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mon error of considering all supernatural manifestations to be of God, took them to London with him, and introduced them into his church.
They were there honored as the prophetesses of God, and when they spoke, Mr. Irving or any of his ministers had to keep silence. They were peculiarly wrought upon before the congregation, and had strange utterances, uttered with an unnatural, shrill voice, and with thrilling intonations they frequently made use of a few broken, unconnected sentences, that were ambiguous, incoherent, and incomprehensible; at other times they were more clearly understood. They would frequently cry out, "There is iniquity! There is iniquity!" And Mr. Irving has been led, under the influence of this charge, to fall down upon his knees before the public congregation, and to confess his sin, not knowing whether he had sinned, nor wherein, nor whether the thing referred to him, or somebody else. During these operations, the bodies of the persons speaking were powerfully wrought upon, their countenances were distorted, they had frequent twitchings in their hands, and the whole system was powerfully convulsed at intervals; they sometimes, however, (it is supposed) spoke in correct tongues, and had true interpretations.
Under the influence of this spirit the church was organized by these women; apostles, prophets, &c., were soon called, and a systematic order of things introduced, as above men
tioned. A Mr. Baxter (afterwards one of their principal prophets) upon going into one of their meetings, says, “I saw a power manifested, and thought that was the power of God, and asked that it might fall upon me, and it did so, and I began to prophesy.” Eight or nine years ago they had about sixty preachers going through the streets of London, testifying that London was to be the place where the "two witnesses" spoken of by John, were to prophesy; that (they) "the Church and the spirit were the witnesses, and that at the end of three years
and half there was to be an earthquake and great destruction, and our Savior was to come. Their apostles were collected together at the appointed time watching the event, but Jesus did not come, and the prophecy was then ambiguously explained away. They frequently had signs given them by the spirit to prove to them that what was manifested to them should take place. Mr. Baxter related an impression that he had concerning a child. It was manifested to him that he should visit the child and lay hands upon it, and that it should be healed; and to prove to him that this was of God, he should meet his brother in a certain place, who should speak unto him certain words. His brother addressed him precisely in the way and manner that the manifestation designated. The sign took place, but when he laid his hands upon the child it did not recover. I cannot vouch for the authority of the last statement, as Mr. Baxter at that time had left
the Iryingites, but it is in accordance with many of their proceedings, and the thing never has been attempted to be denied.
It may be asked, where is there anything in all this that is wrong?
1st. The Church was organized by women, and "God placed in the Church (first apostles, secondarily prophets), and not first women;. but Mr. Irving placed in his church first women (secondarily apostles, and the church was founded and organized by them. A woman has no right to found or organize a churchGod never sent them to do it.
2nd. Those women would speak in the midst of a meeting, and rebuke Mr. Irving or any of the church. Now the Scripture positively says, “Thou shalt not rebuke an Elder, but entreat him as a father;" not only this, but they frequently accused the brethren, thus placing themselves in the seat of Satan, who is emphatically called "the accuser of the brethren."
3rd. Mr. Baxter received the spirit on asking for it, without attending to the ordinances, and began to prophesy, whereas the scriptural way of attaining the gift of the Holy Ghost is by baptism, and by laying on of hands.
Ath. As we have stated in regard to others, the spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophets; but those prophets were subject to the spirits, the spirits controlling their bodies at pleasure.
But it may be asked how Mr. Baxter could
get a sign from a second person? To this we would answer, that Mr. Baxter's brother was under the influence of the same spirit himself, and being subject to that spirit he could be easily made to speak to Mr. Baxter whatever the spirit should dictate;- but there was not power in the spirit to heal the child.
Again it may be asked, how it was that they could speak in tongues if they were of the devil! We would answer that they could be made to speak in another tongue, as well as their own, as they were under the control of that spirit, and the devil can tempt the Hottentot, the Turk, the Jew, or any other nation; and if these men were under the influence of his spirit, they of course could speak Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Italian, Dutch, or any other language that the devil knew.
Some will say, “try the spirits” by the word. "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God.” John 4:2, 3. One of the Irvingites once quoted the passage whilst under the influence of a spirit, and then said, "I confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” And yet these prophecies failed, their Messiah did not come; and the great things spoken of by them have fallen to the ground. What is the matter here? Did not the Apostle speak the truth? Certainly he did—but he spoke to a people who were under the penalty of death, the moment they embraced Chris
tianity; and no one without a knowledge of the fact would confess it, and expose themselves to death, and this was consequently given as a criterion to the church or churches to which John wrote. But the devil on a certain occasion cried out, "I know thee, who thou art, the Holy One of God!” Here was a frank acknowledgment under other circumstances that “Jesus had come in the flesh.” On another occasion the devil said, “Paul we know, and Jesus we know”-of course, "come in the flesh." No man nor set of men without the regular constituted authorities, the Priesthood and discerning of spirits, can tell true from false spirits. This power they possessed in the Apostles' day, but it has departed from the world for ages.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has also had its false spirits; and as it is made up of all those different sects professing every variety of opinion, and having been under the influence of so many kinds of spirits, it is not to be wondered at if there should be found among us false spirits.
Soon after the Gospel was established in Kirtland, and during the absence of the authorities of the Church, many false spirits were introduced, many strange visions were seen, and wild, enthusiastic notions were entertained; men ran out of doors under the influence of this spirit, and some of them got upon the stumps of trees and shouted, and all kinds of extravagances were entered into by them; one man pursued a ball that he said he saw fly