THE GLORIES OF POLYGAMY.
Plurality of Wives Defended by One Who Has Tried ThemThe Arguments in Defense of the System—The Bless-ings to the Gentle Sex.
[From the Ogden Junction, October 23.]
Judge Boreman, in his recent charge (or sermon) to the grand jury of the Third District, made some statements which fee would find it difficult to substantiate. There was no necessity for uttering them, except the force of anti-Mormon bigotry springing from Methodist intolerance, which rankled in his bosom and urged him to repeat some of his former diatribes, though in a somewhat modified form. Hear him:
The women of Utah, as I believe, are more oppressed and degraded than the women any-where else in the United States.''
Does anybody think that Judge Boreman really believed what he was stating when he made this remark? If so, they must take him for an ignoramus, who knows nothing about his country. Does Boreman mean to say that the women of Utah, dwelling in quiet, peaceful homes, surrounded by family influences, the mothers of healthy children, who never suffer for the necessaries of life, protected by men whom they have chosen for their husbands, and spiritually sustained by profound faith in the Almighty, are "de-graded," like thousands upon thousands of poor, dishonored creatures, who, cast off by their Christian seducers, revel in the worst of vices, grovel in filth and rot in the slums of the chief cities of the Union? Of course, he does not believe any such thing. The bitter-est opponents of polygamy admit that in its grossest form it is better than the social evil, which is the bane of Christendom. We give another quotation from Judge Boreman's charge, which he would do well to apply to himself:
Of all places upon earth where a man should adhere to that which he believes to be true, is in a court of justice, whatever the circumstances may be, because the business of the court is to investigate facts."
Now, as to this question of polygamy, Judge Boreman says the "Mormon" leaders “cannot claim it to be part of a man's relig-ion,'' when he knows full well that they do claim it as a part of their religion, and on impregnable grounds. In the first place, they claim that God has revealed the doctrine of plural marriage, explained its objects, and commended its practice. In the second place, they point to numerous examples, re-corded in that Bible which Boreman, as a strict Methodist, is bound to accept as good evidence of holy men, chosen of God, who practiced plural marriage under the sanction and direction of Jehovah. And, in the third place, they prove from the New Testament that Christ never abolished the polygamic family relationship, which had existed among the Jews for cen-turies, and of which, in his earthly nature, he was an offshoot. Judge Boreman says the Government of the United Spates is "an out-growth of Christian civilization," and, "as to men's religion the Government has noth-ing whatever to do with it."
Under these circumstances,, in the light of these facts and his own statements, why should Judge Boreman deliver a sermon to the grand jury with the view of stirring them up to attack a part of the religion of the peo-ple of Utah, and, to sustain his point, descend to the use of such gross misrepresentations?
He says some pretend that the anti polyg-amy act of '62 is unconstitutional. There is no pretense about their postion. That law was passed with a view to the restriction of the religious freedom of a whole community, and the overthrow of a religious ordinance and practice which they had adopted as of divine origin for years. This was understood when the statute was enacted, and Judge Boreman knows that this was in violation of the spirit and the letter of the Constitution, and he declares in his charge that one of the grandest and noblest features of this Govern-ment is "its assurance of the utmost religious freedom to all who live within its domain."
Parson Boreman, in his sermon to the grand jury, gives as a reason why the "Mor-mons" cannot claim polygamy to be a part of man's religion, that "there is nothing in it which gives glory to God or elevated human-ity." We have a few remarks to make on this subject. To those who may object to the treatment of religious questions in a news-paper, we suggest that the discussion of such matters in a newspaper is at least as con-sistent as preaching, discoursing, or charging upon them from the judicial bench.
The whole argument turns upon the ques-tion, Is marriage a religious ordinance, cere-mony or obligation? We maintain that it is. And the "Mormons" are not alone in this position. The millions of Catholics in the United States, and all strict, old-style Epis-copalians and Presbyterians, take the same ground. They do not consider any marriage ceremony proper unless administered by a priest, or one holding, as they believe, divine authority to join the man and woman in holy matrimony. The Catholics pronounce mar-riage a sacrament. So do the Latter-Day Saints. The other denominations we have named, although not holding the rite as a sacrament, still regard it as a divine ordi-nance, and the priest who administers it is considered as the representative of Deity. “What God hath joined together, let no man put assunder,'' forms part of the ceremony performed, and is proof that it is regarded as divine.
This is the doctrine of the Bible. Both the Old and New Testaments teach this in the plainest manner, and without the sanction of Deity in the person of the priest or officiating minister, no marriage was held valid either in ancient Israel or in the early Christian Church. The great founder of Christianity referred to the divinity of marriage in sup-port of his doctrine against divorce, and the chief apostle of the Gentiles maintained its sanctity with all the force of his logical elo-quence. Parson Boreman says the Govern-ment of the United States is "an outgrowth of Christian civilization," and give “assur-ance of the utmost religious freedom to all who live within its domain;" therefore It cannot consistently, to say nothing of consti-tutionally, interfere in any way with the mar-riage question.
Marriage, according to the Christian Scriptures, being "ordained of God," it is only rational to conclude that it "gives glory" to its author, and "elevates humani-ty." It effects both these objects in the per-petuation of the race under family arrange-ments, associations and influences." Man is the image and glory of God," and those who are instrumental in the propagation of their species under divine laws, and in di-recting the minds of their offspring to the Great Creator and His will, both glorify God and aid in the elevation of mankind.
The marriage of one man to more than one wife, under similar laws and conditions, tends to the accomplishment of these objects in an increased degree. Abraham glorified God in his plural family relations so much that Jehovah declared: “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord." And Abraham is known to all gen-erations as “the father of the faithful and the friend of God.''
But leaving ancient examples of these kinds, we maintain that plural marriage, as believed in by the "Mormons," glorifies God and el-evates humanity, by opening the gates of honorable wedlock to multitudes of the daughters of the Almighty whom the laws of men bar out. The Creator has endowed them with the power and the desire for maternity. No woman tastes the cup of happiness to the full, until she clasps to her bosom her own offspring without shame and without rep roach. Plural marriage, entered into and administered under the divine sanction as in olden times, insures the bliss of honorable maternity to hosts of women who otherwise would be doomed to the blight of celibacy, or, like many of their frail sisters, to a life of shame and a mother-hood of disgrace. Children born under these conditions have the benefit of paternal and maternal care, guidance and instruction, while thousands upon thousands in Christian cities, born out of wedlock, grow up to roll in the gutters, prey upon society, and swarm in the jails which abound in Christendom. By finding husbands and homes for the women, and sustenance, care and instruction for the children, Mormon polygamy tends both to glorify God and elevate humanity, and the contrast between strictly Mormon towns and those where Christian civilization has obtain-ed a foot-hold, proclaims as loud as the thunders of Sinai that Boraman lieth in the depths of error and the fogs of folly.
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