Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate/Volume 2/Number 12/From the elders abroad
From the Elders abroad.
We continue to receive intelligence from our much esteemed friend and brother in the Lord, Elder Parley P. Pratt; the work of the Lord truly appears to prosper in his hands. Our readers are aware that Elder Pratt's labors have been confined to the city of Toronto, Upper Canada, and the region in its vicinity, since last spring. He has had much and powerful opposition to encounter from the priests of other denominations since his arrival in that place, but we have recently seen our brother, and he informs us verbally that personal abuse and controversy seem to have ceased for the present. The principles of our religion (the religion of the bible) are attacked in the public prints by innuendoes. A specimen of cowardice, cant hypocrisy and falsity, may be found below, which was published in the Christian Guardian (so called,) a Methodist publication in Toronto. We copy it into our columns that our readers may see the weakness of the arguments used against us as well as the cowardice of the at-tack. The piece to which we allude, after a lengthy communication, closes in substance as follows:
"The good old way taught by the Apostles and Prophets and afterwards by the reformers, such as Knox, Luther, Wesley, Whitefield, and many others, will finally reap an abundant harvest from the field of missionary exertion; while the doctrine of modern inspiration will soon fall to the ground, and sink to rise no more."
We here give the substance of Elder Pratt's remarks on the above, as directed to us in a letter from Canada.
"Both the original writer of the article and the editor of the paper must have supposed we are very ignorant here in Canada, for whosever has read the prophets and apostles, knows full well, that they taught the doctrine of ancient & modern inspiration, throughout their entire teachings and warned us to beware of all such as would teach any other doctrine.
"Again who that has read church history does not know that Knox was a strong Calvinist, Wesley a strong Arminian [Armenian], Whitefield a strong Calvinist, and that the doctrine taught by each of these men differed as widely as the East from the West. They were sensible of the difference, and Mr. Wesley observed that he would sooner be a Turk, a Deist, or a Universalist than to be a Calvinist. Now to sum up so many contradictory and opposite doctrines, and call them all the good old way, in order to oppose modern inspiration, is surely presuming too much upon our ignorance.
"Has it come to this? Must all the conflicting systems of the world combine in one to oppose the doctrine of inspiration, the only true doctrine of salvation? Must the public be called on to believe that five hundred different systems are all the one good old way? May the Lord pity the ignorance of the people of this generation, and deliver them from such barefaced imposition."
Elder Harrison Burgess informs us verbally, that he left Kirtland on a mission to the East, on the 18th of April last; and travelled through the States of New York and Vermont, distance in all about 1600 miles and preached fourteen times. He says the congregations were large and very attentive; and that from all he learned he is satisfied that the prejudice of the people in the regions through which he travelled is fast giving way before the force of truth and evidence; and is of opinion that all that is wanting is faithfulness on the part of the elders to ensure attention to the subject of the Everlasting Gospel, and a degree of success hitherto unparalleled. The Elder baptized but two, yet had his business permitted his tarrying longer in the places through which he passed, he doubts not but many more would have come forward. We pray our heavenly Father that our brother's most intense desires may be fully realized, and that not only he, but every other Elder in the church of Christ may be prospered in the glorious calling whereunto they have been called.
Elder A. Babbit states that he has been laboring for a little season past in the town of Madison Geauga Co. O. He has baptized 9 and there are large congregations and apparently favorable impressions on the minds of the people, and to all human view a church can or will be built up in that place and vicinity.
Elder Lyman E. Johnson has recently returned from his mission to this province of New Brunswick, and other places on our Eastern sea-board. We have had occasion to speak of the elder's success in the cause of truth from letters received from him, during his absence in a former number of our paper. The elder now states to us verbally, that he was well received by the brethren where there were any, and that it is due to all where he travelled to say, that he was kindly received and hospitably entertained. Truth and reason are the best weapons to combat prejudice and error. Time, patience and perseverance on the part of the saints are necessary to overcome these, and all other opposing barrier to the truth. The elder has had full congregations of hearers, has preached in a great many places, and baptized five sine he wrote us, making 29 in all since he left home in April last.