A solemn APPEAL to the last JUDGEMENT,
on being excommunicated.
It is really astonishing, that in the events of time, such a revolution as this should take place; that I should be cut off, as I am this day, from the privileges of communion with God's people here on earth, in the special ordinances of Christ, which I so much prized; while, at the same time, I have exerted myself to the utmost of my small ability, with carefulness, watchings and prayer; with the concessions in point of principle, as far as possible, and consistent with good conscience, and in pleadings thorough and pathetic: But, alas! If it must be so, the will of the Lord be done. - - And I do, and will rejoice that the Lord reigns; that time is quickly coming when all these things shall be righted, at that tremendous but glorious day of accounts, when Christ shall be the Judge, who would judge absolutely right. – – – There, there will I meet you, in confidence, that this is my condemnation (however sincere this church may be about it) will be found to be wrong, and the time is near. – – – And I do and will rejoice, that however amongst frail men, sincere as they may be, mistakes and wrong judgment may flow from a church here on earth; yet it does not, if wrong, shut me out of the kingdom of heaven hereafter, nor bar me from the blissful presence of God, nor all the necessary influences of the blessed Spirit; nor oblige me, though ever so well persuaded that I am wrongly condemned, to break charity with the church: For, if Christian members of which the church is made up, may do wrong, and yet be Christians; by parity of reason a church may do wrong, and yet be Christ's church. And I hope after all, that the heaven will be the portion of every individual member of this church; and if they are saved no otherwise, yet so as by fire; and that I may, through the merits of Christ, if not before, be joined to the church of the firstborn above, and with them be made a pillar in the temple of God, and go no more out. – – – But for the little time between now and then, if there is no other remedy, I shall content myself with publishing the whole of the strange process to the world, that better geniuses may undertake to right this matter; that I can by no means get a candid hearing of, in this church, with all the unwearied pains I have taken for it. Amen.
Pause a little.
Now let the candid reader resolve in his mind, the sum of what has been said in my vindication, and he will doubtless see that the main draft of my plea is to this import, viz. that whether Polygamy be in reality right or wrong; yet that there are really many things in Scripture and reason to look in favor of it; that it is really disputable; and that the Scriptures do not plainly decide, that therefore a man could not reasonably be blamed for thinking it lawful; that barely thinking it lawful is all the bane of contention.
Now, if my thinking Polygamy to be lawful, under certain circumstances and proper regulation, is plain and certain evidence of insincerity or wickedness; or, in other words, if only thinking Polygamy lawful, is a fundamental error and damning sin, then the church have done right: but if, on the whole, if it is a point left by the God of nature really so undecided and dark, as that it is no certain mark of an unfound, ungracious heart, only to think it lawful, that no doubt they have done wrong in the whole matter, which I leave to the candid to decide.