Canaan to Ethiopia, those rivers must be crossed; hence the propriety of the expression, “beyond the rivers,” or across the rivers, which is synonymous. But, again: That the land of Ethiopia itself was intended by this language, we learn from a number of passages of Scripture. It will be observed, that the prophet Isaiah, in the words of the text, is prophecying against this land, which is “beyond the rivers of Ethiopia.”

Now, in the 20th chapter of his prophecy, God tells us what lands Isaiah was sent to prophecy against: “Saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years, for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia, so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot.” We learn from these passages that the “wo” pronounced upon the land “which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,” was to consist in the king of Assyria leading away the Ethiopians captive, “young and old.” Again, Ezekiel, 30th chapter, 4th verse: “And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia.” And, 9th verse: “In that day shall messengers go froth from me in ships, to make the careless Ethiopians afraid; and great pain shall come upon them as in the day of Egypt; for, lo! it cometh.” Compare this verse with the 2nd verse of the 18th chapter of Isaiah, and the conclusion is inevitable that the land “beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,” was not America, but Ethiopia itself. Having thus laid down some reasons for supposing that the prophet referred to the land of Ethiopia, by the phrase, “beyond the rivers,” &c, we will turn again to the passage of Zephania, 3rd chapter, 10th verse, and see if he does not refer to the same land. We will quote the 9th and 10th verses of this chapter: “For then I will turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord to serve him with one consent. From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, my suppliants, even the daughters of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.” Now, we learn from those two passages, that, at a particular time, God was to “turn to the people a pure language;” and that then his dispersed should bring from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia his offering. Let us, first, inquire what time is referred to? and, second, what land the offering, as noticed it the text, was to come from? First—What time is referred to? In that time, they were all to have the privilege of calling on the name of the Lord to serve him with one consent. Turn to Joel, 2nd chapter, 32nd verse: “And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on [16] the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.” Now, the time referred to by Joel, which was the same time noticed by Zephenia, we are informed, was the time of the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, on the day of Pentecost, the period subseqnent to the resurrection of Christ, and in the days of the Apostles. That this was the time referred to by Joel, see Acts, 2nd chapter, beginning at the 16th verse: “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” Peter, in this chapter, quotes the very words of Joel, and refers their fulfilment to the time in which he was speaking, and clearly shows not only the fulfilment of Joel, but also of Zephenia, by quoting the last words of Joel. Let us examine those two predictions, with their accomplishment: First—Zephenia: “I will turn to the people a pure language, that they may call upon the name of the Lord.” Joel: “And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” Acts: “And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved.” Having thus shown that the time referred to in the text was the days of the Apostles, or the time immediately subsequent to the resurrection of Christ, we will next inquire what land is represented as “bringing the offering.” Psalm 68th; 29th and 31st verses: “Because of the temple at Jerusalem, shall kings bring presents unto thee. Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.” That the dispersed of Israel did, in the days of the Apostles, thus bring his offering to Jerusalem from the land of Ethiopia, we learn from Acts, 8th chapter, 27th verse: “And he arose and went; and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship.” This man was evidently one of the dispersed Jews. The text does not say an Ethiopian, but a man of or from that land; and he had come up to the Jerusalem to worship. This is conclusive, and requires no further comment. Here we have a literal fulfilment of the prediction that “from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia” his dispersed should bring his offering.

Now, reader, we have disposed of the Mormons’ text, proving that America was the land given to Joseph, upon which rests their whole fabric; because the Book of Mormon teaches that America was the land given to Joseph; and it follows, if America was not given; if the descendants of Joseph did not inherit America, then the Book of Mormon is false. Now, we have seen that every argument brought from either reason or Scripture, prove conclusively that America never was given to Joseph; that the Ephraimites never saw America,—never heard of America;—and that, therefore, the Book of Mormon is a base tissue of falsehood, written at first as a novel, but subsequently pressed into the service of a set of SWINDLERS, who, under the holy name of Religion, would lead to HELL the widow and the orphan, in order to fleece them of their hard-earned pittance. [17]

Having thus examined their first position, “That America was the land given to Joseph, and that the Indians are the descendants of the Israelites,” we will, in the second place, proceed to inquire, what proof we have, from Scripture, that a “Book similar to the Book of Mormon should come forth!” I would here make an assertion, (which I wish the reader to bear in mind, and see whether I prove it,) that there is not the smallest proof from the Scriptures that there was any Book to come forward, either like the Book of Mormon or any other book. And I here challenge any Mormon to point out a single passage in the Bible, which says, a book should be buried in the earth and dug out. The reader will observe that the Mormons say, “If the Book of Mormon is not the right book, then another like it must come forth.” I say, it is false. There is no passage of Scripture that says any such thing. “But to the Law and Testimony:” Now, reader, let us examine the Scripture brought by these impostors to prove the coming forth of their book. The first passage to which they refer us, is found in Hosea, 8th chapter, 12th verse: “I have written to him the great things of my law; but they were counted as a strange thing.” “The Book of Mormon,” say these Latter Day Saints, “is counted a strange thing unto this day. Therefore, he meant the Book of Mormon.” The same argument would prove that the prophet referred to the Alcoran of Mahomet or the Revelations of Swendenborg, which are both counted strange things.

But the Book of Mormon is not counted a strange thing at all; because the imposition in this day has nothing “strange” about it. The only thing strange connected with the subject is, that ignorance itself should be duped with such a shallow attempt at imposture. It will be observed that the text does not say the law written “was counted a strange thing;” but it was counted as a strange thing. This law which God had written to them, was counted as something which they had not been acquainted with, and of course produced no effect on their conduct. In order for every child to understand the meaning of the prophet, it is only necessary to refer to the circumstances which gave rise to this prophecy. It will be recollected by the reader that Hosea prophesied in the reign of Jereboam, king of Israel. This Jereboam was an Ephramite, whom the ten tribes, when they revolted from Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, made king over them. See 1st Kings, 12th ch. Jereboam, after being made king, set up his kingdom in Samaria; and, in order to prevent the Israelites from again joining Rehoboam at Jerusalem, hit on the expedient of setting up golden calves, to prevent them from going up to Jerusalem at all. But let us hear what he says himself—1st Kings, 12th chapter, from the 26th to the 30th verse: “And Jereboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David. If this people go up to do sacrifice in the House of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart oft his people turn again unto the Lord, even unto Rehoboam, king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam, king of Judah. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jeruslaem: be- [18] hold, thy Gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Bethel and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin; for the people went to worship before the one even unto Dan.”

The reader will observe that it was this act against which the prophet Hosea is speaking in the chapter from which the text is taken. He says, in the first verse, “Set the trumpet to thy mouth: he shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.” And, in the 5th verse: “Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them,” &c.. And, 11th verse: “Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin.” Literally, Because Jereboam, who was an Ephraimite, hath set up altars for the sinful and idolatrous purpose of worshiping golden calves, they shall be carried away by the Assyrians, who will compel them, against their will, to sacrifice on altars to idols. Then follows the words of the the text: “I have written to him,” &c.

God, in these words, justifies the punishment he is about to bring on Ephraim, and shows that they had every opportunity of knowing his will on the subject, for he had written to them the great things of his law. But they had not regarded his law, but counted it as something with which they were not acquainted—“as a strange thing.” There is no no doubt but the phrase, “I have written,” refers to the tables of stone, which were written by God’s own finger, and positively condemns and forbids idolatary. See Deuteronomy, 5th chapter, 7th, 8th and 9th verses. Now, Mr. Morman, how does this refer to your book? Can you pretend to say that the explanation above given is not correct? I defy successful contradiction on this point, or any other connected with the falsity of your book. ’TIS FALSE—AND YOU KNOW IT. If, after this exposure, any Mormon shall attempt to prove their book from Hosea, the people will be able to appreciate his amount of religion and intelligence, and treat him and his doctrine accordingly.

The next passage which the Mormon brings in support of his position, you will find in Ezekiel, 37th chapter, 16th to 19th verse: “Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick and write upon it, for Judah, and for the children of Israel, his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it for Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions. And join them one to another, into one stick, and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not show me what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mind hand.” The Mormons tell us “that it was customary with the Jews to roll their writings on sticks, and to use the terms, ‘stick of the law,’ ‘stick of Isaiah’s prophecy,’ &c.” ’Tis false. There is no such phrase used in the Bible, as “STICK of the Law,” “STICK of Isaiah’s Prophecy.” The [19] word stick does not occur from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelations, to represent a writing of any kind. I defy Mormonism to produce such a passage. But, for the sake of argument, let us suppose that the word stick, in the text, means a writing, and see how the construction of the sentence will bear it out: “I will take the writing of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim and the tribes of Israel, his fellows, and will put them (not it) with him, even with the writing of Judah,” &c. That is, God will take the stick, or writing, and put them with him, the writing of Judah; or, he will take the writing and the tribes, and put them with him, the writing of Judah, and make them one writing. He will turn the tribes of Israel into a writing.

Now, however, ridiculous this may appear, it is the legitimate consequence of supposing the word stick to mean a writing; because, God is to take the stick and the tribes, and is to put them with him, the stick of Judah, and make them (the sticks and tribes) one stick. In order to prove that the word stick has no reference to a writing, I would offer the following considerations: First—Because the noun stick in the text, is in the singular number, and the pronoun them, which stands for it, is plural, thus showing that this stick was to be united with the tribes of Israel.

Thus—I will take the stick and the tribes of Israel, and put them. Now, if the word stick meant a writing, in order that the sentence might be read correctly, it should have been thus—I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and in the hands of the tribes of Israel, his fellows, and will put it. It does not read so; therefore, the word stick does not mean a writing.

The reader will observe that God was to take the stick and the tribes and put them with the stick of Judah, and they should become one stick. But there is yet another difficulty in the Mormon explanation, which is as follows: “I will put them with him, even with the stick,” &c.. Here the pronoun him is masculine, and stands for the noun stick, which is of the neuter gender. This is a direct violation of that rule which says, “a pronoun must agree in gender and number with the noun for which it stands.” How strange that men who profess to revere the Word of God, will twist it into a tissue of ungrammatical nonsense, to suite their unhallowed purposes, and yet meet the approbation of a Christian community. The whole transaction, no doubt, refers to a similar one, recorded in Numbers, 17th chapter, 2nd and 3rd verses, when God commanded Moses to take twelve rods, and write on each rod the name of the head of a tribe, and put them in the ark, &c.. Ezekiel was commanded to take two sticks and write upon them, “For Judah,” &c.. He was not told what he should write; nor was it necessury, because the same transaction of Moses was fresh in his memory, he being no doubt well acquainted with the book of Numbers. The word rod is used frequently in the Scriptures to represent the head of a tribe, and sometimes to represent the whole Israelites. See Isaiah, 11th chapter, 1st verse; Jeremiah, 10th chapter, 16th verse; Psalms, 74th chapter, 2nd verse, &c.. The word stick, or rod, we find used in Scripture to represent the head of a tribe; but never to repre- [20] sent a book or writing of any kind.

Therefore, we conclude that the legitimate reading of the passage is as follows, viz: “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will take the head of the tribe of Joseph, which is Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the head of the tribe of Judah, and make them one tribe, and they shall be one in mind hand.” Now, every difficulty vanishes, and God’s Word becomes again consistent.

Another passage brought by the Mormons is the 85th Psalm, 11th verse: “Truth shall spring out of the earth and Righteousness shall look down from heaven.” This, they tell us, refers to the Book of Mormon, which was dug out of the earth. The text cannot refer to the Book of Mormon, for several reasons: First—“Truth shall spring;” that is, it shall spring out by its own inherent powers. But the Book of Mormon was dug out. Again—The text says, “Truth shall spring,” &c.. Therefore, this text can have no such reference: hence, the Book of Mormon is a tissue of falsehood. In order to have referred to the Book of Mormon, it should have read thus:—

Falsehood shall be dug out of the earth, and Righteousness shall look down from heaven.”

When men descend, in support of their cause, to such puerile subterfuges as the Mormons have done, in pressing into their service this text, the only reply they deserve, is ridicule. We have now examined each text that has any thing like a bearing on the subject; and I appeal to the common sense of every one, how far those passages support the cause of Mormonism. Here is a sect who, for purposes of FRAUD, SEND THEIR TOOLS through every nook and corner of our land, making proselytes; and, when they have accomplished their purposes, will laugh at their dupes for their credulity, and quietly pass the remainder of their lives in wealth wrung from the hard labor of the widow and the orphan. Such is Mormonism,—THE LATEST SCHEME OF HELL.

As this sect appears fond of singing, we will, for their accommodation, annex a Hymn, which, for the interest of the community, we would advise all to commit to memory, so that, when in attendance at a Mormon meeting, they can assist in singing it.

HYMN.

Arise, ye “Saints!”—the time’s at hand,

When we’ll be paid for “trading land;”

The hour approaches,—now ’tis near:

Our “talents” shortly will appear;

And then we’ll sing, “We are the boys To wheedle FOOLS to Illinois!” [21]

Stick to the Bible,—-handle that;

Get prophecies and verses pat;—-

How ye apply them, ’tis no matter;

Green-horns you’ll gull, just by your clatter;

Secure their lands, while they rejoice That God has come to Illinois.

But, when the Bible gives the lie To what we say, and very nigh Upsets our creed, we’ll not let go,

But say, an “angel” told us so.

The bait will take; then raise your voice,—-

The prize is seen in Illinois.

THE END.

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