History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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<​May 17​> up my voice to high heaven, and pray God to bless the aged veteran, and that his silver locks may go down to the grave in peace like a shock of corn fully ripe. In a few days his friends returned with the glad news that Joseph had found the plates, and had gone down to his s for the purpose of translating them. I believe he remained there until he finished the translation. After the book was published he came to live in the neighborhood of ’s, about four miles from me, and began to preach the gospel, and many were pricked in their hearts, believed, and were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. He soon formed a church at , his meetings were numerously attended, and the eyes of all people were upon him with astonishment. O, , the world was turned up side down at once, and the devil— always ready to assist and help along in all difficulties that arise among men— personified in some of the religionists, began to prick up his ears, and jump, and kick, and run about, like Jim Crow, calling for rotten eggs to help in the wake; you would have thought, sir, that Gog and Magog was let loose on the young man. He called upon the world’s people, (as they are called) but got no help; he then flew about in the sectarian churches, like lightning, and they immediately came to his aid; and uniting their efforts, roared against him like the thunders of Mount Sinai. When those fiery bigots were let loose, they united in pouring the red hot vials of their wrath upon his head. They <​Their​> cry of “false prophet! false prophet!!” was sounded from village to village; and every foul epithet that malice and wicked ingenuity could invent, were heaped upon him. Yes sir, the same spirit that influenced the Presbyterians of , about one hundred and fifty years ago, in their persecution of the Quakers, when they first began to preach <​their doctrines​> in that , was fully manifested by those religious bigots, [HC 6:393] who were afraid if they let them alone, their doctrines would come to nought. What was the result of the persecution in ? Why, sir, warrants were made out by those churches having authority, and the Quakers were tried for heresy. But what was the result of those trials? The sentence of death was passed upon the Quakers for heresy by those religious fanatics, and three of them were hung by the neck on Bloody Hill, in , to make expiation for that unpardonable crime. “Tell it not in Gath”, nor publish it on the tops of the mountains in this boasted land of freedom, that the Puritans of New England, who had fled from the Old World in consequence of religious intolerance, that they might enjoy the sweets of liberty, so soon became persecutors themselves, and shed innocent blood; which still cries aloud from the dust for vengeance upon their heads. Let shame cover the faces when we mention the name of freedom in our grand Republic.
‘O my God! when in one portion of our country blood is flowing for the crime of worshipping our Creator according to the dictates of conscience, or as the spirit directs, and in the other are great rejoicings in consequence thereof; where, I ask, is that boasted freedom for which our fathers fought and bled? O thou who holds the destinies of all things in thine hands here below, return these blessings unto us, that we may keep them as precious jewels till time is no more. But, , I am wandering too far from the subject. I will return to the persecutions which followed Gen. Smith, when his cheeks blossomed with the beauty of youth, and his eyes sparkled with innocence.
‘Those bigots soon made up a false accusation against him, and had him arraigned before Joseph Chamberlain, a justice of the peace, a man that was always ready to deal out justice to all, and a man of great discernment of mind. The case came on about 10 o’clock, A. M. I was called upon to defend the prisoner. The [p. 47]
May 17 up my voice to high heaven, and pray God to bless the aged veteran, and that his silver locks may go down to the grave in peace like a shock of corn fully ripe. In a few days his friends returned with the glad news that Joseph had found the plates, and had gone down to his s for the purpose of translating them. I believe he remained there until he finished the translation. After the book was published he came to live in the neighborhood of ’s, about four miles from me, and began to preach the gospel, and many were pricked in their hearts, believed, and were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. He soon formed a church at , his meetings were numerously attended, and the eyes of all people were upon him with astonishment. O, , the world was turned up side down at once, and the devil— always ready to assist and help along in all difficulties that arise among men— personified in some of the religionists, began to prick up his ears, and jump, and kick, and run about, like Jim Crow, calling for rotten eggs to help in the wake; you would have thought, sir, that Gog and Magog was let loose on the young man. He called upon the world’s people, (as they are called) but got no help; he then flew about in the sectarian churches, like lightning, and they immediately came to his aid; and uniting their efforts, roared against him like the thunders of Mount Sinai. When those fiery bigots were let loose, they united in pouring the red hot vials of their wrath upon his head. Their cry of “false prophet! false prophet!!” was sounded from village to village; and every foul epithet that malice and wicked ingenuity could invent, were heaped upon him. Yes sir, the same spirit that influenced the Presbyterians of , about one hundred and fifty years ago, in their persecution of the Quakers, when they first began to preach their doctrines in that , was fully manifested by those religious bigots, [HC 6:393] who were afraid if they let them alone, their doctrines would come to nought. What was the result of the persecution in ? Why, sir, warrants were made out by those churches having authority, and the Quakers were tried for heresy. But what was the result of those trials? The sentence of death was passed upon the Quakers for heresy by those religious fanatics, and three of them were hung by the neck on Bloody Hill, in , to make expiation for that unpardonable crime. “Tell it not in Gath”, nor publish it on the tops of the mountains in this boasted land of freedom, that the Puritans of New England, who had fled from the Old World in consequence of religious intolerance, that they might enjoy the sweets of liberty, so soon became persecutors themselves, and shed innocent blood; which still cries aloud from the dust for vengeance upon their heads. Let shame cover the faces when we mention the name of freedom in our grand Republic.
‘O my God! when in one portion of our country blood is flowing for the crime of worshipping our Creator according to the dictates of conscience, or as the spirit directs, and in the other are great rejoicings in consequence thereof; where, I ask, is that boasted freedom for which our fathers fought and bled? O thou who holds the destinies of all things in thine hands here below, return these blessings unto us, that we may keep them as precious jewels till time is no more. But, , I am wandering too far from the subject. I will return to the persecutions which followed Gen. Smith, when his cheeks blossomed with the beauty of youth, and his eyes sparkled with innocence.
‘Those bigots soon made up a false accusation against him, and had him arraigned before Joseph Chamberlain, a justice of the peace, a man that was always ready to deal out justice to all, and a man of great discernment of mind. The case came on about 10 o’clock, A. M. I was called upon to defend the prisoner. The [p. 47]
Page 47