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Howells, William - Letter to Brother Davis - 1849/05/10

LETTER TO BROTHER J. DAVIS:

From Zion's Trumpet, page 93-97

10 May, 1849

"Vitium alitur tegendo."

DEAR BROTHER DAVIS, : Your third question, in the April TRUMPET, is, "How much good did Roberts from Rhymni, and Davies from Dowlais, do by lecturing against the Saints?"  Much good, I say, in many ways and means.  Together with the scores in Merthyr and Dowlais who can testify that the above two were instruments in opening the eyes to perceive the truth of the Saints, there are several in Aberdare, among which, with grateful spirit, I count myself; and I can testify boldly in the day of judgemnt that it was the Review of brother Capt D. Jones, on the Lecture of Roberts from Rhymni, that was the means of convincing me of the deceit of the religion that I professed, and, like Saul, which I followed with great zeal.  I knew practically nothing about the Saints, or their religion, until the Rev. W. R. Davies came to Aberdare, to show their deceit; but to the surprise of my mind, the more he shouted, pounding the Bible and the pulpit, "Great deceit, infernal hypocrisy, and pitiful darkness of the latter-day Satanists," all the greater shone the principles of the Saints, like rays of godly truth, until I was caused to begin to believe, that if these men were Satanic, that his satanic majesty had more of the godly truth of the Bible, than did the religion that I professed.  He intended to destroy the principles of truth, by maligning the characters of those who professed them, with the witnesses of their enemies.  In my opinion this was nothing but stupidity, and those who would believe them were stupid; for there are sufficient facts to teach us that the witnesses of enemies are nothing less than deceit and lies.  His fury at the pulpit showed that he was their deadly enemy.  I myself decided not to believe, or judge, until I could obtain a better basis than the assertions of my friend, whose patience was no doubt softened by the fire of the indignant passion which was working to the point of boiling the frothy sweat of his forehead, which, if given a fair chance to judge without bias, would possibly have been an adornment to the truth. 

The Reverend Mr. Roberts, Rhymni, came after him.  Davies had opened the windows so wide to the light of the truth, as it was in Jesus, to shine its heavenly beam into the dark prison of the traditions of stupidity where I had been for nearly twenty years.  But I completely failed to break the chains of ignorance, the sectarian seal, and the strong door of shame, until the Rev. E. Roberts came out with his treatise against Mormonism, to give it a martyr's death and bury it forever in the land of oblivion; but eternal reverence to his name, he broke the chains of his sect from around me, which at last would have taken me captive to perdition, for teaching, as did the Pharisees of old, the commandments of men as doctrine, ignoring the counsel of God.  It is true that I had been baptized, said the sect to which I belonged; but that was now nothing less in my sight than "You met a thief (having in his possession character and authority that did not belong to him), and you agreed with him;" for, by then, Roberts had opened the way for me to escape from the clever fowler's net of Gehenna, to the castle of the kingdom of Mormonism, to be one of the happy subjects eternally safe forever and ever, despite the rebuke of the world, flesh, and the devil, together with all his religious subjects.  "Ex veritate causa pendetur."

It is true that the conduct of the religious reverends of the age for years by now, has had such an influence on my mind, to the point of cooling off the love I had for them, and the faith I had in them as servants of God, although their behavior toward their flock of poor people, proved them similar to wolves, &c.  I was worry, while I was with them, to see their greed for money.  For example, the Rev. ????, Dowlais, told me once, "If offered, in some other place, five pounds a year more than I am enjoying at present, I would leave this place immediately."  What, I say, can this be, but loving the fleece more than the flock, the gold in the temple more than the temple, the gift on the altar more than the altar!  No concern for the flock, the temple, or the altar in Dowlais, except to get five pounds more in some other place.  You diligent, hard, troubled workers of Dowlais, is such a man worthy of your trust, while according to his own testimony (as judgement day will testify), five pounds a year is more to him than your souls, your temples, and your altars.  Sad to think that altars and temples of God, and immortal souls, are worth less in the sight of their teachers, than five pounds a year!  What, say I in surprise, would the hundredth part of young pigs be worth more than all the souls, temples, and altars of the teachers of the people in Dowlais!  Is there an example of such a thing among the Pharisees, on whom the Savior pronounced eternal woes?  Many colleges have the poor people kept for three years, to teach the doctrine of Theology from creation to the day of judgment, English grammar, a little Greek, Hebrew, and a little Latin; all very well, so far.  I would love to have the teaching advantage myself, but not at the cost of the poor, and not at the cost of saying afterward, "I shall not preach the gospel cheaply to the poor, even though I have hundreds of pounds per year."  I would rather break the rocks of the road, than do that.  It is sad to go on, and tell my experience further while among them; but it is better to tell the truth, for the day of detailed accounting is near; and if I do not tell the truth, their blood will be required at my hands, just as the blood of their congregations will be required at their hands.  Besides, brother Davis, you know that they delight in circulating all manner of lies about us; let them do so: we will also circulate the truth about them, and time will crown the latter, as usual, with the wreath of victory.  Many times have I thought, while hearing and reading their lies, the one about the other, in the monthly publications of the age, that their conscience has been seared, as with a hot iron, so that I am not surprised that such who could accuse each other publicly I nthe publications of the age, with every name and lie, : are completely free to do the same thing now on the characters of the Saints.  This shows to the people their character in its proper shape and color. 

When in their midst, I was like Lot in Sodom, in a tired spirit, as I saw their inflated and boastful spirits, so full of self love, until I was afraid they would burst, like the toad that reached the size of a bull.  Before every welcome, their pride and their ingratitude were so great, that is caused me and my life's partner to believe they were deserving the character of being ungodly, unloving, &c.  Who of all the poor of Wales, that have sustained the values of timeless 'propriety' with thousand of meals, despite being without many times : who amongst them all can testify having received as much as one meal in return?  When traveling, hungry, and thirsty, and tired, have they dared to call on those reverends who had so many times feasted at their table?  Goodness gracious! The look of the reverend's wife would be sufficient to break one's heart, and make the tired traveler choose to go hungry until arriving at his old cottage, believing that the hospitality of the bishop (like the spiritual gifts and godly powers) are something of the past, that no longer exist; when the former, perhaps, would receive a welcome, some reverend would, with his flattering smiles, with some dubious story, fish for a shilling from the poor man for "a good and worthy cause," while at the same time proclaiming his anathema on those whom they call Jacks, setting their character out with the greatest scorn and disregard, because they extract money from the poor people and eat them up!  Has such a perfect likeness ever been portrayed of the similarity that exists between the thought, opinion, and life of the reverends of the age, and the description of them in the last days as portrayed by the apostles of Jesus eighteen hundred years ago?  Are they not like the false teachers of old, praying for a sign, and like Belial asking for a miracle, even from their pulpits, shouting in the next breath that miracles no longer exist.  Then the next word in the prayer is to pray to their God for "success, and for him to bare his strong arm now as before."  What is that except to show his power in a supernatural manner now as before?  Then "heal the sick, feed the widows and orphans, now as before.  It is very dry, and the fields are crying for rain; command it to come down now, as before; or, it is very wet, and the fruit of the earth is rotting; secure the clouds, and command the sun to shine now as before; for thou are the unchangeable God, and thy power is the same, and thou mayest simply say the word, &c.  The dreadful plague is ravaging our inhabitants at our side; O, may thou stay the plague now as before," &c.  O, Wales, who are the hypocrites, the deceivers, the stupid ones, whose stupidity the little children are beginning to perceive clearly?  In a crisis praying for God to act now in a miraculous manner as before, as good in his speech as one of the Saints.  The Spirit of God showed to his early servants, the character of such teachers in the last days, "trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away," which we have done, and which I shall do with the help of the everlasting God.  Deus protector noster.  And if you permit, our worthy Star will shine their portrayal, with its trumpeting, not from Cardiff to Holyhead, but through every neighborhood, and on every hill where there be a Welshman, with eyes to see the portrayal, and ears to hear their verdict, if they do not repent soon, and believe the gospel, and give obedience to its laws, and receive their baptism for remission of their sins, as they received the gift of the Holy Ghost; because for their comfort, the word is true that Jesus Christ has come to try to save sinners, of which the foremost are such who have been portrayed.  I was in their midst having the same character, with everyone praising me for my generous spirit, &c; but, thanks be, now I have received mercy, for having unknowingly persecuted the people of God, by believing their lies.  About eighteen months ago, I had the unspeakable honor of receiving membership in the church of Jesus Christ, among the Saints, who receive spiritual nourishment, the godly blessings Jesus promised to all members of his glorious body; and from my former friends, I have received plenty of persecuting lies and every unkind word.  I have baptized over 100, all having a certainty of faith, and many of them preaching the gospel in the fulness (sic) of its blessings.

Yours, in the bonds of the everlasting covenant,

Aberdare, May 10, 1849                                                                     Wm. HOWELLS.

Immigrants:

Howells, William

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