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 inuendoes. 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 attack.
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, 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.”
[Messenger and Advocate, Sept. 1836]
[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sept. 1, 1836, 1-2]
[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, July 2006]