1840

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Prospectus of the Millenial Star

 

THE long night of darkness is now far spent—the truth revived in its primitive simplicity and purity, like the day-star of the horizon, lights up the dawn of that morn when the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. It has pleased the Almighty to send forth an HOLY ANGEL, to restore the fulness of the gospel with all its attendant blessings, to bring together his wandering sheep into one fold, to restore to them "the faith which was once delivered to the saints," and to send his servants in these last days, with a special message to all the nations of the earth, in order to prepare all who will hearken for the Second Advent of Messiah, which is now near at hand.

By this means, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (being first organized in 1830) has spread throughout many parts of America and Europe; has caused many tens of thousands to rejoice above measure, while they are enriched to walk in the light of truth.

And feeling very desirous that others should be made partakers of the same blessings, by being made acquainted with the same truths, they have thought proper to order the publication of a Periodical devoted entirely to the great work of the spread of truth, sincerely praying that man may be led to carefully examine the subject, and to discern between truth and error, and act accordingly.

THE MILLENNIAL STAR will stand aloof from the common political and commercial news of the day. Its columns will be devoted to the spread of the fulness of the gospel—the restoration of the ancient principles of Christianity—the gathering of Israel—the rolling forth of the kingdom of God among the nations—the signs of the times—the fulfilment of prophecy—recording the judgments of God as they befall the nations, whether signs in the heavens or in the earth "blood, fire, or vapour of smoke"—in short, whatever is shown forth indicative of the coming of the "Son of Man," and the ushering in of his universal reign on the earth. It will also contain letters from our numerous elders who are abroad, preaching the word both in America and Europe, containing news of their success in ministering the blessings of the glorious gospel.

As an Ancient Record has lately been discovered in America, unfolding the history of that continent and its inhabitants, as far back as its first peopling after the flood, and containing much historical, prophetical, and doctrinal knowledge, which is of the utmost importance to the present age, we shall give such extracts from time to time as will be most interesting to the lovers of truth.

From this source we shall be able to pour a flood of light upon the world on subjects before concealed—upon the history of a nation whose remnants have long once dwindled to insignificance in midnight darkness, and whose former greatness was lost in oblivion, or only known by the remains of cities, palaces, temples, aqueducts, monuments, towers, fortifications, unintelligible inscriptions, sepulchres, and bones.

The slumber of ages has now been broken. The dark curtain of the past has been rolled up. The veil of obscurity has been removed, as it regards the world called new. —This discovery will yet be hailed among all nations, as among the most glorious events of latter times, and as one of the principal means of over-whelming the earth with knowledge.

This paper also will contain extracts from some remarkable visions and revelations which have been given to the Saints in this age, unfolding the mysteries of the kingdom of God from days of old and for ages to come: for truly some of the wonders of eternity have been opened to our view, and things to come have been shewn to us, even the things of many generations.

EDITOR'S ADDRESS TO HIS PATRONS.

FRIENDS AND FELLOW-TRAVELLERS TO ETERNITY,

It is with heart-felt joy and satisfaction we have the pleasure of sending forth the first number of the MILLENNIAL STAR—that luminary, which, rightly conducted, may be a means in the hand of God, of breaking the slumber and silence of midnight darkness, which, like a gloomy cloud, has long hung over the moral horizon—of dispelling the mists of error and superstition which have darkened the understanding and benumbed and blunted every great and noble faculty of the soul—and of kindling a spark of light in the hearts of thousands, which will at length blaze forth, and light up the dawn of that bright day which was seen afar off by holy men of old—the Sabbath of Creation.

We trust this paper will prove a welcome visitor to the palaces of the noble, the mansions of the rich, the towers of the brave, and the cottages of the poor: that the sublimity of its truths, the splendour of its light, and the easy simplicity of its style and language, may, at once, interest and edify the learned, and instruct and enlighten those in the humbler walks of life.

We are aware of the greatness of the undertaking, and of the solemn and awful responsibility resting upon us in conducting such a publication, as well as of the boundless field—the shoreless ocean—the fathomless deep upon which we have entered. We are truly sensible of our own weakness and inability to fill so important a station—to do justice to subjects so glorious and sublime, to themes so delightful so divine: themes which have exhausted the eloquence of ancient prophets—the melody of inspired poets: themes, of which angels have tuned their sweetest notes—their sublimest effusions, in strains divinely new, the fulness yet untold.

Sensible of our own inability, we shall carefully give heed to the sure word of prophecy as to a light which shines in a dark place, and seek for the inspiration of that Spirit which guides into all truth, and, which searches all things; yea, the deep things of God. In so doing, we hope to be able to hold forth the truth in a light so clear and evident, that it will commend itself to every man's conscience.

In our principles, we shall be obliged to come in contact with many of the opinions, doctrines, and traditions of men; and have to contend with many prejudices which now exist in the world, growing out of the present and past unhappy state of religious society. But we shall pursue a straightforward, bold, and fearless course, without turning a hair's-breadth to the right or left from the principles of truth, to court a smile or shun a frown. We shall not be careful to inquire what will be popular or unpopular—what will please or displease, but, what is truth; and when we discern that a principle is true, and will benefit mankind, we shall publish it, even if it were to come in contact with the opinions of all Christendom.

If, at any time, we shall be under the necessity of answering objections, correcting misrepresentations, or of entering into the field of controversy with those who may differ from us, we shall "contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the saints;" but at the same time, hold sacred the characters, regard the rights, and respect the feelings of those who do not see with us. "The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle—patient towards all men." "In meekness instructing those who oppose themselves." In matters of doctrine, we shall contend for one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one Holy Spirit, one God and Father of all; and in short, for all the offices, ordinances, gifts, and blessings which were set in order among the ancient saints.

As to party names, we shall acknowledge no name as belonging to the people of God but that of Saints; a name which is older than the flood. In relation to the Church of God in this age of the world, we shall acknowledge no name but "the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter-day Saints."

In regard to prophecy, we shall contend for a literal application and fulfilment, according to the common usage of the language,—according to the most plain, easy, and simple meaning of words and sentences.

As to "Calvinism." "Arminianism," "Trinitarianism," "Unitarianism," "Total-Depravity," and a thousand other such-like terms, which have confused, distracted, and divided the religious world, we know of no such terms in the Bible, and therefore have nothing to do with them.

As to "the powers that be," we shall teach men to fear God, honour and respect the laws, and all who are in authority, until he (Christ) reigns, whose right is to reign.

As to Temperance, we shall earnestly plead for men to be temperate in all things; and especially to beware of drunkenness and all its attendant evils and abominations.

In our style, we shall endeavour to be plain and simple, as our principles are designed for the benefit of all classes of society. In short, we hope, by the aid and assistance of the Spirit of God, to comfort the mourner—to bind up the broken-hearted—to preach the gospel to the poor—to bring glad tidings to the meek; and "that those who have erred in spirit may come to understanding, and those who have murmured may learn doctrine."

Manchester, May, 1840.Millennial Star, Vol. 1, No. 1, May 1840EDITED BY PARLEY P. PRATT. No. 1. VOL. I. MAY, 1840. Price 6d.