For the New York Observer.
MORMONS AND THEIR CITY.
NO. III AND LAST.
We visited the Mormon publishing house and made some purchases, among which were a Mormon catechism, a copy of the revelations to Jo Smith, and a Mormon hymn book.
In the catechism we found much gos-pel truth, for the Mormons teach the in-spiration of the Bible. Also we found the following, and much of that char-acter :
Q. Can you mention any other revela-tion given in our day ? A. Yes. The revelation of John the Baptist to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry.
In the Revelation on Celestial Mar-riage given to Joseph Smith at Nauvoo, July 12, 1843, plurality of wives is plain-ly taught, and enjoined as "a duty which no one can reject and be permitted to enter into glory."
In the Hymn Book are many precious gospel hymns, such as—"From Green-land's icy mountains," "How firm a Foundation," "Come sound His praise Abroad," "Guide us, O thou great Je-hovah." Also there are many others, which, if sung as praise to God, are either trash or blasphemy. I quote a few lines:
"The SEER, the SEER, JOSEPH the SEER,
I'll sing of the Prophet ever dear;
His equal now cannot be found,
By searching the wide world around,
With God he soared in realms of day,
And men he taught the heavenly way."—&c.
"The Upper California, O! that's the land for me,
It lies between the mountains and the great Pacific sea. The saints can be supported there,
And taste the sweets of liberty,
In Upper California, O ! that's the land for me."
CHORUS OF HYMN 278.
"We're the true-born sons of Zion,
Who with us that can compare?
We're the royal branch of Joseph,
The bright and glorious morning star."
Now, leaving the Mormons to the glory of being the royal branch of Jo Smith and their peculiar institutions, we inquire
WHAT IS TO BE THE END OF ALL THIS ?
I conversed on this subject with an eminent Christian lawyer who has lived in Salt Lake for several years. He took a gloomy view of the case. He said polygamy is on the increase in spite of the stringent laws of Congress against it, and the power of the Mormon Church is as potent with their own people as ever.
He said the Mormons have such a ma-jority in Utah that they elect every mem-ber of the Legislature and every member of the City Council, and compose an im-portant part of every jury. That it is almost impossible to convict of bigamy or to punish a Mormon for any crime. Were it not for the strong arm of the government at Fort Douglass, about three miles from the city, he thinks a Gentile would not be safe in life or prop-erty for a single hour.
He said the Mormons were bending all their efforts to be admitted to the Union State. Then they will change their constitution, and make laws to suit their own purposes, and Utah will be wholly given over, as in times past, to the rule of the Mormon Church.
Finally, that he sees no hope for Utah during this generation, but to keep it a territory, and for Congress to enact and enforce more stringent laws than ever before.
I think, however, when we consider the wonderful changes that have taken place since the opening of the Pacific Railroad, we may take more cheerful views of the future than are held by the friend I have quoted. A significant sign in that direction is an argument recently made before the United States Supreme Court at Washington. The only case, I believe, of a Mormon convicted of poly-gamy by the Territorial Court, was heard on an appeal, and is probably fresh in the memory of your readers.
Ben Sheeks of Utah, counsel for the defence, argued—1st, That the United States has not the constitutional right to prohibit polygamous marriages in the Territories.
2d. That polygamy is enjoined as a religious duty, and held as an article of faith by the sect, to which defendant be-longs, and that Congress is forbidden by the Constitution to make any law to pro-hibit the free exercise of religion. 3d. That polygamy differs from other criminal offences, in that it has no evil intent, and quoted from the Old Testa-ment, from Sir Thomas Brown, and from John Stuart Mill, to show that it had not been considered a crime by many pure and eminent men.
Such arguments may be held in Utah to be entirely conclusive, but in an en-lightened community they are the best weapons that can be produced to destroy that abominable institution ; and as sure as a righteous God reigns in the affairs of men, such iniquity will come to an end. J. P. w.
Since the foregoing was written the Supreme Court of the United States has made the decision which we published last week, knocking all this Mormon sophistry in the head. It is now said that no new polygamous marriages will be made, but the Mormons hope that present contracts will not be disturbed. We shall see. As it is only organized licentiousness, we hope it will be broken up by law and the opinion of Christian civilization.—Editors Observer.
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