Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 15 Aug. 1842, vol. 3, no. 20, pp. 879–894; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 15 August 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons was the twelfth JS oversaw as editor. The issue reprinted a letter from the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star detailing the Saints’ “first Foreign Mission” to Great Britain, which lasted from 1837 to 1838. The issue also continued the serialized “History of Joseph Smith” and reprinted the conclusion of an account from the Bostonian of a “Great Discussion on Mormonism” that had recently taken place in between Latter-day Saint missionary and Methodist minister George Montgomery West.
In addition, the issue included editorial content created by the staff of the paper. These items included an account of the history of persecution endured by the ; a short treatise on the spiritual power of knowledge; a note about unwelcome “loafers” in , Illinois; and an obituary for , a in the church. The issue concluded with a notice asking those indebted to JS’s deceased brother to pay their debts to his widow, . The extent of JS’s involvement in the creation and oversight of the issue’s content is difficult to ascertain, especially since he spent early August preoccupied with attempts to extradite him to and had gone into hiding by 10 August to avoid arrest and possible extradition. Regardless, as editor of the paper, JS assumed responsibility for all published content.
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.
ferred upon him by the spirit of revelation, either by God, his angels, or his servants: viz—the holy ; and from that period Mr. Matthews began to preach , and baptised those who felt it their duty to be baptised, and then invited them to the penitent form to get remission of their sins; but finding that would not answer all the design which he intended, he afterwards began to baptise for the remission of sins.
Mr. Matthews appears to have well understood that counterfeit coin is more current the nearer it approximates to the true, and governed himself accordingly, for he continued to preach faith, repentance, baptism, for the remission of sins, the second coming of Christ, &c. &c., adding one thing to another, in imitation of truth, as fast as it answered his purpose, from those doctrines which he had heard from the Latter Day Saints; but it was some time before he arrived at that heaven daring conscience seared hardihood, to lay hands on those whom he had baptised for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and at the same time he acknowledged that he had not got the Holy Ghost himself, by praying that he might receive it,—(Query—How can a man communicate that which he is not in possession of?) and he now calls his church, the church of Latter day Saints. Thus has Mr. Matthews been running about from Bedford to ; from to Northampton; from Northampton to Bedford, and other places; crying aloud in public and private, that the Latter Day Saints and their Doctrines came from hell. At the same time has been preaching the same doctrines, calls his church by the same name, is administering in the same ordinances, just as though he fully believed that the doctrines and sacraments of hell would be sanctified and made holy and heavenly, when administered by the tongue and hands of an impostor.
About the time that Mr. Matthews rejected the truth in Bedford, his son (as Mr. Matthews called him,) the Rev. Robert Aitken, commenced his attack on the principles of righteousness in , and while furiously pounding his pulpit with the Book of Mormon, and warning his people to beware of the Latter Day Saints and their doctrines, saying that they and their record came from hell; called upon his people to use all their efforts to put down the work of God, or stop the progress of the Latter Day Saints; and if it could not be put down without, prayed that God would smite the leaders; and from that time to the present his prayer has been answering on his own head.
After Mr. Aitken had preached against the corruptions of the church of England for years, and established many flourishing chapels in , , , Barslem, , &c. &c.; after he had been visited by the of the , and acknowledged to them at one time that baptism was right, but he could find no man who had an authority to baptise; and at another time that he was afraid of them, and rejected their testimony, and last of all would not receive the elders into his house; after all this, and deserted by a part of his flock, he has fled from the remainder because he was an hireling, and cared not for the sheep: yes, he has deserted his “Christian Society”—ceased to be an Aitkenite, and dissolved his co-partnership with father Matthews, as may well be supposed, returned, and taken “holy order” in mother church, against the corruptions of which he has testified so diligently from year to year, and is now about to enter on his parochial duties in St. John the Evangelist’s church, Hope St. , for no other reason that the writer knows of, only that he could find no one who had authority to baptise for the remission of sins; and not possessing the faith of his father Matthews, to believe that the doctrines of the pit would become holy and gospel doctrines, when taught by the tongue of wickedness and imposture; he has concluded thus publicly to acknowledge himself a servant of those very errors he has so long contended against for the sake of filthy lucre.
About the 12th of September, Elder Goodson and returned to , and soon after sailed for .
Some years previous, the principles of the temperance society, (originally established in ) were introduced into , and was the first town to receive them. Among the many interesting and valuable items held forth by the temperance people, it was often remarked by them that temperance was the forerunner of the gospel, which prophecy [p. 882]