Letter to Editor, circa 15 February 1843

  • Source Note
Page 98
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mane rolled with majestic grandeur over his terrible neck; his claws were like the claws of the dragon; and his ribs were like those of the leviathan; when he lifted himself up all the beasts of the field bowed with respectful deference; and when he spake the whole universe listened, and the cinders of his power cover creation. His might, his influence were felt to the ends of the earth; when he lashed his tail the beasts of the forest trembled; and when he roared all the great lions and the young lions crouched down at his feet.
This great lion lifting up himself and beholding the fawn afar off, he opened his mouth, and joining in the common roar, uttered the following great swelling yelp:—
Joe Smith in Trouble.—By a letter which we published on Sunday, from , Illinois, it appears that Joe Smith, the great Mormon Prophet, has at last given himself up to the authorities of . He is charged with fomenting or conspiring to assassinate , of , and is demanded by the functionary of that , of the Governor of . Joe has taken out a writ of habeas corpus, denying the fact, and is now waiting the decision of the court at . This will bring Joe’s troubles to a crisis.
In the mean time, why does not Joe try his power at working a miracle or two? Now’s the time to prove his mission—besides being very convienent for himself.
When I heard it, I said poor fellow! How has thy dignity fallen! and how has thy glory departed! Thou that once ranked amongst the foremost of the beasts of the field, as the lord of the forest! Even thou hast condescended to degrade thyself by uniting with the basest of animals, and to join in with the braying of an ass.
And now, friend allow me to whisper a word in thine ear. Dost thou not know that there is a God in the heavens that judgeth? that setteth up one and putteth down another according to the counsel of his own will? That if thou possessest any influence, wisdom, dominion, or power, it comes from God, and to him thou art indebted for it? That he holds the destinies of men in his power, and can as easily put down as he has raised up? Tell me when hast thou treated a subject of religious and eternal truth with that seriousness and candor that the importance of the subject demands from a man in thy standing, possessing thy calling and influence? As you seem to be quite a theologist, allow me to ask a few questions. why did not God deliver Micaiah from the hands of his persecutors? Why did not Jeremiah not “work a miracle or two,” to help him out of the dungeon? It would have been “very convenient.” Why did not Zacheriah, by a miracle prevent the people from slaying him? Why did not our Saviour come down from the cross? The people asked him to do it; and besides he had “saved others,” and could not save himself, so said the people. Why did he not prove his mission by working a miracle and coming down? Why did not Paul by a miracle prevent the people from stoning and whipping him? It would have been “very convenient.” Or why did the saints of God, in every age, have to wander about in sheep skins and goat skins? Being tempted, tried, and sawn asunder; of whom the world was not worthy. I would here advise my worthy friend, before he talks of ‘proving missions,” “working miracles,” or any “convenience” of that kind, to read his Bible a little more, and the garbled stories of political demagogues less.
I listened and lo! I heard a voice, and it was the voice of my shepherd, saying, listen all ye lions of the forest; and all the beasts of the field give ear; ye have sought to injure the innocent; and your hands have been lifted against the weak, the injured and the oppressed. Ye have pampered the libertine, the calumniator, and the base. Ye have winked at vice, and trodden under foot the virtuous and the pure. Therefore hear, all ye lions of the forest. The Lord God will take from you your teeth, so that you shall no longer devour. He will pluck out your claws, so that you can no longer seize upon you[r] prey. Your strength will fail you in the day of trouble, and your voice will fail, and not be heard afar off; but mine elect will I uphold with mine arm, and my chosen shall be supported by my power. And when mine annointed shall be exalted, and all the lions of the forest shall have lost their strength, then shall they remember that the Lord he is God.
JOSEPH SMITH. [p. 98]
mane rolled with majestic grandeur over his terrible neck; his claws were like the claws of the dragon; and his ribs were like those of the leviathan; when he lifted himself up all the beasts of the field bowed with respectful deference; and when he spake the whole universe listened, and the cinders of his power cover creation. His might, his influence were felt to the ends of the earth; when he lashed his tail the beasts of the forest trembled; and when he roared all the great lions and the young lions crouched down at his feet.
This great lion lifting up himself and beholding the fawn afar off, he opened his mouth, and joining in the common roar, uttered the following great swelling yelp:—
Joe Smith in Trouble.—By a letter which we published on Sunday, from , Illinois, it appears that Joe Smith, the great Mormon Prophet, has at last given himself up to the authorities of . He is charged with fomenting or conspiring to assassinate , of , and is demanded by the functionary of that , of the Governor of . Joe has taken out a writ of habeas corpus, denying the fact, and is now waiting the decision of the court at . This will bring Joe’s troubles to a crisis.
In the mean time, why does not Joe try his power at working a miracle or two? Now’s the time to prove his mission—besides being very convienent for himself.
When I heard it, I said poor fellow! How has thy dignity fallen! and how has thy glory departed! Thou that once ranked amongst the foremost of the beasts of the field, as the lord of the forest! Even thou hast condescended to degrade thyself by uniting with the basest of animals, and to join in with the braying of an ass.
And now, friend allow me to whisper a word in thine ear. Dost thou not know that there is a God in the heavens that judgeth? that setteth up one and putteth down another according to the counsel of his own will? That if thou possessest any influence, wisdom, dominion, or power, it comes from God, and to him thou art indebted for it? That he holds the destinies of men in his power, and can as easily put down as he has raised up? Tell me when hast thou treated a subject of religious and eternal truth with that seriousness and candor that the importance of the subject demands from a man in thy standing, possessing thy calling and influence? As you seem to be quite a theologist, allow me to ask a few questions. why did not God deliver Micaiah from the hands of his persecutors? Why did not Jeremiah not “work a miracle or two,” to help him out of the dungeon? It would have been “very convenient.” Why did not Zacheriah, by a miracle prevent the people from slaying him? Why did not our Saviour come down from the cross? The people asked him to do it; and besides he had “saved others,” and could not save himself, so said the people. Why did he not prove his mission by working a miracle and coming down? Why did not Paul by a miracle prevent the people from stoning and whipping him? It would have been “very convenient.” Or why did the saints of God, in every age, have to wander about in sheep skins and goat skins? Being tempted, tried, and sawn asunder; of whom the world was not worthy. I would here advise my worthy friend, before he talks of ‘proving missions,” “working miracles,” or any “convenience” of that kind, to read his Bible a little more, and the garbled stories of political demagogues less.
I listened and lo! I heard a voice, and it was the voice of my shepherd, saying, listen all ye lions of the forest; and all the beasts of the field give ear; ye have sought to injure the innocent; and your hands have been lifted against the weak, the injured and the oppressed. Ye have pampered the libertine, the calumniator, and the base. Ye have winked at vice, and trodden under foot the virtuous and the pure. Therefore hear, all ye lions of the forest. The Lord God will take from you your teeth, so that you shall no longer devour. He will pluck out your claws, so that you can no longer seize upon your prey. Your strength will fail you in the day of trouble, and your voice will fail, and not be heard afar off; but mine elect will I uphold with mine arm, and my chosen shall be supported by my power. And when mine annointed shall be exalted, and all the lions of the forest shall have lost their strength, then shall they remember that the Lord he is God.
JOSEPH SMITH. [p. 98]
Page 98