Page:The Voice of Truth.djvu/19

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9
GEN. JAS. ARLINGTON BENNETT.

promulgated by me or Moses, can be solved by rules and principles existing in the systems of common knowledge. How far you are capable of being *a most undeviating friend, without being governed by the smallest religious influence, will best be decided by your survivors, as all past experience most assuredly proves. Without controversy, that friendship, which intelligent beings would accept as sincere, must arise from love, and that love grow out of virtue, which is as much a part of religion, as light is a part of Jehovah. Hence the saying of Jesus: 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for a friend.'

You observed, 'as I have proven myself to be a philosophical divine I must excuse you, when you say that we must leave these influences to the mass.' The meaning of 'philosophical divine,' may be taken in various ways: If, as the learned world apply the term, you infer that I have achieved a victory, and been strengthened by a scientific religion, as practiced by the popular sects of the age, through the aid of colleges, seminaries, bible societies, missionary boards, financial organizations, and gospel money schemes, then you are wrong; such a combination of men and means, shows a form of godliness without the power; for is it not written, 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;[1] beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the rudiments of the world and not after the doctrines of Christ?'[2] But if the inference is, that by more love, more light, more virtue, and more truth from the Lord, I have succeeded as a man of God, then you reason truly; though the weight of the sentiment is lost, when the 'influence is left to the mass.' Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles? Of course you follow out the figure, and say, 'the boldness of my plans and measures, together with their unparalleled success, so far, are calculated to throw a charm over my whole being; and to point me out as the most extraordinary man of the present age.' The boldness of my plans and measures, can readily be tested by the touch-stone of all schemes, systems, projects, and adventures,—truth, for truth is a matter of fact; and the fact is, that by the power of God I translated the Book of Mormon from hieroglyphics; the knowledge of which was lost to the world; in which wonderful event I stood alone, an unlearned youth, to combat the worldly wisdom, and multiplied ignorance of eighteen centuries, with a new revelation; which, (if they would receive it, the everlasting gospel,) would open the eyes of more than eight hundred millions of people, and make 'plain the old paths,' wherein if a man walk in all the

  1. 1 Corinthians 1:19
  2. This is slightly altered from the King James translation of Colossians 2:8.