BoM Issues
Book of Mormon


Vol. XIV, NO. 8 (June, 1911): 665 - 677; (July, 1911): 774 - 786

Higher Criticism and the Book of Mormon.*


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The Cache stake superintendent of Y. M. M. I. A. announced to the audience of two thousand persons that Elder Roberts' subject would be "Higher Criticism and the Book of Mormon."

ELDER ROBERTS:  I am very glad that the general superintendent of Improvement work in this stake of Zion has announced the subject of my remarks, because it enables me to say to you that the questions we are to consider in regard to higher criticism will be no attempt at anything like a thorough exposition of that subject; but the consideration of higher criticism in its relations to the Book of Mormon on a very few points.  The methods and results growing out of higher criticism constitute too large a theme to be disposed of at one sitting; and so I would have you approach the subject this evening with the understanding that there is no attempt on my part to consider the whole theme, but just a few things in relation to it, and I sincerely trust that those present who are familiar with that system of criticism, and who

* A discourse delivered in the tabernacle, Logan, Utah, Sunday evening, April 2, 1911.  Reported by F. E. Barker for the IMPROVEMENT ERA.

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are in sympathy with its results, if I fail to recognize all that may be good in it, that they will attribute that fact to the limits to which our discussion is to be confined.

I shall take a text from the Book of Mormon, from a certain vision the First Nephi had of future events.  His vision illustrates, perhaps as no other prophet illustrates, that very happy expression of one of the early elders and apostles of the Church, Elder Parley P. Pratt, who, you will remember, in the title to one of the chapters of that little "Mormon" classic, The Voice of Warning, propounds this question:  "What is prophecy but history reversed?"  That is, prophecy regarded as a foreseeing of things that will be, before they happen in human experience.  To this prophet Nephi was given the privilege of seeing, in rather full outline, the life of the Christ, the establishment of his Church in the meridian dispensation, and many things that were to happen in the course of the ages yet to be.  Of course, I know you higher critics are already smiling at such a statement as that.  But, nevertheless, such is the representation of the Book of Mormon with reference to this remarkable vision of Nephi's.  Among other things, he foresaw the peopling of this Western hemisphere by the Gentile races, and at this point I read my text:

And it came to pass that I beheld the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Book of the Lamb of God, which had proceeded from the mouth of the Jew, that it came forth from the Gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren [our American Indians].  And after it had come forth unto them, I beheld other books which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets [having in mind the Old Testament] and of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb [having in mind the New Testament] are true.  And the angel spake unto me, saying, These last records which thou hast seen among the Gentiles shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world, and that all men must come unto him or they cannot be saved" (I Nephi 13[:38-40]).

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Such is the proclaimed mission of the Book of Mormon--to establish the truth of the Jewish scriptures, the Old Testament and the New; and, secondly, to convince both Gentiles and Jews that Jesus is the Christ; that the only means of salvation for man is the gospel of Christ, which is the "power of God unto salvation" to every man that believes it and obeys it.  That is the mission of the Book of Mormon.

I now come to certain objections to this book, based on the conclusions of higher criticism.  A very estimable gentleman of your city has done me the honor to refer to some remarks of mine, in relation to what the Book of Mormon must submit to, in the way of testing its truth. I will quote his words:

In a recent book, Mr. Brigham H. Roberts has said that "the fact should be recognized by the Latter-day Saints that the Book of Mormon of necessity must submit to every test, to literary criticism as well as to every other class of criticism."  The contention is a reasonable one, and in response to the invitation that it presents, the following pages will consider the Book of Mormon in the light which the modern study of the Bible throws upon it.

I am willing to repeat my statement that the Book of Mormon must submit to every test, literary criticism with the rest.  Indeed, it must submit to every analysis and examination.  It must submit to historical tests, to the tests of archaeological research and also to the higher criticism.  And, what is more, in the midst of it all, its advocates must carry themselves in a spirit of patience and of courage; and that they will do just as long, of course, as their faith remains true to the book.  For many years, after a rather rigid analysis, as I think, of the evidence bearing upon the truth of the Book of Mormon, I have reached, through some stress and struggle, too, an absolute conviction of its truth.  The book is flung down into the world's mass of literature, and here it is; we proclaim it true, and the world has the right to test it to the uttermost in every possible way.  Since we admit this, let us consider the effect of higher criticism upon the book, or of certain results of higher criticism upon it, as viewed by those who do not believe in its divine authenticity.

Perhaps I had better say just a few words here, in a general way, about higher criticism.  I have here a definition which I

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regard as extremely fair, and as comprehensive as a brief definition can be.  I quote the words of Dr. Elliott, author of The Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch.  First, however, let me say that which is called the "Literary Method," is identical with what is called "Higher Criticism," the terms are often used interchangeably.  Higher Criticism may be said to stand in contradistinction to what is called Lower Criticism in this, that it concerns itself with writings as a whole, whereas Lower Criticism concerns itself with the integrity or character of particular passages or texts, and is sometimes called "Textual Criticism."  And now Dr. Elliott:

The term Literary or Higher Criticism designates that type of Biblical criticism which proposes to investigate the separate books of the Bible in their internal peculiarities, and to estimate them historically.  It discusses the questions concerning their origin, the time and place, the occasion and object of their composition, and concerning their position and value in the entire body of revelation. . . . The Higher Criticism has been so often employed for the overthrow of long-cherished beliefs, that the epithet "destructive" has frequently been applied to it; and hence it has become an offense to some orthodox ears.--Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch, by Charles Elliott, D. D.

You recognize, do you not, that the methods of higher criticism are legitimate; that is to say, it is right to consider the various books of the scriptures, the Old Testament and the New, as a body of literature, and to examine them internally, and go into the circumstances under which they were written, and the time at which they were written, and the purpose for which they were written?  All that we recognize as legitimate, though I must say, in passing, that when one enters into the details of these methods, it is rather astonishing' at least it is to me, to see what heavy weights are hung upon very slender threads!  The methods, then, of higher criticism we recognize as proper; but we must disagree as to the correctness of many of the conclusions arrived at by that method.

Allow me to briefly set forth at this time a summary of the conclusions of the higher critics in relation to the Old Testament, and, further along in my remarks, I will take up some of the con-

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clusions formed in relation to the New Testament.  But in reference to the library of books known to us as the Old Testament, Dr. Lyman Abbott, one high in authority among higher critics, sets forth the following conclusions as practically agreed upon:

They are generally agreed in thinking that the Book of Genesis is composed of three or four or more documents woven together by some ancient editor in one continuous narrative.  They are generally agreed in thinking that the book of "the Covenant," with the Ten Commandments at its forefront, is the oldest book in the Bible; that the history in which that book of the Covenant is imbedded was written long subsequent to the time of Moses.  They are generally agreed in thinking that the book of Deuteronomy, embodying a later prophet's conception of Mosaic principles, was not written or uttered by Moses himself in its present form, but some centuries after the death of Moses.  They are generally agreed in thinking that the book of Leviticus was written long subsequent to the time of Moses; and so far from embodying the principles of the Mosaic code, embodies much that is in spirit adverse, if not antagonistic, to the simple principles of Mosaism.  They are generally agreed in considering that we have in the books of Kings and Chronicles history and belles lettres so woven together that it is not always possible to tell what is to be regarded as belles lettres and what is to be regarded as history.  They are generally agreed in the opinion that Job, while it treats of history about the days of Moses, or even anterior thereto, was written later than the time of Solomon; that very little of the Hebrew Psalter was composed by David: the most of it was composed in the time of the exile or subsequent thereto; . . . that the Book of Isaiah was written by certainly two authors and perhaps more, the latter book being written one hundred years at least after the earlier, and by a prophet now unknown.

Such, in brief, is a statement of the conclusions of higher criticism in relation to the Old Testament as far along at least as Isaiah.  Now merely to indicate in what way our Book of Mormon may possibly become a witness for the integrity of the scriptures, I call attention to the following incident in the history of Lehi's colony:

After Lehi's colony had left Jerusalem, and was encamped in the wilderness, Lehi desired very much to carry with him upon that unknown journey upon which he was starting--at least unknown as to its destination, except perhaps in some general way--he desired to carry with him, I say, the genealogy of his

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fathers and the Jewish scriptures; that this desire might be realized, his sons returned to Jerusalem, and, after some adventures, succeeded at last in obtaining a volume of the scriptures, together with the genealogy of their father, and with these records returned to the wilderness.  This is supposed to be some six hundred years before Christ.  When these books were brought to Lehi, he discovered that they contained the five books of Moses, together with other writings down to the day of Jeremiah, the prophet, including some of the writings of Jeremiah.  I quote the passage:

And after they [Lehi's colony] had given thanks unto the God of Israel, my father, Lehi, took the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, and he did search them from the beginning, and he beheld that they did contain the five books of Moses, which gave an account of the creation of the world, and also of Adam and Eve, who were our first parents; and also a record of the Jews from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah; and also the prophecies which have been spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah.

Now, on the theory that the Book of Mormon is what it purports to be--a true history of events which happened in the experience of this man Lehi and his descendants--you have here a testimony dating back six hundred years before Christ, for the integrity of the books of Moses, their authorship and their number; and also a testimony for the integrity of most of the Old Testament as we have it today; and in this way the Book of Mormon becomes a witness for the truth of the Jewish scriptures.

But now to come to matters with which we are to be more immediately concerned.  It is pointed out in this brochure, from which I am going to read, that there are certain results accepted by the so-called higher criticism, which discredit the Book of Mormon, which disprove its truth in plain terms, to those who publish it.  Let me here observe that the gentleman who wrote this pamphlet, the Rev. Paul Jones of your city, has been very considerate in the use of phraseology, seeking to avoid offense, and is really modest in the claims that he makes for the argument that he employs.  The first error he discovers, as to the Book of Mormon, is one of chronology.  He says:

The chronology of the Book of Mormon is quite at fault when com-

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pared with the dates now accepted by Biblical scholars.  The Book of Mormon places the departure of Lehi from Jerusalem in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah.  The years that follow are carefully counted from that date.  [Then citations from the Book of Mormon are given].  Now, scholars are agreed that the first year of Zedekiah was in 595-596 B. C., and counting six hundred years from that time would date the birth of Christ in the year 4-5 A. D.  But the date best attested for the birth of Christ [i. e.. by the higher criticism] is 6 B. C.  Also the thirty-fourth year from the giving of the sign, according to the Book of Mormon, would place the crucifixion in the year 38-39 A. D., but there is almost universal agreement among modern scholars that it took place in 29 A. D.  It should be noted; too, [and I pray you mark it] that the Book of Mormon misdates the birth and crucifixion of Christ, in spite of the fact that those two points of termination were supposed to be marked by such unusual signs as the three days' continuous light [at the time of Messiah's birth] and the three days' continuous darkness in the western hemisphere [at the time of Messiah's death].  ("The Bible and the Book of Mormon, Some Suggestive Points from Modern Bible Study," by Rev. Paul Jones, Logan, Utah, pp. 4-6.)

Now, in presenting my argument upon this objection, it will not be necessary for me to dispute or attempt to overthrow the conclusions of the higher criticism.  I shall go no further in my argument than to call your attention to the fact that the science, so called, of chronology is quite uncertain in its conclusions, and I think I shall be able to satisfy you upon that point; and that this supposed disagreement between higher criticism and the Book of Mormon, as to chronology, is not a point of sufficient moment on which to attempt to overthrow the integrity or truth of an ancient volume of scripture.  To begin with, some years ago, I gave attention to this matter, and crystalized the results of some of the late research in the following statements:

The birth of Christ was first made an era from which to reckon dates by Dionysius Exiguus, in the early part of the sixth century A. D.  He supposed Christ to have been born on the 20th of December, in the year of Rome 753, and this computation has been followed in practice to this day; notwithstanding the learned are well agreed that it must be incorrect. . . . It is clear from Matt. 2:1, etc., that Christ was born before the death of Herod the Great, who died about Easter, in the year of Rome 749 or 750.  Now, if Christ was born in December next before Herod's death, it must have been in the year of Rome 748 or 7

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and, of course, four, if not five, years anterior to the Dionysian or Vulgar era.

That is the first proposition; the second follows:

It is probable, from Luke 3: 1, 2, 23, that Jesus was about thirty years of age in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar.  Now, the reign of Tiberius may be considered as commencing at the time he became sole emperor, in August of the year of Rome 767: or (as there is some reason to suppose that Augustus made him partner in the government two years before he died) we may begin his reign in the year of Rome 765.  The fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius will, therefore, be either the year of Rome 781 or 779.  From which deduct thirty, and we have the year of Rome 751 or 749 for the year of Christ's birth, the former two and the latter four years earlier than the Dionysian computation.  Comparing these results with those obtained from the death of Herod, it is generally supposed the true time of Christ's birth was the year of Rome 749, or four years before the Vulgar era. But the conclusion is not certain, because there is uncertainty about the data (Outlines of Ecclesiastical History, Sec. 1).

To the foregoing, I add the following statement of Rev. Charles F. Deem, author of The Light of the Nation, and president of the American Institute of Christian Philosophy.  He says:

"It is annoying to see learned men use the same apparatus of calculation and reach the most diverse results."  On page 32 of the work mentioned, Dr. Deign, in a foot note, refers to fifteen different authors, all of whom are writers of note, who give different years for the birth of Christ, varying from B. C. 1 to B. C. 7 (Ibid ).

I call your attention to these facts merely to show the uncertainty of the deductions from chronological data; and I have here in my hand a work under the title of Orpheus, a History of Religions, by Reinach, a book published in 1909, and a work of high standing in the historical field--the religious historical field. In his chapters that deal with Christianity he accepts the conclusions of higher critics, and on this question of the birth and death of the Christ, he has the following remarkable passage, which I commend to your serious attention:

Do we know anything definite as to the date of Christ's birth and activity?  Matthew places his birth in the reign of Herod, that is to

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say, at the latest in the year 4 B. C.; Luke dates it at the time of a census which took place ten years after, in the year 6 A. D., [the date favored in the brochure with which we are dealing, you will remember].  The same Luke says Jesus was thirty in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the year 29 of our era, the date to which he assigns the baptism of Jesus by St. John; but Luke seems to have taken this date from the passage in Josephus (which speaks of the death of John the Baptist in connection with an event of the year 36) and to have allowed for an interval of "even years between the preaching of John the Baptist and the incident in question.  Luke makes the ministry of Jesus last only a year and a half, whereas, John declares that it lasted three and a half years.  Luke recounts an episode in the childhood of Jesus, whereas the other evangelists seem to have known nothing of this period of his life.  John makes the Jews say to Jesus, "Thou art not yet fifty years old, " from which the early church inferred that he was about forty-nine at his death; but in this case, if he was born in the year 4 B. C., he must have died in A. D. 45, not under Tiberius, but under Claudius, and, indeed, the forged report of Pilate fabricated by the Christians is addressed to Claudius.  If, on the other hand, Jesus was born in the year of the census (the year 6 A. D.) and lived forty-nine years, he died in 55, and this opinion was stoutly upheld by certain Christians of Jerusalem.  Finally, Eusebius mentions another false report ascribed to Pilate, according to which Jesus was crucified in A. D. 21, which, remarks Eusebius, is impossible, as we know from Josephus that Pilate was not procurator at this period.  Thus we see that even the fact of the condemnation under Pilate is not established.  That Pilate appears escorted by Annas and Caiaphas in Luke's gospel proves only one thing, namely that Luke had read Josephus, or one of his authorities.  To sum up, we find that less than a century after the Christian era, which tradition places four years after the birth of Jesus, no one knew precisely when he was born, when he taught or when he died.

And this author, from whom I have just quoted, is influenced in his conclusions by higher criticism, and accepts--as far as one can accept such a diversity of conclusions--he accepts higher criticism's conclusions.  And I say, in closing this point, that until the science of chronology can yield a greater degree of certainty than it exhibits in the dates connected with the life of the Christ, we have no occasion to be alarmed at the chronology of the Book of Mormon, because it disagrees with the conclusions of higher criticism.

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There is just one more item upon this point, and then I leave it, and that is this:  I called your attention, in passing, to a statement made by Rev. Paul Jones, that the Book of Mormon misdates the birth and crucifixion of Christ, in spite of the fact that these two points of termination were supposed to be marked by such unusual scenes as the three days' continuous light, as the sign of his birth, and the three days' continuous darkness, as the sign of Messiah's death.  Now, upon that point our friend has not read with sufficient care what the Book of Mormon has said in relation to the time of the death of Christ. Listen.  I read from Third Nephi, the opening verse of the 8th chapter.  This is in regard to the date of Messiah's death.

And now it came to pass that according to our record, and we know our record to be true, for, behold, it was a just man who kept the record.

I take it that that has reference to the record in a general way--they knew the record to be true.  Now mark you:

And it came to pass that, according to our record, that if there was no mistake made by this man in the reckoning of our time, the thirty-third year passed away; and it came to pass in the thirty-fourth year, in the first month, in the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as was never known before, etc.

So you note this remarkable circumstance, that there seems to be a possibility, at least, of the man who kept this record not being absolutely accurate.  The statement that the beginning of the thirty-fourth year as marking the death of Christ, is contingent upon the accuracy of him who kept that record.  Will some one say, "Yes, that discloses the cunning of the work.  Joseph Smith put in this proviso just to escape being cornered?"  But wait a moment, that point was not raised, nor was there any question as to the accuracy of the commonly accepted date of Christ's birth at the place where, and at the time when the Book of Mormon was translated.  Higher criticism was not under way in those days, so that it cannot be said that this proviso of accuracy was an anchor thrown haphazard to provide against possible future question of accuracy of the date of Messiah's birth.  Our Book of Mormon statement, then, is: If he who kept the record

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made no mistake, then it was thirty-four years from the time when the sign of Messiah's birth was given, to the sign of his crucifixion; but he who kept the record may or may not have been absolutely accurate; we have no means of determining that point.

The second disagreement between the conclusions of higher criticism and the Book of Mormon is of a weightier and more worthy character.  It is stated in these words:

Another point which the modern study of the Bible has established that undermines the validity of the Book of Mormon is in regard to the date of the composition of certain chapters of Isaiah.  The Book of Mormon quotes in various places chapters 48-54 of Isaiah as being among the writings carried away from Jerusalem in the first year of Zedekiah, 597-6 B. C.; but the best authorities among scholars today are agreed that these chapters were not written until at least the period of exile in Babylon, say fifty years later, and hence could not have been carried away by Lehi (page 6).

Now, here is a real difficulty.  Let rne go over the ground again.  It is insisted that there are two Isaiahs instead of one.  Some Isaian critics, by the way, think they can trace seven authors --seven different authors in Isaiah.  But generally it is represented that there are at least two, and perhaps more--but two, at least; that the first Isaiah was the prophet himself, that splendid figure who gave religious advice, instruction and prophetic direction through four reigns of the kings of Judah, and is one of the grandest figures in Hebrew history.  That is the author of the first thirty-nine chapters of Isaiah; but from chapter forty to chapter sixty six, is written by other authors, and, as stated here in the passage read from the brochure being examined, in the Book of Mormon you find whole chapters quoted from this second Isaiah.  And now, if the contention of our higher critics be true, that this portion of Isaiah was not written until some fifty years, at least, after Lehi left Jerusalem, then, of course, he could not carry this portion of Isaiah with him into the wilderness; and, consequently, Nephi could not transcribe chapters into the record he made; and, consequently, they could not be in the Nephite scriptures for Joseph Smith to translate into our English version of the Book of Mormon.  That must be patent to all.  You will observe that here we have a question that challenges the integrity of the

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Book of Mormon, its translator--a real difficulty.  What are we to say in reply to it?

In justice to this question, I think I ought to read to you a statement of the argument that is made in Dr. Driver's Introduction to the Old Testament Literature, in support of this theory of there being two Isaiahs, or two authors of the book that bears the title, "The Book of the Prophet Isaiah."

The internal evidence [that is, the internal evidence for the conclusions of the higher critics] supplied by the prophecy itself, points to this period [that is, to the time of the captivity, as the time of the composition, the time of writing the second Isaiah, one hundred and fifty gears after the death of the first Isaiah, and at least fifty years after the departure of Lehi from Jerusalem] as that at which it was written.  It alludes repeatedly to Jerusalem as ruined and deserted; to the sufferings which the Jews have experienced, or are experiencing, at the hands of the Chaldeans; the prospect of return, which, as the prophet speaks, is imminent.  Those whom the prophet addresses, and, moreover, addresses in person--arguing with them, appealing to them, striving to win their assent by his warm and impassioned rhetoric--are not the men of Jerusalem, contemporaries of Ahaz and Hezekiah, or even of Manassah, they are the exiles in Babylonia.  Judged by the analogy of prophecy, this constitutes the strongest possible presumption that the author actually lived in the period which he thus describes, and is not merely (as has been supposed) immersed in spirit in the future, as holding converse, as it were, with the generations yet unborn.  Such an immersion in the future would be not only without parallel in the Old Testament, it would be contrary to the nature of prophecy.  The Prophet speaks always in the first instance, to his own contemporaries; the message which he brings intimately related with the circumstances of his time; his promises and predictions, however far they reach into the future, nevertheless rest upon the basis of the history of his own age, and correspond to the needs which are then felt.  The prophet never abandons his own historical position, but speaks from it.

Second.  The argument derived from the historic function of prophecy is confirmed by the literary style of chapters 40-66, which is very different from that of Isaiah 1-39.  Isaiah I-39 shows strongly marked individualities of style.  He is fond of particular images and phrases, many of which are used by no other writer of the Old Testament.  Now in the chapters which contain evident allusions to the age of Isaiah himself these expressions occur repeatedly; in the chapters which are without

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such allusions, and which thus authorize prima facie the inference that they belong to a different age, they are absent, and new images and phrases appear instead.  The coincidence cannot be accidental.  The subject of chapters 40-66 is not so different from that of Isaiah's prophecies, e. g., against the Assyrians, as to necessitate a new phraseology and rhetorical form.  The differences can only be explained by the supposition of a change of author.

Third.  The theological ideas of chapters 40 to 66 (insofar as they are not of that fundamental kind common to the prophets generally) differ remarkably from those which appear from chapters 1 to 39, to be distinctive of Isaiah.  Thus, on the nature of God generally, the ideas expressed are much larger and fuller.  Isaiah, for instance, depicts the majesty of Jehovah: in chapters 40 to 46 the prophet emphasizes his infinitude; he is the Creator, the Sustainer of the Universe, the Lawgiver, the Author of History, the First and the Last, the Incomparable One.  This is a real difference.  And yet it cannot be argued that opportunities for such assertions of Jehovah's power and Godhead would not have presented themselves naturally to Isaiah whilst he was engaged in defying the armies of Assyria.  But, in truth, chapters 40 to 46 show an advance upon Isaiah, not only in the substance of their theology, but also in the form in which it is presented; truths which are merely reaffirmed in Isaiah, being here made the subject of reflection and argument.

Such are the headlines, as we may say, the brief statements of the reasons given--and they are the strongest reasons given--why we are to regard the chapters from forty to sixty-six in Isaiah as written by a different person from the one who wrote the first thirty-nine chapters; and as they stand here presented I must confess that they look formidable.  But if you will take Dr. Driver's work, and will read the arguments at length, I promise you that the effect upon your mind of the detailed consideration of the arguments will be to dissipate this strength, it will not appear as strong as it does in these brief and general statements.


Higher Criticism and the Book of Mormon.*


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The prime reason why we are asked to believe that this second part of the Book of Isaiah could not have been written by the one who wrote the first part is that if we suppose the first Isaiah to have written the latter part of the book, then we must believe in the possibility of a man being wrenched from the environment in which he stands, so to speak, and be projected forward in time, and become so immersed in a different environment as to speak by the spirit of prophecy in a new style and spirit, and from the midst of future events, as if they were present.  Higher critics, as a rule, insist that the miraculous does not happen, that wherever the miraculous appears, there you must halt, and dismiss the miraculous parts of narratives, since they suggest fraud on the one hand and credulity upon the other--therefore we are asked to reject the second part of Isaiah as being the work of the prophet who wrote the first part of the book of that name, since accepting it would involve us in the belief of the possibility of Isaiah being so immersed in the events of future time as to speak from the midst of them as if they were present.

Let us consider this principle of the higher criticism just a moment. Is it possible for the mind of man to have revealed to it the future?  Is it possible to penetrate in advance

* A discourse delivered in the tabernacle, Logan, Utah, Sunday evening, April 2, 1911.

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one day's happenings, the happenings of three months into the future, three years, or three centuries into the future?  If you can demonstrate the fact that the mind can foresee the events of tomorrow, you win your case; because the veil is as impenetrable that hides tomorrow from the mind of man in its normal state, as is the veil that separates him from the future of three hundred years.  Let me illustrate what I have in mind by relating a circumstance which happened within my own knowledge, and I speak of this incident with the greater freedom here because I know that in the experience of scores of men who are before me it could in large part be duplicated.

I knew two young elders who were missionaries in the Southern states more than a quarter of a century ago.  They were young and inexperienced, yet full of zeal for the faith.  They had left all their interests in the west, in order to teach their faith, in their weak way, to the people of the south land.  They happened to be in a section of country where they had many friends, but these were slow to accept their message, so far as being baptized was concerned.  The interest of the community in the message these young men bore was quite general, but very few, in fact, up to the point I am speaking of, none had joined the Church by baptism.  These young men were very disappointed that they were not baptizing people and organizing branches of the Church, as the elders did in early days.  The result was that they grew restive, and made up their minds that they would seek other pastures, hoping for a more fruitful ingathering of souls.  They quietly bade good bye to their warmest friends, and prepared to take their departure.  But during the night preceding the day of their departure, one of them had the dream I shall here relate.  At the time, the brethren were guests of one of the wealthiest families in this particular part of the state, a family that had received them with great kindness, a family made up of a husband, a wife and a beautiful daughter, married to a young student of medicine of the neighborhood, soon to graduate as a physician.  The lady herself was very much interested in the gospel, the husband very much afraid of it, and full of anxiety concerning it.  The young elder in question dreamed that he was at the gate of the plantation where this family lived.  His companion passed by the

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entrance to the plantation with a strange partner, and went on, apparently through the wood lot lying the plantation, while the young man who had the dream, together with a new companion, (and, by the way, I happen to remember he was an honored resident aforetime of your beautiful city) passed into the plantation.  Presently, in the strange changes that come over dreamers, the elder was walking about the fore-yard of the plantation, when he saw standing in a doorway the married daughter of the household, and as he was passing by the doorway, he observed that she was crying; and as the young elder approached, she extended her hand, and smiling through her tears said, "O, I am so glad you have returned! I was afraid you would never come back, and I want you to baptize me. "

The young elder woke up his companion to tell him his dream, and as he finished it, he said, "We are not going to leave this neighborhood.  We will stay and see what comes of it. "

A few weeks later these young men received a letter from President John Morgan, then president of the mission, appointing a place for conference on the Tennessee river, and asking them to meet him.  They traveled several hundred miles to meet with him at the designated place.  At the conference the elders reported their field of labor; and Elder Morgan, in that larger wisdom of his, said that instead of leaving such a field as had been described in their report the need was more help.  And so he gave them two more companions, and the four of them returned to their field of labor.  As they came into the neighborhood where they had hosts of friends, and to the gate of the plantation I have been telling you about, two of them passed on to visit other friends, and the other two, the dreamer and his new companion, entered the plantation.  Being mid-day, dinner was soon prepared and partaken of.  After the conclusion of the meal, the dreamer wandered about the plantation, that had become somewhat like home to him.  Passing a cottage near the principal dwelling (this was some three months after his dream) he saw, standing in the doorway, the young matron of the household, and as he approached, he discovered she was crying.  She smiled through her tears, and extending her hand, in broken voice said, "0, I am so glad you have returned; I

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was afraid that you would never come back; and I want you to baptize me."

With a shock the young elder remembered his dream.  The whole incident he had witnessed and lived through three months before.  The passing of the gate of the plantation by his companion with another associate; the doorway with the young matron standing in it crying; the meeting, thee smile through the tears, the very words spoken.  But why the tears?  There had been some disagreement between the young matron and her husband upon the subject of her baptism.  Soon afterward, however, he withdrew his objections, and several months later the lady, with about eight or nine other persons, was baptized by our young elder.  The husband himself also finally joined the Church.

I have related this rather long story for the express purpose of showing that the future can be exactly revealed to the mind of man.  And remember what I said--that if the events of tomorrow, or three months hence, can be revealed to him, so can events three centuries hence, and it is true that "prophecy is but history reversed."  If that is the case, then I want to say to you that all the difficulties over this question of the first Isaiah being the author of the last half of the book that bears his name disappear-- the first Isaiah can do all that is attributed to this second Isaiah.

Here is a question that I want to submit to you about Isaiah:  If the first Isaiah, as we will call him, is not the author of the second Isaiah, who is?  The second part of Isaiah is confessedly the more important part of the book; it is the Messianic part of the prophecy, and for that reason is the most important part of the book.  If you could find the author of the first part of it, why could there not be found the author of the second part of it?

Then again, there is no heading or title to the second part at all it follows right along in sequence, so far as any physical or arbitrary division is indicated.  But it is claimed by the higher critics that there is a sharp transition as to matter and style between the 39th chapter and the 40th chapter.  I modestly beg leave to differ from that conclusion.  If you allow something to the power of prophecy, to the possibility of the future teeing revealed to man, let that be established in your mind, I say, and there is no break between the 39th and the 40th chapters, that is, no considerable break.  Listen

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to what is the conclusion of the 39th chapter.  Hezekiah has just been made to hear the word of the Lord to this effect: "Behold the days come that all that is in shine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store up until this day, shall be carried to Babylon."  Here is the spirit of prophecy, even in the 39th chapter of this book, because it is foretelling things that shall happen to this man Hezekiah--all that he has shall be carried into Babylon.''  Nothing shall be left, saith the Lord--and thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away, and they shall be servants in the palace of the king of Babylon."  In the opening of the second Isaiah (so-called) you find that the matter is closely related.  Remember that the prophet has just told of the future captivity of Israel, their bondage in Babylon, and the 40th chapter opens thus: "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.  Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins."  And then he proceeds to proclaim the ultimate deliverance of Israel from this state of bondage to which the 39th chapter of the so called first Isaiah alluded.  Thus the opening of the "second Isaiah" is in good sequence to the first.

Now another point in the case is this.  Our higher critics must deal with some very important facts of history, accredited history, before they can make good their claim of the doubtful authorship of this latter part of Isaiah.  To begin with, here is Josephus.  According to Josephus, the Jews exhibited the prophecies of Isaiah, chapter 44: 28 and chapter 45: 1-13, to Cyrus, king of Persia, to induce him to return the Jews to Jerusalem, and order the rebuilding of the temple, upon which Cyrus issued the following decree:

Thus saith Cyrus, the king:  Since God Almighty has appointed me to be the king of the habitable earth, I believe that he is that God which the nation of the Israelites worship, for indeed he foretold my name by the prophets, and that I shall build him a house at Jerusalem, in the country of Judea.  This was known to Cyrus by his reading the book which Isaiah left behind him of his prophecies, for this prophet said that God had spoken to him in a secret vision:  "My will is that Cyrus, whom

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I have appointed to be king over many and great nations, send back my people to their own land and build him a temple."  This was foretold by Isaiah one hundred and forty years before the temple was demolished.  Accordingly, after Cyrus read this, and admired the divine power, an earnest desire and ambition seized upon him to fulfil what was written (Antq. of the Jews, Book XI, chapter 1).

Such is the testimony of Josephus in relation to the effect of this prophecy upon the mind of Cyrus, and the fact that the prophecy had been uttered, and the name spoken as the future deliverer of Israel from their bondage, to rebuild the house of the Lord, is what influenced him to issue his decree to that end.

There is one other item of history that higher critics will have to deal with, and that is in relation to the Christ himself reading the prediction from the prophecy of Isaiah--the "second Isaiah," from the 61st chapter, and applying it to himself.  The incident is told by Luke as follows:

And he came to Nazareth where- he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.  And there was delivered unto him the book of the Prophet Esaias [Isaiah].  And when he had opened the book he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down.  And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.  And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth * * * (Luke 4:16-23).

Here is the prophet--the second Prophet Isaiah--honored by a quotation by the Master himself, and applying the prediction to himself, the Messiah.  Now, the point of argument from the passage is this, if we are to reject the second prophet Isaiah from the 40th chapter to the close, because it is "unthinkable that it was written by the first Isaiah, because it would be necessary to immerse him in the spirit of prophecy, out of the environment of his life and his labors," are we not under the same obligation to reject it as the

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utterance of a second Isaiah. who must needs be conceived of as being immersed by the spirit of prophecy into the future, making the prediction concerning the Christ, who, as he read from the second part of Isaiah, declared to the people, "This day is this saying fulfiled in your ears."  It would be no more difficult for the first Isaiah to utter this prediction than for the second to give voice to it.  In either case it involves the fact of the miracle of prophecy.

One other thing.  In all this criticism you must take into account the magnificence of the man God was using to be the prophet pre-eminent of the coming of the Messiah--the Messianic prophet par excellence.  And one of the books that is an authority on higher criticism, the work of Dr. Driver, Introduction to the Old Testament Literature, in describing Isaiah pictures him as follows:

Isaiah's poetical genius is superb.  His characteristics are grandeur and beauty of conception, wealth of imagination, vividness of illustration, compressed energy and splendor of diction. . . . . Examples of picturesque and impressive imagery are indeed so abundant that selection is difficult.  These may be instanced, however: the banner raised aloft upon the mountains; the restless roar of the sea; the waters rising with irrestible might; the forest consumed rapidly in the circling flames, or stripped of its foliage by an unseen hand; the raised way; the rushing of many waters; the storm driving or beating down all before it; the monster funeral pyre; Jehovah's band "stretched out'' or "swung" over the earth, and bearing consternation with it.  Especially grand are the figures under which be conceives Jehovah as "rising up," being "exalted,'' or otherwise asserting his majesty against those who would treat it with disregard or disdain. . . . The brilliancy and power of Isaiah's genius appear further in the sudden contrasts and pointed antitheses and retorts, in which he delights.

No prophet has Isaiah's power either of conception or of expression; none has the same command of noble thoughts, or can present them in the same noble and attractive language.

Such is a description of Isaiah by a higher critic.  Now take that man, at the close of his 39th chapter, give him, under the inspiration of God, the vision of Israel in captivity, of Israel's deliverance through Cyrus, the Persian king; give him the vision, as God did, of the "Man of Sorrows," the "one acquainted with

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griefs," who "bore our sorrows," upon whom was laid "the burden of us all," "by whose stripes we are healed," and "from whom men turned away their faces" (Isaiah, chapter 53)--give him the vision of a world's redemption by such a character as this, and bid him describe it--will there be anything impossible in the "second Isaiah" for the author of the first thirty-nine chapters to utter, under the inspiration of God?

And now comes the strength and power of the testimony of the Book of Mormon in relation to this subject.  Higher critics say that this second part of Isaiah was not written by Isaiah.  But the new volume of scripture, the Book of Mormon, written by prophets upon this American continent, bears witness to the fact that the colony of Lehi leaving Jerusalem six hundred years before Christ, and at least fifty years before the date of the composition of the second part of Isaiah, insisted upon by the higher critics, carried with them the prophecies of Isaiah, the second part as well as the first, and transcribed it into their records, where Joseph Smith found it.  Of course this statement may not appeal to higher critics, but how strong it must be to us, who accept the testimony of the Book of Mormon, as establishing the integrity of the Book of Isaiah's prophecies!

In conversation with one of our young men who recently returned from an eastern college, where he had come in contact with higher criticism, he remarked to me, "Yes, higher criticism shoots to pieces the Book of Mormon."  "Pardon me, my brother, " I answered, "you have misstated the matter; you mean that the Book of Mormon shoots holes into higher criticism!"

And that is true.  The Book of Mormon establishes the integrity and unity of authorship for the whole book of Isaiah.  It is claimed in the little brochure by Mr. Jones that we are discussing, that a similiar point to the one we have been considering arises concerning the word "Malachi," spoken of in Third Nephi, 23rd chapter and fourth verse, "where Christ is represented as quoting 'Malachi' quite definitely as the words of an individual by that name."  "The best of authorities," says the brochure here examined, "now agree that Malachi is not a proper name at all, but should be translated, 'my messenger."'  The brochure writer says it is the English version of the scriptures that has crystal-

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ized the word into a proper name.  All I shall say upon that particular subject is just this, that if the Christ, among the Nephites, referred to Malachi quite definitely as a person of that name, the author of the gospel according to St. Mark also quite definitely refers to him as one of the "prophets" who had delivered a certain message concerning the messenger who should go before the Christ.  I will read to you the passage from Mark: "As it is written in the prophets, Behold I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee."  So much from Malachi, one of the prophets: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight:" so much from Isaiah, the other prophet.  The Christ himself quotes also from Malachi, in the New Testament; and while one may not say that the reference to him is definite as a person of that name, yet he quotes a passage from Malachi as from one of the prophets.  Referring to John the Baptist, the Christ says: "This is he of whom it is written,"--now quoting from Malachi--"Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare the way before thee" (Luke 7: 27).  Dr. Driver is of the opinion that the book of Malachi came to the hands of the compilers with no title to it, and since they found in it this expression, "I will send my messenger and he shall prepare the way before me," they took the term, "my messenger," for the title.  He says: "From the similarity of the title in form to Zechariah 9: 1, it is probable that it was framed [i. e., the title, "Malachi"] by the compiler of the volume of the twelve prophets; and this taken in conjunction with the somewhat prominent recurrence of the same word in Malachi 3: 1, has led some modern scholars to the conjecture that the prophecy, when it came to the compiler's hands, had no author's name prefixed, and that he derived the name from chapter 3: 1, 'my messenger' being there understood by him either as an actual designation of the author, or a term descriptive of his office, and so capable of being applied to him symbolically."  This discussion of the subject by an authority on higher criticism itself is scarcely in agreement with the notion that it was the "English version of the scriptures that has crystalized the word [Malachi] into a proper name (Brochure page 9). Dummelow's commentary on the word Malachi says that

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the oldest Jewish tradition identifies the author of the book of Malachi with Ezra, the scribe, "understanding the word 'Malachi' as an honorable title conferred by Jehovah upon his prophet."  True, this author, who accepts quite generally the results of higher criticism, says this "oldest Jewish tradition" is "without adequate reason;" but if the phrase, "my messenger," could be, according to the aforesaid oldest tradition, understood as an honorable title conferred by Jehovah upon Ezra, could it not be applied as such to whatever prophet wrote the book, and thus cause him naturally to be referred to "very definitely" as an individual by that name?

But do not such "tests" as these constitute rather small groundwork upon which to build a structure of objection to such a work as the Book of Mormon purports to be?

There are other matters in this brochure that ought to be considered, but they introduce questions that may not be treated on this occasion for lack of time.

I promised in the outset, however, to say something in relation to higher criticism as affecting the New Testament, as well as to its bearing upon the Book of Mormon.  I now proceed to fulfil that promise.

I hold in my hand the Hibbert Journal for January, 1911, and on the questions with which it deals, Religion, Theology and Philosophy, it is recognized as one of the foremost journals of the world.  It is a journal the contributors to which quite generally accept the results of higher criticism; and reading a few passages from it will show the effect of higher criticism upon the New Testament.  The article I quote is by the Rev. E. C. Anderson, D. D., and in his opening statement he says:

The time has come when it seems necessary deliberately to raise the question whether the story which we have in the four gospels of the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of their central figure was designed by their authors to be taken as literal history.  The higher criticism, indeed, is forcing this question to the front, and the time does not seem far distant when all sections of the church will have to face it.  The higher criticism may be described as a virtual, though not intentional, attack on the historicity of the Bible.  It did not, indeed, begin in that way.  That was not its avowed purpose, it called itself "historical

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criticism, and aimed at judging the various parts of scripture in the light of actual circumstances in which they were produced.  But the result has been to show in almost if not every part of scripture that what we have is not history proper--that the author's purpose was not to write history, but to edify, to teach some religious truth which he regarded as all-important. . . . As a result of the work of the higher criticism, the four gospels are a complete wreck as historical records. . . . It [the Gospel of St. John] cannot be depended upon in any way, particularly as authority for the history of Jesus. . . . The same is substantially true of the synoptics [that is, the three gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke].  As authorities for the life of Jesus they are hopelessly shattered by the assaults of the higher criticism.  How little they tell us of an historic Jesus!  And that little full of contradictions and discrepancies, of impossible incidents and errors. . . . The higher criticism has forced the Christian world to interpret spiritually, and not literally, much that these gospels tell us of Jesus.

And then referring to the effect of higher criticism upon some of the earlier historical facts in the gospel, he goes on to say:

So long as the higher criticism confined itself to these incidents, little concern was felt, but now it is beginning to lay its hands on matters which are regarded as essential, such as the trial and death and resurrection and ascension of Jesus, and to point out the impossibility of reconciling these with history.  It seems as if it will not stop until it has pronounced all the leading features of the gospel story incredible; and when this is done, where will be the evidence for the historicity of Jesus?  It would seem as if the result of the higher criticism is to be something the higher critics themselves did not contemplate--that there is only one way in which Christianity can survive, and that is by the surrender of its claim of being a historical religion, and the placing of it on a purely spiritual foundation......

He argues as follows for this new position:

Why not listen to the mystic who tells us that it is nothing less than idolatry to fix our thought and worship on a historical Jesus, who is supposed to have lived in Palestine two thousand years ago, that a flesh-and-blood Jesus is a contradiction in terms, and that what the gospel writers intended to give the world was not history or biography, but spiritual allegory or drama. (!)  If this theory fits the fact as the historical theory does not, this will be the proof of its truth.

There is much more to the same effect; and this writer

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admonishes his readers to free themselves from the thought of salvation through a historical Jesus, and to accept the term "Christ" as the symbol for the individual soul, and apply the written experiences of Jesus to the experiences of the birth and struggle of the individual soul; in other words, accept myth instead of fact as the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I shall close with a comment upon one more passage of this little brochure.  Speaking of that matter of the "Isaiahs," and the authorship of the second part of the book, your fellow townsman, who has written this brief criticism aimed at the Book of Mormon, says:

There was a time when the Isaian authorship of these chapters was warmly contested for, but it is hard now to find a modern commentary by any scholar of repute that seriously tries to defend that position.  The advocates of the Book of Mormon will probably be the last to attempt it, for to admit the late date of the last half of Isaiah is, to quote Mr. Roberts' words, to throw "the whole Book of Mormon under suspicion of being fraudulent."

What I wanted out of this passage is the thought that the advocates of the Book of Mormon will probably be the last to attempt to uphold the integrity of the whole book of Isaiah as it now stands in the Bible, the product of the prophet of that name, the Messianic prophet par excellence.  That is probably a true prediction.  We may, indeed, be the last, but we shall continue the contest.  The Book of Mormon will stand for the integrity of the book of Isaiah; and not only for that, but for all the great historical facts concerning Messiah, and concerning the gospel of salvation through faith in and acceptance of the atonement of the Christ and obedience to His laws, since those facts were revealed to the ancient prophets upon these American continents.  They knew of Messiah's coming, of his birth and life; for they had prophets among them much of the spirit of Isaiah, who predicted that fact, and very much pertaining to his earthly life; and finally, our Book of Mormon declares the physical and glorious appearance of the risen Messiah among the inhabitants of this western world.  It contains the account of the establishment of the Church of Christ among them.  It lays down the fundamental principles of the doctrine of the atonement of Christ, as no other book con-

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tains it.  It teaches the means of salvation better than any other work of even divine authority teaches it.  The Christ lived among the men of the western world for a short period only, but in that time presented the same splendid truths he taught in Judea; only it was the risen Messiah who appeared upon this continent, as he appeared after his resurrection to the disciples in Judea, when he said to them, in all the glory and splendor of a resurrected, immortal personage:  "All power is given unto me, in heaven and in earth; go ye, therefore, and teach all nations."  Shortly after that, but even in a more splendid manner, he revealed himself to the Nephites in the land of Zion; he came forth out of the blue expanse of heaven, heralded by the voice of God saying:  "Behold my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name: hear ye him."  Multitudes worshiped at his feet; saw and felt the wounds in his hands and in his side; and knew that the prophecies of the old prophets among their fathers were now fulfiled in this manifestation and personal presence of the Christ with them.  He felt with them the fulness of the gospel of salvation through the atonement of Christ.  And that testimony of the gospel, its historicity and reality, contained in the Book of Mormon, shall stand against the results of higher criticism. In that book we have a New Witness for God and Christ, a Witness whose voice cannot be silenced.  It speaks not only for the Jewish scriptures, but it speaks for the integrity of the whole gospel program.  It stands for the reality and truth of the atonement and the gospel of Jesus Christ as the power of God unto salvation.  It will resist all such conclusions of higher criticism as those set forth by this author in the Hibbert Journal, that I have been reading to you.  The truth of God it will establish, and 0h, how the world needs it!  Speaking of his future glorious coming, the Christ said:  "When the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith in the earth?"  If the results of higher criticism shall be accepted by the Christian peoples of the world, he will not find real, valid faith in the world; neither will he find faith in the gospel of Christ, for which he stands; nor in the scriptures, as the word of God.  If our testimony prevails, the answer is to be given in the affirmative Yea, Lord, thou shalt find faith in the earth.