Parley P. (Parley Parker) Pratt.

A voice of warning and instruction to all people: or, An introduction to the faith and doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints online

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subduing the world before him, until, having
conquered the world, he died at Babylon, at
the age of thirty-two years And thus, when he
had waxed strong, the great horn was broken,
and for it came up four notable ones toward the
four winds of heaven. His kingdom was divided
among four of his generals, who never attained
unto his power. Now, in the latter tune of their
kingdom, when the transgression of the Jewish
nation was come to the full, the Roman power
destroyed the Jewish nation, took Jerusalem,
caused the daily sacrifice to cease ; and not only
that, but afterwards destroyed the mighty and
holy people, that is, the Apostles and primitive
Christians, who were slain by the authorities
of Rome.

I Now, let me enquire, Does the history of these
United States give a plainer account of past
events than Daniel's wisdom did of events which
were then future, and some of them reaching
down the stream of time for several hundred years,
unfolding events which no human sagacity could
possibly have foreseen? Man, by his own

'sagacity, may accomplish many tilings ; he may
plough the trackless ocean without wind or tide
in his favour; he may soar aloft amid the clouds
without the aid of wings ; he may traverse the
land with astonishing velocity without the aid of
beasts; or he may convey his thoughts to his


fellow by the aid of letters. But there is a prin-
ciple which he can never attain to no, not even
by the wisdom of ages combined ; money will not
purchase it; it comes from God only, and ia
bestowed upon man as a free gift. Says the
Prophet to the idols, " Tell us what shall be, that
\ce may If now that ye are gbds.*\

We will now proceed to show how exactly the
prophecies were fulfilled literally in the person
of Jesus Christ. "Behold," said the Prophet,
** a virgin shall conceive and bear a son." Again,
Bethlehem should be the place of his birth,
and Egypt, where he sojourned with his parents,
tlie place out of which he was to be called. He
turned aside to Nazareth, for it was written,
" He shall be called a Nazarene." He rode into
Jerusalem upon a colt, the foal of an ass, because
the Prophet had said, " Behold thy king cometh,
meek and lowly, riding upon a colt," &c. And
again saith the Prophet, " He shall be afflicted
and despised ; he shall be a man of sorrows*
and acquainted with grief; he shall be led as a
lamb to the slaughter, and, like a sheep dumb
before his shearers, so he opened not his mouth;
in his humiliation his judgment was taken away ;
and who shall declare his generation? for his life
is taken from the earth. He was wounded for
our transgressions, and by his stripes we are
healed ; he was numbered with the transgressors ;
he made his grave with the rich." Not a bone
of him is broken ; they divide his raiment: cast
lots for his vesture ; gave him gall and vinegar


to drink; betray him for thirty pieces of silver;
and finally, when it was finished, he rested in the
tomb until the third day, and then rose trium-
phant, without seeing corruption. Now, kind
reader, had you walked up and down with our
dear Redeemer during his whole sojourn in the
flesh, and had you taken pains to record the
particular circumstances of his life and death,
as they occurred from time to time, your history
would not be a plainer one than the Prophets
gave of him hundreds of years before he was
born. There is one thing we would do well to
notice concerning the mariner in which the Apos-
tles interpreted prophecy, and that is this : they
simply quoted it, and recorded its literal fulfil-
ment. By pursuing this course, they were enabled
to bring it home to the hearts of the people
in the Jewish synagogues, with such convincing
proof that they were constrained to believe the
supposed impostor whom they had crucified was
the Messiah. But had they once dreamed of
rendering a spiritualizing or uncertain application,
like the teachers of the present day, all would
have been uncertainty and doubt, and demon-
stration would have vanished from the earth.

Having taken a view of the Old Testament
Prophets, concerning prophecy and its fulfilment,
and having shown clearly that nothing but a
literal fulfilment was intended, the objector may
inquire whether the same mode will apply to the
predictions contained in the New Testament.
We will therefore bring a few important instances


of prophecy, and its fulfilment, from the New
Testament : after which we shall be prepared to
enter the vast field which is still future. One of
the most remarkable prophecies in sacred writ is
recorded by Luke^hnp, "ft? 1 ' 9-*3 A " And when
ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies,
then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
Then let them which are in Judea flee to the
mountains, and let them which are in the midst
of it depart out ; and let not them that are in the
countries enter thereinto ; for these be the days
of vengeance, that all things which are written
may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are
with child, and to them that give suck in those
days ; for there shall be great distress in the land,
and wrath upon this people ; and they shall fall
by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away
captive into all nations ; and Jerusalem shall be
trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times
j)f the Gentiles be fulfilled/^ This prophecy
involves the fate of Jerusalem, and the temple,
and the whole Jewish nation, for at least eighteen
hundred years. About the year seventy, the
Roman army compassed Jerusalem. The disci-
ples remembered the warning which had been
given them by their Lord and Master forty years
before, and fled to the mountains. The city of
Jerusalem was taken, after a long and tedious
siege, in which the Jews suffered the extreme of
famine, pestilence and the sword ; filling houses
with the dead, for want of a place to bury them ;
while women ate their own children, for want of


all things. In this struggle there perished, in
Judea, near one million and a half of Jews,
besides those taken captive. Their country was
laid waste, their city burned, their temple de-
stroyed, and the miserable remnant dispersed
abroad into all the nations of the earth ; in which
situation they have continued ever since, being
driven from one nation to another, often falsely
accused of the worst of crimes, for which they have
been banished and their goods confiscated. In-
deed, they have been mostly accounted as outlaws
among the various nations ; the soles of their feet
have found no rest, and they have been a hiss and
a bye-word ; and the people have said, " These
are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth
out of His land."

During all this time the Gentiles have possessed
the land of Canaan, and trodden under foot the
holy city where their forefathers worshipped the
Lord. Now, in this long captivity, the Jews
have never lost sight of the promises respecting
their return. Their eyes have watched and failed
with longing for the day when they might possess
again that blessed inheritance bequeathed to their
forefathers; when they might again rear their
city and temple, and re-establish their priesthood,
and worship as in days of old. Indeed, they have
made several attempts to return, but were always
frustrated in all their attempts; for it was an
unalterable decree, that Jerusalem should be
trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of
the Gentiles should be fulfilled. On the subject


of this long dispersion, Moses and the Prophets
have written very plainly ; indeed, Moses even
mentioned the particulars of their eating their
children secretly in the siege, and in the straitness
wherewith their enemies should besiege them in
all their gates. Whoever will read the 28th of
Deuteronomy, will read the history of what has
befallen the Jews, foretold by Moses with all the
clearness that characterizes the history of past
events, and all this thousands of years before its

Our next is found in Acts xxi. 10, 11, where a
PropHefnamed Agabus took Paul's girdle and
bound his own hands and feet, and said, " Thus
saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jeru-
salem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and
shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles."
The fulfilment of this prediction is too well known
to need any description. We therefore proceed
to notice a prophecy of Paul, recorded in 2 Tim.
iv. 3 4. " For the time will come when they
will not endure sound doctrine, but, after their
own lusts, shall they heap to themselves teachers,
having itching ears ; and they shall turn away
their ears from the truth, and shall be turned
unto fables." This prophecy has been fulfilled
to the very letter ; for it applies to every religious
teacher who has arisen from that day unto the
present, except those commissioned by direct
revelation, and inspired by the Holy Ghost. But,
to convince the reader of its full accomplishment,
we need only point to the numberless priests of


the day who preach for hire, and divine for money,
and who receive their authority from their fellow-
man ; and, as to the fables to which they ar6
turned, we need only to mention the spiritualizings
and private interpretations which salute our ean
from almost every religious press and pulpit.

But there is another prophecy of Paul well
worth our attention, as illustrative of the times
in which we live ; it is found in the first five
verses of the 3rd chapter of 2nd Timothy : " Thia
know also, that in the last days perilous times
shall come ; for men shall be lovers of their own
selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers,
disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, with-
out natural affection, truce -breakers, false accu-
sers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are
good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of
p'easures more than lovers of God, having a form
of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from
such turn away." From the last verse of this
quotation we learn to our astonishment that this
sum of awful wickedness applies to professors of
religion ONLY ; that is, this would be the charac-
ter of the (so-called) Christian part of community
in the last days. Do not startle, kind reader,
we do not make the application without proof
positive to the point, for, remember, non-profes-
sors have no form of godliness, but those ungodly
characters spoken of were to have a form of
godliness, denying the power thereof. But, if you
doubt Paul's testimony on the subject, look around
you, examine for yourselves. " By their fruits


ye shall know them." My heart is pained while
I write. Alas, has it come to this ; has the spirit
of truth removed the veil of obscurity from the
last days, only to present us with the vision of a
fallen people; an apostate church, full of all
manner of abominations, and even despising those
who are good ; while they themselves have
nothing left but the form of godliness, denying
the power of God ; that is, setting aside the direct
inspiration and supernatural gifts of the Spirit,
which ever characterize the Church of Christ?
Was it for this only that the Holy Spirit opened
to the view of holy men the events of unborn time,
enabling them to gaze upon the opening glories
of the latter days ? Oh ! ye Prophets and Apos-
tles, ye holy men of old, what have you done, if
you stop here ? if your prophetic vision only ex-
tended down the stream of time to the present
year ? Alas ! you have filled our minds with
sorrow and despair: the Jews you have left
wandering in sorrow and darkness, far from all
their hearts hold most dear on earth ; their land
a desolation, and their city and temple in ruins,
and they without the knowledge of the true
Messiah. The Gentiles, after partaking of the
root and fatness of the tame olive-tree, having
fallen after the same example of unbelief, are left
without fruit, dead, plucked up by the roots, with
naught but a form of godliness ; while the powers
that characterized the ancient Church have fled
from among men. Is this the consummation of
all your labours? Was it for this you searched,


toiled, bled, and died ? I pause for a reply : if
you have a word of comfort yet in store, concern-
ing the future, let it quickly speak, lest our souls
should linger in the dark valley of sorrow and


What is Prophecy, but history reversed ?

Having made the discovery, and produced suf
ficient proof that the prophecies, thus far, have
been LITERALLY fulfilled to the very letter we
hope the reader will never lose sight of the same
rule with regard to those yet future. And, while
we stand upon the threshold of futurity, with the
wonders of unborn time about to open upon our
view, presenting before our astonished vision the
most mighty and majestic scenes, the most
astonishing revolutions, the most extraordinary
destructions, as well as the most miraculous dis-
plays of the power and majesty of Jehovah, in His
great restoration of His long-dispersed covenant
people from the four quarters of the earth ; I say,
as these scenes are about to open to our view, let
us bow before the great I AM, in the name of
Jesus, and pray in faith for his spirit to enlarge
our hearts and enlighten our minds, that we may
understand and believe all that is written, how-


ever miraculous it may be. But Q ! kind reader,
who ever you are, if you are^not prepared for
persecution, if you are unprepared to have your
name cast out as evil, if you cannot bear to be
called a knave, an impostor, or madman, or one
that hath a devil ; or if you are bound by the
creeds of men to believe just so much and no
more, you had better stop here ; for if you were
to believe the things written in the Bible that are
yet to come, you will be under the necessity of
believing miracles, signs and wonders, revelations,
and manifestations of the power of God, even
beyond anything that any former generation has
witnessed ; yes, you will believe that the waters
will be divided, and Israel go through dry-shod,
as they journey to their own land, as they did in
the days of Moses; for no man ever yet believed
the Bible, without believing and expecting such
glorious events in the latter days. \And I will
DOW venture to say that a believer in the Bible
would be something that very few men have ever
seen in this generation, with all its boasted reli-
gion; for there is a great difference between
believing the book to be true when shut, and
believing the things therein written. It is now
considered in Christendom a great disgrace not
to believe the Bible when shut ; but whosoever
tries the experiment will find it a greater disgrace
to believe that the things therein written will
surely come to pass. Indeed, it is our firm belief
in the things written in the Bible, and careful
teaching of them, that is one great cause of


the persecution we suffer. For let the prophecies
be understood by the people, and let them roll
on in their fulfilment, and this will blow to the
four winds every religious craft in Christendom,
and cause the kingdom of Christ to arise upon
their ruins, while the actual knowledge of the
truth will cover the earth as the waters do
the sea.

Having said so much by way of caution, if
there are any of my readers so bold, and regard-
less of consequences, as to dare with me to gaze
upon the future, we will commence with Isaiah,
chap. xi. 11, 12, 15, and 16 verses : " And it
shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall
set his hand again the second time to recover the
remnant of his people, which shall be left, from
- Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and
from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and
from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
l//^ " And he shall set up an ensign for the nations,
and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and
gather together the dispersed of Judah from the
four corners of the earth.

" And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue
of the Egyptian Sea ; and with his mighty wind
shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall
smite it in the seven streams, and make men go
over dry-shod.

" And there shall be an highway for the rem-
nant of his people, which shall be left, from
Assyria ; like as it was to Israel in the day that
he came up out of the land of E^yot.".



Here you behold an ensign to be reared for the
nations ; not only for the dispersed of Judah, but
the outcasts of Israel. The Jews are called dis-
persed, because they are scattered among the na-
tions; but the ten tribes are called outcasts, because ^
they are cast out from the knowledge of the nations \
into a land by themselves. Now, the reader will
bear in mind that the ten tribes have not dwelt
in the land of Canaan since they were led captive
by Shalmanezer, king of Assyria. We have also
presented before us, in the 15th verse, the mar-
vellous power of God, which will be displayed in
the destruction of a small branch of the Red Sea,
called the tongue of the Egyptian Sea : and also ^
the dividing of the seven streams of some river,
and causing men to go over dry-shod ; and lest :
any should not understand it literally, the 15th
verse says, " there shall be a highway for the rem- ,
nant of his people, which shall be left from Assyria,
like as it was to Israel when he came up out of
the land of Egypt." Now, we have only to ask
whether, in the days of Moses, the Red Sea was
literally divided ? or whether it was only a figure ?
for as it was then so it shall be again. And yet
we are told by modern divines that the days of
miracles have gone for ever ; and those who believe
in miracles, in our day, are counted as impostors,
or, at least, poor ignorant fanatics, and the public
are warned against them, as false teachers who
would, if possible, deceive the very elect. On the
subject of this restoration the Prophets have
spoken so fully and repeatedly, that we can only



notice a few of the most striking instance'?, which
will go to show the particular circumstances and
incidents attending it, and the manner and means
of its accomplishment. The 16th chapter of Jere-
liiah, 14th, 15th, and Ifith verses, says, " There-
ore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it
hall no more be said, The Lord liveth that brought
ip the children of Israel out of the Land of Egypt;
>ut, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children
>f Israel from the land of the north, and from all
;he lands whither he had driven them : and I
will bring them again into their land that I gave
into their fathers. Behold I will send for many
ishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them ;
nd after will I send for many hunters, and they
shall hunt them from every mountain, and from
every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks."
Now, it has ever been the case with Israel, when
they wished to express the greatness of their God,
to say, The Lord liveth, which brought up our
fathers out of the land of Egypt. This saying
at once called to mind the power and miracles of
that memorable event, and associated with it all
that was great and grand, and was calculated to
strike the mind with awe, under a lively sense of
the power of Israel's God. But, to our astonish-
ment ! something is yet to transpire which will
cast into momentary forgetfulness all the great
events of that day, and the children of Israel
shall know that their God liveth, by casting their
minds upon events of recent date, which shall
have transpired, still more glorious and wonderful


than their coming out of Egypt. They will ex-
claim, The Lord liveth, which recently brought
the children of Israel from the north, and from
all lauds whither he hud driven them, and hath
planted them in the land of Canaan, which he
gave our fathers. With this idea will be associ-
ated every display of grandeur and sublimity, of
wonder and amazement ; while they call to mind
the revelations, manifestations, miracles, and
mercies displayed in bringing about this great
event, in the eyes of all the nations

In view of this, Jeremiah exclaims, in the last
verse of this chapter, " Therefore, behold, I will
this once cause them to know, I will cause them
to know mine hand and my might ; and they shall
know that my name is The Lord."

But the means made use of to bring about this
glorious event are, not only the raising of a stand-
ard, the lifting up of an ensign, so that we may
know when the time is fulfilled, but fishers and
hunters are to be employed to fish and hunt them
from every mountain, from every hill, and out of
the holes of the rocks. Let the reader mark here :
men were not to send missionaries who were not
inspired, to go and teach Israel several hundred
different doctrines and opinions of men, and to tell
them they supposed the time had about arrived for
them to gather. But the God of heaven is to call
men by actual revelation direct from heaven,
and to tell them who Israel is ; who the Indians
of America are, if they should be of Israel ; and
also where the ten tribes are, and all the scattered


remnants of that long lost people. He it ia who
is to give them their errand and mission, and to
clothe them with power from on high to execute
the great work, in defiance of opposing elements,
and all the opposition of earth and hell combined.
But do you ask, '* Why is the Lord to commission
men by actual revelation ? " I reply, because he
has no other way of sending men in any age. No
man, says the Apostle, taketh this honour upon
himself, but he that is called of God, as was
Aaron. Now, we all acknowledge that Aaron
was called by revelation.

Now the great Jehovah never did, nor ever
will acknowledge the priesthood or ministry of
any man who is not called by revelation, and
inspired as in days of old. But, " O ! " says the
reader, " you startle me, for the whole train of
modern divines profess no revelation later than
the Bible, and no direct inspiration or supernatural
gift of the Spirit. Do you cast them all off, and
say that they have no authority ? " I reply, No,
for the Bible does it, and I only humbly acquiesce ^
in the decision, as they are nowhere known in
Scripture, except as teachers whom the people
have heaped to themselves (the word heap does
not mean a few but many). But, to prove more
fully that God will give revelations in order to
bring about this glorious work, we will refer you
to Ezekiel xx, 33-38. It reads, " As I live,
saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand,
and with a stretched- out arm, and with a fury
poured out, will I rule over you ; and I will bring


you out from the people, and will gather you out
of the countries wherein ye aro scattered, with a
mighty hand, and with a stretched-out arm, and
with fury poured out. And I will bring you into
the wilderness of the people, and there will I
plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded
with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of
Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord
God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod,
and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant ;
and I will purge out from among you the rebels,
and them that transgress against me : I will bring
them forth out of the country where they sojourn,
and they shall not enter into the land of Israel ;
and ye shall know that I am the Lord.'

You discover that this promise begins with a
double assurance ; first, with an oath, As I live ;
second, with an assurance, Surely with a mighty
hand y &c. And, in the close of the same chapter,
lest the people should possibly misunderstand him,
he exclaims, " Lord, they say of me, Doth he
not speak in parables ? " Here we have the
children of Israel brought from among all nations,
with a mighty haud and a stretched-out arm, and
with fury poured out, (0 ye nations, who oppose
these things, beware, remember Pharaoh, and
learn wisdom), we see them brought into the
wilderness of the people ; and there the Lord is to
plead with them face to face, just as he did with
their fathers in the wilderness of Egypt. This
pleading face to face can never be done without
revelation, and a personal manifestation, as much


BO as in old times. Now, I ask, Were all his

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Online LibraryParley P. (Parley Parker) PrattA voice of warning and instruction to all people: or, An introduction to the faith and doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints → online text (page 3 of 13)