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called Christianity is no longer the Christianity introduced by Christ,' and that not a vestige of the church that Christ established remains among the so-called churches.' The revelations of the • Doctrines and Covenants,' like so many of the Koran,' will afford the historian undesigned but excellent materials for the history of the sect.
A curious feature of this book, in the light of the later story of Mormonism, is its distinct condemnation of polygamy.
How is it, then, that even the most ignorant Mormon can stand against the reproach of belonging to a church whose most peculiar tenet is an utter repudiation of its revealed faith of twenty years ago? We need not go far to find his answer to such an attack; we may read it stated in few words in the Preface to the eleventh edition of the Hymn-book, published in 1856, where the following passage occurs :—“Since the ninth edition of Hymns was published, the knowledge and faith of the Church have greatly increased, through the revelation of more advanced doctrines of the Gospel.' Here is a principle which will, indeed, help the saint against the attacks of the unbelievers : his church is a growing church, and if he dislikes anything in its older revelations, he has but to say that newer and higher ones have superseded it. As we heard a Mormon preacher say, 'The saints have laid the foundation, and are now building upon it.' We know in practice how great have been the real variations of sects, but here are men who have had the cleverness to take up into their system, and hold forth as a symptom of vitality, that change which so many others have stultified themselves by pretending, in defiance of facts, never to have undergone.
Within a few years of the murder of the Prophet Martyr, we find the gross and awkward early Mormon writings followed by a new growth of literature of a different kind, the work of a set of uneducated, but shrewd and zealous men, to whom had been committed the management of the sect, its vitally important missions, and the keeping up of its controversial armoury against the Gentiles. Compendiums of Mormon doctrine were, of course, necessary for preachers and their more intelligent converts. Several such appear to have been written ; and to judge from one of them, the Key to Theology,' they are neither too bad, nor (what would be far worse) too good for their purpose. A postle Parley Pratt begins by defining his theology, which seems to include, besides what we usually know by the name, most kinds of knowledge, natural and supernatural, from the raising of the dead to the properties and applications of the
We might amuse our readers, had we space, with many curious points in Mormon natural science; but we will
only refer to one from the last number of the · Millennial Star, where Orson Pratt uses the theory of a temperate polar basin for the discovery of the ten lost tribes. They are nowhere else, he says; ‘argal, they are there! The Bible hints it, the Apocrypha is a little plainer; Joseph Smith has revealed it (in spite of the romance of Nephi and Laman): such is the convenience of an elastic revelation !
The only Mormon writer in whom we have traced anything of original speculative thought is Orson Pratt, whose theory works up the old notion of an intelligent soul of the universe into an idea that matter is intelligent, obeying natural laws by virtue of this intelligence, and then carries on the thought into an amusing and unexpected development. Intelligent materials
, it seems, acquire knowledge by experience. Cohesion and motion are among the first efforts of intelligent matter ; but laws are prescribed to it in proportion to its intellectual capacity; and as it attains to more perfect knowledge, it becomes capable of obeying higher laws. But we learn that Orson Pratt's writings have been formally condemned, though he still continues one of the Mormon apostles. At any rate, Orson Pratt is a man of considerable shrewdness and mental agility, if of little education.
But the Mormon resuscitation of polygamy was a step of very different importance to the adoption of more or less meaningless speculations about matter and spirit, ghosts and angels. The sect may, and we trust will, have its death from polygamy, but in the mean time it has its life from it. And in this matter Parley Pratt's book is really a key to Mormon theology. Its sting is in its tail.
Any cducated person who thinks that Mormon missionaries may
be successfully met by such an answer to their arguments as would be acceptable to the middle classes of England, profoundly mistakes the nature of the art of making proselytes among the poor and ignorant. Persuasion among the Mormon converts depends not so much on absolute argument, for in such cases one argument is in fact about as good as another, but on a sufficiently ready and shallow controversial dexterity, aided by personal influence, ready flattery, actual help and kindness, and the promise of material advantage to the convert. One thing is essential to the Mormon controversialist, to be able to give some sort of answer to any objections; and this art at least he bas thoroughly learnt. Of the shists by which the Mormon meets the attacks of Gentile objectors to his faith, Captain Burton's remarkable account of Mormonism gives a series of examples well worthy of attention as contributions to the general theory of religious controversy.
The self-possession of the Mormons under the terrible blow of their prophet's murder, only postponed the hopes and fixed resolutions of their enemies, and they soon found that they had the choice between departure and extermination. The calm purpose with which they finished their temple before departing, in order to fulfil their prophet's commands, is almost as wonderful as their heroic pilgrimage to the refuge which their new leader, Brigham Young, chose for them in the Valley of the Salt Lake. The first pioneers started at the beginning of 1846, marking out the roads, bridging rivers, and sowing the seeds of a harvest to be reaped by the main body; nor did they neglect scientific observations of value to all succeeding travellers. We must refer to the works we have mentioned for the thrilling story of their sufferings, and those of the main body that followed them in the summer of 1848; but we cannot omit to notice the prejudice of even a well-informed American writer, who makes light of that thousand miles' march into the desert.*
We have not space to follow the course of unremitting industry and skilful organization, which has brought Salt Lake City to the condition of order and prosperity attested by the concurrent voice of travellers ; raised ninety-three bushels of corn from al single acre, and justified the Mormon name for the state of Utah, Deseret, the land of the honey-bee.' Nor need we occupy our space with those pictures of the external aspect of Mormon life and society, and of its new prophet and his chief councillors, which are easily accessible, and will be keenly enjoyed iu Mr. Dixon's pages. Their industry is at once the chief merit of their system and its fascination in the eyes of observers. The same zeal which carries the wealthiest and highestplaced Mormon to the ends of the earth, to preach his faith, nerves his arm to reclaim the land around his home; and every convert whom the missionary sends to the land of promise becomes a willing worker, where there are none idle, and hardly any poor.
The Mormon agrees with the Shaker in that article of his creed which holds that earth is given to the Saints to redeem its wastes; and, assured that he himself also is redeemed, he claims a right to the full enjoyment of its wealth and sweets. Asceticism forms no part of his religion. One chief result of the administrative power of Brigham Young is shown in the theatre which he has perfected before the walls of the temple have risen within the space which it was his first act to enclose. The sanctuary is to be a lasting monument in the future: cheerfulness is the present need of every day. This
* Ferris : 'Utah and the Mormons."
aspect of their life naturally attracts the proselyte and fascinates the visitor; and they are conscious of the power to which both classes are too prone to yield. Mr. Bowles gives us a strange specimen of Elder Kimball's preaching, which concludes with this challenge to the Gentiles :
-Oh! don't be scart at me! Come up
house and see me. I will give you some peaches, and make you happy. . . . I will give you some peaches. I will give you some apples. I would give you some meat if I had it, but I am about out.' Comparing this passage with Mr. Dixon's admiration of the Mormon peaches, and his description of the banquet at which an exception to the vegetable diet was made in his favour, we could not but reflect that, using these dainties as a symbol of other enjoyments, Elder Kimball knew the way to the human heart.
For, in sober earnest, this seems to be the key to the whole system. As the Mormon deity is a material being, and man partakes of his substance; as the kingdom of God is present among the · Latter-Day Saints,' and the guilt and punishment of sin are banished from their creed; so all their hopes, as well as joys, are summed up in the present. Even the future consummation of their faith is so near at hand to them, as to forin a part of the present. Every Mormon hopes to live to see the second Advent; and he seems to say, 'Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we shall reign upon the earth. All that remains to be revealed is but a further development of the same state, a 'going on to perfection' in preparation for the kingdom that is at hand: for, like the followers of Noyes, they hold the tenet of a ' Christian perfection' in liberty, to be attained in this life. They have carried to its last consequences a doctrine which is doubtless in part a reaction from a narrow view of religion. If divines have insisted too exclusively on the hopes of the world to come, the Mormons have caricatured the truth that religion has also an office in this life. Human nature is ever ready for the converse reading of the doctrine, that 'true worship is true enjoyment;' and proselytes are quickly gathered by a missionary who offers the weary labourer and toil-worn mechanic a home, where his industry shall not only be rewarded and his love of pleasure satisfied, but both shall bring to his conscience the satisfaction of a religious duty. We lately heard a Mormon preacher conclude by praying for his hearers .faith to get out of this land before the clouds come over it which we begin to see rising. Many saints feel the hardness of the times. You may escape these troubles ; breathe a pure atmosphere; be blessed with the things of the earth as well as the blessings of the heavens.' Perhaps the very distance and seclusion of the Promised Land
helps helps to gratify the imagination by a sort of likeness to another world; while the practical difficulties of the long journey are smoothed by an admirable organization. Who can doubt this to be the chief secret of the spread of Mormonism, especially among our own labouring classes? Mr. Bowles informs us that they boasted of a thousand emigrants from Europe in 1865.
How long a system, which seems to have founded a nation on the basis of a practical attempt to place the philosophy of Epicurus under the sanction of a new religion which parodies that of Christ, will take to sink into profligacy, can only be a question of time. The thoughtful Christian spectator of that plain, which human industry has made as 'the Garden of the Lord,' cannot shut out from his mind the parallel suggested by the very sites and names, or quench a foreboding of the time when—unless some new cause shall avert the omen—the Salt Lake City shall become another Sodom. The establishment of polygamy as a religious institution is the first step, as the very conception of it betrays the perverse turn of the prophet's mind. That parody of Hebrew patriarchal life, which we trace in the whole framework of Mormonism, offered a plausible pretext for a license which could be indulged in a separate settlement remote from men; and his successors have made this the dignity as well as pleasure of their patriarchal aristocracy. With somewhat of a confusion of scriptural localities, the Saints glory in regarding themselves as gathered up from the ungodly nations, and led out to their secluded valley as Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. But the Jews were severed from the world to protest against its corruptions : the Mormons for a freer scope to work out the full fruits of worldli
While boasting that they are restored to the privilege of direct revelation and Divine order, they are but trying to roll back the tide of civilization; and, in place of their vaunted conformity to the life led in the tents of Abraham and Jacob, we find a truer likeness of the social state to which they are tending in the polygamy and patriarchal government, with elders, which M. Du Chaillu found among the negroes of Ashango. Of the working of this institution we have not space to speak. We rejoice to see it made clear that the system is revolting to the Mormon women when their real feelings can be arrived at. Mr. Horace Greely has given the result of his personal observations at Utah, in a lecture recently delivered at New York, of which we find the following abstract in the Montreal Witness':
He dwelt at length on the curses being rapidly developed by the great social evil of the Mormons—polygamy; and while he characterised the people as industrious and peaceful, and did not question their honesty in the profession of their peculiar doctrines, he saw, he