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MODERN SUPERSTITION.-THE

lay, and subsequently inspired to inMORMONITES.-No. II.

terpret the writing, by putting two We now resume our extracts from smooth flat stones, which he found in the “ Episcopal Recorder” of Philadel- the box, into a hat, and then putting phia, to expose still further the gross his face therein. This is the claim set superstition, by which an increasing up for the book of Mormon, and which number of our ignorant countrymen has seduced many unstable souls. are enthralled, earnestly praying that Had the originator of this fabulous they may speedily be delivered from the history, called the book of Mormon, snares of Satan.

kept entirely behind the scenes up to In developing the history of this im- the present period, and had there been posture, and showing the several steps no clue by which the authorship of this by which it has won its way to the figment of the imagination could be regard, and gained the confidence of traced, it would still have been abunthousands, it becomes necessary to ac- dantly evident to every intelligent percount for the existence of what is de- son, that it was the product of some nominated the book of Mormon, a vo- shrewd and designing mind, who callume containing five hundred and eighty-culated to find his advantage in gulling eight duodecimo pages, consisting of the credulous and superstitious. The fifteen different books, purporting to people of Palmyra, at the commencebe written at different times, and by ment of the printing of this book, only different authors, whose names they re- laughed at the ridiculousness of the spectively bear. The period of time thing, and wondered at the credulity which these historical records profess of Harris. As the publication proto cover, is about a thousand years, gressed, and the contents of the book commencing with the time of Zedekiah, began to be known, the conviction beking of Judah, and terminating with came general that there was an actor the year of our Lord 420.

behind the scene, moving the machiThis volume has exerted a most im- nery, of far higher intellectual qualiportant influence in giving some plausi- fication than Smith or Harris. Susbility to the claims set up by the ori, picion, in some degree, rested upon a ginators of the Mormon imposture. I man by the name of Cowdery, who am quite confident there never would had been a school teacher, if I mistake have been any permanent converts to not, and was now known to be in some Mormonism, had not this volume been way connected with Smith in preparing ushered into existence. The story of this volume for the press. the golden Bible, like a thousand pre- I will here insert a document which vious and no less marvellous tales told I have in my hands, and which may by Joe Smith, would have long since tend to throw some light upon the sunk into oblivion but for the publi- origin and authorship of the book of cation of this book. The origin of this Mormon, which I found in a little work, volume, how it came into being, is a entitled “ Religious Creeds and Stagrave question. It is quite certain, that tistics." The author gives a brief neither Joe Smith nor Martin Harris sketch of Mormonism, and

among other had intelligence or literary qualification things inserts a letter or statement writadequate to the production of a work ten by Isaac Hale, the father-in-law of of this sort. Who then was its author ? Joe Smith, giving some account of his The Mormons say that it is a revelation first acquaintance with him. While from God. They claim for it a Divine at Palmyra, I met with a respectable character. They say that the succes- clergyman of the Episcopal Church, sive narratives spread upon the pages who had formerly belonged to the Meof this volume, are the identical records thodist connexion, that was acquainted engraven upon the metallic plates to with Mr. Hale. He represented him which we have already referred, and as a distinguished hunter, living near which, like the leaves of a book, were the Great Bend in Pennsylvania. He deposited in a box, and hid in the earth ; was professedly a religious man and a that the writing on these plates was in very zealous member of the Methodist the reformed Egyptian language; that Church. The letter to which I have Joseph Smith was directed by an angel referred, is accompanied with a stateto the spot where this sacred deposit ment, declaring that Mr. Hale resides

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in Harmony, Penn.; appended to the whether she could have her property, letter also is Mr. Hale's affirmation or consisting of clothing, etc. I replied affidavit of the truth of the statement that her property was safe, and at her there made, taken before Charles Di- disposal. In a short time, they remon, justice of the peace; and there turned, bringing with them a Peter is also subjoined the certificate of Wil- Ingersol, and subsequently came to the liam Thompson and Davis Dimock, conclusion that they would move out, associate judges of the Court of Com- and reside upon a place near my remon Pleas in the county of Susque- sidence. hanna, declaring that “they have for Smith stated to me, that he had given many years been personally acquainted up what he called glass looking,” and that with Isaac Hale of Harmony Town- he expected to work hard for a living, ship, who has attested the foregoing and was willing to do so. Soon after statement, or letter, and that he is a this, I was informed they had brought a man of excellent moral character, and wonderful book of plates down with of undoubted veracity."

them. I was shown a box, in which The letter or statement above re- it is said they were contained, which ferred to, is as follows :

had, to all appearance, been used as I first became acquainted with Jo- a glass box, of the common sized winseph Smith, jun., in November 1825. dow glass. I was allowed to feel the He was at that time in the employ of weight of the box, and they gave me a set of men who were called “money to understand, that the book of plates diggers ;” and his occupation was that was then in the box ; into which, how, of seeing, or pretending to see, by ever, I was not allowed to look. I means of a stone placed in his hat, inquired of Joseph Smith, jun., who and his hat closed over his face. In was to be the first that would be ala this way, he pretended to discover lowed to see the book of plates. He minerals and hidden treasure. His ap- said it was a young child. pearance at this time was that of a After this, I became dissatisfied, and careless young man, not very well edu- informed him, that if there was any cated, and very saucy and insolent to thing in my house of that description, his father, Smith and his father, with which I could not be allowed to see, several other money diggers, boarded he must take it away; if he did not, at my house while they were employed in I was determined to see it. After that, digging for a mine that they supposed the plates were said to be hid in the had been opened and worked by the woods. Spaniards, many years since. Young About this time, Martin Harris made Sinith gave the money diggers great his appearance upon the stage ; and encouragement at first; but when they Smith began to interpret the characters had arrived, in digging, to near the place or hieroglyphics, which he said were where he had stated an immense trea- engraven upon the plates, while Harris sure would be found, he said the en- wrote down the interpretation. It was chantment was so powerful, that he said that Harris wrote down one huncould not see. They then becam dis- dred and sixteen pages, and lost them. couraged, and soon after dispersed. Soon after this happened, Martin Harris

After these occurrences, young Smith informed me that he must have a greater made several visits at my house, and witness, and said that he had talked at length asked my consent to marry with Joseph about it; Joseph informed my daughter Emma. This I refused, him that he could not or durst not show and gave him my reasons for so doing; him the plates, but that he (Joseph) some of which were, that he was a would go into the woods where the stranger, and followed a business that book of plates was, and that after he I could not approve. He then left the came back, Harris should follow his place. Not long after this, he returned; track in the snow, and find the book, and while I was absent from home, and examine it for himself. Harris in, carried off my daughter into the state formed me afterwards, that he followed of New York, where they were married Smith's directions, and could not find without my approbation or consent, the plates, and was still dissatisfied. After they had arrived at Palmyra, New The next day after this happened, York, Emma wrote to me, inquiring I went to the house where "Joseph

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Smith, jun. lived, and where he and the book of Mormon as a Divine revelHarris were engaged in their translation ation. Whether Smith. and Cowdery of the book. Each of them had a were acting alone at the time referred written piece of paper which they were to by Mr. Hale, or were then deriving comparing, and some of the words were their illumination from Rigdon, I have -“My servant seeketh a greater wit- no means of determining. It is highly ness, but no greater witness can be probable, however, that they then had given to him.” There was also some

to a copy of the manuscript thing said about “three that were to written by Mr. Spaulding, of which we see the thing,” (meaning, I supposed, shall soon speak, and this copy was unthe book of plates ;) and that, “if the doubtedly obtained through the agency three did not go exactly according to of Rigdon. The true authorship of orders, the thing would be taken from what constitutes the basis of the book them." I inquired whose words they of Mormon, unquestionably belongs to were, and was informed by Joseph or Mr. Spaulding. I do not, however, Emma, (I rather think it was the for- believe that the book of Mormon is an mer,) that they were the words of exact copy of Mr. Spaulding's

“ HisJesus Christ. I told them then, that torical Romance, as Mrs. Davidson I considered the whole of it a delusion, very properly denominates it. No inand advised them to abandon it. The telligent or well-educated man would manner in which he pretended to read have been guilty of so many anachroand interpret, was the same as when nisms and gross grammatical errors as he looked for the money diggers, with characterize every part of the book of the stone in his hat, and his hat over his Mormon. While Mr. Spaulding's Hisface, while the book of plates was at torical Romance is unquestionably the the same time hid in the woods !

groundwork of this volume, the chrisAfter this, Martin Harris went away, tianized character of the work, the horand Oliver Cowdery came and wrote tatory clauses about salvation through for Smith, while he interpreted, as the blood of Christ, and the adaptation above described. This is the same of the whole to meet the peculiar reOliver Cowdery whose name may be ligious views of Martin Harris, and to found in the book of Mormon. Cow-tally with the pretended discovery of dery continued a scribe for Smith, until Joe Smith, are evidently parts of the the book of Mormon was completed, work added to Mr. Spaulding's manuas I supposed, and understood.

script. In farther corroboration of this Joseph Smith, jun. resided near me idea, I will just advert to two facts. for some time after this, and I had a First, in this record, some portions of good opportunity of becoming acquainted which were professedly written six hun. with him, and somewhat acquainted dred years before the appearance of our with his associates. And I conscien- Saviour, the various dramatis persone tiously believe, from the facts I have seem as familiar with the events of the detailed, and from many other circum- New Testament, and all the doctrines of stances, which I do not deem it ne- the gospel, as any preacher of the precessary to relate, that the whole book sent day. Now no intelligent and wellof Mormon, (so called,) is a silly fa. educated man would be guilty of such a brication of falsehood and wickedness, solecism as that of putting into the got up for speculation, and with a de- mouth of a Jew, who lived four hundred sign to dupe the credulous and unwary, years before the birth of Christ, a flipand in order that its fabricators might pant discourse about things, as though live upon the spoils of those who swal- they were then familiarly known, when lowed the deception.

they did not occur till some five hundred

ISAAC Hale. years afterwards. Hence I infer that I shall have occasion hereafter to re- these parts were added to the original fer to the loss of the one hundred and document of Mr. Spaulding, by Joe sixteen pages spoken of by Harris, and Smith, Cowdery, Rigdon, or some of to the manner in which they were lost; the fraternity. Another reason, leading as this fact will not only tend to illus- me to the opinion that considerable altrate Harris's character, but to throw terations were made in the document some farther light upon the sinuous referred to, stands in connexion with track which was pursued to palm off the fact to which I have already adverted -the loss of the one hundred and six- | again ; and being commanded of the teen pages, which were never replaced. Lord that I should not translate the same These pages were lost in the following over again, for Satan had put it into way. Harris brought home the manu- their hearts to tempt the Lord their script pages, and locked them up in his God, by altering the words, that they house, thinking them quite safe. But did read contrary from that which I his wife, who was not then, nor ever translated and caused to be written ; and afterwards became a convert to Mormon- if I should bring forth the same words ism, took the opportunity, when he again, or in other words, if I should was out, to seize the manuscript, and translate the same over again, they would put it into the hands of one of her neigh- publish that which they had stolen, and bours for safer keeping. When the Satan would stir up the hearts of this manuscript was discovered to be missing, generation, that they might not receive suspicion immediately fastened upon this work: but behold, the Lord said Mrs. Harris: she, however, refused to unto me, I will not suffer that Satan give any information in relation to the shall accomplish his evil design in this matter, but simply replied: “If this be thing: therefore thou shalt translate a Divine communication, the same being from the plates of Nephi, until ye come who revealed it to you can easily replace to that which ye have translated, which it.” Mrs. H. believed the whole thing ye have retained ; and behold, ye shall to be a gross deception, and she had publish it as the record of Nephi ; and formed a plan to expose the deception in thus I will confound those who have the following manner. Taking it for altered my words. I will not suffer that granted that they would attempt to repro- they shall destroy my work: yea, I will duce the part she had concealed, and that show unto them that my wisdom is greater they could not possibly do it verbatim, than the cunning of the devil.”. she intended to keep the manuscript This was the expedient to which they until the book was published, and then resorted in order to avoid replacing the put these one hundred and sixteen pages lost pages. Had those pages, however, into the hands of some one who would | been transcribed verbatim from Mr. publish them, and show how they varied Spaulding's manuscript, they would un, from those published in the book of doubtedly have reproduced them, and Mormon. But she had to deal with urged the fact of their being able to do persons standing behind the scene, and so, as a still further proof of their Divine moving the machinery that were too inspiration. But on the supposition that wily thus to be caught. Harris was in there was considerable new matter mindignant at his wife beyond measure; he gled up with Mr. Spaulding's sketches, raved most violently, and it is said actu- it would be impossible for them to proally beat Mrs. H. with a rod; but she duce the one hundred and sixteen pages, remained firm, and would not give up just as they were before, and they would the manuscript. The authors of this therefore naturally devise some expeimposture did not dare to attempt to re- dient to relieve themselves from the produce this part of the work; but Joe necessity of reproducing those pages. Smith immediately had a revelation In all probability, Cowdery, and Smith, about it, which is inserted in the preface and Rigdon, had all more or less to do in of the Book of Mormon as follows: combining these additional parts with As many false reports have been cir- Mr. Spaulding's work. culated respecting the following work, and also many unlawful measures taken by evil designing persons to destroy me and also the work, I would inform you,

OLD HUMPHREY ON ALMSHOUSES. that I translated, by the gift and power I am fond, ay very fond of almsof God, and caused to be written one houses, let them be erected upon what hundred and sixteen pages, the which I plan they may. Whether built in a took from the book of Lehi, which was an straight line, a crescent, a circle, or a account abridged from the plate of Lehi, square; whether stone, brick, cemented, by the hand of Mormon; which said or stuccoed, so that they are almshouses account, some person or persons have for the widow and the aged, I like them stolen and kept from me, notwithstand-heartily. ing my utmost exertions to recover it No sooner do I see a square or an

oval stone in the front of small houses | I would not even kill a caterpillar in inscribed, “Dame Dorothy Hunt, of an almshouse garden ; by and by he Bocking in Essex, bequeathed by will will be a butterfly, and pay with interest the sum of five hundred pounds for the by his liveliness and beauty for the leaf erection of almshouses ;" or, These that he has eaten. twelve almshouses were built and en- The old folks that live in almsdowed A.D. 1721, at the sole cost of houses are all favourites with me. As Mr. Samuel Harwars, draper and citi- I see them go in and out, whether I zen of London ;" or, “ Mrs. Agnes speak with them or not, I give them Aldershaw, spinster, of Whitby in York- my blessing: Some of them look shire, erected these almshouses for the cheerful, and then they have credit reception of sixteen poor women;" or, with me for carrying grateful hearts in "The six almshouses belonging to the their bosoms. Others look a little cross, worshipful company of Girdlers, were but who can tell what cares may ocrebuilt by the said company;" or, in- casion this ? they must be borne with. deed any other description of a similar Christian charity “ is not easily prokind, my heart yearns towards the in- voked, thinketh no evil;— beareth all mates of the place, and I make a pause things, believeth all things, hopeth all and call back to my memory some whom things, endureth all things,” i Cor. xiii. I knew of the excellent of the earth, 5.7. We must not be severe to mark the who once inhabited almshouses, but infirmities of those whose trials may exwho now, as I humbly hope and trust, ceed our own. are inhabitants of “a building of God, Again I say that I like almshouses, an house not made with hands, eternal and I like heartily, too, the good old in the heavens,” 2 Cor. v. 1.

souls who founded them, in spite of Even now I can see poor widow the uncouth, antiquated statuary, that Winn in her old arm chair, thanking does its best to make them look awGod for the load of coals which has ful and forbidding. The long curlybeen just stocked up in her coalhole. haired wigs and flowing gowns of the Widow Nokes,

too, as truly lowly- citizen founders, and the prim, starchedminded and grateful a creature as ever up dresses of the dames and spinssoaked a hard crust in a cup of tea. ters, are a little freezing in their inShe is before me, and I, seated on the Auence, and yet I love even these side of her little bedstead with a friend, antiquated effigies. It is not orthodox, am reading to her from her dog's-eared and consistent with God's holy word, Bible the fortieth chapter of Isaiah. to put up a prayer for the dead; but * They that wait upon the Lord shall it is orthodox and consistent with God's renew their strength; they shall mount holy word to think kindly of them, and up with wings as eagles; they shall run, to encourage the hope, in the absence and not be weary; and they shall walk, of any evidence to the contrary, that and not faint." Andrew Hollins with their works of charity were the effect bis lame arm, and Michael Arrowsmith of a lively faith in God's mercy, and sitting in the sun, on the bench by the a love for the Saviour of sinners, as almshouse door, with his crutches be- well as of a desire to be the friend of side him, are present to my memory. the friendless, and to add to the comWeak as they were in body, they were fort of such as stand in need of assistance both mighty in the Scriptures, and and support. strong in the faith of Jesus Christ and It is an easy thing to say that the him crucified. Thus it is that when founders of almshouses have more desaints are sent for to heaven, they leave sire to get reputation for their charity behind them in their example a token than to afford comfort to the partakers of remembrance on the earth that tends of their bounty; but is it wise, is it to the glory of the Redeemer.

just, is it kind, is it Christian-like thus Yes ! yes ! I like almshouses, es- to attach bad motives to good deeds pecially those of the humbler sort. I without a knowledge that will justify like the gardens before the doors, and such a harsh opinion ? Human nature regard with a friendly feeling the spi- is full of infirmity, and almshouse nach and cabbage plants, the marygolds founders are no more free from pride, and sweet margery, the gilly flowers vanity, and ambition than their neighand sweet williams that grow in them. I bours; but let us not leap to the con

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