Изображения страниц


Observer, Sept. 1, '71

"The bringing in of the fulness of the Gentiles." The gospel has been proclaimed to them through an angel, by means of metallic plates, and they will yet be brought in. "The Mormons are the salt of the earth," etc. Of course they are! What else could they be, settled as they are up and down and around that Great Salt Lake?

The service closed, and no President Young was there. What should we do next? There was no evening service. There is no way of lighting their immense audience-room-probably the President thinks it more profitable for the Mormons to spend their evenings in the bosom of their families.

At supper I said to a gentleman near me: "Doesn't President Young attend church? We have been out all day, and he wasn't there at all, and we want so much to see him."


'How many are there in your party?"

"Four ladies; and we must leave to-morrow morning without seeing him."

[ocr errors]

You can call and see him. Go without any gentlemen, and if he is at home he will see you."


But he will think we have some designs on him."

"Not at all; it will be perfectly proper, and he will treat you politely." We went to our rooms, and sent for Mr. Townsend, who is a Mormon, and laid the case before him, He looked a little blank at first, but we were four to one, and at last he drew a long breath and said:

[ocr errors]

Well, put on your bonnets. I will go with you, and we will see. Come quietly, or the crowd will follow."

We were not long in donning our "things" and following Mr. T., who started on in advance.

We soon reached his residence with the sign of the golden bee-hive. The President was not in, and no one knew where he was, or when he would return. After all, was it to be for us the play of Hamlet, with Hamlet himself left out? We walked around the square, past another "residence" of the President, and met a daughter, who said her father had a meeting of officers in the evening and he would be at home very soon. We returned to the bee-hive and seated ourselves on the porch. It was not long before a side-door opened and we were presented to "the coming man." He received us very politely (he could not very well do otherwise), and talked very pleasantly for the few minutes we ventured to stay. He has been in the city just twenty-four years, and is now seventy years old. He spoke with some complacency of what has been accomplished. In answer to our questions, he said he had two councillors, twelve apostles, and a bishop in each ward who attended to the temporal wants of the people. They have no lawyers and no physicians-he is something of a physician himself, having studied a good deal, particularly the diseases of children. They have no quarrels that cannot be adjusted by their bishops and elders-they have no courts; and another strange thing he mentioned, they have never had any large fires in the city!

The railroad he considers an advantage-it brings strangers among them, and when they are better known the public will have a better opinion of them. To us it seemed that the railroad was to be their death-blow. Gentiles are settling among them, and other churches are springing up. Mormon mothers are dissatisfied with the institution, and teaching their daughters to abhor it. Every Sabbath shows them well-dressed, happy Gentile men and women; and those forlorn Saints will not be con tent much longer to appear in their blanket-shawls and bonnets after the

Observer, Sept. 1. '71.

pattern of those made in the ark; and, worse than that, to be seen walking away from the Tabernacle with their half or third or quarter section of a husband to the same fraction of a house on the corner lot, to which they in their blindness apply that precious name," Home."

American Christian Review.

(Continued from page 271.)

[merged small][ocr errors]

WE cannot keep this country for God and for freedom, unless moral and spiritual culture shall keep pace with intellectual culture and material enterprise. Righteousness exalteth a nation. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. And this culture the church alone can give. From the very nature of our free institutions, the Government can do but little. in this line. He is the truest patriot, then, who most effectually promotes moral and religious interests in the community, and wins most hearts to virtue and righteousness.

But this is putting our plea on low, utilitarian ground, and is itself, perhaps, an appeal to selfishness. We must look higher. I said, in the outset, that the Gospel is only the power of God when it comes in contact with the heart and conscience; and that we must rely on providence to open the door of access to individuals and to communities. But that is not the whole truth. There is not only room here for divine agency, but for human agency as well. If God opens the door, we must enter in and bear the Gospel with us. Between the printed page of the glorious Gospel of the grace of God and the human heart in which it is to plant the power of God, there is room for a great variety of ministries. The parent, the Sunday School teacher, the preacher, the colporteur, the editor, the tract distributor, the Bible reader, all have work here. And here is our sphere of operation as a missionary society. When we look on the deep and dark idolatries of men, the mad devotion of the human heart to sinful pleasure and selfish gratification, the terrible enslavement of men to every form of sin until they hug their chains and bless their bondage, we cannot but feel our impotence in attempting the regeneration of society. No human power can effect it. But the power of God is made available for this end. It comes to us in the Gospel. It is a living and powerful word. It penetrates, it smites, it breaks in pieces; it wounds and heals; it kills and makes alive; it reaches the very fountain of life with the energy of omnipotence; its thunders boom over the conscience with crashing terror, and its tempest-force sweeps like a hurricane over the soul, and pride and stubbornness and the idols of the heart are swept in crushed fragments like a leaf in the storm. It sheds light and peace when the storm is over, and in its light a new creation rises, over whose regenerate beauties and glories the morning stars sing a sweet anthem and all the sons of God shout for joy. But this power must be applied. That is our part. God grants the power, God opens the way for it. But we must apply it. We cannot create good men ourselves. But we can let in the creative power of God upon the souls of men, that they may be created anew in Jesus Christ. We are honoured with this august position as co-workers with God; shall we be so base as to sell this birth-right for a mess of pottage -so ignoble as to refuse, through indolence or indifference, to sway this God-like power for the salvation of the world?

But I said, We must pray-pray to Him who alone opens the doorwho alone gives the increase; and I greatly fear that our lack of work

Observer, Sept. 1, '71,

grows largely out of our lack of prayer. Think you we have ever yet learned to pray? I know some who think the Lord's prayer a thing for the past- but I doubt if we have ever yet learned to breathe that prayer aright. I doubt if we have yet learned the true spirit of its first petitions. Let us see. What is the first petition in that prayer? Grant me life?

No. Grant me health? No. Grant me wealth? No. Bless me and mine with all good things, and keep me from all harm and suffering, and let not adversity come nigh us, and let us have our own sweet will to do as we please? Oh! no, no, no. The first petition is, "Thy kingdom come." And the second is like unto it, namely, " Thy will be done in earth as it is done in heaven." And how much does He teach us to pray for of worldly good? Just one day's supply of food—that is all. "Give us this day our daily bread." Christ would thus teach us to subordinate the earthly to the heavenly, the material to the spiritual. We have never learned that prayer, then, unless we have learned to make the spiritual first in our affections and the interests of the kingdom of God the first and dearest desire and aim of our lives; and unless we have subjugated our will to the will of God, until we can say, Thy will; not mine-Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Oh! it is this, it is this, dear brethren, that we need to make us what we ought to be. We are too much devoted to our theories of the world's conversion, and too little given to the work of converting the world. We are too little humbled before God in view of our weakness and inefficiency, our selfishness and sinfulness. We know far too little of that absorbing, enthusiastic desire for the spread of the kingdom of God which would lead us to pray always first, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done" It was the first and the last struggle of the tempter with Jesus to persuade Him to supplant the will of God with some other will-any other, no matter what; it was the first and last victory of Jesus over the tempter, though it cost bloody sweat and bitter cryings and tears, to cling to the will of God, and say in the darkest hour, Thy will be done. Would that we might all be brought, through whatever humiliation and agony, to this point of entire submission-how mightily would God enable us to move forward the triumphs of His kingdom! We have the men, we have the money, we have the open door; we want-supreme devotion to the will of God-a devotion that shall conquer our love of the world and our carnal security. I. E.

A SURVEY OF HISTORICAL SUPERNATURALISM.-No. VI. WE are not informed concerning any outward radiance when God walked with man in the garden. The cherubim fire and the revolving sword of flame not appearing at the eastern gate until man is driven out. The manifest outshining of God in this case being to awe rather than to charm-frightening marauders from the tree of life.

We have a remarkable account on record in the third chapter of Exodus. When Moses led the flock of Jethro to the backside of the desert, he came to Horeb, the mountain of God. "And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed." When Moses sought to find out why the bush was not burnt, the voice of the Lord came to him, and he was taught that he stood on holy ground. God who remembered the ancient covenant had seen the oppression and knew the sorrows of His people, and Moses receives his

Observer, Sept. 1, 71.

commisson as the earthly instrument of deliverance. His name how wonderful, if we abide by the common version. "I AM!" It combines austere simplicity with metaphysical grandeur. He is the Absolute, Unchangeable One from eternity to eternity, and we are but shadows. The worlds and the orders of being only subsist in Him, and without His support matter and spirit would equally fail. Some eminent Hebraists, however, translate the One who will be the coming One, and this leads the mind into a richer field. For the coming One, who was then the coming One and is still the coming One, is our own Lord and Saviour, glorious in His work as the ANGELUS REDEMPTOR of one age and the man Christ Jesus of another. In Exodus xiii., xiv., xv. we have some memorable circumstances. When the emancipated people left Egypt the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, and by night in a pillar of fire. When the crisis of the Red Sea came, the angel of God who went before the camp of Israel removed and went behind them. Cloud and darkness to the camp of Egypt; light and fire to the camp of Israel. And when God triumphed, gloriously, Moses and the people sang a song of transport and life, which is like a blast of trumpets: "Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the Gods? Who is like Thee, glorious in holiness?"


When the people were to receive their constitution Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the nether part of the mount, Ex. xix. "And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly." Afterwards there went up Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders. And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And the glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai.. . . And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel," Ex. xxiv. When the splendid tabernacle was finished, where God communed with Moses and Aaron from between the golden cherubim, above the mercy-seat, there was a fire burning which man never kindled-an outshining glory from the Lord. The palace built for the King of Israel was sanctified by His glory, and the people knew that He was the Lord God who redeemed them from Egypt. Ex. xxv-xxix.

We must not forget the penal revelations of the glory. Nadab and Abihu perished under the fire of the Lord while burning strange incense. The two hundred and fifty princes who adhered to Korah, Dathan, and Abiram were slain by fire after the leaders had descended alive into Sheol. Lev. x., Num. xvi. We are reminded of One who is the very essence of perfect love, but who will, nevertheless, be revealed in flaming fire taking vengeance. In neither case may we distinguish as though the fire were different. The Holiness of God shone forth in glory between the cherubim -serenely resting on the mercy-seat-the same Holiness burned out in devouring fire to consume the rebels. The inward Holiness of Jesus shone forth on the holy mount, so that He was transfigured into intense white splendour, and those who were bathed in it felt it good to be there. The same Holiness will burn out in flaming fire, so that those who have not known God, nor obeyed the Gospel, may be consumed with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.

Habakkuk says: "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of

Observer, Sept. 1, '71.

his praise. And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand and there was the hiding of his power," chap. iii. The Psalmist says: "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth." xxix. When God, who is in His essence pure Spirit, assumes any form, it is the human, for man was made in His image. And when His awful holiness is outwardly manifested, it shines forth in glory, and the glory is the vehicle of His power. It is the Holy God who is revealed in external glory, and it is the God of glory who thundereth in power. That glory which is the outshining of His essential holiness will either bless and transform and glorify, or scare and kill and destroy, according to the material on which it falls. The persons and things which are pure in His sight bask in the splendour of the holy light, the persons and things corrupt and offensive perish in the devouring fire.

After Solomon had finished the Temple, which was better fitted than the Tabernacle for a consolidated people, the glory of the Lord filled the house, and so long, as that Temple endured the peculiar radiance was found there. Ezekiel saw it depart in vision and he likewise saw it return in the vision of a more auspicious age. "When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and the spirit of burning. And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence," Isaiah iv. We are not, however, to conceive of a local limitation as the final reality, for the same writer declares: “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Doubtless the Prophet has before him the ancient promise on record in Numbers: "I have pardoned according to thy word. But as truly as I live all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord," chap. xiv., 20-21.

[ocr errors]

We see one beautiful and comely thing in the ancient theocracy, their religion was their law and their law was their religion. At present we get our religion from one source, and.our political law from another; often in direct antagonism. But in an age of approaching glory the theocracy shall revive again-wider and more glorious-and all the harmonies of a perfect state shall be seen in divine unity.

There came a time when the glory of the Lord shone around the shepherds by night, and they received the tidings of the new-born King. When that King arose from the water of immersion, the heavens were opened, and the glory descended. His miracles, even the first, struck the key-note of divine music. "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory." His last great miracle has the same voice to Martha who talked about decomposition and corruption. He says: "Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" His outshining on the Mount was a supreme revelation. Two out of the three witnesses have named it with emphasis: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John i. "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »