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we must see that Europe does not possess any very strong pledges for the continuance of peace.'
Of the two alternatives here suggested, the worst has been realised; and the restless and unprincipled ambition of that mutable people has taken a direction unparalleled perhaps in the annals of national folly, inconsistency, and crime. It is but a melancholy consolation to injured Rome that the crime will certainly recoil on the head of the perpetrator. It is a far more cheering topic of reflection that such adverse events simply reveal the circuitous path along which the chariot of the Prince of the kings of the earth is travelling to liberate and evangelise the nations. Already it is reported that the population of Rome are extensively prepared to throw off the papal yoke, and thus leave the newly-restored Pontiff without spiritual subjects to govern. It would indeed be a glorious result if the disasters and calamities which have befallen, or may yet descend on the efforts of the peoples, marshalled under the banner of freedom, shall teach them that the first step to success is to repudiate the superstitions and atheisms which have hitherto fettered, and darkened, and paralysed their minds, and nduce them to embrace the truth : if they shall be led to discover that the only sword which will effectually smite the tyrant, is 'the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.'
THE MORMON BIBLE.
SOME of our readers may not understand much about the Mormonites, and we have not time at present to supply them with information. Suffice it to say, that the volume entitled The Book of Mormon' is the bible of that sect. As they have made their appearance in various parts of this country, for the benefit of such of our readers as may dwell in these infested localities, we subjoin the following authenticated statement of the manner in which said volume was manufactured. From this it appears that, instead of having been given by inspiration from God, it was originally composed by its author as a romance, with the sole view of amusement to himself and his neighbours. Those, therefore, who have put forth claims to divinity on its behalf
, have been wilfully guilty of the grossest fraud and the most horrible impiety; and all who have given them credit are the victims of delusion, and deserve both our pity and our prayers, if by any means they may be delivered:
ORIGIN OF THE BOOK OF MORMON,' OR 'GOLDEN BIBLE.' As this book has excited much attention, and has been put, by a certain new sect, in the place of the sacred scriptures, I deem it a duty which I owe to the public to state what I know touching its origin. That its claims to a divine origin are wholly unfounded, needs no proof to a mind unperverted by the grossest delusions." That any sane person should rank it higher than any other merely human composition, is a matter of the greatest astonishment; yet it is received as divine by some who dwell in enlightened New England, and even by those who have sustained the character of devoted christians. Learning recently that Morinonism had found its way into a church in Massachusetts, and has impregnated some of its members with its gross delusions, so that excommunication had become necessary, I am determined to delay no longer doing what I can to strip the mask from this monster of sin, and to lay open this pit of abominations.
Rev. Solomon Spaulding, to whom I was united in marriage in early life, was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and was distinguished for a lively imagination and a great fondness for history. At the time of our marriage he resided in Cherry Valley, New York. From this place we removed to New Salem, Ashtabula county, Ohio ; sometimes called Conneaut, as it is situated upon Conneaut creek. Shortly after our removal to this place his health sunk, and he was laid aside from active labours. In the town of New Salem there are numerous mounds and forts, supposed by many to be the dilapidated dwellings and fortifications of a race now extinct. These ancient relics arrest the attention of the new settlers and become objects of research for the curious. Numerous implements were found and other articles, evincing great skill in the arts. Mr Spaulding being an educated man, and passionately fond of history, took a lively interest in these developments of antiquity; an in order to beguile the hours of retirement, and furnish employment for his lively imagination, he conceived the idea of giving an historical sketch of this long lost race. Their extreme antiquity of course would lead him to write in the most ancient style, and as the Old Testament is the most ancient book in the world, he imitated its style as nearly as possible. His sole object in writing this historical romance was to amuse himself and his neighbours. This was about the year 1812. Hull's surrender at Detroit occurred near the same time, and I recollect the date well from that circumstance. As he progressed in his narrative, the neighbours would come in from time to time to hear portions read, and a great interest in the work was excited among them. It claimed to have been written by one of the lost nation, and to have been recovered from the earth, and assumed the title of · Manuscript Found.' The neighbours would often inquire how Mr S. progressed in deciphering the manuscript;' and when he had a sufficient portion prepared he would inform them, and they would assemble to hear it read. He was enabled, from his acquaintance with the classics and ancient history, to introduce many singular names, which were particularly noticed by the people, and could be easily recognised by them. Mr Solomon Spaulding had a brother, Mr John Spaulding, residing in the place at the time, who was perfectly familiar with this work, and repeatedly heard the whole of it read.
From New Salem we removed to Pitsburg, Pennsylvania. Here Mr S. found an acquaintance and friend in the person of Mr Patterson, an editor of
newspaper: He exhibited his manuscript to Mr P., who was very much pleased with it, and borrowed it for perusal. He retained it a long time, and informed Mr S. that if he would make out a title-page and preface, he would publish it, and it might be a source of profit. This Mr S. refused to do, for reasons which I cannot now state. Sidney Rigdon, who has figured so largely in the history of the Mormons, was at this time connected with the printing office of Mr Patterson, as is well known in that region, and as Rigdon himself has frequently stated. Here he had ample opportunity to become acquainted with Mr Spaulding's manuscript, and to copy it if he chose. It was a matter of notoriety and interest to all who were connected with the printing establishment. At length the manuscript was returned to its author, and soon after we removed to Amity, Washington county, Pa., where Mr S. deceased in 1816. The manuscript then fell into my hands and was carefully preserved. It has frequently been examined by my daughter, Mrs M.Kenstry, of Monson, Massachusetts, with whom I now reside, and by other friends.
After the 'Book of Mormon' came out, a copy of it was taken to New Salem, the place of Mr Spaulding's former residence, and the very place where the
Manuscript Found' was written. A woman-preacher appointed a meeting there, and, in the meeting, read and repeated copious extracts from the * Book of Mormon.' The historical part was immediately recognised by all the older inhabitants as the identical work of Mr Spaulding, in which they had been so deeply interested years before. Mr John Spaulding was present, who is an eminently pious man, and recognised perfectly the work of his brother. He was amazed and afflicted that it should have been perverted to so wicked a purpose. His grief found vent in a flood of tears; and he arose on the spot, and expressed in the meeting his deep sorrow and regret that the writings of his sainted brother should be used for a purpose so vile and shocking. The excitement in New Salem became so great that the inhabitants had a meeting, and deputed Dr Philastus Hurlbut, one of their number, to repair to this place and to obtain from me the original manuscript of Mr Spaulding, for the purpose of comparing it with the Mormon Bible, to satisfy their own minds and to prevent their friends from embracing an error so delusive. This was in the year 1834. Dr Hurlbut brought with him an introduction and request for the manuscript, signed by Messrs Henry Lake, Aaron Wright, and others, with all of whom I was acquainted, as they were my neighbours when I resided in New Salem.
I am sure that nothing could grieve my husband more, were he living, than the use which has been made of his work. The air of antiquity which was thrown about the composition, doubtless suggested the idea of converting it to purposes of delusion. Thus a historical romance, with the addition of a few pious expressions and extracts from the sacred scriptures, has been constructed into a new bible, and palmed off upon a company of poor deluded fanatics as divine. I have given this brief narration, that this work of deep deception and wickedness may be searched to the foundation, and its author exposed to the contempt and execration he so justly deserves.
MATILDA DAVISON. Rev. Solomon Spaulding was the first husband of the narrator of the above history. Since his decease she has been married to a second husband, by the name of Davison. She is now residing in this place; is a woman of irreproachable character, and an humble christian, and her testimony is worthy of implicit confidence.
A. ELY, D.D., Pastor Cong. Church in Monson.
D. R. AUSTIN, Principal of Monson Academy. Monson, (Mass.) April 1, 1839.
ON DISMISSAL OF THE FREE CHURCH TESTIMONY.
Some considerable time ago we brought under the consideration of our readers a highly-interesting and important document, which was introduced into the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland, at its usual meeting in 1847. We refer to the draft of an historical testimony, which, on that occasion, was brought forward by Dr Candlish. Our readers will find this paper in our January Number for 1848. It is written with such rare ability, and breathes so fine a spirit, that it will amply repay a second perusal. Though confessedly and designedly vague, on certain points, it embraced a variety of principles in advance of the position presently occupied by the Free Church, the adoption of which into her public profession we humbly conceive to be indispensably necessary in order to identify herself with the historical Church of Scotland in its brightest eras.
The Assembly of 1847, not being prepared unanimously to sanction this document without more mature consideration, it was agreed that it should not be pressed for the present, but entrusted to a committee, who were instructed to bring it again under the consideration of the church. No report being given in, to the Assembly of 1848, the committee was re-appointed, with directions to have the matter ripe for the consideration of the Assembly of this present year. Accordingly the report was again called for, but it was intimated that there was still none to give, and instead of being censured for want of diligence in so important a matter, the committee was dismissed without a single remark upon their conduct, and without so much as one passing reference to the subject with which they had been entrusted.
We cannot interpret this action otherwise than as implying that the idea of having a distinctive testimony has been abandoned with the consent of all parties. If this be correct, then, with all the respect, admiration, and fraternal affection we have ever entertained for the Free Church of Scotland, we cannot commend this step, whether we look to the merits of the document which has been dismissed, or to the summary manner in which this has been done. We would most anxiously have desired to remain silent, in regard to this subject, if such a course could have been followed consistently with the duty that we owe to the public cause of the Redeemer in these lands; but after mature consideration, we feel constrained to make some additional remarks. As these are made in all uprightness, and good faith, and in all good feeling, we would entertain the hope, that brethren who themselves have sacrificed so very much for conscience sake, will not regard us as enemies when we are constrained, by conscience, to tell them what may prove unwelcome truths, but will bear with us, so far, at least, as to take our statements into consideration, even when we go the length of saying, that in dismissing this testimony, unless she means to recall it, the Free Church has failed in her public duty to the great King and Head of the church, she has been unfaithful to the nation, she has resiled from some of her former declarations, she has shown herself awanting in gratitude for what God has formerly done in behalf of the land, and placed herself in an undefined and ambiguous position, which must prove injurious to the faithful maintenance of some of her present principles, and will probably be hurtful, in the issue, even to her temporal interests.
Let any one look at the dismissed document, and study its contents, and say whether it deserved the treatment it has received. Are the views contained in it sectarian, bigoted, or narrow-minded? Did it seek to elevate into importance certain trivial points and unmeaning crotchets? Did it abound in metaphysical abstractions, or microscopical distinctions, that had less connection with duty than with disputation? Or did it contain novelties in opinion, or recommend the adoption of peculiar practices which had never been known to the Reformed Church of Scotland ? No; it contained nothing subtle, nothing sectarian, nothing novel, nothing peculiar. It was a document of the most enlarged and expansive character, based on such views of the divine cause and government, as have a powerful tendency to develop and to elevate the mind, and to place the church by which they are adopted, in a position that harmonises with past providences towards our land, and in which all the beneficial lines of Scottish influence, and all the scattered radii of her sacred and patriotic associations find their centre. So far from relating to any trivial, quisquis question, it referred to a subject no less heart-stirring and sublime, than the whole of God's past dealings with the church and nation of Scotland, and the dealings of the church and nation of Scotland with God. In short, it was an historical testimony which gratefully acknowledged the great and gracious things which God has done for this land, and humbly confessed the many and various defections from God of which the land was guilty. Such were the contents of the draft submitted for adoption by Dr Candlish, and which has now been set aside. And was this a document of which any religious Scotchman had cause to be ashamed? Was this a document to be slurred over in silence? Is it come to this, that the Free Protesting Church of Scotland is ashamed to own her relation to the witnesses and the worthies of old ? Has she inadvertently done injustice to herself, or is it really the case that she is resolved to bear no testimony whatever for the gracious appearances of God in behalf of our land?
It may be that the overture has been dismissed hastily, it may be that sufficient thought has not been bestowed upon the consequences necessarily involved in such an act,-it may be, and we shall rejoice to hear it, that the Free Church of Scotland holds that we ought to commemorate the doings of the Lord as well as to believe what he teaches. If this be the case, she has been strangely unjust to herself, in dismissing the document of Dr Candlish, without taking any steps to have such a testimony prepared; and in that case she has also been singularly reserved to the public and to sister churches, inasmuch as, after having kept them in suspense for seven years, she has not yet afforded a single ray of light as to the ultimate position she intends to occupy. But if, on the other hand, there be no inadvertence in the case—if the dismissal of this overture is to be regarded as tantamount to a declaration that the Free Church has resolved to have no historical testimony, then, in that case, her fidelity to the cause of God in this country is placed in a most questionable position. We say most questionable position, because we would wish to convey our meaning in as soft language as possible, and not because we have the least doubt that it is her duty as a church to testify in behalf of what God hath done for this country. The principles of non-intrusion and anti-patronage are plainly revealed in scripture ; but for every verse that can be adduced in proof of them, we undertake to produce twenty, ay, fifty, in proof of our averment, that it is the duty of the church to commemorate God's doings, as well as to believe all he teaches. We