Signs of the Times


The Evening and the Morning Star

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“Signs of the Times.” The Evening and the Morning Star (Independence, Missouri) 1, no. 5 (October 1832): [38].


OUR readers will expect from us, some of the signs of the times; and, as watchmen that would strive to be approved in all things before the Lord, we will try to collect a few of the many, and lay them before the world. It is a day of strange appearances to them that are without the true knowledge of God. That the watchful might not be deceived, the Lord while speaking of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon, by the mouth of Jeremiah, says, My people, go ye out of the [column 2, same pp.] midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord. And lest your heart faint, and ye fear for the rumor that shall be heard in the land; a rumor shall both come one year, and after that in another year shall come a rumor, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.

To begin: An eastern paper thus speaks of Europe:—Austria has an immense army in the field. Russia an immense force ready to march upon the Rhine, and a fleet of 42 sail ready for sea! Belgium and Holland are both armed for battle. England has a large squadron, for practice, in the north seas. A large number of National Guards has been called out in France, to form a new army. The Emperor of Russia says Christmas dinners will be eaten by some people with long faces. A Napoleonite has said there will be another march to Paris. Lord Durham has gone to Copenhagen to gain the Alliance of the Danes. The Dutch ambassador has very unexpectedly left England, and Joseph Bonaparte as suddenly departed for that country; the Grey ministry are evidently out of favor with the court, and the French ministry are about adopting Soult’s project of moving the French army towards the frontiers.

Such is the prospect of affairs in the East, upon rumor, and our own country is not exactly in a state of peace; for besides the Indian war, which has been a source of considerable trouble upon the frontiers of Illinois, there is raging, to an alarming extent, a war of opinion for political power and party continuance. Our politics are wild. Mark that, our politics are wild! The extremes to which men resort to obtain office, in any present party, is certainly barren of that honor and honesty which produced the exalted privilege. It is said to be an enlightened day and age, but the depravity of the times would argue a state of wickedness similar to that which brought the flood. The United States boasts of the freest constitution, and the happiest government, in the world, but if the county prisons and state penitentiaries, may number their citizens of affliction and crime, especially for the last four or five years, without reference to the many murderers that have filled a large share of the chapter of atrocities, and the keen revenge that has been practiced between freemasons and their opponents:—they might as well fall to the dust, with the other crumbling nations of the earth, and cry, unclean! unclean!

Again: Are they free from censure, that pretend to worship God? Is there not something strange, or, at least, a falling away from the ancient order of divine things? In the days of Christ and the apostles, religion was preached and practiced for the sake of eternal life in the world to come: But now religion is preached and practiced for the sake of this present world and the things that are in it. Christ said: Follow me, but now the language is: Follow ME! [man] Christ asked no aid of the government of the earth to spread the gospel. He rendered to Caesar his own, and to God his own. Now nearly all denominations are eager to obtain converts for temperance societies, and bible societies, when a large portion of these proselytes are unbelieving, and probably die so, with a full knowledge that Christ said, except a man be born again he can not enter into the kingdom of God. When no such societies existed, we were at war for our liberty and the blessings that have resulted from it, and it has been told us that our ancesters prayed to the Lord, for assistance, and he granted it, and we believe it, for it is thus recorded in the Book of Mormon:

And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles, upon the land of promise; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles, and they were smitten. And I beheld the spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles; that they did prosper, and obtain the land of their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceeding fair and beautiful, like unto my people before that they were slain.

And it came to pass that I Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles which had gone forth out of captivity, did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them; and I beheld that their mother Gentiles was gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them; and I beheld that the power of God was with them; and also, that the wrath of God was upon them that were gathered together against them to battle. And I Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles which had gone out of captivity, were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations.

As to so many appendaged societies to the gospel, we must say, that neither the Savior, nor his apostles, nor the Scriptures, have taught any thing more necessary, than to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus, and be baptized fro the remission of sins; to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; and continue faithful to the end, to inherit eternal life. Camp-meetings and protracted meetings, like the wind that blows before a storm, seem to increase, as the judgments of the Almighty are sent forth to purify the world. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord, is a command from the most High, out when we observe, ministers and members, among almost every sect upon the globe, not only mingling in all the political rancor, and crowding themselves into the contentions and broils of the day; not only engaged in nearly every speculation that the love of money urges the avaricious into, but, as often as the world that lays no claim to goodness, found guilty of every crime that disgraces the human family, they might, with all them that pestilence is hurrying to their long home, shrink from their greatness, and cry: God be merciful to us sinners!

Such are the signs of the times, from the king upon the throne to the beggar upon his knees.—Such is the commotion of the world; her pain has begun, and trouble succeeds trouble, as wave follows wave upon the ocean. Instead of the good old times, when men would inquire of the Lord on all great matters, and pray to the Lord when trials come, the faithless days have arrived when the majority of men seek for Public Opinion, whether it comes from wise men or fools; from the moral or wicked. All flesh in the world seems to trust in an arm of flesh, even while the Lord is feeding the inhabitants with judgments. From the east comes a rumor; from the wes [sic] comes a rumor; from the north comes a rumor, from the south comes a rumor, while the Lord is sending forth judgment into victory, among the nations, great are the times with events, for this generation: And while the solemnities of eternity are thus bursting upon our minds, we do humbly beseech the disciples, the wicked, yea, all flesh, to watch, for the signs in heaven, and the signs on earth, like the hand writing upon the wall of Belshazzar, declare that the world has been weighed in the balance, and is found wanting.

The set time to favor Zion, is come; and when the righteous are gathered, the wicked will be cut off, for the earth must rest from sin.

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