Book of The Law of the Lord.
ROMAN NUMERAL CONVERSION THE BOOK OF THE LAW OF THE LORD, BEING A TRANSLATION FROM THE EGYPTION OF THE LAW GIVEN TO
MOSES IN SINAI, WITH NUMEROUS
BOOK OF THE LAW
BEING A TRANSLATION FROM THE EGYPTION OF THE LAW GIVEN TO MOSES IN SINAI, WITH NUMEROUSAND VALUABLE NOTES.
PRINTED BY COMMAND OF THE KING,
AT THE ROYAL PRESS,
A. R. VI.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
This printing includes approximately 2,000 copies; including approximately 425 numbered copies printed on 100% rag paper and leather bound; and 1575 copies on archival paper and hard back binding.
This typeset edition was prepared by Samuel E. West. Copyright 2000. All rights reserved. No part of this volume may be reproduced in any form; including by computer, without permission in writing from the editor. Reproduction for person use is authorized. The First Printing included 2,000 copies. The first 200 copies were printed on 100% rag paper, leather bound, and numbered by the editor. The last 1,800 copies were printed on archival paper.
Special Recognition: First, I would like to thank my wife Mary for her patience during the many weeks of work which I spent in the preparation of this Millennium Edition. Without her patience and help the work could not have been completed. Second, I would like to thank Robert and Carolyn Hansen; without whose financial help this work would not have been possible. Third, I would like to thank Cora Little, Franklin Little, and Dean Barnett for their help in initial proof reading.
Whoever receives this book shall not condemn it because of any imperfections which are in it. If there are faults, they are the faults of man and not of God. But rather, give thanks to God that I have been able to make this book available for your edification that you may "grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." Remember the command in this Book of the Law, "read in it all the days of your lives...and talk of it, and think upon it; and it shall be inscribed upon your hearts continually. For by this Law hath the Lord your God sanctified you." (Page 206)
This book is an enlarged typeset edition of the Saint James, Michigan edition of 1856. It has been carefully reproduced word for word, line for line, and page for page in as nearly an exact duplicate of that original work as was possible. The 1856 edition was never bound with a title page, testimony, or preface before James J. Strang was killed in 1856. Therefore, this reproduction has a testimony and preface from the earlier Saint James edition of 1851. That forerunner of 1851 comprised just 80 pages, and was titled: The Book of the Law of the Lord, Consisting of an Inspired Translation of Some of the Most Important Parts of the Law Given to Moses, and a Very Few Additional Commandments, With Brief Notes and References. The later edition of 1856 comprised 320 pages (17-336), and contained nine new chapters and numerous and valuable notes. The title page of this Millennium Edition is conjectural, derived from the edition of 1851 and an announcement of publication in the Daily Northern Islander in 1856. The engraving is reproduced from the edition of 1851.
The 1851 Edition of the Book of the Law did not include the notes by James J. Strang. The 1856 Edition materially altered "Baptism for the Dead" and added nine chapters: "Oaths," "Benedictions," "Maledictions," "Prayer," "Thanksgiving," "Sacrifice," "Monuments," "High Priest," and "Priesthood." "Establishment of the Law" was the last chapter in the 1851 Edition.
T E S T I M 0 N Y.
BE it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, to whom this Book of the Law of the Lord shall come, that James J. Strang has the plates of the ancient Book of the Law of the Lord given to Moses, from which he translated this law, and has shown them to us. We examined them with our eyes, and handled them with our hands. The engravings are beautiful antique workmanship, bearing a striking resemblance to the ancient oriental languages; and those from which the laws in this book were translated are eighteen in number, about seven inches and three-eights wide, by nine inches long, occasionally embellished with beautiful pictures.
And we testify unto you all that the everlasting kingdom of God is established, in which this law shall be kept, till it brings in rest and everlasting righteousness to all the faithful.
v=5; iv=4; vi=6.
x=10; ix=9; xi=11.
L=50; il=49; vl=45; xl=40; li=51; lv=55; lx=60.
C=100; ic=99; vc=95; xc=90; ci=101; cv=105; cx=110.
THE necessity of a new translation of the Sacred Oracles into the English language has long been felt by all biblical students. The earliest translation of any part of the sacred writ into Anglo Saxon was the Psalter, by Adhelm, the first Bishop of Shuborn, A. D. 706. Soon after, Eadfrid, Bishop of Holy Island, translated the four Gospels. This manuscript is in the British Museum. Bede, in the same century, translated the Bible into Anglo Saxon. Alfred, king of England, a little later, translated the Psalter, and part of the New Testament, an edition of which published in London, A. D. 1640, edited by John Spelman, remains.
During the period in which the Anglo Saxon was being changed into the present English language, a variety of translations and revisions were made of parts, and a few of the whole Bible. But in 1603 Dr. Reynalds induced king James of England to appoint fifty-four distinguished men to revise the entire Bible. Of this number forty-seven assembled in six companies, and collated the various translations, both in the English and other languages, with the copies in the original languages, and finally agreed upon what is commonly known as King James’ Bible. It was first published in 1611. In 1683 it was corrected by Dr. Scattergood; in 1711 by Bishops Tennison and Lloyd; afterwards by Dr. Paris; and last by Dr. Blaney in 1769, whose work is treated by nearly all Protestants as a standard edition, and all subsequent impressions profess to conform to it.
The Roman Catholicks have a translation of the Old Testament made at the College at Doway, and of the New at Rheims, held in high repute by them, and doubtless quite as faithful as that of king James. There are also various other translations, little known and seldom referred to, yet approved by some of the minor sects. These are generally mere revisions, in which different editors and revisers have made changes to suit their peculiar views and interests,and still bearing upon their faces the unmistakable mark in almost every chapter of some translator previous to king James’ famous revision. The peculiar
merit of each is not in its general fidelity, but in its more accurate rendering of particular passages, or words of scripture. Neither king James’ or the Doway has attained its present eminence by its own merits, but each by the patronage with which it is sustained. In thousands of instances the same word in the original is translated by a different word in the English, when no reason for the variance can be given, except its influence on some particular doctrine. The names of the same persons are in different places written in so different a manner as not to be recognized by the unlearned, as Elias and Elijah, Isaiah and Esais, Osea and Oshea, Joshua and Jesus, Jacob and James, Mary and Miriam.
In various places the translators have been utterly unable to translate at all, the meaning of the original words being quite lost; as the word bdellium, Gen. ii. 12; Ezekiel (ix. 4) was commanded to go through Jerusalem and make a particular mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and mourn for all the abominations committed there. But what that mark was, translators have been utterly unable to determine. In the Hebrew it is the last letter of the alphabet, thau or tau, which in the genuine or ancient Hebrew character is identical with the sign of the cross. Roman Catholicks therefore interpret it as the sign of the cross. If this plausible interpretation is the true one, it is yet unaccountable that the form of the sign was changed when the Hebrew came to be written in the Chaldee character. Protestants, to destroy the plausibility of this interpretation, render the passage "set a mark," leaving out the very mark itself, which the prophet mentioned with so much particularity. The Protestant leaves out a part of the scripture, which he cannot understand, and the Catholick puts it in, utterly ignorant of what it means. Human ingenuity can never surmount the difficulty. Only an inspired translation can tell us what mark the prophet was to put upon their foreheads.
Everything in written or spoken language is the subject of interpretation, and in many instances doubtless there is a real difference of opinion among the learned as to the true interpretation of the scriptures, in the original tongues; and, there
fore, if divested of all sectarian feeling, they could not agree upon a new translation; nor if agreed, could they be assured that they were certainly correct.
But there is another objection to resting a religious faith on those works, of far greater consequence. The copies from which the translations are made, are not authenticated, as accurate copies. In the various ancient copies collated, not less than thirty thousand variations in the reading have been discovered and marked. And yet all the copies of the Old Testament collated are derived from that of AARON BEN ASHER, written about A. D. 1034, or 2525 years subsequent to the giving of the tables of the law. The Jews of middle and eastern Asia have their various copies, varying from one another, derived from that of JACOB BEN NAPTHALI, who was cotemporary with AARON BEN ASHER, and whose copy varied greatly from his. The black Jews of India have still another copy, for which they claim a high antiquity, also varying greatly from each of the others. The Samaritan Pentateuch presents the highest claim to antiquity of all these various works, and contains many words, sentences, and even whole chapters, not found in the common Bibles.
Of the New Testament the earliest copies are, first, the copy of Beza, now in the University of Cambridge, containing the four Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles, with the old Italian or Latin translation, written probably in the fifth century. Second, the Vatican copy, written at some period from the fourth to the sixth century. Third, the Alexandrian copy, claimed to have been written soon after the Nicene Council, but not certainly entitled to ahigher antiquity than the tenth century.
The most ancient of all manuscripts lack several important passages, now contained in all Testaments, and the controversialists of those days did not allude to them, though put to narrow straits for the testimony contained in them, by which we know that those passages are forgeries of a later date.
Several books are also mentioned in the scriptures, not now found in the Bible, but of equal authority with it, which have been lost; as for instance, another epistle of Paul to the
Corinthian and the Ephesian churches, and the books of Iddo, Nathan, and others, prophets of high rank in Israel.
But of all the lost books the most important was the Book of the Law of the Lord. This was kept in the ark of the covenant, and was held too sacred to go into the hands of strangers. When the Septuagint translation was made, the Book of the Law was kept back, and the Book lost to the Jewish nation in the time that they were subject to foreign powers. The various books in the Pentateuch, containing abstracts of some of the laws, have been read instead of it, until even the existence of the book has come to be a matter of doubt.
It is from an authorized copy of that book, written on metallick plates long previous to the Babylonish captivity, that this translation is made. And being made by the same spirit by which the words were originally dictated, it is beyond doubt as perfect as the language will admit of. The utmost pains has been taken to make the execution of it in all respects what it should be, and the editor flatters himself that no errour has crept into the body of the work, and none of importance into the notes. That a little ambiguity may exist in some places, by means of the ambiguous or double import of words, is not doubted. Until a perfect language exists, it is not possible that it should be otherwise.
The following corrections were made to the original text:
Page.Par. From: To:
CHAP.- SUBJECT. - PAGE.
Chapter II. was written by the prophet James, by inspiration of God.
The first six sections of Chapter XX. were written by the prophet James, by inspiration of God, and the nine following sections are the words of the angel of God when he conferred upon James J. Strang the prophetic authority, and made him the chief shepherd of the flock of God on earth.
Chapter XXXV. is a revelation given Feb., 1851.
Chapter XL. is a revelation given Feb., 1851, except the first two sections.
The first three sections of Chapter XLI. are a revelation from God, given to James J. Strang, July 8th, 1850.
With these five exceptions all the other chapters of this book were translated from the plates of Laban, taken from the house of Laban, in Jerusalem, in the days of Zedekiah, king of Judah.
BOOK OF THE LAW.
1. These Commandments were given by the voice of God, in Mount Sinai, to Moses, and to all Israel; (Deut ix, 10;) for though Moses and the Elders of Israel only went into the Mount, (Ex. xxiv, 1, 2, 9-11,) and Moses alone received the Tables of the Law; yet all Israel heard the voice of God, when he gave the Commandments. (Ex. xix, 16-19. xx, 22. Deut. v, 4, 5. Josephus’ Ant., B. iii, ch. v, 4.)
2. The Commandments were written on two tables of stone, by the finger of God. (Deut. ix, 10, 11.) Moses broke these tables; after which he prepared two others, on which God wrote the same words, (Deut. x, 2, 4, 5,) and the tables were placed in the Ark of the Covenant, (Josephus’ Ant., B. viii, ch. iv, 1. Heb. ix, 4,) and kept within the Tabernacle and the Temple until the Babylonish captivity. (2d Mac. ii, 4, 5.)
3. They were not restored to the Esdraic Temple, (Buck’s Th. Dic. "Ark." But. Con. "Temple,") and the Jews have not possessed them since going into Babylon.
4. It was never allowable to write the exact words of the tables, (Josephus’ Ant., B. iii, ch. v, 4,) except in the Exemplar of the Law, kept in the Sanctuary. But the substance of them, as written out by the Prophets for publick use, is now restored by divine authority.
1Ten Commandments, Ex. xx, 3-17. Deut. v, 7-21. Matt. xxii, 37-40. Mark xii, 30, 31. Luke x, 27. Rom. xiii, 9.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy might, and with all thy strength:1 thou shalt adore him, and serve him, and obey him: thou shalt have no other gods before thee: thou shalt not make unto thee any image or likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters of the earth, to bow thyself unto it, or to worship it: thou shalt not bow down thyself unto, nor adore anything that thine eye beholdeth, or thy imagination conceiveth of; but the Lord thy God only; for the Lord thy God is a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, from generation to generation, even upon all that hate him, and showing a multitude of mercies unto them that keep his commandments.2 143 words, 597 letters.
1. The design of the Almighty evidently is to found his government in love; and to make that the chief sanction of his law. Love is the first thing required of all men; love unto God, who first loved us, and who bestows on us all the good which we possess.
2. The adoration service and obedience, which he demands of us, are but the natural sequence of that love; and the universal prohibition of false gods, is a necessary means of keeping our hearts unto him; for if we were allowed to bestow
[1 See Ten Commandments, p. 17. Deut. vi, 5. x, 12. [2 Deut. vii, 9, 19.
divine adoration on fire, the sun, or any instrument of his munificence, or any statue, or symbol, or any man, or officer, or imaginary being, as his representative, man’s shortsightedness would forget God, and soon worship only the creature.
3. Thus the earth is filled with examples of nations relapsing to idolatry through such small beginnings as setting up apt symbols of God’s perfections, to be worshipped by the ignorant, instead of the God whose majesty they symbolized.
4. The priesthood and the generality of the learned in most Pagan nations, do not worship the idols which they set up for the ignorant to adore; but rather the majesty who is above them, or the power and beneficence which they represent.
5. And in Roman Catholick countries, it is to be feared that many of the ignorant, really terminate their adoration on the cross, the images and pictures, with which their churches are filled: though the mere presence of them in the church is not objectionable.
6. Though God has founded his government in love, and made that the chief sanction of his law, we are not allowed for one moment to imagine that he will not punish sin, or that he will look upon it with any degree of allowance.
7. For in the same breath he tells us that he is a jealous God, visiting iniquity on all that hate him; not as some have said, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon their innocent posterity; but upon their children who abide in their sins.
8. Often it happens that though the father alone may have committed the sin, the children are its beneficiaries. If the fathers have obtained property by fraud and violence, the children who inherit it, receive it, subject to the curse; and unless they make reparation for the iniquity, must expect to be visited with the wrath of God, as for a sin done in their own persons.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain:1 thou shalt not usurp dominion as a ruler; for the name of the Lord thy God is great and glorious above all other names:2 he is above all, and is the only true God: the only just and upright King over all: he alone hath the right to rule; and in his name, only he to whom he granteth it:3 whosoever is not chosen of him, the same is a usurper, and unholy: the Lord will not hold him guiltless, for he taketh his name in vain. 100 words, 367 letters.
1. By the first Commandment God establishes a government among men, which he makes supreme in all things. But as every government, besides laws and the sovereign power whence they emanate, must also have officers by whom the laws shall be administered; so those officers must derive their authority from the sovereign, in legal form.
2. All officers act in the name of him from whom they de-rive their authority. In the several American States the official acts of most State officers are done "in the name of the people of the State."
3. Officers of the Federal Government, act "in the name of the United States of America." In the monarchies of Europe, official acts are done "in the name" of the sovereign. And in voluntary societies and corporations, the officers act "in the name" of the society or corporation.
[1 See Ten Commandments, p.17. [2 Deut. xxviii, 58. [3 Dan. vii, 13, 14, 26, 27. Matt. xxviii, 18. Luke i, 38. Eph. i, 18-21. Phil. ii, 9-11. Heb. ii, 8. Rev. i, 3. ii, 26, 27.
4. It therefore appears that to act in the name of any one, is to act by his authority; and to act in the name of God, is to act by his authority.
5. Hence taking the name of God in vain, is taking his authority without being authorized; it is attempting to govern, without being called to that office; in any matter wherein God has declared a law, and appointed an administrator of the law.
6. It follows, therefore, that every form of government among men, which was not instituted of God, is a usurpation, (Zech. xiv, 9, 17, Dan. ii, 44. vii, 14. Rev. xi, 15,) and that every exercise of the proper functions of government under it, is a taking of the name of God in vain, as every exercise of functions not proper to government, is tyranny.
7. Priests made by the authority of man, and not called of God; Priests who constantly profess to have received no dispensation from God, and who deny that he has revealed himself to any for eighteen hundred years, do constantly administer in his name, as boldly as though they were sent by him.
8. They baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; they go about doing works in the assumed power and might of God’s ministers, of whom Jesus Christ said, "I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt vii, 23.)
9. He did not deny that they had preached, prophesied, or worked miracles in his name. He denounced them as workers of iniquity, because they were unknown to him; that is, were not his ministers. They took God’s name in vain.
10. God has appointed a door to the priesthood; a call of God by revelation, and an ordaining by the hands of his ministers; (Heb. v, 4. Ex. xxviii, l. 1st Tim. iv, 14. Acts vii, 35;) and Christ declares that he that comes not in by the door, but climbs up some other way, is a thief and a robber. (John x, 1.)
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work; thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy womanservant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates: for in six ages the Lord thy God made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh age: wherefore the Lord thy God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it:1 thou shalt keep it holy unto him, that thou forget not the Law, nor be found keeping the company of the vile, nor be despised by the righteous. 129 words,
1. The day of rest originated in the rest of God, when he ceased the work of creation, at the making of man, to have dominion over the earth.
2. It was had in remembrance as an institution of God, before promulgated by his voice in Sinai; (Gen. ii, 2, 3. Ex. xvi, 23;) and there is no ground for believing that the sanctifying of the Sabbath, was not a law among the Patriarchs and the Antediluvians, because it is not mentioned in the scriptures; for from the time of Moses until that of Solomon, when it was unquestionably in force, it is nowhere mentioned.
[1 See Ten Commandments, p. 17. Gen. ii, 2, 3.
3. Throughout Christendom, with some slight exceptions, the first day, and not the seventh, is kept as a Sabbath. For this they have no warrant in the scriptures, and pretend to none. (Buck’s Th. Dic. "Sabbath.") The reason given for the change, is, that Christ raised from the dead the first day, and the attempt is to justify it by tradition, and the practice of the Church.
4. But, evidently, the Church have no power to change or abrogate a commandment of God, who required us to keep the seventh day, not any other day in the seven.
5. The early Christians did undoubtedly frequently meet on the first day for religious worship, precisely as the Saints do nowadays, in exclusively Christian communities; not because they regarded it as the Sabbath of God, but because on that day, being the regular day of heathen festivals, men would come together to hear them.
6. Keeping the first day as a Sabbath, instead of the seventh, is one of the innovations forced upon Christianity by the Emperour Constantine, to make the change of national religion less difficult.
7. The very language of this Commandment, seems to pre-sage the propensity of man to change the Sabbath; remember the Sabbath day; and God, foreseeing what wicked men would do, has placed on his chosen a special injunction that they keep that day in all their generations for a perpetual covenant; (Ex. xxxi, 13-17;) and awful penalties are denounced against those who abolish it.
8. The Sabbath is appointed for men in every station in life. The crime of exacting labour of children and servants on the Sabbath day, is a great offence unto God. But it is the Sabbath of the beast as well as of men, and to work beasts for our pleasure or profit, is an offence unto God.
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.1 thou shalt not revile him, nor speak evil of him, nor curse him:2 thou shalt do no injustice unto him; and thou shalt maintain his right, against his enemy: thou shalt not exact rigorously of him, nor turn aside from relieving him: thou shalt deliver him from the snare and the pit, and shalt return his ox when he strayeth: thou shalt comfort him when he mourns, and nurture him when he sickens: thou shalt not abate the price of what thou buyest of him, for his necessity; nor shalt thou exact of him, because he leaneth upon thee: for in so doing thousands shall rise up and call thee blessed, and the Lord thy God shall strengthen thee in all the work of thy hand. 133 words, 558 letters.
1. As God has founded his government on the dominion of love, and as our principal relations in life are to God as a superiour, and to our neighbours as fellows, love to our neigh-bour is as necessary to a faithful observance of his law, as love to him.
2. All the Commandments which follow after, are but the elaboration of the law, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself;" a law very aptly expressed in that other form of words, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." (Matt. vii, 12. Luke vi, 31.)
[1 See Ten Cornmandments, p. 17. Lev. xix, 18. Matt. xix. 19. Gal. v, 14. James ii, 8. [2 Matt. v, 22. Rom. xii, 14.
3. Many infidel writers of late years, have attempted to de-rive this precept, under the name of the golden rule, from heathen philosophers, and have claimed that Christ borrowed it from Zoraster, or Confucius; whereas, they, as well as he, have only copied it, with a slight change of words, from the Commandment, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."
4. The doctrine contained in it, is original with God, and does not even date with Moses, but was known in the days of Adam; and it was in violation of this law, as well as that which says, thou shalt not kill, that Cain lifted up his hand against Abel.
5. If all men were under the law of God, this law would introduce a universal brotherhood: a consummation most desirable. But so long as men are found in rebellion against the law of God, it is most important that those who cleave unto it should remember this thing, that they love one another.
6. If any one has really done us an injury, we ought, as far as possible, to believe that he was blinded to the right by the common infirmities of our corrupt nature, rather than that he has deliberately, and of malice aforethought, designed to do a wrong.
7. But if the utmost stretch of charity will not bring us to so favourable a conclusion, still we should remember that his corrupt conduct will injure him more than us, and so remembering, should look upon him as an object of compassion, whom we ought to reclaim, rather than an object of vengeance, to be destroyed.
8. Even when we are obliged to bring him to judgment, our prayer should be that he be not utterly condemned; but that when he is found in the wrong, there may be found room for repentance.
Honour thy father and thy mother:1 give heed to their commandments, obey their laws, and depart not from their precepts: reverence their age, and seek unto their house all the days of thy life: exalt not thyself against them, nor withhold to build up their house above thine own: honour and obey the King and the Judges, and the rulers, and all that are set in authority; for they are as fathers among the people: that they may be a fear unto evil doers; and the Priest also, who stands before the Lord, that he may instruct thee: and thy days shall be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 114 words, 476 letters.
1. The Patriarchal ages were distinguished by veneration for parents, and deference to age, as well as by a proper regard for those who by their priesthood, or office, stood as fathers of the people.
2. Even at this day, in some Oriental and Levantine countries, children so honour their fathers and mothers.
3. But in no country on earth, have men so far departed from this rule, as in the United States.
4. It is the continual scandal of the time and country, that children constantly speak of their parents as the "old man and woman;" and as age grows upon them, rather look upon them as encumbrances upon the estate, than as heads of the house.
[1 See Ten Commandments, p. 17. Matt. xv, 4-6. xix, 19. Mark vii, 10. Eph. vi, 1-3.
5. This evil is increasing with time. A single generation back, children were instructed at home and at school, to make obeisance to parents, teachers, and to men and women generally, at entering and leaving a house, at meeting them on all occasions, and especially on receiving favours from them.
6. All this is changed now. Very small children pride themselves on wanting respect to age, station, and parentage. This is all wrong.
7. The general lawlessness which pervades the continent, the boldness with which laws and the ministers of justice are defied, by small bodies of men, grow naturally out of the education of boys, in the customary manner.
8. But due honour to parents, does not consist solely in mere forms. The whole idea that at a certain age a son becomes independent of his father, is vicious.
9. A son should be subject to his father all his days. He should ever look up to him as the head of the house, and though separately established on his own inheritance, should pay such deference to him, as he in turn would desire from his own sons.
10. If parents attempt to use their authority over their sons, for selfish and private ends, endeavouring to make mere servants of them, instead of building them up, they greatly abuse their authority. (Col. iii, 20, 21.)
11. But for that or greater causes, children cannot justify dishonouring their parents, though they may refuse submission to mere usurpation.
12. It is every man’s duty, as far as in his power, and at as early a period as possible, to establish his sons in such position as to make them useful members of society, remembering that when so established they are yet his sons, and their honour is his honour.
Thou shalt not kill:1 thou shalt slay no man in malice; neither thy child, nor thy wife, nor thy bondman, nor thy bondwoman, nor thy servant: nor the child of thy servant: neither shalt thou slay thine enemy, except thou admonish him, and entreat him, and he hear thee not, and God give him into thy hand: thou shalt only slay him in lawful war: and if any man trespass against thee, and break through, and do violence, thou shalt not slay him in revenge. If thou overtake him in the trespass, thou mayest resist unto blood; but except thou slay him in the trespass, thou shalt deliver him to the Judge; he shall judge him, and the hand of the officer shall be on him. 126 words, 518 letters.
1. In very few Christian countries, have publick men had the moral courage to refuse duelling which once became so thoroughly established as an honourable arbitrament of controversies, as to have a force little less than that of law.
2. Duelling is now, to some extent, discarded. But in place of it has risen up the more barbarous Lynch law, in pursuance of which mobs get up mock courts, to judge those they have already doomed to exile or death.
3. To execute the judgments of such courts, is as much murder, as any killing under any circumstances can be. No amount of evidence of the real guilt of the condemned can
[1 See Ten Commandments, p. 17. Gen. ix. 5, 6. Ex. xxi, 12-14.
give the slightest colour of justification to such a deed.
4. All killing by mobs, or bodies of unauthorized men, acting upon no matter what provocation, and not in open and legal war, belong to the category of mere murder.
5. Nor should that be regarded as legal war, which men by their law have authorized, but only that which the law of God authorizes.
6. Consequently, he who voluntarily enters upon an unjust war, is guilty of murder. As part of the force, he is guilty, when death is inflicted by others.
7. Nor will he be justified, though required by the law of his country; for that which the law of God declares to be sin, man cannot make lawful.
8. It is, therefore, the duty of the Saints, to abstain from all wars which are not authorized by the express word of God, or the plain principles of his law; as from murder.
9. Many laws have been made among men, especially among barbarous nations, which are themselves opposed to the divine law, and enforced with the punishment of death.
10. To have any share, however indirectly, in enforcing such laws, or inflicting the penalties for their violation, is in the last degree culpable.
11. It does not follow, however, that one should rebel against such governments. In most cases it is better to remove beyond their dominion.
12. To those who remain, remonstrance is better than resistance. If one is thus involved in punishment, patient, unresisting submission, is a faithful testimony against sin.
13. Even those trades and employments not necessary for the happiness of mankind, and which minister principally to vices destructive of life, are in their nature murderous, and should be avoided as deadly sins, which God will judge.
Thou shalt not commit adultery:1 thou shalt not in any wise lie with the wife of thy neighbour; and if she seduce thee, thou shalt resist her; that thou pollute not thyself, and make not the place of thy house unclean, and destroy not the house of thy neighbour, and that thou cause no violence in the land:2 thou shalt not lie with the wife of the stranger; neither shalt thou lie with the wife of thine enemy; lest thy children be scattered abroad, and know not thee, nor the fear of thee be upon them, and they be strangers to the covenant of God, and the whole land be corrupt, and thine offspring be destroyed with the wicked. 119 words, 495 letters.
1. Few crimes have worked so terrible destruction among men as adultery, that popular vice, which, in these degenerate days, is rather boasted of, than concealed, by the guilty.
2. The most wicked delusion of the times, is that which places the obligation of chastity, on woman alone; visiting the penalty of crime on the victim, rather than on the criminal.
3. Every man of the world understands very well, that with-in certain trifling limitations, he can indulge in unrestrained licentiousness, without suffering reproach in fashionable society.
4. Worse than this; those who are reputed successful in this crime, are most popular among women, and envied by men. Thus society offers bounties for the crime which, of all
[1 See Ten Commandments, p. 17. Matt. v, 27, 28. [2 Case of Sodom, Gen. xix, Case of the Benjaminites, Judges xix, xx. 2d Sam. xii, 10.
others, most desolates the household, and the social circle.
5. There can be no remedy for these evils until chastity becomes the duty of men, as well as women. Such is the rule of God’s law. The interdict of adultery is addressed principally to men, as the persons chiefly bound to preserve the sanctity of this Commandment.
6. This rule was well understood in the days of the Patriarchs, as well as in later times. Joseph resisted the seductions of his master’s wife, and numerous instances are recorded where crimes against chastity, were visited on the guilty men, rather than on their victims. (2d Sam. xii, 9, 10. Gen. xxxiv, 1, 2. 25-29.)
7. Happily for the people of God, this rule, in spite of the corrupt education, which, as Gentiles, they received, has become a sentiment among the Saints, so strong that treating it lightly produces universal indignation.
8. Among Gentiles a man would be laughed at and lose caste, who professed to practice chastity in the face of strong temptation; but a woman once overtaken in sin, is irrecoverably disgraced, no matter by what false practices overcome.
9. But among the Saints, a man guilty of adultery, would be avoided as though infected with a plaguespot, and his victim, though deeply disgraced, might hope, by a long course of humility and penitence, for some of that forgiving charity, which, from the infirmities of human nature, all so much need.
10. The crime of fornication is only an inferiour kind of adultery. For, as adultery is a pollution of the marriage bed, so fornication is the pollution of the bed of celibacy.
11. Nor should any one imagine for a moment, that any subsequent reparation can justify fornication. For though the law compels the guilty seducer to marry the victim on whom he has begotten seed, he is yet guilty.
Thou shalt not steal:1 thou shalt not trespass upon anything that is thy neighbour’s, to take it from him, nor to destroy it: neither shalt thou trespass upon the stranger that dwelleth within thy gates, to destroy his substance, nor to take it from him;2 for to thee he looketh for justice, and a shield round about all that he hath; and the fear of the Lord thy God is upon him also, and to his righteousness he also seeketh: neither shalt thou overreach him by cunning, nor by stratagem, to take his substance from thy neighbour, nor the stranger within thy gates. Remember that ye were strangers, and were oppressed, and oppress not the stranger, lest his cry ascend to God against you. 124 words, 545 letters.
1. The general interdict, "Thou shalt not steal," does not prohibit larceny alone, but all those modes and contrivances, by which one person appropriates the labour or property, of another, unjustly.
2. Even if the unjust appropriation be consummated through legal forms; or the consent of the victim be obtained through deception or fraud; or by taking advantage of mental imbecility; it is stealing as much as where the taking is done secretly, without the consent of the owner.
3. Obtaining property by gambling is stealing; for the owner receives nothing for that with which he parts; and the
[1 See Ten Commandments, p. 17. 1st Thess. iv, 6. 1st Cor. vi, 8-10. [2 Ex. xxii, 21. Jer. vii, 5, 6. Zech. vii, 10. Mal. iii, 5.
inducement of each to the undertaking, is the hope of obtaining of the other something for nothing.
4. Taking property in pledge for debts or advances disproportionate to the amount pledged, and retaining it forfeited for nonpayment, is another mode of stealing.
5. Letting money on mortgage, and buying the mortgaged property at the mortgage sale for less than its value, is stealing; and if two combine, one to take the mortgage, and the other to buy the property, both are alike guilty.
6. Buying or selling property to be delivered on time, at a fixed price, and operating on the markets to produce an artificial scarcity or abundance, so as to obtain money for releasing the contract, or damages for the nonperformance of it, or any similar transaction, equivalent to that, is only a civil mode of stealing.
7. In fine, all those speculative transactions, by which one man obtains from another anything valuable, without making what is esteemed by both parties a just and full equivalent partakes of the nature and guilt of theft.
8. But these definitions do not include letting money at reasonable interest. For the use of money is of substantial worth, and it is just that one who borrows money to make money by the investment of it, should pay for the use of it.
9. Nor do they extend to buying property in quantity, to be retailed at a higher price; for the subdivision and keeping open market is a just consideration for a higher price. And so of all legitimate commercial transactions, where a real difference in the value of property is produced by transportation, transmutation, or timely retention.
10. Neither do they extend to cases where bounties are offered to the successful competitors in any laudable under-taking, and truly awarded, and so received.
Thou shalt not bear false witness:1 thou shalt not speak falsely before the King, nor before the Judge, nor in the assembly of the Princes, nor in the presence of the Ruler, nor unto the Minister of the Law, nor among the multitude;2 nor in the ear of thy friend, nor to thy wife, nor thy child, nor thy servant: neither shalt thou withhold the truth from the King, nor the Judge, nor him that is set in authority: for thus shall righteousness be established in all thy borders. 89 words, 373 letters.
1. At Common Law a man is liable to be punished for bearing false witness, only when under oath; and then only in cases where the proceeding is judicial, the oath false, the intention willful, the assertion absolute, the falsehood material to the matter in question, and the person legally sworn. (Chitty’s Crim. Law, Vol. ii, p. 302, 303)
2. So narrow is this rule, that any person may swear in the most solemn manner to anything whatever, no matter how false, in any case not in the course of proceedings at law, and he is subject to no punishment.
3. And on a trial for perjury, if it should turn out that the Magistrate before whom the perjury was committed was not duly qualified, or that in some manner he had failed to get jurisdiction of the cause, or that the particular part of the testimony wherein the perjury was committed was not material to the issue, no matter how corrupt the intention, or how
[1 See Ten Cornmandments, p. 17. Deut. xix, 18-21. [2 Ex. xxiii, 1, 7. Ps. xv, 3. ci, 5.
false the testimony of the accused, he would go clear, legally.
4. Indeed, so loose is the rule of law among Gentiles on this subject, that for all practical purposes nearly all perjury, and every form of false witness not under oath, is lawful.
5. If it should be alleged that the laws against libel and slander are a restraint upon false witness in cases less than perjury, it should be remembered that the action for a libel is not founded on its falsehood, but on its tendency to cause a breach of the peace; and an indictment for a libel lays for printing the truth, as well as a falsehood, though lately this rule has been slightly modified.
6. And the action for slander cannot be maintained, simply for bearing false witness against another; but for falsely accusing him of some indictable offence, involving moral turpitude, or subjecting him to infamous punishment; (5 Johns. R., 188;) some act injurious to him in his profession or business; (8 Johns. R., 64. 1 Johns. C., 330. 5 Johns. R., 476. 17 Johns. R., 217;) or anything by which he suffers a pecuniary injury. (10 Johns. R., 281. 5 Cow., 351. 1 Wend., 506.)
7. Under these rules perjury and slander, false witness in nearly every form, are actually legal. One may, by his falsehoods, keep the neighbourhood in a perpetual broil; speak evil of dignities, and almost all manner of falsehood of the purest of God’s creatures, and the law has no bridle for his tongue.
8. The Law of God changes all this. It exacts truth of all men, in all places, when it allows anything to be put in issue; and takes no denial, when it makes inquisition.
9. Its searching supervision goes into the family circle, and forbids that a man speak falsely to his wife, his child, or his servant; and among the multitude it rebukes the talebearer, and forbids all men to raise a false report.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours inheritance: thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, nor his bondman, nor his bondwoman, nor his manservant, nor his womanservant, nor his horse, nor his carriage, nor the instruments of his labour, nor the produce of his land, nor the things that he has made, nor the treasures that he has in store, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s:1 thy desire shall not be upon them, to take them by stealth, nor by fraud, nor by cunning, nor by violence: neither shalt thou covet that which belongeth to the stranger that dwelleth within thy gates;2 but thou shalt improve thine own, and thy desire shall be unto it; lest thou be corrupt, and the hand of thy neighbours be against thee, and the cry of the poor ascend to God against thee.3 138 words, 605 letters.
Total-10 sec., 1,215 words, 5,042 letters.
1. Other systems of Law are satisfied with external actions. God’s Law demands the allegiance of the heart. It will not be satisfied because our actions appear to be righteous; only when we are moved to them by just motives.
2. Thus we are not merely forbidden to steal, but we are forbidden to desire our neighbour’s property. We are not merely forbidden to usurp dominion which God has bestowed
[1 See Ten Commandments, p. 17. Mic. ii, 1, 2 Hab. ii, 9. Eph.v, 3, 5. Heb. xiii, 5, [2 Ex. xxii, 21. xxiii, 9. Jer. vii, 6. Zech. vii, 10. Mal. iii, 5. [3 Ex. xxii, 27. Ps. cxiv, 19.
on another, but we are forbidden to desire the possession of it.
3. Covetousness does not consist in the desire to increase our substance, and multiply riches; for that desire is laudable. Covetousness is the desire to obtain that which is another’s, rather than to increase our own by production.
4. Many men, possessed of industry and talent, spend their lives in a series of efforts to make themselves rich on the possessions, or out of the earnings of others; when, with equal efforts, they could produce wealth.
5. So great is this propensity, that there are numerous occupations and professions, the chief business of which is, not to make anything valuable, or add value to anything in being, but to get away something from the owner; and either leave him destitute, or to new toils to supply himself.
6. Such business is unlawful. If our neighbour has a good farm, we have a right to desire as good; but we have no right to desire his, even for a price. Our desires ought to be to our own, and we should seek to improve that, and make it desirable, rather than get away that of another.
7. God created all the land for man. Man made none of it. Why should he sell it? There is enough for all, if they will but go and possess it. Why take that of any man, when there is countless millions as good, unoccupied?
8. It is the duty of every man to obtain an inheritance, if he has none, and labour faithfully to improve it, and make it a good inheritance for his posterity; and that his desire be unto it, and to the substance which he shall accumulate, and not to that of his neighbour.
9. And it is not right to seek to purchase, or to tempt any one to sell that which he needs for himself, or his household. We should rather produce for ourselves, or buy that which was produced for the market.
NOTE ON THE DECALOGUE.
1. From time immemorial the Constitution of God’s Kingdom has been entitled, "The Decalogue," or, the "Ten Commandments." There can be no greater evidence how poorly the oracles of God have been kept, than the fact that among Christian sects none know what these Commandments are.
2. Protestants read and divide them as follows:
I. Thou shalt have none other gods but me.
not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his servant, nor his maid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is his. (Common Prayer. Catechism.)
3. The objection to this reading and division is, that the first and second are one and the same Commandment; for the language, "Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor worship them," are but an elaborating of the previous language, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." The Commandment contained in them is one.
4. As these are one Commandment, and only eight follow after, Protestants have but nine. To conceal this errour some theologians have asserted that the first Commandment was contained in the words, "I am the Lord thy God;" (Ex. xx, 2. Deut. v, 6;) which are no Commandment, for they are in the affirmative, not the imperative; and are not the substance of what Jesus asserts to be the first Commandment, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." (Matt xxii, 37.)
5. These words of Jesus, though not found in the Old Testament, are sometimes used by Protestants as the first Commandment. But the intent of the Commandment evidently is, that we shall bestow divine adoration on God alone; and it therefore as truly includes the interdiction, "Him only shalt thou serve," as the mandate, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God:" so, if these words are taken for a portion of the first Commandment, the number ten is not supplied. As well might the Sabbath day Commandment be divided so as to make that one Commandment which requires us to work six days, and another which requires us to sanctify the seventh,
day, and still another which interdicts all work on the seventh day. (Ex. xx, 8-11. xxxi, 13-17. Deut. v, 12-15.)
6. Roman Catholicks divide and read the Commandments as follows:
I. am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of
Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of anything that
is in heav-en above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in
the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them.
7. By this reading it is evident they have but nine Commandments; for it is certain that the interdict, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife," and, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods," are but an elaboration of the general interdict, "Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neigh-bour’s."
8. To this it is sometimes objected that coveting, or desiring, a neighbour’s wife, is a different crime from coveting a neighbour’s ox; because the ox is property, but the wife is not. It is equally true that by the Law of God, manservants and maidservants are not property. They are all persons, over whom man exercises some sort of dominion, and in
whom, by virtue of that dominion, he has some kind of interest, though that interest is not a property.
9. Therefore, if the interdict, "Thou shalt not covet or desire thy neighbour’s wife," is a different command from that, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s ox," so also is that, "Thou shalt not covet his manservant." But neither is a different Commandment, for this only is contained in all, "Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbour’s," whether it is his property, or his dominion.
10. Josephus has also preserved a version of the Commandments, much abbreviated, as follows:
I. The first Commandment teaches us that there is but one
God, and that we ought to worship him only.
11. The works of Josephus have been preserved and brought down to us by Christians, who have been so anxious to avail themselves of the testimony of so distinguished a writer, that they have made several alterations in his writings, which have materially diminished the value of his testimony on any question depending on verbal accuracy.
12. Among other things, these Commandments must have been tampered with; for, by the first, we are commanded to worship the true God, and "him only." Yet, by the second,
we are forbid to worship "the image of any living creature," which is tautology; for that would be worshipping another God.
13. And the third Commandment forbids swearing falsely by God; whereas, the ninth forbids bearing false wit ness; which is nearly the same thing; the chief difference being, that under the third, any oath except that by God, might be broken with impunity.
14. It is possible that the Commandments were in a much mutilated form as early as Josephus’ time, though not equal to this. Be that as it may, it is certain that this is not the form in which they were given.
15. For as in this reading, the first and second are one Commandment, and the third and ninth one, there are but eight in all: both that which forbids assuming the name of God in vain, and that requiring us to love our neighbour as ourself, being wanting.
16. The erasure of the second Commandment must be a post Christian work, for no Jew could be suspected of attempting to blot out the fact that God was King in Israel; that he had established his own Law there, and called men to govern in his name, and that he will not hold guiltless those who take his name in vain.
17. This lack in the number of the Commandments, and the consequent disingenuousness in dividing them, is the more singular, and evinces so much more the theological blindness of mankind, (Matt. xv, 14. Luke, vi 39,) from the fact that the lost Commandment is, nevertheless, contained in, the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament.
18. In the same discourse in which Jesus Christ says, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; this is the first and
great Commandment," he also says, "And the second is like unto it; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself " (Matt. xxii, 37-39.) The same language had been used before by Moses, (Lev. xix, 18,) though in the present state of the Scriptures, it is not in its proper place among the Commandments. (Ex. xx. Deut. v.)
19. Thus, though the Bible does not contain above nine Commandments, in a body, in any one place, nor the New Testament above six, (Rom. xiii, 9,) the ten are substantially contained in them.
20. Had the divine spirit guided and inspired the theologians of Christendom; in the impossibility of making more than nine Commandments, in the reading which they adopted, they would have looked to the words of Christ, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself," (Matt. xxii, 39. Mark, xii, 31. Luke, x, 27. Rom. xiii, 9. Gal. v, 14. James ii, 8,) to supply the lack, as he declared this to be one of the Commandments.
21. The wisdom of men never made the discovery. It was left till the translation of the plates of Laban, by the gift and power of God. But the discovery once made, the Bible of all the sects is our witness.
22. The Commandments, as here given, were translated by the Prophet James, from the plates which were taken by Nephi from Laban, in Jerusalem, (B. of M. 1st Nephi i,) and brought to America, in the time of Zedekiah, King of Judah; and are the substance of the two tables, written by the finger of God in the days of Moses.
23 Though the exact words of the two tables were never written in any book, (Josephus’ Ant. B. iii, ch. v, 4,) except that kept in the most holy place, the substance was carefully written out by the inspired Prophets, and to the paraphrases so prepared, all transcribers of repute made their copies conform.
24. Subsequent to the Babylonish captivity, the Jews were without the Divine Tables, and the literal copy of the Law which belonged to the Sanctuary. They had only the copies used by the Prophets. These have long since been lost.
25. The Jews were not fond of allowing their sacred books to pass into the hands of the Gentiles. Jews had become very numerous in Alexandria, and the use of the Greek language among them was so general, that vast numbers were unable to read Hebrew, before the translation of the Old Testament into that language.
26. Even then the translation into the Greek language was made at the instance of a powerful and liberal King, Ptolemy Philadelphus, who obtained this favour of the Jews by liberating many of them from captivity, rather than of their own disposition. From the account of Josephus (Ant. B. xii, ch. ii,) it is doubtful how much of the Sacred Oracles were then translated; but the reasonable inference is, that it was so much of the Old Testament as in the tripartite division of Law, Prophets and Psalms, was called the Law, to wit, the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, the two books of Samuel, and the two books of Kings.
27. But these are not the "Book of the Law of the Lord," for that was written by Moses, and placed in the Ark of the Testimony in his day; (Deut. xxxi, 24—26;) whereas, many of these books were written subsequently.
28. This tripartite division of the Old Testament was subsequent to the Babylonish captivity, and the name "Law" appears to have been adopted, because those books contained numerous recitals and illustrations of the Law, and were a convenient substitute for the book itself, which had become very rare.
29. It is reputed, however, that the genuine "Book of the
Law," that is, an authorized paraphrase of it, was actually, translated into Greek in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus; and numerous incredible tales are found on the subject in old Jewish legends, nearly all of which, in a still less credible form, have been preserved by the Christians of the third and fourth centuries, as applicable to the Septuagint Bible.
30. The most credible history of this translation is that contained in the Hebrew preface to the Book of Jasher, (Jasher, p. xvii,) where, after giving an account of the translation of the other sacred books for Ptolemy Philadelphus, the writer says: "After some time the persecutors of Israel became aware of this, that the Israelites had not sent the Book of the Law to the King, and they came and said unto him, ‘0 King, the Israelites have treated thee with contempt; for they did not send to thee the Book of the Law, which we had mentioned to thee, but they sent to thee another book, which they had in their hands; therefore send to them that they may forward unto thee the Book of their Law; for from that book thou wilt obtain thy desire, much more than from the book which they have sent to thee.’ So when the King heard their words, he became exceedingly wroth against the Israelites, and his anger burned within him until he sent again to them for them to forward to him the Book of the Law. Fearing that they might still continue to scorn him, he acted prudently with them, and sent to seventy of their Elders, and placed them in seventy houses, that each should write the Book of the Law, so that no alteration might be found in it, and the divine spirit rested upon them, and they wrote for him seventy books, and they were all of one version, without addition or diminution. At this the King rejoiced greatly, and he honoured the Elders, together with all the Jews; and he sent offerings and gifts to Jerusalem, as it is written there.
At his death the Israelites acted cunningly with his son, and took from his treasures the Book of the Law, but left the Book of Jasher there, and took it not away, in order that every future King might know the wonders of the Lord, blessed be his name, and that he had chosen Israel from all nations, and that there is no God beside him."
31. All this carries with it the air of probability, except the assertion that seventy separate translations were made, of the entire book, which is doubtless a mere mistake in the relation, by some person over fond of the marvellous. Each translator was assigned his portion or seventieth part of the Law to translate, without communicating with the others; and as the parts, when put together, formed a continuous series or code of laws, the King was satisfied that they had furnished him the genuine Book of the Law; though the translation was not quite as perfect as it might have been, had the seventy been allowed to help each other.
32. But this book, so placed in the Alexandrian Library, it is expressly asserted, was withdrawn from the Library at the end of that reign, and no trace of it is found in the history of the Eastern Continent, at any subsequent period. The anxiety of the Jews to prevent its falling into the hands of the Gentiles was so great, as to preclude the multiplication of copies, and in their various persecutions the few copies in existence were lost.
33. The tables of stone had never been restored since the Babylonish captivity. Consequently, before the Christian era, the sole evidence of the import of the Ten Commandments was oral tradition, and such books as incidentally related the substance, without attempting to give the words of them. Had not God preserved them, we should now be without them, as our fathers were, and Christians are.
Thou shalt have no other gods before thee.
1. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob is our God; this is his name forever, and this is his memorial unto all generations.1 He created the heavens and the earth, and all things that are in them are the workmanship of his hands.2 He created man in his own image, that he might have dominion over the earth, and over the beasts of the field, and over the fowls of the air, and over the fishes of the sea.3 85 words, 325 letters.
2. Man, being in the likeness of God’s person, they all recognize him as their Lord, and fear him as a God. And notwithstanding his degeneracy, he has retained so much of the divine likeness, that beasts, birds, and fishes, fear him, and his power is over them as a mighty one. It is diminished as he has departed from the likeness and perfections of his Creator: and that spirit of rebellion, which man has received so redundantly, he has communicated to them also, that they rebel
[1 Ex. iii, 15. [2 Gen. i. Ex. xx, 11. xxxi, 17. Neh. ix, 6. Ps. viii 3. xxxiii, 6, 9. lxxxix, 11, 12. Isa. xliv, 24. Jer. x, 12. [3 Gen. i, 26-28. v, 1.
against him, as he rebels against God. Yet the fear of man is on them continually;1 and his dominion is over them throughout the earth. 111 words, 434 letters.
3. God conversed with Adam as a familiar friend;2 and walked with Enoch,3 who was faithful unto him in the midst of a corrupt race: he communed with Noah,4 the father of a new world; and covenanted by his own oath, with Abraham the faithful.5 44 words, 185 letters.
4. He commanded a fiery law, with a voice of thunder, in Sinai:6 the earth quaked at the tread of his foot: the rustling of his garment was as low thunder; and his voice as a mighty thunderbolt: the beaming of his face was as the sun in the morning; and the flash of his eye as the fierce lightning.7 The nations trembled at his presence;8 and the tribes said, Not unto us; not unto us, Oh Lord God, but unto Moses, be thy voice known.9 85 words, 330 letters.
5. For they heard the voice of God, as the voice of a trumpet; and as loud thunder: and they saw the lightning: and the mountain smoking; and they felt the earth tremble; and they fled far away, crying, Not unto us;
[1 Gen. ix, 2. Ps. viii, 4-8. Jas. iii, 7. [2 Gen. ii, iii.. [3 Gen. v, 24. [4 Gen. vi, 14-21. vii, 1-4. viii, 15-22. ix, 1-17. [5 Gen. xv, 18. xxiv, 7. Heb. vi, 13. [6 Ex. xix, 16, 18. Deut. xxxiii, 2. Job. xxxvii, 2, 5. [7 Hab. iii, 4. 1st Tim. vi, 16. [8 Ps. xcvii, 4. [9 Ex. xx, 19.
not unto us: but unto Moses, declare thy law, Oh God, and we will obey his voice, and live,1 for, who shall abide in thy presence? 67 words, 259 letters.
6. His word was made known to the Prophets, and his sacraments were established in Israel. Kings ruled in his glorious name; and the nations who forgot him were destroyed.29 words, 136 letters.
7. He hath appointed everlasting life in the Lord Jesus; and given the keys of death and of hell2 unto him who alone among mortals, hath kept his glorious word in all things. He hath chosen him the first born among many brethren;3 for he is the first begotten of the dead,4 and hath the keys of the resurrection, and of life forevermore.5 62 words, 263 letters
8. He maketh his Apostles the witnesses of his Law, unto the nations;6 and of his gospel unto every kindred, and tongue, and people. His word is among men; and the revelation of his power, in, the midst of the earth. 40 words, 164 letters.
9. The Lord our God is glorious in his perfections; there is none like him. The gods of the heathen have no voice: neither do they
[1 Ex. xx, 18-21. Heb. xii, 19. [2 Rev. i, 18. [3 Rom. viii, 29. Col. i, 15, 18. [4 Rev, i, 5. [5 John xi, 25, 26. [6 Matt. xxviii, 19, 20. Mark xvi, 15. Luke xxiv, 47, 48. Acts i, 8. x, 41, 42.
see, nor understand. The God of Babylon the Great, the Mother of Churches, before whom all her daughters bow down, is naught; he is as wind, and vanity; he can neither be seen nor heard, nor felt; he hath no dwelling place: where shall any abide with him? Passionless, is he; and can neither love the good, nor hate the evil: who shall adore him, or fear him?93 words, 374 letters.
10. Without members and parts; he cannot hear, see, feel, smell, or taste. Neither can he speak, nor come unto those that worship him, nor smite the disobedient and rebellious. Handless, footless, mouthless, eyeless, and earless; a shapeless chaos, conceived in the imagination of the vain: ye shall not fear him, nor bow down unto him, nor adore him.58 words, 271 letters.
1. It is apparent that the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, is not the God of the Christian Churches; either of the Mother Church, or of the generality of the Daughters.
2. The Creed of Saint Athanasius, composed during the reign of the Emperour Constantine, is the most perfect and elaborate statement of the Christian doctrine on that subject in existence, and is adopted by ninetenths of all Christendom.
3. It is as follows:
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholick faith.
Which faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled,
without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three
Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.
This is the Catholick Faith; which except a man believe
faithfully, he cannot be saved.
4. Among all Christian denominations, except the few small sects known as Unitarians, this creed is substantially, if not literally, subscribed to; the principal departure from it being that the Greek, and a few small Eastern Churches, hold that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father only; not the Father and Son.
5. In the Catholick and most of the Protestant Churches, this is the declared Creed; but in those where it is not read, and its existence probably unknown, the same doctrine is set down in some different form of words: thus they all bow down before the same God: but not the God of Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles.
6. Among the Articles of Religion, of the Episcopal Churches, are the following:
I. There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without
body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom and goodness; the Maker and
Preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this
Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the
Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original
guilt, but also for actual sins of men.
7. The Methodist Articles of Religion are a transcript, with slight variations, from the Episcopal; the chief variation being that in the later editions of the Discipline of the Methodists of America, it is not alleged that God is passionless.
8. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob worshipped no such God. None of the Patriarchs knew him. None of the Prophets gave us his word. None of the Apostles were his witnesses.
9. The God who created Adam had a body, with all its parts; for as truly as Adam, when he begat a son, begat him in his own likeness, after his image, (Gen. v, 3) so truly God, when he created Adam, made him in the likeness and after the image of God. (Gen. i, 26, 27. v, 1. ix, 6. 1st Cor. xi, 7. Jas. iii, 9.)
10. Abraham worshipped the same God; for when God visited him, Abraham at first mistook him for a man; and, with genuine Patriarchal hospitality, invited him into the tent to eat, and offered to wash his feet. (Gen. xviii.)
11. Jacob also, worshipped the same God; for after wrestling with him, he tells us he saw him face to face. (Gen. xxxii, 24, 28, 30.) Surely the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has a body and parts, face and feet.
12. The God who spoke to Moses from the fire in the bush, and in a voice of thunder in Sinai, gave the Commandments; wrote the Commandments on tables of stone, with his finger; (Deut. ix, 10;) conversed with Moses face to face, as a man converses with his friend; (Ex. xxxii, 11;) passed by
covering Moses with his hand, and allowed him to behold his
back parts. (Ex. xxxiii, 22, 23.) Truly this is not the God without body or
parts, which Episcopalians, Methodists, and all other Christians worship.
Arms, (Jer. xxi, 5. Job xl, 9. Ps. lxxxix 13. Isa. lii 10.
Luke i, 51,)
14. The appearance of God was the likeness of man, when he appeared to Ezekiel, and called him to the Prophetick office; though he was surrounded with fire and a glorious radiance, from his loins upwards and downwards (Ezek. i, 26, 27.)
15. Their God was stirred up with the passions of
Love, (Deut. vii, 8. Jer. xxxi, 3. John iii, 16. xvii, 23. 1st John iv, 16. Mal. i, 2. Rom. ix,13.)
Jealousy, (Ex. xx, 5. xxxiv, 14. Deut. iv, 24. v, 9. vi, 15.
Josh. xxiv, 19. Ezek. xxxix, 25. Nah. i, 2. Zech. viii, 2. 1st Cor.
x, 22. 2d Cor. xi, 2,)
16. It is sometimes objected, that "God is a spirit." (John iv, 24.) So are Angels "spirits sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation:" (Heb. i, 14:) yet when Abraham and Lot saw them they mistook them for men, (Gen. xviii, 2, 5, 16-20. xix, 1, 15,) and John the Revelator mistook one for God, and was about to worship him, but he said, "See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the Prophets" (Rev. xxii, 8, 9.)
17. Those who worship a God without body, parts, or passions, do not worship the God of Abraham, of whom Prophets spoke and Apostles bore witness; but an idol—a false god, which their imagination conceives of; and as by their Creed, he is a nonentity, their faith is Atheism.
18. Close upon the tail of this Atheism, follows Polytheism. For as the Creed declares that the Father is Lord God Almighty, uncreate, eternal, aud incomprehensible; the Son, Lord God Almighty, uncreate, eternal, and incomprehensible; and the Holy Ghost, Lord God Almighty, uncreate, eternal, and incomprehensible; it is most indisputably the Creed of three gods, notwithstanding the disclaimer, which says they are one God.
19. Thus they worship God the Father, "without body, parts, or passions;" and God the Son, begotten by the Father, with "body, flesh, and bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature," sitting at the right hand of God, the Father, who has no hand; and God the Holy Ghost, who proceeded from the Father and the Son, who is, nevertheless, eternal, though he could not have proceeded from the Son, until he was begotten; three gods, all unlike; and require men to believe these three, but one, on pain of being damned everlastingly.
20. It is no wonder that those who preach this doctrine declare it a mystery. It is a greater mystery, that men have been found to believe it. Well did John the Revelator name the Church in which it originated, "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and abominations of the earth. (Rev. xvii, 5.)
21. She was once the Apostolick Church; the Lamb’s wife; but when she lost the Apostolick Priesthood, and went off in an unholy union with the Kingdoms of this world as her Lord, she became what the Angel declared her to be, a whore; as all her daughters, prostituting themselves to the various national governments, without ever being lawfully joined to Christ are only harlots.
22. To make their Creeds as ridiculous as they are infidel; false as they are heathenish; Catholicks teach that Christ’s mother is the "Mother of God;" as though God was begotten by himself, on a creature of his hands, that he might be eternally begotten.
23. And Protestants, not willing that Catholicks should monopolize all the folly and all the falsehood, have invented, or borrowed from their mother, the doctrine of an infinite
atonement, by means of infinite sufferings in the crucifixion of one of these three gods.
24. And, as by their faith, these three gods are one and the same god, it follows that the Lord God Almighty, uncreate, incomprehensible, and eternal, became a Priest unto himself, and offered himself a sacrifice unto himself, to make propitiation unto himself for sins against himself, and became a mediator between himself and his rebellious creatures; and has risen from the dead, though he alone hath immortality, and ascended on high, where he has received all power from himself, and sat down at his own right hand; where, with his human body, flesh and bones, and all that pertains to the perfection of man’s nature, raised to immortality and everlasting life, he "is the express image of the invisible God," (Col. i, 15. 2d Cor. iv, 4,) "and the express image of his Father’s person," (Heb. 1, 3,) who has not any such body or any part of it, and is nevertheless the same identical person with himself.
25. This is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Ye shall not bow down to the God of Babylon, for the God who spoke in Sinai, said, "Thou shalt not bow down unto, nor adore anything that thy imagination conceiveth of; but the Lord thy God only."
26. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was not the offspring of adultery; nor was he born of woman; he was not carried about in a nurse’s arms, nor dependent on his mother’s milk for sustenance; he never died, nor did he cry to himself, and find no helper. (Matt. xxvii, 46. Mark xv, 34.) Eternal ages are but pulsations in his lifetime, and his might is omnipotence.
11. The Lord our God hath an incommunicable name; never polluted by the breath
of the ungodly: which none can know, but he who ministereth in his holy sanctuary; by which he revealed himself unto Moses; and in which he establisheth this law, for an everlasting covenant.46 words, 214 letters.
This incommunicable name is not Jehovah. That is written instead of it. For his secret name was only written in that copy of the Law kept in the Ark of the Testimony. How ridiculous to believe with Christians, that the name of God which Abraham was not permitted to know, (Ex. vi, 3,) was written in a published book, for all the Heathen to read. It was never spoken out of the Sanctuary, nor above the breath, and then only between three High Priests, after the order of Melchisedek. (See Josephus’ Ant., B. ii, ch. xii, 4,)
12. God alone hath immortality. Adam, the first of men, the Ancient of Days, the great Prince;1 Abraham, to whom God gave an everlasting possession;2 David, whose throne was established as the days of heaven, forever;3 all died. Enoch, who walked with God, and was not found, because God took him;4 and Elijah, who ascended to the throne of God, in his own fiery chariot5 shall return to the earth to sleep with their fathers.6 The change which is sealed upon all the sons of Adam,7 shall come upon the faithful, who stand on the earth, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed
[1 D. &. C. Sec. iii, p. 28. Dan. vii, 9, 22. [2 Gen. xvii, 8. [3 Ps. lxxxix, 29, 36. 2d Sam.. vii, 16. Isa. ix, 6, 7. Jer. xxxiii, 20-26. Luke i, 32, 33. [4 Gen. v, 24. [5 2d Kings ii, 11. [6 Rev. xi, 7-9. [7 1st Cor. xv, 22.
from heaven, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on those who know not God, and obey not the gospel.1 And he, the Prince of the Kings of the earth;2 who in the days to come, shall speak with the voice of a trumpet, and the dead shall hear his voice and live;3 died once, that he might live forevermore.4 He praised God, who alone hath immortality, that he would not leave him in the place of the dead:5 he preached the gospel to the spirits in prison,6 and obtained the key of life everlasting:7 but God alone liveth forever: the eternal ages are unto him as moments to us:8 infinities, as units to the mathematician. Our God alone hath immortality.9 Thou shalt love him with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. 239 words, 1,010 letters.
13. God alone hath omniscience. He clotheth himself in light as a robe: his ministers, who at midday, are as a flaming fire in the dark night, are blind before him; he apprehendeth the motion of the atom which floateth in the invisible element,10 and discerneth the speck in the centre of the star, which the light of the sun hath not reached since the
[1 2d Thess. i, 7, 8. [2 Rev. i, 5. xi, 15. xvii, 14. xix, 16. Dan. vii, 13, 14. 1st Tim. vi, 15. [3 John v, 25, 28. let Cor. xv, 52. 1st Thess. iv, 16. [4 Rev. i, 18. Heb. vii, 25. [5 Ps. xvi, 10. Acts ii, 27. [6 1st Pet. iii, 19. Luke xxiii, 43. [7 John xvii, 2. xi, 25, 26. [8 Ps. xc, 4. [9 1st Tim. vi, 16. i, 17. 2d Pet. iii, 8. [10 Ps. cxxxix, 12. Dan. ii, 22. Heb. iv, 13.
day that the sons of God shouted for joy that the earth was created, as a mountain in the eye of mortals. He never sleepeth; his eye closeth not; and there is no darkness before him. Our God alone hath omniscience. Thou shalt love him with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.123 words, 512 letters.
14. God alone hath omnipotence. He looketh upon the nations, and they melt in the fury of his countenance:1 he frowneth, and the mountains dissolve to smoke; the vallies are consumed in the breath of his nostrils. He spoke, and worlds were created:2 he thought, and they were lost in space. Earthquakes are but the whisperings of his voice; the rustling of his attire causeth lightning, and thunder; and with the shadow of his garment he blotteth out the sun. The Prince of the Kings of the earth; by whom the world was created;3 and who liveth and reigneth forever receiveth power from him, and rendereth it unto him.4 Who shall stand before him? Our God alone hath omnipotence.5 Thou shalt love him with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. 136 words, 603 letters.
[1 Jer. x, 10. [2 Ps. xxxiii, 6, 9. Isa. xl, 26, 28. Jer. li, 15. 2d Pet. iii, 5. [3 Eph iii, 9, Col. i, 16, 17. Heb. i, 2. [4 Eph. i, 19-22. 1st Cor. xv, 24. Matt, xxviii, 18. [5 Acts xvii. 24-26. Jer. xxxii. 17. Rom. xi, 36.
15. God alone is omnipresent. His presence filleth the immensity of space as a point. In the midst of the bottomless pit, is he; the pavilion of his feet, is the face of the earth:1 the stars, are his home: his breath, is fragrant odour to the blessed, in the highest heaven; and it enliveneth the crumbling frame of the dead.2 The rays of the sun, have not found his bourn; nor the light of the stars, the place he inhabiteth not. His rest outspeedeth the lightning; it leaveth the morning ray behind it; and his speed is more rapid than the thought of angels. Our God alone is omnipresent.3 Thou shalt love him with all thy heart and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. 127 words, 526 letters.
16. God alone is one. There are choirs of angels; hosts of spirits; and multitudes of men: but God hath no fellow. A great King, is to him as the unseen spawn before the monsters of the deep; Methuselah, as the ephemera of a day:4 the most glorious spirit, is bodiless, and a breath. And the Lord Jesus, who created the earth, and redeemed it; whose kingdom filleth the earth, and the heavens; possesseth but a speck, amid the stars he made.
[1 Acts xvii, 27, 28. [2 Ezek. xxxvii, 5, 9, 10, 14. Ps. civ, 29, 30. [3 Ps. cxxxix, 7-10. [4 2d Pet. iii, 8.
He alone is one.1 Thou shalt love him with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. Thou shalt adore him, and serve him, and obey him; and beside him, thou shalt have no other God: for he alone hath immortality, and omniscience, and omnipotence, and omnipresence. He alone is one; and they who obey his law, shall be like him.2 147 words, 605 letters.
Total—16 sec. 1,492 words, 6,261 letters.
NOTE ON THE TRUE GOD.
1. During the ages immediately following the apostacy of the Christian Church, when nearly all the world had fallen into a state of barbarism, ignorance and superstition, the knowledge which mankind had formerly possessed was so far lost that the wisest and most learned nations had little left of the natural or moral sciences, or the industrial arts.
2. The civilization of modern times is the emergence of the human race from the barbarism of the dark ages. But in this emergence little new has been developed. The chapter of lost arts is nearly a duplicate of that of modern discoveries and inventions.
3. The few streams of learning which flowed on through that
period of barbarism, were deep and narrow. A few houses, closed to the gaze of
all but their inmates, brought down to modern times much of the old learning.
[1 lst Cor. viii, 6. Deut. iv, 35, 39. Ist Kings viii, 60. Isa. xlv, 5, 6,18, 22. x1vi, 9. Mark xii, 32. [2 lst John iii, 2. Phil. iii, 21.
around the Mediterranean, engrafted on their religion all manner of superstition, partaking of the popular ignorance and prejudice.
5. Not only was the keeping of the Oracles of God in the hands of the ignorant and superstitious, who by that means not unfrequently corrupted them, but most of the translations into modern languages were made before the light of the newly developed sciences dispelled those superstitions.
6. As a consequence, nearly all religious knowledge among Christian nations was more or less mixed with the falsehood which the ignorance and superstition of the preceding ages inculcated.
7. And as the different systems of religion were fixed and unchangeable, bound up by creeds which it was heresy to question, almost every advance in knowledge was opposed by every influence and injury which ignorance and superstition could inflict.
8. The Clergy having the control of Courts and Legislatures, opposed the progress of knowledge by pains and penalties, until religion, designed by the Almighty to be the school of mankind, in which all knowledge should be gained, became the prisonhouse of the lover of knowledge.
9. Since in a few places on earth, laws have ceased to oppose knowledge, and here and there a benefactor of mankind lives, without the fear of prisons and clanking chains, the superstitious prejudice pursues the friend of man as a shadow, and not unfrequently wreaks on the fame of the dead, the punishment which a virtuous life has scarcely escaped.
10. These are not the worst ills which false religion has inflicted on mankind. The doctrine has been everywhere inculcated that religion is a mere myth; a thing to be believed, to be sure, in some way, but not to be demonstrated as other
sciences, and to stand upon its intrinsick merits; that though true in some mysterious sense, its truth is opposed to what is also true in other sciences, and that what is true in religion, may be impossible in natural philosophy.
11. A sound mind revolts against this. If the religious sentiments predominate, it believes on, and shuts its eyes to the voice of nature, wandering in the mazes of metaphysicks, and wasting in logomachy the talent, which should have developed valuable ideas.
12. Otherwise, it passes by religion as a thing not to be studied, if believed; rejects the revelations of God’s word, as a means of obtaining knowledge; and, perhaps, without denying that God did in some remote time, in some mysterious way, reveal a religion to man; laughs to scorn the fact that he is known to man in modern times, especially in this enlightened age.
13. Among such men the dogma is universal that the primitive ages of man were ages of barbarism; that civilization originated with man, and was developed in the slow progress of long ages; and that man is the author of the sciences, and the discoverer of the knowledge he possesses.
14. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The history of all the old nations, brings a shadowy knowledge of a civilization earlier than that of the Greeks, the wisdom of which was lost before the days of the earliest author whose works have reached us, though its monuments remain.
15. The golden age was the theme of all the early poets, as its return was the hope of the sages. Without additional confirmation, it was hardly probable that a faith so universal was not founded on true history notwithstanding, most of its witnesses had disappeared.
16. But recent developments in Archaiology have proved
it true. Of the Egyptian Empire, the earliest whose history has been rescued from oblivion, it is now beyond question that at the beginning of its history, its civilization was of the highest order.
17. The classick historians, Herodotus, Manetho, Eratosthenes, and Diodorus, agree with the monuments and papyri, that Menes was the first sovereign of the Egyptian Empire.
18. His reign is placed by Lepsius at 3,893 years before Christ, or 5,749 years ago; being 1,544 years earlier than the date which Archbishop Usher’s Chronology erroneously gives to the flood.*
19. Yet at that early period Egypt was a powerful and highly civilized Empire, eminent in the sciences and the industrial arts. The name of Menes is gloriously associated with the building of Memphis, the oldest metropolis, of the origin of which we have any knowledge, with foreign conquests, a high state of the arts, a numerous and wealthy population, and a successful system of internal improvements, such as Holland alone affords a parallel, if indeed she does at the present day.
20. The Nile, an immense river, overflows all the arable land of Egypt, and had to be controlled by dykes and canals, more extensive than are found in America, before the country could sustain any other population than a few wandering herdsmen. For this purpose hydraulick engineering must have existed in the highest perfection; an immense population must have pressed down the valley of the river for room, and industry, such as is never found among barbarians, must have been the national characteristick of teeming millions.
*Archbishop Usher’s Chronology is that generally used and found in the margins of most family and pulpit Bibles, though different editors make slight variations from it.
21. Little of coetaneous records of that age remains; most of its monuments are deep buried in the sands, from the Lybian desert; or removed to construct more modern cities.
22. But, two or three centuries later, when we reach the period of abundant and undoubted contemporaneous monuments; walking no longer in a land of shadows, we read Egyptian history upon monuments of granite and paper of papyrus, in the same language which was written during the reign of all the Pharaohs.
23. Fiftythree centuries ago, sepulchres and pyramids; palaces and temples; highways and canals such as in this age would cost millions; dykes and bridges of immense extent; statuary sixty feet high, and delicate tissued paper; reed pens, and red and black ink, which have not yet faded; chemically prepared paints and varnish, the colours of which are as fresh now as those from the best workshops, laid yesterday; and the preservation of the dead uncorrupted, were among the achievements of Egypt.
24. The present times have no parallel to that. The result of all inquiry is, that the earliest civilization was of the highest order. The theory that it was developed by man, and grew up from the necessities of dense populations through long ages, is giving way. It originated with God, who is the author of all the arts and sciences, and taught them to his creatures.
25. That which lays at the foundation of all civilization, all wisdom, all knowledge, man did not possess by nature; could not invent, and until possessed, could have no desire for; articulate language.
26. Man by nature has no articulate language. Certainly no fact is clearer than this. The child never speaks words till he hears them. He uses no words but such as are taught
to him. He speaks no language but what he learns from others. If he has no opportunity of learning of others, he never speaks. If he is devoid of the faculty of hearing, he never learns to speak.
27. All the animals, or, at least, all the domestick animals, and many not domesticated, all the superiour kinds of animals, and many of the inferiour, have a natural language; a language of the passions. This language is uniform with each species. They learn it from none, but possess it by nature. No one of the species is ever without it.
28. The dog barks, howls, growls and whines. Every dog has these powers by nature. The same species of dog has them substantially alike. And he has the whole of these modes of expression, and all the varieties of them, without learning or hearing them from others. There is a peculiarity in the voice of the dog, when he starts the chase, when he snuffs the track, when he spies the game, when he drives him to tree or burrow, and when he triumphs over him or tastes his blood.
29. He has a growl of pleasure, a growl of fondness, a growl of anger, and a growl of defiance. And no dog in the species is destitute of it. None learn it; all possess it. Not only do all possess it, but all possess it just in the characteristick of his race and of his particular family or breed. Every hunter distinguishes the voice of each different kind of dog, and the particular passion or fact expressed by the voice and intonation of the dog.
30. The dissimilarity and unlikeness between the voice of the hound and the terrier, both used much in hunting, and constantly kennelling together, are very great. Their continual association does not produce any approximation of language, or the slightest change in the tone of the voice.
It neither adds to or diminishes from the language of either, one intonation.
31. Take the spaniel that has never seen the light, and place him with a hound possessed only of his natural habits, and the spaniel never learns one sound that belonged not to his nature. Place him where he never sees or hears another dog, and he is deficient in none. If you cross the breed, the new race will have a language between the two; approximating to both, like to neither.
32. You can change the language indefinitely by changing the nature, the blood, or race, but none at all by changing the habits or instruction. These remarks are equally true of all the other animals possessed of a voice. Cows all low and bellow, without being taught. Horses all neigh, though they have never heard it. And to their natural knowledge of this language, instruction can add nothing.
33. Man has a natural language of the same kind, rich and prolifick in the expression of the passions, but barren in abstractions; partially inactive by neglect, but lost by none, and resorted to as often as men meet who have no common articulate language. From the new born child to decrepit old age, in every age, in every country, in every clime, and of every race and family of people, there never was one individual that did not possess it.
34. The common expression of this language is in the laugh, the cry, the shout and the moan, which are the same everywhere. Every child must be taught to speak; none to cry. All have to learn the definition of words. All know what is meant by the laugh. The conqueror speaks of his triumph to men of strange tongue in vain, but the shout that tells of victory is never misunderstood. The dying man’s voice articulates bootless words to those who have not learn-
ed them, but the moan and the sigh of broken limbs and crushed hearts was never mistaken. The cry of childish fear and pain is comprehended by all ears. How else could infancy tell its sufferings?
35. No one has an articulate language by nature. If articulate language was natural to man, as is the language of the passions to both man and beast, he would be born with it, which no man is; or all would come to possess a uniform language at some definite stage of existence, which is not found at all; or there would be particular forms of language peculiar to particular races, which there is not; and the language would be changed by crossing the breeds, as among animals.
36. The child knows no word till it has been taught. It will use any sound whatever to express any particular idea, just as the tutor pleases to teach it. The English child, placed in a Dutch family, learns and speaks the Dutch as well as a native. The Chinese child, placed in an American family, will not be possessed of one word of the language of his fathers. There is no peculiarity of race which adapts it to one language more than another.
37. There have been, in various countries and in different ages, instances of persons growing up to manhood with all their faculties unimpaired, but so entirely separated from the rest of mankind as to have no opportunity of learning articulate language. And every one of them have been as destitute of it as the beasts of the field. Not many years since a wild boy was found in the swamps of Alabama, who, according to the most plausible conjecture, had been lost at the age of three years. He could not speak one word of any known language. Yet all his natural faculties were decidedly good.
38. Similar examples are of frequent occurrence. Scarcely a year passes but the newspapers bring us the account of one. And the facts in every case produce the same conclusion; that man by nature has one uniform and universal language of the passions, and that he has no articulate language. So uniform have been results thus far, that in case a wild man should be found, men would just as much expect to find him able to laugh, moan and cry, as to have two ears and one mouth; and would just as little expect him to speak an articulate language, as to understand the art of painting or sculpture.
39. An eminent example of the natural inability of man to speak, is found in Caspar Hausar, of Nuremburg, who was imprisoned from the age of four years to sixteen, during which time he never saw the face or heard the voice of man. He was possessed of natural talent of superiour order, yet he could neither speak or understand one word. But he could cry. That was natural language. He needed none to teach him that.
40. The ancients have recorded several cases of children brought up in utter seclusion, for the purpose of determining what language they would speak; vainly supposing that there was one original language, from which all were derived, and which all the untaught would speak. They spoke none. Why? Simply because they were not taught.
41. As man has never in any known instance been found in possession of an articulate language, and as in millions on millions of cases he is positively known to be destitute of it, the inevitable conclusion is, that by nature he has no articulate language. Did he invent it? Could he originate it? Vain thought! There is not an instance known where he has added one articulate sound to the store of words which man
possessed at the period of the earliest authentick records.
42. It is hardly conceivable that a man, destitute of language, should know the want of it. Certainly it is impossible that one who was destitute of all the arts and sciences, should see any need of a language, or have any desire to possess one. And it is not by any means conceivable that a people destitute of language, should possess arts and sciences.
43. Man untaught is one of the weakest most dependent and inefficient of all animals. Other animals, cast off in the early period of their existence, seem very well able to take care of themselves. Man is almost sure to perish. The knowledge which has been made their universal heritage, is usually sufficient to provide for all their wants. In man, even under favourable circumstances, it is barely sufficient to preserve life.
44. Is it possible that man, placed in such circumstances, a mere untutored animal of forests, swamps and meadows, more dependent and inefficient in providing the means of subsistence than any domestick animal, should ever have a desire for an articulate language? Or, that, destitute of such a language, he should ever possess any such knowledge of arts and sciences as would make it desirable?
45. But if it was possible for such a being to desire any mode of expression, beyond the mere language of the passions, which all animals possess, could he invent it? Could he invent radical articulations, capable of infinite combination, join them in words, and fix a meaning which each word should express? And, then, could he compel his fellowman to learn his language?
46. If all this has happened to man, we may expect some day to see a dog on the errand of Cadmus, inventing a language to be spoken by dogs, which shall express ideas, instead
of passions; reasonings, instead of impulses; and teaching it to his fellowdogs; and, in regular progress, making letters adapted to writing and printing, for general use in the fraternity of dogs.
47. Unseemly and ridiculous as such an idea is, it is more so of the untaught man than the dog; for, unaided by science, the arts, and instruction, man is less capable of providing a subsistence than a dog; and, therefore, has less means of improvement.
48. Man, without instruction, such as the child would be, if separated from all the human race, never hearing the voice or seeing the face of man to learn from him, is so far removed from anything we are in the habit of seeing or contemplating, that it is difficult for us to conceive of such a being; and should we meet with such a one, it would require an effort to esteem him human.
49. No man could for a moment suspect such a being of a capacity to develop the state of civilization, which now exists in the world, by his unaided effort. No one could suspect him of inventing or making a language, nor would any addition to the number increase their capacity for such a work.
50. From whom did man derive articulate language? Not from any of the animals of the earth. None of them possess it. They all have a language of the passions, as a natural endowment; always enjoyed, never acquired. None have anything beyond it.
51. Man, subject to the same wants, and still more helpless by nature, has also a language of the passions, equally expressive; always enjoyed, never acquired. And superadded thereto he has an articulate language, not by original endowment, but by acquisition; altogether artificial, incomparably superiour, and capable of infinite forms of expression.
52. So far it is perfectly clear that he could not originate it, and while entirely destitute of a language, could have no desire to acquire one. It is equally certain that he did not derive it from any existing animal. None possess it.
53. It must have been learned of the superiour; from some one to whom it is a positive faculty; not a transitory endowment.
54. Who is that superiour? An animal similar to man, but one step above him in the scale of being? He is not found on earth. Geologists have not found his fossil remains. Anti-quarians discover none of the works of his hands. The pale faith of the most marvellous tradition has never named him.
55. Articulate language, the language of ideas, of logick, is the gift of God; by him communicated; revealed by him to man. There is no other teacher, in whose school that lesson could have been learned.
56. As this proposition is contrary to the theories most prevalent on the subject, and the demonstration of it makes a full end of the Atheistick controversy, it may not be amiss to pursue the theory of the Atheist to its results, and thus reduce it to an absurdity.
57. No modern pretends that articulate language is a natural endowment The universal experience is too strongly against it. But it is alleged by those who say there is no God, that it originated with man, and grew up with his necessity.
58. Without attempting to show how man, without one word of articulate language, could make any such progress as to feel the need or appreciate the use of it; ignoring the fact that he has never in any known case originated anything which was not analagous to something he had already witnesed, they have assumed that he could feel the necessity; could ap-
preciate the use, and could invent a thing as unlike anything of which he had any knowledge as articulate language is unlike any natural faculty of man.
59. In attempting to justify this assertion, they have assumed, further, contrary to the principles of every language on earth, that there is some similarity between the sound and signification of words; and, hence, that language originated in the imitation of natural sounds, both of animate and inanimate nature.
60. The universal rule in articulate language is, that the meaning of words is merely arbitrary; entirely independent of the sound, and determined merely by usage; and, consequently, that any word might mean a very different thing from what it does, with the most perfect propriety, if it was only so used.
61. Contrary to this universal rule of language, these infidel theorists allege that the beginning of articulate language was in the imitation of such familiar sounds as the voices of domestick animals, the sound of thunder, wind, and various things in inanimate nature, from which it has gradually progressed to the present state.
62. It is sufficient answer to all this, that not one of all those sounds has become a word in any spoken language, under heaven. More than that, we do not use one of those sounds in naming the sound itself, or the thing which produces it, or in expressing any idea concerning it; and if we should repeat it, it would not express any idea whatever, in any spoken language under heaven.
63. None of the sounds in nature are articulate; therefore, an articulate sound could not be derived from them. We write baaa or maaa for the voice of a sheep; not because the spoken word is like the voice of the sheep; for it is not. If
it was, we should have but one word for the one sound. The only point of resemblance is a long drawn sound, slightly resembling the continued repetition of shorta. There is not the slightest approach to any consonant sound. Consequently, we may substitute any other consonant for the b, or m, and the resemblance to the voice of a sheep will be just precisely the same.
64. In like manner we write booo, looo, and wooo, for the voice of a cow; changing the consonant freely, and the failure to make the true sound is precisely equal in every form, because the voice of the cow is not an articulation, and does not resemble one. The only approach to likeness is in a long drawn sound, bearing a very slight resemblance to the constant repetition of o long and close, as in move. There is not the slightest approach to any consonant sound whatever.
65. Similar is the case of every animal whose voice man has attempted to imitate. Not one of them has been found to articulate a single letter. Not one of them has made the slightest approach to a consonant sound. Not one has ever enunciated a vowel, or any sound that could possibly be mistaken for one.
66. As there are no articulate sounds in nature, either in the voices of men, animals or inanimate nature, man could not get the idea of them from any of those sounds, or learn them by imitating those.
67. No sound in nature is the representative of an idea, nor is any combination of the natural sounds. The voices of animals are the representatives of passions, of feelings, but not ideas; and as such are a universal language, everywhere understood, nowhere learned; but the sounds in inanimate nature do not come up to that; they represent neither ideas nor feelings.
68. Therefore, in those cases where articulate language approaches nearest to the sounds heard in nature, there is not the slightest similarity in sense. For instance, the voice of a sheep, which makes some slight approach toaaa, or a rapid repetition of short a, is used with slight variations in every feeling that the voice of a sheep can express; whether of pleasure, or pain; joy, or sorrow; love, or hate; triumph, or despair.
69. Yet it would be difficult to find a single instance in any language, of the idea of the same passion or feeling represented by that articulate sound. The same is true of every voice of any known domestick animal.
70. The celebrated Lindley Murray has pursued the subject of sounds corresponding with sense, until he has exhausted it. Nothing can be added to the result of his labours, beyond additional examples on the same points, which he has fully illustrated. (English Reader, Part ii, ch. i)
71. And the result of his labours is, that any words whatever, without reference to the articulate sounds of which they are formed, duly arranged in verse, with the proper succession of long and short syllables, may be so read as in some few studied cases, to produce a similarity, in a single point between the sound of the spoken sentence, and some one idea contained in it. He does not get one step beyond this.
72. In the couplet,
"When Ajax strives some rock’s vast weight to throw,
there is not one articulate sound which would not be perfectly appropriate in expressing any other sense, no matter how different. The author, by a skilful selection of long syllables, has put it in the power of the reader to make the sound correspond with the single idea of slow moving force.
73. In other words, if the idea is of a powerful and slow
effort, the reader, by speaking with a strong breath and full voice, slowly, deliberately, and with emphasis, a succession of long syllables appears to tax his strength, much as the gigantick Ajax did in lifting a heavy rock. And this is the extent of that similarity of sense and sound, out of which men of learning construct their theory of a human origin and progressive development of articulate language.
74. The following is the exact opposite:
"Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Here a skilful combination of short syllables, which the variety of English synonyms puts in the reach of the author, enables the reader to make the sound correspond with the single idea of swiftness.
75. Pursuing the skilful selections of Mr. Murray, we find the following example of a noisy stanza to express the idea of certain work, attended with great noise:
"Loud sounds the axe, redoubling strokes on strokes;
In this example the sole similarity of sound to sense consists in the use of words spoken with a full quick sound. So far from there being a real likeness in our sounds and the ideas expressed by them, it is an evidence of ability and skill in a writer to so combine his words as to produce some tri-fling resemblance. Should any one say, "in cutting down the oak trees the repeated blows of the axe make a great noise, and in the fall there is a very noisy cracking and crashing of limbs and old dry brush and bushes, with a noise like a clap of thunder when the tree strikes the ground," he would, by the use of different words express the same idea perfectly, without any similarity of sound and sense.
76. Without pursuing these examples farther, it is sufficient to say that there is no possible similarity between sounds and the great mass of ideas, which language is used to express.
77. Sound can have no similarity to a colour; none to a form. It is not possible that any sound should bear the slightest resemblance to an idea, a reason, a logical sequence, an abstract thought, a ratiocination of the mind; those things which spoken language is chiefly used to express.
78. There is no likeness whatever in the ideas expressed by the words virtue, vice, good, evil, faith, wisdom, folly, logick, reason, sense, seriousness, and the sounds of the words; and the words might be exchanged indifferently, one for another, without in any sense impairing the language, or the facility of learning it, so the change was generally adopted.
79. Articulate language is, therefore, an endowment of man; not possessed by nature, which he could not derive from anything in inanimate nature, or any of the animals below him in the scale of being; and which he could not origin-ate, nor, until he was possessed of it, wish to enjoy.
80. In fine, he must have been instructed in it by a being possessed of a high degree of intelligence, of boundless beneficence and charity to man, to whom it is as much a natural endowment as laughing and crying is to man, or singing to a bird. He must have learned it of just such a being as God has revealed himself, and as he is shown in all his works. Had there been no God, or had he never revealed himself, and become our teacher, man could never have possessed any other language than that of the passions.
81. The oft repeated assertion that language is progressive, is not proved. It is mutative, undergoing perpetual changes; but there is no evidence that on the whole it gains anything in the progress of change. All the sciences, with their new
wants arising from year to year, find their vocabularies in the ancient languages; and the languages the most unlike, have derived their words from common roots. And if the old languages seem barren to us, we have no assurance that we possess half their words, or know well the use of them.
82. Moreover, man is not formed by nature especially for articulate language. The parrot, the crow, and several other birds, learn to speak words with less difficulty than the infant; though they fail of the intellectual strength to put them to much use.
83. Man, on the other hand, has not a compass of voice sufficient to answer his wants, and frequently finds it difficult or impossible to articulate words which his intelligence develops the want of. There are numerous words, in every language, which most men learn to speak with difficulty, and some not at all; but there is no round in the natural language of all animated nature but every individual of each species can enunciate, without even the trouble of learning it.
84. Truth will invariably sustain itself against errour, in the long race of time; it is only because it is incessantly opposed by new errours, springing up from day to day, that it receives so little credence. All the battle fields of truth have to be new fought from generation to generation. Every exploded attack of infidelity on revealed truth, is renewed as often as men rise up who do not remember it.
85. Testing the existence of God, and the fact of revelations from him as the great facts in the natural sciences, are most of them tested and proved, and no room is left for doubt.
86. Geography, natural and political, is proved by the testimony of men. Yet its leading facts are undoubted. There probably may not be a man in the United States who has
seen the city of Tombuctoo, the Chinese wall, or the sea of Aral. Who doubts their existence? Only the idiotick. What has produced such universal credence to facts that none of us know? Simple human testimony. The words of men who have seen them, and their words by hearsay, second, third, and fourth handed.
87. And this testimony has not been by any means uniform. All who had the means of knowing, agree in the main point, the existence of those objects, however much they disagree in the details concerning them. Consequently all men, except the merely insane, believe their testimony that such places really exist, but disagree according to the several witnesses in their characteristicks.
88. The same is true in all the sciences. The facts are picked up here and there, by men of all classes, in every situation and circumstance in life. The statements of many of the witnesses may be anything but reliable; but in the constant accumulation of testimony, after a time, the truth rises, prominent above all errour, and justifies itself before the world.
89. Often the facts are ever present, or at least within our reach, so as to be subject to present experiment, and satisfactory tests. In such cases the triumph of truth is prompt. Ignorance and prejudice take immediate flight.
90. In others the facts are not in our immediate reach, or at best are accumulated in long years of tiresome labour. In the ordinary course of human affairs, they would scarcely be accumulated in sufficient quantities to lead to any result. Some great scholar, or society of philosophers, gather them with tireless pains from the ends of the earth, or the old records of forgotten ages, and the truth is vindicated.
91. If, as in Geology, they can be had by looking for, publick interest and a spirit of inquiry will explore mines, trace
the tunnels and cuts which engineers have opened through mountains, gather rocks from cleft hillsides, and learn wisdom and divine truth where the door only wasted his strength, and spoiled his utensils on rocks and uncongenial soil.
92. Or, in Astronomy, the stargazer has, perhaps, noted a fact, not as possessing any consequence of itself, but merely as a phenomenon; a something he could not account for, and had not before witnessed. He cannot repeat it for examination. Perhaps centuries may elapse before it occurs again.
93. Through long ages the facts accumulate. In the same time many falsehoods are recorded for facts. They also accumulate. When enough is accumulated, some giant mind seizes them. As with a magician’s wand he brushes the scales from all eyes. Truth stands revealed.
94. In these cases there can be no experiment; no putting theories to the test. They experiment themselves, and test themselves in the revolutions of time. Man has only to see when the universe reveals herself. He cannot question her.
95. So it is in the knowledge of God. He speaks to man when he will; nor does he respond to presumptuous questioning. The fools, who have said in their hearts there is no God, have no claim upon his charity, that he should walk with those who regard him as vanity, and nothing.
96. But, though like eclipses, and the conjunctions of planets, he does not appear to every questioner, to demonstrate his being to ignorant doubters; like them, he is never without witnesses; and like them, the testimony is ever present to the wise.
97. To an Astronomer, an eclipse a hundred ages past, is as certain, and its precise time and appearance as accurately ascertained, as that of yesterday, which he witnessed; and his faith in that which shall occur ten thousand years hence,[Page 83]
is as steadfast as it can be in the sunrise of tomorrow.
98. So is the faith of the righteous, that God is. That man could never have had a language, except God taught him, is already shown. Consequently, he must have visited man’s abode, and conversed with him. This necessary sequence is a proved fact: proved by just such testimony as has established the primary facts in all the sciences.
99. God has been seen of men. This fact has been proved by the testimony of men of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, under the whole heavens, from the days of Adam down till this present time.
100. Neither savage tribe, nor enlightened republick, has refused its testimony to this great fact. The King upon his throne, the Priest at the altar, the Philosopher in his cabinet, the Reformer in the publick assembly, the peasant by his fireside, and the captive in the dungeon, have each and all contributed their share of testimony that God is; which, if written, would crowd libraries, such as great Kings are proud of.
101. Notwithstanding the trifling disagreements found in human testimony on all subjects, all nations of men have agreed in the great leading facts of their testimony; that besides the grosser bodies, ever visible around us, there is another, a more volatile world of animate existence, generally invisible, composed of myriads of persons, of greater or less power, some good and some evil, the greatest and best of whom is God, the Lord.
102. The Mosaick account is anything but without witnesses in the premises. Nor is it supported alone by the Jewish Prophets. The Egyptians, Chinese, Chaldeans, Hindoos, Phoenecians, Greeks, Romans, Scythians, German, Britons and Gauls; all the ancient world; had men standing among them, of all ranks, from the King on his throne to the
peasant in the hovel, who testified that they saw God, and conversed with him.
103. The modern Chinese, Hindoos, Persians, Turks, Greeks, Egyptians, Italians, Germans, French, Britons and Scandinavian, all have men among them, men of learning and of good report, at this present day, who assert that they have seen God, or some of the myriads of spirits in subjection to him, and in rebellion against him.
104. Among the savage nations of America, Africa, Asia, and the islands of the Indian and Pacifick Oceans, not one people is found where similar testimony is not furnished, from generation to generation.
105. Is this testimony true? Can it be false? Have men in all the ancient nations from China to the Pillars of Hercules, and of all ranks from the king to the beggar, and of all characters from the philosopher to the dunce, with all their national divisions and animosities, conspired together to impose a lie on their fellowmen? And have men of every faith, of every nation, and of every age, from Abraham till James, made their whole lives one living lie, for the purpose of palming off such an imposition on their brothers, their sisters, their wives, and their children?
106. And in such a cause, with scarcely a point of unity but this, and ten thousand points of diversity, many of which have drenched the earth in blood, have such men traversed earth and sea to find fellow conspirators, in the unknown isles, which the covetousness of commerce, and the rapacity of conquest never discovered?
107. Have sages, philosophers and statesmen, joined hands with jugglers, impostors, and frightened fools, to impose bootless lies on posterity and friends, as well as strangers? And is there no truth in man, that when those nearest and dearest to
them offered their lives in blood and fire to such a faith, none of these have confessed the imposture, to save a father, a brother, or a child?
108. In all else, the united testimony of those who have studied the facts, is deemed sufficient and satisfactory proof. The facts of Geology, the facts of Astronomy, the facts of Chemistry, the facts of Botany, the facts of Zoology, are all proved by testimony like this in kind, less in accumulation. And upon facts so proved are based the principles of those sciences. The facts were thus determined. And the principles are but deductions from them.
109. The existence of God, the Lord of the universe, a being of intelligence, motive and will, is proved by more testimony than that of Julius Caesar. And a world of spirits is proved by more living witnesses, and has been in every generation of men, than can or ever could be adduced to prove the existence of one half the species of living animals on the earth.
110. Enter into the closet of your friends’ hearts, open the door that shame and the fear of being called superstitious has shut, induce men to speak to you as they commune with their own hearts, and how many will you find, who have never beheld the spiritual? How many who have never been spoken to by the invisible? How many who have never been led by the intangible?
111. The world is now a vast crowd of living witnesses of the spiritual, shamed down to silence by the Atheistical doctrines of modern Christianity. This truth is a spring that can never be dried up.
112. A generation shall yet arise who, taking facts as they find them, will make religion a science, studied by as exact rules as mathematicks. Then will these facts be sought for as are new discoveries in Geology and Astronomy. Facts well attest-[Page 86]
ed will be generalized. Rules be drawn from them. Man’s prejudices will cease to minister to his blindness. The mouth of the Seer will be opened, and the whole earth enlightened.
113. In the transmission of testimony from generation to generation, it is by many supposed to lose much of its credibility. But this is not true, where it is supported by proper monuments.
114. When a religion has been built up, a new Law, sacrament, or ordinance, engrafted on an existing institution, or any publick monument, erected in pursuance of a particular revelation of God, it is evidence to all succeeding generations, that at the time of the event, the testimony of it was believed by those who had the best means of knowing whether it was true or false, and were most interested in the truth.
115. For instance, the appearance of God to Moses, and to all Israel, in Sinai, could not have been an original falsehood, written by Moses, for if the events did not occur as written, all Israel would have cried out against palming the deception on their children.
116. Nor could it have been subsequently forged; for the Law then instituted was its monument. All the people would have cried out, we received no such Law from our ancestors. They left us no such history. National or great publick events cannot be forged in history. Facts in which multitudes are interested may be distorted, but they cannot be created.
117. That God has been seen by, and has conversed with men, is the best proved fact in history, whether tested by historick testimony, or by induction. These testimonies remain forever, to confound the unbelieving. But to us he has given the inspiration of his Spirit, and the sure word of prophecy; a perpetual and ever present witness.