Mormonism and the Mormons

1842

Kidder, Daniel P. Kidder, Daniel P.

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Kidder, Daniel P. Mormonism and the Mormons: A Historical View of the Rise and Progress of the Sect Self-Styled Latter-day Saints, 3–19, 36, 49, 51–61, 253–311, 329–337. New York:Lane and Sandford, 1842.

MORMONISM AND THE MORMONS:

A HISTORICAL VIEW OF THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF THE SECT SELF-STYLED LATTER-DAY SAINTS BY DANIEL P. KIDDER.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the LATTER TIMES some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.—1 TIMOTHY IV, 1–3.

PREFACE.

IT is due to the writer, no less than to the reader, that the circumstances which have called forth the present volume should be stated. On the 13th of Nov., 1840, I was at a place called Fulton City, on the upper waters of the Mississippi river, waiting for the descent of some steamboat in which I might take passage. About day-break the next morning a boat was hailed, and I went on board. The bustle of embarkation was hardly over before I learned that the boat was owned and principally manned by Mormons, being called Nauvoo. It moreover carried Joseph Smith, Jr., in the character of passenger; although in reality he was chief director of the whole concern. It appeared that among the multitudes drawn together at the Mormon settlements in the west, were a number of individuals more or less acquainted with navigation. In order that their talent might not be unemployed, Smith and his coadjutors had purchased a steam boat, and commenced running it on the river for purposes of speculation, and also doubtless with a view to accommodating their colony at Nauvoo. On [3] board this boat was a small, but promiscuous company of passengers, most of whom, having embarked without a knowledge of the peculiar company into which they would be introduced, soon found themselves annoyed by a system of surveillance that was maintained over them. If in their conversation any remarks were dropped indicative of doubt concerning the truth of Mormonism, or of want of respect toward the leaders of that sect, they were almost sure to be reported to Smith. He, as the leader and champion, took it upon himself to chastise with severe words any who had thus offended. He did not explain the manner of his information respecting the expressions of those with whom he had not conversed; but asserted himself to be “a discerner of spirits,” and affected to disclose what was in the heart of others. In short, his repeated treatment of those who did not acknowledge his pretensions, exemplified and assertion of his own, viz., that in order to get through the word to the best advantage, he had learned to browbeat his way. I had at that time but little acquaintance with the doctrines or peculiarities of Mormonism, and therefore felt bound to avail myself of all the facilities for gaining information, in the midst of which I was so unexpectedly thrown.

I will neither attempt to detail what passed in the course of the two or three days I spent in company with the individual referred to, nor inquire what agency his prophetic knowledge had in running the boat out of her proper course, [4] and driving her upon rocks, at a moment when he himself was assisting the pilot at the wheel! It was by the last-mentioned circumstance that my passage on the Nauvoo was interrupted, and the poor boat left fast upon the upper rapids of the Mississippi, until a rise of water took her off.

Perhaps this untoward event was in judgment upon the prophet for violating the command of one of his own revelations, which originating, as it would appear, in his having been sadly frightened in a passage on one of the lakes, forbade himself and his elders ever exposing their precious lives to the perils of navigation otherwise than by canal!

On leaving the Nauvoo for another boat, which came to our relief, several passengers of the former requested me to draw up a statement of what we had witnessed for publication at St. Louis. This I declined, but promised at a future day to prepare an article for the press, in which, without setting down aught on the score of the personal treatment we had received, I would endeavour to place the subject of Mormonism in its true light. Such an article was prepared for publication in the Methodist Quarterly Review. It however being rather too long for an insertion in that periodical, the editor and others recommended its revision with a view to publication in its present form.

The works adopted as a basis of the review were I. The Book of Mormon, translated by Jo- [5] seph Smith, Jr., third edition, carefully revised by the Translator. Nauvoo, Illinois, stereotyped. Cincinnati, 1840.

II. Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter-day Saints; carefully selected and compiled from the Revelations of God, by Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, (Presiding Elders of said Church,) Proprietors, Kirtland, Ohio, 1835.

III. History of Mormonism; or a faithful Account of that singular Imposition and Delusion, with Sketches of the Characters of its Propagators, to which are added, Inquiries into the probability that the Historical Part of the Golden Bible was written by one Solomon Spalding, and by him intended to have been published as a Romance. By E. D. Howe.

Painesville, Ohio, 1840.

IV. A brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints, (commonly called Mormons,) including an Account of their Doctrines and Discipline, with Reasons of the Author for leaving the Church. By John Corrill, a Member of the Legislature of Missouri. St. Louis, 1839.

These books, not having been published in the Atlantic states, have been beyond the reach of many into whose hands this volume will fall.

From them, as containing authentic data upon several branches of the subject, extracts have been freely made, while various other sources of information have been resorted to, including [6] nearly all the official Mormon publications, a volume of the Millennial Star, published in England, and the Times and Seasons, now edited by Smith, at Nauvoo.

A want of materials has not been the difficulty in the present undertaking; but to select such as would repay the reader for examination was a task which it would perhaps be vain in me to suppose accomplished. In refuting pretensions intrinsically absurd, argument itself becomes supererogation. To invest with interest a subject which of itself is low and grovelling, can only be done by elevating that subject to a rank it never deserved. These considerations have hitherto induced the comparative silence of the press upon the proper merits of Mormonism. The delusion in the mean time has spread, until its growing evils have won for it a consequence to which the Christian and the philanthropist can be no longer indifferent. Smith already claims to have more than one hundred thousand followers. Such claim is doubtless made for effect, and is grossly exaggerated. Nevertheless, from an examination of the various letters and reports published in his official paper, I am forced to the conclusion that the Mormons actually number at the present time about EIGHTEEN THOUSAND. They are distributed nearly as follows:CNauvoo and vicinity, eight thousand five hundred. Other parts of the United States and Canada, three thousand. Great Britain, six thousand five hundred. [7]

While many have feared lest any refutation of their principles should only give them increased notoriety, and while the materiel of a complete and convincing exposure of their errors and schemes has been accessible to but few, they have by no means been indifferent to the power of the press as an auxiliary to their efforts. They have published several newspapers in the United States, and one in England. A third and stereotype edition of the Book of Mormon has been issued in this country. The same work has been republished in England, together with a hymn-book, and various circulars and pamphlets setting forth their dogmas. A book has been prepared to operate in their behalf in Germany. One of their elders was, by the last intelligence, proceeding across the continent of Europe on a mission to Palestine. A newly ordained teacher had sailed for South Australasia, and another in the army ordered to India.

Let any one reflect upon the ruinous nature of this delusion, and on the spiritual blindness and misery it will inevitably entail upon its successive victims, and answer if American Christians have not been criminally indifferent to their duty both of informing themselves and the world of its true character. Ignorantly it has been received by thousands. The leaven of corruption has begun to work far and near, and who can tell how many souls will be contaminated, or how many years shall pass, ere it will be thoroughly purged out! [8]

In the facts which this work exhibits, the reader will find the spread of Mormonism accounted for on natural principles, altogether independent of its claim to the divine sanction. It will be understood that our only opposition to Mormonism is on the ground of its being a religious imposture.

That its adherents are entitled to all the rights and immunities of freemen we strenuously maintain. That they have been wickedly persecuted is beyond a doubt; and that this circumstance has been a prime cause of their recent increase is equally clear. Finding the plea of persecution to be their strong hold, it is not wonderful that they should resort to it when hard pressed for arguments. Hence it appears to have become their habit to meet whatever is said respecting the origin of their sect with a flat, but unsatisfactory denial. This undoubtedly is their shortest course, and that which is least hazardous of self-contradiction. How much weight such denial is entitled to, may be seen in its conflicting with the plainest certified and circumstantial evidence.

To prevent this retreat from investigation under cover of a denial to well-authenticated facts, I have been obliged to preserve in borrowed language many statements that could have been made at once more brief, and more agreeable to the reader in another dress.

The present work was not undertaken from a desire to interest the curious, or to edify the learned. To place within the reach of all who [9] might desire them, the means both of understanding and of exposing the schemes of Mormonism, and the fanaticism of the Mormons, was the leading design of the writer. Utility, correspondent to this object, has been preferred in all cases to embellishment. I have not been insensible to the vast field for speculation which is opened in the facts here narrated, especially when they are viewed in comparison with the fanaticisms of former ages. This I cheerfully leave to others. To exhibit facts, not theories, has been my simple aim.

The general style of a review has been preserved. To use the utmost fairness has been my aim. Wherein I have failed I hope will be shown.

That these pages may be instrumental in checking the progress both of fanaticism and of infidelity, is the sincere desire with which they are now submitted to the public.

Some delays in the issue of this work, not at first anticipated, have on the whole perhaps been beneficial, as they have enabled the writer to imbody, in an appendix, the more recent facts that have come to his knowledge, up to the very date of publication. [10]

CHAPTER I.

Prevalence of imposture—Religion its favourite disguise—Character of Mormonism—Causes of its spread—Extent of the delusion—It furnishes capital for infidelity—Design of this work—Wickedness and folly of persecution—The true remedy—Notice of Howe’s History—Corrill’s—Golden Bible—Topics of inquiry.

THERE are no limits to imposture. It has flourished in all ages and in every nation.

Sometimes its very simplicity has won for it compassion; at others its hideous features have frightened men into compliance with its mandates. Here it has moulded the dies of the counterfeiter, and there it has woven the gloomy mask of superstition. It is capable of wearing, with equal grace, the fantastic garb of professed jugglery, and the grave insignia of the priesthood. Now it conjures up the contrivances of a petty bargain, and anon it plots the scheme of a political intrigue. It prepares the potion of the empyric, and furnishes testimony to its marvellous effects. It lurks in the courts and cabinets of kings, and is itself enthroned in the tent of the wandering gipsy. In short, its history in different places and in [11] successive periods illustrates a metempsychosis more subtle than the Brahmin ever conceived; while its ubiquity has only been second to that of the spirit of evil in the heart of man. But of all the protean shapes it assumes, sanctity is its favourite. Of all the garbs in which it has ever been arrayed, none other so completely hides its deformity as that of religion.

It is no gratifying reflection that this enlightened age, and this intelligent country, have witnessed the rise and spread of one of the most absurd and pitiful delusions of which there is any account. Every one has heard of the “Golden Bible,” and of the Mormon prophet. While they very pretensions of either have carried self-refutation to the minds of many, their very extravagance has presented a charm to others.

Associated on the one hand with a moneyed speculation, and on the other with some peculiar notions of religion which had been before assiduously propagated, and which were already popular in some parts of the country, these extravagances did not fail to attract admirers.

Minds already settled in the principles of truth, or expanding in the higher pursuits of knowledge, found it an unwelcome task to investigate gravely such a subject, and little apprehended what would grow out of it. Thus neglected by some, and despised by others, Mormonism grew up by degrees, shaping its character to suit the times. It first spread among those who were sufficiently weak to be [12] gulled into a belief of its absurdities. It soon had an equal currency among those who were either so unfortunate or so unprincipled as to find it for their interest to follow its leaders, or join its abettors.

Persecution at length arose. Sympathy added to the number of the persecuted. The claims of their cause in the light of natural and civil justice induced many to think there might be similar grounds for their pretensions to religious orthodoxy.

From these, and other causes that will be hereafter indicated, we find that after the lapse of ten years from its origin, the devotees of Mormonism are not numbered by scores or by hundreds, but by thousands. It is still on the increase. Its emissaries, with a zeal worthy of a better cause, have not been content with going through the length and breadth of our own land, they have crossed the Atlantic, and from the subjects furnished by certain classes of society in the old world, they are pouring in their proselytes among us by the ship load.

Gladly would we have been excused from the task of examining the claims of Mormonism and the Mormons, did not a regard for truth, together with the dictates of conscience, urge us to undertake it.

Justice to the world and to posterity calls upon Americans of the present generation to record facts connected with this subject which are now and here notorious, but which perhaps are unknown abroad, and which ere long might [13] become questionable by confused tradition, and eventually lost in the oblivion of time. Conscience, moreover, adjures us to repel the presumption by which the evidences of Mormonism have been asserted to compare with those of Christianity. On the ground of this presumption, the Mormon teacher already assumes to place himself on a level with the evangelists and the apostles in the propagation of his sect. The avowed infidel wields the same presumption with an equal zest in his attempted subversion of all revealed truth. There are strong grounds of probability that a disposition to sport with the credulity of mankind, and thus to make capital for skepticism, not only laid the cornerstone of Mormonism, but has planned and carried up the whole superstructure. Certain it is, that no scheme could have been devised for that purpose with the hope of producing more fruitful results.

In the progress of the present work we shall be obliged to unmask deception, and to place before the world the principal agents of this imposture in their true and attested character; yet we hope to do it in fairness and candour, so that could we gain the attention of any individuals exposed or already subject to the mental and spiritual contamination of which there have been such unhappy examples, we trust they may here find an antidote. At the same time, appealing to reason, to justice, and to the rights of man, we hope to rebuke that spirit of anarchy and intolerance which thinks to smother [14] investigation on any subject, or to crush down even error itself, by means of oppression.

The Mormon, however mistaken in any of his views, is none the less a citizen. While he therefore, in common with all others, is amenable to the laws of his country, he deserves equally with them to be maintained in the exercise of all his rights, by the supremacy of the laws, and the integrity of that country. Nor can those rights be infringed upon with impunity. Aggression is sure to beget retaliation; and when once the restraints of law have been broken over, especially by a community, where can we expect the torrent of evil consequences to be stayed? The aggressor of to-day may be the victim to-morrow, and thus onward till the nation is plunged in a civil war of extermination. While then we have much to lay to the charge of those whom we believe to be the authors of a scheme of vile deception, we by no means hold guiltless those who, by injudicious and illegal opposition, have done more to advance that very scheme, and multiply its deluded victims, than could ever have been done by its original contrivers, had they been left to themselves.

Nor is it merely in view of the past that we record these sentiments. The numbers attached to the Mormon community, and their peculiar policy toward those without its pale, give cause of apprehension for the future. It is exceedingly important, therefore, that the inhabitants of this country, and of our great west [15] especially, should fully understand this subject, and their duty with respect to it. Patience under any aggravations will be the mark of discretion. Truth and reason are the only weapons they can use with safety either in attack or defence. Let knowledge and piety be diffusedClet the pure principles of the gospel be disseminated and practised, and there will be nothing to fear. But in the absence of these, there will be no barrier against the giant strides of fanaticism, and no restraint upon the extravagances of human passion and folly.

A strong presumption in favour of the truth of Scripture history arises from the fact that when it was published to the world no part of it was contradicted. Although numbers refused their assent to the doctrines of Christianity, and were interested to oppose them, yet there has come down to us no contemporaneous denial of its premises, no exposition of the deceptions on which it was based, if such existed.

Such a presumption in favour of Mormonism is wholly destroyed by the existence of two of the works, whose titles are given in the preface. Howe’s History of Mormonism, on examination, appears to be what its title indicates, “a faithful account of that singular imposition and delusion” during the first years of its rise. Its author did not content himself with recording facts merely upon the strength of public notoriety, but in every practicable instance he has collected the concurrent and certified testimony of living witnesses. He has imbodied [16] the depositions and certificates of a large number of respectable citizens in western New-York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, respecting the pretended discovery, translation, and publication of the Book of Mormon, and also respecting the character of those engaged in the affair. Whatever may have been the success of this work on its publication, the author will not fail to realize a rich reward in the approbation of all who become acquainted with his industry, and especially in the gratitude of coming generations, should they be so unfortunate as to need demonstrative arguments in refutation of the system of imposture, whose origin he has delineated.

Corrill’s “Brief History” comes from another, and a very different source. Its author was for several years a member and an elder of the Mormon church. He explains the process by which he became such, and the reasons why he continued so long an adherent to practices which his good sense and better feelings condemned. He also testifies to the incredible inconsistencies which at length drove him to the extremity of casting off his allegiance to a false prophet. His work is by no means full and explicit, and insomuch fails to be satisfactory. Nevertheless, in several respects, it is valuable. It was manifestly an object for the author, in justification of himself, to state the very best arguments that exist in favour of MormonismCsuch as had been successful with himself, and with those among whom he had [17] been able to propagate the system; and we are disposed to pardon the generality of his remarks, and the reserve in his statements, when we consider that to have divulged more would have seemed like bearing witness against himself, and glorying in his own shame. Query. Why were not some of the elders of Israel, or the apostolic church, at least as honest as this man, so that if, in the course of long and painful experience, they became convinced of their delusion, they would, like him, have confessed it, and thus set up a waymark for their countrymen and their children in coming days?

These works correspond in all the important particulars which they both contain, and from them will be abridged the facts which immediately follow.

In the year 1827 it began to be rumoured that a “Golden Bible,” or, in other words, a new revelation, recorded upon plates of gold, had been found in Ontario county, New-York, by one Joseph Smith.

In the year 1830 a publication made its appearance, entitled, “The Book of Mormon,” purporting to be a translation of said record. Upon the divine authenticity of that book, upon its asserted miraculous preservation “in the bowels of the earth,” and upon its equally miraculous discovery and translation, are predicated both the truth and the consistency of the whole system we are now discussing. It consequently becomes us to collect whatever light may be thrown upon the origin of so unusual a [18] publication. Upon the Book of Mormon rests the whole fabric of Mormonism; let us examine whether it be not a sandy foundation. That was the starting point of the whole prophetic race; let us see whether it is from above or below. That is the fountain which has sent forth the whole flood of blessings or of curses attributable to this system; let us prove whether its waters are sweet or bitter. [19-35] . . .

CHAPTER III.

Sidney Rigdon—Solomon Spalding—The “Manuscript Found” proved to be identical with the Mormon Bible—Spaulding’s widow—Rigdon’s retirement at Pittsburgh—His subsequent course in Ohio.

LEAVING the prophet and his worthy coadjutors in their employment of peeping and comparing notes on the banks of the Susquehannah, we shall now introduce to the reader an individual hitherto behind the curtain, but who was destined to act a prominent part in the farce of Mormonism. This is none other than Sidney Rigdon, known at that time in the northern counties of Ohio as a Campbelite preacher of some distinction, and reputed to possess more than ordinary shrewdness. By means of this latter trait, so much in contrast with the general character of the Smiths, he was enabled to keep his preliminary operations chiefly in the dark.

Nevertheless, a combination of circumstances indicates him to have been the prime mover of the whole contrivance, at least as far as a religious imposture was concerned.

The leading features of what has been published to the world, as the Book of Mormon, were conceived and written out as early as the year 1810, or 1811, by one Solomon Spalding. Of the last-mentioned individual we have the following account, written by his surviving brother, a resident of Crawford county, Pennsylvania. . . . [36-49] . . .

CHAPTER IV.

The Book of Mormon published—Testimony of the witnesses—Cross examination—Contents of the book.

AFTER the preceding exhibition of “means and appliances to boot,” it appears in no way wonderful that the Mormon Bible at length issued from the press.

Such, however, were the external and the internal evidences of its forgery, that the speculation could not be ventured without solemn certificates, averring it to be a REVELATION, communicated by angels, through the medium of certain plates having the appearance of gold.

The title-page was embellished with this declaration:—The Book of Mormon, &c., by Joseph Smith, Jr., AUTHOR AND PROPRIETOR, which was duly confirmed by a certificate of copyright, under the hand and seal of R. R. Lansing, clerk of the northern district of New-York. In flat contradiction to this claim of author and proprietorship, were the following testimonies at the conclusion. . . . [49-50] . . .

As these certificates constitute the entire evidence of the divine authenticity of the book in question, as they have often been recited in large congregations, and as they are still appealed to in proof of the same, they deserve a patient examination.

If we could for once suppose these individuals to have been honest, disinterested, and credible men, yet the vagueness and contradictory nature of their statements would render their testimony exceedingly suspicious. Leaving out formal and deceptive redundancies, the whole of the testimony of three witnesses is reduced to these particulars:—1. We have seen the plates which contain this record. 2. We know that they have been translated by [51] the power of God.

3. Also we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and, 4. They have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. 5. An angel of God came down from heaven and brought (what?) and laid before our eyes.

On this we remark—1. That these men may have seen plates is very possible; but in order to know that said plates contained a given record, they must have been able to understand their contents, and have had opportunity to compare them with said record.

It is not pretended, however, that they had either such ability or opportunity, but the contrary:—consequently they knew not whereof they affirmed.

2. If they understood not the contents, how could they know that there had been any translation at all, not to say a correct or divinely-assisted one? The reason given is, “for his [God’s] voice hath declared it unto us.” We are not told whether to understand this literally or figuratively; whether said voice was heard by them individually or collectively, sleeping or waking, or how they knew it was from God; and hence every rational mind will discredit the whole statement.

3. It had previously been sated that the plates had been translated. What need then of such special interposition to show the engravings upon the plates, since the witnesses do not assert that these were translated?

The 4th particular is equally destitute of [52] certainty and plausibility. The 5th betrays a most puerile and trickish attempt at deceit. As to the subsequent flourish respecting the truth of “these things,” it is so ambiguous, that no one knows whether to apply it to the particulars here enumerated, or to those contained in the book, all of which are alike destitute of foundation.

The testimony of eight witnesses is very different from the preceding. According to this, all that before required “the voice of God,” the descent of “an angel of God from heaven,” yea, all that was shown to the three “by the power of God, and not of man,” is here exhibited to eight be “Joseph Smith, Jr., translator of this work.” Still more, he goes further than either God or the angel, and suffers the plates to be handled with hands.

That Smith showed them plates, which, to ignorant men had the appearance of gold, is easy enough to be believed; and if he had manufactured the same, it would have been no great stretch of ingenuity. But how could they know that they had handled and hefted as many of the leaves as said Smith translated? Certainly on no other ground than his “say so,” which is good for nothing.

But if of a surety Jo had “got” these plates, and, as he pretended, had had them two or three years in a box, how could they have got up to heaven, whence Cowdery and Harris aver that an angel came down to bring them, and lay before their eyes? Minor discrepan-[53] cies and grammatical blunders we cannot pause to notice.

Now on the supposition that this testimony (!) did not fully contradict, and, beyond remedy, destroy itself, it would be rendered suspicious by being unaccompanied with date of either time or place, and by not having been deposed in legal form. Suspicion would be increased by observing, that out of eleven witnesses, five are Whitmers, and three are Smiths, belonging to two families.

Finally, waiving every other consideration, since these individuals have presumed to challenge the attention of all “nations, kindreds, tongues, and people” to the wretched humbug they have attempted to palm off upon the world, we have thought proper to submit above, to all, as far as these presents may come, a legal and an incontestable impeachment of their character and veracity, such as before a jury, in any civilized country, would render their testimony null and void, even though it were intelligible and disinterested. One of these two conclusions appears to us irresistible,—either these witnesses were grossly deceived by a lying prophet, or else they wickedly and wilfully perjured themselves, by swearing to what they knew to be false.

The former, although not very creditable to their good sense, is yet the more charitable opinion, and is rendered probable by the fact, that hundreds have been deceived in the same way. It is confirmed, moreover, by the well-[54] known mental phenomenon, that to individuals accustomed to disregard the laws of veracity, truth and falsehood are alike. They can as easily persuade themselves of the one as the other. This fact is as notorious respecting the “yarns of the forecastle,” as it is manifest in the tales and witchery of the money-diggers. But the awful crime of perjury has been committed among men. And if probable subjects for its repetition could be anywhere found, where should we expect to meet them sooner, than among such as were about to run the fearful hazard of the plagues denounced against any man who should presume to add to the revelation of God?

Men who could deny adultery to be a crime, and who could be guilty of the blasphemy of pretending to utter the voice of the Almighty, upon any trivial occasion, which suited such pretence to their interest, could not have had the fear of God before their eyes, and must have been instigated by the devil. That the temporal interests of these witnesses were pending, and were actually advanced by this step, will soon appear.

In order to give a consecutive, although a very abridged account of the spread of the delusion, we forego an examination of the pretended Bible for the present, merely subjoining an index to its contents, that we have drawn up from the edition before us.

This table will sevre to explain the references to the book, which occur in our narra-[55] tive, and is recommended as worthy of being incorporated in the next edition of that work, for the convenience of its readers.

CONTENTS OF THE BOOK OF MORMON.

The first book of Nephi contains ...............................................................................7 chap’s.

The second book of Nephi,........................................................................................15

The book of Jacob, the brother of Nephi, ..................................................................5

The book of Enos,......................................................................................................1

The book of Jarom,....................................................................................................1

The book of Omni,.....................................................................................................1

The words of Mormon,..............................................................................................1

The book of Mosiah,..................................................................................................13

The book of Alma,.....................................................................................................30

The book of Helamon, ..............................................................................................5

The book of Nephi, who was the son of Helamon, ...................................................14

The book of Nephi, who is the son of Nephi, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ,...........................................................................1

Book of Mormon, ......................................................................................................4

Book of Ether,............................................................................................................6

The book of Moroni,..................................................................................................10

Note.—Thus we have fifteen books, which contain one hundred and fifteen chapters. Only a few of either are preceded by any summary of topics. Such summaries as we find will now be copied verbatim. [56]

THE FIRST BOOK OF NEPHI:

HIS REIGN AND MINISTRY.

Chapter I. —An account of Lehi and his wife, Sariah, and his four sons, being called (beginning at the eldest) Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. The Lord warns Lehi to depart out of the land of Jerusalem, because he prophesieth unto the people concerning their iniquity: and they seek to destroy his life. He taketh three days’ journey into the wilderness with his family. Nephi taketh his brethren, and returns to the land of Jerusalem after the record of the Jews. The account of their sufferings. They take the daughters of Ishmael to wife. They take their families, and depart into the wilderness. Their sufferings and afflictions in the wilderness. The course of their travels. They come to the large waters. Nephi’s brethren rebelleth against him. He confoundeth them, and buildeth a ship.

They call the name of the place Bountiful. They cross the large waters into the promised land, &c. This is according to the account of Nephi; or, in other words, I, Nephi, wrote this record.

THE SECOND BOOK OF NEPHI.

Chapter I. —An account of the death of Lehi. Nephi’s brethren rebelleth against him. The Lord warns Nephi to depart into the wilderness. His journeyings in the wilderness, &c.

THE BOOK OF JACOB, THE BROTHER OF NEPHI.

Chapter I. —The words of his preaching unto his brethren. He confoundeth a man who seeketh to overthrow the doctrine of Christ.* A few words concerning the history of the people of Nephi. [57]

BOOK OF MOSIAH.

CHAPTER VI.

THE RECORD OF ZENIFF.

An account of his people, from the time they left the land of Zarahemla, until the time that they were delivered out of the hands of the Lamanites.

THE BOOK OF ALMA,

THE SON OF ALMA.

Chapter I. —The account of Alma, who was the son of Alma the first, and chief judge over the people of Nephi, and also the high priest over the church. An account of the reign of the judges, and the wars and contentions among the people. And also an

* At least 500 B. C. account of a war between the Nephites and the Lamanites, according to the record of Alma the first, and chief judge.

Chapter XII. —An account of the sons of Mosiah, who rejected their rights to the kingdom, for the word of God, and went up to the land of Nephi, to preach to the Lamanites. Their sufferings and deliverance, according to the record of Alma.

Chapter XIII. —An account of the preaching of Aaron and Muloki, and their brethren, to the Lamanites.

Chapter XXI. —The account of the people of Nephi, and their wars and dissensions, in the days of Helaman, according to the record of Helaman, which he kept in his days.

THE BOOK OF HELAMAN.

Chapter I. —An account of the Nephites. Their wars and contentions, and their dissensions. And [58] also the prophecies of many holy prophets, before the coming of Christ, according to the record of Helaman, who was the son of Helaman, and also according to the records of his sons, even down to the coming of Christ. And also many of the Lamanites are converted. An account of their conversion. An account of the righteousness of the Lamanites, and the wickedness and abominations of the Nephites, according to the record of Helaman and his sons, even down to the coming of Christ, which is called the book of Helaman, &c.

CHAPTER III.

THE PROPHECY OF NEPHI,

THE SON OF HELAMAN.

God threatens the people of Nephi, that he will visit them in his anger, to their utter destruction, except they repent of their wickedness. God smiteth the people of Nephi with pestilence; they repent and turn unto him. Samuel, a Lamanite, prophesies unto the Nephites.

THE BOOK OF NEPHI, THE SON OF NEPHI,

WHO WAS THE SON OF HELAMAN.

Chapter I. —And Helaman was the son of Helaman, who was the son of Alma, who was the son of Alma, being a descendant of Nephi, who was the son of Lehi, who came out of Jerusalem in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, the king of Judah.

Chapter V. —Jesus Christ sheweth himself unto the people of Nephi, as the multitude were gathered together in the land Bountiful, and did minister unto them: and on this wise did he shew himself unto them. [59]

Our own humble opinion is, that just as much correct knowledge and real information may be drawn from the above nondescript and heterogeneous medley of contents, as from a perusal of the entire volume of five hundred and seventy pages. But more anon.

CHAPTER V.

P. P. Pratt makes his appearance in Ontario county—He is forthwith converted and ordained—

Mission to the Lamanites—Smith’s wife constituted amanuensis—Easy method of getting a revelation—

Lamanites found in Ohio—Rigdon’s conversion—Pratt’s denial of the contrivance examined.

BEFORE this ghostly work issued form the press, numbers were already on the qui vive for its reception. The term Golden Bible, which had been thrown out in the rumours set afloat respecting it, was too well adapted, both to the cupidity and the marvellousness of this money-making age, not to excite great expectations on the part of the ignorant and the fanatical.

Nevertheless, it does not appear that many were added to the company of those primarily initiated, until after the principal seat of operations was transferred to Ohio. It is interesting to observe how miraculously this event was brought about. “It came to pass,” not long after the publication of the Book of Mormon, that a man named Pratt, an intimate acquaintance of Sidney Rigdon, and a convert to his [60] doctrines, made his appearance in the neighbourhood of the Smiths, this person, in a very short time, became a disciple to Mormonism, and a teacher of its dogmas. He was, indeed, so promising a convert, as almost immediately to deserve and receive a commission to proceed westward on a pretended mission to the Indians. This expedition was fitted out under the nominal direction of Oliver Cowdery to whom the following was furnished by Smith. . . . [61-253]

. . .

CHAPTER XIV.

Relation of Mormonism to Christianity—Glance at the Book of Mormon—New and improved edition—Author and proprietor becomes translator―Chronology―A brass ball―Miraculous navigation―Narrative―Antecedent voyage—Bloody wars—Antiquities of Central America in proof of Mormonism—Colour of the Indians accounted for.

THE whole system of Mormonism owes its origin, and the church of Latter-day Saints its existence, to the Book of Mormon and the fable of a Golden Bible. Why do the Mormons become ashamed of this? Why desire to construct their system upon any other than its proper foundation? This very circumstance is suspicious, betraying as it does a consciousness that truth is lacking for its support.

We are now prepared to ask men or angels, to show a baser perversion of Scripture, or of Christian principles, than that by which they [253] are brought to the aid of Mormonism—a system of infidelity—a scheme of deception.

But we are told that the Book of Mormon proves the truth of the Bible. That we deny. No such proof is wanting. The truth of the Bible has been irrefragibly demonstrated for centuries. Yet we allow that additional evidences of the divine inspiration of that book are continually accumulating. Nor is it the least, though it be the last instance of this kind which has occurred in connection with Mormonism, and is found in the terms in which the character of false prophets was delineated, Jeremiah xxiii, 22; and also in the portraiture of those who in the latter times should depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits. Vid. 1 Tim. iv, 1; 1 John ii, 18.

There is nothing in the origin of the Book of Mormon, or in the agency by which it was brought to light, calculated to excite high expectation on the part of the intelligent reader. Nevertheless, we will now inquire into its intrinsic merits. Surely this is no ordinary task: the examination of a book, purporting not only to have been inspired, but also “hid up” in a miraculous manner, and at length revealed by the power of God.

We open the volume, we glance the eye over its pages, and what do we find? The plain and convincing narrative of the sacred historians? The sublime and soul-inspiring diction of the Psalmist and the prophets? The profound doctrines and moving appeals of the apostles? [254]

Passages we indeed find that are worthy of an inspired pen. But they have been introduced by the hand of the miserable plagiarist, who not only had the audacity to plunder them from the sacred and living oracles for his own vile purposes, but also the unaccountable stupidity to place them without acknowledgment in connection, and therefore in contrast, with the pitiful productions of his own pen. All save these sacrilegious plagiarisms bears the indelible stamp of puerility, as well as of an uncultivated taste and a wicked heart. Not even the most wretched novel of modern times betrays so perfect a destitution of inventive power in its writer; so complete an inability to perceive, and to conceal, its own inconsistencies. Indeed, if we can attribute any prevailing object to the writer of the Book of Mormon, it must have been that of heaping together such a chaos of disconnected absurdities as would defy analysis and refutation.

But even in this he has made a failure, as will presently appear.

It is matter of gratification that we have before us a “carefully revised edition” of this work, one which bears evidence of considerable improvement upon the first.

Although we are still shocked with outrages upon grammar, and barbarisms in style, that glare forth on almost every page, yet we congratulate ourselves that we are delivered from reviewing a less perfect copy. To show that this is not exaggeration, we will merely hint at the improvements [255] manifest in the title-page. Whereas the first and second editions gave the preface to the book jumbled up between its title and the name of its publishers, the third arranges the preface on a separate page secundem artem. Whereas before the preface said, “And now if there be fault, it be the mistake of men;” it now reads as amended, “if there are faults, they are the mistakes of men.” Another striking alteration has been made on the title-page, which we should not hesitate to pronounce an improvement, did we not prefer to witness an abandonment of good taste rather than a violation of truth. The alteration is this; instead of “Joseph Smith, Jr., author and proprietor,” as in the first edition we now have “translated by Joseph Smith, Jr.” The following is the authorized and current eulogium, which the Mormons use respecting this book:—

“It opens the events of ancient America. It pours a flood of light upon the world on subjects before concealed—upon the history of a nation whose remnants have long since dwindled into insignificance in midnight darkness, and whose former greatness was lost in oblivion, or only known by the remains of cities, palaces, temples, aqueducts, monuments, towers, fortifications, unintelligible inscriptions, sepulchres, and bones. The slumber of ages has now been broken. The dark curtain of the past has been rolled up.

The veil of obscurity has been removed, as regards the world called new. The ancient events of America now [256] stand revealed in the broad light of history, as far back, at least, as the first peopling of the continent after the flood. This discovery will yet be hailed among all nations as among the most glorious events of the latter times, and as one of the principal means of overwhelming the earth with knowledge.”

P. P. Pratt says, on the issue of the English edition of the Book of Mormon, it “is in reality of more value to them [the public] than all the gold and silver of England.” “I repeat the declaration, strange as it may seem, that a knowledge of things contained in this record is of more value to every one than the gold and silver of Europe.”

Perhaps a reperusal of the summary of contents, which we gave on a preceding page, will be of service to the reader, before proceeding with us to inquire WHAT LIGHT is thrown by this work upon the first settlement of the western world, or its early inhabitants.

It will be remembered that the “Manuscript Found” was expressly designed to account for certain unexplained facts connected with this subject. We could have hoped that a person making this his especial theme would arrive at some results beyond the common vague notions that generally prevail respecting it.

The first book of Nephi gives us the only positive date of time and place contained in the whole work. Fortunately the place is not an obscure one, and the time is so well defined in various kinds of history, that no one can lack [257] data for either verifying or disproving the entire narrative of the Book of Mormon.

Let us hear the author:—

“I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days—nevertheless having been highly favoured of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days; yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians. And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge.

“For it came to pass, in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, (my father Lehi having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days;) and in that same year there came many prophets, prophesying unto the people, that they must repent, or the great city, Jerusalem, must be destroyed.

“And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness. And it came to pass that he was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him.

“And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness; and he came down by the borders near the shore of the Red Sea; and he travelled in the wilderness in the borders which are nearer the Red Sea. [258]

“And it came to pass that when he had travelled three days in the wilderness, he pitched his tent in a valley by the side of a river of water. And it came to pass that he built an altar of stones, and made an offering unto the Lord, and gave thanks unto the Lord our God. And it came to pass that he called the name of the river Laman, and it emptied into the Red Sea; and the valley was in the border near the mouth thereof.

“And when my father saw that the waters of the river emptied into the fountain of the Red Sea, he spake unto Laman, saying, O that thou mightest be like unto this river, continually running into the fountain of all righteousness. Now this he spake because of the stiff-neckedness of Laman and Lemuel, for behold they did murmur in many things against their father, because he was a visionary man, and had led them out of the land of Jerusalem, to leave the land of their inheritance, and their gold, and their silver, and their precious things, to perish in the wilderness.”

After about thirty pages occupied in detailing the speeches and dreams of this visionary man, Lehi, and his equally visionary son Nephi; we are made acquainted with the discovery of a miraculous something, generally supposed to have been a compass.

“And it came to pass that as my father arose in the morning, and went forth to the tent door, to his great astonishment, he beheld on the ground a round ball, of curious workmanship, and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles: and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness.”

The expressiveness of the above description [259] has brought to our mind a passage in the travels of Captain Lemuel Gulliver, who, having been so unfortunate as to lose his HAT when cast upon the shores of Lilliput, while yet detained as a prisoner by the emperor of that country, was made glad at heart by the following intelligence:—

“There arrived an express to inform his majesty, that some of his subjects riding near the place where I was first taken up, had seen a great black substance lying on the ground, very oddly shaped, extending its edges round as wide as his majesty’s bed chamber, and rising up in the middle as high as a man; that it was no living creature as they at first apprehended, for it lay on the grass without motion; and some of them had walked round it several times; that by mounting upon each other’s shoulders, they had got to the top, which was flat and even, and stamping upon it they found that it was hollow within.”

The discovery of his hat was not a matter of greater moment to Captain Gulliver, than was the possession of the ball and the spindles to our adventures in the following journeys and voyages.

“And it came to pass that we did take our tents, and depart in the wilderness, across the river Laman. And it came to pass that we travelled for the space of four days, nearly a south southeast direction, and we did pitch our tents again; and we did call the name of the place Shazer.

“And we did go forth again, in the wilderness, [260] following the same direction, keeping in the most fertile parts of the wilderness, which were in the borders near the Red Sea.

And it came to pass that we did travel for the space of many days, slaying food by the way, with our bows and our arrows, and our stones and our slings; and we did follow the directions of the ball, which led us in the more fertile parts of the wilderness. And after we had travelled for the space of many days, we did pitch our tents for the space of a time, that we might again rest ourselves, and obtain food for our families.

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the pointers which were in the ball, that they did work according to the faith, and diligence, and heed, which we did give unto them. And there was also written upon them a new writing, which was plain to be read, which did give us understanding concerning the ways of the Lord; and it was written and changed from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we see, that by small means, the Lord can bring about great things.

“And it came to pass that we did again take our journey in the wilderness; and we did travel nearly eastward, from that time forth.

“And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness.

And we did come to the land which we called Bountiful, because of its much fruit, and also wild honey; and all these things were prepared of the Lord, that we might not perish. And we beheld the sea, which we called Irreantum, which, being interpreted, is many waters.

“And it came to pass that we did pitch our tents by the sea shore, and notwithstanding we had suffered many afflictions, and much difficulty, yea, even so much that we cannot write them all, we were exceedingly rejoiced when we came to the sea shore; [261] and we called the place Bountiful, because of its much fruit.

“And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying, Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall shew thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters. And I said, Lord, whither shall I go, that I may find ore to molten, that I may make tools to construct the ship, after the manner which thou hast shewn unto me? And it came to pass that the Lord told me whither I should go to find ore, that I might make tools.

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make a bellows wherewith to blow the fire, of the skins of beasts; and after I had made a bellows, that I might have wherewith to blow the fire, I did smite two stones together, that I might make fire; for the Lord had not hitherto suffered that we should make much fire, as we journeyed in the wilderness.

“And it came to pass that I did make tools of the ore which I did molten out of the rock.

And when my brethren saw that I was about to build a ship, they began to murmur against me, saying, Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh that he can build a ship; yea, and he also thinketh that he can cross these great waters. And thus my brethren did complain against me, and were desirous that they might not labour, for they did not believe that I could build a ship; neither would they believe that I was instructed of the Lord.

“Now I, Nephi, did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men, neither did I build the ship after the manner of men; but I did build it after the manner which the Lord had shewn unto me; wherefore, it was not after the manner of men.

“And it came to pass that after I had finished the ship, according to the word of the Lord, my brethren [262] beheld that it was good, and that the workmanship thereof was exceeding fine; wherefore, they did humble themselves again before the Lord.

“And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came unto my father, that we should arise and go down into the ship. And it came to pass that on the morrow, after we had prepared all things, much fruits and meat from the wilderness, and honey in abundance, and provisions, according to that which the Lord had commanded us, we did go down into the ship with all our loading and our seeds, and whatsoever thing we had brought with us, every one according to his age; wherefore, we did go down into the ship, with our wives and our children.

“And it came to pass after we had all gone down into the ship, and had taken with us our provisions and things which had been commanded us, we did put forth into the sea, and were driven forth before the wind, toward the promised land; and after we had been driven forth before the wind, for the space of many days, behold my brethren, and the sons of Ishmael, and also their wives, began to make themselves merry insomuch that they began to dance, and to sing, and to speak with much rudeness; yea, even that they did forget by what power they had been brought thither; yea, they were lifted up unto exceeding rudeness.

“And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel did take me and bind me with cords, and they did treat me with much harshness.

“And it came to pass that after they had bound me, insomuch that I could not move, the compass, which had been prepared of the Lord, did cease to work; wherefore, they knew not whither they should steer the ship, insomuch that there arose a great storm, yea, a great and terrible tempest; and we were driven back upon the waters for the space of [263] three days; and they began to be frightened exceedingly, lest they should be drowned in the sea: nevertheless, they did not loose me. And on the fourth day which we had been driven back, the tempest began to be exceeding sore.

“And it came to pass that we were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea. And after we had been driven back upon the waters for the space of four days, my brethren began to see that the judgments of God were upon them, and that they must perish, save that they should repent of their iniquities; wherefore, they came unto me and loosed the bands which were upon my wrists, and behold, they had swollen exceedingly; and also mine ankles were much swollen, and great was the soreness thereof.

“Now, my father Lehi had said many things unto them, and also unto the sons of Ishmael; but, behold, they did breathe out much threatenings against any one that should speak for me; and my parents being stricken in years, and having suffered much grief because of their children, they were brought down, yea, even upon their sick beds. Because of their grief, and much sorrow, and the iniquity of my brethren, they were brought near even to be carried out of this time, to meet their God; yea, their grey hairs were about to be brought down to lie low in the dust; yea, even they were near to be cast, with sorrow, into a watery grave.

“And it came to pass after they had loosed me, behold, I took the compass, and it did work whither I desired it. And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord; and after I had prayed, the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and there was a great calm.

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did guide the ship, that we sailed again toward the promised land. And it came to pass that after we had sailed for the [264] space of many days, we did arrive to the promised land; and we went forth upon the land, and did pitch our tents; and we did call it the promised land.

“And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass, and the horse, and the goat, and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men. And we did find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper.”

Verily here is multum in parvo! What a model for future travellers! Captain Gulliver can no longer be considered as the standard of excellence in this species of writing. In order fully to appreciate the beauties, as well as the consistency, of this narrative, let us turn to an approved map of Palestine, and the adjoining countries.

On the supposition that the Lord was actually about to people the western continent by means of this family, the first query that arises is, why were they not directed to the Mediterranean Sea, which was so near Jerusalem, instead of being made to perform the long and perilous journey to the borders of the Red Sea? more especially since the voyage through the former would have been shorter by six or seven thousand miles, (no trifling distance,) than the one performed according to the data given. An easterly course from the borders of the Red Sea would have taken them across the Desert of Arabia to the Persian Gulf.

Without discussing the practicability of these [265] persons securing, by means of the bow and arrow, in such a region, not only their daily food, but also the stores necessary for a long voyage at sea, we will suppose them all duly embarked on board the ship, miraculously constructed by one man, while his brothers were wasting their time in idleness.

We now feel some curiosity to know whether the vessel was navigated by sails, by steam, or by magnetic power. In the absence of all positive information, we observe that, different from most vessels at sea, she was driven before the wind on her direct course, until, through the exceeding wickedness of the brethren of Nephi, “the compass did cease to work, wherefore, they knew not whither they should steer the ship, insomuch that there arose a great storm, yea, a great and a terrible tempest.” What a pity our author had not employed himself in noting his courses and distances, instead of describing the swellings of his wrists and ankles, and “the great soreness thereof!” The world would have placed more value upon the simple log-book of such a voyage, than it ever will upon the Book of Mormon as we have it. After all, it appears that the compass was of no value, for “it did work whither I [Nephi] desired it.” Hence he might have steered the ship whither he desired, just as well without the compass. What a fund of knowledge this individual possessed! He must either have known how to sail directly over such continents and islands as lay between him and his destination, or have been so ac- [266] quainted with their latitude and longitude, as to know now to avoid them. In either case, he was quite in advance of his times! The same explicitness of detail, which characterizes the journal of the voyage, prevails in the description of the country upon which he landed. “And it came pass after we had sailed for the space of many days, we did arrive to the promised land; and we went forth upon the land, and we went forth upon the land, and did pitch our tents, and we did call it the promised land.”

About five hundred pages of this precious record are now devoted to the history of this people, called a remnant of Joseph. Throughout the whole there prevails a perspicuity of style fully in keeping with the above examples, although some of the details are less credible.

We submit a condensed view of the whole, in the language of O. Pratt, professor of mathematics and English literature in the Nauvoo University, who, by some means, has discovered that the voyage above alluded to was made across the Pacific Ocean, terminating on the western coast of South America.

Taking all manner of liberties with the text, this gentleman has done the very best toward making out an intelligible narrative from the Book of Mormon. The reader will therefore please respect the following extract as the concentration of “a flood of light.”

“Soon after they landed, they separated themselves into two distinct nations. This division was caused by a certain portion of them [267] being greatly persecuted, because of their righteousness, by the remainder. The persecuted nation emigrated toward the northern parts of South America, leaving the wicked nation in possession of the middle and southern parts of the same. The former were called Nephites, being led by a prophet who was called Nephi. The latter were called Lamanites, being led by a very wicked man, whose name was Laman. The Nephites had in their possession a copy of the Holy Scriptures, viz., the five books of Moses, and the prophecies of the holy prophets, down to Jeremiah, in whose days they left Jerusalem. These Scriptures were engraved on plates of brass, in the Egyptian language. They themselves also made plates, soon after their landing, on which they began to engrave their own history, prophecies, visions, and revelations. All these sacred records were kept by holy and righteous men, who were inspired by the Holy Ghost; and were carefully preserved and handed down from generation to generation.

“And the Lord gave unto them the whole continent for a land of promise; and promised that they, and their children after them, should inherit it, on condition of their obedience to his commandments; but if they were disobedient, they should be cut off from his presence. And the Nephites began to prosper in the land, according to their righteousness, and multiplied and spread forth to the east, west, and north; building large villages, cities, synagogues, and [268] temples, together with forts, towers, and fortifications, to defend themselves against their enemies. And they cultivated the earth, and raised various kinds of grain in abundance. They also raised numerous flocks of domestic animals, and became a very wealthy people, having in abundance gold, silver, copper, tin, iron, &c. Arts and sciences flourished to a great extent. Various kinds of machinery were in use. Cloths of various kinds were manufactured. Swords, cimeters, axes, and various implements of war were made, together with head-shields, arm-shields, and breast-plates, to defend themselves in battle with their enemies. And in the days of their righteousness, they were a civilized, enlightened, and happy people.

“But on the other hand, the Lamanites, because of the hardness of their hearts, brought down many judgments upon their own heads; nevertheless, they were not destroyed as a nation; but the Lord God sent forth a curse upon them, and they became a dark, loathsome, and filthy people. Before their rebellion they were white and exceedingly fair, like the Nephites; but the Lord God cursed them in their complexions, and they were changed to a dark colour, and they became a wild, savage, and ferocious people, being great enemies to the Nephites, whom they sought by every means to destroy, and many times came against them, with their numerous hosts, to battle, but were repulsed, and driven back to their own possession; not, however, generally speaking, without great loss [269] on both sides; for tens of thousands were very frequently slain, after which they were piled together in great heaps upon the face of the ground, and covered with a shallow covering of earth, which will satisfactorily account for those ancient mounds filled with human bones, so numerous at the present day, both in North and South America.”

Unfortunately for Professor Pratt’s literary reputation, such mounds are not met with in South America.

According to him also, “In the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah, at the time the Jews were carried away captive into Babylon, another remnant were brought out of Jerusalem, some of whom were descendants of Judah. They landed in North America, soon after which they emigrated into the northern parts of South America, at which place they were discovered by the remnant of Joseph, something like four hundred years after.

“They were called the people of Zarahemla. They had been perplexed with many wars among themselves; and having brought no records with them, their language had become corrupted, and they denied the being of God; and at the time they were discovered by the Nephites, they were very numerous, and only in a partial state of civilization; but the Nephites united with them, and taught them the Holy Scriptures, and they were restored to civilization, and became one nation with them. And in process of time the Nephites began to [270] build ships near the Isthmus of Darien, and launch them forth into the western ocean, in which great numbers sailed a great distance to the northward, and began to colonize North America. Other colonies emigrated by land, and in a few centuries the whole continent became peopled. North America, at that time, was almost entirely destitute of timber, it having been cut off by the more ancient race, who came from the great tower, at the confusion of languages; but the Nephites became very skilful in building houses of cement; also much timber was carried by the way of shipping from South to North America. They also planted groves, and began to raise timber, that in time their wants might be supplied. Large cities were built in various parts of the continent, both among the Lamanites and Nephites. The law of Moses was observed by the latter. Numerous prophets were raised up, from time to time, throughout their generations. Many records, both historical and prophetical, which were of great size, were kept among them; some on plates of gold and other metals, and some on other materials. The sacred records, also of the more ancient race who had been destroyed, were found by them. These were engraved on plates of gold. They translated them into their own language, by the gift and power of God, through the means of the Urim and Thummim. They contained an historical account from the creation down to the tower of Babel, and from that time down until they were [271] destroyed, comprising a period of about thirty-four hundred, or thirty-five hundred years. They also contained many prophecies, great and marvellous, reaching forward to the final end and consummation of all things, and the creation of the new heaven and new earth.

“The prophets also among the Nephites prophesied of great things. They opened the secrets of futurity—saw the coming of the Messiah in the flesh—prophesied of the blessings to come upon their descendants in the latter times—made known the history of unborn generations-unfolded the great events of ages to come—viewed the power, glory, and majesty of Messiah’s second advent—beheld the establishment of the kingdom of peace—gazed upon the glories of the day of righteousness—saw creation redeemed from the curse, and all the righteous filled with songs of everlasting joy.

“The Nephites knew of the birth and crucifixion of Christ, by certain celestial and terrestrial phenomena, which, at those times, were shown forth in fulfilment of the predictions of many of their prophets. Notwithstanding the many blessings with which they had been blessed, they had fallen into great wickedness, and had cast out the saints and the prophets, and stoned and killed them. Therefore, at the time of the crucifixion of Christ, they were visited in great judgment. Thick darkness covered the whole continent.

The earth was terribly convulsed. The rocks were rent into broken fragments, and afterward found in seams [272] and cracks upon all the face of the land. Mountains were sunk into valleys, and valleys raised into mountains. The highways and level roads were broken up and spoiled. Many cities were laid in ruins. Others were buried up in the depths of the earth, and mountains occupied their place. While others were sunk, and waters came up in their stead, and others still were burned by fire from heaven.

“Thus the predictions of their prophets were fulfilled upon their heads. Thus the more wicked part, both of the Nephites and the Lamanites, were destroyed. Thus the Almighty executed vengeance and fury upon them, that the blood of the saints and prophets might no longer cry from the ground against them.

“Those who survived these terrible judgments were favoured with the personal ministry of Christ; for after he arose from the dead, finished his ministry at Jerusalem, and ascended to heaven, he descended in the presence of the Nephites, who were assembled round about their temples in the northern parts of South America. He exhibited to them his wounded hands, side, and feet—commanded the law of Moses to be abolished—introduced and established the gospel in its stead—chose twelve disciples from among them to administer the same—instituted the sacrament—prayed for and blessed their little children—healed their sick, blind, lame, deaf, and those who were afflicted in any way—raised a man from the dead—showed forth his power in their midst—ex- [273] pounded the Scriptures which had been given from the beginning down to that time, and made known unto them all things which should take place down until he should come in his glory, and from that time down to the end, when all people, nations, and languages, shall stand before God to be judged, and the heaven and the earth should pass away, and there should be a new heaven and new earth. these teachings of Jesus were engraved upon plates, some of which are contained in the Book of Mormon; but the greater part are not revealed in that book, but are HEREAFTER to be made manifest to the saints.

“After Jesus had finished ministering unto them, he ascended into heaven; and the twelve disciples, whom he had chosen, went forth upon all the face of the land, preaching the gospel, baptizing those who repented, for the remission of sins, after which they laid their hands upon them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. Mighty miracles were wrought by them, and also by many of the church. The Nephites and Lamanites were all converted unto the Lord, both in South and North America; and they dwelt in righteousness above three hundred years: but toward the close of the fourth century of the Christian era, they had so far apostatized from God, that he suffered great judgments to fall upon them. The Lamanites, at that time, dwelt in South America, and the Nephites in North America.

“A great and terrible war commenced be- [274] tween them, which lasted for many years, and resulted in the complete overthrow and destruction of the Nephites. This war commenced at the Isthmus of Darien, and was very destructive to both nations for many years. At length the Nephites were driven before their enemies, a great distance to the north, and north-east; and having gathered their whole nation together, both men, women, and children, they encamped on and round about the hill Cumorah, where the records were found, which is in the state of New-York, about two hundred miles west of the city of Albany. Here they were met by the numerous hosts of the Lamanites, and were slain, and hewn down, and slaughtered, both male and female―the aged, middle-aged, and children. Hundreds of thousands were slain on both sides; and the nation of the Nephites were destroyed, excepting a few who had deserted over to the Lamanites, and a few who escaped into the south country, and a few who fell wounded, and were left by the Lamanites on the field of battle for dead, among whom were Mormon and his son Moroni, who were righteous men.”

Listen now to the lamentations of Moroni!

“Behold, I, Moroni, do finish the record of my father Mormon. Behold, I have but few things to write, which things I have been commanded of my father. And now it came to pass that after the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites, who had escaped into the country southward, were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all [275] destroyed; and my father also was killed by them; and I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. But behold, they are gone, and I fulfil the commandment of my father. And whether they will slay me, I know not; therefore I will write and hide up the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not. Behold, my father had made this record, and he hath written the intent thereof. And behold, I would write it also, if I had room upon the plates; but I have not; and ore I have none, for I am alone: my father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolks, and I have not friends nor whither to go; and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live, I know not.

Behold, four hundred years have passed away since the coming of our Lord and Saviour. And behold, the Lamanites have hunted my people, the Nephites, down from city to city, and from place to place, even until they are no more, and great has been their fall; yea, great and marvellous is the destruction of my people, the Nephites. And behold, also, the Lamanites are at war one with another; and the whole face of this land is one continual round of murder and bloodshed; and no one knoweth the end of the war.”

Who would suppose that after having witnessed such

“Strange accidents of flood and field;”

after having survived his entire nation, this man would now concern himself about literary fame? Yet he is represented as proceeding to say,

“Whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, [a strong appeal this to critics!] the same shall know [276] of greater things than these. Behold, I am Moroni; and were it possible, I would make all things known unto you. [A most benevolent design.] Behold, I speak unto you as though I spake from the dead; for I know that ye [who?] shall hear my words.

“And now behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called, among us, the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech. And if our plates had been sufficiently large, we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have no imperfection in our record. But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language, therefore, he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof.”

Moroni goes still further, and turning his attention to the study of antiquities, produces the book of Ether, containing, decidedly, the most remarkable narrative found in the Book of Mormon.

Were Dean Swift alive, he would, perhaps, in comparison with this writer, find himself much in the condition of his own Gulliver, when expecting to be swallowed or crushed to death by the Mannikins!

The plain English of the circumstance is this. The author, having nearly completed his book, becomes so conscious of the absurdity of attempting to people the whole western continent by means of a single family from Jerusa- [277] lem so late as 600 B. C., hastens back to the confusion of tongues, at the tower of Babel, and imports several families, called the people of Jared. Of these he makes a “very numerous and powerful people,” but is cruel enough to destroy them all long before the Nephites arrived, so that nothing but their bones could be found, and the plates containing their history. Witness the whole process, abridged in his own words.

“And it came to pass that Jared, and his brother, and their families, and also the friends of Jared and his brother, and their families, went down into the valley which was northward, with their flocks which they had gathered together, male and female, of every kind. And they did also lay snares and catch fowls of the air; and they did also prepare a vessel, in which they did carry with them the fish of the waters; and they did also carry with them deseret, which, by interpretation, is a honey-bee; and thus they did carry with them swarms of bees, and all manner of that which was upon the face of the land, seeds of every kind.

“And it came to pass that the Lord commanded them that they should go forth into the wilderness, yea, into that quarter where there never had man been. And it came to pass that the Lord did go before them, and did talk with them as he stood in a cloud, and gave direction whither they should travel. And it came to pass that they did travel in the wilderness, and did build barges, in which they did cross many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord. And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop beyond the sea in the wilderness, but he would that they should come forth even unto the [278] land of promise, which was choice above all other lands which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people.

“And the Lord said, Go to work and build, after the manner of barges which ye have hitherto built. And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did go t work, and also his brethren, and built barges after the manner which they had built, according to the instructions of the Lord.

And they were small, and they were light upon the water, even like unto the lightness of a fowl upon the water; and they were built after a manner that they were exceeding tight, even that they would hold water like unto a dish; and the bottom thereof were tight like unto a dish; and the sides thereof were tight like unto a dish; and the ends thereof were peaked; and the top thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the length thereof was the length of a tree; and the door thereof, when it was shut, was tight like unto a dish. And it came to pass that the brother of Jared cried unto the Lord, saying, O Lord, I have performed the work which thou hast commanded me, and I have made the barges according as thou hast directed me. And behold, O Lord, in them there is no light, whither shall we steer. And also we shall perish, for in them we cannot breathe, save it is the air which is in them; therefore we shall perish. And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared.

Behold, thou shalt make a hole in the top thereof, and also in the bottom thereof; and when thou shalt suffer for air, thou shalt unstop the hole thereof, and receive air. And if it so be that the water come in upon thee, behold, ye shall stop the hole thereof, that ye may not perish in the flood. And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did so, according as the Lord had commanded.

And he cried again unto the Lord, saying, O Lord, behold I have done even as thou hast commanded me; and I [279] have prepared the vessels for my people, and behold, there is no light in them. Behold, O Lord, wilt thou suffer that we shall cross this great water in darkness?

And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared, What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels? For behold, ye cannot have windows, for they will be dashed in pieces; neither shall ye take fire with you, for ye shall not go by the light of fire; for behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea: for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth.

“And it came to pass that the brother of Jared (now the number of the vessels which had been prepared was eight) went forth unto the mount, which they called the mount Shelem, because of its exceeding height, and did moulten out of a rock sixteen small stones; and they were white and clear, even as transparent glass, and he did carry them in his hands upon the top of the mount, and cried again unto the Lord, saying, O Lord, thou hast said that we must be encompassed about by the floods. O Lord, look upon me in pity, and turn away thine anger from this thy people, and suffer not that they shall go forth across this raging deep in darkness, but behold these things which I have moulten out of the rack. And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea. And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched [280] the stones, one by one, with his finger; and the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was as the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood; and the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with fear.

“It came to pass after the Lord had prepared the stones which the brother of Jared had carried up into the mount, the brother of Jared came down out of the mount, and he did put forth the stones into the vessels which were prepared, one in each end thereof; and behold, they did give light unto the vessels thereof. And thus the Lord caused stones to shine in darkness, to give light unto men, women, and children, that they might not cross the great waters in darkness.

And it came to pass that when they had prepared all manner of food, that thereby they might subsist upon the water, and also food for their flocks and herds, and whatsoever beast, or animal, or fowl that they should carry with them. And it came to pass that when they had done all these things, they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves unto the Lord their God. And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, toward the promised land: and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind. And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.

“And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep, there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore [281] when they were encompassed about by many waters, they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters. And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow toward the promised land, while they were upon the waters: and thus they were driven forth before the wind; and they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord. And thus they were driven forth; and no monster of the sea could break them, neither whale that could mar them; and they did have light continually, whether it was above the water or under the water. And thus they were driven forth, three hundred and forty and four days upon the water; and they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land, they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them.

“And it came to pass that they went forth upon the face of the land, and began to till the earth. And it came to pass that they began to spread upon the face of the land, and multiply and to till the earth; and they did wax strong in the land.

“And they built a great city by the narrow neck of land, by the place where the sea divides the land. And they did preserve the land southward for a wilderness, to get game. And the whole face of the land northward was covered with inhabitants; and they were exceeding industrious, and they did buy and sell, and traffic one with another, that they might get gain. And they did work in all manner of ore, and they did make gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, and all manner of metals; and they did dig it [282] out of the earth; wherefore they did cast up mighty heaps of earth to get ore, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of copper. And they did work all manner of fine work. And they did have silks, and fine-twined linen; and they did work all manner of cloth, that they might clothe themselves from their nakedness. And they did make all manner of tools to till the earth, both to plough and to sow, to reap and to hoe, and also to thrash.

And they did make all manner of tools with which they did work their beasts. And they did make all manner of weapons of war. And they did work all manner of work of exceeding curious workmanship. And never could be a people more blessed than were they, and more prospered by the hand of the Lord. And they were in a land that was choice above all lands, for the Lord had spoken it.”

How long this happy state of things continued we are not informed. The narrative breaks it off very suddenly by a description of bloody wars, in the mere skirmishes of which two millions of men were slain on one side, yea, “of mighty men, and also their wives and their children.”

The parties in this civil strife having now become fairly enraged, proceeded to end their difficulties by a final contest, which resulted very much like the famous battle between the cats of Kilkenny.

“They were for the space of four years gathering together the people, that they might get all who were upon the face of the land, and that they might receive all the strength which it was possible that they could receive. And it came to pass that when they were all gathered together, every one to the army which [283] he would, with their wives, and their children; both men, women and children being armed with weapons of war, having shields, and breast-plates, and head-plates, and being clothed after the manner of war, they did march forth one against another, to battle; and they fought all that day, and conquered not. And it came to pass that when it was night they were weary, and retired to their camps; and after they had retired to their camps, they took up a howling and a lamentation for the loss of the slain of their people; and so great were their cries, their howlings, and lamentations, that it did rend the air exceedingly. And it came to pass that on the morrow they did go again to battle, and great and terrible was that day; nevertheless they conquered not, and when the night came again, they did rend the air with their cries, and their howlings, and their mournings, for the loss of the slain of their people.

“They went again to battle. And it came to pass that they fought all that day, and when the night came they slept upon their swords; and on the morrow they fought even until the night came; and when the night came they were drunken with anger, even as a man who is drunken with wine; and they slept again upon their swords; and on the morrow they fought again; and when the night came they had all fallen by the sword, save it were fifty and two of the people of Coraintumr, and sixty and nine of the people of Shiz. And it came to pass that they slept upon their swords that night, and on the morrow they fought again, and they contended in their mights with their swords, and with their shields, all that day; and when the night came there were thirty and two of the people of Shiz, and twenty and seven of the people of Coriantumr. And it came to pass that they ate and slept, and prepared for death on the morrow. And they were large and mighty men, as to the [284] strength of men. And it came to pass that they fought for the space of three hours, and they fainted with the loss of blood. And it came to pass that when the men of Coriantumr had received sufficient strength that they could walk, they were about to flee for their lives, but behold, Shiz arose, and also his men, and he sware in his wrath that he would slay Coriantumr, or he would perish by the sword; wherefore he did pursue them, and on the morrow he did overtake them; and they fought again with the sword. And it came to pass that when they had all fallen by the sword, save it were Coriantumr and Shiz, behold, Shiz had fainted with the loss of blood. And it came to pass that when Coraintumr had leaned upon his sword, that he rested a little, he smote off the head of Shiz. And it came to pass that after he smote off the head of Shiz, that Shiz raised upon his hands and fell; and after that he had struggled for breath, he died. And it came to pass that Coriantumr fell to the earth, and became as if he had no life.”

Perhaps the reader has anticipated from some of the expressions above quoted, that the recent discovery of ruined cities in Central America would be appealed to in corroboration of the Book of Mormon.

Such is the fact. A report of one of Mr. Catherwood’s lectures on American antiquities is published in the Times and Seasons, under the taking caption,―MORE PROOFS OF THE BOOK OF MORMON.

The uncertainty acknowledged to exist with respect to this whole subject, renders it a suitable topic for such appeals as the Mormons usually make in order to darken counsel with words. But we will not enter into controversy [285] here, since we should be sorry to rob Messrs. Stephens and Catherwood of any honours which might accrue to them, from having substantiated the truth of the Book of Mormon. We will only express a hope that “Joseph the seer,” in return for the self-denying labours of those gentlemen, will at least do them the kindness to interpret the hieroglyphics with which they were so sadly puzzled. He ought to be very familiar with them, since, according to the latest version of the story, he translated his book not from Egyptian, the reformed Egyptian, or the Egyptian and Hebrew, as he has before said at different times, but from

“HIERGLYPHICS PECULIAR to the people whose history it gives.”

Being furnished moreover with an accurate copy of those hieroglyphics now before the public, what excuse can he have for hesitating to brush up his “big specs,” “anciently called interpreters,” and deluge the waiting world with a new “FLOOD OF LIGHT!”

The only point of interest which remains to be noticed in this connection, is the Mormon method of accounting for the colour of the aboriginal Americans, generally denominated red men. We will not dispute about the terms used in the extracts, since a “skin of blackness” resembles copper colour about as much as the language of our author generally approximates to the truth.

“And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their in- [286] iquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceeding fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. And thus saith the Lord God, I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities. And because of their cursing which was upon them, they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey. And the Lord God said unto me, [Nephi,] They shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in remembrance of me; and they shall scourge them even unto destruction.”

CHAPTER XV.

Prophecies―Plagiarisms―Caricature of Scripture―Plates―Contrivance to forestall objections―Harris’s visit to Dr. Anthon―Dr. Anthon’s letter―Immersion instituted―Wickedness of infant baptism―Duplicity of Mormon teachers exhibited―Their system carried out―Foolish vagaries―Rival revelator in New-York―Phelps’ humiliation―Cowdery’s present position―Reprobation of Kirtland―Patriarch’s office―Blessing meetings―Summary and conclusion.

HAVING now given all the important geographical and historical information we have been able to find in the Book of Mormon, including several notable miracles, we pass to observe that it contains numerous prophecies. Some of these are such as any writer of a romance might safely make and verify in the course of his story. [287]

The following is designed to apply to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, the Moses and Aaron of Mormonism:―

“For Joseph truly testified, saying, A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be choice seer unto the fruit of my loins. Yea, Joseph truly said, thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of they loins. And unto him will I give commandment, that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers. And I will give unto him a commandment, that he shall do none other work, save the work which I shall command him. And I will make him great in mine eyes; for he shall do my work. And he shall be great like unto Moses, whom I have said I would raise up unto you, to deliver my people, O house of Israel. And Moses will I raise up, to deliver thy people out of the land of Egypt. But a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins; and not to the bringing forth my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them. Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines, and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days; and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord. And out of weakness he shall [288] be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence among all my people, unto the restoring thee, O house of Israel, saith the Lord. And thus prophesied Joseph, saying, Behold that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him, shall be confounded: for this promise, of which I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of thy loins, shall be fulfilled. Behold I am sure of the fulfilling of this promise. And his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father, [J. Smith.] And he shall be like unto me; for the thing which the Lord shall bring forth by his hand, by the power of the Lord shall bring my people unto salvation; yea, thus prophesied Joseph, I am sure of this thing, even as I am sure of the promise of Moses: for the Lord hath said unto me, I will preserve thy seed for ever. And the Lord hath said, I will raise up a Moses; and I will give power unto him in a rod; and I will give judgment unto him in writing. Yet I will not loose his tongue, that he shall speak much: for I will not make him mighty in speaking. But I will write unto him my law, by the finger of mine own hand; and I will make a spokesman for him, [Rigdon.] And the Lord said unto me also, I will raise up unto the fruit of thy loins; and I will make for him a spokesman. And I, behold, I will give unto him, that he shall write the writing of the fruit of thy loins, unto the fruit of thy loins; and the spokesman of thy loins shall declare it. And the words which he shall write, shall be the words which are expedient in my wisdom, should go forth unto the fruit of thy loins. And it shall be as if the fruit of thy loins had cried unto them from the dust; for I know their faith. And they shall cry from the dust; yea, even repentance unto their brethren, even after many generations have gone by them. And it shall come to pass that their cry shall go, even according to the simpleness of their words.” [289]

Another class is made up of passages from Scripture, wickedly garbled and interpolated. The prophecies of Nephi claim to have been delivered about five hundred and fifty years before Christ. From them we extract the following examples:―

“Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you, concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world. And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized with water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water. And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water? Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men, that according to the flesh, he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments; wherefore, after he was baptized with water, the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove.

“And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven, whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.”

What a striking coincidence between the translation of certain uncouth hieroglyphics, en- [290] graven on metal plates some centuries ago, and the language of King James’ Bible!

Such coincidence subserves no imaginable end, other than to fix the brand of plagiarism upon this stupid attempt to counterfeit the word of God.

To any one who may have occasion to examine the Book of Mormon, we give the following references under this head:―

Parts of Book of Mormon.

Where found.

Pages 53–56,

Isaiah―Ch. xlviii, xlix;

75–77, l, li;

85–101, ii, xiv;

466–477,

Matthew v, vi, vii;

484, 485,

Isaiah lii;

487, 488,

liv;

489–491,

Malachi iii;

563, 564,

1 Cor. xiii.

Thus by a very hasty examination any one may see that thirty-one pages out of five hundred and seventy, or one-eighteenth part of the whole volume, is stolen property.

It has been plundered from the living oracles of God, and wrought in by piece-meal to give countenance to a silly fabrication.

Let any one peruse the chaste, and, in several instances, sublime language of the scriptures above referred to, and then say if we have used terms too disrespectful of the Mormon context. Here follows an example of the latter:―

“And now there cannot be written in this book, even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did [291] truly teach unto the people; but behold the plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he taught the people; and these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken. And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things, then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them. And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation. Behold I were about to write them all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbid it, saying, I will try the faith of my people; therefore I, Mormon, do write the things which have been commanded me of the Lord.”

Perhaps it will be said, that inasmuch as some of the prophecies quoted were written before the Nephites left Jerusalem, and as their authors are acknowledged, it is reasonable to suppose that they were copied on the successive sets of plates; an abridged edition of which was obtained by “the author and proprietor” of the Book of Mormon.

We answer that the charge of plagiarism is founded, 1st. Upon the language used, the English not having been in existence until subsequently to the last date in the Book of Mormon. 2d. Upon the translation, which was first published in 1610, more than a thousand years after the death of Moroni, the finisher of the [292] book, if it be genuine.

This translation is followed not only in words, but also in the use of pauses and parentheses! E. g. Isa. lii, 14. The possibility of such an extensive and literal coincidence honestly occurring in a translation from an unknown tongue, is an idea too absurd to mention.

After the above examples of whole chapters taken from the common version of the Bible, it cannot be necessary to collate the numerous Scripture phrases which are made use of, without the shadow of acknowledgment, in every part of the Book of Mormon.

The following are a few:―

“By faith in the Son of God.”―“He is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.”―”How beautiful upon the mountains!”―“To be carnally minded is death.”―“Wars and rumours of wars.”―“Must be born again.”―“Gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity.”―“Hewn down and cast into the fire.”―“Whosoever will come, may come, and partake of the waters of life freely.”―“A flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep the tree of life.”―“O wretched man that I am!”

In this connection we subjoin a brief example of the method in which another considerable portion of this work has been gotten up. It is neither more nor less than a vile caricature of Scripture.

“And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying unto the Father, he arose; but so great was the joy of the multitude, that they were [293] overcome. And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise. And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them, Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full. And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bear record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them. And when he had done this he wept again, and he spake unto the multitude, and saith unto them, Behold your little ones. And as they looked to behold, they cast their eyes toward heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were, in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire: and the angels did minister unto them, and the multitude did see, and hear, and bear record; and they know that their record is true, for they all of them did see and hear, every man for himself; and they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls; and they did consist of men, women, and children.

“And it came to pass that Jesus commanded his disciples that they should bring forth some bread and wine unto him. And while they were gone for bread and wine, he commanded the multitude that they should sit themselves down upon the earth. And when the disciples had come with bread and wine, he took of the bread, and brake and blessed it; and he gave unto the disciples, and commanded that they should eat. And when they had eat, and were filled, he commanded that they should give unto the multitude. And when the multitude had eaten and were filled, he said unto the disciples, Behold, there shall one be ordained among you, and to him will I give power that he shall break bread, and bless it, and give it unto the people of my church, unto all those [294] who shall believe and be baptized in my name. And this shall ye always observe to do, even as I have done, even as I have broken bread, and blessed it, and gave it unto you.

And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shown unto you. And it shall be a testimony unto the Father, that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me, ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.”

It is particularly remarkable that the inspired writers of the Bible never anticipated objections that would be brought against their record. They uniformly proceeded in an open and undeviating course, never attempting to save appearances, or describing their message as received in any strange or incredible name. Not so the writer of the Book of Mormon. He was so intent upon maintaining the unnatural idea, that his book was made up from certain ancient records, that he keeps the plates jingling in our ears from one end of the volume to the other. Sometimes they are “brass,” sometimes “gold,” “pure gold,” or “like unto gold.” At one time they are “sealed up,” and “hid up;” at another “dug up,” translated, and abridged. The tales respecting them are ridiculous and self-contradictory.

The following extracts will serve as a specimen:―

“And now when my father saw all these things, [the plates brought from Jerusalem,] he was filled with the spirit, and began to prophesy concerning his seed: that these plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who were [295] of his seed.

Wherefore, he said that these plates of brass should never perish; neither should they be dimmed any more by time.

“And it came to pass that the Lord commanded me, wherefore I did make plates of ore, that I might engra ven upon them the record of my people. And upon the plates which I made, I did engraven the record of my father, and also our journeyings in the wilderness, and the prophecies of my father; and also many of mine own prophecies have I engraven upon them. And I knew not at the time when I made them, that I should be commanded of the Lord to make these plates; wherefore, the record of my father, and the genealogy of his forefathers, and the more part of all our proceedings in the wilderness, are engraven upon those plates of which I have spoken; wherefore, the things which transpired before I made these plates, are, of a truth, more particularly made mention upon the first plates.

“And an account of my making these plates shall be given hereafter; and then, behold, I proceed according to that which I have spoken, and this I do, that the more sacred things may be kept for the knowledge of my people. Nevertheless, I do not write any thing upon plates, save it be that I think it be sacred. And now, if I do err, even did they err of old.

“Now King Mosiah had no one to confer the kingdom upon, for there was not any of this sons who would accept of the kingdom; therefore he took the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, and also the plates of Nephi, and all the things which he had kept and preserved, according to the commandments of God, after having translated and caused to be written the records which were on the plates of gold, which had been found by the people of Limhi, which were delivered to him by the hand [296] of Limhi; and this he did, because of the great anxiety of his people, for they were desirous beyond measure, to know concerning those people who had been destroyed. And now he translated them by the means of those two stones which were fastened into the two rims of a bow. Now these things were prepared from the beginning, and were handed down generation to generation, for the purpose of interpreting languages; and they have been kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he should discover to every creature who should possess the land, the iniquities and abominations of his people; and whosoever has these things is called seer, after the manner of old times.

“Behold there are records which do contain all the proceedings of this people; and a more short, but a true account, was given by Nephi: therefore I have made my record of these things according to the record of Nephi, which was engraven on the plates which were called the plates of Nephi. And behold I do make the record on plates which I have made with mine own hand. And behold, I am called Mormon.

“And now I, Moroni, have written the words which were commanded me, according to my memory; and I have told you the things which I have sealed up; therefore touch them not, in order that ye may translate; for that thing is forbidden you, except by and by it shall be wisdom in God. And behold, ye may be privileged that ye may shew the plates unto those who shall assist to bring forth this work; and unto three shall they be shown by the power of God: wherefore they shall know of a surety that these things are true.”

The following is the authorized account of [297] their situation, and condition, at the time of discovery:―

“As you go on the mail-road from Palmyra, Wayne county, to Canandaigua, Ontario county, New-York, before arriving at the little village of Manchester, say from three to four, or about four miles from Palmyra, you pass a large hill on the east side of the road. Why I say large, is because it is as large, perhaps, as any in that country.

“The north end rises quite suddenly, until it assumes a level with the more southerly extremity; and I think I may say, an elevation higher than at the south, a short distance, say half or three-fourths of a mile. As you pass toward Canandaigua, it lessens gradually, until the surface assumes its common level, or is broken by other smaller hills or ridges, watercourses, and ravines. I think I am justified in saying, that this is the highest hill for some distance round, and I am certain that its appearance, as it rises so suddenly from a plain on the north, must attract the notice of the travellor as he passes by.

“‘The north end,’ which has been described as rising suddenly from the plain, forms ‘a promontory without timber, but covered with grass.’ As you pass to the south, you soon come to scattering timber, the surface having been cleared by art or wind, and a short distance further left, you are surrounded by the common forest of the country. It is necessary to observe, that even the part cleared, was only occupied for [298] pasturage; its steep ascent, and narrow summit, not admitting the plough of the husbandman, with any degree of ease or profit. It was at the second mentioned place, where the record was found to be deposited, on the west side of the hill, not far from the top, down its side; and when myself visited the place in the year 1830, there were several trees standing―enough to cause a shade in summer, but not so much as to prevent the surface being covered with grass―which was also the case when the record was first found.

“How far below the surface these records were (anciently) placed, I am unable to say: but from the fact that they have been some fourteen hundred years buried, and that, too, on the side of a hill so steep, one is ready to conclude, that they were some feet below, as the earth would naturally wear, more or less, in that length of time. But they, being placed toward the top of the hill, the ground would not remove as much as at two-thirds, perhaps. Another circumstance would prevent a wearing of the earth; in all probability, as soon as timber had time to grow, the hill was covered, and the roots of the same would hold the surface. However, on this point, I shall leave every man to draw his own conclusion, and form his own speculation. But suffice to say, a hole of sufficient depth was dug. At the bottom of this was laid a stone of suitable size, the upper surface being smooth. At each edge was placed a large quantity of cement, and into this cement, at the [299] four edges of the stone, were placed erect four others; their bottom edges resting in the cement, at the outer edges of the first stone. The four last named, when placed erect, formed a box; the corners, or where the edges of the four came in contact, were also cemented so firmly that the moisture from without was prevented from entering. It is to be observed, also, that the inner surface of the four erect or side stones were smooth. This box was sufficiently large to admit a breast-plate, such as was used by the ancients, to defend the chest, &c., from the arrows and weapons of their enemy. From the bottom of the box, or from the breast-plate, arose three small pillars, composed of the same description of cement used on the edges; and ‘upon these three pillars were placed the records.’

“‘This box, containing the records, was covered with another stone, the bottom surface being flat, and the upper crowning.’ When it was first visited by Mr. Smith, on the morning of the 22d of September, 1823, ‘a part of the crowning stone was visible above the surface, while the edges were concealed by the soil and grass,’ from which circumstance it may be seen, ‘that however deep this box might have been placed at first, the time had been sufficient to wear the earth, so that it was easily discovered, when once directed, and yet, not enough to make a perceivable difference to the passer-by.’∗ [300]

“After arriving at the repository, a little exertion in removing the soil from the edges of the top of the box, and a light pry, brought to his vision its contents.

“These records were engraved on plates, which had the appearance of gold. Each plate was not far from seven by eight inches in width and length, being not quite as thick as common tin. They were filled on both sides with engravings, in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume, as the leaves of a book, and fastened at one edge with three rings running through the whole. This volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed. The characters or letters upon the unsealed part were small and beautifully engraved. The whole book exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction, as well as much skill in the art of engraving. With the records was found ‘a curious instrument, called by the ancients the Urim and Thummim, which consisted of two transparent stones, clear as crystal, set in the two rims of a bow. This was in use, in ancient times, by persons called seers. It was an instrument, by the use of which they received revelations of things distant, or of things past or future.’”

There is no other particular in which the writer of the Book of Mormon actually manifests so much of the spirit of prophecy, as respecting the objections his production would have to encounter. His contrivance to forestall said objections is detected in the blas- [301] phemous imputation of the following, and much more similar language, to the Deity.

“Wo be unto him that shall say, We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough.

“And my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel. . . .

In view of the above extracts, the reader can determine how much either of honesty or of [302] consistency there is in the Mormons now saying that they are misrepresented and persecuted when their book is called the Mormon Bible. That it was

∗ How does this correspond with the repeated assertion, that they were “dug up from the bowels of the earth?” written and published as such, its own text proves; and to deny this, as is now generally done, is a departure from truth.

It is generally known that the story respecting the origin of this book was contrived with reference to the expressions of Isaiah xxix, 11, respecting the vision which had become as the words of a book. Thus its “coming forth” is urged to be a fulfilment of Scripture prophecy. The Mormon caricature of that prophecy is found in the second book of Nephi, and reads as follows:—

“And it shall come to pass that Lord God shall bring forth unto you the words of a book, and they shall be the words of them which have slumbered. . . . [303]. . .

We have hitherto omitted to mention, that while the Golden Bible was in process of fabrication, Martin Harris was sent to New-York to present a scrawl of singular marks to certain learned gentlemen of that city. As these marks meant nothing, of course they could not be read; so they were carried back to the man that was not learned.

Out of this circumstance a story was framed, [304] very plausible to those ignorant of its falsity, and which has been diligently used, up to this day, in making proselytes to Mormonism. What can be clearer proof of a disposition to deceive, at the expense of every semblance of truth, than to persist in asserting, as the Mormon teachers do, that the prophecy of Isaiah was literally fulfilled in the origin of the book before us?

The following letter of Dr. Anthon explains itself, and the points under consideration.

New-York, Feb. 17, 1834.

“The whole story about my having pronounced the Mormonite inscription to be ‘reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics’ is perfectly false. Some years ago, a plain, and, apparently, simple-hearted farmer, called upon me, with a note from Dr. Mitchell, of our city, now deceased, requesting me to decipher, if possible, a paper which the farmer would hand me, and which Dr. M. confessed he had been unable to understand. Upon examining the paper in question, I soon came to the conclusion that it was all a trick, perhaps a hoax. When I asked the person, who brought it, how he obtained the writing, he gave me, as far as I can now recollect, the following account:—A ‘gold book,’ consisting of a number of plates of gold, fastened together in the shape of a book by wires of the same metal, had been dug up in the northern part of the state of New-York, and, along with the book, an enormous pair of ‘ gold spectacles! ’ These spectacles were so large, that if a person attempted to look through them, his two eyes would have to be turned toward one of the glasses merely, the spectacles in question being altogether too large for the breadth of the human face. Whoever ex-[305] amined the plates through the spectacles was enabled not only to read them, but fully to understand their meaning. All this knowledge, however, was confined at that time to a young man who had the trunk, containing the book and spectacles, in his sole possession. This young man was placed behind a curtain, in the garret of a farm-house and, being thus concealed from view, put on the spectacles occasionally, or rather looked through one of the glasses, deciphered the characters in the book, and, having committed some of them to paper, handed copies from behind the curtain to those who stood on the outside.

Not a word, however, was said about the plates having been deciphered ‘by the gift of God.’

Every thing, in this way, was effected by the large pair of spectacles. The farmer added, that he had been requested to contribute a sum of money toward the publication of the ‘golden book,’ the contents of which would, as he had been assured, produce an entire change in the world, and save it from ruin. So urgent had been these solicitations, that he intended selling his farm, and handing over the amount received to those who wished to publish the plates. As a last precautionary step, however, he had resolved to come to New-York, and obtain the opinion of the learned about the meaning of the paper which he brought with him, and which had been given him as a part of the contents of the book, although no translation had been furnished at the time by the young man with spectacles. On hearing this odd story, I changed my opinion about the paper, and, instead of viewing it any longer as a hoax upon the learned, I began to regard it as part of a scheme to cheat the farmer of his money, and I communicated my suspicions to him, warning him to beware of rogues. He requested an opinion from me in writing, which of course I declined giving, and he then [306] took his leave, carrying the paper with him. This paper was, in fact, a singular scrawl.

It consisted of all kinds of crooked characters, disposed in columns, and had evidently been prepared by some person who had before him, at the time, a book containing various alphabets.

Greek and Hebrews letters, crosses and flourishes, Roman letters inverted or placed sideways, were arranged in perpendicular columns, and the whole ended in a rude delineation of a circle divided into various compartments, decked with various strange marks, and evidently copied after the Mexican calendar, given by Humboldt, but copied in such a way as not to betray the source whence it was derived. I am thus particular, as to the contents of the paper, inasmuch as I have frequently conversed with my friends on the subject, since the Mormonite excitement began, and well remember that the paper contained any thing else but ‘ Egyptian hieroglyphics.’ Some time after, the farmer paid me a second visit. He brought with him the golden book in print, and offered it to me for sale. I declined purchasing. He then asked permission to leave the book with me for examination. I declined receiving it, although his manner was strangely urgent. I adverted once more to the roguery which had been, in my opinion, practised upon him, and asked him what had become of the gold plates. He informed me that they were in a trunk with the large pair of spectacles. I advised him to go to a magistrate, and have the trunk examined. He said the >curse of God’ would come upon him should he do this. On my pressing him, however, to pursue the course which I had recommended, he told me that he would open the trunk, if I would take the >curse of God’ upon myself. I replied that I would do so with the greatest willingness, and would incur every risk of that nature, pro-[307]vided I could only extricate him from the grasp of rogues. He then left me.

“I have thus given you a full statement of all that I know respecting the origin of Mormonism, and must beg you, as a personal favour, to publish this letter immediately, should you find my name mentioned again by these wretched fanatics. Yours respectfully, CHARELS ANTHON.”

We had designed to notice various other topics, involving inconsistencies equal to those we have already pointed out, and possibly still more palpable. We must now, however, close this review with two extracts, showing that the Book of Mormon bears the broad impress of Campbellism, which is not yet quite fourteen hundred years old!

In it immersion for the remission of sins is represented as having been practised long previous to the Christian era.

It gives, moreover, the following account of the institution of the RITE OF IMMERSION at the epoch of Christ’s personal appearance to the Nephites.

“And he said unto them, On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you. Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them: behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying, Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. [308]

Amen. And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water.”

It again treats expressly upon the wickedness of infant baptism.

“And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children. . . .[309]. . .

We presume no intelligent advocate for immersion, or respectable opponent to infant baptism, will be in the least grateful for the authority thus furnished in favour of his sentiments.

We now take leave of the Book of Mormon. If any one desires to learn more of its absurdities than we have exposed, we refer him to the book itself, where he cannot fail to be satisfied. It does not contain a single statement which can be verified by Mr. Leslie’s celebrated rules for determining matters of fact. On the contrary, its whole narrative is an outrage on common sense, interwoven with tasteless but sanctimonious declamation, ad captandum vulgus. Nevertheless, it is probably the most successful attempt ever made to counterfeit a divine revelation. As such, it affords a lesson even to the infidel. From it he may learn the impossi- [310] bility of imposing deception, upon its own grounds, on any considerable portion of mankind. We have exposed many of the tricks, and alluded to the general system of duplicity by which Mormonism has thus far been propagated. . . [ 311-29]. . .

The history of Mormonism forms a melancholy comment upon the weakness and folly of man—man so easily led astray—so perversely deluded.

In conclusion, one word more to our countrymen who may meet with the subjects or propagators of this delusion.

What mistake could be greater than that of supposing physical force in any degree necessary to oppose its spread.

The force of reason, of demonstration, and, if need be, of affectionate entreaty, should indeed be used. If, then, our last appeal should be unavailing, the force of experience will doubtless, in the course of time, restore all innocent subjects of this wretched fanaticism to their right mind. The following facts deserve to be understood by all.

1. The Mormon Bible originated with men destitute of a good moral character.

2. The primary design of its publication was pecuniary profit.

3. Said Mormon Bible bears prima facie evidence of imposture. [329]

4. It basely perverts the language and doctrine of the Holy Scriptures.

5. It blasphemously imputes to God language inconsistent with his character and holiness.

6. Excepting perverted plagiarisms from the Scriptures of truth, that book is nothing but a medley of incoherent absurdities.

7. The system of MORMONISM has arisen entirely from the BOOK OF MORMON, and the contrivance of its “authors and proprietors.”

8. That system has been and still is propagated by means of deception.

9. Mormonism, at the same time it pretends to be “the fulness of the gospel,” is intrinsically infidel, and opposed to Christianity. It can never be reconciled with the principles of a pure religion.

10. Its legitimate effects are to degrade and heathenize society. [330] . . .

Professor Turner, of Illinois College, has just published a work entitled, Mormonism in all Ages; or the Rise, Progress, and Causes of Mormonism, with the Biography of its Author and Founder, Joseph Smith, Jr.

On glancing at the title of this book we were inclined to suppose that the prophet would feel himself highly complimented at being installed at once as the AUTHOR and FOUNDER of a system existing in all ages. A perusal of the volume, however, has convinced us that, on the whole, Smith will not feel [336] very grateful for the compliments it contains, however much his followers and the public may.

The appearance of such a work gives evidence that the religious community is at length awaking to the necessity of exposing and combating the tremendous infidel agency which is at work under the cover of Mormonism, and threatening to unsettle the grounds of all rational belief, as well as to plunge one of the fairest portions of our country into the vortex of an atheistical anarchy. It appears to us that Professor T. has involved himself in a species of self-contradiction, by maintaining that Joe Smith is the real and sole author of the Book of Mormon, while, at the same time, he proves the identity of that book with the Spalding manuscript, and supposes Joe to have possessed himself of the latter while in the employment of Mr. Stowell, in Chenango county, New-York. The question at issue here is one of comparative unimportance.

We are, however, far from assenting to the position that unity, either of style or sentiment, prevails throughout the Mormon Bible. Those who had seen Spalding’s MANUSCRIPT say that the religious parts of the Book of Mormon have been added. Now, these parts bear a distinctive character, (that of Campbellism,) which Smith was utterly unqualified to give them until after his connection with Rigdon. This shows that there were at least three parties to the real authorship; and we think it would be sheer injustice not to put Oliver Cowdery, the schoolmaster, upon as good (literary) footing as his more ambitious pupil, Joseph Smith, Jr.

Although we regard Professor T.’s philosophy of fanaticism as a little fanciful, and think that a few exceptions should be taken to his view of human testimony, yet we hail his work as one of deep interest, and of an eminently practical bearing. [337]

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