Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 1 Apr. 1842, vol. 3, no. 11, pp. 735–750; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 1 April 1842 issue of the ’s , Illinois, newspaper, Times and Seasons, was the fourth issue to name JS as editor. The issue included a report of the organization of the , a lengthy doctrinal article titled “Try the Spirits,” and two short editorials, all of which are featured below. Also included in the issue, but not featured here, were a letter dated 20 March 1842 from the to the Latter-day Saints in Europe, extracts from a letter by , an excerpt of a letter to from his mother, another installment of the serialized “History of Joseph Smith,” and a letter about Nauvoo from “an Observer” to the Columbus Advocate. In addition, the issue included a petition from residents of to church leaders in Nauvoo, with an editorial comment. The comment is one of the editorials featured here; the petition is not reproduced below, but it is featured as a stand-alone document in this volume.
Note that only the editorial content created specifically for this issue of the Times and Seasons is annotated here. Articles reprinted from other papers, letters, conference minutes, and notices, are reproduced here but not annotated. Items that are stand-alone JS documents are annotated elsewhere; links are provided to these stand-alone documents.
While JS likely authored many of the paper’s editorial passages, John Taylor reportedly assisted him in writing content. No matter who wrote individual editorial pieces, JS assumed editorial responsibility for all installments naming him as editor except the 15 February issue. (Woodruff, Journal, 19 Feb. 1842; Historical Introduction to Times and Seasons, 1 Mar. 1842.)
Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.
she became the founder of a people that are now extant; she was to bring forth in a place appointed a son that was to be the Messiah, which thing has failed. Independent of this however, where do we read of a woman that was the founder of a church in the word of God? Paul told the women in his day “to keep silence in the church, and that if they wished to know any thing to ask their husbands at home;” he would not suffer a woman “to rule, or to usurp authority in the church;” but here we find a woman the founder of a church, the revelator and guide, the Alpha and Omega, contrary to all acknowledged rule, principle, and order.
Jemimah [Jemima] Wilkinson, was another prophetess that figured largely in in the last century. She stated that she was taken sick and died, and that her soul went to heaven where it still continues. Soon after her body was reanimated with the spirit and power of Christ, upon which she set up as a public teacher and declared she had an immediate revelation. Now the scriptures positively assert that “Christ is the first fruit, afterwards those that are Christs at his coming; then cometh the end.” But Jemimah, according to her testimony died, and rose again before the time mentioned in the scriptures. The idea of her soul being in heaven while her body was on earth is also preposterous; when God breathed into man’s nostrils he became a living soul, before that he did not live, and when that was taken away his body died; and so did our Saviour when the spirit left the body; nor did his body live until his spirit returned in the power of his resurrection: but Mrs. Wilkinson’s soul, -[life]- was in heaven and her body without the soul -[or life]- on earth, living -[without the soul, or]- without life.
The Irvingites, are a people that have counterfeited the truth perhaps the nearest of any of our modern sectarians; they commenced about ten years ago in the city of in . They have churches formed in various parts of and Scotland and some few in . Mr. [Edward] Irving their founder was a learned and talented minister of the church of Scotland; he was a great logician, and a powerful orator; but withal wild and enthusiastic in his views. Moving in the higher circles, and possessing talent and zeal, placed him in a situation to become a conspicuous character, and to raise up a society similar to that which is called after his name.
The Irvingites have apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and angels. They profess to have the gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues: and in some few instances to the gift of healing.
The first prophetic spirit that was manifested was in some Miss Campbells, that Mr. Irving met with while on a journey in Scotland; they had -[what is termed among their sect,]- “utterances;”—which were evidently of a supernatural agency. Mr. Irving falling into the common error of considering all supernatural manifestations to be of God; took them to with him, and introduced them into his church.
They there were honored as the prophetesses of God, and when they spoke Mr. Irving, or any of his ministers had to keep silence; they were peculiarly wrought upon before the congregation, and had strange utterances, uttered with an unnatural, shrill voice and with thrilling intonations; they frequently made use of a few broken unconnected sentences that were ambiguous, incoherent, and incomprehensible; at other times they were more clearly understood. They would frequently cry out, “There is iniquity! There is iniquity!” And Mr. Irving has been led under the influence of this charge to fall down upon his knees before the public cengregation and to confess his sin, not knowing whether he had sinned, nor wherein; nor whether the thing referred to him, or somebody else. During these operations the bodies of the persons speaking were powerfully wrought upon, their countenances were distorted, they had frequent twitchings in their hands, and the whole system was powerfully convulsed at intervals; they sometimes however (it is supposed) spoke in correct tongues, and had true interpretations.
Under the influence of this spirit the church was organized by these women; apostles, prophets, &c., were soon called, and a systematic order of things introduced, as above mentioned. A Mr. [Robert] Baxter (afterwards one of the principal prophets) upon going into one of their meetings, says, I saw a power manifested and thought that it was the power of God, and asked that it might fall upon me; it did so and I began to prophesy. Eight or nine years ago, they had about sixty preachers going through the streets of , testifying that was to be the place where the ‘two witnesses,’ spoken of by John was to prophesy: that (they) ‘the church and the spirit’ were the witnesses, and that at the end of three years and a half there was to be an earthquake and great destruction, and our saviour was to come. Their apostles were collected together at the appointed time watching the event; but Jesus did not come, and the prophesy was then ambiguously explained away. They frequently had signs given them by the spirit, to prove to them that what was manifested to them should take place. Mr. Baxter related an impression that he had concerning a child. It was manifested to him that he should visit the child, and lay hands upon it, and that it should be healed:—and to prove to him that this was of God, he should meet his brother in a certain place who should speak unto him certain words; his brother addressed him precisely in the way and manner that the manifestation designated; the sign took place,—but when he laid his hands on the child it did not recover. I cannot vouch for the authority of the last statement as Mr. Baxter at that time had left the Irvingites, but it is in accordance with many of their proceedings, and the thing never has been attempted to be denied.
It may be asked where is there any thing in all this that is wrong?
1st. The church was organized by women and ‘God placed in the church first apostles, secondarily prophets:’ and not first women; but Mr. Irving placed in his church first women; secondarily apostles; and the church was founded and organized by them. A woman has no right to found or organize a church; God never sent them to do it.
2nd. Those women would speak in the midst of a meeting and rebuke Mr. Irving, or any of the church: now the scripture positively says, ‘thou shalt not rebuke an elder, but entreat him as a father;’ not only this but they frequent [p. 746]
In early 1814, at the age of sixty-four, Southcott announced that she was pregnant by divine conception with a son, to be named Shiloh, who would be a Messiah figure. Numerous followers, acquaintances, and others reported Southcott’s continual physical growth during the year, and her health simultaneously deteriorated. Southcott died in December of the same year, and her physicians found no evidence of pregnancy in an autopsy. (Hopkins, Woman to Deliver Her People, 199–210.)
Hopkins, James K. A Woman to Deliver Her People: Joanna Southcott and English Millenar- ianism in an Era of Revolution. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1982.
Between 4 and 10 October 1776, Wilkinson was feverish and gravely ill, possibly due to typhus. Despite testimony from Wilkinson’s physician (“Dr. Man”) and her older brother Jeremiah Wilkinson that none of her family or attendants at the time ever believed her to be dead, Jemima Wilkinson and others soon claimed that she had physically died. Wilkinson described a heavenly vision she had during the height of her fever and asserted that she possessed a new body inhabited by a new spirit. (Wisbey, Pioneer Prophetess, 9–14.)
Wisbey, Herbert A., Jr. Pioneer Prophetess: Jemima Wilkinson, the Publick Universal Friend. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1964.
Around 1831 the followers of Irving, a Church of Scotland minister, formed a church known as the Catholic Apostolic Church. Central among the new movement’s teachings was a belief in the need for apostles—which the church included in its organizational structure in 1835, a year after Irving’s death—and spiritual gifts as manifestations of faith. (Shaw, Catholic Apostolic Church, 35–36, 66, 72, 77–79.)
Shaw, P. E. The Catholic Apostolic Church, Sometimes Called Irvingite: A Historical Study. Morningside Heights, NY: King’s Crown, 1946.
Sisters Isabella and Mary Campbell were known for demonstrating such spiritual gifts as spiritual utterances, automatic writing, and glossolalia. (Drummond, Edward Irving and His Circle, 138–142.)
Drummond, Andrew Landale. Edward Irving and His Circle: Including Some Consideration of the “Tongues” Movement in the Light of Modern Psychology. Cambridge: James Clarke, 1937. Reprint, Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2009.
Baxter, a lawyer from Doncaster, England, and an early leader in the Catholic Apostolic Church, defected from Irvingism while Irving was still alive and in 1836 wrote a history of the movement. (Robert Baxter, Irvingism, in Its Rise, Progress and Present State [London: J. Nisbet, 1836]; see also Gribben and Stunt, Prisoners of Hope, 116.)
Baxter, Robert. Irvingism, in Its Rise, Progress and Present State. London: J. Nisbet, 1836.
Gribben, Crawford, and Timothy C. F. Stunt. Prisoners of Hope? Aspects of Evangelical Millennialism in Britain and Ireland, 1800–1880. Carlisle, England: Paternoster, 2004.
On 14 January 1832 Baxter prophesied that the rapture would occur in 1,260 days (on 27 June 1835). Baxter based his prediction on the biblical language of “time, times, and an half,” frequently interpreted as three and a half biblical years, which were believed to be 360 days each. (Bennett, Edward Irving Reconsidered, 230–231; Daniel 12:7.)
Bennett, David Malcolm. Edward Irving Reconsidered: The Man, His Controversies, and the Pentecostal Movement. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2014.