Discourse, 8 April 1843, as Reported by William Clayton–B
JS, Discourse, , Hancock Co., IL, 8 Apr. 1843; handwriting of ; notations in handwriting of and unidentified scribe; docket in handwriting of Jonathan Grimshaw; six pages; JS Collection, CHL.
beast which was full of eyes before and behind and for this he was hauled up for trial. I never thought it was right to call up a man and try him because he erred in doctrine, it looks too much like methodism and not like Latter day Saintism. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be tramelled. It dont prove that a man is not a good man, because he errs in doctrine. The High Council undertook to censure and correct because of his teachings in relation to the beasts, and he came to me to know what he should do about it. The subject was particularly referred to, was the four beasts and four and twenty Elders mentioned in Rev. ch. 5 v. 8. The old man has confounded all christendom that the by making out that the four beasts represented the kingdom of God; the wise men of the day could not do any thing with him, and why should we find fault, anything to whip sectarianism and put down priestcraft; a club is better than no weapon for a poor man to fight with, but I could not help laughing at the idea of God making use of the figure of a beast to represent the kingdom of God on the earth, when he could as well have used a far more noble and consistent figure. What? The Lord make use of the figure of a creature of the brute creation to represent that which is much more and noble and important,— The glories of his kingdom? You missed it that time, old man, but the sectarians did not know enough to detect you.
When God made use of the figure of a beast in visions to the prophets, he did it to represent those kingdoms who had degenerated and become corrupt— the kingdoms of the world, but he never made use of the figure of a beast nor any of the brute kind to represent his kingdom. Daniel says when he saw the vision of the four beasts “he <I> came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this”. The Angel interpreted the vision to Daniel, but we find <by> the interpretation <that the figures of beasts> had no allusion to the kingdom of God: You there see that the beasts are <are> spoken of to represent the kingdoms of the world the inhabitants whereof are <were> beastly and abominable characters, they were murderous, corrupt, carnivourous <and brutal> in their dispositions. I make mention of the prophets to qualify my declaration [p. 2]