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272 ExcELLENCE of The society.

Book had then existed upward of eighteen hundred years; and wherever it had penetrated and been received, it had purified and exalted the character of man. Reposing upon three fundamental pillars, the unity and omnipotence of God, the Creator and Governor of all worlds; the immortality of the human soul, and its responsibility to that Creator in a future world for all the deeds done in the present; and the system of morals, embracing in one precept the whole duty of man upon earth—Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength ; and [thou shalt love] thy neighbor as thyself. * The Bible carries with it the history of the creation, the fall and the redemption of man; and discloses to him, in the infant born at Bethlehem, the Legislator and Savior of the world. The faith in him and in his divine mission is inseparably connected with the performance of his will, and that will is all comprised in the song of the angels at his birth— Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. In whatever region of the earth, in whatever condition of the human being this blissful sound first salutes his ears, the depravities of his nature fall before it; the selfish and the rancorous passions which had absorbed his soul and ruled his conduct under the impulses of hatred and revenge, sink within him into impotence; he bathes in the waters of Jordan, and rises cleansed from his leprosy, in the freshness and vigor of health, and the purity of benevolence and mercy. Such has been the progress of the gospel wherever the Bible has been carried and suffered to be read. In the mysterious providence of God, its influences have been counteracted by the spirit of evil in all its thousand forms, throughout a long succession of ages. Its advancement has been slow; its victories desperately contested; its triumphs subjected to cruel vicissitudes; its war against the world, the tlesh, and the serpent, a perpetual, never-ceasing struggle.


Yet its march has been uniform in purifying and ennobling the moral, the intellectual, and the physical condition and character of man.

To circulate and distribute among great multitudes of men, in every quarter of the globe, this blessed volume, was the purpose for which this society was instituted. One generation of mankind has since passed away.

The secretary% of the society is now present, and will give an account of their labors, their success, and their prospects. I trust they will prove to the satisfaction of this assembly that, by their labors, the human being of this age is, on the whole, wiser, better, happier than the human being of the last.

That by the success of those labors they will be cheered and encouraged to perseverance in them, by the emulation of the present age to contribute their aid to the progress of human wisdom, virtue, and happiness, from age to age, till that consummation of human felicity promised in this book, when—

The wolf, also, shall duell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

* Rev. Dr. Brigham. M 2

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Thou hast trued them that say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.—Rev. 2: 2.

For without are dogs, and sorce RERs, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever LovETH AND MAKETH A LIE.—Rev. 22:15.

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apos

tles of Christ. ...And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.—2 Cor. 11:13, 14.

For there shall arise false Christs, and fielse prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders ; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.— Matt. 24 24.

BAérare of ris Up, as trxavijan.—Matt. 24:4.

Maxima pars vatum, pater et juvenes patre digni,
Decipimur specie recti. + k * —Hor.

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