Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/184

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to "my servant Joseph," and confers upon him "the keys and power of the priesthood: And verily, verily I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth, shall he sealed in heaven." Upon "mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife," on the other hand, obedience and submission are inculcated in the strongest terms. She is required to "receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph—And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord." The revelation contains twenty-five short paragraphs only; it is somewhat apologetic in general tone, and is full of scriptural quotations and precedents. A considerate stipulation is made for the consent of the first bride, when another is to be espoused: "As pertaining to the law of the priesthood: If any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent; and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified." A marriage contracted under the new covenant, and sealed by the appointed authority, is valid to all eternity, whereas in the case of ordinary married persons death terminates the contract, and for them in heaven there will be neither marrying nor giving in marriage.

Such are the terms of Joseph Smith's "Revelation of Celestial Marriage," which reminds one of the convenient doctrines from time to time revealed to Mohammed upon analogous subjects. One more revelation and prophecy remains to be noticed; it is said to have appeared in the "Pearl of Great Price," published at Liverpool in 1851, and to have been "given by the prophet, seer, and revelator, Joseph Smith," on Christmas-day, 1832. The date of publication is the point requiring verification, and a genuine copy of the pamphlet above named would be invaluable, as the language of the alleged prophecy has no prophetic ambiguity, and the fulfillment has been complete. In a few terse words are described the rebellion of South Carolina, and the consequent civil war, the appeal of the Southern States to Great Britain for aid, the arming of the slaves against their masters, and the outbreak of hostilities with the Indians. If there is any accuracy in the dates as stated, Joseph Smith must have been a man of rare political sagacity and foresight.

At the present day most of our religious creeds and systems resemble the great ecclesiastical edifices of the middle ages; relics of days when faith was stronger and zeal was warmer. These magnificent relics may indeed be renovated by modern hands, and upon a humble scale they can be reproduced, but the power of originating such buildings has passed away, and ecclesiastical architecture is no longer a living art. So is it with the chief accepted systems of religion; they have come down to us in their existing form from periods with which we have nothing else in common; they are not in harmony