Letter from Robert D. Foster, 24 December 1839

said that if there were any body else, they would have  no objections in being baptized; they said if Mr Cook man would say it was true, that they would obey  the ordinance of baptism immediately— I showed  them it was no way to risk their salvation, on Mr.  Cookman— but they wished I would go and see  him— and <I> offered to do so provided they would  accompany me, and introduce the matter in due  form; but they backed out, Well you know I sd.  I would not stop untill I got through & am not  through yet. I went to bed, thanked God for his  goodness to me, & resolved to do any thing, that would  further the cause, or plant the seed in <this> wicked,  and adulterous City— then I goes and hunts out this  Golia[t]h of Methodism (Mr. Cookman), I wrapped at  the door, was ushered in with much form, when I  very poli[t]ely told him my business; that I had glad  tidings of great joy, and he stood and gased [gazed] as though  I had been an Angel— He then begged lief— to intro duce his pious friend, (Mr. Wait), and also his wife, which  I admitted; I began to tell him by littles, and he asked me  if I would argue the point, from the Bible; I said amen  to it, and we went at it— He, at first, acted like a Gentn.,  but soon turned black, & awful; looking like a Demon.  I kept a steady course, keeping my temper— prayed  God to uphold me, and he did it in such a manner,  as I never experienced before— I was afraid at first,  asked God to strengthen me, and he did it; he sh owed himself to me, and sent help in time of need,  He (Mr. Cookman) could not quote a passage of—  scripture right, nor knew anything about the Bible  at all; all he could say was, you are deluded you are  a fanatick you are crazy, and demanded a sign— The  Apostles & Prop[h]ets come on purpose to show a sign, & they—  were no longer needed; but Jos. Smith must let me ta ke a Rattlesnake & hold it to him, to bite him— then if  he lives I will believe; but he is an imposter, a fanatic  and a child of the Devil, & you are another— I begd.  him not be so hard, as I preached nothing but the [p. 120]
Robert D. Foster, letter, Washington DC, to JS, Philadelphia, PA, 24 Dec. 1839; handwriting of Howard Coray; in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 119–122; JS Collection, CHL.