It was love at first sight when the Prophet Joseph Smith saw the steamboat Maid of Iowa as it pulled up to the Nauvoo House wharf on April 13, 1843. On board were 210 British converts under the leadership of Parley P. Pratt. The captain and owner of the steamboat was thirty-two-year-old Dan Jones, himself a recent convert. Captain Jones had spent little time in his native Wales during the previous fifteen years. He had traveled the seas, and he and his wife, Jane, had immigrated to America about 1840. The Mississippi River and the steamboat provided them their livelihood.
This first meeting of Joseph Smith and Dan Jones was the beginning of a friendship that shortly thereafter led to a partnership: Joseph purchased a one-half interest in the Maid of Iowa on May 12, 1843. Jones had been called just one day earlier to prepare himself to serve a mission in Wales, but the Prophet requested that Jones stay awhile to operate the steamboat as a ferry between Nauvoo and Montrose, delaying the mission call for over a year. Just before the Martyrdom, Joseph offered to buy Jones’s half of the Maid of Iowa so that Jones could finally be on his way to Wales to preach the gospel to his compatriots. The money offered, however, was never received because of confusion that arose after the Prophet’s death.Nevertheless, Dan Jones departed for his native land in early August, arriving in January 1845.
After one year in North Wales, during which time he succeeded in bringing only a handful of converts into the Church, Elder Jones was assigned to assume the reins of leadership for all of Wales. This assignment began in December 1845 and necessitated his removal to Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales. His constant missionary travels found him in the town of Llanybydder, Carmarthenshire, in July of 1846.
Elder Dan Jones was among those who taught a certain blind man, coincidentally named Daniel Jones, who expressed interest in joining the Church. They discussed the possibility that the man might be healed of his blindness. The elders explained that they did not have the power to perform miracles themselves, “but could show the way and the means which God ordained so that men could obtain the blessings from him, not us, according to the honesty of their hearts. . . . We did not promise him his sight, . . . for we feared that his purpose was a bad one.”When Daniel Jones professed faith and repentance, the elders could not refuse his request to be baptized.
According to witnesses, prior to the baptism the blind man admitted to several people that he had agreed to the baptism as a “prepared Judas,” planning to test Mormonism by asking Elder Jones to restore his sight following the baptism.Then, when the missionaries were unable to perform the miracle, he would expose them as frauds. For this reason, Elder Dan Jones announced a rare public baptism so he could explain that the message of Mormonism was true whether the blind man received his sight or not.
A huge crowd gathered on the banks of the River Teifi (Taff, in English) on July 7, 1846. Following Dan Jones’s two-hour oration and the baptismal services, the small group of Latter-day Saints walked up the hill to perform the confirmations at the farmhouse of Thomas Jeremy, a convert of four months whose wife, Sarah, was also baptized that July day. They were accompanied by the large crowd of curiosity seekers. Jones described the procession:
It was amusing to hear the remarks as the crowd followed, crossing and re-crossing to peep at his eyes, to see whether his sight was restored; some said it was, some that he was blinder than before, and that was difficult. But there and then Madam Slander filled the baskets of her pedlars with a variety of trinkets that were retailed out again at a fine rate, until even her own markets were entirely deluged.
At the blind man’s request, after his confirmation Elder Abel Evans anointed the man’s eyes with oil, and then Elder Dan Jones pronounced a blessing on him and “prayed for the Lord to bless his obedience to this plan according to his honesty and his faith, even to the extent of receiving his sight, if that was pleasing to him.”The blind man claimed his sight was momentarily partially restored—that “he had come to see the candle in the candlestick on the table.” However, he attended only two more meetings with the Saints and soon afterwards began to speak out against his short-time associates, claiming that he had been greatly deceived by them.
Months later, in October 1846, Elders Dan Jones and Thomas Jeremy again crossed paths with the blind man. When Elder Jones asked him why he was persecuting the Saints, the blind man
did not give one reason in answer, but he indicated clearly enough that he was an enemy of the Saints. Capt. D. Jones told him, that if he persecuted and falsely accused the Saints, the hand of God would be upon him, and his fate would be hotter than that of Cora, Dathan, and Abiram.
In spite of the warning, the blind man was persuaded to publish a twelve-page pamphlet about his experience, warning the Welsh of the Mormons’ deceit.Y drych cywir [The Correct Image] is the write-up of an interview conducted by the blind man’s friend, the Reverend Josiah Thomas Jones, editor of a religious periodical of the Congregationalists. Also included was an anti-Mormon ballad that became popular in South Wales.
Dan Jones responded to the blind man’s pamphlet by printing a pamphlet of his own: “Haman” yn hongian ar ei grogbren ei hun! [“Haman” Hanging from His Own Gallows!] In this eight-page pamphlet, Elder Jones describes the details of the baptism, the momentary restoration of the blind man’s sight, and the testimony of various witnesses.Shortly after the publication of his pamphlet, Elder Jones wrote about the fulfillment of his prophetic warning:
No sooner was the reply out of press, than on the old blind man it came, hot and heavy. He cried out that he was burning up alive; his friends poured cold water on him night and day in vain! He would rush out from them to a pool that was by, and there he would roll, and wallow, and yelp until he terrified the passersby.
Dan Jones adds that the blind man “died a monument of the displeasure of a just God for hypocrisy.”
A curious epilogue to the whole affair was a second edition of the blind man’s pamphlet over a year later. Strangely enough, those behind the publication claimed that Daniel Jones was still alive. Thomas Jeremy stated in a letter to Dan Jones:
Although I was not present [at the death of Daniel Jones], I heard about him. I live about three miles from the place where he died. I have been with Mr. James Evans, the Registrar, who has registered the death of Daniel Jones, and he is willing to give a copy to anyone who wishes it, if they pay 2 [shillings] 6 [pence] and the postage.
Because the two pamphlets are not readily available, they are presented here. They have been prepared as facsimile translationsin order to preserve the appearance and flavor of the originals as well as the content [see the PDF].
WHEREIN ONE CAN PERCEIVE CLEARLY
THE DECEIT OF THE MORMONS,
“THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS;”
IN THE FORM OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, BETWEEN
DANIEL AND HIS FRIEND.
DANIEL JONES, Penygraig.
“Beware of False Prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; inasmuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
N. B. That which Daniel answers has taken place literally,
as it is written.
PRINTED BY J. T. JONES, GREEN STREET.
TO THE WELSH PEOPLE.
DEAR FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN,—Such a leaflet as this, at first sight, may surprise you, and cause you to think that madness and foolishness were responsible for my making such a presentation to you; but I can assure you without hesitation that it was after sincere persuasion, having seriously conferred with religious brothers and friends of different denominations and my own careful considerations, that I ventured to the task, being completely convinced that it was my special duty. It is true that inability and ignorance like strong and high fortresses are before me as insuperable obstacles to overcome; but consider for a moment that deception and heresy are being spread around me, and throughout Wales generally, until some of my dear neighbors and many of my fellowmen are charmed to believe such heresy as is declared by the MORMONS, which causes me, despite all obstacles, to try to do my best against them, sincerely hoping and wishing that the following unworthy and disorganized lines will be a means, with the blessing of the GIVER of all blessings, to deliver some and prevent others from the grasp of such deception and heresy, and also to awaken others more able and more suitable to withstand them wisely and bravely, so that enlightened Wales will not be darkened by deceivers, and many misled by false teachers as I was,
Is the wish of your unworthy servant,
THE CORRECT IMAGE, &c.
Some strange sound I hear
Everywhere I travel,
About the Mormons so great,
Or rather the Latter Saints.
I believed in my Jesus,
That he was my Savior,
They told us that without fail
I would be blind no longer.
They travel throughout Wales,
And bitterly they announce,
That all are lost
Unless they join with them.
I believe now that Jesus,
Is as strong as before in his power,
That he can work great miracles
Should he now wish to do so.
They say that the gifts
Are the same as in days of old,
Within the Church continuing,
To all those who believe.
But by some wise providence,
I believe that the miracles,
Are not to be found throughout the wide world
And neither is there a need for them.
So I too was deceived,
Their words I believed,
And with them I joined,
But behold my cry—I was disappointed.
And now I must testify,
That the Saints only deceive,
If you buy this you will have the full story,
Of the way I was charmed.
FRIEND.—Good day to you, dear Daniel; how have you been this long time?
DANIEL.—Good day to you. My mind has been very troubled for some time.
F. What causes you to be so?
D. I know you have heard of this new sect who call themselves The Latter-day Saints; or as they are commonly known, The Mormons.
F. Yes, many times; but what do you have to do with them?
D. I will tell you; they came to do what they call preaching in the neighborhood where I live; I went to listen to them, and when I heard their fancy talk, they charmed me into believing them, and into joining with them; but along came their deceit! and after going with them I understood it, and I turned back from them afterwards.
F. For goodness sake, dear Daniel, what made you go to them? Were there not other denominations around you could have gone to? and as far as I can judge, there are godly men in these also; and why would these not do for you? But what happened? let me hear.
D. Well, I shall tell it from beginning to end. There had been something on my mind for some time, seeing so many different sects in the world, and so much condemning one of the other, that I was afraid that the spirit of Christianity was becoming lost from their midst. Also, I had some idea that a new sect would arise, closer to the Bible; and when it came, it would swallow up all these different denominations into one body; and then, you see, my mind was ready to accept them. When they came to the neighborhood, I went to listen to them, and I heard them speak very strange things.
F. What did you hear from them that was like that?
D. Before I go further with my story, I shall tell you some of the things I heard: one strange thing they said was that the church had been sent to the wilderness twelve hundred and sixty years ago, and how they interpreted the prophecy in the Book of Revelation, 12. 6, and that God did not have a true church on earth during that time, and that an end had come to the appointed time recently through one called Joseph Smith, from America, having a supernatural revelation of the form and the order and the authority to restore them to their primitive privileges and gifts. Now, you see that this strikes very close to what I have told you.
F. Yes, indeed; but go ahead with your story.
D. They said also that miracles had been restored as in the time of the Apostles; that they could cast out devils; and if they ate something deadly it would do them no harm. They laid their hands on the sick, and they cured them, so that there was no need for anyone from their church to suffer any physical illness; they would, through the authority they received from Christ, and the faith of the sufferer, directly remove the ailment. They said also that Jesus Christ will come to reign in twenty-five years’ time in their midst on the earth for a thousand years, and that all the old godly ones would be resurrected to reign with them, and that every mountain and hill would be made flat by that time, according to how they explained Isaiah 40. 4, and before that time, they said that the godly who had died after the church had gone to the wilderness, would come back to them to ask some of them to be baptized in their place; and they proved this supposition from 1 Cor. 15. 29, and many other things too long to relate to you now. Strange, isn’t it, friend!
F. Yes, indeed, very strange; but there was no need to be long before seeing whether some things they said were true or false, especially healing the lame, for there is plenty of opportunity for them in every district; and also, did you hear that they had healed anyone anywhere?
D. Yes, they said, far away from here.
F. Why did they need to go far away when there is plenty of opportunity here? You are the one who badly needs two eyes. I know of no other place in the world where they would have a better chance to show their miracles. Why didn’t you seek this from them?
D. Oh dear, I did; and they promised, faithfully, that I would have my sight before joining them; but fair play to the Saints too, I don’t wish to do them an injustice. You said one thing now that they did not profess or claim to do, that is to work miracles in order to be seen of men, but only for the sake of the church itself.
F. Let that be then; I don’t know how they could have done more good for the church than by working miracles for the disbelievers to see, so they would believe, the same way that Jesus Christ did before. But go ahead as you have begun your story.
D. All right. After I heard these strange things from them, I began to think and meditate on the things they said; and after a while I began to consult with them and talk to them, when they told of the strange blessings they received from the Spirit of the Lord, and the clear testimonies they had that they were in the true church, and the certainty they had that they were the children of their heavenly Father, which things, they said, every man must have to be saved, and that I could possess them if I believed the Scriptures as they understood them, and submit to do as they wished; and they also added that there was no need for me to be without my precious sight, that the wise God had provided for the salvation of the body as well as the salvation of the soul for all his saints and his dear children on the earth; and they persuaded me not to be foolish and sell my comforts in this world, and my salvation for eternity, by being prejudiced against the truth they spoke. For my part, after serious consideration, I saw that I would be less than a reasonable creature if I were to disobey what they wanted. Then, in a meeting they held one evening, I decided to join them; and I revealed to them that I believed them completely, and that I wished to be baptized by them; after considering this we came to the decision that I would receive the ordinance they called baptism the following afternoon. And now, as you can understand, the news spread quickly around the neighborhood that the Saints were going to give sight to the blind that afternoon; and by the appointed hour, before the Saints and I had arrived at the place of baptism, a numerous crowd had gathered at the place in order to see the promised miracle. Then Capt. D. Jones, (one of the chief leaders of the Saints,) addressed the crowd at the start, relating those things they believed, and condemning anything different as false; and then another, authorized by them, carried out the task of immersing me, and by the time he raised me above the water, everyone’s eyes were closely searching me to see if the blind had received his sight or not; and often I heard this question asked, “Does he see?” And great was the disappointment of many when they understood that Daniel, the Blind, was still blind! so that some were ready to say, From such deceivers, Save me, good Lord; for many like myself had been charmed to believe such deceit.
F. What were your feelings by then, when you realized you could not see?
D. I was still strong in the faith, because I was not expecting much at the time, for they had said previously, Perhaps afterwards, by the laying on of hands, and anointing with oil, I would be made well.
F. When was that done to you, and in what way?
D. In the evening I went to a neighboring farmhouse where they usually held their worship, and on that night they held a service there, during which through their rituals I was to be received as a member of their church; and the manner and procedure they had in relation to me was as follows:—Capt. D. Jones put his hands on my head, pressing firmly, then poured some sort of oil on my head, until it wetted all my hair, and dripped across my clothes; also, at times, he rubbed my head with his hands while praying sincerely, as I thought, for a cure for me; then he said that I was a man who had received full forgiveness of all my sins, that he had received proof of this from above; then another whom they called a prophet joined in (his real name was Abel Evans,) and he prophesied that I would surely regain my sight. Then Capt. D. Jones asked him how he knew this? To this he replied that he had seen a strange vision ensuring this; that is he had seen the heavens open, and two bright stars appear there, and these were thrown down to earth, and that this showed that the blind man (that is, myself) would receive his sight; and he also added that it was not only the vision that ensured this, but that it was always the practice of his heavenly Father to everyone in his church, and that what he himself felt also proved this to him, that is, he had received a direct and miraculous cure through it himself from a severe fever he had suffered earlier for three months and a week, and many other things also too long to relate here.
F. Indeed, my boy, they had some strange customs in their midst; but I fear sometimes I see where you went wrong.
D. Well, where is that?
F. Your faith was too weak, or your expectation was purely about your sight, and the main thing had taken second place, that is, the salvation of your soul.
D. Oh, friend, you are mistaken; if I have ever known myself, I can truly assure you, that I have sincerely believed in Jesus Christ for years, that he is Savior enough to save my soul, and I have obeyed his laws as I understood them; but at that time I was in a strange state, and also believed that they had been sent as authorized servants by the Lord Jesus Christ, according to what they professed, and I felt very grateful that I had had the privilege of receiving the gospel in its purity, through its Ministers. It is true that I thought and believed I would regain my sight, indeed, I believed so strongly that at one time I thought I could see, and I shouted at them to continue, that I was beginning to see. My sight, although it is precious, is only second in my mind compared to my Salvation; I was very content for the great plan of the MOST HIGH, to do with me according to his wise will, but I expected to have a testimony like theirs that I was in the true Church.
F. I must be silent about that then; you previously mentioned that prophet; who showed him that vision?
D. Indeed, I don’t know who, yet I heard him say it was through an angel I believe, for they all saw and often associated with such beings, but it could have been through some spirit, because they also often associated with them.
F. I don’t know either, but I do know this, that it was some foolish angel or spirit, and he could not foresee much, because if it had been a wise spirit and knowledgeable of things to come, it would never have said that you would receive your sight, knowing that you would turn away from them to the other side; it was a terribly wicked trick he played on poor Abel, that is tricking him to prophesy that you would regain your sight, knowing that you would not, but that you would soon turn your back on them.
D. Fair play to every spirit and angel, I believe they were innocent that time, and that it was Abel’s own wicked heart that wanted to trick innocent men to believe his deceit.
F. Doubtless that may well be, but you said they associated with spirits; I would like to know how they did this.
D. Oh dear, that’s too long a story for me to tell it all, and I cannot say in what way they received it, but I shall tell you some of the ways I heard them say it happened. The youngest of them received them only very weakly and infrequently at the start, and mostly when they received them, they felt something taking their breath away, until they gasped similar to how an animal sounds after much endeavor, and after the spirit had entered them they felt as if they had drunk a glass of Gin. I heard one of them telling a young lad who had just been accepted by them, that he had almost received the Spirit, because he said he had felt a shortening of breath, and the innocent boy, ignorant of their deceit, believed such a thing, because their leaders persuaded him that that is how it was at the beginning, because God was a wise and gentle Father, and he did not wish to give too much of this thing at first until they were strong enough and used to managing it, except for the older leaders, especially Abel Evans, the Prophet, as they called him; he could receive the Spirit for good or for evil whenever he wanted; sometimes the evil spirit, or the devil as they more commonly called him, tried to enter him; and once he did enter him, and as soon as he went among the saints, the old boy became restless in fear of them, and they said that he did not have lodgings there for long, because Captain D. Jones, worked a great miracle which amazed them all, that is, he cast the devil out of the prophet, and then when Dick had to leave his comfortable lodgings, surprising were the groans, the frowns, and the looks of poor Abel, an indication, he said, of the great torments he suffered, when the strong warrior resisted, unwilling to yield his dwelling place, but they said he had to quit in the end.
Quite a difficult miracle was the trick,
Changing the comfy lodgings of Dick;
But too difficult was the alternative,
That is, restoring sight to the blind.
Another time, he said, he was to receive the Spirit of the Lord in an exceptionally powerful manner. One particular time I heard him mention that he was in a far away place, and he received the Spirit so abundantly that he prayed for it to cease, and the people praised and glorified God, and perceived him to be burning like a bright light, so powerfully did the Spirit descend on him.
F. How strange! I never heard such a thing, and reasonable men believed things like that as well.
D. Yes, it was true, and such things still continue as far as I know, and to my great shame I too was so foolish as to believe it as the pure truth.
F. You heard no more from them?
D. Yes, yes; before the end of their meeting it was their custom for each one to stand up to testify that they had received the Spirit of the Lord, when they made some sort of speech, each one similar in words, and then they sat down and sang a hymn; now the first meeting was over, and soon the leaders were leaving before another meeting that was to be held later; they gave a strict order that no one venture to open the meeting to receive the spirit in case they could not control it.
F. Regardless of that, let us hear how the second meeting went for you.
D. Despite all this, one rustic elder ventured to open the meeting, which he did as orderly as I had heard them, as far as I know, by singing and praying for the Spirit of the Lord to be poured on them; then we all waited quietly, for half an hour, earnestly waiting for the Spirit, and then as before, they stood up one after the other, testifying how they had received the Spirit, and everyone said, Amen, with each one, and so on until them came to me.
F. Well, what did you say to them?
D. I was not hypocritical with them, but I said that I was very happy to hear them say that they were able to testify to such things, and that I would be very glad if I could say the same, but that I had not received any more in their midst than I had received among other religious friends. To this the Elder replied, saying, to begin to testify a little the first time, and I would improve the second time, like the old proverb, “A small lie the first time, bigger the second time;” but I must end now, for I’m going on too long, although there is still much untold.
F. Nevertheless, let us hear what made you turn back away from them.
D. One evening, while going with one of the strongest in the faith, in speaking at least, he told the whole neighborhood that he had felt strange things in their midst, and had had full assurance from God that he was his true child, yes, he had enjoyed, he said, more pleasure in one evening with the Saints than he had received in nine years with another respectable denomination. He was a leader in their midst, and he was testifying most eloquently in the presence of the Saints, that he had received the gift of the Spirit, when I told him of my feelings as a brother in the faith at that time, and that I could not accept anything I heard them testify; and then I asked him seriously, Had he received such things? To this he answered to my great surprise, He had not, but that he had decided to follow them for five years, and that if he had not received anything by then, he would become an Atheist, and that he would not believe there was any truth in Christianity.
F. That’s the kind of faithful men the Saints are then.
D. Yes, indeed, and I said this in the hearing of a crowd of men in the presence of that man, and he did not deny it; another thing, I told them all before I turned back that I had not received anything in particular, and they replied that they were not receiving anything now, but that they hoped to receive something later when their leaders returned, and also the fulfillment of the prophecy of the old Prophet Abel that I would regain my sight; and my not regaining it discouraged me greatly, but the main thing that caused me to turn back was that when I began to search in detail each day, as the Bereans of old, I perceived clearly in the scripture that these things were not so, and if I had time now, I would tell you my reasons, and prove them in the Scripture, but I hope we will meet again soon.
F. What is your general opinion of the Saints? tell it again before leaving.
D. Well, my impartial opinion is that many of the most inexperienced group of them may believe all these things, and that they act with their cause out of good will, having been deceived by their leaders; but as for their leaders, I consider them to be lying deceivers.
F. Let us hear again, what do you say to the different religious sects in the world?
D. To do good and not be idle, for eventually you will reap, unless you become weary; the Latter-day Saints are here only for a short time to trouble us, because little by little their deceit will become obvious to the world, and then everyone will retreat from them. They are like many before now, it may be that they hinder the Gospel of the Kingdom from moving forward, and cause many of God’s children to hang their heads because they make so much mockery of the Sacred Oracles of the Lord; but obstacles are bound to come; therefore, my dear brethren, be sure and steadfast in the Lord’s work, and you know that your labors are not vain in the Lord.
Penygraig. BLIND DANIEL.
HANGING FROM HIS OWN GALLOWS!
Daniel Jones (the blind) and his book
proving the truth of Mormonism!!
THE excuse we offer to our readers for calling their attention to an object so unworthy and wretched as a singer of ballads and his slanderous ballads is the support and circulation which the authors, the “Reverends,” and the believers of our country have given to his ballad. Not only has the “Reverend” editor of the “Times” quoted extensively the morsels which suit his taste best, and placed them on the table of his readers as truths, but his ballads are being sold in chapels and Sunday schools, giving a high character to the author now, though it has been but a short while since he was excommunicated by the Independents for transgressions the law does not allow us to name! But, surprise! Who but one of the “Reverends” of that denomination, namely Josiah Thomas Jones, editor of the “Treasury,” is already seen taking advantage of the first opportunity to print, if not to be a “friend” to help him to form the false accusations against others, out of hostility toward the truth! Two rather comparable partners. Here is the Reverend who published that crooked “profession” of the Saints in his polluted Treasury and who refused us permission to defend ourselves. And it is likely that one of his pranks under the pain of the whipping which it received in the Prophet is what has caused him to get revenge in this way. But since his own fingers were hottest in the fire because the blind man was unable to sell the ballad in his own country, rather he was chased away by even the boys of the fairs because of his deception, behold his dear brother from Liverpool, publisher, a constant patron of the continual false accusations against the Saints, helps him out of the scrape, and boosts the sales of the ballad by lifting it to the wind in the fan of the “Times.” And yet they failed to sell them all until they distributed them to their Sunday schools and their chapels, and since the story has a “Reverend” at its tail, even the brotherhood in Bethesda, Merthyr, considered it a high honor to get to be salesmen of the ballads in public in their meetings on Sunday! Having understood the partnership, who would expect much of the truth from such as these? More shame on his two backers than on the blind man himself; for the “friend” in behalf of the “cat’s paw” admits in the foreword, “that it was after sincere inducements by seriously counseling with religious brothers and friends of different denominations,” that he ventured on the accursed task of publishing shameful lies about his neighbors because of their religion. And his “friend” shows even on the first cover that he cares not what claims he makes when he dares to assure that “what Daniel answers has literally taken place, as it is set down.” But how he knows he does not say. Nor could he know unless he was present with him in the meetings and everywhere else he was, which thing he does not claim. Who is this dear friend and what purpose does he have in subscribing to such a thing, I wonder.
The objection which is offered to prove “the deceit of Mormonism” from these circumstances is that this blind man did not receive his sight immediately. And in order to prove the deception of this logic and to show the error, let the reader come with us calmly and with no bias toward similar examples, and there he shall see in the correct image that what our accusers do is to prove the truth, and not the deceit of Mormonism. First, let us read the account of Jesus Christ giving to two blind men their sight in Matt. ix, 27–30. Here it is proven that their faith is what compelled them to follow him along the road, crying for mercy; and further yet, they followed him to the house and then Jesus Christ notes the basis on which their success depended entirely, i.e., believe ye [the blind men] that I am able to do this? he asked. Now why are the Saints scorned for asking the same words? If they had answered that they did not believe, would they have received their sight? Our accusers will not be so foolish as to assert that; or else they accuse Jesus Christ of having asked a foolish and futile question! On the other hand one must admit that their sight depends on their faith, which is proven by Jesus Christ beyond argument, for he would not touch their eyes until they admitted their faith firmly. “Yea, Lord,” said they. Then he touched their eyes saying, “Observe keenly and you will see.” Is that how it was? Oh no, rather, “According to your faith be it unto you,” said he. So said the Saints to this blind man in Llanybydder. Who is at fault if such do not receive their sight? Not Jesus Christ we hope. But yes, that would prove him a fraud, said the Pharisees of that age. No, the blind men would be at fault, say the Pharisees of our age, and with the same breath they blame the minister and our religion, because this blind man did not get his sight! What strange blindness this is! This is really the literal fulfillment of the words of Jesus Christ, “If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” If we should do such things to get people to believe, why was that not the purpose of Jesus Christ? If it was, why did “he straitly charge them, saying, See that no man know it?” If his purpose was to get men to believe in him by casting out devils, he was disappointed, for the effect was as totally opposite as it would have been in Llanybydder if the blind man had received his sight, because the onlooking Pharisees, instead of believing, said, “He casteth out devils through the prince of devils.” V. 34.
Another example which proves our blind accuser and his partisans to be in the ditch is seen in Mark viii, 22–26; Luke ix, 7–11. Here it is seen also that, 1. According to his faith that blind man received his sight, which is proved by the act, i.e., obedience to that which the administrator asked. 2. It is proved that he had more faith, and had tried more sincerely and more patiently than did dark Daniel, because medicine was used more frequently with the former than with the latter; the former confessed that he “saw men as trees, walking,” and Daniel confessed that he “saw the candle in the candlestick on the table.” And the chief difference was that the other had received his sight gradually, proportionate to the strengthening of his faith, by going after the second anointing to the pool of Siloam to wash, and because of his obedience he received his sight; whereas, instead of following along in the practice and the medicine in faith, Daniel went back to the darkness and persecuted us mercilessly! And now, can not even the blind man see that it is he who is at fault, and that he was not worthy of the blessing from God who knew his heart, and weighed his spirit at the time?
The hypocritical Pharisees said that nothing is a miracle unless it be done in public, fully, on the first try, and without using any medicine at all; and so it is expected that we now do whatever they ask. But it is seen that it was not in one or two attempts that those above were healed, or without the use of medicine, or in public, rather, one was healed in the house, and Jesus took the other clear out of town to a secret place, lest the disbelief of the sign seekers work against the faith of the recipient. These confess that through periodic use of the medicine they received their sight.
After I went and washed, says the blind man, and not before that “I received my sight.” He does not say how long he was at the task of rubbing the water on his eyes, but that he kept at it continually until it worked. Well, did Daniel give such a fair trial to the Saints, I wonder? I answer boldly, no, nothing of the kind, and we have no reason to believe that he was anything but hypocritical from the start. And this is proved throughout the entire incident. He asserts, “they promised before I joined them that I would get them [that is, his eyes] without a doubt,” says he. This is an imaginary falsehood every word of it, as the following proves,—When it first came to the confines of our knowledge that such a man existed, when after we finished preaching to a large congregation on Sunday night, he asked if he could be baptized. But others who know him quite well told me of his character, that he had been excommunicated from the Independents because of * * * and that he had heard us only once before, and that they had strong reasons for believing that he was now being hypocritical. From the example of Simon Magus, Judas and others, the danger was shown to him in great detail of his trying to hide his motives from the searcher of hearts, that dealings with godly ordinances are important things which require great sobriety; in spite of that he professed his honesty and his desire to be baptized at that time. This prompted us to explain the plan of God according to the scriptures with respect to his sight, and (in the presence of a houseful of listeners who had remained behind) to tell him firmly that neither we nor any of the Saints now professed or ever had professed one miraculous power of ourselves, but only to show the way and the means which God ordained so that men could obtain the blessings from him, not from us, according to the honesty of their hearts and their obedience to the plan. For proof of this we said (as the witnesses will testify, to this very day) that we did not promise him his sight, and that we knew some blind men who had been in this church for years, and had received great blessings and gifts from God, and as yet had not received their sight. Yes, we were careful to make this clear, for we feared that his purpose was a bad one. When he heard this, he lost courage, something which everyone noticed, and offered an excuse to delay the baptism for several days. At that the crowd wished for him to state the time that he would come. And we showed to him, in the absence of proof to the contrary, that he would be baptized according to his profession of faith and repentance, and that the result would be between him and God, and we could not, according to the scriptures, refuse to baptize him.
Before going away he said that he would come there the following Tuesday; then we took the opportunity to announce that there would be a sermon at that time, and if the blind man would come there and if he wished, he could be baptized. And even though there was no one that we know of who expected him to come, he and a large group of people had gathered before the time, and they listened attentively and graciously. Again and again we said that “the truthfulness of the gospel did not depend on whether or not the blind man received his sight, that our religion was scripturally and firmly true before we heard his name mentioned, and that it would continue just as true after he and his memory had gone to oblivion, that there were several who already knew this besides hundreds of thousands throughout the world, etc.” We made clear to the crowd that we strongly doubted his intent, although there was not sufficient proof to refuse him. In the presence of the crowd he was requested to confess his faith and repentance, something we had never previously asked of anyone at the water’s edge. And to prove his evil intent, we present before you the testimony of men of high character, farmers, craftsmen, etc., who knew him and heard him themselves, several who have no connection with our religion, rather out of an honest desire to enlighten the country through refuting his false accusations and his deceit; these gave their names.
“We testify that we were present when Daniel Jones was baptized; and because it was suspected that he had not come for the right reasons, he was required to confess his repentance at the river’s side, something which had not been requested of anyone else. He had testified that his purpose was to gain forgiveness, and not just his sight and even though we could not believe him, yet there was no way to refuse him, as he knew, on those grounds. After baptizing him, we received him in the meeting that evening as a member, through the ordinance of the laying on of hands according to the scriptures. After he was counseled and exhorted to live righteously, etc., Daniel requested through the guidance of one of the elders that his eyes be anointed with oil, which was done by Abel Evans; and not one drop went on his hair, or on his clothes, as he says. After that, the two elders, Abel Evans and Capt. D. Jones, laid their hands on him and prayed for the Lord to bless his obedience to this plan according to his honesty and his faith, even to the extent of receiving his sight, if that was pleasing to him. After that we heard Abel Evans say to him that he had seen something like two stars far from him, and that perhaps that signified that he would receive his sight in some future time, if he lived faithfully. Also, we testify that we heard Daniel say, after the meeting was over that “he had come to see the candle in the candlestick on the table.” He said also, “I believe that if Bro. Jones had continued to pray just a little while longer, I would have received my sight completely.” He was exhorted to faithful observance of the ordinances in the following meetings, and he was told that the contributor of every good gift knew the time and the best manner to impart; Capt. Jones told him that with respect to the neighbors, it would be better for them if he were not to get his sight at that time because they would persecute him all the more, just as they tried to kill Christ and Lazarus; that the more the power of God was manifest now as earlier, the greater was the anger of the enemies of the truth; or if they believed through seeing a sign he would not think as well of them, for the Bible says “that faith comes through hearing,” and not through seeing. After that we departed hoping that Daniel was more honest than when he had been baptized; and if so, we believed that he could get his sight at some future time, for we knew that only God could impart that blessing. The engagements of Capt. D. Jones and Abel Evans called them away the next day. Daniel Jones came to our special meeting the following Thursday night, and to the meeting on Sunday, which was all the special meetings he attended. But he did not request anointing at that time either. The Saints have a practice, by choice, to testify of the goodness that they have received from the hand of the Lord, of the hope which they have, and their feelings toward God and his work. The elder of the meeting exhorted us to do this, nothing more. Those who wished to do so testified, as they chose, in the Thursday night meeting, and Daniel also told of his wish to obtain a certainty, which he did quite well. We believe that it is from this occasion only that he proclaimed to the world that “we tried to get him to swear an oath.” We did not have the right to administer an oath; and what purpose would his oath have served about such a thing? There was not a word about an oath or anything like it, in our midst. Every word of it is his lie. He said nothing in the last meeting he attended with us; but he demonstrated clearly that he did not believe the doctrine but was pulling back. “His opinion was,” says he, “that Capt. Jones and Abel Evans were the deceivers,” and that we had been deceived by them. He did not come back after this, but did everything possible to malign us. As for his statement that Capt. Jones had said that he was a man who had received forgiveness of his sins, and that he had received a witness of that, it is similar to his statement that Capt. Jones had cast out a devil from Abel Evans; and we testify that there is not a word of truth in the one statement or the other. Others of his baseless assertions are that we claim to commune frequently with angels, etc., and that we call Abel Evans a prophet. The only occasion he had to say that one of the strongest in the faith had not received anything, was because he had said that he had not received the spiritual gifts on that occasion, such as “speaking in tongues,” “prophesying,’’ etc. The gifts were not experienced in the meeting which Daniel attended, and so he could not have received one sign to know the truth of our religion, except the immediate healing of one sister of her illness in his presence, and this he could have received himself. All of us whose names are below testify to the truth of the foregoing things—Thomas Jeremy, John Davies, Benjamin Jones, Richard Jones, Thomas Nash, John Evans, Evan Hughes, Sarah Jeremy.”
Now, is that not enough, from such a large number of truthful witnesses respected among all their acquaintances, to prove the lying deceit of one blind composer of ballads, although he be supported by all the Pharisees of Wales? It is, no doubt, to every lover of the truth, and stamps a stigma on the foreheads of the deceivers, and proves the truth of our religion in many ways, against their will. If the “deceit of Mormonism” is laid bare because of its believers’ obedience to the ordinances of the gospel according to the commandments and examples of Jesus Christ and his apostles, and according to the scriptures, is this not the deceit of the godly authors who commanded them to do so? Are not the “Reverends” who scorned them laying bare their own deceit, in spite of all their professions that the scriptures are their rule? And if the obedience of the apostles to the commandments of their Leader was proof of the truthfulness of their belief, and the consequences of this were whatever he wished, why is not the same obedience that we show to the same unchangeable commandments as much proof of the truthfulness of our own profession? Let them answer if they can, without becoming professed atheists by denying the first also. I wonder if one reasonable man thinks that we have sufficient faith to continue to use the oil and lay on hands for the receiving of physical health over the years, if we never received health through doing so, and would the Saints by the hundreds continue to do as they do, instead of using the medicine of doctors as others do? We do not believe that our accusers would admit that we have enough faith to do that either. All right, let this be a witness to them then, that this fact proves, according to their own admission, that our God and his promises are the same to his children now as before; and let them consider who persecutes us and for what. A pagan would think that proving such commandments according to scripture would end all argument with those who profess that they believe that godly standard. But not so here; for those who follow them most closely are scorned the worst! You atheists, hide your heads in shame for the Pharisees of our “enlightened age.”
If the fact that this Daniel Jones did not receive his sight after being in our church three times proves our religion false, does not the failure of Paul to heal Timothy, and the fact that he left Trophimus, his fellow officer, sick among the pagans of Miletum, after they had been in their church for years, and faithful also, prove far more obviously according to the same logic, that their profession too was false? Here to our accusers are the comparable and fair reasonings of their book and ours placing “Mormonism,” as they call it, equal in this with the apostolic religion! We thank them for this confession.
Again, to show the atrocious deception and the arrogant lies of this persecutor, compare his following sentences with each other, on p. 8, wherein he says, “At that time I especially believed that they [the Saints] had been sent as authorized Servants by the Lord Jesus Christ, just as they professed to be; and I felt very thankful for having received the privilege of having the gospel in its purity.” But to form the proper image of his own self to show him in his proper color, let us place the following side by side with the above.
“We heard Daniel Jones say that he was a “prepared Judas when he joined the Saints; and if they prophesy, how did they not know that I was a deceiver when I went to them,” says he. He said also at the same time, and for proof of that, that he wished to play a trickwith the fowls which were in the shed of the farm on his way as he went home the night after getting baptized. We testify that the above statements are true:—David Evans, Pen-y-wern, John Jones, Mary X Evans, David Evans (another), Mary Evans.”
Now it is seen what kind of man is the accuser of the Saints! And here is the best tool that the preachers and believers of our country could get to slander us, but they would not be ashamed to shoo him off and chase him away if they could get better. Yes, the booklet of a man like this is what they published, and circulated, and read, and believed readily, selling it in their public meetings! Their behavior is an embarrassment to our country, and a fulfillment of the prophecy which says that there would be hypocrites in the last days, having given themselves up to “strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, because they received not the love of the truth.” And here they are,—“By their fruits ye shall know them.’’ It is a pity for the people that this is the taste of their educators. Notice that just one of the above witnesses belongs to the Saints, and the rest are respected and truthful farmers; and in their testimony, which is more reliable than that of Daniel, is seen the reason why he did not receive his sight; and it was not because of the deceit of Mormonism, rather his own deceit. And I wonder if his friends will be ashamed when they read of his deceitful tricks in the light of day? Will they publish and circulate this other side of the story as sweetly as the first? Yet, why will they not if they are seeking the truth, or if they wish to feed their followers with the truth; and so their behavior will settle the argument in this matter.
We have several testimonies of his respected neighbors stating that they heard Daniel say, after the sermon of the Saints in Gwarallt, “that he [Daniel] believed completely at the time that Capt. Jones and Abel Evans were practicing sorcery when they anointed him and laid hands on him!”
That is totally opposite to his book also; and is it any wonder that a man like this does not receive a blessing from God? We beg the patience of the reader with yet one more testimony before throwing this “Judas” and his book, together with his supporters, to the clamor and bats where the birds of the night belong. Once again here is the testimony of one of the farmers, of the highest character, in the neighborhood:
“I testify that I heard Daniel Jones say that if I joined the Saints, that he would believe me again, and that perhaps he would go to them a second time—Jonathan Jones.”
This proves either that he was a bad man for promising to go again to those whom he calls “conjurers, lying deceivers,” etc., or, as we suggested from the beginning, that his “religious friends” were the ones who put these sentences into his mouth. Now they come back to their faces, and they chew their cuds on them, lest their faces will be blackened because of them in that day when the refuge of lies will be blown away.
The reader sees, then, this treachery against our religion in “a correct image,” and it is far easier to believe the witnesses against Daniel than those in his favor. And then every reasonable man will confess that the bad deeds of men like this are praise for our religion. And if it had not more truth than other religions, the devil would not excite wicked men to accuse us falsely and persecute us more than anyone else. We do not profess perfection of persons, rather we readily admit our failings as do other fallible men, trying to live lives which are more and more godly. We admit also that sometimes wicked and hypocritical men come into our midst “to spy out our liberty,” as in biblical times,—some with evil intent to get the opportunity to misrepresent us and to hurt us; however, we know that such will not stay in our churches very long. But it is surprising the kind of acceptance which the accusations of such men receive from the believers of the age, without considering that the loyalty of all the other Saints by their profession, under every scorn and obstacle, are stronger proofs of their truthfulness; and the cause for this, I suppose, is that they “love lies more than truth.” If it is necessary for us to understand the hearts of men before receiving them, why is it not as necessary for other sects to understand the hearts of those who come to them? If that is required, how is it that the apostles did not know about Simon Magus, and Paul about all those who left him? Oh no, our rule for judging is profession and behavior, and we claim no foreknowledge of anything or supernatural power to do anything, except that which God sees fit to impart to us. In him is our trust; and as Paul said, so say we to all the scornful hypocrites:—“Covet earnestly the best gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” And after everything: “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he [not sign seekers, but God] will.” And no matter how scriptural this is, yet, say our accusers, to profess them is deceit!!
Next, “BLIND Daniel” shows that the principal way in which he came to perceive the deceit of the Saints was “when I went to search DAILY AND CAREFULLY, as did the early Bereans, I PERCEIVED CLEARLY IN THE SCRIPTURES,” says he! Well, there’s a miracle for you! What greater miracle than for a blind man being able to ‘search carefully’ and, since the scriptures are sufficiently ‘clear’ to be able to ascertain that others who have two eyes are “deceitful liars.” Is this not the blind man who a while ago asserted that “miracles were not necessary.” Yes, he did not need his sight to be able to read the scriptures, he says; for he believed that the two eyes of his sightless “friend” were better for him than if he had had his own eyes! Well, how did he get his sight, I wonder? Well then, is not this assertion an example of the threefold blindness of these blind men! Yes, and here is the man who takes the form of an angel of light, and with Pharisaic hypocrisy, like the poison of dragons, says he, practically in the next lines:—“Dear brethren, [now to those who excommunicated him shamefully a while ago!] be sure and steadfast in the work of the Lord, and you shall KNOW that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” It is true that the father of lies recited a few scriptures when that suited his purpose to deceive; and Daniel and his “friend” think that his ballad would sell more readily after daubing soft soap on its tail. A while ago he condemned his former “brethren” because they professed to ‘know’ that they were in the Church of Jesus Christ, and that God was true to his promises, but now he professes that his present ‘dear brethren’ ‘know’ the same thing, yet he asserts it to be false that they possess this knowledge. What is too evil for him to say when he accuses the Saints that they were guilty of his bad deeds? But here he is caught again in his “own trap.” It is said that “he who digs a pit for his neighbor will fall in it himself.”
Notice this denier of miracles, one who scorns the spirit of prophecy through his books, now becomes a great prophet himself, a sufficiently barefaced prophet to proclaim his prophecy to the world, and notice, here it is, let it be a witness against him to prove from which spirit he prophesies,—“The Latter-day Saints are here only for a while to plague us.” “Everyone will flee from them,” says he. He prophesies his own desire, and he is not the first by any means to chant the funeral knell of ‘Mormonism.’ And despite it all, thanks to her author, she is living, and well, and succeeding and prospering more than all the sects of our country; and one does not need the spirit of prophecy to foresee that she will go on succeeding; let them persecute, falsely accuse, struggle and do whatever they wish against her; they do nothing but unwittingly help her to go forward. And the big secret of all is that God is in her, through her and for her; she is his work. In spite of the poor tools he uses, he will strengthen her through his Holy Spirit until he brings down to the ground the shelters of lies and the castles of the hypocrites, until the honest in heart who are searching for the truth grasp it and become heirs to eternal life through obedience to her godly ordinances. This is the true wish of our heart for all, for their benefit and for the glory of God. Amen.
MERTHYR-TYDFIL : PUBLISHED AND FOR SALE BY D. JONES
JOHN JONES, PRINTER, RHYDBONT.