Every age of the world has produced imposters and delusions. Jannes
and Jambres withstood Moses, and were followed by Pharaoh, his court,
and clergy. They for some time supported their pretensions, much
to the annoyance of the cause of the Israelites and their leader
To say nothing of the false prophets of the Jewish age, the diviners,
soothsayers, magicians, and all the ministry of idols among the
Gentiles, by which the nations were so often deceived, the imposters
which have appeared since the Christian era would fill volumes of
the most lamentable details ever read. The false Messiahs which
have afflicted the Jews since the rejection of Jesus of Nazareth,
have more than verified all the predictions of the Faithful and
True Witness. No less than TWENTY-FOUR distinguished false Messiahs
have disturbed the Jews. Many were deceived, and myriads lost their
lives through their impostures. Some peculiar epochs were distinguished
for the number and impudence of these impostors. If the people had
fixed upon any year as likely to terminate their dispersions, and
as the period of their return, that year rarely failed to produce
a Messiah. Hence in the twelfth century no less than TEN false Messiahs
The year 1666, was a year of great expectation, and gave birth
to one of the most remarkable of the false Christs. 'Great multitudes
marched from unknown parts, to the remote deserts of Arabia, and
they were supposed to be the ten tribes of Israel, who had been
dispersed for many ages. It was said that a ship was arrived in
the north part of Scotland, with sails and cordage of silk, that
the mariners spoke nothing but Hebrew, and on the sails was this
motto; 'The Twelve Tribes of Israel.' Then it was said that Sabati
Levi appeared at Smyrna and professed to be the Messiah. The Jews
gave up their business and attended to him. He obtained one Nathan
in Jerusalem to pass for his Elias, or forerunner. Nathan prophesied
for him, and the Jews became very penitent, and reformed under the
expectation that the Messiah would appear in two years. 'Some fasted
so long that they died - some endured melted wax to be dropped on
their flesh - some rolled in snow - many whipped themselves. Superfluities
in dress and household were dispensed with; property was sold to
large amounts, and immense contributions were made to the poor.
Though he met with much opposition, his followers increased, and
began in large numbers to prophesy and fall into ecstacies. Four
hundred men and women prophesied of his growing kingdom, and young
infants who could hardly speak, would plainly pronounce, "SABATI,
MESSIAH, and Son of God." The people were for a time possessed,
and voices were heard from their bowels. Some fell into trances,
foamed at the mouth, recounted their future prosperity, their visions
of the Lion of Judah, the triumphs of SABATI.'
'When he was brought before the magistrates, some affirmed they
saw a pillar of fire between him and the Cadi or Magistrates, and
others actually swore that they saw it. This the credible Jews believed;
those who would not believe in him, were shunned as excommunicated
persons, and all intercourse with them was prohibited. 'The Grand
Seignor, determined to try his faith by stripping him naked and
setting him a mark for his archers; but rather than subject himself
to this test, he turned Mahometan, to the great confusion of the
Jews.' We have been thus particular in giving a view, of the incidents
of the life of this impostor, as a specimen of the others; and because
of some remarkable analogies between him and the present New York
Numerous have been the imposters among christians since the great
apostacy began; especially since, and at the time of the Reformation.
Munzer, Stubner and Stork, where conspicuous in the beginning of
the 16th century.' These men taught that among christians, who had
the precepts of the Gospel to guide them, and the spirit of God
to direct them, the office of magistracy was not only unnecessary,
but an unlawful encroachment on their spiritual liberty; that the
distinctions occasioned by birth, rank, or wealth, should be abolished;
that all christians should put their possessions into one common
stock, and live together in that state of equality, which becomes
members of the same family, and that polygamy was not incompatible
with either the Old or New Testament.
They related many visions and revelations which they had from above,
but failing to propagate their views by these means, they attempted
to propagate them by arms. Many Catholics joined them, and in the
various insurrections which they effected, 100,000 souls are said
to have been sacrificed.'
Since the Millennium and the evils of sectarianism have been the
subjects of much speaking and writing, impostures have been numerous.
In the memory of the present generation, many delusions have been
propagated and received. The shakers, a sect instituted by Anna
Lesse, in 1774, have not yet quite dwindled away. This elect Lady,
as they style her, was the head of this party, and gave them a new
bible. 'They assert that she spoke seventy-two languages, and conversed
with the dead. Through her all blessings flow to her followers -
she appointed the sacred dance and the fantastic song, and consecrated
shivering, swooning and falling down, acts of acceptable devotion.
They are for a common stock, and rank marriage among the works of
the flesh, - they are plain in their apparel, and assume the aspect
of the friars and nuns of Catholic superstition.'
The Barkers, Jumpers, and Mutterers of the present age, need not
be mentioned here. Nor need we detail the history of Miss Campbell,
who in Good Old Scotland a year or two since came back from the
dead and had the gift of tongues, who was believed in by several
ministers of the Scotch Church. But we shall proceed to notice the
most recent and the most impudent delusion which has appeared in
our time. The people that have received this imposture are called,
THE MORMONITES. I have just examined their bible, and will first
notice its contents. It is called the 'Book of Mormon', an account
written by the hand of Mormon upon plates taken from the plains
of Nephi, wherefore it is an abridgement of the record of the people
of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, written to the Lamanites, which
are a remnant of the House of Israel, and also to Jew and Gentile.
Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy
and of Revelation.' - 'By Joseph Smith, Junior, Author and proprieter.
From plates dug out of the earth, in the township of Manchester,
Ontario, New York. - Palmyra, printed by E.B. Grandin, for the Author,
1830. It is a collection of books said to have been written by different
persons during the interval of 1020 years - the 1st and second books
of Nephi occupy 122 pages; the Book of Jacob the brother of Nephi
occupies 21; that of Enos 3; that of Jarom 2; that of Omin 4; the
words of Mormon 3; the book of Mosiah 68; that of Alma 186; that
of Helaman 44; that of Nephi the son of Helaman 66; that of Mormon
20; that of Ether 35; and that of Morom 14 pages; making in all
588 octavo pages.
This romance - but this is for it a name too innocent - begins
with the religious adventures of one Lehi, whose wife was Sariah,
and their four sons, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. Lehi lived in
Jerusalem all his life, up to the first year of Zedekiah, King of
Judah, and when the prophets appeared foretelling the utter destruction
of Jerusalem, Lehi humbled himself, and after various visions and
revelations, started with his sons into the wilderness. Lehi, before
his departure, forgot to bring with him the records of his family,
and that of the Jews; but Nephi, his younger son, with much pious
courage returned and succeeded in getting upon plates of brass the
records of the Jews from the creation down to the first year of
Zedekiah, King of Judah, and also the prophets including many prophecies
delivered by Jeremiah.
From the records it appeared that this Lehi was a son of Joseph.
He prevailed on one Ishmael and his family to accompany him into
the wilderness, whose daughters the sons of Lehi took for wives.
Lehi was a greater prophet than any of the Jewish prophets, and
uttered all the events of the christian era, and developed the records
of Matthew, Luke, and John, six hundred years before John the baptist
was born. - These pilgrims travelled several days journey in some
wilderness, 'a south, south-east direction, along the borders of
the Red Sea.' A ball with pointers on it, inscribed with various
intelligence, legible at proper times, was the pillar and index
in passing through the wilderness for many, very many days. By their
bow and arrow they lived for eight years, travelling an easterly
course from Jerusalem, until they came to a great sea. By divine
revelation Nephi constructed a ship, and although opposed by his
unbelieving brethren, being greatly assisted by the Holy Spirit,
he succeeded in launching her safely, and got all his tribe, with
all their stock of seeds, animals, and provisions, safely aboard.
They had 'a compass' which none but Nephi knew how to manage; but
the Lord had promised them a fine land, and after many perils and
trials, and a long passage, they safely arrived in the land of promise.
Nephi made brazen plates soon after his arrival in America, for
that was the land of promise to them, and on these plates be marked
their peregrinations and adventures, and all the prophecies which
God gave to him concerning the future destinies of his people, and
the human race.
After his father's death, his brethren rebelled against him. They
finally separated in the wilderness, and became the heads of different
tribes, often in the lapse of generations making incurations upon
each other. The Nephites, like their father, for many generations
were good christians, believers in the doctrines of the Calvinists
and Methodists, and preaching baptism and other christian usages
hundreds of years before Jesus Christ was born!
Before Nephi died, which was about fifty-five years from the flight
of Lehi from Jerusalem, he had preached to his people every thing
which is now preached in the state of New York, and anointed or
ordained his brother Enos 'in the nurture and admonition of the
Lord,' gave him the plates, and left him successor in office over
the people of Nephi. Enos says 'there came a voice to me, saying,
Enos thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed. And,
I sayeth, Lord how it is done. And he sayeth unto me, Because of
thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast not heard nor seen.' p. 143.
Enos died one hundred seventy-nine years from the hegira of Lehi;
consequently, this happened four hundred thirty-one years before
Jesus Christ was born. He was a contemporary with Nehemiah, and
may we not say how much wiser and more enlightened were the Nephites
in America than the Jews at their return to Jerusalem!
Enos gave the plates to Jarom, his son. In his time 'they kept
the law of Moses and the sabbath day holy to the Lord.' During the
priesthood and reign of Enos, there were many commotions and wars
between his people and the Lamanites. Then the sharp pointed arrow,
the quiver, and the dart were invented. Jarom delivered his plates
to his son Omni, and gave up the ghost two hundred thirty-eight
years from the flight of Lehi. Omni died two hundred seventy-six
from the hegira, and gave the plates to his son Amaron, who in the
year three hundred and twenty, gave them to his brother Chemish;
he, to his son Abinadom; he to his son Amaleki; and he having no
son, gave them to the just and pious King Benjamin. King Benjamin
had three sons, Mosiah, Helorum, and Helaman, whom he educated in
all the learning of his fathers. To Mosiah he delivered up the plates
of Nephi, the ball which guided them through the wilderness, and
the sword of one Laban, of mighty renown. King Benjamin addressed
his people from the new temple which they had erected, for they
had, even then, built a temple, synagogues, and a tower, in the
King Benjamin assembled the people to sacrifice according to the
law around the new temple; and he enjoined upon them, at the same
time, the christian institutions, and gave them a Patriarchal valedictory.
After they had heard him speak, and had offered up their sacrifices,
they fell down and prayed in the following words: 'O have mercy,
and apply the atoning blood of Christ, that we may receive forgiveness
of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus
Christ the son of God, who created heaven and earth and all things,
who shall come down upon the children of men.' Then the spirit of
the Lord fell upon them and they were filled with joy, having received
a remission of their sins.' p. 162.
King Benjamin ordered his people to take upon them the name of
Christ, and in these remarkable words, - 'There is no other name
given whereby salvation cometh; therefore I would that you should
take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into
the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of
your lives. - page 166. They all took upon them the name of Christ,
and he having ordained them priests and teachers, and appointed
his son, Mosiah, to reign in his stead, gave up the Ghost 476 years
after Lehi's escape from Jerusalem, and one hundred twenty-four
before Christ was born, Mosiah gave up the plates of brass, and
all the things which we had kept, to Alma the son of Alma, who was
appointed 'chief judge and high priest,' the people willing to have
no king, and Mosiah died five hundred sixty-nine years from the
time Lehi left Jerusalem.
In the 14th year of the Judges, and 69 years before the birth of
Jesus, they sent out missionary priests, who preached through all
the tribes of the country against all vices, holding 'forth the
coming of the soul of God, his sufferings, death and resurrection,
and that he should appear unto them after his resurrection: and
this the people did hear with great joy and gladness.' - p. 268.
Alma's book reaches down to the end of the 39th year of the Judges.
These were wonderful years - many cities were founded, many battles
were fought, fortifications reared, letters written, and even in
one year a certain Hagoth built an exceeding large ship, and launched
it forth into the west sea. in this embarked many of the Nephites.
This same ship-builder the next year built other ships, one was
lost with all its passengers and crew. - p.406.
Many prophecies were pronounced; one that in 400 years after the
coming of Christ, the Nephites would lose their religion. During
the time of the Judges, many were called christians by name, and
'baptism unto repentance' was a common thing. 'And it came to pass
that they did appoint priests and teachers through all the land,
and over all the churches.' - p.349. 'And those who did belong to
the church were faithful, yea all those who were true believers
in Christ took upon them gladly the name of Christ, or christians,
as they were called, because of their belief in Christ.' - Page
301. 'And it came to pass that there were many who died firmly believing
that their souls were redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ: thus they
went out of the world rejoicing.' - p. 353. The word was preached
by Helaman, Shiblon, Corianton, Amnon, and his brethren, &c.
yea and all those, who had been ordained by the holy order of God,
being baptized unto repentance, and sent forth to preach unto the
people.' Page 623. This happened in the nineteenth year of the Judges,
seventy-two years before the birth of Jesus. Before this time synagogues
with pulpits were built, 'for the Zoramites,' a sort of Episcopalians,
'gathered themselves together on one day of the week, which day
they called the day of the Lord.' - 'And they had a place which
was high and lifted up, which held but one man, who read prayers,
the same prayers every week; and this high place was called Rameumpton,
which being interpreted, is the holy stand.' - p.311. The book of
Helaman reacheth down to the ninetieth year of the Judges, and to
the year preceding that in which the Messiah was born. During the
period embraced in Helaman's narrative, many ten thousands were
baptized. 'And behold the holy spirit of God did come down from
heaven, and did enter into their hearts, and they were filled as
with fire, and they could speak forth marvellous words.' - p. 421.
Masonry was invented about this time; for men began to bind themselves
in secret oaths to aid one another in all things, good or evil.
- p.424. Powers of loosing and binding in heaven were conferred
upon Nephi, the son of Helaman, and all miraculous power, such as
the apostles possessed. One Samuel, also foretold that 'the Christ
would be born in five years, and that the night before should be
as light as day; and that the day of his death should be a day of
darkness like the night.' - p.445. The book of this Nephi commences
with the birth of the Messiah, six hundred years from the departure
of Lehi from Jerusalem. In the midst of the threats of the infidels
to slaughter the faithful, the sun set; but lo! the night was clear
as mid-day, and from that period they changed their era, and counted
time as we do. A star also appeared, but it is not stated how it
could be seen in a night as bright as day; but it was universally
seen throughout all the land, to the salvation of the pious from
the threats of their enemies. The terrors of the day of his death
are also stated, and in the thirty-fourth year from his nativity,
after his resurrection, he descended from heaven and visited the
people of Nephi. Jesus called upon them to examine his hands and
his sides, as he did Thomas, though none of them had expressed a
doubt. Two thousand five hundred men, women and children, one by
one, examined him, and then worshipped him. He commanded Nephi to
baptize, and gave him the words which he was to use, viz: '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. Amen.' He commissioned
eleven others, who with Nephi, were his twelve American Apostles,
and promised himself to baptize their converts 'with fire and with
the Holy Spirit.'
He delivers them the sermon upon the mount, and some other sayings
recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; He healed all their diseases,
and prayed for their children; but the things spoken were so great
and marvellous that they could not be spoken nor written.
He ordained one to administer the supper, who alone had authority
to dispense it to the disciples baptized in his name. The only new
commandments which were given to the American christians on his
occasional visits which were repeated, were - 'Pray in your families
unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children
may be blessed.' 'Meet often, and forbid no man from coming unto
you when you shall meet together.' - p. 492.
Nephi was chief among the twelve apostles: he baptized himself,
and then baptized the eleven, whose names were Timothy, Jonas, Mathoni
and Mathoninah, Kumen, Kumenonhi, Jeremiah, Shimnon, Jonas, Zedekiah,
and Isaiah, They were baptized in fire and the Holy Ghost.' Not
a new word, however, should be written in addition to those found
in the New Testament; for although he spake for several days to
these American disciples, none of the new and marvellous sayings
could be uttered or written! He inspected the plates of Nephi, and
only found one omission, which was that he failed to mention the
resurrection of many saints in America at the time of the tempest
and earthquake. He commanded these Nephites to be called christians.
The book of Nephi the son of Nephi, gives, in four pages, the history
of 320 years after Christ. In the thirty-sixth year, all the inhabitants
of the land were converted; there was a perfect community and no
disputations in the land for one hundred seventy years. Three of
the American apostles were never to die, and were seen four hundred
years after Christ; but what has become of them no one can tell,
except Cowdery, Whitmer and Harris, the three witnesses of the truth
of the plates of Nephi, be these three immortal men. Towards the
close of the history of Nephi or the record Ammaron, sects and divisions
and battles became frequent, and all goodness had almost left the
continent in the year three hundred and twenty.
Mormon appears next in the drama, the recording angel of the whole
matter, who, by the way, was a mighty general and great christian;
he commanded in one engagement forty-two thousand men against the
Lamanites!!! He was no Quaker! This dreadful battle was fought A.D.
330. The Lamanites took South America for themselves, and gave North
America to the Nephites. Mormon was very orthodox, for he preached
in these words, A.D. 362: - 'That Jesus was the very Christ and
the very God.' He must have heard of the Arian controversy by some
Moroni finishes what Mormon his father, left undone, and continues
the history, till A.D. 400. He pleads that no one shall disbelieve
his record because of its imperfections!! and declares that none
who receive it will condemn it on account of its imperfections,
and for not doing so, the same shall know greater things. p. - 532.
'He that condemneth it shall be in danger of hell fire.' He laments
the prevalency of free masonry in the times when his book should
be dug up out of the earth, and proves that miracles will never
cease; because God is the same yesterday, to day, and forever -
consequently must always create suns, moons, and stars, every day!!
He exhorted to 'take heed that none be baptized without telling
their experience, nor partake of the sacrament of Christ unworthily?!!
- p.537. Moroni, in the conclusion of his book of Mormon, says if
his plates had been larger we should have written in Hebrew; but
because of this difficulty he wrote in the 'Reformed Egyptian,'
being handed down and altered unto us according to our manner of
speech. - p.538. 'Condemn me not,' says he, 'because of mine imperfections;
neither my father, because of his imperfections, neither them which
have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he
hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that you may learn
to be more wise than we have been.' - p.538. A very necessary advice,
Moroni writes the book of Ether, containing an account of the people
of Jared, who escaped from the building of the tower of Babel unconfounded
in his language. These people of Jared, God marched before in a
cloud, and directed them through the wilderness, and instructed
them to build barges to cross seas; and finally they built eight
barges, air tight, and were commanded to make a hole in the top
to admit air, and one in the bottom to admit water, and in them
were put sixteen windows of molten stone, which when touched by
the finger of Jesus, became as transparent as glass, and gave them
light under 'the mountain waves,' and when above the water. He that
touched these stones, appeared unto the brother of Jared, and said,
behold I am Jesus Christ, I am the father and the son.' Two of these
stones were sealed up with the plates and became the spectacles
of Joseph Smith, according to a prediction uttered before Abraham
was born. It was also foretold in the book of Ether, written by
Moroni, that he that should find the plates should have the privilege
of showing 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 of a surety known that these things are true.
And the 8 barges, air-tight, made like ducks, after swimming and
diving 334 days, arrived on the coasts of the land of promise. The
book of Ether relates the wars and carnage amongst these people.
In the lapse of generations, they counted two millions of mighty
men, besides women and children, slain; and finally, they were all
killed but one, and he fell to the earth as if he had no life. So
ends the book of Ether. -p.573.
The book of Moroni details the manner of ordaining priests and
teachers, the manner of administering ordinances, and the epistles
of Mormon to his soon Moroni. Moroni seal up the record A.D. 420,
and assures the world that spiritual gifts shall never cease, only
through unbelief. And when the plates of Nephi should be dug out
of the earth, he declares that men should ask God the Eternal Father,
in the name of Christ, 'If these things were not true.' 'If with
a sincere heart and real intent, having faith in Christ, such prayers
are made, ye shall know the truth of all things.' -p.586. The testimony
of Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, asserting that
they saw the plates, is appended. They also testify that they know
that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for
his voice has declared it unto them.
Another testimony is appended signed by four Whitmers, one Hiram
Page, and three Smiths, affirming that they saw the plates, handled
them, and that Smith has got the plates in his possession.
Such is an analysis of the book of Mormon, the bible of the Mormonites.
For noticing of which I would have asked forgiveness from all my
readers, had not several hundred persons of different denominations
believed in it. On this account alone has it become necessary to
notice it, and for the same reason we must examine its pretensions
to divine authority; for it purports to be a revelation from God.
And in the first place, we shall examine its internal evidences.
It admits the Old and New Testaments to contain the revelations,
institutions and commandments of God to Patriarchs, Jews, and Gentiles,
down to the year 1830, and always, as such, speaks of them and quotes
them. This admission at once blasts its pretensions to credibility.
Admitting the bible now received to have come from God, it is impossible
that the book of Mormon came from the same author. For the following
1. Smith, its real author, as ignorant and impudent a knave as
ever wrote a book, betrays the cloven foot in basing his whole book
upon a false fact, or a pretended fact, which makes God a liar.
It is this: - With the Jews, God made a covenant at Mount Sinai,
and instituted a priesthood and a high priesthood. The priesthood
he gave to the tribe of Levi, and the high priesthood to Aaron and
his sons for an everlasting priesthood. He separated Levi, and covenanted
to give him this office irrevocably while ever the temple stood,
or till the Messiah came. 'Then, says God Moses shall appoint Aaron
and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office, and
the stranger, (the person of another family,) who cometh nigh, shall
be put to death.' Numbers iii.10. 'And the priests, the sons of
Levi, shall come near; for them the Lord thy God hath chosen to
minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the Lord, and by
their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried.' Deut.
xxi.5. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, with 250 men of renown, rebelled
against a part of the institution of the priesthood, and the Lord
destroyed them in the presence of the whole congregation. This was
to be a memorial that no stranger invade any part of the office
of the priesthood. Num. xvi.40. Fourteen thousand and seven hundred
of the people were destroyed by a plague for murmuring against this
In the 18th chapter of Numbers the Levites are again given to Aaron
and his sons, and the priesthood confirmed to them with this threat
- 'The stranger that cometh night shall be put to death.' 'Even
Jesus, says Paul, were he on earth, could not be a priest, for he
was of a tribe concerning which Moses spake nothing of priesthood.'
Heb. vii.13. So irrevocable was the grant of the priesthood to Levi,
and of the high priesthood to Aaron, that no stranger dare approach
the altar of God which Moses established. Hence, Jesus himself was
excluded from officiating as priest on earth according to the law.
This Joseph Smith overlooked in his impious fraud, and makes his
hero Lehi spring from Joseph. And just as soon as his sons return
with the roll of his lineage, ascertaining that he was of the tribe
of Joseph, he and his sons acceptably 'offer sacrifices and burnt
offerings to the Lord.' - p.15. Also it is repeated, p. 18 - Nephi
became chief artificer, ship-builder and mariner; was scribe, prophet,
priest and king unto his own people, and 'consecrated Jacob and
Joseph, the sons of his father, priests to God and teachers - almost
six hundred years before the fulness of the times of the Jewish
economy was completed. p.72. Nephi represents himself withal as
'under the law of Moses,' p. 105. They build a temple in the new
world, and in 55 years after they leave Jerusalem, make a new priesthood
which God approbates. A high priest is also consecrated, and yet
they are all the while 'teaching the law of Moses, and exhorting
the people to keep it! - p.146,209. Thus God is represented as instituting,
approbating and blessing a new priesthood from the tribe of Joseph,
concerning which Moses gave no commandment concerning priesthood.
Although God had promised in the law of Moses, that if any man,
not of the tribe and family of Levi and Aaron, should approach the
office of priest, he would surely die; he is represented by Smith
as blessing, approbating, and sustaining another family in this
approbated office. The God of Abraham or Joseph Smith must then
be a liar!! And who will hesitate to pronounce him an imposter?
This lie runs through his records for the first six hundred years
of his story.
2. This ignorant and impudent liar, in the next place, makes the
God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, violate his covenants with Israel
and Judah, concerning the land of Canaan, by promising a new land
to the pious Jew.
If a company of reprobate Jews had departed from Jerusalem and
the temple, in the days of Zedekiah, and founded a new colony, it
would not have been so incongruous. But to represent God as inspiring
a devout Jew and a prophet, such as Levi and Nephi are represented
by Smith, with a resolution to forsake Jerusalem and God's own house,
and to depart from the land which God swore to their fathers so
long as they were obedient; and to guide by a miracle and to bless
by prodigies a good man in forsaking God's covenant and worship
- is so monstrous an error, that language fails to afford a name
for it. It is to make God violate his own covenants, and set at
nought his own promises, and to convert his own curses into blessings.
Excision from the commonwealth of Israel, and banishment from Jerusalem
and the temple, were the greatest curses the law of Moses knew.
But Smith makes a good and pious Jew the subject of this curse,
and sends him off into the inhospitable wilderness, disinherits
him in Canaan, and makes him more happy in forsaking the institutions
of Moses, more intelligent in the wilderness, and more prosperous
in adversity, than even the Jews in their best days, in the best
of lands, and under the best of all governments!!! The imposter
was too ignorant of the history of the Jews and the nature of the
covenants of promise, to have even alluded to them in his book,
if he had not supposed that he had the plates of Moses in his own
keeping, as he had his 'molten plates' of Nephi. To separate a family
from the nation of Israel, was to accumulate all the curses of the
law upon that family. - Deut. xxix.21.
3. He has more of the Jews, living in the new world, than could
have been numbered any where else, even in the days of John the
Baptist; and has placed them under a new dynasty. The sceptre, with
him, has departed from Judah, and a lawgiver from among his descendants,
hundreds of years before Shiloh came; and king Benjamin is a wiser
and more renowned king than king Solomon. He seems to have gone
upon an adage which saith, 'the more marvellous, the more credible
the tale,' and the less of fact, and the more of fiction, the more
intelligible and reasonable the narrative.
4. He represents the temple worship as continued in his new land
of promise contrary to every precept of the law, and so happy are
the people of Nephi as never to shed a tear on account of the excision,
nor turn an eye toward Jerusalem or God's temple. The pious Jews
in their captivity turned their faces to Jerusalem and the holy
place, and remembered God's promises concerning the place where
he recorded his name. They hung their harps upon the willow, and
could not sing the songs of Zion in a foreign land; but the Nephites
have not a single wish for Jerusalem, for they can, in their wigwam
temple, in the wilderness of America, enjoy more of God's presence
than the most righteous Jew could enjoy in that house of which David
had rather be a doorkeeper, than to dwell in the tabernacles of
men. And all this too, when God's only house of prayer, according
to his covenant with Israel, stood in Jerusalem.
5. Malachi, the last of the Jewish prophets, commanded Israel to
regard the law of Moses till the Messiah came. And Moses commanded
them to regard him till the Great Prophet came. But Nephi and Smith's
prophets institute ordinances and observances for the Jews, subversive
of Moses, 500 years before the Great Prophet came.
6. Passing over a hundred similar errors, we shall next notice
his ignorance of the New Testament matters and things. The twelve
Apostles of the Lamb, are said by Paul, to have developed certain
secrets, which were hid for ages and generations, which Paul says
were ordained before the world to their glory, that they should
have the honor of announcing them. But Smith makes his pious hero
Nephi, 600 years before the Messiah began to preach, and disclose
these secrets concerning the calling of the Gentiles, and the blessings
flowing through the Messiah to Jews and Gentiles, which Paul says
were hid for ages and generations, 'which in these ages was not
made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto us the
holy Apostles and prophets, by the spirit; that the Gentiles should
be fellow heirs and of the same body and partakers of his promise
in Christ by the Gospel.' Smith makes Nephi express every truth
found in the writings of the Apostles concerning the calling and
blessing of the Gentiles, and even quotes the 11th chapter of Romans,
and many other passages before he had a son grown in the wilderness
able to aim an arrow at a deer. Paul says these things were secrets
and unknown until his time; but Smith makes Nephi say the same things
600 years before Paul was converted! One of the two is a false prophet.
Mormonites, take your choice!
7. This prophet Smith, through his stone spectacles, wrote on the
plates of Nephi, in his book of Mormon, every error and almost every
truth discussed in N. York for the last ten years. He decides all
the great controversies - infant baptism, ordination, the trinity,
regeneration, repentance, justification, the fall of man, the atonement,
transubstantiation, fasting, penance, church government, religious
experience, the call to the ministry, the general resurrection,
eternal punishment, who may baptize, and even the question of freemasonry,
republican government, and the rights of man. All these topics are
repeatedly alluded to. How much more benevolent and intelligent
this American Apostle, than were the holy twelve, and Paul to assist
them!!! He prophesied of all these topics, and of the apostacy,
and infallibly decided, by his authority, every question. How easy
to prophecy of the past or of the present time!!
8. But he is better skilled in the controversies in New York than
in the geography or history of Judea. He makes John baptise in the
village of Bethabara, (page 22) and says Jesus was born in Jerusalem,
p. 240. Great must be the faith of the Mormonites in this new Bible!!!
The mariners compass was only known in Europe about 300 years ago;
but Nephi knew all about steam boats and the compass 2400 years
9. He represents the christian institution as practised among his
Israelites before Jesus was born. And his Jews are called christians
while keeping the law of Moses, the holy sabbath, and worshipping
in their temple at their altars, and by their high priests.
10. But not to honor him by a too minute examination and exposition,
I will sum up the whole of the internal evidence which I deem worthy
of remark, in the following details: -
The book professes to be written at intervals and by different
persons during the long period of 1020 years. And yet for uniformity
of style, there never was a book more evidently written by one set
of fingers, nor more certainly conceived in one cranium since the
first book appeared in human language, than this same book. If I
could swear to any man's voice, face or person, assuming different
names, I could swear that this book was written by one man. And
as Joseph Smith is a very ignorant man and is called the author
on the title page, I cannot doubt for a single moment that he is
the sole author and proprietor of it. As a specimen of his style
the reader will take the following samples - Page 4th. In his own
preface: - 'The plates of which hath been spoken.' In the last page,
'the plates of which hath been spoken.' In the certificate signed
by Cowdery and his two witnesses, he has the same idiom, 'which
came from the tower of which hath been spoken;' page 16, 'we are
a descendant of Joseph.' 'The virgin which thou seest is the mother
of God.' 'Behold the Lamb of God the Eternal Father,' p. 25; 'Ye
are like unto they,' 'and I saith unto them,' p.44. 'We did arrive
to the promised land;' p.49, 'made mention upon the first plate,'
Nephi 2400 years ago hears the saying of a Pagan who lived 634
years after him - 'The God of nature suffers.' p.51. 'The righteous
need not fear, for it is they which shall not be confounded.' p.58.
Shakespeare was read by Nephi 2200 years before he was born - 'The
silent grave from whence no traveller returns,' 61. 'Your own eternal
welfare' was a phrase then common in America, p.62. 'Salvation is
free' was then announced. 'That Jesus should rise from the dead'
was repeatedly declared on this continent in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar.
And at the same time it was said, 'Messiah cometh in the fulness
of time that he might redeem the children of men from the fall;'
p.65. 'The fall' was frequently spoken of at the Isthmus of Darien
2400 years ago.
I had no object, says Nephi, in the reign of Zedekiah, 'but the
everlasting salvation of your souls.' 66. 'I had spake many things,'
'for a more history part are written upon mine other plates.' 69.
'Do not anger again because of mine enemies,' p. 70. 'For it behoveth
the Great Creator that he die for all men.' 'It must needs be an
infinite atonement.' 'This flesh must go to its mother earth.' 'And
this death must deliver up its dead,' p.70, were common phrases
2300 years ago - 'for the atonement satisfieth the demands of his
justice upon all those who have not the law given them,' p. 81.
The Calvinists were in America before Nephi. 'The Lord remembereth
all they,' 85. The atonement is infinite for all mankind,' p.104.
The Americans knew this on the Columbo 2400 years ago. 'His name
shall be called Jesus Christ the Son of God.' An angel told this
to Nephi 545 years before it was told to Mary, p.105. 'And they
shall teach with their learning and deny the Holy Ghost which giveth
them utterance;' this prophecy was at that time delivered against
us, p.112. 'My words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth,'
p.115. 'Wherein did the Lamb of God fill all the righteousness in
being baptised by water,' 118. This question was discussed 2300
years ago. 'The baptism by fire and the Holy Ghost was preached
in the days of Cyrus,' p.119. 'The only true doctrine of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost which is one God without end.
Amen,' p.120. This was decided in the time of Daniel the Prophet.
'I glory in plainness,' says Nephi. 'Christ will show you that these
are his words in the last day,' p.122. Too late to prove your mission,
'After that ye have obtained a hope in Christ, ye shall obtain
riches if you seek them.' So spoke Jacob in the days of Ezekial
the Prophet. 'They believed in Christ and worshipped the Father
in his name,' p.129. This was said by Jacob in the time of Daniel.
'Do as ye hath hitherto done,' says Mosiah, page 158. These Smithisms
are in every page. 'And his mother shall be called Mary.' p.160.
'The Son of God and Father of heaven and earth.' p.161. 'The infant
perisheth not, that dieth in his infancy.' 'For the natural man
is an enemy of God and was from the fall of Adam, and will be forever
and ever,' p.161. This was spoken by King Benjamin 124 years before
Christ. He was a Yankee, too, for he spoke like Smith, saying, 'I
who ye call your king.' 'They saith unto the king,' p.182. This
was another Joseph Smith called Mosiah. 'They were baptised in the
waters of Mormon, and were called the church of Christ,' p.192.
This happened 100 years before Christ was born. 'Alma, why persecuteth
thou the church of God,' p.222. 'Ye must be born again; yea, born
of God - changed from their carnal and fallen state to a state of
righteousness,' 214. This was preached also 100 years before Christ
was born. 'These things had not ought to be,' 220.
'I, Alma, being consecrated by my father Alma to be a high priest
over the church of God, he having power and authority from God to
do these things (p. 232) say unto you, except ye repent ye can in
no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.' 237. 'He ordained priests
and elders, by laying on his hands, to watch over the church' -
'Not so much as a hair of the head shall be lost in the grave' -
'The holy order of the high priesthood.' p.250. The high priesthood
of Alma was about 80 years before Christ. 'The Lord poured out his
spirit to prepare the minds of the people for the preaching of Alma,
preaching repentance.' p.268. Alma was a Yankee of Smith's school,
for he saith: 'The light of everlasting light was lit up in his
During the pontificate of Alma men prayed thus: 'If there is a
God, and if thou art God wilt thou make thyself known unto me.'
p.286. Alma 'clapped his hands upon all they which were with him.'
p.313. 'Instruments in the hand of God' were the preachers of Alma.
p.323. Modest and orthodox men, truly! 'If ye deny the Holy Ghost
when it once hath place in you, and ye know that ye deny, behold
this is the unpardonable sin.' p.332. So Alma preached. 'And now
my son, ye are called of God to preach the Gospel.' p.340. 'They
were high priests over the church.' p.350. 'The twenty and second
year of the Judges this came to pass.' p.364. 'They were valiant
for courage.' p.376.
These are but as one drop out of a bucket compared with the amount
of Smithisms in this book. It is patched up and cemented with 'And
it came to pass' - 'I sayeth unto you' - 'Ye saith unto him' - and
all the King James' HATHS, DIDS and DOTHS - in the lowest imitation
of the common version; and is, without exaggeration, the meanest
book in the English language; but it is a translation made through
stone spectacles, in a dark room, and in the hat of the prophet
Smith from the REFORMED EGYPTIAN!! It has not one good sentence
in it, save the profanation of those sentences quoted from the Oracles
of the living God. I would as soon compare a bat to the American
eagle, a mouse to a mammoth, or the deformities of a spectre to
the beauties of Him whom John saw in Patmos, as to contrast it with
a single chapter in all the writings of the Jewish or Christian
prophets. It is as certainly Smith's fabrication as Satan is the
father of lies, or darkness the offspring of night. So much for
the internal evidences of the Book of Mormon.
Its external evidences are, first, the testimony of the prophets
Cowdery, Whitmer, and Harris; who saw the plates and heard the voice
of God; who are disinterested retailers of the books. I would ask
them how they knew that it was God's voice which they heard - but
they would tell me to ask God in faith. THAT IS, I MUST BELIEVE
IT FIRST, AND THEN ASK GOD IF IT BE TRUE! 'Tis better to take Nephi's
proof which is promised to us in the day of final judgment! They
say that spiritual gifts are continued to the end of time among
the true believers. They are true believers - have they wrought
any miracles? They have tried, but their faith failed. Can they
show any spiritual gift? Yes, they can mutter Indian and traffic
in new Bibles.
'But Smith is the wonder of the world.' So was the Apocalyptic
beast! 'an ignorant young man.' That needs no proof. Gulliver's
travels is a heroic problem in comparison of this book of Smith.
'But he cannot write a page.' Neither could Mahomet, who gave forth
the Alcoran. 'Smith is an honest looking fellow.' So was Simon Magus,
the sorcerer. 'But he was inspired.' So was Judas, by Satan.
Its external evidences are also the subscriptions of four Whitmers,
three Smiths, and one Page, the relatives and connexions of Joseph
Smith, junior. And these 'men handled as many of the brazen or golden
leaves as the said Smith translated.' So did I. But Smith has got
the plates of which hath been spoken. Let him show them. Their certificate
proves nothing, save that Smith wrote it, and they signed it. But
Smith gives testimony himself. There is one who says, 'If I bear
testimony of myself, my testimony ought not to be regarded.'
If this prophet and his three prophetic witnesses had aught of
speciosity about them or their book, we would have examined it and
exposed it in a different manner. I have never felt myself so fully
authorized to address mortal man in the style in which Paul addressed
Elymas the sorcerer as I feel towards this Atheist Smith. His three
witnesses, I am credibly informed, on one of their horse- swapping
and prophetic excursions in the Sandusky country, having bartered
horses three times for once preaching, represented Walter Scott
and myself as employed in translating these plates, and as believers
in the book of Mormon. If there was any thing plausible about Smith,
I would say to those who believe him to be a prophet, hear the question
which Moses put into the mouth of the Jews, and his answer to it
- 'And if thou say in thine heart, HOW SHALL WE KNOW THE WORD WHICH
THE LORD HATH NOT SPOKEN?' - Does he answer, 'ASK THE LORD AND HE
WILL TELL YOU?' - Does he say 'Wait till the day of judgment and
you will know?' Nay, indeed; but - 'When a prophet speaketh in the
name of the Lord, if the thing follow not nor come to pass, that
is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken; the prophet hath spoken
it presumptuously: THOU SHALT NOT BE AFRAID OF HIM.' Deut.xviii.8.
Smith has failed in every instance to verify one of his own sayings.
Again, I would say in the words of the Lord by Isaiah, 'Bring forth
your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob: let them bring them
forth and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things
what they mean, that we may consider them, and know the latter end
of them - show the things which are to come hereafter, that we may
know that you are prophets: yea, do good or do evil, that we may
be dismayed and behold it together. Behold you are nothing, and
your work of naught: an abomination is every one that chooseth you.'
Let the children of Mormon ponder well, if yet reason remains with
them, the following passage from Isaiah 44; and if they cannot see
the analogy between themselves and the sons of ancient imposture,
then reason is of as little use to them as it was to those of whom
the prophet spake -
'The carpenters having chosen a piece of wood framed it by rule
and glued the parts together, and made it in the form of a man,
and with the comeliness of a man, to set it in a house. He cut wood
from the forest which the Lord planted - a pine tree, which the
rain had nourished, that it might be fuel for the use of man: and
having taken some of it he warmed himself; and with other pieces
they made a fire and baked cakes, and of the residue they made gods
and worshipped them. Did he not burn half of it in the fire, and,
with the coals of that half bake cakes: and having roasted meat
with it did he not eat and was satisfied; and when warmed say, "Aha!
I am warmed, I have enjoyed the fire?" Yet of the residue he
made a carved god, and worshipped it, and prayeth to it, saying,
"Deliver me, for thou art my God."
'They had not sense to think; for they were so involved in darkness
that they could not see with their eyes, nor understand with their
hearts: nor did any reason in his mind, nor by his understanding
recollect, that he had burned half of it in the fire, and on the
coals thereof baked cakes, and had roasted flesh and eaten, and
of the residue had made an abomination; so they bow themselves down
to it. Know thou that their heart is ashes, and they are led astray
and none can deliver his soul. Take a view of it, will you not say,
"There is indeed a lie in my right hand?"
'Remember these things, O Jacob, even thou Israel, for thou art
my servant. I have made thee my servant; therefore O Israel do not
thou forget me. For, lo! I have made thy transgressions vanish like
a cloud - and thy sins like the murky vapor. Return to me, and I
will redeem thee.'
A. CAMPBELL. February 10, 1831.