Effort to Advance the Cause of Christianity There.
Remarks by the Rev. Mr. Lyford and Others.
The Grand Opera-House was the scene of an unusual performance yesterday afternoon. Burnt-cork artists, with funny jokes, gave place to gray-haired, reverend men, with earnest ap-peals for Christian charity to aid in carrying on a noble work. The attendance was quite large, numbering about 800 ladies and gentlemen. The object of the meeting was to further the cause of Christian civilization in Utah, and it was called for the purpose of assisting the Rev. Mr. Lyford, a missionary, in raising funds to carry on his work. Mr. Fred Aims, manager of the Grand Opera-House, generously tendered the use of the audience-room free of charge.
At the request of the parties who called the meeting, ex-Lieut.-Gov. William Bross presided.
The Rev. Dr. Hitchcock led in prayer, after which Gov. Bross read a letter from Senator Lo-gan, expressing regret at his inability, on ac-count of ill health, to be present and speak, and giving assurance of sympathy with the objects of the meeting.
said he had taken some pains to acquaint him-self with the condition of affairs in Utah. He must not be expected to speak of the Mormons with disrespect, for he had learned to admire their energy and determination and pluck, and he believed that God had a hand in the location of the Mormons at Salt Lake, They started originally to go and settle in Mexico, but their provisions gave out and they were compelled to stop in Utah. At this time it required nerve and courage to ex-plore this wild and desolate country. In a year or two afterwards gold was discovered in Cali-fornia, and the thousands who journeyed thither found a resting place in Utah, where food and rest could be obtained for the weary travelers. But for this, many thousands must have found graves by the wayside. The speaker gave a glowing description of the agricultural attractions of the Salt Lake Yalley. He predicted that the Mormon iniquity of polygamy could not last a decade. All that was needed to wipe it out was that the laws should be strictly enforced for the protection of emigra-tion. He sympathized heartily with the move-ment to assist missionary work in Utah, and to carry the Gospel to its people. He had thought that in Utah was to grow up the great central State of the Continent, It was very like, in some respects, to the Judea of old. The Chris-tian men of Chicago ought to feel an interest in the civilization of Utah, because their children would go there.
THE REV. C. H. FOWLER, D. D.,
President of the Northwestern University, was the next speaker. He said they stood face to face with the greatest monstrosity of modem times. He was happy to say that he had no friends among the leaders, and no apology to offer for the murderous Mormons. It could be explained how Mohammedanism had gained its foothold in the East, centuries ago; but it was not so easy to understand how in this enlight-ened age, a powerful sect had established itself in the heart of America, dictating terms to the most powerful government on the face of the earth. It was an amazing fact in history. Joe Smith and his crowd of villains fled from justice, and yet to-day the sect had arisen to such power that they had men to plead for them in Congress, missionaries in all quarters of the globe, wives without number, and children too numerous to be counted. The history of no other religious sect showed such growth in point of numbers ; indeed, Mormonism has made during forty years as rapid progress as all the other sects in America combined. The Mormon leaders were spoken of as cutthroats and villians, the vilest men the speaker had ever come in contact with. A few days in Salt Lake had convinced him that the Mormon rank and file were proper objects of pity and of missionary effort, but that Brigham Young and every one of his Bishops should be hung as fast as they could be captured. [Applause]. As an offset to the glowing pictures of Salt Lake drawn by the preceding speaker, Dr. Fowler gave some shocking instances of Mormon crime and cruelty. The great masses of the Mormons were people from the Old Country—honest, well-meaning people who were captivated by the idea of owning land and a home in the new country. The Mormon missionaries preached repentance and faith in God, and the speaker had no doubt that many of the converts were actually saved as much as the converts of any other religious denomination. The leaders were drawn in by the motive of gain and plunder, and they were men driven into it by their poverty and crimes. He could not see how women could be induced to submit to the monstrous indignity involved in polygamy. They were taught that there were, in space or Heaven, or somewhere, millions upon millions of beings aching from head to foot to be born, and that it was the duty of all mankind to give these un-born beings a body. They were also taught that no woman could get to heaven, except she was married or sealed to some man. Brigham Young was one of the most sagacious statesmen of the time. If the devil had had his pick, he would have taken Brigham. He had gathered around him a certain set of strong men implicated with him in crime, and by their aid be practiced a complete system of extortion upon the people. The speaker read from a sermon of Brigham Young to show that murder was authorized and justi-fied under the name of "blood atonement," and added that 250,000 people were indoctrinated with this horrible code. The United States Gov-ernment should take hold of it and remove this blot on our flag and our civilization. There was no need of mercy concerning the leading crimi-nals, though he had profound sympathy for the people under them. The railroad run-ning through Ogden would do about as much toward airing Mormonism in Salt Lake as a railroad in Cairo would do towards stopping the liquor-traffic in Chicago. The opening of the gold mines would be more effectual in Utah, for those miners were a class of men who would pull Brigham's nose if he at-tempted his favorite policy with them. A few Texan outlaws would be God-anointed agents to revolutionize that country. A little backbone on the part of the Government authorities would help the case immensely. It could also be helped by the Gospel.
The Chairman announced that Prof. Swing' s ill-health prevented his appearance.
THE REV. C. F. LYFORD,
who is engaged in missionary service in Provo, in Utah, was next introduced. He said he wish-ed to confirm Gov. Bross' remarks about the geographical importance, the agricultural re-sources, and the beautiful climate of Utah. Its people were the most unhappy in the world. They were earnest, self-sacrificing, devoted people, who had suffered much for their relig-ion. They were under the heel of one of the most unprincipled tyrants on earth, a man who claimed to be a second Deity, and to have Di-vine, Supreme authority in all matters. They claimed that their church government was su-perior to any and all other governments, and that resistance to it was resistance to the King-dom of God. The spirit of Brigham Young and the Mormon priesthood was that of treason to the United States Government and its laws. Brigham dictated the elections, and very few of the people were in a position where they dared to defy his power. The result was, that the masses voted the vote of one man. The women did more in Utah, by the exercise of the franchise, than anything else, or all else combined, to hold up and perpetuate the abso-lute tyranny of Brigham Young, for they voted according to his dictation. The masses of the people ware as poor as when they went to Utah, and only the leaders had got rich; they were among the richest men in the world, ignor-ance and poverty were the rule among the common people. The priests and elders preached to them that polygamy was a Divinely-appointed relation, and that they must choose between more than one wife and damnation. The speaker had never seen such an unhappy, God-forsaken, heart-broken people as he had seen among the Mormon women. When we came to understand what was going on, our blood began to boil, and we felt like crying out, "How long, oh Lord, how long !" The Gospel and the Bible had been carried into the cities and valleys, with revolvers and rifles for pro-tection, The speaker had known of a minister in Utah who had to go into his pulpit with the Bible in one hand and a revolver in the other. The speaker had received warning not to return to the Territory, and he had re-plied that, when a boy, he had quite a talent for close shooting, and that he had now consecrated this talent to God [applause]; that his skill as a marksman would surely be exercised in the event of any molestation ; and that the time had passed when Brigham Young had the power to drive anybody out of Utah. He was not mo-lested, though he knew there were a hundred people in his town who would have murdered him if ordered to do it by Brigham Young. Missionaries in Utah were doing a good work, among the young people especially, and also in the mining regions, establishing schools and holding religious services. They were meeting with excellent success, but they needed help from the Eastern States. Unless they had a place of worship of their own the Mormons would drive them about from place to place. Therefore they were obliged to appeal for help. In Provo they had a debt of $2,500, which must be paid immediately, or else the work must be abandoned, and owned a failure. He had come to the States for help, and he made an earnest appeal for generous contributions to enable him to go back and resume the work which was now in danger of abandonment for lack of means.
A collection was taken up among the audience, after which a vote of thanks was tendered to the Opera-House management for the free use of the auditorium, and with a benediction by the Rev. Dr. Hitchcock the meeting dispersed.
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