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-i n r i
THE TRUE FAIT
FAITH THE RESULT OF EVIDENCE— JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH WITH-
OUT WORKS — JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH WITH WORKS — FAITH
THE GIFT OF GOD— MIRACULOUS SIGNS ACCOMPANY TRUE FAITH
IN ALL AGES— WHEN THE SIGNS CEASE, FAITH AND SALVATION
1. — It is the intention of the author in this chapter to define and simplify
the great principle, called FAITH. This is not an abstract principle, sepa-
rate and distinct from mind, but it is a certain condition or state of the mind
itself. When the mind believes or has confidence in any subject, or state-
ment, or proposition, whether correct or incorrect, it is then in possession of
faith. To have faith is simply to believe. Faith and belief, therefore, are
synonymous terms, expressive of the same idea.
2. — Faith or belief is the result of evidence presented to the mind. Without
evidence, the mind cannot have faith in anything. We believe that a stone
will fall, when unsupported, on the evidence of past observation in relation
to the falling of heavy bodies. We believe that day and night will continue
on the evidence of past experience in regard to the uniformity of nature's
laws. We believe that space is boundless, and duration endless, on the evi-
dence, presented by the mind itself, which at once perceives the absurdity of
either space or duration being limited. We believe in all self-evident truth?,
on the evidence that all opposite propositions to these truths are absurd-
We believe in all the great trutbs of science, either on the evidences of onr
own investigations, or on the researches of others. We believe in historical
facts on the evidence of the historian. Faith in every fact, statement, truth,
or proposition which we have confidence in, is, in all cases whatsoever, derived
from evidence. Therefore, without evidence, faith can have no existence.
3. — Faith is of two kinds, namely, false and true. A false faith is the re-
sult of giving credence to false evidence : a true faith, the result derived from
4. — The faith of Cain in offering the fruits of the ground was false, derived
from some incorrect evidence, in relation to offerings, or in relation to the con-
dtict necessary to obtain a blessing. The faith of Abel in offering the firstlings
of his flock, was founded upon the evidence he had from the word of God that
such an offering would please Him. The faith of the Egyptians in the doc-
trines of the magicians was the result of false evidence, strengthened, and, as
they supposed, confirmed by the numerous miracles wrought by their evil
hands. The faith of Israel in the doctrines of Moses was founded upon true
evidence, and hence, was pleasing in the sight of God. Faith in idols and
2 THE TRUE FAITH.
in the mythologies of the heathen, is the result of a false traditionary evi-
dence. Faith in the true God is founded upon true evidence. Faith in false
doctrines, and in the creeds aud articles of religion, invented hy human wis-
dom, is the production of traditionary evidence, not to be depended on.
Faith in every word of God, whether ancient or modern, is always produced
by evidence that is true, and calculated to give the greatest assurance to the
5. — As evidence precedes faith, the latter should be weak or strong in pro-
portion to the weakness or strength of the evidence. Where the evidence is
accompanied by circumstances of a doubtful nature ; or where it relates to
things which are, in some degree, improbable in themselves ; or where there
is an opposing evidence of nearly the same influence or weight ; or where
there is only circumstantial evidence — faith should be weak. On the other
hand, where the evidences are direct ; where they relate to events or things,
not improbable ; where they are accompanied by favourable circumstances of
a confirmatory nature ; where no evidences, of any influence or weight, are in
opposition — faith should be strong. The weakness or strength of faith will,
therefore, in all cases, be in proportion to the weakness or strength of the
impressions, produced upon the mind by evidence. It is often the case, that
the judgment becomes so weak and beclouded, that the evidence, however
great, and clear, and lucid, and demonstrative, produces no sensible impres-
sion upon the mind. Hence, faith does not always exist in impaired or vitia-
ted minds with a strength proportioned to the degree or force of evidence.
6. — In our examination into the truth or falsehood of many subjects, we
are exceedingly liable to be deceived. Man, through the influence of sophis-
try, or popularity, or surrounding circumstances, or tradition, or many causes,
combined, may be biased in his judgment, partial in his investigations, and
swayed from that searching analysis which is sometimes requisite in order
to discover the truth or error of the subject, statement, or proposition, under
consideration. Even his own senses, uncorrected by his judgment, often lead
him astray. For instance ; a man, looking through the cabin window of a
vessel, perceives another vessel apparently moving. He hastily conclude*
that the other vessel is really in motion, while his own is standing still. In
this, he is very liable to be deceived ; for the fact may be directly opposite to
the one he so hastily assumes ; that is, his own vessel may be moving, though
imperceptibly to him, while the one at the distance may be standing still ; or
the phenomenon may be occasioned, by the combined motion of both vessels.
All the inhabitants of our globe were for many centuries, deceived in
regard to the motions of the heavenly bodies. They believed that the
sun, moon, planets, and stars, revolved around the earth daily, until Coper-
nicus undeceived them, by proving that the appearances were the result
of the simple diurnal rotation of the earth.
7. — Very many have been the deceptions palmed upon the world, under the
names of science, theories, hypotheses, doctrines, &c. Hundreds of millions
in all ages have been under the influence of false faiths, built upon false evi-
dences. Among all the antediluvian world in the days of the flood, only
eight persons had the true faith ; all the rest perished with a false faith.
In the cities of the plains which were overthrown, Lot and his two daughters
were the only ones, having a true faith. Modern Christendom or the
nations of great Babylon, have, for centuries, been under the influence of
false faiths which will soon lead them to utter destruction.
THE TRUE FAITH. 3
8. — A false faith in regard to history, science, and many other subjects, is
not so injurious to individuals and nations, as an incorrect faith in regard to
the doctrine of salvation. To believe that a revelation or message, sent from
God, is false, is attended with the most fearful consequences, involving the
present and future happiness of the soul. So likewise, to believe human
creeds and articles of religion, invented by uninspired men, to be of divine
origin, is equally dangerous and fatal in its consequences.
9. — Faith most generally inspires the heart to actions or works of a nature
similar and suitable to the belief. Faith in idolatrous systems leads to idola
trous works. Faith in false doctrines leads to false or wicked practices.
Faith in the corrupt man-made systems of modern Christianity leads to many
corrupt, abominable, and wicked works. Faith in a divine message or new reve-
lation will lead to works in accordance with the requirements contained therein.
10. — When faith, either true or false, is sufficiently powerful to lead to ac-
tion, it produces effects charaeteristic of the cause. The faith of Paul, that
Jesus of Nazareth was an impostor, led him to persecute his followers with
great zeal. Afterwards his faith that Jesus was the son of God, led him to
endure all kinds of hardships for his sake. The faith of some led them to
really suppose they were doing God service to kill the Apostles. The faith of
others made them willing to die for their testimony concerning Jesus. The
murderers of the Apostles, and the Apostles themselves, both had faith and
works ; both were sincere ; the one having false faith and wicked works ; the
other having true faith and righteous works.
11. — Faith alone will not save men: neither will faith and works save
them, unless they are of the right kind. Indeed the faith and works of the
greatest portion of mankind will be the very cause of their damnation. True
faith and righteous works are essential to salvation ; and without both of these,
no man ever was, or ever can be saved.
12. — Unless the true principles of salvation be revealed and established by
sufficient evidence, there could be no true faith and works by which mankind
could obtain salvation ; for in the system of salvation, works follow faith, and
faith follows evidence, and evidence accompanies the revealed truth. For
instance, God reveals the great and sublime truths contained in the Book of
Mormon. Next, He sends evidence sufficient to convince mankind of the
divine authenticity of these truths. Thirdly, this evidence produces faith in
the minds of those who candidly and carefully examine it. Fourthly, this
faith will lead the honest to do the works required of them in that book.
And lastly, through the atonement of Christ, these faith and works, combined
together, will surely save them in the kingdom of God.
13. — The evidence which God always gives to establish the divinity of Hig
revelations, is sufficient to produce faith in the heart of every person living,
who examines it in a proper manner. Hence every creature in all the world,
who has come to years of understanding, and who has evidence placed within
his reach, is condemned if he does not believe it. There are some who say
that, if the evidence were sufficient, they would be compelled to believe ; but
this is not true — the evidence may be sufficient, and yet they may refuse to
examine it; or they may examine it with prejudiced minds, or they may be
careless in their examinations, or they may refuse to examine it in the man-
ner in which God has directed ; or they may examine it with a determination
not to embrace it, even though it be true ; or they may be partial in weigh-
ing the evidence for, and apparently against it, with a most anxious desire
4 THE TRUE FAITH.
and hope that they shall find it false. All these obstacles, and many others
that might be named, prevent them from believing that which an honest,
candid, unprejudiced, and prayerful mind would believe. Therefore it is not
for the lack of evidence that they disbelieve, but it is their own evil hearts,
and the darkness which they bring with them in their investigations. When
God reveals a truth, as it is always accompanied with sufficient evidence, all
people, because of their agency, can believe or disbelieve it, as they choose :
and if they believe it, they can also obey or disobey it, as they choose : and
herein is the condemnation of man, because they prefer unbelief to faith, and
disobedience to obedience.
14. — When the Apostles were commanded to go into all the world and
preach the Gospel to every creature, they were informed that he who believed
the Gospel, and was baptized, should be saved, and he who believed not
should be damned. To believe the Gospel, as the Apostles preached it, was
not sufficient, but Jesus added the condition of baptism, clearly showing that
their faith must be manifested by their works, otherwise it would be of no bene-
fit to them. Jesus very well understood that the works necessary to salvation
never would be performed without faith, which always precedes them ; and,
as this faith was in their power to obtain through the evidence offered by the
preaching of his Apostles, he determined to damn every creature in all the
world that would not believe the message they taught.
J 5. — There are some who believe that faith alone, unaccompanied by works,
is sufficient for justification, sanctification, and salvation. But what would it
benefit a hungry man, in a field, who believes that in the house there is a
table spread for him, with an abundance of food, if he make no exertion to
approach the house and obtain the blessing ? What profit would it be to a
rich man who has faith in the words of Jesus, concerning the feeding of the
hungry and the clothing of the naked, unless he have works corresponding to
that faith ? What blessing would be obtained by believing the words which
Christ has spoken, unless we do them ? It is not the person who merely
believes in the sayings of Christ, that is justified, but it is he who shows his
faith by obeying them. When Jesus speaks of believers, he has reference,
most geuerally, to those whose faith has been sufficiently strong to lead them
to obedience. It is to this kind of believers that he refers in the following
passages : " Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my words, and
believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into
condemnation ; but is passed from death unto life." " For God so loved the
world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him
should not perish, but have everlasting life." "He that believeth on him is
16. — Jesus here refers to a class of believers who should fully prove their
faith by their obedience. Such, and such alone, should be freed from con-
demnation — should pass from death unto life — should become the children of
God by having a faith that would lead them to obey. All other believers are
without justification — without hope — without everlasting life, and will be
damned, the same as unbelievers, because they profess to believe on the words
of the Son of God, but will not obey them.
17. — Jesus says, " If a man love me he will keep my words ; and my
Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with
him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings." As a man's love is
manifested by his works, so is his faith.
THE TRUE FAITH. 5
18. — John says that, " Whosoever beiieveth that Jesus is the Christ, is bora
•of God." It is evident, from the whole Epistle in which these words are con-
tained, that none were to be considered as really believing that Jesus was the
Ghrist, only those who manifested it by keepiug his commandments ; for he
further says, " Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his com-
mandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments,
is a liar, and the truth is not him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him
rerily is the love of God perfected : hereby know we that we are in him."
And again, he says, " Every one that doeth righteousness is born of him."
" Whosoever doeth not righteousnes is not of God. " He that keepeth
his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him." " Every one that
loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." " He that loveth not, knoweth
not God ; for God is love." "He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and
God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in
the day of judgment ; because, as he is, so are we in this world. There is
no fear in love, but perfect loveth casteth out fear; because fear hath torment.
He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first
loved us." " This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and
his commandments are not grievous."
19. — From all these passages, it is easy to perceive that salvation depends
upon our loving God ; and that loving God is the keeping of His command-
ments ; and the keepiug of His commandments is the only sure evidence of
our really believing that Jesus is the Christ. Let no persons, therefore,
natter or deceive themselves with the idea that they believe from their heart,
that Jesus is the Christ, or that they are born of God, or that they have
passed from death unto life, or that they love God, unless they are certain
that they have kept His commandments and sayings. Millions are deceiving
themselves with a false faith and with a false hope — deluding themselves with
the notion that they are born of God, when they have not attended even to
the first commandments in relation to their adoption, All such will meet
with a bitter disappointment.
20. — The first effect of true faith is a sincere, true, and thorough repent-
ance of all sins ; the second effect is an immersion in water, for the remission
of sins ; the third is the reception of the ordinance of the laying on of the hands
for the baptism of the Holy Ghost : these are the first commandments in the
Gospel. No man has a saving faith without attending to these three require-
ments. No person can be a believer in Christ, in the Scriptural sense of that
term, without complying, in the strictest manner, with these commandments;
without receiving these, it will be in vain for him to pray for a forgiveness of
sins, or for the baptism of the Spirit, or for salvation : and if he flatters him-
self that he loves God, or that he can obtain eternal life without obeying these
first commandments, he is wofully deceived. Indeed these are the introduc-
tory principles, and the only principles by which men and women can be born
into the kingdom of Christ, and become his sons and daughters. After
attending to these, there are other commandments for them to obey ; but if
they undertake to obey the others first, they will find their endeavours unac-
ceptable in the sight of God. For instance, God requires His sons and
daughters to keep the Sabbath day holy ; but no man can keep the Sabbath
holy until he has attended to the first three commandments of the Gospel,
after which he can keep the Sabbath according to the mind of God, but not
before. There are many commandments which none but those who are born
6 THE TRUE FAITH.
of God can keep. And for a man to undertake to keep them before attend-
ing to the first three, would be like a child's undertaking to read before it had
learned the alphabet.
91. — A faith, then, that brings remission of sins or justification to the sinner,
is that which is connected with repentance and baptism. Faith alone will not
justify; faith and repentance alone will not justify ; faith and baptism alone
will not justify; but faith, repentance, and baptism will justify and bring re-
mission of sins through the blood of Christ. What does Paul mean when he
says, " Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through
our Lord Jesus Christ ?" He means that faith is the starting point — the
foundation and cause of our repentance and baptism which bring remission or
justification; and being the cause which leads to those results, it is not
improper to impute justification to faith. What does that Scripture mean
which says, " If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt
believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the
mouth confession is made unto salvation?" It means that real faith in the
heart is that which leads to obedience ; for a man who does not obey, only has
a degree of faith, and not a living faith in the heart, which in all cases will
lead to repentance, confession, baptism, laying on of hands, etc. All will
admit that to believe with the heart leads to and includes repentance. Why
not also admit that it includes every other commandment of the Gospel ?
Because believing with the heart m the resurrection of Christ is the moving
cause of obedience which brings salvation, it may well be said that salvation
is the result of faith.
22. — There has been much dispute among mankind in regard to justification.
Some have supposed that we are justified by the blood of Christ by simple
faith alone, without performing any works either of the law or Gospel. Others
suppose that we are justified by the blood of Christ by simply adding repent-
ance to our faith without any further works. Others contend that all man-
kind will be justified and saved through the blood of Christ, without either
faith or works. All these admit that the atonement of Christ is necessary to
justification. The only dispute seems te be in regard to the conditions re-
quired of the creature by which he receives the justification purchased by the
atonement. Those who believe that simple faith alone, without works, is the
only condition required, generally urge tho following passages in support of
that view ; "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to
glory ; but not before God. For what saith the Scripture ? Abraham be-
lieved God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that
worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that
worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is
counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the man, unto
whom God imputeth righteousness without works." (Rom. iv. 2 — 0) Thos®
who believe works necessary to justification, quote the following : " What doth
it profit, my brethren, though a man say he have faith, and have not works ?
Can faith save him ?" " Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith and I have works : show me thy faith
without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Thou be-
lievest that there is one God ; thou doest well : the devils also believe and
tremble. But wilt thou know, vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Was not Abraham, our father, justified by works, when he had offered Isaae,
THE TRUE FAITH. 7
his son upon the altar ? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and
by works was faith made perfect ? And the Scripture was fulfilled which
gaith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness :
and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man
is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Eahab, the harlot,
justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them
out another way? For as the body without the Spirit is dead, so faith without
works, is dead also." (James ii. 14 — 26.) Paul and James seem apparently
to contradict each other ; and this has been the cause of differences of opinion
in our day : but these apparent contradictions can easily be reconciled, if we
take into consideration the two different subjects upon which they were
writing. Paul was writing to a people who were inclined to believe in cir-
eumcision, and other works of the ancient law which had been done away in
Christ. And he shows clearly that circumcision and many of those ancient
laws were given in the earlier ages, not to take away past sins, nor to justify
those to whom they were given, but for various other purposes : and that by
eomplying with those works, they did nothing more than what they were in-
debted to do, and that the reward attached to these acts was " not reckoned
of grace, but of debt ; " or, in other words, the reward of grace is a forgiveness
of past sins ; but the reward of debt is a freedom from the condemnation, not of
past sins, but of the sins which would exist in the case we refused to pay the
debt : for instance, God commanded Abraham to circumcise himself and all
the males of his house, not to justify himself or his house of past sins, but
for another purpose. When this commandment was given, it brought Abra-
ham under obligations to obey it; it was a debt he owed to the Lord; if he
paid it, there would be no condemnation arising from disobedience in relation
to that particular commandment, and he would have the reward of a clear
conscience, so far as the payment of that particular debt was concerned ; but
in all this there is no reward of grace manifested in the forgiveness of any
sins which may have previously been committed. Therefore as obedience to
these particular laws did not bring remission of sins, Paul could with propri-
ety say that Abraham and others were not justified by works, that is, by such
works of the law as circumcision, &c, which were given for a very different
purpose than that of justification. It wa3 very necessary that Abraham
should do those works, though they were not works intended to bring remis-
sion of sins or justification, yet the performance of them would prevent the
sin of negligence, and would also bring such blessings as were attached to
them by way of promise. But after these laws and circumcision were done
away in Christ, then Paul could say, " But to him that worketh not, but be-
lie veth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteous-
ness." If those laws and ordinances which were given to Abraham to per-
form, were not intended to justify him of his past sins, much less would they
justify those who lived after Christ when they were done away. After Christ,
these works given to Abraham to perform, were not considered even as a debt
binding upon any : they were works, therefore, that would be sinful to per-
form. The faith of that man that " worketh not." that is, that does not per-
form works that are done away, "is counted for righteousness."
S3. — But as Abraham was justified by faith, it may not be improper to inquire
whether there were any other class of works, connected with his faith, that
were of a justifying nature. Paul says, " The Scripture foreseeing that God
would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto
8 THE TRUE FAITH.
Abraham, saying : In thee shall all nations be blest." — (Gal. iii. 8.) From
this we learn that the same Gospel that was to justify the heathen through
faith, and bless all nations, was actually preached to Abraham. Now in the
Gospel there are certain works to be connected with faith for justification : by
these works of the Gospel, he manifested bis faith and obtained justification :
and not by the works of the law, such as circumcision, &c. Paul says, " Faith
was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned ?
when he was in circumcision or in uucircumcision ? Not in circumcision,
but in uucircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of
the righteousness of the faith which he had, yet being uncircumcised : that
he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circum-
cised : that righteousness might be imputed unto them also ; and the father
of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also
walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being
yet uncircumcised. — (Rom. iv. 9 — 12.) From these passages we learn, that
Abraham was justified before circumcision, consequently the Gospel of justifi-
cation must have been preached to him before that law was given. Tbat
there were works connected with the Gospel preached to Abraham, is evident
from the fact that all the heathen nations who lived in the Apostles' days,
could be justified and become his children by walking, as Paul says, " in the
steps of that faith of our father Abraham." There were certain steps pertain-
ing to the Gospel and faith of Abraham, in which he walked ; otherwise he
could not have been justified. Whatever works these steps of justification
included, the very same were required of the heathen after Christ. These
steps of the Gospel, since Christ, we have already observed, are Piepentance
and Baptism, which bring remission of sins and justification, being the re-
sults of faith, or, in other words, the steps of faith that Abraham walked in.
Therefore, " to him that worketh not " the works of circumcision and other
laws that are done awaj r , but performeth the works of the Gospel, " his faith
is counted for righteousness," the same as Abraham"s was, who walked in the
Steps of the same Gospel, and was justified in the same way. This view of
the subject perfectly reconciles the teachings of both Paul and James, and
shows most clearly that both were correct, when their statements are applied
to the two different subjects upon which they were writing.
24. — Faith is the gift of God. In what manner does God give faith ? Does
He impart this gift to the mind by the immediate operation of the Holy Spirit
independent of any other means ? Does He bestow it unsought for and irre-
spective of the preparation of the mind ? Does He confer it independent of
the agency of man? To say that man obtains this gift without preparing him-
self, or without the exercise of any agency, is to deprive him of all responsi-
bility in regard to whether he has faith or not. This condition would free him
from all blame or condemnation for unbelief. If agency is in no way concerned
in obtaining faith, it would be the highest act of injustice to punish the unbe-
liever : there would be no more responsibility about him than there is about
the dumb brute. What would be thought of the justice of a man who would
punish his horse because he was not harnessed '? If the animal were endowed
with the power of speech, would he, not say that he was an irresponsible
being, that he had no power or agency to harness himself, that the gift of
harnessing belonged to a higher and superior being te himself, and that he
considered it very cruel, and unjust, and tyrannical for that higher being to
punish him for not exercising a faculty with which he was not endowed,
THE TRUE FAITH. y
which was far beyond his capacities, and which was a condition that man
alone was capable of bestowing? If faith is the gift of God, and man has no
agency in obtaining this gift, then he stands in the same relation to God in
regard to having faith, as the horse does to the man in regard to being har-
nessed ; and if it would be unjust and cruel in man to punish his horse for
•not being harnessed, it would be equally unjust and cruel for God to punish
man for not having faith, if he be considered a being incapable of the
exercise of such a faculty.
25. — That faith is the gift of God there is no dispute ; but that God bestows
this gift unsought for, and without any preparation or agency on the part of
man, is aot only unscriptural and unreasonable, but extremely absurd, when
we consider that man is to be punished for his unbelief. But some may
inquire, has not God the power and right to do with man as He pleases? Has
not He power to withhold faith, and punish whomsoever He will, whether they
deserve it or not? We reply that whatever power God has, it is certain
that He will not exercise it contrary to the principles of Justice and Mercy,
or contrary to the revealed character which He has given of Himself. If it
were possible for Him to change or deviate from His word, then He would
cease to be God. If He would punish the innocent and acquit the guilty,
He would be a Being altogether unlovely and undesirable — a Being to be
feared, but not to be loved. Therefore we may rest assured that He will
never punish a man for his unbelief, unless man has the power to obtain faith
through the exercise of his own free will.
20. — But if faith cannot be obtained, unless sought for properly, how can the
sayings of Paul to the Ephesians be reconciled with this idea ? " For by grace
are ye saved through faith ; and that not of yourselves ; it is the gift of God ;
not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained
that we should walk in them." — (Eph. ii. 8 — 10). We are to understand
from these passages, that the grace and faith by which man is saved, are the
gifts of God, having been purchased for him not by his own works, but by the
blood of Christ. Had not these gifts been purchased for man, all exertions
on his part would have been entirely unavailing and fruitless. Whatever-
course man might have pursued, he could not have atoned for one sin ; it
required the sacrifice of a sinless and pure Being in order to purchase the
gifts of faith, repentance, and salvation for fallen man. Grace, Faith, Be-
pentance, and Salvation, when considered in their origin, are not of man,
neither by his works ; man did not devise, originate, nor adopt them ; supe-
rior Beings in Celestial abodes, provided these gifts, and revealed the condi-
tions to man by which he might become a partaker of them. Therefore all
boasting on the part of man is excluded. He is saved by a plan which his
works did not originate — a plan of heaven, and not of earth.
2T. — Well might the Apostle declare to the Ephesians, that these gifts were
not of themselves, neither of their works, when the God and Father of our
spirits, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift, was the great Author
of them. But are these great gifts bestowed on fallen man without his works ?
No : man has these gifts purchased for and offered to him ; but before he can
receive and enjoy them he must exercise his agency and accept of them : and
herein is the condemnation of man, because when he was in a helpless fallen
condition, and could not by his own works and devices atone for the least of
his sins, the only Begotten of the Father gave his own life to purchase the
10 THE TRUE FAITH.
gifts of faith and salvation for him, and yet he will not so much as accept of
28. — Faith therefore is the gift of God, hut man cannot have this choice hea-
venly treasure only in God's own appointed way. Among the mean3 that
God has ordained through which man may receive this great and precious
gift, may be mentioned the preaching of the word by men called and inspired
by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost : for saith the Apostle, " How then
shall they call on him in whom they have not believed ? And how shall they
believe in him of whom they have not heard ? And how shall they hear
without a preacher '? And how shall they preach except they be sent ? " " So
then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." — (Rom. x.
14, 15, 17.) Though faith be the gift of God, yet it comes by hearing the
word. Through this medium man makes himself acquainted with the evi-
dence in favour of the divinity of the word ; the evidence being of divine origin
as well as the word. This evidence begets faith in the mind ; and this faith,
though it be obtained through the exercise of the free will and agency of the
creature, is still the gift of God, granted through the evidence accompanying
the preached word. In the Apostles' days, when the art of printing was
unknown, and the great majority of mankind could not read the word, the
principal means of obtaining faith was by the process of preaching and hear-
ing, but in these days, in many instances, faith comes by reading as well as
by preaching : for a man called and inspired of God can both preach and
write by the power of the Holy Ghost, and when the honest humble soul
either hears or reads that which is given by the Spirit, the light that is in
him witnesseth that it is of God ; for light cleaves to light, and truth to truth ;
the Spirit gives light to every man that comes into the world, and if he loves
the light that is in himself, he will love all other light that is presented to
his mind, and embrace it. Light cannot be presented to the mind of a can-
did, honest person, without being perceived to be light ; but if he receive it
not, he extinguishes in a degree the light that is in him, and darkness still
greater ensues, and he is left to commit evils of a greater magnitude, until
the light that was in him has entirely fled, and darkness reigns triumphantly :
this darkness brings misery and wretchedness in this world and eternal tor-
ment in the world to come. This is the state of man who rejects light and
truth, and will not exercise faith in that which the light that is in him teaches
him is truth.
29. — The word and the evidence accompanying it are both the gifts of God ;
but besides these, the light that is in every man who comes into the world is
also the gift of God through Christ. For if Christ had not purchased this
gift for man by his atoning blood, man would have been destitute of all light.
Darkness alone would have reigned, and our world would have been a hell — ■
the miserable abode of fallen spirits and fallen man : no ray of light could
have penetrated the darkened understanding : the extreme of misery would
have been the result. But saith our Saviour, " I am the light and the life
of the world ; " all light that is in the world came by him through his atone-
ment ; it is the gift of God to fallen man. If the light that is in man be
the gift of God, surely all additional light offered to him, must be the gift
of God also. By faith man should lay hold of this light, wherever he may
30. — The only way to receive additional faith and light is to practise accord-
ing to the light which we have : and if we do this, we have the promise of God
THE TRUE FAITH. 11
that the same shall grow brighter and brighter until the perfect day. Every
word of God is light and truth. He that saith, that he is in the light, but
obeyeth not the words of truth, is deceiving himself, and is in darkness ; for
none are the children of faith except such as walk in the light, and obey its
laws. How many millions in Christendom profess to be Christians, and
say that they are in the light and have been born of God, and yet they have
never obeyed even the first principles of the light ; they have never repented
properly and been immersed in water for the remission of sins by the minis-
tration of one whom God has authorized ; and yet they pretend that God
for Christ's sake has forgiven their sins. How blindly deceived ! and how
vain their faith and hope of salvation ! God has not forgiven their sins; nei-
ther will He forgive them, until they obey the message of the Gospel accor-
ding to the precise order which He has revealed. Faith is the gift of God,
and is one of the means of salvation ; but none can have this gift except in
the way that God has ordained : and all who pretend to have faith and obey
not that form of doctrine which God has revealed, will find that their faith is
of no effect, and that they will be damned with unbelievers : for God will not
confer saving gifts upon the disobedient.
31. — Every thing that is good comes from God and is the gift of God. God
has given revelation upon revelation unto man for his benefit ; and the gene-
rations to whom He has given His word will be judged by that word at the
last day. God raised up a prophet in our day, and gave him the Urirn and
Thummim, and revealed a flood of light and truth through him to this gene-
ration. This generation will be judged out of the books and revelations
which God gave through this prophet. If they exercise faith in these revela-
tions, and obey the same, they will be justified and saved ; but if they dis-
believe them, and harden their hearts against them, they will surely be damned ;
for the Almighty reveals not His word in vain. "What doth it benefit this
generation to offer them a heavenly gift, and reveal to them more light and
truth if they receive it not ? The gift benefits those only who receive it.
The rest will receive a greater condemnation. When the honest read that
heavenly treasure — the Book of Mormon, they are filled with joy unspeakable,
because God has again spoken to man as in ancient times; their souls feast upon
the contents of that holy and divine book ; and so great is their joy, that they
cannot find language adequate to express the overflowings of their hearts.
But how different are the feelings of those who reject it ; light and truth flee
from them, and they feel angry to think that God should again speak to man.
But God will show them by His Almighty power that His word cannot be re-
jected with impunity. The judgments that have befallen ancient generations
and nations who have rejected His word, ought to be a solemn warning to
those now on the earth. But alas ! the pride, high-mindedness, and great
wickedness of man cause him to hate the light because his deeds are evil.
And thus this generation will, for the most part, perish in unbelief and dis-
obedience to one of the greatest and most important messages that God ever
sent for the salvation of the people. Oh, poor fallen man ! how eager for
happiness, and yet how unwilling to receive it upon righteous principles !
Oh, that thou didst but know the day of thy visitation, and wouldst incline
thine ear, and hearken to the voice of God, and harden not thy heart, for
then it would be well with thee ! But thou knowest not, neither dost thou
consider the fearful judgments that await thee, if thou turnest a deaf ear
to the last great message of mercy, now revealed from the heavens, for thy
12 THE TRUE FAITH.
good ! Oh, turn unto the Lord, and exercise faith in Him, that thj light and
joy may be increased — thy faith and love become perfected, that all of the
gifts of God may abound in thee, that thou mayest finally obtain eternal life,
which is the greatest of all the gifts of God to man.
■j I. — Without true and genuine faith it is impossible to please God ; and Je-
sus expressly says, that " He that believeth not shall be damned." It is of the
utmost importance, therefore, that every man examines himself in the most
careful and rigid manner to see whether he be in the faith or not. The only
sure and perfect standard with which to compare his faith is the word and
Spirit of God.
33. — Header, are you sincerely desiring salval ion, and do you wish to enter into
a most thorough and searching examination of your faith ? Are you willing
to have your faith compared with and measured by the divine oracles ? Are
you a believer in the word of God? If so, you must be aware, that you are
commanded in the most emphatic terms, to repent of all your sins. This is
the very first act required of a Bible believer. Have you repented sincerely,
and humbly, and with all your heart? Have you confessed all your sins unto
God with a broken heart aud contrite spirit ? Have you, not only confessed,
but forsaken every sin ? Have you made sufficient acknowledgement and
satisfaction to those whom you may have in any way injured ? Have you
covenanted with and promised the Lord that you will sin no more ? If you
have not repented in this manner and reformed your conduct, then you are
uot a true believer ; your faith is vain, and your hopes are vain, and you are
yet in your sins, not having complied with even the very first requisition of
34. — But, if you have most sincerely repented and put away your evil deeds',
then you have taken the first permanent step towards a true and saving faith.
You are now humble and contrite in your feelings ; your heart is tender, and
you feel grieved that you have ever sinned against God. You feel determined
that henceforth you will reform. You are a believing penitent sinner ; and
your great desire is to obtain a pardon of your sins. You ask the Lord to
forgive you, but He does not grant your request. You pray much, but still
you have no evidence that your sins are forgiven. You go forward to be
prayed for by your ministers and friends, but find no relief. You become
discouraged and perhaps fall back into sin, thinking that there is something
wrong, or that there is no hope for you ; or perhaps you may be persuaded by
your minister that your sins are forgiven, aud you try to fancy that it is so ;
though you have no certainty that you are pardoned, yet you hope that such
is the case ; this false hope causes you to be somewhat easy in your feelings
and you fancy all is well.
35. — But let me tell you plainly that you are deceiving yourself. Your sins
are not forgiven. It is true, you have believed the word of God, and have re-
pented ; but repentance is only the first step towards obtaining forgiveness.
You have another great step to take, before you can expect your sins to be
pardoned. You must be immersed in water, by one having authority from
God, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, for the
remission of your sins. Then, and not till then, your sins will be forgiven ;
for these are the two grand steps, to be joined with your faith, in order that
your sins may be washed away, by the atoning blood of Christ. Faith, with-
out repentance and baptism, will not bring you pardon ; neither will repent-
ance bring you forgiveness ; neither will faith and repentance, both together,
THE TRUE FAITH. Yd-
he sufficient to bring remission of sins; but Faith, Repentance, and Bap-
tism, are sure to put you in possession of a complete justification of all past
36. — Faith leads you to repentance and to the waters of baptism for the remis-
sion of sins. Faith, connected with repentance alone, is not a justifying faith.
In order to be justified by faith, Baptism as well as repentance must be
coupled with faith : these three joined in one, constitute the Faith of Justi-
fication ; where either is wanting, there justification does not exist, and the
penitent believer is yet in his sins.
37.- — Are you, dear R,eader, anxious that your sins should all be blotted out '?
If so, seek not to obtain this choice blessing, contrary to the Gospel : delude
not yourself with the vain hope that you are already pardoned, when you
have done nothing more than to repent. God will not accept your repent-
ance, unless you be baptized for the remission of your sins. Have you
ever gone down into the water and been buried therein, as penitent believers
did in ancient times ? Have you ever buried the deeds of the old man in a
watery grave, as the body of Christ was buried ? Did you by such burial,
become dead to sin, as Jesus became dead, as it regards his mortal body ?
Have you ever arisen from the watery tomb to newness of life, as Jesus arose
from the tomb of mortality to immortality ? Unless you have done this, both
your faith and hope are vain.
38. — Again, if you have been immersed by one whom God has not sent, and to
whom God has not spoken and given authority to baptize ; cr if you have
been baptized by any one who denies new revelation, and does away any of
the miraculous gifts of the Gospel, and says, they are unnecessary in these
days, then know assuredly, that your immersion is illegal, and will in no
wise be accounted as baptism to you. Therefore your only hope of obtaining
pardon will be, to search after one whom the Lord has truly authorized, and
receive this sacred ordinance under his hands ; and then your sins shall be
forgiven you, and you will, so far as these first steps are concerned, have the
true genuine Gospel faith.
39. — You have now, by complying with repentance and baptism, been set free
from all past sin. You have been born of the water, but not of the spirit.
Though justified, you yet lack a most essential and important blessing,
namely, The Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
40. — God hath ordained ordinances through which Gospel blessings are grant-
ed to believers. We have already stated, that the ordinance of Baptism when
ministered by proper authority, is that through which pardon comes to the
penitent believer ; so likewise, God hath ordained the laying on of the hands
of His authorized servants, as the sacred ordinance through which He will
bestow upon baptized believers the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
41. — The Baptism of the Holy Ghost cannot be dispensed with by the believ-
er, any more than the baptism of water. To be born of the water, only justifies
the sinner of past sins ; but to be born, afterwards, of the Holy Ghost, sanc-
tifies him and prepares him for spiritual blessings in this life, and for eternal
life in the world to come. To be born of the water does not qualify him to
enter into the kingdom of God, but to be born, first, of the water, and after-
wards, of the spirit, fully qualifies him to enter and dwell in that kingdom.
Jesus says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born of the water
and of the spirit, he can in no wise enter into the kingdom of God." A man
may believe, repent, and be immersed in water, or in other words, be barn of
14 THE TRUE FAITH.
water, and yet, according to the word of Jesus, he cannot enter into the king-
dom of God, without also being born of the spirit.
4.-J.. — The ordinance of the Laying on of Hands for the birth of the Spirit,
is therefore, essential to salvation.
4:3. — The men and women of Samaria were born of the water several days be-
fore they were born of the spirit. Peter and John were under the necessity of
performing a journey from Jerusalem to Samaria, to lay hands on the bap-
tized believers of the latter city, that they might also be born of the spirit,
even as they had been born of the water several days before.
44. — The baptized believers at Ephesus were born of the spirit through the
laving on of the hands of Paul. Paul also was born, first of the water to wash
away his sius ; (Acts xxii. 16,) and secondly, of the Spirit by the ministra-
tion of Ananias. (Acts ix. 17, 18.)
45. — Having by faith received forgiveness of sins, and the gift of the Holy
Ghost, the believers begin with greater assurance to lay hold of every blessing
promised in the Gospel. They read that certain miraculous signs shall be given
to believers. (Mark xvi. 1 5, 18.) They consider that they have the right to
enjoy these signs, according to the promise which Jesus made. And they soon
find, that through faith, they, in 'the name of Jesus, can cast out devils, speak
in new tongues, overcome deadly poisons, heal the sick, dream heavenly
dreams, see open visions, prophesy of future events, receive revelations, con-
trol the powers of nature, and, in short, do anything that is necessary for
their welfare and the glory of God. All these blessings are obtained by faith ;
and without faith no spiritual gifts can be received.
46.' — The gift of the Holy Ghost, with all its miraculous powers, is one of
the great distinguishing differences between Gospel believers and unbelievers.
Jesus has been pleased to promise to the one class miraculous sigas, and t»
the other damnation. All persons who wish to thoroughly examine their,
faith by the word of God, can at once determine to which of these two classes
they belong. All who find themselves in possession of the signs, know of a
surety that they are believers, and consequently subjects of salvation. But
all who find themselves destitute of these signs, know at once, that they are
unbelievers, and, therefore, subjects of damnation.
47. — The nations of apostate Christendom are deceiving themselves with the
vain and foolish idea, that they are Gospel believers, without the promised
accompanying signs. They suppose that they have the true faith without
enjoying the promised miraculous effects of that faith : thus they have been
deluding themselves with a false faith, and unfounded hope, for some seven-
teen centuries past. Where faith exists, these miraculous signs exist. If
the signs have ceased, then faith has ceased also. "Without these signs, no
church, either Catholic or Protestant, can be saved; for they are not believers.
48. — Faith, though the gift of God, is not only obtained by the exercise of the
agency of man, but is also increased and perfected by the same agency.
Obedience to the ancient Gospel will necessarily impart the ancient Faith :
and Faith will necessarily have the same power to prevail with God, in one age
as in another. If, through Repentance, Baptism, and Laying on of Hands,
in ancient times, Faith was so increased as to obtain Remission of Sins, the
Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Miraculous Signs, why will not obedience, in this
age, to the same three requirements, impart the same degree of Faith ? And
why not also the same three Gospel blessings, follow the same Faith ?
49. — Can any one show any reason, or present any evidence from the divine
THE TRUE FAITH. 15
oracles, why obedience to the ancient Gospel will not give the same Faith now
as in ancient times ? Will not Repentance, in all ages, have the same moral
effect upon the mind ? Is not Gospel Baptism now the same as anciently ?
Is not every step of obedience to the Gospel the same now as ever ? All
Bible believers will, at once, answer, that every requirement of the Gospel
is the same ; and that all can still yield the same acceptable obedience to each
requirement ; this being the case, does it not necessarily follow, that the same
obedience will impart the same Faith ; and still further, that the same Gospel
Faith will bring the same Gospel blessings ? Nothing is more certain.
50. — The same Jesus that promised to the believer the Remission of Sins,
as a Gospel blessing, also promised to the same believer Miraculous Signs, as
Gospel blessings. What authority has the Gospel believer to claim one Gos-
pel blessing, and reject the others ? Would not this be indirectly rejecting
the whole Gospel? He that offends in one point of the law, is, by our
Saviour, represented as guilty of the transgression of the whole. He who
has no faith to obtain Gospel signs, has no faith to obtain Gospel pardon.
He who would thus pervert the Gospel is most wofully deceived, if he sup-
poses himself in possession of any Gospel blessing. Jesus has made no
Gospel promises to be trifled with, or to be rejected with impunity by
51. — Faith in all ages, and under all dispensations, has always prevailed
with God. By faith, signs, miracles, and manifestations of the power of God,
were abundantly shown forth under the Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian
dispensations. Jesus said, "All things are possible to him that believeth."
— (Mark ix. 23.) Again he said, " Have faith in God. For verily I say
unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed,
and be thou cast into the sea ; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall be-
lieve that those things which he saith shall come to pass ; he shall have
whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye de-
sire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."
— (Mark xi."22, 23, 24.) In another passage He said, " Verily, verily, I say
unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also ;
and greater works than these shall he do ; because I go unto my Father.'' —
'John xiv. 12.)
5-2. — None of these passages limit the miraculous effects of Faith to the
Apostles, or to any particular class of true believers, or to any particular age
of the world. But on the contrary ; each of these promises was made on the
broadest terms, general and unlimited as to time or place. The terms, "He
that believeth ; " " Whosoever shall say," &c, are applicable to all believers, in
all ages, and in all the world, unto the latest generations, or to the end of
time. No other Gospel blessings were more unlimited in their application.
No other more positively and definitely expressed. No other that we have
any more right to claim or seek after by Faith.
53. — Indeed, the miraculous gifts were to be the effects — the results — the
signs of faith, by which the true believer could, by the most infallible evidence
distinguish himself from an unbeliever. By these gifts he is confirmed; and
he obtains the most satisfactory knowledge and absolute certainty of the
divinity of the doctrine which he has embraced. By these tokens, he knows
that he is in reality a true genuine Gospel believer, that his sins are surely
forgiven, and that he has received the gift of the Holy Spirit, and is, indeed,
-an heir of Salvation.
16 THE TRUE FAITH.
5 1. — While on the other hand, without these gifts, he knows that he is not
a believer — that he has no genuine gospel faith — that he has no claim to any
of the other Gospel blessings — that he is classified with unbelievers, and with
thern he must be damned.
55. — Jesus has made the contrast so great, and the distinguishing marks
so apparent, between true and genuine Gospel believers and unbelievers, that
it is impossible for any man who examines his own faith by the word of God,
to be deceived.
50. — Reader, are you a believer or an unbeliever? Do signs follow you,
according to the promise of Jesus in the last chapter of Mark ? Have you
ever cast out devils in the name of Jesus ? Have you ever spoken with ano-
ther tongue by the power of the Holy Ghost? Have you ever had faith to
prevail against deadly poisons? Have you ever healed the sick in the name
of Jesus, by the laying on of your hands ? Have you ever obtained any of the
promised miraculous gifts of the Spirit ? If you have not, then you are not
a Gospel believer, and are included in that class which Jesus says, shall be
damned. Your condition is a fearful one indeed, without the true faith,
without hope, without salvation, exposed to the wrath which rnubt fall upon
57. — Do you inquire what you must do? The answer is, become a Bible
believer ; forsake the false, corrupt, and powerless systems of uninspired men ;
follow not after any religion because of its popularity ; but seek after the faith
of the Saints, such as is so clearly defined in the Bible. Seek for the bles-
sings enjoyed by all true believers in Christ ; rest not satisfied until you are
in possession of the signs of a believer ; for know assuredly if you stop short
of this, you can in no wise be saved. It is the word which God has spoken,
and which He will not revoke.
58. — Now, dear reader, we have plainly pointed out to you the nature of
faith ; we have proven to you that faith, like all other good things, is the gift
of God to man ; we have clearly shown you, how to obtain a true and genuine
Gospel faith ; we have also told you, how to examine your faith to know whe-
ther it be the right kiud : we have referred you to the miraculous signs which
Jesus says shall follow all believers throughout the world ; we have proved
that without these signs, there can be no believers, no faith, no Church of
Christ, no salvation. And now we close this subject by telling you plainly,
that God has again restored His Church to the earth, by revealing the Book
of Mormon, containing the everlasting Gospel ; by sending His angels as pre-
dicted by His servant John on Patmos ; by restoring Apostles, and all other
officers of the Priesthood ; and by setting up His latter-day kingdom, as fore-
told by Daniel the prophet.
59. — As many as have received this message with all their hearts, have been
blessed with the signs promised to believers ; and we know of a surety, and
bear record that God is* the same, faith is the same, the Gospel is the same,
and that all the miraculous gifts thereof are the same, as in ancient days ; and
that the faithful Saints enjoy all blessings now, as in days of old.
*;0. — Let me earnestly entreat you to break off all your sins, and to bow
before your Father in Heaven, and ask Him, if what you have now read, is
true. If you will do this with a sincere and humble heart, God will manifest
the truth of these things to you by the power of the Holy Ghost.
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