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NEPHITE APOSTATES.

McCloskey pulls the door open and glides ⚫ into the free air; and with a long pent up yell of relief, as he finds that this turns out to be another version of the old play, where the Indian does not form a grand tableau by standing on Jacob's chest, he dashes through the yard, jumps the picket fence, and after hesitating a moment on the wisdom of shying a cobble at the upper window of the Indian's dwelling and discarding the notion, retreats helter skelter to the security of domestic fastnesses, where no fears of his sanguinary foe assail his breast.

Jud did not appear at school next day, and we learned soon afterwards that he had been withdrawn altogether, on ac

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| count of the bad associations he was learning to form there. There remains to this day a matter of some forty marbles, a rabbit, the bass cow bell, and Mr. Beadle's "Scar-face, the Chief," unsettled between us; but we cheerfully forgave him the debt long ago, in the thankfulness of our heart at having escaped in safety from that memorable meal at his family board. Gax.

NEPHITE APOSTATES.

I.

A BRIEF consideration of the doings of a few of the Anti-Christs, who at different eras of the Nephite national life, afflicted that people with their unwholesome presence, and misguided them with their pernicious doctrines, may not be without value at the present time, particularly as there is so great a resemblence between many of their methods and those of modern uninspired religious teachers, in their common efforts to overthrow the principles of eternal truth. This similarity of method implies two things; one, that the Nephites were a people subject to be led very considerably by the same influences and ideas as are modern sectarians, and the other, that the devices of Appolyon, in his warfare against the Kingdom of God, have borne an evident and strongly marked likeness in all generations. True, the leading idea of the majority of his emissaries amongst the ancient inhabitants of this continent, that it was a folly and a sin to look for the coming of a Messiah in the flesh, who should redeem his people, is no longer possible, as the advent of Christ, is an historic verity that cannot, in this day, be gainsaid.

Prepare yourselves for the world as the athletes used to do for their exercises; oil your mind and your manners to give them the necessary suppleness and flexibility; strength alone will not do.-Chesterfield.

ideas which answer the same purpose, for though mankind cannot deny the actual mortal life of Jesus of Nazareth, and in many instances award to him a nominal recognition as the only begotten Son of God, yet these, by their vain philosophy, rob him of all that is divine. This much accomplished, Satan is as satisfied as though they utterly denied his existence in the flesh, and ignored his death on Calvary. But when we have passed by this prominent and most important feature, we find amongst the ancient Nephite apostates nearly all the leading and most popular vagaries that have dismembered the so called Christian church during the last two or three centuries. At one time we are confronted with dogmas, akin to the freegrace theories of the Methodists, then election and predestination loom up in a form that would affright the strictest Calvinist; another age gives birth to a bastard Universalism, with a "go-as-you please"—that is, through the flesh to the devil-train of articles of belief, or rather unbelief, which permitted every man to do that which was right in his own eyes. Again, there were those who discredited the resurrection, and others who denied the efficacy of the atonement. The be

But in the place, we find to-day, in the midst of Babylon, widespread | lief of those last named, led to their

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NEPHITE APOSTATES.

baptizing little infants, from the same false reasoning as do the ministers of the manmade systems of our day. Nor were these all; the readers of the Book of Mormon will find many other striking similarities, both in thought and action, between the apostates of this age and those of two thousand years ago.

To better understand the workings of these Anti-Christs, we must take a moment's glance at the religious condition of the Nephite people. We understand them to have been a branch of the house of Israel, well acquainted with the teachings of the ancient Hebrew prophets, whose writings they possessed and valued, who also were blessed with the presence and guidance of living servants of the Almighty Jehovah. Like the rest of their race they observed with strictness the law of Moses, and in order to meet the obligations of this code, one of their first labors in whatever land they occupied, was to build a temple for worship and sacrifice. To this law of types and shadows was superadded a clear understanding of the Gospel of the Son of God. His coming was unequivocally proclaimed, and the believers were baptized and organized into churches in his name; in all respects, as appears from the record, they enjoyed the same blessings as we do, the difference being that it required greater faith and confidence in them to accept of these things, before the advent of the beloved Son, than it does in us who live after his coming.

SHEREM.

We judge it to have been in the second generation that the first Nephite AntiChrist appeared. His name was Sherem. Lehi was dead, Nephi was dead, and Jacob, born in the wilderness, was an old man. The Nephites were then few in numbers; they had fled far from the spot where they first landed on America's shores, to avoid the animosities of the Lamanites. To their new home they gave the name of the Land of Nephi, and it was there and under these circumstances that dissent first raised its unhallowed head, and that the denial of the saving powers of the Redeemer were first mooted. Sherem openly and un

blushingly taught that there would be no Christ and that there was no necessity. for an atonement. He was a type of many who came after, and a well fitted tool for his evil work. Bland in manners, fluent of speech, much given to flattery, and withall, well versed in the learning of the Nephites, he, by his sophistries, led many astray. His success fired his zeal and filled him with overweening confidence in his own powers. He actually sought to convert to his views, Jacob, the prophet and presiding priest of the church, a man rich in wisdom, filled with the powers of heaven, and the recipient of many divine revelations, one indeed, who had seen angels and heard the voice of the Lord from time to time.

In the interview that occurred between these two widely differing men, Sherem charged that Jacob had converted the law of Moses, which was the right way, into the worship of a being, whom he said should come many hundred years hence, adding, "Now behold, I Sherem, declare unto you, that this is blasphemy; for no man knoweth of these things; for he cannot tell of things to come.,' Thus he denied prophecy, and styled good, evil, and exalted error in the place of truth. Jacob, being filled with the Spirit of God, confounded his arguments, brought forward the testimony of the Scriptures, and proved that the very law of Moses on which he lay so great a stress, was from beginning to end but the type and foreshadowing of the more perfect law of the Christ who should come. Beaten in his arguments, Sherem fell back upon that almost universal refuge of the false teacher. He defiantly called for a sign. A sign was given him. The power of God came upon him and he fell stricken to the ground. For many days he was nourished, but ineffectually; he himself perceived that death was approaching, and with this perception gathered in his soul all the fears and horrors of an apostates doom. But before his death he gathered the people to him and confessed his iniquity. He denied the things he had taught, he “confessed the Christ and the power of the Holy Ghost, and the ministering of

AMBITION.

angels." He avowed that he had been deceived by the power of the devil, and bitterly bewailed his condition, as the fear that he had committed the unpardonable sin, in denying the Savior, weighed his soul down to hell. Having made these small amends for his past iniquities, he could say no more, and gave up the ghost.

When the people who had gathered to hear his words, witnessed the terrors of his death, they were softened in their hearts, and the power of God came down upon them and they fell to the earth.

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The corrupt weeds he had sown in their hearts had withered, the truth had been vindicated, the cause of the Savior extolled, and peace and the love of God was restored again among the people. Thus was this apostasy eradicated, and God glorified; the Nephites of that generation from that time searching the Scriptures and cleaving unto the truth.

R.

How may ambition be defined? What is it? From whence does it come and whither does it lead? To happiness, to honor, or to the shrine of the fickle goddess, Fame? The answer is difficult, for the subject assumes no tangible form. In no two instances are its characteristics the same. Though generally accepted. as a desire for honor or preferment, so varied are its forms that any definition must in some instances fail of accuracy. It is the anticipation of unseen rewards. The unholy desire to snatch from heaven the glorious flowers of its power, and wreathe a garland to decorate our undeserving brows, and share with that high authority the adoration of lowlier men.

Yet, like all other qualities, ambition has its place. It cannot be ruthlessly condemned, for it has much power. Exterior powers cannot crush it, for it is without form, and so escapes detection. Controlled by the higher faculties of the mind, ambition leads to happiness, honor, glory. Perverted by debasing influences, its path is to misery, dishonor, disgrace. How potent has been its power in all times. Consult history where we may, the influence of ambition, in framing the destinies of men, is constantly seen. From the first murderer, who longed for greater favors from his parents' hands, to the philosophers of our day, who teach goodness to all mankind, ambition plays an important part.

No man is rich whose expenditures exceed his means; and no one is poor whose incomings exceed his outgoings.

AMBITION.

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To trace the benefits of honest, and the evils of perverted ambition, would be to follow the history of the world. To rise above his fellow man, and at least in fancy to mingle with the gods, has ever been the desire of active minds. Whether for purposes right or wrong, ambition stimulates them almost equally. The philanthropist and patriot-overcoming the selfishness of nature-think only to advance the interests of man's nobler self; and thereby prepare him for that millennium of bliss, whose port, guided by the beacon fire of honor, he enters after the turbulent voyage of life is ended. All honor let us pay to such ambition! For its fruits are uncorrupted by decay and produce perfect seed, wherein lies the embryo of future good deeds. Such a feeling it was that prompted Christ to sacrifice His life on the cross; Leonidas to die for his country's good; Cincinnatus and Washington to lay aside their

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chosen pursuits and assume the helm of | something to present truths in any destate. A more selfish desire made the partment, has been the great secret of oratory of Demosthenes and Cicero pos- the advancement of intellect and civilizasible; made Erskine, at twenty-three, tion in all ages. Ambition gave the cue leave his wife and children to enter Cam- and motive power, and thus to her we are much indebted. Governed by high intellectual qualities and honor, ambition may be a benefactor. In such conditions let us give it all needful encouragement, hoping to create those feelings which will benefit mankind.

bridge; made the younger Pitt, at the immature age of twenty-three years, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and less than two years after, Premier of England; and placed Daniel Webster near the apex of the human cone, that great men constitute.

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Old customs were changed for those that generally were no better; the advancement of knowledge was checked; and thus, through many changes and adversities, the world became no better.

Youth seems to be the period when ambition has most complete sway. The youthful mind is essentially progressive, and readily grasps anything apt to facilitate its advance. These two conditions account for the earnestness and continued efforts of so many young persons, who sacrifice present pleasures for the benefits their laudable efforts are sure to bring. Burning the midnight oil should not be encouraged; but how many instances history furnishes of ambitious persons, working during the day for sustenance, devoting their only leisurenight-to the improvement of their minds, and at last reaching positions of emi

nence.

The thirst for knowledge, or to add

"The fiery soul abhorred in Cataline,
In Decius charms, in Curtius is divine;
The same ambition can destroy or save,
And make a patriot as it makes a knave." T.

HABIT. It has been truly said that even happiness itself may become habitual. One may acquire the habit of looking upon the sunny side of things, and he may also acquire the habit of looking upon the gloomy side. Hume,

the historian, remarked that the habit of looking at the bright side of things was better than a thousand a year.

Habit being so easily formed, and when once formed so powerful in its hold, how important it becomes that correct habits should be adopted early in life! "Beginning with single acts, habit is formed slowly at first, and it is not until its spider threads are woven into a thick cable, that its existence is suspected."

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GEOFFREY CHAUCER.

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GEOFFREY CHAUCER.

GEOFFREY CHAUCER has been styled | ring his imprisonment in the Tower he the "father of English poetry." This is wrote one of his famous poems, The a just appellation, for at the head of Testament of Love. England's long list of poets his name is written. A few writers of considerable note had preceded him; Alfred the Great, the venerable Bede, Sir John Mandeville, but none can lay claim to so proud a title as Chaucer. The date of this poet's birth has not been determined, some authors stating it to be in 1828, others in 1840; most likely the former date is the correct one. He describes himself as being a Londoner, and from his having written his Court of Love under the title of Philogenet of Cambridge, many have supposed that he was educated at that place. His connections were all of the highest class, his family being of the aristocracy of the continent, and himself marrying one of the maidsof-honor to the queen.

The Court of Love and Troilus and Creseide were written while he was still a young man at college. Under the patronage of John of Gaunt, the young poet was introduced at court, where he was favorably welcomed, as well for his pleasing manners and appearance, as for his ingenious writings. He did not remain long at court, for when, by King Edward's order, the army embarked for France, Chaucer was among the number who crossed the channel; and in the seige of Ritters he was taken prisoner. In 1840 he was ransomed and returned to England.

For some years he enjoyed high positions of confidence, and emolument, and during the first years of the reign of Richard II, his life grew constantly brighter. But troubles soon clouded his prospects. Having sided with Lancaster, in the difficulties between him and the king, the poet was compelled to take refuge on the continent, where he remained for sometime, suffering all the miseries of poverty. Venturing to return to his native land, he was immediately seized and thrown into the Tower of London, where he was confined until he made a full confession of his guilt. Du

Upon his release, having spent many years in public life, he retired to the calm quietude of his home at Woodstock, where he lived to see the son of his former friend and patron ascend the throne with the title of Henry IV.

Surrounded by the beauties and the happiness of this country seat, Chaucer wrote his finest poem, The Canterbury Tales. It is probable that the plan of the work was conceived from the Decameron of Boccaccio. In Chaucer's work a number of pilgrims, thirty-six in all, on their way to the tomb of Thomas à Becket at Canterbury, meet at the Tabard inn, Southwark, where they all agree, each to tell two stories, or tales, on their way to Canterbury, and two on their way back. The work was but partially completed, twenty-four stories only being given; but these twenty-four attest the versatility of his genius, the perfect command he possessed of the English language, and his keen observance of human nature. Although The Flower and the Leaf is one of the most beautiful allegorical poems in the language, it ranks far below the Canterbury Tales. Some of his minor poems are, The Romaunt of the Rose, The Cuckoo and the Nightingale, Legend of Good Women, House of Fame, and Assembly of the Fowls.

The great poet died October 24, 1400, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, where repose the noblest of England's dead. Chaucer's character was in every way exemplary. Though religiously inclined, he still possessed a ripple of quiet humor, a fine appreciation of all that was beautiful and good, and, above all, the power of exquisitely communicating his thoughts to others, so that by his readers he is considered one of the most enjoyable poets among the many that England has produced. Viva.

THE greatest truths are the simplest, so are the greatest men.

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